A Course In Miracles Lesson 19
A Course In Miracles Lesson 19 states:
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
What I think has an effect on other people. The quality of the content of my mind determine what I see in the world around me. And that content is felt and experienced by other living beings.
Today’s lesson points out how ideas related to perceptions (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) are often followed by ideas related to thinking (memories and expectations) and vice versa. This association is to illustrate how thinking and the results of that thinking are a simultaneous event. Causes and effects are never separate. The results of my thinking cause perceptions (experiences). When something happens, its effect happens at the same time. This concept, in religious language is called, “the holy instant.” When the problem of illusion occurred, so too did the solution to that problem.
The second concept presented in A Course In Miracles Lesson 19 is emphasizing the fact that minds are joined. This idea can be unsettling at first if viewed as an “invasion of privacy.” The idea that minds are joined may seem to suggest an enormous responsibility to not let our thoughts be hurtful or harmful, least we cause harm to others just by thinking. This can begin to sound more like a science fiction story involving telepathy and overt mind control. While I can not compelled you to do anything by the power of my thoughts, the fact is, that if I have such compulsions, you will perceive them. There is no hiding our dispositions from each other. We all see one another as we are. I see when you are angry or bitter. You see when I am irritated or impatient. Energy knows itself. It is a waste of energy to intellectually object to this basic law of nature.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 19 explains that it is a fact that there are no private thoughts and this fact is part of the process of healing your mind. Your mind is always in relation with other minds. It is not possible for you to live alone in isolation or without causing an effect on the world around you. If you exist, you have an effect, your existence causes an effect. You exist and what you do matters and effects the world. Despite any initial resistance to the fact that minds are joined, you will eventually understand that it must be true if there is to ever be a release from suffering.
People who know that minds are joined are called psychic. Such people do not possess supernatural powers, they are just people who acknowledge the true, inherent powers of perception that we all have. Intuitive and psychic people say yes to the fact that minds are joined and do not block the sensations that inform them of other people’s energy. Knowing that they too are known and felt by others, intuitive/psychic people have a much deeper commitment to holding their own mind in a high-quality state. The motivation to seek out high-quality content that feels good to experience is doubled when we understand that the quality of our thoughts is what we have to give other people. It is all we really ever have to give.
Because our minds are joined in a Unified Field, a release from mental anguish is possible, not just for some, but for all living beings. The reason it is possible for you is the same reason it is possible for anyone. What you achieve, we all achieve. What you need, we all need.
The state of a person’s inner life is conveyed to everyone and is known no matter what their words may be saying. What we say and how we say it are not always a match. This means that I may not be aware of the messages I am sending if I am not in touch with the truth about how I feel towards this person or that situation. When I do not look at my own inner life, people can see me better than I see myself.
To achieve a matching of words to intention, it is necessary to first truly acknowledge the state of our inner life without resistance, opinion, or judgment. When we hold the knowing of a mood or quality within, we stand as an example of its expression of truth. When we live in connection to our perceptions and keep in mind their limited nature, it does not matter what we technically say. Our words will be a match to our inner state because our own comprehension is complete. Locating our inner life is not something we do. It is something we allow to be shown to us. It is something we do not resist.
When A Course In Miracles Lesson 19 states, “I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts”, what it is saying is that what I experience is known by others and what others experience is known by me. Because this is true, the reverse concept is also true. We can not share with others what we ourselves do not have no matter what words we use. If we do not have a perception, we can not offer it. If someone does not feel patient or compassionate, no amount of acting patient or compassionate will result in us experiencing that from them. If it is not there, it can not be perceived. Recognizing a basic lack of awareness in another person helps us to stop expecting the unreasonable as well as have compassion for ourselves as we recognize that which we also do not yet have to offer others when we are truly honest with ourselves.
Today’s lesson uses a few religious phrases that can be challenging to a mind not conditioned to receive religious language. The word “salvation” is rarely ever used in contemporary secular conversations.
Salvation speaks of the act of being saved from some kind of adversity. In this idea is hidden the assumption of needing outside help to get out of danger or harm. Needing help from an “outside” source is not an easy concept to let in. This is in part because true help does not come from the “outside.” It comes from within, through the act of choosing willingness to receive. It is also challenging because the recognition of needing help at all is not something our state of logic accepts very easily.
The concept of salvation infers that there is some kind of danger you are not able to avoid or get out of on your own. Salvation infers that you need help avoiding that danger. When it comes to the process of navigating out of painful thought patterns, it is certainly true that you need help with that. We can not navigate out of negative thinking alone. We must seek out influences of a positive nature to assist us. It is the belief in aloneness that is causing the negative thinking. We, therefore, need help from others who have connected to and embodied the receiving of help. Salvation means opening to and allowing help in. Salvation means being receptive to ending pain. When a mind opens and becomes receptive, it takes up the very act of becoming aware of how all minds are connected. All minds influence each other.
Today’s lesson also states that salvation must be possible because it is the will of God. If we rephrase the word salvation, this statement reads as: The end of mental, emotional, and physical suffering must be possible because it is the will of God.
What is meant by the will of God? What is meant by the word God? What is God? If we understand the word “God” to refer to the mentally incomprehensible state of unified awareness of all that is, we can also know God to be a Field. A Unified Field of all that is, a state of creation holding and creating all that is. That unified state is inherently creative. This means it embodies only the qualities of peace and joy and creativity. The fundamental state of existence is profound and infinite wellness. God is not a patriarchal figure in a cloud. God is a Field. God is the entire Field. It is not possible or necessary to understand what God is. But it is vital that we understand what God is not. God is not temperamental, or jealous or dangerous. God is not scary. God does not have a problem.
The will of God speaks to the understanding that the Unified Field is a living, conscious presence that has a will, a desire. That desire is for more of itself. Creation wants more creation to come forth. Joy wants more joy. The will of God is the interest and the desire for more of what God is. God knows what It is and knows It is good. There is no confusion about what is real and what is not real in the awareness that is the Field of God.
There is only confusion in you about what is real and what is not real. There is no confusion in the Source that created you. It is reconnecting with that Source which ends suffering. It is the “will” “desire”, “disposition”, “state” of that Source that suffering will end.
If the Source of all that is desires for suffering to end, then be certain of one thing, it will end. It, in fact, already has ended. All is, in fact, well. Bringing our minds to this idea is what these lessons are helping us do. These lessons are taking us out of (saving us from) painful logic. It is the Will of All Creation (God) that the experience of painful logic come to an end.
One step away from that painful logic involves learning that I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts. I am part of a Field of all that is. How I am is known to all and how others are is known to me. I am not alone.
To practice today’s lesson, the Course asks you to take a minute with your eyes closed to state the idea slowly to yourself. Then search your mind for the thoughts floating by. As you observe each thought, give each one a title. Hold that thought in your mind and say to each one, “I am not alone in experiencing the effect of this thought about ______”
Another way to say this could be, “This thought about ______ effects both me and all other living beings.” “My existence affects this world.”
Be sure to read the detailed instructions described in today’s lesson because following those details communicates your motivation and commitment even while not understanding or agreeing with the material. And feel free to get in touch to share your observations or experiences with this Course. I’d be happy to hear from you since…
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.