My heart clutched with horror and grief when I heard about the Connecticut school shooting. I ached for the parents who lost their children, but, unable to tolerate that level of pain, I immediately surged forth with rage at political and societal factors I believed caused this tragic incident. I had plans to attend a Christmas gathering the next day and many of the attendees were of a different political persuasion than me. I found myself attacking them in my head. I hope one of your kids gets killed. Then maybe you won’t be so smug in your beliefs.
Appalled, I saw in myself the murderous thought system that A Course in Miracles says abides in all of us. I was no different than the shooter or the people I blamed for their “wrong” beliefs. Rage, boiling from within me, led me to wish death on loved ones! My rage was not caused by what appeared to happen in Connecticut. My rage was not caused by other people’s political agendas. My rage is my own, and I am the one who has to take responsibility for it.
A Course in Miracles tells us to pray to see things differently, so I did. The first words I heard were, “Lorri, there is no world! There is no world! There is no world! (W-132.6:2) (The miracle) looks on devastation and reminds the mind that what it sees is false.” (W-p.II.13.1:3) This calmed me down. Emotions are an ego device, designed to make the world seem real. They work well, for how can the world not be real when it feels so intense? The ego voice argued with the Holy Spirit. But if I don’t feel for the parents, if I don’t take political action to stop escalating gun violence, aren’t I being callous and complacent?
The Holy Spirit reminded me that action in the world, if we are guided to take such action, must be taken from a standpoint of love, not rage. Rage is a cover for fear and fear always stems from the ego thought system. My desire to point out my friends’ political insanity was clearly not coming from love. Our task as students of A Course in Miracles is to choose love over fear consistently. We have to choose Truth over illusion and not waver, because the second we believe in the false world we perceive, we’re in hell. Forgiveness is not callously denying the pain a brother thinks he is experiencing—it’s a blessing of sanity on an insane world. “(Forgiveness) looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, ‘My brother, what you think is not the truth.’” (W-134.7:5)
A Course in Miracles says there is no cause for the Connecticut shooting, because it is a dream of death being projected from our sick minds. A dream is an illusion. ACIM says the entire world is in our minds. It’s not out there! The only way violence, disease, poverty and injustice are going to stop is by healing our minds, for the mind is the source of the belief in separation. We have invented a world of chaos, murder and suffering because we think we’re separate from God. We think we’re shameful and guilty, but because facing that shame is unbearable, we project it onto others. “Do not forget, however, to deny God will inevitably result in projection, and you will believe that others and not yourself have done this to you.” (T-10.V.2:1)
When we remember God, we know we are the holy Son of God who cannot suffer. I thought I had faced my belief in separation, but there were deeper levels I was still defended against. My rage at the shooting was evidence that I continued to believe I was a body, vulnerable and capable of being attacked. The random shootings in public places left me frightened and feeling bereft without God in this terrible, cruel world. As the Course says, “The world provides no safety. It is rooted in attack.” (W-153.1:2-3) Our only safety is in our relationship with God. Our only peace is in not returning attack for attack, but choosing to forgive. Then we will wake up from our nightmare and be restored to our oneness with each other and God.
As I forgave those who held different opinions, forgave myself, and forgave the entire Connecticut tragedy, the sense of separation lifted. As I continued to pray for guidance and healed perception, I was reminded that the body’s eyes see only the past. (Lesson 7) What appears to be happening in the world is over and done. Every single person that appeared to be killed or peripherally hurt in the Connecticut tragedy is an eternal, holy Child of God. If you want to give a true gift to them, pray in a manner such as: “I see the Christ in You. You are a holy Child of God. You cannot suffer. You are as God created You. You are safe at home in Heaven now.”
This is the Truth of their Being, and of your own. To join in suffering perpetuates the illusion, but to join in Truth is to make whole.
Merry Christ-mass! May the Christ Self be born in your awareness this season.