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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