On a recent ACIM study group call, we were discussing the idea from the Course that there is no karma, meaning that Spirit is not keeping score on what you do in order to bring on some sort of retribution later. Instead, in this instant, we are choosing to listen to either the ego or the Holy Spirit. And whichever voice we choose to listen to NOW, we call forth experiences which justify our choice NOW.
The stars aligned so I ended up with a perfect example to demonstrate this idea.
Although I’d like to think I don’t really have “bad days” anymore, this particular evening would definitely fall into that category. It began when I made the choice to go into judgment. I was angry and frustrated and was very aware that I did NOT want to see a particular situation differently. I was UNwilling to practice the Course’s teachings of forgiveness – in other words, I was NOT willing to give my perceptions to the Holy Spirit in exchange for a miracle. I decided to “vent” to my husband on the phone while driving home, and went on a rant about how wrong things were with this particular situation. I chose to judge and therefore I chose the ego to be my guide.
As I began my trip home, the highway I usually take was closed because the road was flooded. Strike 1. I turned around and drove all the way to another entrance for a different highway.
While on highway #2 and still in my rant-induced state, I drove 12 miles PAST my exit to get home. 12 miles. That is 24 extra miles that did not need to be in my car. All because I was in heated judgment with angry tunnel vision. Strike 2.
I arrived home 45 minutes later than expected. When I got home, I hopped into the shower to wash off my feet and my dirty sandals, expecting to use the water from the bottom faucet to do so. I turned on the water, and it instantly came out of our new extra-large shower head (not the faucet) and dumped water all over my head and work clothes. I was soaked! Strike 3.
And I’m out!
I started laughing and thought “I am DONE with today – I’m going straight to bed!”
My choice to go into judgment and follow the ego INSTANTLY brought with it experiences that “prove” that I am a personality in a body. After all, if I’m home late, exhausted, and short on cash because I just wasted a lot of gasoline, this certainly “proves” that I am a body with problems in the world. I call forth ego experiences when I choose the ego as my guide. And these ego experiences don’t have to be big ones – they can simply be a loss of peace.
My choice for judgment not only kept me identified with my body, but it kept me seeing the other people involved as limited to their bodies as well. I was unable to see the truth in them, and unable to see the truth in myself. Judgment keeps the ego going.
Two days later, my willingness to loosen my fixed perceptions came through. I was willing to get out of the way again, and I was willing to see differently. I chose the Holy Spirit as my guide and in doing so, a very different experience came forth.
Despite a tornado warning, my husband and I decided to go for a 5-mile walk/run because the sky was blue and the sun was out. I ended up running with him for a longer period of time than I expected. When we were walking back to our car, still about a quarter of a mile away, we noticed the sky and it looked ominous. My husband quickly realized he left a multitude of non-waterproof power tools out in the yard. “Should we run?” I asked? “Yes!” he exclaimed!
Once we were home, I stepped through the front door as my husband put away the last power tool, and the sky opened up with torrential rain.
This situation to me was the opposite of my experiences two days prior. This situation showed me how orchestrated everything is. EVERY step that we ran instead of walked on the trail counted towards getting us home in time. We just didn’t know it at the time. My willingness to see differently was an invitation to let my Inner Guide lead the way again. With this came a sense that my only task is to focus on my willingness, and everything else will fall into place. Things became smooth and easy. I immediately thought of this quote from ACIM:
Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. (FIP T-20.IV.8)
When we choose for the ego, we follow the ego’s “script” – a script full of bumpy roads, witnesses that say this world is real, “evidence” we are these bodies, and that we are guilty. When we turn to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit’s interpretations replace the ego’s script. We no longer have to learn through pain. We can be happy learners who learn that we are not separate from one another, and not separate from our Source of Love.