Today I felt inspired to write something about what the spiritual psychological book A Course in Miracles calls ‘level confusion’. The inspiration came after reading some of the comments of people, who are interested in spirituality, about politics. I thought…omg…it looks like people are even more in denial than I thought. Love please save us. I have sort of higher expectations of people interested in spirituality. This is because knowing a lot about spirituality, for some things you just don’t really have an excuse anymore. This article discusses spirituality – especially level confusion – and how it relates to political choices.
Spirituality is about experiencing universal Love and striving towards this experience. At least that’s the way I use the term in this text.
A Course in Miracles states that our problems stem from level confusion, meaning that the ‘levels of life’ are not being seen in a clear way. According to the Course ultimately there is only one Level. It is what we could call the Level of Essence, which is way beyond the physical and psychological. Essence exists often without us seeing it, just like we normally don’t see for example ultraviolet light. Essence is where we are forever one with the Source who created us all in His/Her image – also known as endless Love. Some would call it Beingness. Here we are also one with what the Course calls the ‘Holy Spirit’ or ‘Universal Inspiration’. This Inspiration is what helps us to remember our Essence – our Beingness – when we have forgotten it. We can speak about God as the Prime Creator and about the Holy Spirit and Us as His/Her extensions, like sun rays coming from the sun. But these Levels are really one! Here there is no confusion.
Where is the confusion then? The confusion has to do with not having clear for ourselves what is Truth and what is illusion. According to Buddhism and the Advaita Vedanta (part of Hinduism) the world is an illusion. A Course in Miracles states it is a dream from which we can and ultimately will awaken from. How? It is by what the Course calls true forgiveness. This means we are willing to let go off fears which block our natural awareness of the Love we really Are. By doing this forgiveness work the dream we are dreaming transforms. It transforms from a nightmare into pleasant dream, which we will wake up from. This is the case for individuals as well as it is the case collectively. When we have woken up, there only will be the experience of Love, forever. Anyone of us can do their part. We each can, each moment choose to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit – Universal Inspiration (or whatever nice name you wish to give it) not limited to any religion or worldview.
When we do not live in the Spirit of Love and Peace, we are ‘making the world real’. This means we do not recognize it is ‘just a dream’. We think that the illusions we live in are the Ultimate Truth. Maybe we don’t acknowledge the existence of an Ultimate loving Truth, or call it our Beingness, anymore – it having become so clouded by our (unconscious) fears – and we think that everything in life is just relative. When one does not recognize Love and Peace as Truth and the rest as an illusion, the Course speaks of level confusion.
At least this is how it shortly can be described. Yet acknowledging this world is an illusion and acknowledging there is an Ultimate loving Truth, sadly there is often still level confusion.
Deep inside every (human) being there is an imperishable Goodness. It really cannot ever cease to exist. Yet this does not mean that this Goodness is always expressed in this illusionary world. That would be nice – if that were the case – because then we’d be living in a world that, in all aspects, is heavenly. We can get to that experience collectively, if each of us is willing to do his/her part. You don’t have to wait for others to do your part in uncovering – bit by bit maybe – the extremely beautiful Goodness within.
While doing this, you don’t have to act like everyone is nice on a personality level, which is part of the level of illusion. Yes, we definitely have to treat everyone with as much respect as possible. People deserve this because of what they truly Are – because of their intrinsic worth. But let us stay clear please about the levels of life. Please let us use our discernment. When someone does something nice every now and then, we don’t need to act as if the unfriendly part is totally gone. Of course we need to act in a loving way as much as possible, but where necessary we should keep healthy boundaries.
Let us take a look at the (yes, illusionary) patters someone might have. When we are really willing to forgive what we experience in that situation (thus release our fears about it), and after doing this thoroughly we still perceive a pattern of fear – guilt, anger, blaming, hate etcetera – in another, there is a good chance that this pattern in the other is there.
We do not need to act as if this unhealthy pattern is not there in the illusion. This denial of our experience does not serve us in transforming it. Yes, we need to deny that this pattern of fear is Ultimate Truth, but we don’t need to deny our experience of it in the dream. We do need to acknowledge our experiences in the dream. We need to acknowledge our experiences to be able to transform them. If we do not first acknowledge that we have them, we remain in darkness.
Politics is about collective choice making.
Looking at a certain presidential candidate, probably (to recite the elf Galadriel from the movie The Lord of the Rings) ‘You know of whom I speak’, I see a pattern of fear, hate, blaming etcetera. Of course that person deserves it to be treated humanely like everyone else, because of a deeper innocence, but let’s stay with the pattern now. Again, this is temporarily necessary to bring about transformation, so that our Goodness can really be experienced in a more stable way.
Of course when someone has a pattern of fear – hate, anger, blaming etcetera – there are also points of light that can be found. No one is 100% evil.
When we are able to vote for a specific person to be president, we should really make efforts to vote on the person who has the most points of light in his/her general pattern of behavior.
