It is hard to see and accept the futility of our resources, to see that at last we have reached a time for letting go.
It is hard perhaps not to run around quoting Jesus:
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Easy to say, easy to write about but where is the man or woman who lives it? Who has realized it as a fact, not simply a good idea?
Sometimes in my practice I am able to see it: not only can I not do this alone, I can’t do it period. Not the self I think I am – Sean’s body, Sean’s history, Sean’s culture, Sean’s story, Sean’s this and Sean’s that.
It is not my power but another power.
When I see finally how broken I am – how great my need is, how meager and futile the only self I know is, when the desperation to be lifted out of hell is so intense there is nothing else but that need – then finally there is a little space in which the miracle can truly shine.
If you look closely at the text of A Course in Miracles, it talks about our relation to miracles in language that is almost passive – we are always just accepting miracles. We don’t invent them, facilitate them, improve them, mass produce them, perfect them, nurture them or anything like that. The miracle simply is and we accept it. We are like puddles of water that reflect the moon. It is outside of all choice except the choice to see there is nothing else we would choose.
Be not afraid, my child, but let your world be gently lit by miracles. And where the little gap was seen to stand between you and your brother, join him there (T-28.III.8:1-2).
Last week I woke up at 2 a.m. sure in the knowledge that conflict was ended if I wanted it to be. All I have to do when it shows up is let it go. I walked around the snowy fields and came back and at sat in my favorite rocker and the peace stayed with me. The miracle is here. The miracle simply waits to be accepted. There is literally nothing that we have to do.
But I forget that. There I am, sitting in a quiet happiness so beautiful all I can do is cry and then the thought creeps in: how can I hold onto this? Make it permanent? I can’t trust God to make it real forever. I have to do something.
That is what the unhealed mind does. It invokes scarcity. It asks: how can I keep this for myself?
So the clouds of conflict and chaos and complication drift back in. It’s okay. They drift away, too. Our selfishness and fear cannot undo what God did perfectly.
Tara Singh used to say that when the time comes to let go we run for our lives. It’s true! Somehow, our practice of the course leads us to the ladder separation led us down (e.g. T-28.III.1:2), and we see that to ascend it we have to have empty hands. That’s the condition of climbing this metaphorical ladder. We have to let go of the self which is the root of all conflict. We have to open our hands, let go the self, and grasp the gleaming rungs.
And faced with that, we literally run for our lives. We get a taste of the pure joy that waits for us and suddenly think, oh no. Not this.
And we run for our lives.
Over and over our resistance repeats itself, tweaking the form so it seems new and important, but it is never not the same old story: I’m scared of Love and so I’m going to defend my miserable self against it.
And all the while the miracle – the first rung of the ladder – is there. It’s just there.
The door is open, that all those may come who would no longer starve, and would enjoy the feast of plenty set before them there . . . And no one is deprived or can deprive. Here is a feast the Father lays before His Son, and shares equally with him (T-28.III.8:7, T-28.III.9:4-5).
Can we see how we powerless we are? How ignorant? See it so clearly that at last we can put it all aside and turn – fearfully, trembling – to the greater power ever at hand?
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.
It is so close now. So close.