We are currently at Chapter 3, Section VI, “Judgment and the Authority Problem.” This is a continuation of looking at judgment and seeing that ‘the choice to judge rather than to know is the cause of the loss of peace.’ The text is making a connection between our loss of peace, otherwise known as fear and its many manifestations, and our belief in the necessity of judgment and rejection. As we had seen before, perception and awareness is the realm of judgment where nothing is absolutely sure. This is in stark contrast to ‘knowing’ as ACIM calls the state of truth. Key with all of this is that we do have a choice at every step of the way. And while we may say we don’t ‘remember’ that first step or choice into separation, we can and certainly do make a choice to experience what we call an absolute sense of separation every minute: The choice of the ego’s judgment, rejection and the point of view of lack, or the choice of right-mindedness based on forgiveness, communication and abundance.
While we may not be consciously aware of it, our belief in judgment ‘implies the belief that reality is yours to select from.’ On our bodily level it is easy to see how this plays in all the ‘news’ going around the internet. Some call it fake news, and some swear it is absolute way things have happened. Of course, this current political environment didn’t invent ‘fake news.’ It has been around since we started communicating with each other in this world. Because we are exploring the use of perception and awareness in this world, all things we see and judge for or against will have multiple and contradictory meanings and symbolic implications. One man’s smile is another man’s hateful smirk. And all that is okay as it just helps us define and redefine how we want to live our lives–Through constant fear and guilt? Or through a remembrance of who we truly are?
There may be a little confusion around the ACIM concept of the ‘authority problem’ which is presented in this section. It has taken me a while to look at this, and perhaps I am still a bit unclear. But things became a little clearer when I looked at the dictionary and read on the definitions of ‘authority.’ While it may mean someone else’s position to exercise control over you, it also means ‘assurance, self-assurance, confidence, and sureness,’ such as in freedom from doubt, and remembrance in yourself as who you truly are. While this concept can be hijacked by the ego to demand a greater dominating ‘self-esteem’ as defined by ‘world success,’ this concept can also point to the sureness and freedom of inner doubt reflected from the Atonement, which merely means the remembrance of your true innocence and relationship with truth and God.
‘The root of all evil’ is founded in our belief in separateness and lack. Because again we are using perception as the basis of exploring form, everything we perceive can be seen in contradictory terms. Split mind between ego and right mindedness means we see everything as incomplete needing our judgment to sort out reality. And for a while we will still need judgment to help us see what we really want.
If we continue to put our faith in lack and cover up our ‘authority’ of knowing we are innocent creations of truth, then we can and will believe that we, not God, are the ‘authors’ of our selves. With every little slight or hurt we perceive from others, we are really responding to the belief that others are trying to force onto us their definition of us. And conversely,we are attempting to push our delusional definitions of them onto their ‘separate’ beings. Part of forgiveness of ourselves and others is looking at what we have ‘made’ that we are sure defines ourselves and the others.
‘All fear comes ultimately, and sometimes by way of very devious routes, from the denial of Authorship.’ This is basically saying that as we put faith into a belief in the separation from truth/oneness/God and from each other, we will make ‘fear.’ We can then ‘make’ this thing we call fear into just about anything that helps us define ourselves in form, usually in the form/route of something we call ‘bad’ as that seems to really reinforce a concept of ourselves as being separate. But we can also make fear into something the world would call ‘good,’ such as possessions, power, money, self-esteem, and so on. Can we use this ‘fear,’ and somehow see it as road sign message that our beliefs are merely misdirected and not headed towards truth? That is a question I ask myself a lot!
Blessings to all,
ACIM text Chapter 3, Section VI, paragraph 2, sentence 1
ACIM text Chapter 3, Section VI, paragraph 2, Sentence 12
WordNet dictionary, ‘authority’ noun, 4th meaning
ACIM text Chapter 3, Section VI, paragraph 7, sentence 3
ACIM text Chapter 3, section VI, Paragraph 10 Sentence 4