I learned a new language last weekend. I didn’t master it as I sat, listened, and shared for 42 hours with 150 other students. I am, however, conversant in it now. This new language is clearly based on other languages I speak more fluently — Buddhism, A Course in Miracles, 12-step, quantum physics. Elements of each are there, powerfully.
In line with my ACIM review lesson this morning, the Landmark Forum (LMF) taught us the difference between “what happened” and the “story” about what happened. Its language, when used in conversation, demonstrates how we collapse the two together to create what seems to us as reality. LMF would assert that truth is “what happened,” an event, what someone said or didn’t say. Anything we use to describe an event is the “story.” The story is how we felt, the judgment or meaning we gave to the event. For example, Mom was late to pick me up from school 12 times during my 4th grade school year. The story might be this: Mom forgot me and never was there when she said she would be.
Buddhism would say that Mom’s tardiness caused pain. Pain is inevitable, a fact of life, and must be accepted if enlightenment is to be reached. Further, what LMF calls the “story” is the cause of suffering, which is an unenlightened choice.
A Course in Miracles has a similar theme in its concepts of “ego” and “truth.” Here the fact that Mom was late isn’t true. ACIM purports that because God created all beings in his image, God is love, all beings are love, only love exists. The act of Mom’s tardiness was of ego and wasn’t real. It is of “fear” which can only be part of the world we created, not God’s world. If we forgive Mom, we return to “truth.”
My ACIM review lesson today says, “My mind holds only what I think of God. Forgiveness is the key to happiness. Forgiveness offers everything I want.” Loosely translated into my new LMF language, my “story” does not serve me. Yes, it lets me be right, feel justified, dominate, and win at the cost of love, well-being, self-expression, and fulfillment. Knowing that, the choice is simple.
I choose a possibility of aligning my mind with that of Higher Power — and in doing so, I choose forgiveness. With that effortless act, I create a new possibility for my life. My possibility is Love.