by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
How do we handle all the hateful tweeting and personal attacks and name calling that take place in our cyber world? For one thing, responding in like kind produces nothing. We all know this type of bullying behavior is really an indicator of a sense of deep fear and unworthiness by those who undertake this type of conduct. Therefore, we do need to rise above the chaos, but we must also not normalize it.
Children who demonstrate bullying behavior need to be stopped because it does not serve them personally. To let them continue can have devastating effects on them and those they torment. We know that children who bully need help to stop the behavior and recognize that it really makes them more vulnerable and alone, for they know their “punishment” is just around the corner. Those who attack see a fearful world of more attack and pain. They know no other way.
How do we stop this type of behavior?
A Course in Miracles consistently reminds us that we have to look at the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, or else they cannot be removed for us. We have normalized our illusions to such an extent that we never bother to question them; however, looking at them is the only way they can be passed by so as to lead to the truth.
Many well-meaning Course students have used the idea of releasing our attachment to the ego’s illusions by denying them and saying they simply do not exist. The problem with this is, if you are still living in the world of form (and the ones I know saying this are right here with me), then you may be thinking you are overcoming the illusions when you are actually making them stronger and more real in your mind.
In truth, the illusions — the world, your body, your job, your money, your food, your car, your computer, paper, and even the glasses that you are using to read this with right now — do not exist. But, if you are using them, not acknowledging their “reality” to you would be an unhelpful form of denial, which the Course tells us only leads to more conflict and confusion.
If, however, you can realize that all of these things of the world (illusions) can be given to the Holy Spirit to move you past the blocks to truth, then these illusions can be used lovingly to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. As the Course tells us, love (truth) does not condemn our mistaken thinking, and it can use each mistake (we have looked at and are willing to release) to help us move past our illusions and awaken to the truth. “Yet love does not condemn it [our mistaken thinking] and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.” (T-18.VI.4)
We have to stop trying to make truth fit into our illusions, which tacitly justifies the illusions, and instead bring illusions to the truth. In this way, we are choosing in favor of truth by saying these illusions no longer serve me, and I want something better. It is a subtle distinction, but an important one for us to get, because these subtle distinctions are what keep the illusion in place. It is a flimsy support, but nevertheless it has staying power.
“Let them all go, dancing in the wind, dipping and turning till they disappear from sight, far, far outside of you. And turn you to the stately calm within, where in holy stillness dwells the living God you never left, and Who never left you. The Holy Spirit takes you gently by the hand, and retraces with you your mad journey outside yourself, leading you gently back to the truth and safety within. He brings all your insane projections and the wild substitutions that you have placed outside you to the truth. Thus He reverses the course of insanity and restores you to reason.” (T-18.I.8)
It is time we focus on our higher loyalty to the truth and not the illusions of the ego by withdrawing our distracted focus on the world. Just as a child brings his broken toys to a trusted parent for repair, let us bring our broken thoughts, worries, disappointments, and fears to God, so He can show us a higher way above the battle ground of the world of division. Let us be loyal to Him and His healing power as we look clearly at our illusions and allow Him to lead us back to truth. He will restore us to reason, even while we abide in a world of illusion. Let us be the miracle workers He needs in this world right now, as we focus on our higher loyalty.