These turbulent times have been upsetting for many, and for students of A Course in Miracles there are steps that we can take to remain in the right mind.
These last few months have been totally surreal.
First, we’ve had a lingering global pandemic that has brought the economy to a screeching halt, creating historic levels of unemployment.
Second, as states and businesses began to open up, we witnessed the horrific murder of George Floyd.
Anyone who has seen the video, no matter one’s background, will have a lot of emotions, including outrage and pain.
From this horror, peaceful protests have formed, calling for accountability, justice, reform, and equal protection and treatment for all.
And in the most inspiring ways, people are coming together in solidarity and unity across all lines.
As we’ve seen, protesters are preventing looting and protecting officers.
Police officers are kneeling with demonstrators.
Demonstrators are showing appreciation for officers.
Duality Always at Work
On the flip side of the coin, agitating rioters quickly entered the scene, inciting violence, destroying property, and looting.
Even more jarring, there is video circulating of business owners being viciously beaten for protecting their property.
With these disturbing events, great uncertainty, and heightened emotion for months now, the ego can really take us on a wild ride.
As A Course in Miracles students are aware, there are so many forgiveness lessons (opportunities) these days.
Note: If you are not a Course student, these steps may seem nonsensical. If you’re interested, I recommend Gary Renard’s excellent book series that introduces the Course’s teachings.
To help stay in our right mind, Gary Renard brilliantly outlines in his book, The Lifetimes When Jesus and Buddha Knew Each Other, the forgiveness steps that he follows from the Course:
#1: Notice our thoughts and feelings when something bothers or upsets us.
This disturbance is a red flag that we’re thinking with the ego (the wrong mind).
When we notice these thoughts and emotions, we must stop. This first step requires awareness and discipline.
#2: Choose the Holy Spirit (the right mind).
We cannot think with both the Holy Spirit and the ego at the same time. However, we’re always choosing between the two whether we’re aware of it or not.
When we choose the Holy Spirit—the Holy Instant—we receive right-minded ideas.
We will then be reminded of the illusory nature of what we’re seeing and experiencing (this truly is for Course students).
With this understanding, we can forgive the situation and those involved because, outside of this dream, we are all innocent as an extension of Source.
This doesn’t mean that in this dream there aren’t consequences for one’s actions and that people aren’t to be held accountable. But we are choosing the Holy Spirit as our Teacher.
#3: See with the Holy Spirit.
At this point, we chose the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of what we’re seeing. This is true perception.
We are now thinking with the Holy Spirit, recognizing that every one of us is perfect Spirit, totally innocent, and forever One with Source in Reality.
Forgiveness Is a Process
As a Course student, I personally know that choosing the right mind is not easy to do, especially when we’re upset.
It’s healthy to feel what we’re feeling and not deny it. This would be the incorrect use of denial, as they say.
And it doesn’t mean that after working through these forgiveness steps that we won’t be upset or bothered again by events, but we will feel better more quickly over time.
And this doesn’t mean that we “forgive and forget” what’s happened and do nothing. This means that we think with the Holy Spirit and then take action from that inspired place.
Meanwhile, on the level of form, there is an urgent need for truth, accountability, justice, reconciliation, and a new path forward.
Out of this tragedy and the many others that proceeded it, we can find the way together.
As Gary Renard and the Course point out, this practice of forgiveness will “produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.”