V. The Function of the Miracle Worker, P 7
7 Corrective learning always begins with the awakening of spirit, and the turning away from the belief in physical sight. This often entails fear, because you are afraid of what your spiritual sight will show you. I said before that the Holy Spirit cannot see error, and is capable only of looking beyond it to the defense of Atonement. There is no doubt that this may produce discomfort, yet the discomfort is not the final outcome of the perception. When the Holy Spirit is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, He also looks immediately toward the Atonement. Nothing He perceives can induce fear. Everything that results from spiritual awareness is merely channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need for correction into awareness.
I understand this. I have been studying the Course for over 30 years now, and for the first 20 years, this was slow going and often so uncomfortable for me that I would have to stop for awhile. I was drowning in guilt and shame and fear. I knew, intellectually, that I could not actually hide anything from Spirit, but I could not bring myself to look at my guilt, much less invite Holy Spirit to look with me.
So I took it slow and did the best I could. I would look at something from my past and I would feel even guiltier and more afraid, but I did it anyway, and then I would see that I survived it and even felt better afterward. I was encouraged to do it again. This went on for quite some time, and slowly my trust grew and the whole process sped up. I was no longer so afraid, and the peace that grew out of the process was a tremendous motivation to do more.
The last twelve years, I have been vigilant in this work, and now I look without flinching. I look with an eagerness born of certainty that whatever discomfort I feel will pass quickly as the mind is healed. Looking at the errors in my mind is not the fearful work I used to think it was, but is my way out of pain and suffering. I have mostly stopped judging what I find there. Spirit has taught me that none of it is personal and that doing this work is my purpose.
Here is something else that changed. In the past, I would remember something I did that brought me shame or caused me to feel guilty when the memory rose in my mind. It was the act or the words that I thought of and that I felt bad about. I wanted to be forgiven for doing or saying this thing. Now I see the action or the words as symbols only. They represent a belief in my mind that needs to be looked at and then healed.
Seeing it from that perspective is very helpful. It makes it easier to do the work, but more importantly, I am learning that the world is not real and that this story is just a story and is not me. I am forgiven because nothing has happened. I am not here, living in this body, doing cruel or thoughtless things to other bodies. I am watching the thoughts that have taken form from the beliefs in the mind. I am watching them and learning that they are not true and that I don’t want them anymore. That is all that is happening.
I go back and forth on this still, sometimes watching the story with detachment, and sometimes watching myself fall into the story, and sometimes just lost in the story, completely involved and for awhile, unable to step back from it. But I know it is just a matter of time and practice before I will be able to remain the observer. The more often I do this, the harder it becomes to believe in the story.
In the meantime, I notice a wrong-minded thought and I look at it with the Holy Spirit. I give Him my willingness to let that belief go and He heals my mind. I am at peace. This is my process and it is the same one I have used consistently for the last twelve years or so. It works so I keep doing it.