Any sense of self apart from others is the ego. It comes from a totally distorted belief that we are a private mind, controlled by separate self-interests and divisive personal agendas that can clash with others, all walled off in a separate body. This illusory part of our mind seeks its imagined completion in specialness which includes pride, pleasure and attack. It says that it desires relationships with others, but it enforces one absurd proviso, i.e., that its relationship with others is contingent upon both companions objectifying the body of the other.
For this imagined self to keep itself separate (special) it must project its story of victimhood as proof to support its theory that it is indeed a separate self apart from others, which generates feelings of being special, isolated or unique, albeit in a negative way. Specialness satisfies the ego’s addiction to believing that we are alone and different, whether that shows up as being superior or inferior. It’s all a ploy to avoid true union in which the memory of oneness or sameness would arise. As a result, the small self would be joyfully replaced by effortless communion and a joint common purpose – as God’s Will. It is this union that would annihilate specialness, which is the delusional belief that we each have separate self-interests and agendas that clash.
The idea of a private, personal will apart from God and our brothers is the ego. This imagined “self” can only be maintained by being self-centered, self-absorbed and by minimizing its greatest threat, which is the discovery that we share just one Loving Mind with our brothers and sisters. This is the fear of union, the fear of God as Love. It is also the fear of genuine self-forgiveness through closing the gap with others.
When we’re tempted to believe that we are being alienated by others, it’s always the ego that perceives this rejection. And yet the truth is that the Holy Self is in constant communication with the Love it shares with everyone regardless of our awareness of it. There is just one Christ Mind that we all share despite our unawareness of it. This Christ Mind is the only real part of our mind because it is the only part of our mind that we share with God and with our brothers.
The identity that perceives itself apart from and in conflict with others, secretly believes it is sin, and so it projects the guilt – the separation – that accompanies this hidden belief outward onto others. Conflict, rejection and victimization feel very real…but the source of this confusion comes from the split mind and its desire for and therefore, its belief in sin and separation. Its unconscious goal is the desire to be unfairly treated. That way it can justify its “separateness” by blame and defensiveness. This unconscious desire for separation is the single cause of all conflict and pain and it’s always this underlying wish that requires self-forgiveness regardless of the particular forms in which the conflict or pain appears to take.
The ego sees differences; it wants to project these differences onto others to bolster its own delusional, private, personal identity. But what we don’t realize is that when we mistakenly believe that we are an identity apart from others, when we want to be right more than we desire to forgive, we reject God whose Will is that we are one, wholly indivisible Sonship. The truth is that we share one Will with each other and God. Further, when we believe in conflict, we reject the undivided safety and innocence of our true Identity along with our brothers. Our Identity as innocence is shared. Any seeming identity that is not shared is not real.
If I perceive attack, no matter where it may appear to come from, then it must originate from the ego in my mind. If I perceive uncomfortable differences between us and am triggered by them then that perception is in my own mind. I simply cannot project responsibility for my own triggers onto another person and escape unconscious self-attack. If I am triggered then it is mine to forgive, and this forgiveness always takes place in my own mind. If I’m upset at someone else, I’m choosing to perceive this from the ego and not the right mind. Consequently, I am the one who needs forgiveness for having believed in differences in the first place.
There is no personal identity apart from our brothers and God, with a private mind and self-seeking agendas that seems to clash with others. Think about that. All our brothers and sisters are expressions of the one, Holy Child of God. Together, our shared Holy Self is the unified Will of God.
When I’m in conflict with someone, then I must also believe that I am not a Child of God, but an independent entity with a separate will apart from God and my brothers. Only if I believed this lie could I possibly experience relationship conflict. If I have a sense of self that conflicts with another or feels victimized by them, then this self must also be a will in opposition to God. The self that believes in differences, and experiences conflict with others is a “will” apart from God and our brothers, which cannot truly exist. There are no exceptions to this truth.
“To see a guilty world is but the sign your learning has been guided by the world, and you behold it as you see yourself. The concept of the self embraces all you look upon, and nothing is outside of this perception. If you can be hurt by anything, you see a picture of your secret wishes. Nothing more than this. And in your suffering of any kind you see your own concealed desire to kill.”
