HOW DO GOD’S TEACHERS DEAL WITH MAGIC THOUGHTS?
page 46, paragraph 8
HOW DO GOD’S TEACHERS
DEAL WITH MAGIC THOUGHTS?
HOW DO GOD’S TEACHERS DEAL WITH MAGIC THOUGHTS?
8. Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. ²They bring the light of hope from God Himself. ³There is a way in which escape is possible. ⁴It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. ⁵Given that, the lesson’s manifest simplicity stands out like an intense white light against a black horizon, for such it is. ⁶If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. ⁷Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. ⁸Now it is possible to take the next step. ⁹The interpretation can be changed at last. ¹⁰Magic thoughts need not lead to condemnation, for they do not really have the power to give rise to guilt. ¹¹And so they can be overlooked, and thus forgotten in the truest sense. (ACIM, M-17.8:1-11)
Jesus says that though our way out requires patience and abundant willingness, the answer is simple. We begin with this one powerful truth; if anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. This little piece of truth is so welcome! I know what to do with all anger. Next, I look at what I think caused the anger. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me where I went wrong in my interpretation.
I have been doing this for a long time so I know that it does require patience. First, I put the ego in charge of perception, but the ego has no interest in the facts. The ego is only interested in spinning the facts to make it look like I am alone. The ego wants me to think I am vulnerable in a hostile world and must defend myself at all costs. Ego shows me everyone is my enemy and so anger is fully justified.
When I began choosing a different Voice to interpret my world, I found that it required great vigilance to listen to that Voice. Now, years later, the patience and vigilance have begun to pay off. Magic thoughts are quickly reinterpreted for me and anger has little hold on me. I’m still working with this, though now the work is easier and the solution more welcome. I have much less resistance because I value peace more than I value my defenses.
An example that occurred while still working. Here is what I wrote at the time. Sometimes my boss gets mad at me. If his anger is caused by something over which I have no control I feel helpless. I want to defend myself, and start thinking of ways to do so. I might find someone else to blame it on. Another option is to get angry back at him. Or maybe I can be the supplicant and wheedle my way back into his good graces.
Or I can recognize that anger (which is a form of fear and guilt) is never justified. I must be misinterpreting what is happening. As I ask for a true interpretation, I realize that my boss is acting from his own fear. This is not really about me. I know how it feels to have fear and guilt drive my actions. Also, I realize that as long as he believes in the fear and guilt he has no choice about how he reacts. I know how that feels and I feel less anger and more compassion.
The ego-mind tries to pull my attention back by reminding me that compassion is all well and good. I get that, but what is his anger going to cost me in the meantime? What if there are consequences to the anger, a monetary loss or even getting fired? Ego says I better think of a defense and quickly.
I find I don’t want to do anything to make this man more afraid and I don’t want to find someone else to make guilty. I feel strangely safe even though there is a little figure in my mind jumping up and down screaming at me not to be a fool. The thought that has found a place of prominence in my mind is, “I wonder what will happen next?” It’s such a peaceful thought.
I am still aware of ego histrionics and I look that way occasionally, and yes, it is still possible for me to get pulled back into the drama of fear and anger, defense and attack. But it is also possible for me to resist that pull, and to choose peace instead. It’s very interesting actually. I give my attention to the fearful warnings of ego resulting in my stomach tightening and a weight on my chest. Next my attention feels the anxiety and the stress.
I take my attention away from the ego interpretation and I bring it back to the Holy Spirit where I feel peaceful and happy. Next I discover I am very glad not to add to the burden this brother of mine carries. I have no desire to increase his fear and anger. I have no desire to increase my own.
Teacher of God
I put my attention back on the ego and there is less temptation, but I am still aware of some fear. I go back and forth for a while and realize it is showing me that the fear and anger are not real, just the result of a false interpretation. If it were real, it would not dissipate in the face of truth. This is the way I learn that magic thoughts have no more power than I give them. As I stand defenseless and undisturbed by his anger, I am a teacher of God.