We think we are searching for God or working to attain enlightenment. It is not so. The whole point of studying A Course in Miracles – or any spiritual path really – is simply to reestablish our awareness of what is already given. You cannot go anywhere when you already are everywhere, and you cannot long for anything when you have been given everything.
This is the beginning of knowledge and the ground of our liberation.
Emily Dickinson understood this truth quite well. In poem # 1344 – a single quatrain given to paper in the early 1870’s – she neatly summed up the paradox, leveling with us despite her proclivity for slant.
The infinite a sudden Guest
Has been assumed to be –
But how can that stupendous come
Which never went away
Early in the text of A Course in Miracles, Jesus says more or less the same thing.
The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything to you; or rather, to restore it your awareness. You were given everything when you were created, just as everyone was (T-1.IV.3:6-7).
Could we but see the truth of this – or even just accept the possibility of its truth – we would be transformed. The whole purpose of seeking and practicing is moot. The separation – that painful estrangement of self from God – never happened. Our yearning for the Divine is still its yearning for us. We wait and wait and wait – and we try to perfect and sanctify our waiting – all for what never left. It’s simple if we are ready to let it be what it is and not what we would have it be . . .
Oneness is simply the idea that God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things . . . We say “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. It has united with its Source. And like its Source Itself, it merely is (W-pI.169.5:1-2, 4-7).
Grace is given to us that we might remember grace and thus extend it those who still struggle in shadow. Willingness is our only credential and the Holy Spirit our only guide. Like Jesus before us – and with his helpful blessing – we light with kindness the way out of the world.