A Course In Miracles Lesson 18
A Course In Miracles Lesson 18 states:
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
Today’s lesson takes our study of cause and effect even further.
The way I see something has an effect not just on my own personal experience, but also on other living beings. How I experience something is known and felt by others. The content of my mind has an effect on this world. The focus of my attention has an effect on others. What I think about, the way that I think is causing effects in others. I matter. My wellness or illness matters.
Yesterday’s lesson points out that my thoughts shape my experiences and those thoughts are never neutral or unimportant. Today’s lesson adds to this truth by also pointing out that all minds are joined in the Unified Field of Reality. We all see one another where we are. How I feel is not hidden. It is known and felt. I see how you are experiencing something and you see how I am experiencing something. I see you and you see me in a fundamental awareness. Today’s idea is not emphasizing what you see but rather how you see it.
Your perceptions are not neutral.
Your perceptions affect others.
Your perceptions come from (are created by) your beliefs.
Your beliefs are what they are because of your interest and attention to them.
Your interest and attention is yours to freely do whatever you will with.
These are statements of truth, to which we add one more concept.
Our perception is known and felt by all living beings.
This is not saying that others feel the way we feel. It is pointing out that others know and perceive how we feel even while they feel whatever belongs to them. You also know and sense how they are feeling even while knowing that what you sense about them is not how you feel or perceive a situation. This awareness is the foundation of knowing.
I can see what sort of state you are in. You can see what sort of state I am in. This means, I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing. You see how I am experiencing something. I see how you are experiencing something. What this means is, we are connected in a Knowing, regardless of what we may be perceiving at any given time.
The way in which I see something is determined by the way I am perceiving it. The way I perceive something is determined by my interest, my will, my desire to see it as I do. And what I experience is known by myself and others. I am not alone. Others sense how I feel, whether they admit the knowledge or not. What is true is known. Some turn away from what they know and some hold space for it. How I see something is not ever determined externally. My way of seeing is forever in my power to shift. That is the miraculous nature of thought. I do not have to see what I see in the way that I see it. I do not have to feel terror or sorrow or rage. I can choose to see differently. Changing how I experience something or someone is an act of conviction and a determination to place my attention on peace rather than on conflict. If I find this difficult, it is only because I still have an interest in experiencing the conflict. When the interest fades, so too will the conflict.
It may be difficult to believe that you have an interest in conflict. Who in their right mind would? No one. But it is not your right mind that has the interest. Our mind has been split away from right thinking and is engaging in strange misperceptions. When encountering a conflict or difficulty, make an observation. Is there not some part of you that is actively engaged and interested in the conflict? Are you not in some way gripped by it? That grip is your attention to the situation. On the surface of the mind, no one logically wants conflict. But because nothing happens without my interest in it, I must view everything that happens to me as something some part of me has an interest in experiencing. My attention and interest draw to me that which I am interested in. Nothing comes to me that I did not invite with my interest. This means it is not accurate to say, “I do not want this conflict.” A more accurate observation would be, “I do not want to want this conflict, but since it is happening, some part of me is still interested in it. I turn now towards peace. I put down my interest in this conflict. I can not figure it out and I do not want to want it.”