III. The Holy Encounter, P 5
5 The goal of the curriculum, regardless of the teacher you choose, is “Know thyself.” There is nothing else to seek. Everyone is looking for himself and for the power and glory he thinks he has lost. Whenever you are with anyone, you have another opportunity to find them. Your power and glory are in him because they are yours. The ego tries to find them in yourself alone, because it does not know where to look. The Holy Spirit teaches you that if you look only at yourself you cannot find yourself, because that is not what you are. Whenever you are with a brother, you are learning what you are because you are teaching what you are. He will respond either with pain or with joy, depending on which teacher you are following. He will be imprisoned or released according to your decision, and so will you. Never forget your responsibility to him, because it is your responsibility to yourself. Give him his place in the Kingdom and you will have yours.
Again my day will be filled with opportunities to remember what I am. Each brother I meet offers me that gift. I can ask the Holy Spirit who this brother is, or I can ask the ego. Yesterday, I can think of one specific time when I asked the ego. I caught myself and tried to back out of it, but I saw that I was really attached to the ego version of this brother of mine. I saw him as incompetent. I resented him for his incompetence. And I did not want to let go of that perception of him.
Because this is how I perceive him and because I believe my perception, everything he does seems to prove that I am right. I see his every action and word as if it were passing through a filter of incompetence. Here is an example of how that works. He was supposed to do something and then report on it. I saw that he did not provide a complete report and my mind saw incompetence. Later I discovered the reason the report was incomplete is that it was not physically possible for him to complete the project.
Seeing this error on my part, this judgment that was based on incomplete information, helped to snap me out of my wrong minded thinking. I stopped listening to the ego and began to listen instead to the Holy Spirit. The ego had been telling me that I can find my true self only in myself. In fact, it says, I can find my true self only as I compare myself to someone lesser. That man is incompetent compared to me, is what the ego says, so now I know what I am; I am competent. That is, I am competent until I see my own incompetence compared to someone more competent.
What I understand now is that I cannot see in myself what I am unwilling to see in the other person, because we are one. That we are separate is just an illusion. I look at my brother and I see incompetence and I have taught myself incompetence. I have claimed it for myself. I look to him to see what I am not, whether that is something better or worse, and I have taught myself that we are separate. How can I find myself if I am looking for proof I am a separate individual with no connection to others? That is not what I am.
I ask the Holy Spirit to show me my brother and I will see his beauty and glory and perfection, and I will teach myself that I am beautiful and glorious and perfect. When I ask the Holy Spirit to show me my brother, I am asking the Holy Spirit to show me myself and so to show me that we are one. Allowing my mind to be guided to the truth of my unity to all there is, is how I remember what I am.
I felt sad this morning when I read this paragraph and realized the missed opportunity yesterday. Even though I asked Holy Spirit to remove the disordered thoughts from my mind, I did not entirely want Him to, and so I kept going back to my judgment. This morning I want to be free of this untrue story of my brother. I want to look at him with the Holy Spirit and not the ego.
I want never to turn to the ego to teach me who this brother is. I have had this long-standing story of a brother who is different from me, who is guilty of incompetence. I don’t need this story anymore. I ask the Holy Spirit to remove from my mind the belief that I can find myself in myself alone. I ask that He remove from my mind the untrue thoughts about my brother so I can see the love and unity that is there. I also ask that the Holy Spirit remove from my mind the thought that I am guilty for my error yesterday.