A Course in Miracles Lesson 31

This is the first time A Course in Miracles has used the word “victim.” It’s a heavy word, a loaded word. I resist it personally, and I know a lot of people who share my feelings. I associate victimization with passivity. And I do not consider myself passive – if anything, I’m the opposite of passive. I’m constantly checking out new self-improvement regimes, fine-tuning my spiritual practice, considering tweaks to my diet and exercise routines . . . I’m a house on fire!

But this resistance is to miss the point of the lesson, really – and, in an important way, to overlook a core teaching of A Course in Miracles. It doesn’t matter how intense or active or devoted I am in my bodily self in the world – to be in that self is to be placing myself at the mercy of the ego. And in that sense, I am a victim. I am a victim of my own decision to honor a bad idea – an aspect of the mind – instead of the wholeness of my mind.

It’s like walling off a chunk of Heaven, making it resemble a dungeon, and then trying to pretend it’s Heaven by deliberately forgetting what Heaven is really like.

This is what we do, and we’re good at it, and it is exactly the sort of thing that “victims” do.

Today’s lesson attempts to undo that – or at least pry open our willingness a bit. Can we get past the bodily self and the egoic self? Can we see how these are, regardless of the forms in which they appear, mere shadows of our true identity? Can we begin to release them – little by little – in favor of whatever awaits us when they aren’t the whole of our perception?

Indeed, this lesson is, as it proclaims, a declaration of freedom (W-pI.31.4:2). And that freedom begins with reconsidering what we actually are, reversing our traditional understanding of cause and effect, and asserting – regardless of whether we believe it or not – our desire to be free. In each of those steps, we accept our responsibility as creators. The inner, as Jesus says, is the cause of the outer (W-pI.31.2:5). There are few ideas that are so important to our understanding of the belief system that is A Course in Miracles.

It is also worth noting that the Course is upping the ante again. We have moved away from a minute here and there – and two minutes six times a day – to a morning and evening meditation that can last up to five minutes each, as well as frequent recitations of the idea throughout the day. A sense of order is slowly and gently being imposed on us.

I resisted that early on! I felt like if I remembered to do it, fine, and if not . . . well, Jesus didn’t have to deal with Facebook and Twitter and cell phones. This time around, I actually appreciate the opportunity to deepen. And, more importantly, I see – and can actually measure – the value of integrating the lessons into my day-to-day life. The more these ideas become our default thoughts, the more free we become. I am not saying that you should push yourself so hard you crash altogether. But it is not a bad idea to expand your spiritual comfort zone. The rewards – joy and peace – are great.

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