You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other. ²For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognized. ³If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. ⁴Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. ⁵And you react with fear to love, and draw away from it. ⁶Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. ⁷Your private world is filled with figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.(ACIM: T-13.V.5:1-7)
When I am led astray, I am myself to blame, but when I am guided right, it is my Lord who hath inspired me. He heareth all, He is always close!The Message of the Quran, Hashim Amir-Ali, Charles Tuttle, Tokyo 1974. Saba 34:50
In this time of a putative pandemic, it could be extremely helpful to get back to basics and recognize the simplicity of that choice. One way this seemed to play out in these times was when soon after the first reports of some new health threat, the Diamond Princess cruise ship seemed to provide a very useful example. In a very confined community, with a common ventilation system, 83% of passengers did not get infected, and just 17% of them did. The world promptly jumped into the ego-vortex of fear, focusing entirely on the fate of the 17% who did get infected. Now in the Diamond Princess the world immediately interpreted things in the most disastrous way possible, but shortly thereafter Prof. John Ioannidis published his research and came to a global IFR of about 0.15%, and emphasized the strong risk stratification by age. To that picture, we should also add the overwhelming evidence that the median covid death was above-average life expectancy and that two-thirds had four or more comorbidities while some 95% had six or more comorbidities. It was Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi and his wife from Germany who immediately saw through the actuarial data that basically healthy people under 70 should have little to worry about. In short, the risk was moderate for most people, the rest was fear-mongering, but the world went completely down the rabbit hole of fear.
I remember that in the early going, I used actuarial analysis to calm down some people who were going off the deep end, by reasoning out with them how little was their actual risk, to the point that crossing the street in NYC could actually be more dangerous. Again, the majority of ¨Covid-deaths¨ were old and sick already and did not have a meaningful life expectancy. All of the interventions our world came up with made the damage worse, much worse, to the point that some wondered if it was intentional destruction of our economy. Hundreds of millions were thrown into food-insecurity and outright starvation by the panic. The world-wide economic damage was probably 100-200x worse than it would have been, had we simply focused on prevention and early treatment. The whole experience was reminiscent of the story of Helen Schucman and the elevator strike – she was afraid of getting stuck in her apartment and in anticipation convinced her husband Louis to move into a nearby hotel, only to find out, once they were settled in, that the elevator strike never happened. (See Absence from Felicity, by Kenneth Wapnick, PhD.) A typical demonstration that if we follow the counsel of fear, we are likely to make things worse, not better. We did this on a global scale.
The disciples said to J, “Tell us what God’s Divine Rule is like.” He said to them, “It’s like a mustard seed. It’s the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.”PGoTh: 20
The disciples said to him, “When will the Kingdom come?” He said, “It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Behold here,’ or ‘Behold there.’ Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.”PGoTh: 113
It is a choice between love and fear. The battles in the world are ultimately irrelevant, just like a dream evaporates when you open your eyes. Current events have stirred up a lot however, especially perhaps the very profound question of how the whole entire world can go psychotic all at once as it did during this Covid experience. A recent interview with David Icke on the Trueman Show, gives a fascinating perspective on this. Lorie Ladd also provides some interesting insights, using a somewhat different metaphoric language. What strikes me about them is how they reflect the reality that there is but one ego thought system, so from within individual consciousness, that looks like it must be a conspiracy, for the whole world is in on it. And thus we get right back to the one and only choice, love or fear, a kingdom not of this world, or the world. As simple as that. The change of mind (metanoia) is the shift from the ego to the Holy Spirit.
There is eventually little to be gained from all the metaphoric understanding of how the insanity of the world works, once you see it is insanity, the guiding thought becomes “there must be another way.”
There is no monster
Mark Palmer posted this great piece on Facebook, on Xmas day, edited only slightly by me for readability:
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The Atonement is actually just removing something that doesn’t exist from our mind, that we heretofore believed was there.
When a small child believes that there is a monster in the closet, what she believes, in that moment, is true for her – at that time.
It’s not really true, but it’s true for her – hence the fear. So, in a sense, for her – there is a monster in the closet.
T-2.VII.5:5-6. What you believe is true for you.
We can’t just tell the child the monster isn’t there. It has to be demonstrated. That means turning on the lights and opening the closet door. She needs to see it for herself.
The other issue is that when you tell the child the monster doesn’t exist, in the mind of the child the monster doesn’t like that. It goes from suspicious to viscous which only increases the terror levels in the child. So it must be a gradual process. For the benefit of least disturbance towards the poor child’s confused mind.
In that interaction between the adult and the child, a state of “readiness” will have to gradually be built up before the child will allow the adult to open the closet door as proof that there is no monster. She may scream in terror, if the adult just rushed over and opened it immediately.
But, once readiness is established, then the opening of the door itself only takes an instant.
So, all of our work with the Course is really just helping us approach that state of readiness in which the door can be opened [The Atonement] and we can finally see – there is no monster. Nothing Happened.
