We have trained ourselves to perceive the source of our pain and anguish as external. We have been very effective in this regard. The cause of guilt is outside us: we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control. We believe this. We accept it as a law.
Yet A Course in Miracles insists that this is not only a bad idea but is flat out wrong. We’ve got it backwards and we’re doing it for a reason: it’s easier to look outward than inward. Inward is scary. Why? Because we know at the deepest levels that vision directed inward will reveal love.
And we are very very scared of Love.
Lesson 259 is clear that it is our idea that sin is real that is “the source of fear, obscuring God’s creation; giving love the attributes of fear and attack (W-pII.259.1:5).” The accompanying prayer urges us to
. . . not be insane today. I would not be afraid of love, nor seek refuge in its opposite. For love can have not opposite. (W-pII.259.2:1-3).
But that is not the way the world thinks! Nor is it the way we tend to think in the world. This is why we need the Holy Spirit.
He has seen separation, but knows of union. He teaches healing, but He also knows of creation. He would have you see and teach as He does, and through him (T-13.X.7:5-7).
How does that work practically? It has to do with leaping actually – or maybe taking a few faltering steps into what appears to be the blackest of black nights. We have to remind ourselves often – and then trust – that Jesus is being quite literal when he says “[n]othing can keep from you what Christ would have you see (T-13.X.9:8).”
To look within is to reshift our focus away from the external. It does not matter if it is raining or if the sun shines. It does not matter if the doctor gives us a clean bill of health or sends us back for scary tests. It doesn’t matter if we’re eating steak or tofu. It feels like it matters and our egos will never tire of insisting that it matters, but to God – and to the Holy Spirit, who is our link to God – it does not matter.
So we let it go. We try to. We have literally a death grip on form and our happiness depends entirely on release. Fortunately, we don’t do this alone. Indeed, all that really matters is that first step – the willingness to take it. The second one is a little easier and the third easier yet.
It is not beyond the realm of reason to imagine we will be dancing as we reach the metaphorical gates of Heaven. We begin in fear but quickly develop an attitude of gratefulness and trust. Brothers and sisters show up to share the way. The still small voice inside grows ever more clear and we are less and less willing to ignore it.
This is what happens: Love is not a dream but reality. This is why Jesus sings our praises – mine and yours – near the end of Chapter 13.
Praise be to you who make the Father one with His Own Son. Alone we are lowly, but together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it. Before the glorious radiance of the Kingdom guilt melts away, and transformed into kindness will never more be what it was (T-13.X.14:1-3).
To which – perhaps – the only sane response is amen.