VIII. The Meaning of the Last Judgment, P 4
4 The first step toward freedom involves a sorting out of the false from the true. This is a process of separation in the constructive sense, and reflects the true meaning of the Apocalypse. Everyone will ultimately look upon his own creations and choose to preserve only what is good, just as God Himself looked upon what He had created and knew that it was good. At this point, the mind can begin to look with love on its own creations because of their worthiness. At the same time the mind will inevitably disown its miscreations which, without belief, will no longer exist.
It is interesting that Jesus calls the period of sorting out the false from the true the Apocalypse. The definition of apocalypse is total destruction and also revelation of future. Though Jesus probably wasn’t thinking of Webster’s when he used the term, it feels like both to me. I am totally destroying the way I used to think and what is left is revealing my future.
For a long time now I have been going through the process of sorting through my thoughts. I look at the thought in my mind and if it is a thought I would think with God then I am happy with it and keep it. If it is an ego thought, anything that does not reflect God, I realize I don’t want to keep it and I ask that my mind be healed. Then I accept the healing because this is what I really want.
I have begun to truly experience the results of this work. I have watched as the wrong minded thinking, now disowned and no longer existing for me, ceased to have effects in the world of time and space. The miracle is the healing of the mind, and it is an awesome miracle when it happens. Within the world I see the miracle reflected in the form of peace and happiness and often in the form of a shifting illusion.
Sometimes, oftentimes, as the mind is healed of a belief, that belief no longer shows up in my world. Sometimes the effect remains in the world, but no longer has a negative impact on me. An example of the first occurred when I was working on pain as not being real. The Course says that pain cannot be real and that began to make sense to me.
My mind believed in pain as real and unavoidable under certain conditions. The one thing I was looking at was pain from driving so much. At first I did what I have always done. I looked for ways to relieve the pain. I tried getting my car seat redone. I went to a chiropractor. I took pain pills. I used yoga to relieve the pain. Nothing worked and the pain just got worse, and I am glad it did.
It was because I could not manipulate the effect, that I began to question the source, which was my belief about pain. One day I thought I could not continue to do my job and I talked to the Holy Spirit about it. I said that I didn’t know what to do, but something had to give. I just could not continue to work like this. I asked for His help. I thought He would lead me to another job or something like that. Open a door I had not known was there.
He did open a door for me, but it was not from one story in the illusion to another story in the illusion. It was a door leading out of the illusion. I found myself reading Lesson 190 that is about pain. I was drawn to the one sentence that says pain cannot be real and I started working with that thought. It took me many weeks of looking at the belief in pain with the Holy Spirit, feeling the pain, questioning the belief that sourced the pain and rejecting it, before I began to believe that pain could not possibly be real.
I began to realize that I must be making this up as a defense against God. I was using pain as a way to prove separation is real and that God does not love me, or maybe doesn’t exist at all. I looked at the idea that I could have pain in my legs and finally rejected that idea. The pain ceased to exist. It was amazing! I still do the same job, still drive hours a day in the same car, but I have no pain. When I asked for help, I thought it would come as a new job, but Holy Spirit gave me a new mind. Sweet!
It is interesting to me that I am willing to let the idea of pain go in many situations, but not in all. This willingness is not always apparent on a conscious level. I don’t say to myself that I will not believe in pain in this situation, but I will believe in it in another. But at some level I am deciding. I am looking at a thought and deciding if it is real and if I want to keep it.
I have had many opportunities to sort this idea of pain. It seems to be a process for me that continues. I suppose that it will continue until I make a final decision. Just as I chose to use the leg pain to decide if pain is real, I continue to make the decision about pain using other circumstances. I’ve decided not to judge myself for my apparent indecision and to just be patient with myself as I continue the work.
Even as I write this I am given another opportunity to decide if pain is real. Sometimes I scare myself because I know I choose everything in my life. Will I never stop choosing pain and suffering? And yet, I know that the mind that chooses pain is not my real mind. It is the ego mind that wants to continue the story and that is afraid of God. Through the power of my real mind, the mind I share with God, I make another choice.
Another problem I had with my work was the extreme conditions I worked under. At times it was very pleasant work, but other times it was much harder. I worked outside most of the time and the heat was very bad during the summer. As I have gotten older I notice that the heat affects me more strongly than it did when I was younger and I was truly miserable. At the time this was happening the heat index was in excess of 100 degrees and the humidity was 100%. Sometimes I thought I was going to suffer heat stroke, something that happened to a couple of my customers.
I decided that since I couldn’t do anything about the weather, I should do something about my thoughts about the weather. It occurred to me that this situation was of my own making. As Jesus says, I but do this to myself. I asked the Holy Spirit to purify my thoughts about this and I looked forward to seeing the solution. Almost immediately, I noticed the change in how I reacted to the situation. I simply didn’t feel upset or miserable.
The heat was still there and I was still working in it. The difference was that I didn’t react to it. I have remained unaffected by it since. Recently, my job description was changed slightly and while I still do the work I enjoy, I am not working in the elements as much as I was before. I didn’t do anything within the story to make this happen. When I change my mind about the purpose of the story, the story often changes as well.
The most wonderful part of this process is that in sorting out my thoughts and letting go of the wrong-minded ones, I am not just feeling less negativity; I am experiencing my true thoughts. I feel loved and loving. I feel happy. I feel something I don’t know how to describe. It is gratitude and love and happiness and yet, just saying those words does not do justice to the feeling. Am I beginning to look with love on my own creations? Or is it a foreshadowing of this? I don’t know but I’m glad it is happening.