You need to come to the point where you say to yourself, I have done this to myself. I did it; I must correct it. No one is to blame. The world is innocent.
My experience of this lesson
This is certainly the foundation of the book, isn’t it? I think of this as the opposite of feeling like a victim. I could look in the mirror and wonder why I tend to gain weight and some other people do not. It must be my metabolism and I know where I got that. My mom had the same problem all her life. Well yes, it probably did come from my mom. But I chose this mom and I did so for the purpose of experiencing myself in this way. My mom is not the cause of the problem and I am not her victim. My mom is simply the path I took to experience a very specific set of circumstances for a very specific lesson. I did this to myself.
Taken in a more general way, I look around at the world of form in which I seem to be and I am like a small grain of sand on a vast beach. I am just one little person in a world of people, in a universe of worlds. How could I be responsible for this mess? And yet, I am not simply the body mind I have chosen to be identified with. I am far more than that; I am part of the one mind which made the choice that created the world I see. I am the one who did the choosing, not the one who is the result of the choice. I did it.
And now I must correct it. So far the most effective process I have found for correction is to notice simply and without blame what I have done. I do this with a willingness to perceive differently. Sometimes my willingness is greater than other times, but I give the willingness I have. I don’t effort and I don’t fall into guilt about it. And if I do, then I notice that. Just noticing seems to bring about a subtle change, and as I do this more and more often the change builds on itself to the point that I begin to experience a shift.
This kind of radical responsibility seemed unbelievable to me at another time in my life. But now I see it as my salvation, my way out of the world. I am thrilled when I notice I am withdrawing into victimhood again. I am thrilled to notice that I am placing blame because, as I notice, I am given a chance to see that I did this to myself and am willing to be corrected. I see this done on the level of thought. I don’t try to change by correcting my behavior. I notice that as I change my mind, my behavior automatically changes. However, changing my behavior does not automatically change my mind.
An example of this is the way I feel about my chief competitor in chemical sales. He doesn’t play fair. He lies. When I think about him I feel resentful and afraid because sometimes he will take one of my customers because he lied, not because I did anything wrong. This makes me feel like a victim. Well, let me rephrase that. I choose to feel like a victim. I don’t have to feel like that. I cannot change how he does business, or even that he sometimes gets one of my customers. But I can change how I choose to feel about it.
What I forget sometimes is that I did not choose to be born into the third dimensional world of form so that I could sell more product. I chose to be here because there was something to learn that I could not learn elsewhere. That’s why I keep asking myself what everything is for. This situation with my competitor is for forgiveness. It is for me to learn to let go of grievances. It is for me to see what it feels like to think I am a victim so that I can choose differently. When I make that choice and let go of the idea of victimhood, I will no longer need those kinds of lessons and so time will collapse on them.
Well, anyway that is the way I understand it at this time. I am constantly finding out how little I actually know so I may change my mind about how some of this works. What I feel pretty certain about is that my dear brother the competitor is joining with me to share in this lesson even when neither one of us is consciously aware of the purpose. He is not my enemy, but is my partner in this lesson. He is innocent and so am I.
All quotes are used by kind permission of the Shanti Christo Foundation. To buy a copy of this profound book visit their website at www.shantichristo.com. I invite your thoughts and comments.