by Gavin Veere*
ARTICLE on gavinveere.com
A Course In Miracles and the Oslo Massacre
As Course students we are asked to look at everything through the lens of forgiveness, and to join with the Holy Spirit in letting go our illusions about the world that we have made. This of course, requires of us to also look at the most devastating events in the world and ask ourselves what the best way of looking at them are.
It has been interesting to see some of the responses to the recent massacre in Oslo, and there are a few points that I would specifically like to reflect on for a moment.
Firstly, ACIM says that it is very important that we learn to look at the ego with the Holy Spirit. This means, for example, that we have to actually look at the ego, and then let it go. We can’t simply ignore it and keep saying how everything is love and light.
Sure, everything *is* love and light – but that is not your experience. What you need to do is ask yourself “Why am I seeing this – a world in which innocent children are gunned down?” The answer is the most difficult thing to accept for anyone who thinks they are a person in this world.
The answer we all fear
The fact is that you need to claim responsibility for the dream that you are projecting. Why are you seeing a massacre? Because you have secretly decided to commit a massacre against yourself in response to the guilt you feel over what you believe to be the separation from God. That massacre represents the attack on innocence, peace, and love that you believe you committed.
At the level of the world, sure, there is a person named Anders Behring Breivik that is responsible for the killings. But much more useful, as Course students, is to ask ourselves what this reveals about the unconscious ego thought system that we all share. We are not so different from the Oslo killer at the level of the ego. See the times that you feel hatred and anger – realise that these things are part of being human. And then . . .
You have to forgive it correctly
Many psychologically smart people make the mistake at this point of making the guilt so real that they start attacking and punishing themselves. They are smart enough to realise that the guilt they see outside of them represents the guilt they feel within, but they do not take the crucial step that A Course In Miracles asks of us. You have to forgive it.
This means that you have to realise that the thought system that produces so much hate and guilt is built upon a misconception. If we had really separated from God, then a world of cruelty would be natural. But A Course In Miracles teaches, if nothing else, the principle of the Atonement:
The Separation never occurred
If the separation never occurred then we can let go of the hate and fear and guilt that we feel that leads to a world in which people can feel so bad about themselves that they kill innocent children. If the separation never occurred then none of this is necessary. If the separation never occurred then we are free to respond with love, caring, and forgiveness, instead of condemning a person for reacting on a thought system that we all share.
Does this mean we pardon the man?
Of course this does not mean that we let Breivik walk free, and tell him no harm done. At the level of the world, ACIM teaches us that we have to be practical. It makes no sense to let a man walk free who is likely to harm others. To let him walk free would put other people in danger, which is certainly not a loving thing to do. We need to be practical, normal, and realistic, and realise that there are two levels, and deal with each one appropriately.
We are not people, and do not exist, but…
We do not exist in the world, but we do appear to. At the level of truth in which we are aware that we do not really exist here, of course, we let everything go on to live in peace and love. At the level of appearances in the world, however, we allow the illusion of our bodies to act appropriately for its own level.
When ACIM teaches that we are immortal, it does not mean that our bodies are immortal. You cannot apply the rules of spirit to the world of bodies, because they simply do not apply. If you tried to live as a body as though you were immortal, you would fail quite quickly in rather unpleasant ways.
Don’t jump off a mountain because you are immortal – your body isn’t.
The body is an illusion and cannot be brought to spirit. You cannot bring it with you into the peace of God, because God did not create bodies. Similarly, you cannot apply the truth of innocence to the level of the world and simply let people get away with harming others. They might be illusions harming other illusions, and it might all be symbolic, but how symbolically loving is it to let bodies kill each other?
How symbolically loving is it to let bodies kill each other?
We need to act symbolically in a way that teaches the truth and peace of God. The Oslo killer will have to learn to forgive the fact that we appear to be bodies just as we all will, but he can do so from within the confines of a maximum security prison.
The most important thing is that I, as a Course student, realise that he is a projection of myself, and forgive him for what he did not really do in truth, even if he appeared to do it at the level of the world.
These are difficult issues.
I realise these are difficult issues to deal with, and the thoughts in A Course In Miracles have always been controversial. The ego does not like them – it fears them. When you are really honest about understanding A Course In Miracles, you will at times be very uncomfortable, because you are undoing the very ego thought system that you have been identified with for thousands of years. This is not an easy path to take.
At the end of the day, however, salvation takes courage, and it takes the experience of the Peace of God to fully integrate. Take it in small steps, steps that you can manage, but do not make the mistake of simply ignoring the ego thought system and sticking your head in the sand. You need to see the darkness that you have made before you can fully let it go.
Add your voice
Please add your thoughts to this in the comments. I am happy to discuss different aspects of the issue, as I think this is for us, as ACIM students, a very important forgiveness opportunity that we cannot simply gloss over with the usual “Oh well it’s nothing, just an illusion, move on.” It is a golden opportunity to really see the ego thought system for what it is, and to forgive it correctly, as A Course In Miracles teaches us to do.
In God’s peace and Love,
Gavin Veere is a guy with an absolute passion for A Course In Miracles and its message of forgiveness. His greatest wish is for the whole world to wake up to Heaven, and he’s taking steps, one forgiveness lesson (and blog post) at a time. He loves hearing from fellow ACIM students, so feel free to contact him any time.
He believes that one shouldn’t take the world too seriously, and that love comes with a smile. He has written a few books on A Course In Miracles related topics to put bread on the illusory table, and also blogs his thoughts on ACIM and forgiveness at his homepage at http://gavinveere.com/
If you are friendly, you can also connect with him on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gavin-Veere-on-A-Course-In-Miracles/149564531785448
- Why I Believe in A Course In Miracles (gavinveere.com)
- A Course In Miracles at the Movies: Source Code (2011) (gavinveere.com)
- How to read A Course In Miracles on your Computer or Cellphone (gavinveere.com)
- How to follow the A Course In Miracles discussion on Twitter easily (gavinveere.com)
- How to Follow all Blog Posts on A Course In Miracles easily (gavinveere.com)