Ask: How are others just ideas in my mind?

A Course in Miracles tells us:Everyone makes an ego or a self for himself, which is subject to enormous variation because of its instability. He also makes an ego for everyone else he perceives, which is equally variable.” (T-4.II.2) I have to admit that I have a hard time seeing how others are just ideas in my mind. There they are, a body, which seems so solid and real to me… (September 12, 2014)

The body, like all of the universe of form, is only an empty symbol onto which you project the idea of a “person”. For example, my mother died over 10 years ago and yet when I think of her I still get a feeling that I think of as “Mom”. It’s the same feeling I had when there was a body here onto which to project “Mom”. It’s really an aggregation of thoughts and the feelings to which they lead that I think of as “Mom”. Sometimes it is so vivid that it is as though she is present. So it’s pretty clear now that Mom’s body is gone that the body could not have been the source of my experience of “Mom”. Since I still feel her she must be an idea within me. And since it’s the same feeling I had when there was a body here she must have always been an idea within me.
            It’s the same with anyone who is not in the room with you right now. Think of someone still “alive” but whose body is not with you right now. You get a feeling that you think of as that person. That’s obviously coming from you because their body is not present to you right now. So they are only an idea – an aggregation of thoughts and the feelings to which they lead – in your mind. Your experience of them is coming from you. When they are with you their body says and does things, but those actions are meaningless in themselves. You give meaning and a story to those actions based on your story for yourself and your story for them. When you do not know this, you respond to the story in your mind as though it is a fact outside of you over which you have no control. But once you do know this you can deal with your thoughts and change your experience from conflict to peace.
            You learn that you are mind, and that everything is an idea in your mind, by watching your mind and seeing how it constructs with thoughts and ideas the world in which you think you live. This does require that you slow down and pay attention to what is going on in your mind. This is the practical way to learn that what you perceive in the universe of form is an illusion – merely a projection of ideas from your own mind.

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Read the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Comments

Christine said…
What I don't understand here is did we "make them up" to begin with - or did we project onto them after they appeared and we got to know them? I have been thinking of this lately - my Mom died about the same time yours did, and I have the same thoughts and feelings about her...I have kind of "turned inward" more and more, and they're all there - all my relatives, friends who have passed on, pets (especially dogs!), and even trees that have been cut down or just fell down (which I admired), and houses...all ideas in our mind. Still "alive", still lovely, healthy,vibrant, and forgiven.
ACIM Mentor said…
No, Christine, you did not personally make them up. The universe of form is a projection of one split-mind (Son of God in ACIM). It has no meaning in itself. It's a blank screen, really. Your individual mind projects meaning onto it.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said…
Thanks, Liz. This one thing has happened, or I've noticed it of late: Twenty-five, thirty years ago I used to be in a bagpipe band that competed, marched and did parades, etc. the group included a smattering of people - young, older, oldest, etc. and it was fun, but it was ruled more by emotions, reactions, rather than a peaceful way of working problems out, etc. Just recently, I serendipitously "fell into" joining another band - same type, same ages and differences in the members, BUT this time everyone is is even-keeled, kind, helpful, no back biting or jealousies, a very peaceful group. Now - question: is this my projection? Or is this my extension of Peace onto what appears to be bodies doing stuff and interacting with each other? It sure is a lot nicer this way.
Anonymous said…
Liz, am I right in saying we are all part of that split-mind, meaning I must do my part in awakening by accepting I did this to myself and therefore forgive the projection that I'm experiencing, by accepting and surrendering. I feel a very subtle shift whilst doing this from the Mind. Reading your words today I'm experiencing a lot of energy swirling around my head. Does this mean I'm allowing Truth to enter.
By the way I would like to say I appreciate your work and owe you an enormous gratitude, and thankfulness for your insights. Blessings.
will said…
The turn around time from writing on the blog to being corrected by the HS has become very quick. The correction usually comes in the form of what I happen to be reading. Hence, all the deletions. I read this this morning.

“Do not forget this: When you become disturbed and lose your Peace of mind because you perceive others in their own illusions, you are not forgiving Yourself for perceiving illusions. You are holding part of your mind away from Truth and salvation. As you forgive the personal mind’s perceptions of others, you restore Truth to your entire mind. You will see forgiveness where you have extended it.” Text Chapter 17
will said…
I read recently, probably in the text about asking for miracles. I'm using in the wait and see what develops mode. So after I have my first or second cup of coffee I say something like 'Good morning Holy Spirit. Please help me with miracles today.' Something like that. And I'm serious when I say it. I have in mind help with atonement but will take whatever is offered. Makes a difference
will said…
If your new to the Course or not so new it is a tremendous help to have a copy of The Message of A Course in Miracles by Elizabeth Cronkhite sitting next to your text. As a reference when you can't understand what the text is saying or just to read from it is really is a big help. You have to make an investment in yourself and what your doing as it's about $30 (kindle is around $8 I think)but this really is money well spent.
nicci said…
this was exactly the deeper understanding i need today. thank you! endless Love, nicci
ACIM Mentor said…
Christine, as you grow in your awareness of Truth the self's attitude, behavior, choices, and energy change so its relationship to the world changes. You may have "attracted" a better group of people into your life. Or you may have just happened upon a more mature group. Or you may have matured and the lenses through which you view others has changed. "How" is really not important. Just be grateful you are having a better experience.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, first, you are welcome. Second, what you describe in your first paragraph is indeed the story that ACIM lays out as a context for your spiritual study.
As to the energy swirling around your head - I cannot know what is going on within your mind. This may be a response to what you are learning but I do not know if you are allowing Truth to enter. Truth has no energy. It is formless. You know when you experience It because you feel set free from guilt and fear. But you may respond with energy to an awareness of Truth especially when It is new to you.
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, thanks for the plug! My books can also be found inexpensively on PDF at www.acimstore.com.
Anonymous said…
I am grateful for the clarity you offer. Your example of "Mom" helps me. Thank you!
Aleta said…
Liz, our ACIM study group refers to your books translating the text as well as the workbook, all of the time. A common question at our group is, "What does Liz say?" (and we know it came from the Holy Spirit through you to us!) We are grateful for the translations!

My Mom died last month; my Dad last year. I have found their passing to be helpful in my recognizing that ALL personal selves are ideas in my mind, in the sense that, like you said, Liz, that when I think of my Mom & Dad, it is as if they are right here with me. I get the pang of regret knowing that their physical forms are "gone," but I also get a sense of comfort in the recognition that they are always with me, always have been. I have trouble explaining it, but I think you know what I mean.

I'm working on the healing thing now, and am reading chapter 28. I have had trouble with the idea of there being no sickness, but I think I'm starting to "get" it. If I see everyone as the One Mind, and I recognize that there ARE no separate persons out there, only IDEAS of separate people, their physical manifestations being an illusion, then there can BE no illnesses to inflict the body (because there IS no body). And if I get that straight in MY mind, other minds will "get" it too -- somehow -- and be healed. And yet, if the physical symptoms do not go away, we are not to question that the healing has happened. I'm still muddling through all of that.

Will, your quote from chapter 17 really spoke to me when I read it. Thank you. I've read the Course two times through and study it regularly, and still I am always finding surprises in how it speaks to me, as if with a new Voice.

will said…
Proof reading the syntax of what I write is not my strong suit. I can barely understand some of what is written myself:) Will try to do better.
will said…
Hate is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies.

St. Augustine

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