“You will make many concepts of the self as learning goes along. Each one will show the changes in your own relationships, as your perception of yourself is changed. There will be some confusion every time there is a shift, but be you thankful that the learning of the world is loosening its grasp upon your mind. And be you sure and happy in the confidence that it will go at last, and leave your mind at peace. The role of the accuser will appear in many places and in many forms. And each will seem to be accusing you. Yet have no fear it will not be undone.” T-31.V.15:6-10,16
The preceding quote helps us recognize that, thankfully, we have not been left to our own demise. Did you know that the entire separation dream is upheld and perpetuated by four “laws” of chaos? These laws, as unrecognized and unforgiven beliefs, combine to form the descending staircase into hell until we are willing to undo them via forgiveness. Jesus says that once we agree to the very first belief (law) then we automatically adopt and sink into the deathly oblivion which the other three laws were made to bring about.
What is this first law of chaos? “The [first] chaotic law is that the truth is different for everyone.” T-23.II.2:1 Recall that we are the truth as the one Son of God. But this first law of chaos is the insane belief that we all have private minds with separate agendas that conflict, while being imprisoned in separate bodies. In other words, we are not the same.
The way out of the ego’s painful dream is to recognize and reverse the first law of chaos, no matter what. Regardless of what the body’s senses and our past report, we need to remain lucid, asking Holy Spirit to help us look past the differences, the offense or conflict, and to join in our heart with the Christ in our brother. At the form level this may be done silently or with inspired words or action. Then, when we have set our healing intent to forgive our mistaken perception, and only then, we will avoid being further sucked into the separation vortex by the other successive laws of chaos. Without our collusion in the first law – that we are different from our brothers – we and our brother, can escape the cruel penalties exacted by the remaining laws of chaos.
“Let not the form of his mistakes keep you from him whose holiness is yours. Let not the vision of his holiness, the sight of which would show you your forgiveness, be kept from you by what the body’s eyes can see. Let your awareness of your brother not be blocked by your perception of his sins and of his body. What is there in him that you would attack except what you associate with his body, which you believe can sin? Beyond his errors is his holiness and your salvation. You gave him not his holiness but tried to see your sins in him to save yourself. And yet his holiness is your forgiveness. Can you be saved by making sinful the one whose holiness is your salvation?” T-22.III.8.
When we are triggered by someone we must learn to ask Holy Spirit in our mind, “Is what I’m seeing reality, or is what I’m seeing blocking reality?”
If, every time we are triggered, it is always the ego’s reaction to its very own unforgiven projections, then a trigger is an immediate sign that we are blocking reality by our belief in and reaction to unreality. If we still choose to actively believe our mistaken projection – as a trigger – then we also choose to deny the miracle, which is our own healing. All attack, wherever we perceive it, is a call for Love (forgiveness). Which do we offer, Love or defense (attack)?
To the degree I feel judged by or alienated from others is the same extent to which I am unwilling to transcend the ego’s first law of chaos, as its self-interests and personal agendas – to close the gap. To this degree I will be unwilling to forgive.
Once we understand that to perceive differences of any kind is always the ego, we can see that the remedy for this adversity is to desire inclusiveness as union over exclusivity as specialness.
“Who has need for sin? Only the lonely and alone, who see their brothers different from themselves. It is this difference, seen but not real, that makes the need for sin, not real but seen, seem justified. And all this would be real if sin were so.” T-22.in.2:1-4
We can only really know the peace and innocence of our shared Identity when we are willing to extend it to others. This occurs when we forgive, instead of condemn. We willingly extend forgiveness past the illusory private and defended mind with its self-seeking agendas. We join Holy Spirit in the selfless desire to look past the seeming block (the offense, judgment or appearance). We extend or give of our Holy Self to unite with that same Christ Self in another. This is closing the ego’s gap of separation, the same gap that contains all the ego’s idols (see the Gap Diagram). In that Holy Instant of desire, we lose all sense of ego’s separate interests. This is a state of grace. Minds that were previously separate are now joined. In this Holy Instant of forgiveness we are flooded with a sense of innocence, safety and union.
Innocence is not real unless it’s shared with everyone. Innocence cannot be known while we condemn anyone past or present, including our self. “The innocent are safe because they share their innocence.” T-23.in.3:2
“Atonement is for all, because it is the way to undo the belief that anything is for you alone. To forgive is to overlook. Look, then, beyond error and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds. Accept as true only what your brother is, if you would know yourself. Perceive what he is not and you cannot know what you are, because you see him falsely. Remember always that your identity is shared, and that Its sharing is Its reality. T-9.IV.1.
