So I think sometimes we have to be patient. We have to adopt an attitude of gentle waiting, a trust in the face of what is otherwise quite grim, quite despairing. Happiness isn’t denying unhappiness but rather looking at it squarely with Jesus or the Holy Spirit – or whatever symbol of love is most resonant for you – , trusting in their capacity to undo sorrow at its source.
Lesson 107 has been floating through my brain lately, in conjunction with something Tara Singh once said. The lesson teaches us that truth will correct all errors in our minds (W-pI.107.9:5). And what are errors in the end but reflections of the strange belief that we can be separate from God?
What has struck me about that lesson – the reason it echoes presently – is its implication that truth is active – a dynamic force. Truth will come to us (W-pI.107.3:3), its presence will be corrective (W-pI.107.4:4), and it is perfectly unaffected by illusions of any kind (W-pI.107.5:4).
In my brain, which often translates language to familiar images, this presentation of truth reminds me of the thin streams of water that run beneath thick planes of ice on the river. From a distance, it appears the river is still and frozen, altogether unforsaken. But up close – sometimes visible, sometimes only barely audible – the river sustains itself with the barest of watery threads trickling down the bed. It’s almost nothing and yet its movement and warmth will eventually melt the heaviest blankets of ice. That bare hint blossoms into the later lovely flow in which rainbow trout drift, raccoons hunt for crayfish, and deer pause to drink as the first light of morning filters through the forest.
You were not meant to suffer and to die. Your Father wills these dreams be gone. Let truth correct them all (W-pI.107.6:7-9).
Tara Singh, in the preface to The Voice that Precedes Thought talked about his discovery that all along – appearances and effort to the contrary – he was not really doing anything. Rather, it was being done by Love unto him.
Suddenly I realized
I was being educated all along by the Unknown
with a gratefulness that transcends time (xiv).
That realization, he wrote, “opened new vistas and an awareness/of forces at work beyond appearances.”
He is talking about what Jesus is talking about in Lesson 107. Truth is active even when we are not aware of its action. It is not contingent on the apparent circumstances of our lives, be they blissfully happy or dark and full of shadow. Those extremes – like every point between them – are illusions. They do not touch truth. Nor can they impair its holy and steadfast action, which calls us continually to gratitude and wakefulness. Our answer – the lovely yes of acceptance – is assured.
At the end of the fall, when my daughter’s horse died, it really did feel as if some floor had fallen out from beneath us. For a good month there was a haze of guilt, grief and anger. I would be teaching and suddenly choke and think, “My God. I am about to fall apart screaming and crying in front of all my students.”
And the thing was, it was okay. I knew if I had to do that, it was fine. I didn’t – I came close but I didn’t – but it would have been okay. You reach a point where you trust that there are, as Taraji put it, “forces at work beyond appearances.” Better hands than ours are in charge, you know? That doesn’t necessarily make the darkness lift or the bad feelings go – they are part of our learning here in the world – but it does make riding their current a little easier.
Ice-bound rivers melt and sing again. They are going to freeze again too but so what? Once we take the song on faith – remembering it sings even when we cannot hear it – then despair’s stranglehold is loosened forever. One day it won’t even get a grip. Even now – right now – truth is at work in us, its pale halo of light undoing all the darkness we imagine enfolds us. It lifts and heals us, delivering us back to the world with new eyes.
[Y]ou will be glad to look again upon this world. For you will bring with you the promise of the changes which the truth that goes with you will carry to the world (W-pI.107.10:1-2).
Beneath sorrow and hard times then, light: a light we can share to hasten the day when our darknesses are gone forever.