VII. Distortions of Miracle Impulses, P 3
3 Fantasy is a distorted form of vision. Fantasies of any kind are distortions, because they always involve twisting perception into unreality. Actions that stem from distortions are literally the reactions of those who know not what they do. Fantasy is an attempt to control reality according to false needs. Twist reality in any way and you are perceiving destructively. Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them. But although you can perceive false associations, you can never make them real except to yourself. You believe in what you make. If you offer miracles, you will be equally strong in your belief in them. The strength of your conviction will then sustain the belief of the miracle receiver. Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent to both giver and receiver. Reality is “lost” through usurpation, which produces tyranny. As long as a single “slave” remains to walk the earth, your release is not complete. Complete restoration of the Sonship is the only goal of the miracle-minded.
Everyone in this fantasy life fantasizes. That is how we got here, and that is how we stay here. The moment we give up fantasy completely, the world as we know it ends. The way I am teaching myself to offer miracles instead of more illusion is to work with whatever thought is brought to my attention. One experience I had was with pain, which I have written about before.
I was having a lot of sciatica pain in my hip and leg that I associated with driving. Driving is a big part of my job. I drive about 1000 miles every week. I took medicine for the pain and went to chiropractors. I would get temporary relief but the pain would always come back, and it was getting worse and worse, to the point that I seriously considered quitting my job.
At the same time, this was happening, I was also feeling the effects of working outside which is the other part of my job. It was incredibly hot the last couple of years. Between the heat and other hazards of my job like discovering that I was standing in fire ants, dodging spiders and poison ivy and hoping the mosquitos swarming around me were not carrying West Nile, I had convinced myself that I was a victim of this job.
I fantasized the problem then I fantasized the solution. I would get a different job in which I would make good money but without all the drawbacks of this job. I had a hard time with this fantasy because I couldn’t imagine a job I would like, and that would give me the income I had come to enjoy. My fantasy life was suffering from a lack of imagination on my part. ~smile~
When my imagination failed me, I fantasized about winning the lottery and never having to work again. I reasoned that this was a good fantasy as far as fantasies went. I could do all kinds of good with the money. I wouldn’t be wasteful or crazy with it (implying of course that my brother would be and so I deserved it more than he). I could write and teach, and that would be a better use of my time. The implication here is that I am here to teach, not to learn.
I’ve done this work too long to fool myself like this. I began to see the pattern in my fantasies; I am a victim of my story and need to write a better one. Or as people say: “The ship is sinking. Quick, help me rearrange the deck chairs.” So since I couldn’t think of a way to fantasize my way out of this without a story that did not lead me more deeply into the illusion, I finally surrendered the attempt. I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what He wanted me to do with this.
He brought me to Lesson 190 which tells me that pain is not real. I worked with this idea for months, using the pain in my leg to remind me of the truth, that this pain is not real. This led me to realize that pain includes all forms, not just physical. Guilt can’t be real either, nor can fear. It is all a part of my fantasy of being separate from God.
As long as I believe in it and continue to attempt manipulation of the dream as a solution to the effects of my belief in separation, I am going to remain caught in this cycle of temporary relief and then more pain. The form may change, but the content will remain the same. Working with Lesson 190 brought me startling results and caused a sea change in my thinking.
I began to realize that my pain and exhaustion and all my discomforts were not the cause of my discontent, they were the effects of my discontent. They were the out-picturing of my belief in pain, suffering, and death. Trying to change the way the effect looked was only keeping me in pain because the very act of trying to escape it was reinforcing my belief that pain is real. I learned that nothing God created caused pain and so if I was experiencing pain of any kind, I was experiencing nothing. If God did not create it, I must have made it up.
That was the key to my salvation because it brought me to the cause and so finally I was able to effect real change. It was not an overnight change. I worked with this idea for many months, first overcoming my resistance to the idea that I but did this to myself, then allowing myself to recognize the many ways I used the belief in pain to keep me from waking up. The scariest and so hardest realization I had to face was that I was using pain as a defense against God. This understanding meant I had to look at my deep fear of God which I had been steadfastly denying.
The outcome was a shift in awareness that also resulted in a shift in form. I no longer have that excruciating sciatica pain, and I no longer get to the hotel at night exhausted and shaky. I no longer think of myself as a victim of my job and have returned to being grateful for it. Nothing about my job has changed other than the way I see it, and thus experience it.
Nothing about my job needed to change because the job was not my problem. My problem was my beliefs. Jesus tells us that there is nothing outside our minds, so the only thing we need to change is our mind. This change of mind is the miracle, and our changing experience is witness to a miracle.
I started out offering the Sonship more illusion as I got deeper and deeper into my belief in victimhood and my belief in pain, suffering, and death. I thought the solution would be to change my circumstances so my prayer (wishes and thoughts) was for a change in jobs, or better yet, a winning lottery ticket. I thought that would be the only reasonable solution because I was focused outward.
When I brought my focus inward to the source of the problem, the Holy Spirit showed me that I did not need a new job; I needed to learn that pain is not real. This understanding helped me to see that only God is real and God is not pain and suffering. This was the only thing worth learning and the only thing worth striving for. I had not even realized that I had strayed from my one unified purpose until I returned to it.
Now I am offering the Sonship truth instead of illusion. I am helping us all wake up. Not one can be left behind because that one lost soul would make us incomplete and wholeness is the condition of salvation. We are one. Fantasy of any kind creates more separation and so imprisons the mind. Fantasizing about having no more challenges is a prison. Learning to use my problems to discover the happy truth that I have no problems is my way out of prison.
Today I still work with the idea of pain not being real, returning to different forms of that fantasy. I find I am resistant to giving it up altogether, holding onto it in case I need it again. Strange, isn’t it? Why would I hold so tightly to that which hurts? But I will never again entirely believe in my pain, and so I find it easier to continue to do the work until my mind is completely healed. “Holy Spirit, I have been blinded by my fantasy, thank you for giving me the vision that allows me to see truly.”