The Course discusses this concept extensively also in Chapter 8, Section 3, The Holy Encounter, where it says among other things:
When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. 2 As you see him you will see yourself. 3 As you treat him you will treat yourself. 4 As you think of him you will think of yourself. 5 Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. 6 Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. 7 Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself. 8 For I am always there with you, in remembrance of
Making the other choice will be facilitated by our growing awareness as we practice the Course, that the ego is never an original thought. In order to choose to be part of the whole, you have to have had the whole first, which the ego then splits off from and denies its existence. So in the world we then make up every encounter we have is a reminder of our self which gives us the choice to act out the ego-choice all over again, and engage in another episode of the ego's soap opera, or to choose the Holy Spirit as our guide to lead us home and our brother with us, as the love we now reflect in our actions is extended through us. Hence lesson 342 says:
Brother, forgive me now. 2 I come to you to take you home with me. 3 And as we go, the world goes with us on our way to God.
The Course states in the "Hero" of the Dream section:
How willing are you to escape effects of all the dreams the world has ever had? 2 Is it your wish to let no dream appear to be the cause of what it is you do? 3 Then let us merely look upon the dream's beginning, for the part you see is but the second part, whose cause lies in the first. 4 No one asleep and dreaming in the world remembers his attack upon himself.
And so it is in every encounter that we have in the world, we are not in touch with our own choice to see ourselves as an individual first, and thus our brother as a stranger, outside ourselves, whom we accuse of stealing the peace of God from us, and we are intent on getting it back either by seduction (special love) or by attack (special hate). As we act this out, we are seeing only the effect in the dream, and not our choice (for the ego) which caused the dream in the first place. And so it is we need a reminder that every encounter indeed is a holy encounter, in which we always have the opportunity to "choose once again," and choose to go home with our brother instead of perpetuating the ego's drama.
Should we choose to replace the miracle impulses with physical action, and choose the ego's drama, the Course discusses some of the consequences in the last section of Chapter 1, The Distortion of Miracle Impulses as follows:
Your distorted perceptions produce a dense cover over miracle impulses, making it hard for them to reach your own awareness. 2 The confusion of miracle impulses with physical impulses is a major perceptual distortion. 3 Physical impulses are misdirected miracle impulses. 4 All real pleasure comes from doing God's Will. 5 This is because not
And so in every encounter we can choose to experience yet once again that we cannot truly relate to our brothers in peace with anything external, however much we try. The important thing about this is that we start to see that there is a continuous opportunity to make the other choice. This realization closely relates to the Course's observation in the section The Ego and False Autonomy:
It is reasonable to ask how the mind could ever have made the ego. 2 In fact, it is the best question you could ask. 3 There is, however, no point in giving an answer in terms of the past because the past does not matter, and history would not exist if the same errors were not being repeated in the present. 4 Abstract thought applies to knowledge because knowledge is completely impersonal, and examples are irrelevant to its understanding. 5 Perception, however, is always specific, and therefore quite concrete.
And it is in our relationships that as children from the ego we always seek to reenact the past, and set ourselves up as a victim all over again, firmly believing we are overcoming the past, when in fact we are setting ourselves up to repeat it, unless and until we make the other choice, which breaks us free of our "predestination," and sets us on the way to freedom with our brother. On this path in one form or another we come to what the Course describes as the holiest spot on earth:
The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love. 2 And They come quickly to the living temple, where a home for Them has been set up. 3 There is no place in Heaven holier. 4 And They have come to dwell within the temple offered Them, to be Their resting place as well as yours. 5 What hatred has released to love becomes the brightest light in Heaven's radiance. 6 And all the lights in Heaven brighter grow, in gratitude for what has been restored.
And so it is that it is in our very relationships, in what is "in front of our face," as the Thomas Gospel expresses it, that we have the sacred opportunity for healing, whenever we choose the Holy Spirit as our guide. The comment about the Distortion of Miracle Impulses that was cited above reflects how the recognition of our Self, which is inherent in every Encounter is immediately hi-jacked by the ego and translated into a transaction at the bodily level, where communication is by definition impossible, and by nature that is the ego's goal to prevent communication, since that rests on unity, and a denial of the separation.
Copyright, © 2006 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.