ACIM Conversations, Part 16
Managing Feelings About Ukraine
Student: Many Course students have been in a quandary lately about how to handle Putin. They think that he is not there, the war is not happening yet they cannot get beyond their feelings that they hate the guy and are greatly disturbed about the plight of the Ukrainians. I’d be interested in your views on the situation.
Teacher: What are your feelings about the situation?
Student: In the world we live in something is happening and my heart goes out to not only the Ukrainians who are suffering, but I’m sure many Russian soldiers are caught up in this thing against their will. I have very negative feelings toward Putin for what he has done.
Teacher: It is good that you are honestly facing your feelings for honesty is a key factor in obtaining liberation from the illusion. To pretend you are not affected by the war when you are is not being true to yourself and can take you further into the illusion. Consider this quote:
“The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming is not really healing his split mind. You dream of a separated ego and believe in a world that rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo it by not changing your mind about it.” T-4.I.4
Student: So, how can I change my mind and stay at peace, as taught in the Course, with so many disturbing things happening in the world?
Teacher: There are two things I use to help me stay at peace during tempestuous times caused by out-of-control individuals. The first is something I call the Lion Principle.
Student: What in the world is that?
Teacher: We’ll get to that. Tell me, my friend, do you hate lions?
Student: Of course not.
Teacher: What do you think of them?
Student: They are powerful and respected. They are kind of like the royalty of the animal kingdom.
Teacher: Don’t you realize that if you were in the presence of one that is hungry you could be eaten alive?
Student: Of course.
Teacher: And are you aware that lions stalk innocent and weaker animals and eat them?
Teacher: Then why do you not hate them?
Student: I guess it is because that is just the nature of a lion and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Teacher: And Putin and other supposed bad guys are just following their nature as it exists in this world. How are they different from lions following their nature?
Student: Interesting comparison. So if I view Putin as a provoked lion I should just accept him as he is for that is his nature in this world and there is nothing I can do about it.
Teacher: Correct. There are many people we meet in life with undesirable characteristics that we could allow to disturb our peace, but if we use the Lion Principle, we realize that is just who they are and if we just accept that, as we do lions, then they no longer have power to disturb us.
Student: That may not be easy with some people I know.
Teacher: It is also helpful to not provoke the lions in your life and stay out of their way like you would a lion. Treat them like lions and they will have no more power to take away your peace than real lions.
Student: Sounds like good advice. What is the second method you use?
Teacher: The second is the Principle of the Observer. Consider this famous quote from Shakespeare:
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.”
How do you see this relating to the teachings in the Course about this world being a dream?
Student: The Course calls this life a dream which means the mind is kind of acting out a drama for us that is not a part of real life – like a play.
Teacher: And if you acted in or just observed a play where people were suffering, does this cause you to suffer?
Student: No. I might imagine what it would feel like, but I would not actually suffer.
Teacher: Why not?
Student: Because I would just be an observer, not a participant.
Teacher: And here in this life, which is a like a play unfolding in the dream state, could you also be an observer and thus not allow events to disturb your peace?
Student: I would suppose so but it is easier said than done.
Teacher: It helps to change our minds about the dream to make what the Course calls “a happy dream.” We are given this advice:
“It is not difficult to change a dream when once the dreamer has been recognized. Rest in the Holy Spirit, and allow His gentle dreams to take the place of those you dreamed in terror and in fear of death.” T-27.VII.14
Until we can make all our dreams happy ones, taking the vantage point of the observer is a big help. It works for me.
Student: Does this mean I should take the attitude that nothing is happening as do some students?
Teacher: Not quite. Read this:
Student: “The body is merely part of your experience in the physical world. Its abilities can be and frequently are overevaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world. Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial.” T-2.IV.3
Teacher: Now this idea would apply to the world as well as the body. What is “a particularly unworthy form of denial?”
Student: To deny the existence of that which feels like it has a real existence. I would think it would also mean we should not deny the truth of how our bodies or this world affects us.
Teacher: Or maybe that we should not deny that the dreamlike play we are in is happening on some level. As the director of a play, you can be the observer, but still realize that the play is happening and you want to make the best of it. You cannot enjoy a play or movie with your eyes closed and ears plugged. You have to be aware of it but keep the attitude of the observer so the negative events will not disturb your peace.
Student: Good advice. I’ll work on incorporating the two principles.
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Copyright by J J Dewey
Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE, Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE, Twenty HERE, Twenty-One HERE, Twenty-Two HERE, Twenty-Three HERE, Twenty-Four HERE, Twenty-Five HERE, Twenty-Six HERE, Twenty-Seven HERE, Twenty-Eight HERE, Twenty-Nine HERE, Thirty HERE
ACIM Conversations, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25
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