Manual for Teachers: Section 8 . . HOW CAN PERCEPTION OF ORDER OF DIFFICULTIES BE AVOIDED? . . . . . . . . . . page 24 paragraph 4

Section 8


page 24, paragraph 4




4 It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. 2And it is here correction must be made. 3The mind classifies what the body’s eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values, judging where each sense datum fits best. 4What basis could be faultier than this? 5Unrecognized by itself, it has itself asked to be given what will fit into these categories. 6And having done so, it concludes that the categories must be true. 7On this the judgment of all differences rests, because it is on this that judgments of the world depend. 8Can this confused and senseless “reasoning” be depended on for anything?


It is so easy to fall into the ego’s trap of categorizing and sorting. I have a tendency toward the left in my politics. I have all sorts of reasons for this choice and even try to justify it through my spiritual beliefs. The problem with sorting ideas in this way is that in doing so I do not allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in this area. I think I know what is in my best interests when I go to the polls to vote, or when I encourage others to see it my way.


Another thing that happens is that I tend to think in terms of them and us when it comes to politics. This will reinforce the separation idea and make it stronger in the mind. If the difference in opinion is strong as it has been lately, I find myself demonizing the other side. I remind myself of one of my favorite and often quoted passages from the Course that essentially say I cannot enter the presence of God if I attack His Son. I can’t afford grievances.


Here is what I am discovering as I watch my mind during this political climate. There is still a strong desire in my mind to decide what things mean and what they are for. On the other hand, there is a stronger desire in my mind to stop thinking with the ego mind and to allow the Holy Spirit to inform me.


Another thing that I have discovered is that once I release the need for others to agree with me, and once I let the Holy Spirit correct my thinking, I can look at the issues involved without judging them or the people involved. Without judgment, I can look at the facts of the issues without attachment, so I am no longer outraged and no longer projecting onto others.


I posted an article by NPR reminding us that Russian bots are busy trolling in an effort to influence and create havoc. That is just a fact. What we do with it is up to us. We can buy into that agenda and start obsessively reading posts that we agree with according to our own categorizing. Or we can pass by them without choosing to be emotionally manipulated.

Another thing we can do is to notice how we feel when we see these posts. Does it make us feel angry, outraged even? Do we feel separate from those who designed them? Do they make us feel angry at the “other side”? This is a chance to allow the mind to be corrected, to choose love rather than fear.


Do we feel reluctant to give up our anger or do we justify our right to argue our point and end up feeling guilty? Do we feel resistance to the idea of not following the posts we agree with? This is just another opportunity to be healed. All these things we want are just a matter of faulty categorizing and they are costing us our peace of mind. Instead, we can decide that being right is not worth it. We can stop keeping this dark place in our mind away from the Holy Spirit and give it to Him to heal, instead. Then we will be free to follow His guidance instead of being slave to our ego thinking.

I have been doing this work and I still feel like we need to regulate automatic weapons and not arm teachers because escalating the matter in that way could never bring peace and safety. I feel like we would do well to fortify our schools. But what has changed is that I am not angry at those who disagree. I am not emotionally overwrought about this situation. And whatever we do in the world, I think that the only true solution lies in the healing of the mind.

I am focused on healing the mind that believes more killing can stop killing and that peace can be had through anger and projection. I am focused on healing the mind of all grievances and the belief that grievances are salvation. These ideas did not come from the ego and so I know they will heal us and help us to awaken.


Regardless of what is going on in the world, my purpose is clear now. I am to choose between love and fear in every situation and allow the Holy Spirit to do the sorting and categorizing. He has only two categories and they are not right and wrong. He sees only that it is either true or is it false.


For a little while I became inflamed by the situation, then I asked for healing. Now, I feel differently. I am no longer categorizing with the ego and so I have stopped looking for who is right and who is wrong. I will not try to influence the outcome through manipulation of emotions or arguing, but through accepting the Atonement for myself in this situation and thus strengthening the choice for God within the mind. This will lead to the peace of God, which will not be affected by what happens in the world. Once there is enough healing within the mind, the world itself will be at peace and we will experience the real world that is promised us.

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