Do you recall this one from early childhood -sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. I thought it was for the weak and a pretty silly quote. But still in todays world, if one looks he will see that it is a lesson many have not understood. The false self in each of us is proud and defends any perceived attack with attack. Pride is the first stumbling block for man. When the ego is reduced or obliterated there is nothing more to defend. Eliminating pride may be the first step toward ego reduction and elimination. This article would be about correctness verses happiness. A question we can ask ourself is “do I want to be right or happy. Do I want to oppose and be against or do I want to smile and say, right on. If someone were talking to you about devil worship and mentioned that one of the premises included the idea that everyone must be responsible for their own state of mind. Could you just smile and say -right on, or would the pride in you be ready to spit back all of the reasons the other person was incorrect.
Sticks and stones can break my bones but Chinese throwing stars might kill me. Let’s take it one step further. The thoughts that we think determine our experience here. We have some limited control of what happens in our world, but we have full control over our reaction to what happens. If I can remember that one, what more do I need to know. Still if someone is throwing Chinese throwing stars at you run like hell. If they are just throwing words or concepts, no big deal. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they’re usually nasty and need to be wiped out.
The ego’s plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved. Thus, the source of salvation is constantly perceived as outside yourself. Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, “If this were different, I would be happy.” The change of mind necessary for salvation is thus demanded of everyone and everything except yourself.
The role assigned to your own mind in this plan, then, is simply to determine what, other than itself, must change if you are to be saved. According to this insane plan, any perceived source of salvation is acceptable provided that it will not work. This ensures that the fruitless search will continue, for the illusion persists that, although this hope has always failed, there is still grounds for hope in other places and in other things. Another person will yet serve better; another situation will yet offer success. ACIM Lesson 71
If we care to look right at it, opinions, grievances and beliefs are designed to separate us from each other. They are designed to make the outside more important than the inside, and when that happens -watch out.