V. Beyond Perception, P 8
8 What happens to perceptions if there are no judgments and nothing but perfect equality? Perception becomes impossible. Truth can only be known. All of it is equally true, and knowing any part of it is to know all of it. Only perception involves partial awareness. Knowledge transcends the laws governing perception, because partial knowledge is impossible. It is all one and has no separate parts. You who are really one with it need but know yourself and your knowledge is complete. To know God’s miracle is to know Him.
Jesus, I really don’t know what to do with this paragraph. I don’t doubt the truth of it; I just don’t remember how that feels. What I hear you say is that I am a miracle of God. When I know myself as a miracle of God I will know everything because knowledge is whole. Perception will disappear along with judgment. What would there be to judge? There would be only truth. Oh, I do so long for that knowledge, complete and uninterrupted.
As I write this, part of my mind is on an experience of yesterday. A few years ago my mom died of Alzheimer’s. I spent several months forgiving our relationship, and mostly that was me forgiving myself for not loving her as well as I could have. It felt like grief and at first, that is what I thought it was, but actually, if it was grief, it was grief that I had not been a better daughter.
During those months a memory would surface and I would feel this overwhelming guilt over my behavior and would then go through the process of forgiveness. Finally, the memories stopped coming and I felt like it was complete. I thought of mom and there was no guilt, only love. Then yesterday, a different memory surfaced and it really knocked me off my feet. It was not just the feeling of guilt the memory triggered, but that it was so unexpected. Like walking along and suddenly something hits you from behind and knocks you down.
Me: Jesus, the shame and guilt I felt yesterday and this morning are receding, but it is still there. It is hard to think of myself as a miracle of God when I think of myself as a guilty, shameful person.
Jesus: Here is what you can do. Allow the feelings to flow over you. Your resistance to them is all that makes them painful. Your resistance is your fear that the feelings are true and that, as you suspected, you really are guilty. The circumstances that seemed to be the source of your feelings are unimportant. You feel guilty and the story of your mom seems to be the reason for your guilt, but it is not. As long as you believe in guilt, you will continue to experience these guilty stories. The stories are not the cause of the guilt; they are the effect of the guilt. You are innocent. You are, indeed, a miracle of God.
Me: I had the thought that there was no guilt and that there is only innocence. I imagined myself saying to a friend that she could not be guilty because she is innocent and so she could never be guilty. In that moment I felt the truth of that so strongly it was hard for me to imagine how she could feel guilty. Then, a short time later, this memory surfaced and I felt so overwhelmed with guilt that I could not imagine innocence. The story of my guilt was a hammer pounding me into the ground.
Jesus: Do not be concerned that you have these feelings of guilt. You have the truth in your mind. You also have the separation thought in your mind. The story of your guilt is just a symbol of the separation thought. You have done nothing. All that is happening is that you are looking at both thoughts in your mind.
First, you looked at the truth. This caused a fearful reaction in the part of your mind that feels separate from God and feels guilty for that separation. The guilt that felt so drowning was actually the reaction to that fear. Truly, the belief in guilt is your defense against the love of God. It is your defense against the idea that you are a miracle of God.
Imagine you are standing on the beach and a tall wave is coming at you. If you become fearful and stand against the wave, it will knock you over and you will feel like you are drowning. If you sit quietly and let the wave flow over and around you as if you were a rock in its path, it will rush over you and then quickly recede.
Be the rock. Let the rush of feelings, the doubts, and the fears flow over you. They cannot hurt you. You are safe. Without the fear, you will hear even the wave whisper the truth about you. You are innocent. Nothing can touch your innocence. You are innocent because guilt is a lie. It doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as guilt.
This is the meaning of this paragraph, Myron. As you are waking up you are remembering who you are. With that return to truth, perception will fall away. If there is only innocence, where is guilt? In God, there cannot be opposites. It is only in the idea of separation that there is a belief in opposites or more than one and with this belief, perception was chosen over certainty. Stand like a rock in the face of your fears. Let the Voice of Truth undo this error in your mind. Don’t struggle against it, and it will pass quickly and painlessly. You are not alone. We stand with you.
Me: Thank you for that reminder, Jesus, and thank you for the helpful visual. Instead of seeing the wave crashing down on me, I will see it washing away the doubts and uncertainties. I will see you standing with me. I notice that the residual sadness is completely gone now. I see that it was only my clinging to the idea of guilt and shame that made it seem real in the first place, and that made it linger for so long.
One thing I am reminded of is how it feels when I am not certain. So when someone else is in fear, I can be certain for them, but I will remember how it feels to be afraid and will feel compassion as well.