Love created you loving, kindness created you kind. But its important to note that to be kind is first a state of mind. The reason that’s such an important point to make is because anyone can act in a seemingly kind manner, all the while operating from a place of fear, anger, disdain, or what have you. Our behaviour does not always align with, or express our true internal state, or frame of mind. We all know how to fake niceness while cursing someone under our breath, after all. In the same vein, a seemingly unkind act can come from a truly loving place.
This highlights a fundamental ACIM tenet that needs to be understood if you want to apply its teaching properly: form must not be confused with content. The Course is not concerned with form, and thus with what we appear to do in this world- it says there is no world.
What it is concerned with is our state of mind- with how we choose to perceive what we think we’re seeing. This always boils down to who we choose as our inner guide, to help us interpret what we think is our reality. Are we choosing the ego that represents our belief in the content of fear, guilt, and sin in our mind? Or are we choosing the Holy Spirit, Who represents the right-minded content of love, joy, and peace within us?
If there is no world, there is no such thing as a behavioural barometer for how well we’re applying the message of the Course. You can’t measure your spiritual progress with actions. Being untrue, form is always deceptive, and is therefore never a reliable indicator of spiritual development. For that reason, it’s important to divorce your understanding of kindness from definitions that insist that kindness is something you can only see and do.
True kindness is really a state of mind: choosing to see others through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. What does this entail exactly? It means recognising the equality, the inherent sameness, of everyone. Seeing everyone as brother/sister, no matter how different, good or bad they seem to be. Understanding that we all struggle with the same terrible attraction to the ego; to guilt, fear, attack, and separation. And that we all also share the same right mind that reflects the love of God. We are all one in both our ego’s insanity, and one in the Holy Spirit’s sanity.
So to be kind, look past other people’s egos and look past your own. It’s the same thing. In fact, the more you look past, and stop judging your own ego, the more you’ll be able to look past that of others, and not take the ego thought system so seriously. And remember who lives within us all- the Holy Spirit and no less than God himself. See only Them in everyone you meet.
Note! Kindness is not sticking around when people are mean, cruel, or abusive. Letting others treat you poorly does not do anyone any favours- neither you nor them. You are not asked to martyr yourself, or sacrifice your well being to other people’s ego’s, any more than your own. You are asked to be kind- in thought. You do this by remembering what’s true in a person and every situation, no matter how crazy or awful, while also taking appropriate actions to limit other people’s ability to hurt ourselves or others.
No matter what you may do, or have to do, on the level of form and behaviour, stay focussed on what you do with your mind as well. Don’t let anything or anyone derail your practice of doing so. Keep asking yourself which inner teacher you want to interpret your life with, and check in with how you’re feeling and what you’re habitually thinking, as an indication as to whom you’ve chosen as your mind’s guide. The ego sparks fear, sadness, anger, anxiety, blame, and confusion. Whereas the Holy Spirit inspires joy, love, clarity, and peace.
Choose well, and remember to keep choosing right, again and again, especially when you inevitably fall of the wagon. Falling off is normal and to be expected. It’s getting back on the forgiveness and kindness train that is what really constitutes our daily practice of the Course.