"All forms of government will fail because people have their hate, their need to be loved and their special interests."
— Sigmund Freud (in an introductory lecture on Marxism)
What Freud was saying is that if we don’t deal with the part of our mind that tolerates hate and thinks its judgments are right and true, no form of government will work. Government does not work because the ego is in charge and it is adept at forming alliances and enemies. Nothing seems to change as this world of war winds wearily on.
But happily there is something that can change and that is YOU. What you think, the way you see, perceive and misperceive — that is where change happens. You are 100 percent responsible for how you think, understand and see. We have a choice in “how” we perceive, seeing either attack or a call for love. If we see attack, we have no peace and we have placed the judgmental ego in charge. If we can view what goes on around us with an iota of lenience — just a little — we begin to open the mind to the idea of tolerance. I’m thinking of politics as I write, but it could be anything that disturbs your peace. I do my share of emailing and calling senators and congressmen but I can do it with tolerance or avarice. Just because I disagree, I do not have to do it with hatred or anger. I can disagree while holding the idea of respect for the other. The ego mind does not have to run the show of our life. We can set aside the dominant ego thought system and choose charity and mercy.
When we give mercy and respect to the other, we have mercy and respect for our self. We don’t realize how much needless unconscious guilt we pile on our psych with askew judgments and opinions certain: “I am right.” We may think we are right, but are we happy? Let go of the thoughts and convictions that you know how the world should run. We need to do what our inner truth guides us, but do it without rancor or separating from the love that you are.
We like to think that we are the wise ones. If we were king or queen, we could make decrees that would be fair and just for all. We don’t know what our soul needs to experience or lessons we have come to learn, until we learn them. We have all experienced being misunderstood or accused of something we did not intend or been unfairly treated. We find forgiveness within when, for instance, knowing how it feels to be unfairly treated, we refuse to mistreat anyone. We can always be helpful but there are some things we cannot fix. I cannot fix my alcoholic cousin or the autistic child, but I can still love them. I don’t have to judge them, but I can hug them and give them mercy in my mind.
We need to seek for the door in our mind that leads us to understanding and turn from the ego’s decree of punishment, fire and brimstone.
“Then let them go (your judgmental thoughts) and sink below them to the holy place where they can enter not. There is a door beneath them in your mind, which you could not completely lock to hide what lies beyond. Seek for that door and find it. You cannot fail today. There walks with you the Spirit Heaven sent you, that you might approach this door some day and through his aid slip effortlessly past it, to the light.” ("A Course In Miracles Workbook," Lesson 131). "No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth."
I will give the last word to Abraham Lincoln, who said: “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
—Sally McKirgan facilitates the Tidings Inner Peace Column and one of several "A Course In Miracles" study groups in the Rogue Valley. Contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.