Pronoia: it was the word of the night. A few in the group had never heard the term before and so we had to stop and define it. We read Wikipedia’s definition: “Pronoia is a neologism that is defined as the opposite state of mind to paranoia: having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person. It is also used to describe a philosophy that the world is set up to secretly benefit people.” In layman’s terms, it is the belief that the universe is conspiring in your favor. Love is all around you. God not only has your back, He is actively setting everything up to work in your favor. After all, He gave the Holy Spirit to clean up after us. (“We said before that the Holy Spirit is evaluative, and must be. He sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there. Whatever is in accord with this light He retains, to strengthen the Kingdom in you. What is partly in accord with it He accepts and purifies. But what is out of accord entirely He rejects by judging against. This is how He keeps the Kingdom perfectly consistent and perfectly unified. Remember, however, that what the Holy Spirit rejects the ego accepts. This is because they are in fundamental disagreement about everything, being in fundamental disagreement about what you are. The ego’s beliefs on this crucial issue vary, and that is why it promotes different moods. The Holy Spirit never varies on this point, and so the one mood He engenders is joy. He protects it by rejecting everything that does not foster joy, and so He alone can keep you wholly joyous.”)
This, of course, is why we study A Course in Miracles each week – to train ourselves to see the love that was always there. We start every class with the introduction which states: “The course does not teach the meaning of love for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”
Love is all around us. Constantly. In every moment. Do we see it? Do I notice?
We are training – the Course in training us – to remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence. God never abandoned us. We abandoned ourselves by deciding we would play this game where we pretend we are separate and at the mercy of forces beyond ourselves.
We continue to read Chapter 27: The Healing of the Dream. A hint and clue for me as I found myself (notice the dissociation!) feeling as if life was just happening to me and that I had no part in the circumstances that were unfolding before my eyes. The Course explains it like this: “Suffering is an emphasis upon all that the world has done to injure you. Here is the world’s demented version of salvation clearly shown. Like to a dream of punishment, in which the dreamer is unconscious of what brought on the attack against himself, he sees himself attacked unjustly and by something not himself. He is the victim of this “something else,” a thing outside himself, for which he has no reason to be held responsible. He must be innocent because he knows not what he does, but what is done to him. Yet is his own attack upon himself apparent still, for it is he who bears the suffering. And he cannot escape because its source is seen outside himself.”
Ironically, ego places blame “outside” so that it can abdicate responsibility, for the purpose or being seen as a victim and therefore innocent. But we are already innocent. “The outcome of the lesson that God’s Son is guiltless is a world in which there is no fear, and everything is lit with hope and sparkles with a gentle friendliness.” We don’t need to make someone else guilty in order to claim what we already are.
“Beware of the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated. In this view, you seek to find an innocence that is not Theirs but yours alone, and at the cost of someone else’s guilt. Can innocence be purchased by the giving of your guilt to someone else? And is it innocence that your attack on him attempts to get? Is it not retribution for your own attack upon the Son of God you seek? Is it not safer to believe that you are innocent of this, and victimized despite your innocence? Whatever way the game of guilt is played, there must be loss. Someone must lose his innocence that someone else can take it from him, making it his own.”
This idea of pronoia casts a different light on the world. If love is all around me, if the universe is conspiring in my favor, then no matter what the appearance, the purpose is support for my highest self. The purpose is love. It is gentler. It is more relaxing than quivering in my boots with fear that I might not get what I want.
Yesterday, I was a guinea pig. I volunteered to allow one of the Practitioner students to have a practice session with me so she could work on honing her skills. It was in a classroom setting which meant that five people witnessed my “problem” and, once the session was over, weighed in on it. It was all the usual old stuff about playing small and fear of not getting what I want (tenants!).
There were a few valuable take aways, not the least of which is that I still feel this twinge of guilt when I carve out time for myself (for “fun,” for writing). Playing small is a way to squeak by unnoticed, or at least that is the lie ego tells me. But what if there was nothing to feel guilty about? What if the whole point is to learn to enjoy sans guilt? What if I were to just be and enjoy the choices I am making. What if I were to just be loud and proud in them?
If I am pronoid rather than paranoid, why would I feel the need to hide?
“Problems are not specific but they take specific forms, and these specific shapes make up the world. And no one understands the nature of his problem. If he did, it would be there no more for him to see. Its very nature is that it is not. And thus, while he perceives it he can not perceive it as it is. But healing is apparent in specific instances, and generalizes to include them all. This is because they really are the same, despite their different forms. All learning aims at transfer, which becomes complete within two situations that are seen as one, for only common elements are there. Yet this can only be attained by One Who does not see the differences you see. The total transfer of your learning is not made by you. But that it has been made in spite of all the differences you see, convinces you that they could not be real.”
“…This can only be attained by One Who does not see the differences you see.”
Love is all around us. The universe is conspiring in our favor. I am training to remove the block to the awareness of love’s presence. God never abandoned his Son. We were always loved. Our part is just to be willing to accept the gift God has given. “Leave, then, the transfer of your learning to the One Who really understands its laws, and Who will guarantee that they remain unviolated and unlimited. Your part is merely to apply what He has taught you to yourself, and He will do the rest.”
Love is everywhere. Can we let it in?
“Peace be to you to whom is healing offered. And you will learn that peace is given you when you accept the healing for yourself. Its total value need not be appraised by you to let you understand that you have benefited from it. What occurred within the instant that love entered in without attack will stay with you forever.”
“What occurred within the instant that love entered in without attack will stay with you forever!”
All it takes is the willingness to let God run the show. And, of course, the joke is that He was never not running the show. I just failed to notice it while I was lost in a dream (nightmare) of my own making.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.