The monster ultimately represents who we secretly think we are. We have just projected it “out” because we don’t want to face it. A guilt monster so terrible that we can’t bare the idea of even looking at it.
W-93.1:1-3. You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake. You think if what is true about you were revealed to you, you would be struck with horror so intense that you would rush to death by your own hand, living on after seeing this being impossible.
So, this belief in my own guilt monster is quite intense. This means that the adult (Jesus/Holy Spirit) has to gently convince me continuously that it’s really nothing, until I can finally work up the courage (readiness) into allowing him to open the closet door and proving it to me.
Amongst my many delay tactics to finally admitting that I really believe “the monster is me”, is to dream up monsters in the outside world of my own little dream. They can be rapists, serial killers, manic dictators, whoever. It doesn’t matter, as long as the attention is off my secret belief that “I am the monster.”
Remembering that I secretly believe— “the monster is me”, is what the Course calls “the secret dream.”
The world’s dream is what I made up specifically to avoid looking at the secret dream.
I might love to watch horror movies for example, or horrible news stories, so I can put the monsters “out there”. Nothing to do with me. I’m on the side of the victims.
To wake up, we must first recognise the dream has no meaning. The ego will always fight to bring meaning to the dream because naturally, as the idea of fear and separation, it wants to continue to survive.
W-93.4:1-4. Why would you not be overjoyed to be assured that all the evil that you think you did was never done, that all your sins are nothing, that you are as pure and holy as you were created, and that light and joy and peace abide in you? Your image of yourself cannot withstand the Will of God. You think that this is death, but it is life. You think you are destroyed, but you are saved. W-
93.5:1-9. The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that. It does not battle with the Son of God. It does not hurt him, nor attack his peace. It has not changed creation, nor reduced eternal sinlessness to sin, and love to hate. What power can this self you made possess, when it would contradict the Will of God?
So, as that small child, we told ourselves a terrible tale of guilt, in which we tried to destroy our Father by desiring to be an individual “self”, and in that tale, we automatically became a monster ourselves in the process. And now our Father wants to destroy us. The Big Monster now wants to destroy the small monster (me). Big angry Daddy is out to get me.
So, Jesus must tell me a similar tale in which we didn’t attack Daddy and become a monster, and actually Daddy wants us back home. He’s “lonely without us” etc. He “weeps” for us etc.
Once we can start to believe that, the fear of our Father reduces and the fear of the monster we think are, also reduces, and we can finally open the closet door to reveal that – there is no monster.
The closet is completely empty. There never was a separated “self”. Nothing Happened.
W-93.7:1-6. Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought; you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself. Whatever evil you may think you did, you are as God created you. Whatever mistakes you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. You are and will forever be exactly as you were created.Mark Palmer, FB 12/24/2021
So again, the Course always counsels against the inappropriate use of denial, namely to ignore or deny our experience in the world. We need to be normal and do what we have to do in the world, according to our best ability, at the same time, we need to tune in to Jesus and ask him to help us see it through his eyes, which is really the only way out of hell.
A word about germ theory
In the metaphor of the world, there is a dialog going on between the germ theory of disease and the terrain theory of disease. Germ theory means there is a dangerous enemy out there (a favorite ego ploy) and my immune system is a sort of an anti-aircraft battery, now trying to hold the invader at bay. Terrain theory means taking responsibility for my health by wondering what was out of kilter that I should be susceptible to infection at this time. Viruses and bacteria are everywhere, but most of the time we do not get sick. A short format introduction was a recent interview of Dr. Tom Cowan by Dr. Samantha Bailey. We will start to recognize why it is the ego in us does not want to see the cause of disease within. We will literally do everything we can to maintain the illusion that the enemy is outside of us and attacking us. It turns out that once you can look past the fear, it is actually empowering to realize that we can make a huge difference in our own health, through diet and lifestyle and that includes sleep hygiene as well as inner peace and harmony. Even on the physical level our well-being can be much enhanced that way. Lifestyle medicine is the emerging new healthcare model that addresses this approach, and terrain theory is a natural fit with lifestyle medicine. Even Pasteur on his deathbed admitted that terrain theory was the answer, but that’s not good for pharma, for if terrain theory is true, the supplies (fruits and veggies, grains and beans) come from the supermarket, not from the pharmacy. Dr. Sam Bailey has been on a roll, you may want to follow her on Odysee, and she also has a movie coming out: Terrain, The Film.
The pandemic meanwhile shows signs of burning out with a whimper, that is, unless we insist on messing it up with continued carpet bombing of the population with vaccines and boosters, Omicron may turn out to be an offramp from the highway to hell of lifelong boosters.
As per always, healing cannot take place until we take responsibility for where we are and become willing to learn another way than our prior behavior which no longer serves us and we start to realize it needs to change. That is the choice moment, the change of mind, that is our invitation to tune in to the Holy Spirit instead of the ego.