Sunday, November 23, 2014
Happiness is an inside job.
The idea of the ego in A Course of Miracles is a pivotal concept. The ego is the sense of self which we create for ourselves based on our interactions with other people and our environment. Based on those experiences of interaction we form a sense of ourselves as separate beings. We generalize from these experiences and develop expectations of what the world around us is like. These generalizations ACIM calls projections. These generalizations are the expectations which we have of what our future experiences will be like based on past experiences. Many times these expectations turn out to be wrong and we become distressed. The Course reads, "You make by projection, but God creates by extension." T-11.Intro.3.1 The way I have come to understand this idea is to say the "happiness is an inside job." And further, "my happiness doesn't depend on what other people do."
I like relating to people who are happy with themselves. I don't want to be responsible for making them happy, and I have learned that if they expect me to make them happy, I will usually fail. Some egos are toxic in the sense that they love to play the victim and engage in drama. Life, and other people, have always done them dirty. Their problems are caused by other people they perceive as evil they love to blame, and circumstances which they resent and believe they are exploited by. As Jesus was being crucified He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Jesus was not a victim. He did not act like a victim, and He refused to play the part assigned to Him in their drama.
Unitarian Univeralists believe in the free and honest search for truth and meaning. This search does not involve and, in fact, eschews the drama of playing the victim. The UU search is one based on respect, hope, optimism, and reverence.
As the bumper sticker reads, "Don't believe everything you think."