A Course in Miracles Lesson 40

(Note: I neglected to publish this yesterday and I apologize. For some reason it was saved as a draft instead of a published post. That’s why it’s out of order with Lesson 41. Forgive me!)

I am blessed as a son of God.

This lesson brings out the Christian numerologist in me. I think of the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert. The forty days that Jonah prophesied were left to Ninevah after he languished three days in the belly of a whale. It’s a rich and symbolic number, right? So I expect some big things from this lesson. I want some serious sugar!

And I get . . . well, I get peace. It’s a funny lesson for me. It seems to work deep down, off the radar. More than any other lesson in the first fifty, I tend to forget to do it. And yet – this didn’t just happen today, but in the past as well – when this lesson is the one I’m working, however half-assed my “working it” seems, the day just has a flow to it. And I don’t feel tense or judgmental about being less than perfect with my practice.

A few years ago I started to teach. It was a requirement of an MFA program I was in and I seriously considered leaving the program rather than tackle the teaching practicum. It was only ten weeks long – one day a week – but still. I was terrified of it. And even when I accepted that I was going to do it, it was grudging and pessimistic. I fully expected to fail and fail spectacularly. But something happened that first morning. I taught for three hours straight and in that time I forgot myself. In the sense in which I am almost aware of my brain – evaluating how I’m doing, what spiritual or emotional standards I’m meeting and which ones I’m not, and subjecting you to those standards to – it’s a crazy monkey mind up there – it quietens when I teach. In the best of ways, I belong to my students. They have my complete and devoted attention. I can’t explain it because I don’t plan it. It just happens.

Now, of course some days are better than others. But today was like that in spades. And it was cool because I was sick. And I overslept. And I was a little nervous about the poems I was teaching, how they’d go over. And so I wasn’t expecting a lot. But – at least in the early part of the day – I kept plugging away at the lesson. I am blessed as a son of God for all these reasons. And then I was in class and it just flowed. Four hours later I looked up and I’d forgotten all about being a student of A Course in Miracles.

I suppose there are hardcore teachers who would say that I skipped this lesson. Maybe. I don’t know. I can say that the sense of flow, of being patient and loving, did not end in the classroom. It followed me into the bureaucracy. It followed me into the co-op. It was there in the post office. It wasn’t like light shows and magic. It was just like life was no big thing. It was easy and natural. Everyone was happy and loving and so was I.

And when I remembered I would throw this big effort into the lesson. I’m blessed as a son of God and I’m happy and grateful and loving and kind and patient and open and . . .

When you feel the course working, enjoy it. Enjoy the five minutes, the hour, the day, whatever. Remember that it’s not about getting an A on the mid-term or being the student that always raises her hand. It’s about finding our way back to the natural joy and peace that is our reality, our default state. When we get to it, it’s worth appreciating and nurturing it. Making joy habitual and natural is a practice worth cultivating.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Annie August 27, 2014, 4:11 am

    After L39 I went back to 37 and 38 again for a few days. Not because I felt I hadn’t done them very well but I knew I was skimming something, there was something to hear that I wasn’t truly listening to. Like a call in the distance half heard. What can I hear? It’s almost like someone laughing; this isn’t so serious, this is light, be light about this. And now L40 for a few days. I keep forgetting to do it. Every 10 minutes? Really? Surely not possible all day, I can’t help but fail? I peeked a look at 41. Then I thought I’d check what you had to say. So I’m staying another day with 40. It’s such an easy one. Such an easy request. Why would I get distracted from something so pleasant as to remind myself I am complete, I am peaceful, I am safe, I am calm, I am here? Another day of practice then. It’s not an exam, it’s a practice. Thanks Sean 🙂

    • Sean Reagan August 29, 2014, 5:28 pm

      Hi Annie,

      That sense of “skimming” – being aware of it – is so helpful. I notice in myself sometimes a willingness to be casual, to stay at the surface level, the relative level. And it is okay in the sense that nothing bad is going to happen – we aren’t taking a test here – but it is also nice to give oneself to the course whole-heartedly, all our attention, as much as we can.

      I have been reading a bit of Tara Singh lately – a book called Love Holds No Grievances and he points out that there is a change – a giving of attention – that we must come to, and that nobody else can do it.

      No excuses for postponing the only action that each person has to take. Then everything gets corrected. We need to know this, otherwise nothing will work. Unless God is your first love, nothing will work (54).

      It is so helpful to see that – very clear, very simple – and the way is before us. Like you are saying: we can listen for the Voice of God and it is there, it calls us, it reminds us of our perfection and how nothing remains to be accomplished.

      Thank you for reading and sharing, Annie. I am grateful.

      Sean

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