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Thoughts on the Independent Individual

   It should be clear by now that, while the content of any particular ego-illusion does not matter, it is usually more helpful to correct it in a specific context. Ego-illusions are quite specific, although they frequently change and although the mind is naturally abstract. The mind nevertheless becomes concrete voluntarily as soon as it splits. However, only part of it splits, so only part of it is concrete. The concrete part is the same part that believes in the ego because the ego depends on the specific. It is the part that believes your existence means you are separate.~ Original Edition (ACIM)

   In time we exist for and with each other. In Timelessness we coexist with God.~ACIM

  God, who encompasses all being, nevertheless created beings who have everything individually but who want to share it to increase their joy. Nothing that is real can be increased except by sharing.~ACIM

   Miracles make minds one in God. They depend on cooperation because the Sonship is the sum of all the Souls God created. Miracles therefore rest on the laws of eternity, not of time.~ Original Edition (ACIM)

   Eric: I have heard a lot of talk lately about the independent person, also known as the self made man. This is a concept that has been around for a long, long time. Yet if one were to really think deeply on this concept, it would seem certain that it would been seen as a delusional fallacy.

   Even setting aside the metaphysical/ theological concepts of the course being separate and the separation, on the practicality level, this too can be easily seen as illusion. There is no such thing as an independent person. It doesn't exist. No one, no matter how much they might think they are, is independent.

  Yet,  many people believe they are independent, relying only on their own strong will to get them through life, and are not dependent on others to help them. Yet we are all dependent, or better yet, we are all interdependent of each other. As much as Western culture loves to tout individualism, even the so-called individualistic society is very much collectively interdependent.

  Just using today are countless examples of interdependency. I woke up in a bed someone else made. I ate breakfast that was packaged by someone else. I then brushed my teeth with a toothbrush someone else made. I put on clothes that someone else made. I got in my car that someone else made. I got gas, that someone else delivered to the gas station and the gas station provided a location for me to purchase. I am typing on this computer that someone else made.

  This is just the small sampling of examples in which I am not independent, but dependent. In turn, the other people are dependent on people like me to purchase these goods/services, so in turn they can by their own goods/services.

  Yet, this is not the only thing on a practical level in which we are interdependent. Max Strom, a Hatha Yoga instructor, has posed the question if we think we make a difference in  the world? In a way, it is a pseudo question, because as he follows with whether we think so or not, we do make a difference in the world. It is only up to us, what we want that difference to be. He follows with the question, “Do you want to affect people or infect people.”

   As the saying goes, “No man is an island.” The egoic mind may believe that existence means we are separate, but even in the most practical aspect, this is a fallacy. The family of God is not separate, it is interdependent. Both miracles and fear arise from thoughts and thoughts come from the mind that thinks them. As the course tells us that any decision of the mind will affect both behavior and experience and that no decisions can be isolated and separate in its effects.

   What we think, say, or do to our brothers will have shared effects. If we think from the stance of fear, can we infect others, but when we think from the stance of love, can we affect our brothers. The course states that miracles induce action, yet the UrText has another word that was later omitted. It says that miracles induce interpersonal action. This one word brings a depth to the statement that miracles are not done in isolation. They induce interpersonal action and depend on cooperation of the Sonship. The course even says that God is dependent on His creations as is His creations are dependent on God.

   The independent individual on the other hand, is making his/her little garden. Fearful of everything and everyone, because of the belief that their existence means they are separate. Tolle quoted a French philosopher who once said, “Hell is the others.” This is the price to be paid for believing one is separate from everyone and everything. “The others” must one protect themselves from , because “the others” are trying to take what the person has desperately tried to build. Their little kingdom. Their little garden.

   There seems to be two opposing consciousnesses happening right now. One that believes to take as much as one can get in this lifetime to gain as much individual success as possible and other people are on their own. There is also another consciousness that is beginning to understand that this independent individualism that has been touted as a great integrity, is really based on a fallacy.  We are interdependent of each other and interdependency depends more on cooperation rather than just competition.

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Comment by Ruby on September 12, 2012 at 7:13pm

Hi Eric, the realization of Oneness, this central teaching of ACIM ... is awakening "from littleness to magnitude".  6 billion egos cannot help but conflict.  As Einstein puts it "It is impossible to solve a problem within the same consciousness which produced it."  In  ACIM workbook lessons, Jesus guides us through contrast of these 2 thought systems ... healing is not possible without our choosing it .. as we awaken to the unworkable nature of fear/separation, we step out of the "laws of chaos" and simultaltaneously set into motion the "Laws of Love" which happens of itself.  Love and fear cannot coexist.  Yet Love does not demand, It waits patiently for our choice which is inevitable for "pain is not without its limit."  There is a limit to our miscreation.  "Nothing real can be threatened.  Nothing unreal exists.  Herein lies the peace of God."  We will all inevitably choose Love.

Thanks for posting. Namaste

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