VI. The Rewards of God, P 2
2 In learning to escape from illusions, your debt to your brother is something you must never forget. It is the same debt that you owe to me. Whenever you act egotistically towards another, you are throwing away the graciousness of your indebtedness and the holy perception it would produce. The term “holy” can be used here because, as you learn how much you are indebted to the whole Sonship, which includes me, you come as close to knowledge as perception can. The gap is then so small that knowledge can easily flow across it and obliterate it forever.
I gave a workshop this past weekend. A group of people sat all day long and for two hours the next morning and listened while I taught myself. Between teachings they shared with me and with each other their lessons, the ones they learned and the ones they are still trying to accept. I know my debt to these brothers and sisters, and I am so grateful to them.
It is easy for me to see myself indebted to my brothers when I think of this weekend, but sometimes I forget my debt when the circumstances are less pleasant. When someone seems to be attacking me, when someone’s problem triggers my own stuff, when someone seems to be placing demands on me; in these kinds of situations, I tend to forget my indebtedness to my brother. Instead, it seems as if my brother is now my enemy.
And yet, these moments of frustration, anger, or fear, these moments when the person in my awareness seems to bring up all the ugly stuff I normally keep buried, these moments are my way home. And these brothers are giving me exactly what I need to take the next step in that direction. When this happens I have a choice. I can accept the ego interpretation of the situation and defend myself against attack. Or I can accept the Holy Spirit’s interpretation and realize that my dear brothers are presenting me with a chance to heal my mind.
The next time I feel attacked, instead of defending myself from my brothers I can ask that I be shown another way to see this. As my perception is healed, the brother I only a moment ago felt resentment for, now feels like my friend, my helper. Our hands are (metaphorically) clasped as we help each other undo the ego through our forgiveness.
Holy Spirit, I felt like I was in rarified company this weekend, and today as I prepare to go to work I feel a bit of dread. It feels like I am arming myself for battle. I see that I have been looking at my brothers as enemies to be overcome. I have seen them as competitors and even the ones I like and depend on, I see as potentially disappointing. It seems I can’t tell a friend from an enemy as they switch places depending on how I perceive them in any moment. Please heal my mind.
Holy Spirit: Thank you for asking for my help. This weekend you saw your brothers as your helpers and you were grateful to them. Now you can see the contrast between how that feels and how it often feels when you see the people in your life as enemies instead of friends.
Me: I do. I am really surprised that I do this so much. I would have thought that it was rare for me to see others as enemies, but with Your help I can see what is really happening. I was thinking of going to work and felt anxious about it. I have a report due and I should have done it before I left; now I will have to go into the office and face my boss.
Normally, I think of her as a friend and ally and now I think of her as someone I must defend against. I now see that I do this a lot. How do you want me to see this, Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit: This boss of yours is no different than the people this weekend who gave you the opportunity to join for the purpose of awakening. The reason you think it is different is because you have given today’s circumstances a different meaning. But you have also chosen to look at what you have done and accept healing. This weekend you talked about healing the mind. Today you practice healing the mind. Every person who is involved in these two moments is your mighty companions. They are equal in their value to you and you are equally in debt to them for this opportunity.
Me: I see that! Thank you! Thank you for correcting my perception. I feel gratitude and happiness as I realize that every one I meet today is my helper regardless of what seems to be happening. No wonder I often experience a vague sense of anxiety. I have failed to see my brothers as my helpers and so have not recognized my indebtedness to them. Instead of seeing my boss as someone to defend against, I am going to see her as the one who may offer me an opportunity to forgive. I owe her a debt of gratitude either way.