An Excerpt from The End of Death
Copyright 2013 Nouk Sanchez
Through the ego we believe that our state of being is defined by the emotions we presently feel. For instance, when we’re sad we say, “I am sad”; that sadness is my identity. Emotional states that come and go are often mistakenly assumed to be a part of our identity. You are not your emotions.
Let’s look at this another way. Imagine that you are really the sky itself; open, vast and eternal. Now picture a dark cloud flitting across the sky. A negative emotion is like this cloud. It’s temporary. It is not who you are. What can this cloud do to you, the sky? If your identity is as great as the sky then the passing of a cloud is just that; a passing emotion and not your Self. Mistaking an emotion for who you are is an ego trick to distract you from the Truth of your invulnerability in Spirit.
When we’re angry or sad, through the ego we usually look for the cause so we can problem solve it and avoid it again. And when we’re happy we attribute the cause to something or somebody and attempt to attract more of this pleasurable emotion. We ascribe pleasurable emotions to factors that we believe are good. And we assign negative emotions to factors that we believe are bad.
It’s important to recognize the role of emotions, particularly negative emotions, as signposts to point out remaining areas that require forgiveness. It’s also important to see that they’re all part of the ego’s construct in the same way the body is. There is no hierarchy of illusions.
When we believe that what the emotion is telling us is true, we separate it from being healed. If I experience a negative emotion and I link it to a cause outside me, such as my childhood abuse, then I have misplaced the real cause which is my unconscious guilt. Because I see the cause in the past (or in another, in my body or in the world), I unknowingly separate the true cause of my emotion from healing. Genuine healing occurs when I recognize that my emotional response is a symptom of my unhealed guilt. The cause is guilt and the effect is my emotion.
Real healing is available to me now because I have placed the cause and effect together where they can both be healed; in my mind. If I place the cause of my distress as being in my childhood then I separate cause and effect so they cannot be healed. This is what the ego does in its attempts at false healing. It first tells us the cause is somewhere outside us either in the body, the past, others or the world. While we’re busily distracted trying to heal these mistaken causes, the real and only cause of all our suffering is left unrecognized and therefore, un-remedied. Such is the ego’s game plan.
To heal we must place cause and effect in their right order. The one cause of my negative emotional reactions is always unconscious guilt regardless of the form it takes. And my emotional response is purely an effect. The real purpose of emotional healing is to recognize the one cause (guilt as unconscious self-attack) and to offer it to Spirit in exchange for a miraculous perceptional shift.
In my earlier years with the Course I did what most do, I separated emotional pain from physical pain not realizing that they are both the same error and are thus healed in the same way; through forgiveness and accepting Atonement. (Click here for the Atonement/forgiveness process) Through the ego, the emotional body and the physical body share the same purpose. As Jesus explains, pain makes the body real, whether it’s physical or emotional pain. That is pain’s purpose; to convince us that we are a fragile and corruptible body and not immortal Spirit.
“Pain demonstrates the body must be real. It is a loud, obscuring voice whose shrieks would silence what the Holy Spirit says, and keep His words from your awareness. Pain compels attention, drawing it away from Him and focusing upon itself. Its purpose is the same as pleasure, for they both are means to make the body real. What shares a common purpose is the same.”…”Sin shifts from pain to pleasure, and again to pain. For either witness is the same, and carries but one message: “You are here, within this body, and you can be hurt.” T-27.VI.1:1-5,2:1-2
The one emotion or idol that lies beneath all upsetting emotions is fear. And all fear is spawned by the unconscious belief that we are guilty because we seemingly separated from our Source, Love (God). So guilt is the single cause of all destructive emotions. It stands to reason then that if guilt is the one cause then guiltlessness must be the one cure. And this is achieved through forgiveness.
We must first desire peace (forgiveness) more than we want to keep our anger, sadness, or pain. We offer up our wrong-minded perception. And we invite an instant where we willingly suspend doubt and judgment. In that instant, the Atonement occurs; and the miracle heals our perception. It may or may not be instantly recognized, yet a healing has occurred. And the results of this perceptional shift will eventually make themselves known.
All emotions that are not supremely joyous are from the ego in our own mind. As such they are effects of our unconscious belief that we are guilty and therefore deserving of punishment.
Jesus tells us that the correction of fear is our responsibility. We can’t expect Spirit to take away our fear. That would be totally disempowering because it would be a breach of our own independent ego will. We made fear; God did not. We can however recognize that any sense of suffering is an immediate sign that we are wrong-minded. Obviously, when this occurs we feel separate from Love.
If we are willing to acknowledge that our wrong perception (and not someone else, something in the body, in the past or in the world) is where our real problem lies, then we unite with God’s Will in that instant, because we acknowledge that both cause (our guilt) and effect (destructive emotion) are together in our mind. Now Spirit can heal both the cause and the effect. But when we still believe the source of the problem is outside our mind (an un-forgiveness) then Spirit cannot help us because we have separated cause from effect and tried to make the effect ( pain, disease, emotion, problem, person, etc.) something real that is independent from our mind.
“The correction of fear [is] your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. These conditions always entail a willingness to be separate. At that level you [can] help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations. The particular result does not matter, but the fundamental error does. The correction is always the same. Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” T-2.VI.4.
Only the ego can be hurt. Only the ego can suffer emotional pain. You…the Holy Self, cannot. So the question concerning emotional pain is, “which self do you want to be?” If you choose to reclaim awareness of your Holy Self then you must be prepared to sacrifice all emotional pain including all the stories and memories that they evoke. Emotional pain and your Holy Self are absolutely irreconcilable. The presence of one in your awareness negates the other.
You may resonate with particular emotional healing techniques, however the most important point to recall is the real cause of the emotional pain or trauma. While you still believe the cause is outside you in another, the body, the past or the world, then you cannot heal it. All healing techniques are magic, including emotional release methods. They are useful to the degree that they help us to forgive ourselves for having used someone, something, or the past, to attack ourselves.
How do you use others, yourself, the past, or the world (scarcity, etc.) to attack yourself? Are you willing to bring the light of Spirit in to look upon this with you? For example, in the past I used my childhood abuse to justify many years of emotional and physical pain. It became my story and a major part of my false identity. I used it to blame my mother and to separate myself from feeling loved, cherished and supported.
My emotional and physical healing occurred once I reassigned the true cause of my suffering. I recognized that it was the ego in my mind (unconscious guilt) that had used my mother to abuse me. There was no other cause. And when I saw this, I was able to exchange it for real forgiveness and the miracle was released to heal. All emotional pain together with the memories that this suffering evoked, just fell away miraculously. And along with this, my old self-destructive patterns quickly vanished.
In which areas of perceived pain, are you ready to withdraw the cause as being outside you?