Ask: At what point do you point out a brother's error?
…Forgiveness says to look past what appears to be our brother's error because it is really our own error projected upon his body. It never happened because it is all imagination, all a dream in our mind…at what point do you point out your brother's error as "his" error? At what point do we point out his error and have him suffer the consequences of his error. Such as filing charges against him and thus having him pay a fine or go to jail…At what point does the "seriousness" of the offense make it necessary to point out the error and take steps to diminish the possibility of it happening again? What, if any, is the difference between the more serious offense and the tiny, minor offense?...My ego wants to point out every error, no matter how minor, and take actions to see that the brother doesn't do it again to me or any other brother. – RB
The errors to which A Course in Miracles refers are errors of mind not errors of behavior. You do not have to point out to others when they are coming from ego (the personal thought system). If you are bothered that another is coming from ego it is the ego in your own mind that is bothered. It believes that it is “wrong” or “bad” to come from ego and projects away its own guilt by seeing the other as “wrong” or “bad” to come from ego. So what you need to forgive is not the other for coming from ego but the ego in your own mind that is bothered by seeing itself reflected in another.
This is quite apart from you pointing out when another’s behavior is inappropriate or harmful. You do not do others a favor by enabling them to continue in unhealthy behaviors. In fact, by pointing out their inappropriate behavior to them (even up to having them arrested when it is called for) you give them an opportunity to take responsibility for their own thoughts and beliefs (the cause of their behavior) and grow. They may not want or appreciate this and may in fact be resentful. But what they do with this opportunity is their choice.
What you want to sort out before you take action to stop another in their harmful behavior is fact from projection. What happens in the universe of form has no meaning in itself. It is neutral. Any meaning (right/wrong, good/bad, a perpetuation of your personal story) that you see comes from you. If you observe another’s behavior, even when it is directed toward you, without taking it personally, then you are not projecting. You are merely observing a fact. But if you feel defensive, angry, upset, offended, etc. you are making their behavior personal through your projections of meaning. Once you have cleared up your own projections you will have a clearer view of the situation. And you will then act, if necessary, from detachment rather than from emotions that may only make the situation worse.
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