Let’s consider the facts.
You are a certain age. You have a particular sequencing of DNA molecules that accounts for many of your physical characteristics. You achieved a certain level of education. You’ve had one or more career-related titles. You’re a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, or sister. And you’ve experienced various events and circumstances over the course of your life.
Then there are the stories.
I’m a good person. Bad person. Supportive. Vindictive. Kind. Selfish. Attentive. Aloof. Empowering. Destructive. I’m a dog person. A cat person. A good course student. A slacking course student. And so on.
You can’t argue with the facts.
But the stories? They are totally made up.
With that in mind, consider this question. Who would you be if you didn't believe the stories you create about yourself?
What would life be like if you removed the stories. Stories of failure. Stories of success. Stories of victimization. Stories of victimhood.
Don't remove the facts - just the stories. Which is another way of saying, the meaning or interpretation we give the facts.
Consider these provocative lines from A Course in Miracles:
Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. (M-17.4)
Every negative emotion we experience is the result of a story we make up. And then believe.
Just consider the implications. We think everything we consider to be unpleasant, sad, fearful, shameful and so forth - we think these are the result of various circumstances. In other words, facts.
But what the course is teaching us is that facts are nothing. Interpretation is everything.
And while we can’t change facts, we certainly have complete control over interpretation.
Every single fact we encounter is processed by the ego. And the ego always interprets facts in such a way to perpetuate separation and judgment. Always.
Good and bad do not exist. They are baseless byproducts of the ego projection-perception dynamic. A function of judgment.
But there is another guide to interpretation, one that sees everything truly without judgment. And when we encounter facts through the lens of this right-minded teacher, there is only one story we can experience: peace.
Who would you be if you chose not to accept the ego interpretation of life's events? You'd be blissfully free.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore these stories we tell ourselves and how we can choose a completely different identity. I look forward to seeing you then.