A Course in Miracles is a challenging and rigorous spiritual path. It demands a level of attention and willingness that often feels foreign to us. It is not about seeking truth or beauty, but about finding those beliefs and idols that stand in the way of truth and beauty – and that level of seeking can only be undertaken by the very determined. Indeed, absent the help of others – including symbols of Love like Jesus and so forth – our practice would be impossible.
Here is how Helen Shucman’s Jesus puts it in A Course in Miracles:
Truth has rushed to meet you since you called upon it. If you knew Who walks beside you on the path that you have chosen, fear would be impossible (T-18.III.3:2-3).
It is perhaps impossible not to conceive of the course as resembling a path on which one journeys. It is implicit in the human condition: we evolve, change, move in this direction or that. Narrative evolves both to explain and entertain. And so, until we are able to grasp the simple fact espoused by Krishnamurti – that truth is a pathless land – then we have to work with metaphors and symbols.
That is why the Jesus we encounter in the text and workbook can teach us that he “walks” beside us, as does the Holy Spirit. Indeed, they are our guides out of the world of paths and progress. Without their sure guidance in which to place our trust, we would be permanently lost in fear and guilt. We would be caught in an endless loop of lovelessness.
You do not know because the journey into darkness has been long and cruel, and you have gone deep into it . . . You go toward love still hating it, and terribly afraid of its judgment on you. And you do not realize that you are not afraid of love, but only of what you have made of it (T-18.III.3:3, 5-6).
One of the things that we should not fear is our reliance on symbols – right symbols can be used to undo falsity. That is, if we approach our lives and our spiritual practice with Jesus and the Holy Spirit (themselves symbols), then all symbols can be converted to helpfulness. Everything we have made – the world, our bodies, other bodies – can be used to undo what we have made. Beneath all the hell and misery through which we stumble bereft, remains a single flicker of love. It is enough to redeem us.
. . . your goal is the advance from fear to truth . . . Let us join quickly in an instant of light, and it will be enough to remind you that your goal is light (T-18.III.2:2,5).
How do we make contact with the one who walk beside us?
It is simple: we reach out to one another. We make the way lighter for our brothers and sisters and we allow them to do the same for us. Jesus said it two thousand years ago: whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me as well. He is saying it now as well.
You who hold your brother’s hand also hold mine, for when you joined each other you were not alone. Do you believe that I would leave you in the darkness that you agreed to leave with me? In your relationship is this world’s light (T-18.III.4:1-3).
We are not alone. The way appears fearful indeed – and the work perhaps beyond our capability – but we are joined by those whose love and light will replace our meager efforts and sustain our wavering faith. Look no further than the one who stands beside you – in the grocery store as you shop, in the bed where you sleep, in the woods where you pray. Love is with us always in the form of our brothers and sisters, as we are love unto them.