Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Is That So?"

Thinking about judgment again today (see blog entry of November 28, 2008). Judgment creates perception which hides the truth from us. The world itself is neutral and everything happening is neutral. If we refuse to judge it, we are what the course calls forgiving it. To forgive, in the course's teachings, is to overlook. Overlook what the world offers because it is not real and our judgment of it is a defense against the truth. Allow the Holy Spirit to judge (see) the world through us and in that sense, it will be judged correctly and we will be given a new perception of the world.

"Judgment was made to be a weapon used against the truth. It separates what it is being used against, and sets it off as if it were a thing apart. And then it makes of it what you would have it be. It judges what it cannot understand, because it cannot see totality and therefore judges falsely. Let us not use it today, but make a gift of it to Him Who has a different use for it. He will relieve us of the agony of all the judgments we have made against ourselves, and re-establish peace of mind by giving us God's Judgment of His Son." (ACIM Workbook Lesson 311)

"Perception follows judgment. Having judged, we therefore see what we would look upon. For sight can merely serve to offer us what we would have. It is impossible to overlook what we would see, and fail to see what we have chosen to behold. How surely, therefore, must the real world come to greet the holy sight of anyone who takes the Holy Spirit's purpose as his goal for seeing. And he cannot fail to look upon what Christ would have him see, and share Christ's Love for what he looks upon." (ACIM Workbook Lesson 312)

The teachings of the Course in Miracles have been compared with Zen Buddhism, and recently I read a book in which a Zen story was quoted that reminded me of the course's teachings about being non-judgmental, neutral, about letting everything be as they are. Here is the story:

Hakuin was praised by his neighbors for living a pure life. When a beautiful young woman in the village confessed to her parents that she was pregnant with Hakuin's child, they angrily confronted him.

His only reply was, "Is that so?"

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin, who by now had lost his reputation and credibility as a teacher.
Without a question he took the child and cared for it.

A year later the young woman could no longer endure her dishonesty. She confessed that the real father was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The parents went immediately to Hakuin to beg for his forgiveness and to retrieve the child. Without a pause he gave it to them. "Is that so?" was his only reply."

from The Tao of Zen by Ray Grigg, quoted from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps.

I love this story and its emphasis on accepting things as they are. When we see things as "good" or "bad," no matter what they are, we are judging them in that we give them the meaning that we choose to give them. This is true for everything in this world, from sorrow to pain, even to death. Relinquishing judgment to the Holy Spirit allows us to say, "Is that so?" to all that occurs in our lives.

"Let me not be your critic, Lord, today, and judge against You. Let me not attempt to interfere with Your creation, and distort it into sickly forms. Let me be willing to withdraw my wishes from its unity, and thus to let it be as You created it. For thus will I be able, too, to recognize my Self as You created me. In love was I created, and in love will I remain forever. What can frighten me, when I let all things be exactly as they are?
Let not our sight be blasphemous today, nor let our ears attend to lying tongues. Only reality is free of pain. Only reality is free of loss. Only reality is wholly safe. And it is only this we seek today." (ACIM Workbook Lesson 268)

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