III. The Holy Encounter, P 6
6 The Kingdom cannot be found alone, and you who are the Kingdom cannot find yourself alone. To achieve the goal of the curriculum, then, you cannot listen to the ego, whose purpose is to defeat its own goal. The ego does not know this, because it does not know anything. But you can know it, and you will know it if you are willing to look at what the ego would make of you. This is your responsibility, because once you have really looked at it you will accept the Atonement for yourself. What other choice could you make? Having made this choice you will understand why you once believed that, when you met someone else, you thought he was someone else. And every holy encounter in which you enter fully will teach you this is not so.
Two very important ideas got my attention in this paragraph. The first is that to achieve the goal of the curriculum, I cannot listen to the ego because the ego doesn’t know anything. It is my responsibility to look at what the ego would make of me and accept the Atonement for myself instead. I am convinced of this having done just that for several years.
I continue to be vigilant for the thoughts and beliefs that the ego mind offers. I pay attention to my feelings and my actions and words so that I can be aware of what they tell me about my beliefs. It is easy to mistake understanding a concept for healing. I can say all the right words, and I can understand intellectually, and even accept intellectually, what A Course in Miracles is teaching me. However, unless I am living them, they are just information.
How do I know if I am living what I am learning? I just look at my life. How do I feel? Am I peaceful and happy? If not, then I need to pay closer attention. I need to become aware of what thought I am accepting as true that is really an ego thought, and then accept the Atonement for that mistake. In accepting the Atonement, I am asking the Holy Spirit to remove from my mind the thought that is not in alignment with the truth.
The second thing that caught my attention was the sentence:
Having made this choice you will understand why you once believed that, when you met someone else, you thought he was someone else.
First Jesus very clearly states that we are not separate. The lady who took my breakfast order this morning is not someone else. She is part of my own Self. The body she is employing for this separation story is designed to keep the secret that she is me, but I am not fooled. At least, I am not fooled right now. We are not truly separate, just as we are not truly the body device we use in this story of separate beings having separate experiences.
I say that I am not fooled right now because I am sitting alone in my hotel room, listening to Spirit, feeling His closeness, remembering what I am. Then I leave the room and I meet many people coming and going during the day and I get caught up in the story, and I forget my unity with all that is.
But I never completely forget anymore. During the day I will suddenly remember, as I speak to a customer, that we are not separate. Or I will catch a glance of someone on the street and I will remember the truth for that instant. Or driving alone in my car I will know for that brief time that I am not really alone and never could be.
Oh, to know this as my experience all the time! To never forget! To never be confused again! This is why I study A Course in Miracles, why I commune with Spirit, why I am vigilant for every thought that would take me from my goal. I want to feel the perfect peace, the absolute joy of knowing what we are. I can peak behind the veil, and experience this joining at least to some extent, as I allow it to happen in each holy encounter. Today, I would enter fully into each holy encounter so that I can have the full experience of our oneness. I ask for help to remember my purpose.