Others' Reaction to You

There’s a tricky passage in A Course in Miracles that confuses some students:

If you inspire joy and others react to you with joy, even though you are not experiencing joy yourself there must be something in you that is capable of producing it. If it is in you and can produce joy, and if you see that it does produce joy in others, you must be dissociating it in yourself. (T-9.VI.1)

What confuses some students is the parts about others reacting to you validating that joy is in you. How can this be? Doesn’t one’s reaction come from their self? Isn’t it up to them whether they see the Holy Spirit in you or not?

Yes, how someone sees you is their choice, not yours. For an extreme example, think of Jesus’ life. All He did was extend God’s Love but that’s not what everyone saw. Some saw Him through their own guilt and fear, so much so that they crucified him!

The Course teaches consistently that your experience comes from your own mind. It is true that when your attitude becomes more loving others are going to respond to you in a positive way. In fact, I believe I used part of the quote above in one of my blogs about an acquaintance feeling peace thinking of me when she hardly knew me. But the trap I see many students falling into is feeling that they are failing because they are not able to make others around them happy.

The Course uses different verbs for “extending” your mind: Giving, teaching, perceiving, seeing, etc. It also talks about others as though they are really something separate from you while at the same time teaching you that you only see the projection of ego or your extension of the Holy Spirit. If how you see others was not your own choice, you could not choose to see the Holy Spirit in place of the ego’s projections. So the way to read the passage above is:

If you extend joy but you do not experience it for yourself you are separating yourself from joy”.

In other words, there’s a disconnect between your mind and your experience. You allow yourself to see joy outside of you but you do not accept it is within you. Then you're not really extending joy but projecting it because when you extend you seee what you extend in yourself first. It’s one of the ways that the ego inserts the separation into your attempts to extend God's Love.

The fact is, when you extend God’s Love and Joy from within you, you do not take seriously the “problems” that show up in others or in the world in general. You will feel joyous even when those around you are feeling grouchy and not responding to your joy. So you will see joy in them because you are extending joy even though they are not ready to see it in themselves or in you. Always it comes back to your only responsibility is changing your mind and your experience by coming from the Holy Spirit within you.


hannah said…
reading this brought my thoughts after our conversation about grief to mind, and about my projections onto sarah and mum in my perceptions. doing, roles, saving. seeing those things as love.. losing that 'love..' really, MUST part of my mind grieve the loss of what wasnt really love? is the answer yes, because i believe in the roles still? in the persondom with meaning? you know how i said i thought id never really grieved? i think .. what i mean is, ive run from grief, reveled in the pain as the ego does up to a certain point, but then run. hidden from it. only ever gone with it up to a certain point. to think that this fear of death is just a smokescreen for fear there is no death. im not running from what i think im running from, , damn!

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