[as it appeared in the JAN FEB 2014 eMAGAZINE]
QUESTION: “How do we release our past conditioning which effects how we perceive everything in this world and keeps us stuck in illusion and away from knowledge?”
ANSWER: We begin with a definition of both perception and knowledge. This distinction will help us to understand the dynamics between them and their relationship to our Awakening. This Awakening is the release of our past conditioning.
Some people would define ‘perception’ as the end-result of the processing of our senses. For example, we process the feeling of the sun on our face by our sense of touch. The sun‘s rays touch our face and we process the sensation into a perception. We perceive its warmth.
Once we translate that sensation into a perception we relate it to our store of prior events which brings an understanding of what the perception is. We eventually come to comprehend that our sun which orbits our planet earth is radiating its light and warmth. However, is this later realization knowledge or ‘comprehension’?
Knowledge would likely be defined by most people as the end-result of the processing of our perceptions. In other words, we process the feeling of the sun on our face by our sense of touch into a perception. Then our mind analyzes the perception further into what we might consider as knowledge of the various attributes of the sun’s rays, the chemical processes on our skin, etc.
But, again, is this knowledge or is it merely ‘comprehension’?
In a remarkable book titled “GOD I AM: From Tragic to Magic”, channeled with the aid of Immanuel and St. Germain, scribe Peter O. Erbe writes:
“God can be known but not comprehended. Comprehension is perception with the mind. To perceive, I have to be apart from the perceived. This indicates division. Physicality is polarity. God is union, therefore not comprehensible by a polarized, that is divided, mind.”
“From within the realm of polarities we can only feel into the subject matter in a manner which induces the remembrance of an ancient knowing in our soul.” P. 17
And we find these complimentary thoughts from within A Course in Miracles:
12 God honored even the miscreations of His Children because they had made them, but He also blessed them with a way of thinking that could raise their perceptions until they became so lofty that they could reach almost back to Him. The Holy Spirit is the Mind of the Atonement. It represents a state of mind that comes close enough to one-mindedness that transfer to it is at last possible. Transfer depends on common elements in the old learning and the new situation to which it is transferred. Perception is not knowledge, but it can be transferred to knowledge or cross over into it. It might even be more helpful here to use the literal meaning of “carried” over since the last step is taken by God. ACIM.OE.CH5.12 [bold emphasis is mine]
Perception can be lifted up and brought close to knowledge. Comprehension, of that which is perceived, gives way to that which cannot be perceived but only KNOWN. Oneness knows only Wholeness and Unity.
We are told that “From within the realm of polarities we can only feel into the subject matter…” which induces within us “the remembrance of an ancient knowing in our soul”.
From Chapter 21 of A Course in Miracles we find the following:
8 Listen-perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. But you remember from just this little part how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you. ACIM.OE.21.8
Recently in an ACIM Study Group, the discussion centered on how our perceptions stem from our prior conditioning and how very difficult it is to rid ourselves of what we have learned. This problem almost seems to be beyond healing and yet we are learning, in the Course, that healing is certain. Let’s look closely at the mechanism that is keeping us trapped within perception and away from Right Perception, which moves toward Knowing.
What is the nature of this TRAP?
“Repeated experience causes repeated judgment. This creates habits of perception. Habits of perception may be seen like grooves in the mind. The deeper the groove, the more fixed becomes our belief in what the groove contains. “ GOD I AM p.28
And the Course poignantly describes this dilemma as such:
6 The blind become accustomed to their world by their adjustments to it. They think they know their way about in it. They learned it, not through joyous lessons, but through the stern necessity of limits they believed they could not overcome. And still believing this, they hold those lessons dear and cling to them because they cannot see. They do not understand the lessons keep them blind. This they do not believe. And so they keep the world they learned to “see” in their imagination, believing that their choice is that or nothing. They hate the world they learned through pain. And everything they think is in it serves to remind them that they are incomplete and bitterly deprived. ACIM.OE.CH21.6
So we now see that our thoughts are trapped within the grooves of our mind, carved out by habits of perception. We could acquiesce to the way we think things are, believing there is no other choice, that it is this way or nothing. Or we could open our minds to a way to be released from bondage by believing that there is another way.
