VII. The Needless Sacrifice, P 10
10 Whenever you are angry, you can be sure that you have formed a special relationship which the ego has “blessed,” for anger is its blessing. Anger takes many forms, but it cannot long deceive those who will learn that love brings no guilt at all, and what brings guilt cannot be love and must be anger. All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty, and this attempt is the only basis the ego accepts for special relationships. Guilt is the only need the ego has, and as long as you identify with it, guilt will remain attractive to you. Yet remember this; to be with a body is not communication. And if you think it is, you will feel guilty about communication and will be afraid to hear the Holy Spirit, recognizing in His Voice your own need to communicate.
There are some important ideas in this paragraph. First, he tells us that anger is a sign we have formed a special relationship. It’s good to get these clues, especially the ones that help me in the moment. If I am with someone and I feel anger toward him or her, I know that specialness is involved and immediately, I can ask the Holy Spirit to transform this relationship. I like that immediacy. No wasted time letting the relationship get further out of hand, letting the specialness gain momentum and getting more entrenched in my mind.
Another thing he does is point out the relationship between anger and guilt. If there is anger, there will be guilt and I suppose it is also true that where there is guilt, there will be anger. Once again, as Jesus will do frequently in the Course, he lets us know that we must let go of the sick attraction to guilt. As he says, guilt is the only need the ego has and if we are attracted to guilt it means that we are still identified with the ego.
“All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty…” is a phrase that was meaningful to me the first time I read it. I did not immediately stop using anger to control through guilt, but I caught it when I did and eventually, through consistent decision, I stopped doing that. It simply lost its attraction. Knowing what I was doing made it impossible for me to keep doing it.
The last thing he tells us may be the most important. Being with a body is not communication. This is so opposite what we believe that I had to re-read it to be sure I got it right. How do we communicate if not with the body? I went back to something he has told us before. Communication is love.
Do I need a body with me to love the one who is represented by that body? Clearly not. The most loving thing I have ever done for others is to know the truth about them even when they didn’t, and I did that without being with them. In fact, I did it more completely without the distraction of the body.
Jesus goes on to tell us that if we think communication is being with a body, we will feel guilty about communication. This kind of guilt is unconscious. It comes from a deep knowing that what we are doing is inherently wrong even if we don’t consciously know why. This guilt will bring fear of communication and it will transfer to fear of communication with the Holy Spirit.
I am afraid of His Voice because I hear in it my need to communicate but I have made myself afraid of communication. This is why I think this part of the paragraph is so important. This is why I am paying close attention to this and asking the Holy Spirit to help me undo this fear.