Choose the Experience, Not the Appearance

“I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II.2)

The ego is always concerned with what is appearing in the world because it wants you to believe that the world is your cause and that you are its effect. It tells you that what you experience is determined by what is happening in the world. The Holy Spirit, however, knows that you first choose the experience that you wish to have, and then you interpret what is happening in the world according to the choice that you have made. The world was made to be separation from God, and the ego uses it as such. But the Holy Spirit uses it to teach you forgiveness. If you choose to experience conflict – ego – then you will judge the world to make it real to you. If you choose to experience Peace then you will overlook – forgive – the world. Some students interpret the third sentence in the quote above to mean that the things appearing in the world before them they have asked for specifically. And yes, in some cases it is obvious that you have attracted certain circumstances to you, or that you have chosen to not be aware of consequences. But the world is made up of a gazillion causes and their effects. Some causes are thoughts, and some of them are physical form. You can never control the world, and you want to only as long as you want to believe that it is real. It does not matter what is appearing in the world because it is not real, and it does not determine your experience. That is wholly your choice. The “everything that seems to happen to me” in the quote refers to is your experience, not to what is appearing. The Holy Spirit always works within you, not in the world.

Sometimes students will say things like, “Lately my friend Mary has been talking a lot about the guilt she feels for something she did in the past. So does that mean I have to look for hidden guilt in my own mind?” If you see Mary’s story as real, then yes, you are projecting your own identification with ego (guilt) onto Mary. Or if you feel uncomfortable when she is talking about her guilt it is because you believe that guilt is real, and that you are guilty. But you merely hearing Mary discuss guilt does not mean that you have hidden guilt. If, while she is talking, you can think, and mean, “Guilt isn’t real; only God is Real” then you can be sure that you do not have any hidden guilt. You have forgiven the idea of guilt.

The world is not going to change. Disasters, disorder, destruction, sickness, death, people believing that guilt and fear are real – these things are always going to show up. But you are changing your mind about, and therefore your experience of, the world. You will continue to see the usual things, but they will not affect you because you will recognize that they are not real; you will forgive them. You will be rising above, and ultimately out of, the world. A Course in Miracles teaches that you must give up all judgment of the world because it is through judgment that you make the world, and therefore separation from God, real to you. You don’t bother to judge what you know is not real. Choose to turn inward to the experience the Peace that you have with you always, and you will have no reason to look to the world for anything, and therefore you will have no reason to judge it.


Anonymous said…
Well of course the topic of this week's blog is timely. I really struggle with my relationships with two people. I have made no progress apparently with healing these relationships as the same stuff just keeps coming up. It's like if someone slaps you in the face is the slap then not real, or are we just trying here to learn not to make it hurt by not agreeing that we deserved the slap. If we then agree we are not guilty and deserving of a slap will it never happen again? What do you do with the person in your life that still wants to slap you? Some may say that I am just imagining the slap, that nothing is real, it's all illusion. That doesn't get me to understand though how to proceed.
I am so confused, I know nothing after years of working with the course I haven't changed at all I guess.
I do what I know and that is to see that which I judge in another and forgive that same in myself. I give it over to the HS and let it go. My guilt must be so enormous though because like I said the same stuff comes up again and again, from one person in particular, and it never gets any easier to deal with.
My ego and my guilt are way out of control it seems.
Not sure what I can do now. I will just keep doing the inner healing work and hope that I will see a change in the outer experience.
ACIM Mentor said…
Cindy, please go to my website ( read what I have written about relationships under "Answers by Topic". You seem to misunderstand forgiveness. Forgiveness means you recognize that you are not guilty and so you do not deserve punishment (abuse). Forgiveness often shows up as us walking away from situations that you recognize do not honor the Truth in you. You also do not honor the Truth in another by allowing them to continue to abuse you. You can see the Truth in them, but if they cannot see It they are not going to change. When you truly see that the world is not real then you know that an abusive relationship has no value, and you let it go. All of your relationships are your relationship to yourself.
Anonymous said…
Are the events that do occur and the people we encounter already determined? Though I'm recognizing that the specifics of my life are less important than is my ability to apply forgiveness to whatever comes up, I can't help but wonder about how I ended up with the particular circumstances of my 'script' and whether I can change them. If the holy spirit is simply love and does not DO anything, then how are the benefits of forgiveness applied, ie., condense time/remove lessons one no longer needs to learn?
ACIM Mentor said…
The world is only an idea in your mind; it does not exist outside of you. Everything that you perceive is unfolding from your mind right now.
Your awarenss of God (Holy Spirit)changes your mind, which results in your changed perception of a world. Time is only an idea in your mind, so your perception of time can be changed - for example, "condensed".

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