"Laura" wanted something out of the situation and her Forgive-ee. Peace of mind was not enough for her. She wanted visibility, she wanted acceptance and approval, she wanted an outcome, she wanted a bouquet of pleasant events/encounters in her script. If forgiving was a big ice cream sundae, she wanted the cherry on top.
Sometimes I think that the path is so difficult because it asks so little of us. The Truth in the Holy Instant needs nothing but our non-interference. But in this situation, the miracle was only desired half-heartedly, and so the healing was limited. I saw how Laura was being very sly about the secret desires. Part of her was too fearful to let go of the ego.
In the world, she was couching things to herself (and others) in such a way that her role in the situation seemed more than reasonable, the epitome of innocent and well-intentioned, irreproachable even. The ego (there is only one ego that we all share) is a master at this.
It was like a fog began to lift, as the insights -- the Light of Truth -- began to shine the false away. The shift felt more like a refreshing cleanse than a punishing stick, and I saw much more clearly how the little "I" -- the "Hero of the dream" -- was using the idea of Forgiveness in this situation to stay firmly entrenched as my identity. In fact, the ego had set up a perfect double-bind. Either:
- a) Little "laura" would not see the "effects" of her forgiveness that she wanted and as a consequence would then feel she needed to "do" something to improve things (the ego loves the spiritual path if it means struggle) -- or --
- b)if she did get the effects she wanted, little "laura" could feel like a super hero in the dream of the awakening -- "Ta da!! Able to conquer sleeping minds with a single miracle!"
"The body's serial adventures, from the time of birth to dying are the theme of every dream the world has ever had. The 'hero' of this dream will never change, nor will its purpose. Though the dream itself takes many forms, and seems to show a great variety of places and events wherein its 'hero' finds itself, the dream has but one purpose, taught in many ways. This single lesson does it try to teach again, and still again, and yet once more; that it is cause and not effect. And you are its effect, and cannot be its cause.
Thus are you not the dreamer, but the dream. And so you wander idly in and out of places and events that it contrives. That this is all the body does is true, for it is but a figure in a dream. But who reacts to figures in a dream unless he sees them as if they were real? The instant that he sees them as they are they have no more effects on him, because he understands he gave them their effects by causing them and making them seem real. "The dream (the world, bodies, situations, everything we think is real) is set up to teach us that we are an effect, vulnerable and powerless and separate. The Course In Miracles teaches us the opposite -- that we are Real, the Cause, the Dreamer, at One with God and all the seemingly separated ones. It is an either/or choice in perspective, because the two thought systems are mutually exclusive.
But as I live with this deepening understanding, more fear surfaces. I have watched my thoughts:
- If "Laura" is unimportant, all would be meaningless!
- It would be like living in a huge Void!
- If what she does and how people are affected by what she does, or if what they think of her, even what she thinks of herself....If all of it no longer matters, then what in the heck does?"
There is no hierarchy, no order of difficulty, no world, no problems...i.e. nothing to fix. Therefore, every seemingly inconsequential task I do each day with the intention that Truth be allowed to Be -- every time I exchange my values in the world for the Holy Instant -- that moment is my purpose. It doesn't even matter whether I succeed or not, because it is the goal that gives it meaning. This is Atonement. It is the undoing of the ego, the one ego we all share.
As my values gradually drop away and leave Purpose as my only goal, there's more peace. With more peace there is more trust. With more trust, fear is more easily released when it surfaces, and there is no more concern (or much less) for Laura's experience, which gently begins to fade in my awareness. And a latent joy begins to bubble up...a true happiness that has no cause in the world.
And when Laura returns to dominate my thoughts, that's okay too. I'm still too afraid to let Truth be the only Truth in my mind...for a while. But I can remember to laugh and not take it too seriously, because the end is given.