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One of the questions we explored recently in the Presenter Series was, “What is Christ vision and how does one see through the eyes of Christ?” First, let us be clear that the Christ referred to in ACIM is not something or someone other than that which we are. In the introduction to Part II of the workbook, we learn that the Christ is that part of us that has not succumbed to the illusion of separation:
“Christ is God’s Son as He created Him. He is the Self we share, uniting us with one another, and with God as well. He is the Thought which still abides within the Mind that is His Source. He has not left His holy home, nor lost the innocence in which He was created. He abides unchanged forever in the Mind of God.”
To be sure,we are that which remains unchanged. We are that which is real and, thus, that which can never be threatened. It follows that Christ vision is our natural way of seeing.
As the Course has told us, our job is to remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence. The awareness of Love’s presence at all times in all things is the vision of Christ.
It is that which we mistakenly believe about ourselves that blocks this vision—this way of being. What remains when the filter of individual self is removed is only love.
Said another way, perhaps easier to grasp and hang onto, one sees with Christ vision when one no longer filters experience through the mind of the person or through the seeming individual will. The very idea that there are various perspectives that one might adopt about any particular person, place or thing, contains within it the erroneous seeds of the belief in the possibility of a (separate) self will.
Indeed, it takes practice to turn from the habit of seeing through the person. Many of us have, many more times than once, done the lesson that tells us, I have given everything I see all the meaning it has for me. The assigning of meaning is the assertion of an actually non-existent self will. When we learn to see the meaning we have assigned by making our unconscious beliefs and motivations conscious, we free ourselves to choose again. The alternative choice is to allow all things to be exactly as they are without requiring them to conform to a perfected version of some state of affairs we have imagined to be in our best interest.
This practice, called purification by the Course, is our life’s work. It might also be referred to as practicing seeing through the eyes of Christ; as forgiveness: or as accepting the atonement for oneself.
It is helpful to understand that this practice does not transform one into a better person, alter one’s fundamental being or even work to attain a higher or better version of one’s self. This life practice reverses the tiny mad idea—the wish to experience something other than the Truth—and, thereby, frees us to experience the deepest truth of who we are.
Allowing everything to be as it is, is a beginning step in allowing the true relationship between the inner and the outer. Attempting to fix a problem “out there” makes the mistake of assigning meaning to anything occurring “out there.”
ACIM Lesson 304 tells us:
“I can obscure my holy sight, if I intrude my world upon it. Nor can I behold the holy sights Christ looks upon, unless it is His vision that I use. Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.”
Because the world is merely a reflection of my mind, my upsets – my need for anything to be other than it is – are merely a road map of the healing work that remains to be done. That work will always be done within.
Similarly, the attempt to define the problem is part of the problem because the personal self cannot conceive of its own absence. Thus, any “solution” to the problem as you see it will necessarily include some reference to the self that you think you are but which does not in actuality exist. When we think of ourselves as individual selves, we necessarily adopt an agenda that is seen as necessary to preservation of that self. We must, therefore, adopt as a starting premise that to see through the eyes of Christ is to have no agenda.
Seeing without agenda is a bit tricky. Even when we believe we have no agenda, if there is any reference to this self we have made, we can be sure we have an agenda; even if it is one that we have idealized to conform to our ideals of what it means to be spiritual; loving; etc. To see without agenda–through Christ vision–is to be, in that moment, completely empty; it is to ask, “what next?” and to wait for the answer.
How would “seeing” this way change our lives?
The personal self is not extracted from our awareness in one fell swoop. In practical terms it means slowing down and making space in our lives. This slower pace is necessary to develop the ability to make a conscious choice about whose direction we will follow—ego’s or Holy Spirit’s. When we allow ourselves room to pause, to wait and see what shows up, we allow ourselves to be led from within rather than from the seeming separate will we have created.
Even so, what shows up will naturally occur within the context of the life that the personal self has built. What this means in practical terms is stepping back and asking at each available juncture, “what now?” Asking what am I to do now is a totally open position from which all possible outcomes are allowed. Failing to ask the question merely allows the personal perspective to continue unimpeded, insuring the old familiar results of being your old familiar self.
When you allow yourself to become empty or agendaless, you allow yourself to see not only the answers but the proper questions that lead the way to your awakening. You allow the questioning of the assumptions about your self and your world that perpetuate both. You allow for new paths of inquiry that propel you to reach true liberation—freedom from the belief in yourself as a separate self, apart from others and all things.
I have often experienced the effects of being without agenda when journaling. I often hear a question for contemplation as I get quiet and give my intention to hear what I need to hear. As I contemplate the given question, I am graced with insight and clarity beyond that which could possibly be “thought up” by me.
As we have been told in the ACIM lessons, I do not know what is in my own best interests. I do not know what lessons are necessary for my belief in a separate self to be undone, nor could I. That knowing is beyond the mind that thinks as a separate self. Thus, as I give up the idea that I know or even could know, the knowledge that I need is given to me to lead me gently from myself. In this way, I have given up the role of leader in my journaling practice – such a small thing.
I am beginning to see that this is the way all of life shows up for us if we relax our focus on the “needs,” desires and preferences of that one we have always taken ourselves to be. As we begin to focus on the wholeness inherent in every experience rather than the agenda of the personal self, we begin to see that we need not orchestrate our lives.
We need merely show up and see what Grace has bestowed upon us. Such seeing is impossible if my agenda is blocking my vision.
Rev. Jacquelyn Eckert is Vice President-Minister of Awakening Together and is an Awakening Together Ordained Minister. She grew up in a family dedicated to the exploration of the mystical side of spirituality and has continued to pursue an ultimate understanding of the Self through numerous nondual teachings. In 2018, Jacquelyn moved to Pueblo, Colorado to study more closely with Awakening Together President Minister, Rev. Regina Dawn Akers. However, what’s happened, since she has dedicated herself more deeply, is that the teaching she needs has started to come to her directly from within. She asks a question of the Holy Spirit/Inner Wisdom, and deeply profound answers arise. Through this process, she is looking at herself with new, open, clear eyes of awareness, discovering the falsities she has believed, realizing the truth that resides within and sharing that with others through her teachings with Awakening Together.
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This blog resonates with me Jacquelyn! I’m currently reading Byron Katie’s recent book “A Mind At Home With Itself” and getting familiar with the author’s method of inquiry using The Work. I love your simple inquiry “what now?” I too am beginning to see that life shows up for me as peace, joy and everything I could possibly desire just by being open and willing to have my thoughts, words and actions divinely directed by Holy Spirit.
Loved this Jacquelyn, great post thank you. Much love Suzy x
I love this post and I will pause more and ask myself “what next?” Thank you for this Jacquelyn! I’m curious if you have written more somewhere about the course? I look forward to hearing more from you! Namaste 🙂