The Reaction of Others: Summary of a Class Presentation

Here is a brief summary of Thursday’s class. Any and all discussion is appreciated.

Despite the fact that people often respond inappropriately to our actions, there is something in them that unerringly knows what they are receiving from us—ego or the Holy Spirit. This underlying recognition may well be covered over, but much of the time it’s not.

When we are in ego mode, people usually respond in kind. We express ego toward them and they express it right back. When they do so, we should not internalize the message they are giving us about ourselves—that we are the ego. But we should make use of the feedback that is provided—that we are in ego mode.

When in Holy Spirit mode, we are expressing love to others, giving miracles. And they usually respond in kind. We give them love and they return love. We expressed our reality, and they were the direct beneficiaries of that; they were the ones healed by that. This means that they understand and appreciate our true nature better than we do. Therefore, when they return love to us, in the form of gratitude, they are teaching us who we really are. As the Course puts it, they have become the witnesses to our reality. In this case, therefore, we should internalize the feedback. We should let it in, because it is the truth about ourselves.

This inner knowing on their part—recognizing the nature of what we have given them—is often covered over, especially where their own personal biases are activated. But a) much of the time those biases aren’t activated. People need and want our help, and so when they receive miracles from us, they recognize it and are grateful for it. After all, the authorities killed Jesus, but the people loved him. And b) even when those biases are present and that inner knowing is covered over for now, in time they will realize what they knew all along, that it was love we gave (assuming in this case that it was).

So what do we do with this? We consider their feedback to be invaluable information for us. The feedback is not so much the details of their opinions and the specific things they say in the moment. Rather, the real feedback lies in the gist of their reaction to us. That reaction can tell us if we are in ego mode, which is invaluable feedback for us. But it can also tell us when we are expressing who we really are by giving miracles. And that is even more invaluable feedback, for in those moments they become our teachers, teaching us with the authority that they possess above all others that we are holy.

The question is: Will we listen to their feedback? Or will we discount it? Will we discount the feedback that tells us we are in ego mode, because we want to believe we are not? And will we discount the feedback that tells us we are expressing our reality, because we refuse to accept that we are holy? Or will we trust their reactions, and accept the gift they have to offer us?