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Planes of Manifestation, by Orna Ben-Shoshan

Planes of Manifestation, by Orna Ben-Shoshan

We perceive our world as a variety of forms. We see different people, animals, plants, earth, water, sky. We also perceive different thoughts and ideas. We create a variety of social and moral systems. We also feel all kinds of feelings. Because all of these things have a different form, we believe that they are different, and we ascribe a relative value to each, such as:  people are more important than animals, one economic system is better than another, science has more (or less) value than religion, or happiness is better than sadness.

We judge everything in relative terms, based on its usefulness, how it makes us feel, and whether it validates our thoughts and beliefs—which we also assign a value to. Once we have assigned a value to everything, we forget that the worth of a thing is based solely on our judgment of it. Instead, we assume that the value we assigned is the intrinsic, immutable value of the thing, and then we act based on these judgments. In reality, however, nothing in the Universe is more or less valuable or worthy than anything else, because it is all one thing:  God. And one part of God cannot be less worthy than another.

So what do these judgments tell us about the world? Very little, actually. What our judgments really tell us about is ourselves.

Every judgment, every value that you assign to something in the world is telling you about yourself. What you see in the world is a reflection of you. In fact, it is projected by you, and this forms your experience of the world.

When you encounter someone you dislike, they are showing you something you dislike in yourself. When you encounter someone you like a lot, they are affirming your comfort zone. When you are intolerant of another belief or idea, it is showing you where you need to expand. When you are angry with something or someone, they are showing you what your fears are. When you fear something, it is showing you where you need to heal. And ultimately, everything exists to show you what you need to learn to love—in the world, yes, but mostly in yourself, because there is no difference between the two.

Every person has assigned different values to everything. When we agree on the values we have assigned, we get along. When we disagree with the values we have assigned, we have conflict. So what are we fighting over? We're fighting over something that is not real:  our judgments of form. In truth, our disagreements, our anger, and our wars are about illusions.

If all form has an equal value, how do we interact with and respond to it? How do we live in the world?

The Buddhists say that the way to peace is acceptance. Can you accept all form as it is, without judging it? Without trying to change it, which is the same thing as trying to control it? Can you accept everything as perfect right now? If you walk this path, you are following in the footsteps of all the masters who came before you. It is the path to personal peace and the rediscovery of our divine nature. When we realize that all form is divine and sacred, we remember our Oneness with that divinity. We remember who we really are.

All forms, everywhere, are expressions of one thing only:  Love. Love is the only thing that exists in the Universe. If we perceive anything else, it's just an illusion that we created to show us the way back to ourselves.

The symbols of hate against the symbols of love play out a conflict that does not exist. For symbols stand for something else, and the symbol of love is without meaning if love is everything.
A Course in Miracles

This is the miracle of creation; that it is one forever. Every miracle you offer to the Son of God is but the true perception of one aspect of the whole. Though every aspect is the whole, you cannot know this until you see that every aspect is the same, perceived in the same light and therefore one.
A Course in Miracles

"Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter. Our holiness is Yours. What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect? The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love. Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will. And let us receive only what You have given, and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love. Amen."
A Course in Miracles

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