Are the things we see in someone’s pattern of behavior that we call good really good? Are they really points of light? Is it really good, for example, to retreat military bases from other countries? Of course we should make all possible efforts to avoid war! Yes, we should always strive towards peace for all! This – on a level of form – means thinking carefully about the do’s and don’ts about military practices. When people have been used to living with a specific worldly power that then suddenly is gone, other – maybe (even) less humane – powers, may do their best to rule that area instead of the power that left.
There should, if possible, be thorough equal dialogues with all sorts of people from that area before making such decisions. We should really listen to and take care of each other. Is this happening?
Did a person block a lot of companies in their activities because of their unethical behavior? Or is it just to cancel out his/her own concurrence? If the second is true, that does change things when it comes to deciding who to vote for doesn’t it?
I have read about people being enthusiastic about the things mentioned above, seeing in it signs of a new hopeful future. Although I really believe we can have a bright and clear future, we really have to be careful. That is if we really want this bright future to be our daily experience.
We really don’t want ‘ashes and dust’ and millions of people suffering even more for nothing, before we usher in a more peaceful and joyful time period for everyone, do we? No, we don’t want any disasters. We don’t need them!
And then the theory that good change always comes with chaos. I understand that viewpoint. When nasty things come up from our unconsciousness, things that have before be suppressed maybe for a very long period of time, this can be experienced as chaos indeed. The stuff coming to the surface is an opportunity to dissolve it and this will bring about good change because our Goodness is then more free to shine. Indeed! But let us not reinforce the chaos in such a process. We should mindfully be aware of it, not acting on it! While working through our dark emotions, we should reinforce harmony and peace by being open to them. We should reinforce peace by, acting or not acting, living from it as much as possible.
If we think – when dark chaos comes up – that the dark chaos itself is a good thing, we are wrong. When we think this, we reinforce it – making it stronger – maybe until it is suppressed again. But what is really good, is chaos dissolving and what’s behind the chaos. Let us remember: chaos can dissolve while sitting peacefully on a meditation cushion, with for example a candle lit before you.
In the illusionary world there are many levels. There are the many psychological levels and then there is the physical level. There doesn’t have to be chaos on all the physiological levels when we work though a blockage. We can still – maybe some exercise in transcendence is needed – experience the peace of the higher psychological levels of our being which are more in accordance with our Light, while dissolving fear. We also don’t need chaos in the physical to be able to work through a blockage. No need for any disaster, crisis whatsoever! Not that we cannot learn from them, but this is different than saying we need them.
So we don’t need physical chaos in our physical lives. What we do want, is our physical lives to be in accordance with Love, meaning that our deeds enhance our experience of it. They can work as a catalyst.
When it comes to voting; acting in accordance with Love means voting for the person who has the most harmonious pattern. It means voting for the person who is most sane. With this sanity comes a certain decency.
Sorry, Saruman, but I just don’t think lord Sauron has his heart at the right place. He should – like Galadriel implies in the Hobbit – go back to the void from whence he came. Not to literally die or suffer, but to be transfigured. Then to re-emerge as waves of peace of love taking whatever form he wants (if he wants to take a form) in accordance with Love.
For this to ever happen, we do wise by not enforcing his dark armies. Only Light cast out the darkness. Only Love conquers the fear. Love works miracles! ‘Every expression of Love is a miracle’ like A Course in Miracles says.
Love gives clarity and discernment. Let us always try to make the choice in this illusionary world that reflects most Light. Yes, on the level of Ultimate Truth there is nothing to be done, but on the illusionary level of form there is. Like sometimes we need to do the dishes (or put them in the dishwasher) even if we don’t really like doing it. Light reflected means caring. Allowing Light to be reflected in your life, means acting in a way that is good for as much humans, animals and nature as possible! With everything we do we influence each other in a good or bad way, since all minds are connected as A Course in Miracles also states.
Yes, the illusionary world we live in – although it can reflect Light – is not perfect. But it can be more perfect. Democracies are not perfect, but they can be more perfect by allowing more Light and acting from it. Every vote is one, even if the system is partly dysfunctional. We can help each other to live in a pleasant (illusionary) world, which is more easy to wake up from!
Let us not think that electing a certain president, ‘you know of whom is speak’, will cause the sounds of angels playing their trumpets. Not that the alternative candidate is ideal…But let’s vote – if possible – and make sure that we don’t land in a situation wherein we have the experience, like is said in the popular song of Ed Sheeran, ‘it is too cold outside for angels to fly’.
Peace and love to all!
Copyright © Marlon Wong-Sioe 2020
If you like the column and are able to read Dutch, you will probably also like ‘Een Spirituele Samenleving’. Have fun reading!
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Marlon Wong-Sioe studied Theology (Bachelor at Fontys University of applied Science) and is writer of the Dutch book: ‘Een Spirituele Samenleving: een gids om mens-, dier- en milieuvriendelijk samen te leven’