Now that I have practiced for a week seeing things in a different light, I am ready for one of the most important lessons any freedom advocate could ever learn. I am ready to learn that my opponents, no matter how set they are against my ideas, can be experienced as allies.
The principle involved in this week's lesson is this: when someone who is in great resistance to me releases even a little of that resistance, a "spill-over effect" occurs which releases resistance in many more people than I can imagine.
Another way to state this principle is: it is infinitely more efficient to cause the release of a little bit of the resistance of my worse enemy than to cause the release of a great portion of the resistance of a minor opponent.
Translated into political terms, this week's principle tells me that I will achieve the greatest success selling my ideas or my programs if I concentrate first on causing even the slightest release of resistance in my most adamant opponents.
My opponents are in resistance to my ideas. If I can influence them to not resist me as a person in other ways, then their resistance to my ideas becomes far less effective and can even work in my favor.
An example of this principle occurred in the case of Ronald Reagan. Many people who hated his ideas were nonetheless attracted to him personally. Because they liked him personally, they could not fight against him in the realm of ideas with the full zeal of their full heart and soul. There was always a part of them which was held back from the fight.
Even more importantly, the inability of Ronald Reagan's opponents to resist him on a personal level had a "spill-over effect" into the minds of others. Many people found themselves surprisingly open to Ronald Reagan's political ideas precisely because his opponents found it impossible to resist every aspect of his being with every ounce of their being.
The principle worked in the opposite direction in the 1990s with Newt Gingrich. He was never able to diffuse the resistance of his opponents to him personally. His opponents were never able to say, "There are some good things about this guy even though I oppose his ideas." So the "spill-over effect" into the minds of others kept people from being open to his ideas.
This week, my practice will be different than it has been in previous weeks in this course. I am going to carry out an assignment this week which may have more effect inside the minds of my enemies than it does in the training of my own mind.
My purpose this week is to take some first steps toward mastering the mechanism of decreasing the resistance of my most adamant opponents. My goal is not to win them over, but to decrease their resistance to me as a person.
Who are my most adamant opponents? For the purpose of practicing the principle this week they do not have to be political opponents. I can use a mother-in-law who is unhappy with me. I can use a co-worker who is jealous of me. I can use anyone who is in substantial resistance to me.
My assignment to myself this week is to telephone each of these people who comes to mind, ask their opinion on an issue which I suspect is important to them, listen with respect to what they say, and then answer with a statement showing at least some rapport such as, "You know, I can really see your point of view."
Again, my purpose is not to win anyone over or debate with anyone, but simply to listen and stay in rapport, as if I respect their spirit no matter what their viewpoints, and as if being in rapport with their spirit is my first and foremost priority.
The results of this assignment will come in the future, so I will have to keep my eyes open over time and watch how things change over time and especially how my most adamant enemies just can no longer fight me with everything they have.
Knowing that this result is assured over time, this week each day as I retire I review my progress and say to myself with a smile:
"It's so much fun experiencing my enemies as allies!"
The device which more deeply prepares freedom lovers for success, A Course in Miracles , talks about our ultimate need to free ourselves from every kind of slavery:
You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. Therefore, it is the tiny part of your self, the little thought that seems split off and separate, that the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. But this wild and delusional thought needs help, because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery.
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Relationship Miracles
01 June 1995