Often when I answer in my newsletter/blog a question from someone experiencing an upset in their life they explain that they have tried and failed over and over again to forgive the situation as just a projected image in their mind. This effort would seem to be in line with A Course in Miracles but in practice it is not helpful. If your awareness has not grown to the point where you see something as just a projected image trying to forgive it leads to repression rather than to release (forgiveness).
What shows up at the level of form is the result of cause and effect at the level of form. The mind in which this occurs is the one split mind, which ACIM calls the “Son of God” or the “dreamer of the dream”. What you experience as “you” having the upset is a figure in the dream. Your mind is ultimately the one split mind (dreamer), but that is not how you experience it. You experience it as though it is the figure in the dream. And you have to deal with the thoughts in your mind at the level at which you experience them. It is not helpful to pretend you have an awareness that you have not yet attained. So my answers address how the writer experiences their problem at the level of form. I deal with their projected interpretation of what they see rather than with the image itself because their upset is in response to their interpretation, not to the actual image.
For example, sometimes I get emails where someone writes something like: “I just learned that my sister has stage 3 cancer. Since she is an image that I project I have tried and tried to forgive this but her cancer persists. I want to know what I’m doing wrong. How did I cause this? What thoughts do I have to forgive to heal her?”
At the level of form the writer is not responsible for all of the forms that she sees. She did not think her sister into cancer. Logically, how could that be? She does not live in a vacuum with her sister. What about everyone else in her sister’s life? Did they contribute to her having cancer also? If this were the case then everyone who ever saw the image of her sister would have to heal whatever it was in their mind that caused her cancer so that she could heal! And what about her sister’s own mind? Didn’t that contribute also? The writer is not responsible for the cancer but for what she tells herself about the cancer and its effect on her sister and her own life. These stories are what determine her experience of peace or conflict.
When you do rise in awareness and become aware that you do project what you see you are no longer identifying with the figure in the dream. You are the “dreamer of the dream”. You realize you are the one split mind and that you project the whole dream not just individual parts. And you also see that it is nothing. In other words, forgiveness and the awareness that you are the dreamer occur simultaneously. The “dreamer of the dream” is the level of awareness that is forgiveness. Until you have that awareness, concerning yourself with what shows up rather than just with the meaning (interpretation) that you project onto it only increases guilt. Form is still real to you and you think that it has meaning. So deal with undoing the meaning that you project onto the images that you see and eventually you will realize that what you see has no meaning in itself. It is nothing. All the meaning that you see you give to it. This will help you to see that there is no justification for guilt. And as guilt falls away your awareness will transcend the dream and forgive it.