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.
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.
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