Conflict with another can only be experienced while we’re invested in and blinded by the ego’s delusion of and desire for separate self-interests. The gap of separation is closed when we change our mind and desire to see sameness and not differences. To heal our own mind we must be willing to transcend our own separate self-interests, and meet and join in the one mind, the one Holy Self we share with another. This is true forgiveness.
Practicing the Seven Keys to Authentic Communication is invaluable in learning how to both close the ego’s gap and show-up authentically. This undoing process cannot be achieved without them: https://nouksanchez.com/nouks-blog/the-seven-powerful-keys-to-holy-relationships/
Checklist for Closing the Gap
- Look at your triggers and your reactions with Holy Spirit and be 100% accountable for them. They are always your own wish to experience yourself as separate, by projecting your own self-rejection onto others. Recognize it’s always your own perception that requires correction through forgiveness.
- Employing the Seven Keys, be vulnerable, defenseless and confess your mistake.
- Make a commitment to desire to “close the gap” (forgive) more than you desire to hold the resentment (an idol in the gap). Even while triggered, find the “sameness” between you by asking, “What is the ONE thing that we all desire at the deepest level?” To know our changeless innocence! Now, in order to know this and to keep it for our self, we need to give it, to extend it. We learn to supply the awareness of that innocence so that we can retain it our own awareness. This is how we close the gap of seeming differences. We extend the innocence (forgiveness) that we want.
- A sense of gratitude for both the trigger and the person is the hallmark of true forgiveness. Forgiveness is not complete until gratitude is felt.
“Forsake not now each other. For you who are the same will not decide alone nor differently. Either you give each other life or death; either you are each other’s savior or his judge, offering him sanctuary or condemnation. This course will be believed entirely or not at all. For it is wholly true or wholly false and cannot be but partially believed. And you will either escape from misery entirely or not at all. Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery.” T.22.III.7.
NOTE: From The End of Death, Vol. Three.
NOTE: My bestselling book, The End of Death, is available in AUDIO BOOK, PAPERBACK & KINDLE. To download a free Chapter of the audio book and for more valuable tools and meditations, go to:
EL LIBRO DE LA RELACIÓN SANTA YA TIENE TRADUCCION AL ESPAÑOL?
Liliana, este libro aún no está traducido al español. Esperamos una traducción al español del libro en 2022. Hasta entonces, puede leer El Final de la Meurte Volumen Uno, aquí: https://elgranodemostaza.com/libros/nouk-sanchez-final-de-la-muerte/ 🙂
My understanding of ACIM is taken to a much deeper level through your explanations and insights. I so appreciate your work and effort in all that you offer. This explanation of feeling gratitude for the trigger even after forgiveness was the missing component for me, a truly aha moment, thank you sister! I am also enjoying doing the workbook lessons with you and Coreen on YouTube. Bless you both.
Wonderful to hear this, Tracy! Big Love, Nouk and Coreen xxx
For YEARS, I’ve had a start/STOP relationship with the FIP Course. But now, 2 miracles have occured; I found and bought the COA Course, and I discovered Nouk and Coreen’s Course lesson coverage on Youtube. I’m behind your progression since I started late, but I know I’m in for GOOD now because these “classes” are SO comprehensive. Am isolated with my studies so I can’t even tell you how important it is to me to have 2 “big sisters” so experienced on this path, to help with these lessons. The diagrams and supplementals you have available for download are stunningly brilliant and could’ve only been born of Insight from what seems like years of study. You’re putting us on a vertical learning axis, rather than a horizontal one. Thanks for the celestial speed-up maps!!! <3
I'm hitting a new milestone & am inspired to "get out of the desert', as never before. Would just add, I'm also finding the Cameos in the COA Couse priceless because examples of the follies and foibles of the original 'circle' members helps me to see my own very clearly. It makes them so human and endears me to them as well. Also, the COA is so clearly written, the help is immeasureable. Kudos to Robert Perry and The Circle of Atonement, I'm sure Helen and Bill were helping them all along from their now Higher Perspectives.
Love to all the aforementioned, and to you, Nouk and Coreen. Your wings and halos are crystalizing by the day!!! 😉 Thanks for helping the rest of us get ours.
Dear Seva, Coreen and I (Nouk) are delighted to receive your encouraging message here! Big Love from us ❤
Gratitude for the triggers was a missing component. It hit home listening to the audio version. I am thankful for hearing Nouk Coreen and Daniel speak. The holy Trinity. Love you ❤️