Introduction, P 1
1. The Bible says that you should go with a brother twice as far as he asks. It certainly does not suggest that you set him back on his journey. Devotion to a brother cannot set you back either. It can lead only to mutual progress. The result of genuine devotion is inspiration, a word which properly understood is the opposite of fatigue. To be fatigued is to be dis-spirited, but to be inspired is to be in the spirit. To be egocentric is to be dis-spirited, but to be Self-centered in the right sense is to be inspired or in spirit. The truly inspired are enlightened and cannot abide in darkness.
I wrote an article for Miracle News on not setting my brother back on his journey. I could write one every day because it is easy to do this if I am not vigilant for my thoughts and words. I am staying at a hotel in New Orleans and it is not in the best part of town. When I got here last night around 10:00, there were young men loitering around the front of the hotel.
When I walked in the lobby there was a young woman working the front desk. I had the urge to ask her if she was not worried about working in this area so late at night. By grace, I kept my thought to myself and instead asked the Holy Spirit to heal my mind. I thanked Him for helping me to refrain from spreading the ego disease of fear.
When I thoughtlessly said something to my daughter that triggered feelings of shame in her, I apologized. I felt really bad and wanted to wipe those words away. I felt guilty for my careless words and this triggered a lot of other parental guilt. I wanted to do more, to say more, to somehow ease my guilt through gaining her absolution. Once again, through grace I held my tongue. I was acting from guilt and guilt is not something I want to teach. Teaching my daughter guilt would set her back on her journey.
I cannot set my brothers and sisters back on their journey unless they are uncertain in their own mind, but then, who among us is completely free of fear and guilt? Jesus refers to the ego mind as sick, and I refer to fear and guilt as the disease that causes this sickness. We are careful to cover our mouth when we sneeze so as not to spread germs. I am learning to close my mouth when I feel fear or guilt coming on so as not to spread that disease. And always, when I notice these beliefs in my mind, I ask for the Atonement and gratefully accept it.
When I forget and speak my fear or guilt, I am dis-spirited. Even if I don’t speak it aloud, a thought that has gone unhealed supports the ego thought system, and so it is spread throughout the Sonship. This, too, is dis-spiriting. On the other hand, if I am being vigilant and notice the thought, in asking for healing I am uplifted and inspired because my mind is Self-centered. I feel dispirited when I am egocentric in my thinking and uplifted when I am Self-centered because the former goes against my nature, and the latter is natural to me.