The Distortion of the Past
The Question: How does giving and receiving effective communication aid in discovering the truth?
At least part of this answer is pretty obvious. Without communication of some type the word “truth” would have no meaning to us humans. A truth has to be given and received through communication before it can be registered as such by our consciousness. Even though 2+2=4 (whether you are conscious of it or not) this truth will be as though it does not exist to your universe until the knowledge of it is communicated to you.
A tree does fall in a forest even though no one sees or hears it, but until this information is communicated to your consciousness, it has not fallen for you.
There are several levels of communication in our search for discovery.
(1) Communication through perception of the outside world.
(2) Person to person communication.
(3) Communication through the soul.
If each of us could just have accurate communication on these three levels we would rarely disagree. We could all see the truth together and have a wonderful union.
So why is this not the case? Why do so many of us disagree on even simple things?
The Course in Miracles gives a good reason for this. It tells us that we “see only the past.”
Thus when two of us look upon the outside world with the same instruments of perception we see two different realities because the present is filtered through the memory of the past.
Let us take the football game again. On one side we have a cheering section for team A and on the other we have one for team B.
Both groups of fans are perceiving the same game, but the filters of the past cause entirely different perceptions.
If the referee calls a penalty for team A, team B fans will cheer him while team A fans will boo him off the field.
Both groups have the same physical perception, but different vision because of seeing the past blended in with the present.
Now let us suppose that all memory of all fans present were taken from them concerning the two teams.
The referee once again gives a penalty to team A. Now what will their reaction be?
I think we can all visualize here that, by taking away the vision of the past blended with the present, that suddenly the two sides would see the penalty very close to the way it really was. In other words, if two people keep their consciousness in the present (as a little child) and refuse to let the past distort their vision they will see as one. They will both see the truth as it is happening now.
Even though an eyewitness has the greatest possible credibility in court, studies have shown that they are much less reliable than the juries believe them to be.
Because their vision of the event is clouded by their memory of the past creating distortion, but there is one more reason…
Our vision of the present is distorted by mingling it with the past and the present is further distorted by imperfect memory bringing a distorted past forward as a cloudy filter making it difficult to see the present truth.
Another thing that distorts the vision of the past is emotion. Even if you have a good memory a very positive or negative feeling associated with a past perception can fog the vision of the present. For instance, you may have met the quarterback of Team A and found him very charming and even gave you an autograph. Then later you bumped into the quarterback of Team B and he barked at you to watch where you are going.
Even though you remember everything accurately you bring the feeling from the past into the present and decide you want Team A to win because the quarterback was a nice guy. Maybe Team B has more nicer guys than team A, but you don’t care. The first quarterback planted a positive emotion in you and this greatly influences your present vision. The referee calls a fair penalty against Team A and you shout him down and call him a blind idiot.
Now the question is – how can we use this knowledge to increase the accuracy of our perceptions thus increasing our ability to perceive truth?
Quite simple. The first thing to always keep in our consciousness is the realization that the past does distort the present. Therefore use memories of the past very sparingly as you perceive the present and when they are used make sure you only use items that are remembered correctly. Test your memory now and then and get an idea of how accurate it is so when you do filter through memory you will take into account a margin of error.
Also test your feelings and recognize the influence they have on you. When the referee makes a call you do not like, detach yourself from your feelings for a moment and ask yourself if the call was really fair. Do not allow yourself to see the call through your feelings. Instead, use pure present perception and accept what your perception gives you even if it hurts.
Sports fans should be pleased here that even a game, or should we say, especially a game, can be a great exercise in the correct registration of reality.
There are two main communications left that reveal truth which are:
Person to person communication and…
Communication through the soul.
Does seeing the past also distort these two communications? How about faulty memory and past feelings? Does they also play a part.
We have always maintained that communication through the soul is accurate, but can even this be distorted by the past, feelings and faulty memory?
Copyright by J J Dewey
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