I. The Message of the Crucifixion, P 4
4 Assault can ultimately be made only on the body. There is little doubt that one body can assault another, and can even destroy it. Yet if destruction itself is impossible, anything that is destructible cannot be real. Its destruction, therefore, does not justify anger. To the extent to which you believe that it does, you are accepting false premises and teaching them to others. The message the crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to perceive any form of assault in persecution, because you cannot be persecuted. If you respond with anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible, and are therefore regarding yourself insanely.
I remember a Star Trek story in which Captain Kirk and party visit a planet where people don’t care that they die. If I remember the story line correctly, they volunteer for death at a certain age so as not to over populate the planet. Captain Kirk is incensed that they are not upset about this. The reason they don’t fear death is that they don’t believe in it. They know that at death they simply return to life.
As my mind heals I believe in death less and less. This healing is not complete for me. There is still the seed of doubt, the fear that I am indeed this body, or that this body has some intrinsic value and I wouldn’t want to lose it. If someone held a gun on me and threatened to kill me with it, I doubt I would be calm. But what I understand is that there is no reason not to be calm. Once again, the truth is slowly making its way from my head to my heart.
I don’t get a lot of chances to practice my belief that there is no death, at least not in this one life time. I did have an occasion when I thought I was dying, and before I passed out this is what I felt. I realized something was very wrong. I wondered if I was dying. I felt panic. I decided to continue to trust Holy Spirit, that He knew what was best for my next step toward awakening. I passed out. This all happened in seconds. So maybe I would be, finally, calm if threatened with death.
On the other hand, we practice death all the time. Life is joy and peace. Life is love. If we are experiencing something else, we are not experiencing life. So I guess when I feel pain or sadness, anger or jealousy, I am practicing death. Each time someone says or does something to me that feels like an attack, I practice death if I feel persecuted. If I see it differently, I practice life.
Someone I know “attacked” me. He was someone who I have given the role of caring about me, and he did something that wasn’t caring. My first feeling was of betrayal. I told the Holy Spirit all about it. I told Him what this person did, and I told Him how I felt about it, how sad it made me, how unsafe, and ultimately how angry that he should do this to me. Then I asked Him to help me see it differently and to heal my mind.
The Holy Spirit showed me that nothing happened to me. He showed me that I felt betrayal because of the story I told myself about this person. Even if he meant to betray me, he was only betraying his thoughts about me. My thoughts are betraying me. This is a lesson the Holy Spirit has been teaching me a lot these days and now when He shares this with me, I get it very quickly. Nothing really happened to me, I but did this to myself.
Additionally, I see that there is really no such thing as betrayal. The whole idea of betrayal is something I made up in my mind to explain my fear of God, and to give myself a place to project that fear so I don’t have to confront it. As I allowed my mind to be healed, all the feelings of betrayal and the desire to retaliate dissolved and I felt only compassion and understanding.
What if this person carried their antagonism to another level and started beating my body? Well, I don’t think I am healed of the belief in the illusion to the point that I would not be affected. I am learning that pain is not real, but I have not put it to that kind of test. I am asking that the Holy Spirit heal my mind of the belief in fear, but I have not fully accepted that healing.
I do see that I would not feel pain without the belief in the body and I would not be afraid without the belief that this body and this life are real and matter. No matter how I felt and what I felt, my purpose remains the same; I am to deny the denial of truth. I would use the situation to see where I need to heal my mind and accept the Atonement to the degree I am able. That purpose never changes.
Death is not real. Only the illusion can give us an experience of death, and an experience of something unreal, no matter how real it feels, can never be true. I can only dream of death while I dream that this illusion is life. I am now aware that everything in this illusion that does not reflect the truth is a dress rehearsal for the chapter on my dream of death. Let me remember to use those moments to accept the Atonement for my beliefs.