ACIM's greatness is in it's non-dualistic principle so deeply intertwined in every line. To love yourself you forgive another or yourself. To love another you forgive yourself or another. It's trendy nowadays to speak of self love but no one seems to understand the deeper method of attaining it. No one but ACIM of course. ACIM is simple but applying it is not easy (despite what parts of the text says, I think Christ is messing with us honestly in these parts, yes it's 'easy' but it's also 'not' easy. There is an Arabic saying that describes the Course well, The Course is the easy unattainable). With time when you see a fracture in your psyche it doesn't matter if you are in what the world would call Paradise (an island in the Bahamas or Hawaii) your fractured psyche is in deep pain.
So lately I've had one of 'those forgiveness lessons' hit me hard. It's a lesson that revolves around lamenting the world I see. In my head as I was lamenting the world around me, I also knew somewhere in the Course there was a reference Christ made ' to not lament the world' and I went to the online addition published by the center of inner peace and searched for it (LOVE YOU CENTER FOR INNER PEACE, the online addition Rocks!(1)). Turns out it's in the workbook, lesson 23.
I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts (2).
The idea for today contains the only way out of fear that will ever succeed.²Nothing else will work; everything else is meaningless.³But this way cannot fail.⁴ (ACIM, W-23.1:1-4)
So for the day I devoted myself to this lesson dropping the lesson I was actually on. I also was painfully aware for a few weeks that this is probably intertwined with The Forgiveness Lesson of my life. This lamenting the world I see problem surrounds me. I feel imprisoned by it.
The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance.²Each of your perceptions of “external reality” is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts.³One can well ask if this can be called seeing. (ACIM, W-23.3:1-3)
The idea for today introduces the thought that you are not trapped in the world you see, because its cause can be changed.² (ACIM, W-23.5:1-2)
When I say I 'struggle' please know I'm just trying to minimize the HUGE GINORMOUS temper tantrum my ego is having on this subject. There are no 'small upsets' (3). My ego believes the world is real and peoples, languages, histories, and cultures are valuable to preserve, but is anything in this worldly plane truly valuable (4)?
So . . . I forgave. Equipped with my Islamic rosary in hand (subha/misbah) I held steady for a few days. Setting time aside simply to repeat a forgiveness phrase from The Course again and again while I held different images of people in my mind who represented this concept of icebergs melting and the world ending. I forgave focused on the felt sense of conflict within. One day I hope the internal unrest will loosen and release.
I'm finally able to speak and I know I'm so early on my forgiveness journey with this because it touches on a lesson that's 'deep' for me. The thing I know is when I see the world around me do it's thing and I judge it, I often feel that those 'perpetually torturing me' are filled with shame.
However, if I'm a dedicated Courser, there are no 'others' outside myself. All that matters, and all I am to focus on, is forgiving the shame I project unto others. That shame is what I must be feeling within me and that shame is what I am to forgive.
The greatest point this lesson makes happens at the end of it.
be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked.²Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same. (ACIM, W-23.7:1-2)
When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go. (ACIM, W-23.7:5)
How profound is it to realize that all those who attack you are just external representations of your own attack thoughts. Dismantling our attack thoughts that we have within us or that we experience externally happening to us is the only way out. This forgiveness lesson was clearly a call for self love within myself. I wonder do you ever fall into lamenting to world you see around you? And if so, is it also a call for self love within you? Forgive yourself, and forgive another, both will lead you to the peace we long for within.