Ask: Is a matter-of-fact experience akin to what ACIM calls "Innocence"?

“I live - by choice - in a very quiet rural area. Every summer the house next to mine is used by a family of brothers from New York City… I can always tell when the youngest brother is around by the level of noise coming from the house - yelling, non-stop talking, and extremely loud music… For four summers now I have experienced an intense emotional charge in reaction to this "barbarian" intrusion…I have essentially demonized these people in my mind, making them bad, wrong etc. My anger knows no bounds when I think about them. Whenever I think about talking to them about the situation however, I dissuade myself… The other day their music was so loud and lasted so long (hours) that I suddenly found myself transported to what I can only describe as The Land of Matter-of-Fact. All anger and fear vanished along with any sense of self-righteous importance…So when I arrived home one afternoon and the music was blasting, I simply parked in front of their house and with my new-found Bearable Lightness of Being, dove in. I found the young man in charge in the midst of his cohorts drinking beer and grilling barbeque and simply stated the facts: "I'm your neighbor next door and I need a favor. Your music is so loud I can hear it in my house even with all my doors and windows closed. I can't sit outside with friends and family on my porch. Could you tone it down?" I could see that even through a mild fog of intoxication, he was getting it. "Too loud? No problem." Since then things have been much quieter.
Do you think Liz, that when one can flatten the effect of a situation and experience it in a matter-of-fact way it is akin to what the Course calls Innocence?” – ES

What you experienced was the miracle of guilt dropping away from your mind so that you looked on a situation without an emotional charge. This led to your matter-of-fact experience and presentation, which in turn resulted in the young man that you spoke to being open to you without feeling defensive. This is a great example of how a shift in your perception – a miracle – can have results in your interaction with others. If you had gone in angry it is very likely that the young man would have gotten defensive and angry himself. Then you two would have been in a vicious cycle of anger-attack-defense.
In my experience coming from a place of no-guilt is different from the perception of Innocence. Both are miracles, but the perception of Innocence is what I would call a “higher” miracle. No-guilt is a shift in perception away from not-Truth and toward Truth. It leads to what you described, a charge-neutral (matter-of-fact) experience. This is a more “common” miracle and one toward which you can work by undoing the guilt in your mind.

The perception of Innocence is an extension of the awareness of Truth in your perception. This is impossible to describe, but the best I can say is that the body’s eyes see the same forms but they are washed in Innocence. This type of “higher” miracle is often accompanied by an uplifting joy. It is a radically different perception that happens spontaneously when you are, often unconsciously, ready to accept it.

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Christine said…
Bravo!! Have had this same exact (in a way) experience: except the form it came in was kids playing basketball non-stop in the alley next to my studio and banging the ball against my seemed at the time to be pure hell!! This was 4 or 5 years ago now....but there was a period even the parents would play and yell and scream - a nightmare!! The dance of "sin, guilt, blame" all dissipated - just like this! I eventually just asked - kindly, genuinely, calmly - "hi! You probably don't know I'm working in here! All I ask is if you'd just please not bounce the ball against my wall here! Thanks", with a smile and laugh. And meant it.
Didn't happen instantaneously - had to dig deep.
Christine said…
Also: just last Sunday - I was out riding alone in the woods - very peaceful riding alone (except I was with my horse) in the woods: you hear birds, the wind, so quiet: Except this day the teenage guys in their mid twenties just started to ride their motor bikes on the same trails....I didn't get aggravated - just loved them. Yes - the seeming noiseless peace was abruptly and totally masked with loud and intrusive motor sounds, it just didn't matter anymore - I kind of laughed about the situation! How ironic! THEY were "seeking their peace" by riding the hideous machines in their own way!! Nobody was right, or wrong. They never stopped the whole half and hour or so I was out...I never ran into them, or they us, didn't matter - I would have just smiled.
will said…
Out of curiosity, when I was reading lesson 46, P.2 in your book Practicing a Course in Miracles, it is talking about forgiveness undoes what you made with fear, returning your mind to an awareness of God. If you stop your spiritual practice do you retain this awareness or does it fade over time?
ACIM Mentor said…
Will, if you don't make an effort to remember Truth it will fade from your conscious awareness. As ACIM puts it, time covers over the Holy Instant if you don't make an effort to recall the Holy Instant.
Hal Seeley said…
"What you experienced was the miracle of guilt dropping away from your mind so that you looked on a situation without an emotional charge." It took me awhile to understand what was said here and I had difficulty associating guilt with the emotional charge. But after a moment of contemplation our inner teacher reworded the sentence to say, "Being guilty you will see opportunities to reflect that guilt outward and away so as not to have to look at it within." Thank you Liz, for I am currently "projecting" and this was an excellent reminder to me to look inward toward the Truth.
nicci said…
very helpful. thank you. endless L, n
will said…
I have spiritual lethargy. It has been going on for some time. There is little in my personal mind that I am not tired of. But it is not enough to want atonement is it? When I see Evangelical’s or Fundamentalist’s with their arms raised saying praise Jesus they appear to have made the transition. I won’t say it is ego because I don’t know what is going on with them. Is it this level (not type) of commitment that the course talks about when it says you need to change how you see things for atonement to happen?
ACIM Mentor said…
Actually, Will, all you need is willingness. Really; nothing else. You can be uncommitted. You can doubt. You can fear. But just be open and willing.
will said…
The course has two themes.
One, you cannot make the changes yourself, they have to come from the Holy Spirit

Two, you cannot experience the changes unless you yourself bring them about : meditation, the “effort to remember truth,” as well as a whole host of ‘requirements’ in both the text and lessons. Sometimes when I think about the course literature that’s about all it is, You Have to do This and This and This. If you don’t, then it “will fade from your awareness.”

I am experiencing lethargy.
ACIM Mentor said…
Those things you mentioned, Will, are how willingness is expressed. They come naturally when you want Truth in your awareness. Your "lethargy" is simply resistance. That comes and goes. It's part of the process. When that falls away you will find yourself hungry for Truth again and willing to do what you need to do to have It in your awareness.

Remember, even if Truth is not in your conscious awareness It is still here. It goes on within you whether you are consciously aware of It or not. You can take comfort in that.
will said…
Yes, I was just reading that in lesson 48 or 49.
Maybe it's the willingness to not have lethargy
will said…
Your reassurance was what I needed.

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