As long as we perceive ourselves within the groove, we are attached to the groove and we continue to blame the groove, viewing it as the CAUSE of our suffering.
“The form always represents the effect, not the CAUSE. Treatment of the effect, being only a symptom, can only displace or shift the symptom.” GOD I AM p. 28
A Course in Miracles describes it as such:
8 Today we seek to change our minds about the source of sickness, for we seek a cure for all illusions, not another shift among them. ACIM.OE.LESSON140.8
By focusing on the ‘grooves’ of our learned perceptions, we stay stuck. More than that, we ‘stabilize’ these perceptions rather than release them. So we might ask how do we stop this vicious cycle? How do we release the habit of thinking the grooves are the CAUSE of our unhappiness and believing we are unable to behave differently and thus deepening the grooves. Are we only solidifying our perceptions by our beliefs? Can we pick ourselves up out of the grooves by our own bootstraps. In other words, REBOOT using perception?
Yes, and the answer is the KEY to Happiness -> True Perception without judgment!
“To perceive without stabilization of perception, however, it becomes imperative to abandon the judgment of that which is perceived, for it is judgment that stabilizes perception. Yeshwa’s advise: ‘Judge not by appearances’ may be understood better in this light. Evaluating, that is judging what we perceive results always in False Perception.
“The thought then, logically and consequently thought to its end, is this: where judgment is not, accusation is absent. Where accusation is not, guilt is absent. Where guilt is not, forgiveness has no purpose and a state without a need for forgiveness must, of necessity, be a state of pure Being, of innocence, a state of enlightenment.” GOD I AM p.28
What is described here is Vision which is within us for the asking, or rather for the ‘allowing’. We were given this Vision at the same ‘time’ we chose to believe in the illusion of separation. We keep the grooves strong and in place and in fact deepen them by our insistence that correction lies in our perception and therefore ‘judgment’ of the grooves. The groove is not a CAUSE of our pain. It is the effect of our thinking that we are separate from our Source and alone.
We were given the Holy Spirit [our Right Mind] which is both able to ‘perceive’ and to ‘know’ and this is the bridge.
12What is a miracle but this remembering? And who is there in whom this memory lies not? The light in one awakens it in all. And when you see it in each other, you are remembering for everyone. ACIM.OE.CH21.12
The MIRACLE is the Shift out of this way of ‘thinking’ and into allowing the Thoughts we think with God to enter our most Holy Minds, for they have never left it. They have only been covered up by our belief in fear, our belief in lack and our belief in the grooves! We don’t need to ‘think’ our way out of our rut. We simply need do nothing which allows Love to enter of Its own accord. The Course teaches that ‘Love waits on welcome, not on time.”
“So the answer to the question of how to leave the groove is to wake up to Reality, the very purpose of the soul’s sojourn through the world of matter.” GOD I AM. p. 29
“True Perception [Forgiveness] of this illusion will set us free from the bondage of this dream. It allows the miracle in to heal. A miracle is devoid of degrees. It cares not what we perceive our problem to be, how big or small – it matters not. For where we see many problems, it only knows of one: Separation from Oneness. And to the one problem, it can only bring one answer, provided the miracle is invited and allowed in. For what we call a miracle is nothing else but the truth rushing in if we surrender our defenses.” GOD I AM p.29
[bold emphasis is mine]
“Change can come in the twinkling of an eye.
When the Light catches you.
In that tiny moment, you are transformed.
And the radiance of Christ
Shines forth in reply
From within, and has made itself known,
And from the two is born
A new world.”
~ Words and Music by Lark Batteau [See MUSIC ARTICLE]
Truth will come rushing in when we choose Love, for that is what we ARE. With faith, we come to Know that change can truly come in the twinkling of an eye. ♥
Question and Answer segment written by Rev Reja Joy Green ~ CIMS eMagazine editor
ARTICLE on CIMS Website
Le s s o n 243
Today I will judge nothing that occurs.
1 I will be honest with myself today. I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp. I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see. Today I recognize that this is so. And so I am relieved of judgment which I cannot make. Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us.
2 Father, today I leave creation free to be itself. I honor all its parts, in which I am included. We are one because each part contains Your memory, and truth must shine in all of us as one.