III. The Guide to Salvation, P 3
3 There are two diametrically opposed ways of seeing your brother. They must both be in your mind, because you are the perceiver. They must also be in his, because you are perceiving him. See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours. What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen.
It has been a few years since I have had a serious grievance against anyone. I mean the kind of grievance that I just can’t bring myself to let go, and many more years since I had a grievance I was determined to keep. But I remember exactly how it felt. Looking back on it I am astounded at how hard I had to work at being aggrieved.
I would see someone else as guilty and then I had to hold that grievance in my mind or I would forget to be angry. I had to keep coming up with stronger reasons he was guilty or my grievance might start to slip away. My word, that was a lot of work. And no matter how well I did the job, I just felt worse and worse. I couldn’t make him guilty enough to make me feel good.
Then I learned enough to know that holding the grievance was the problem, and that I needed to forgive if I wanted to be happy. This was better, and sometimes it took a good bit of time to talk myself into it, but at least I knew the direction to go and that I wanted to go there. I fully understood that as I was imagining I was hurting the other person, it was really myself that I was hurting. Because I was conflicted about what I wanted to come from this; I was uncertain if I wanted to let the other guy off the hook, but at the same time, I wanted to be free; the whole process felt very difficult and frustrating.
Eventually, I came to understand that we are so connected that it is virtually impossible to hurt someone else and not hurt myself. It was impossible to see something in my brother I didn’t see in myself. Forgiveness became a simple process of realizing I was confused and choosing to allow my mind to be healed. On the rare occasions when I was conflicted, I still understood that forgiveness is inevitable and I moved as quickly as possible toward that outcome.
What I like in this paragraph is the reminder that there are two diametrically opposed ways of seeing my brother and they are both in my mind. I am very familiar with the ego way as that perspective has been front and center for most all of my life. It is encouraging to remember that the truth is also in my mind. I just have to look past the ego version to see it. It is right there, patiently waiting for me to notice it. And the more often I take the trouble to shift my vision and see the truth, the stronger it becomes in my mind, and because of the shared mind, my brother is healed right along with me.