This week I have begun a new practice: I am closely (and critically) re-reading the text of A Course in Miracles, doing the lessons, and praying more attentively. My goal is go deeper into the atonement, and by going deeper, to remove as many of the obstacles to love as possible. There is some urgency to this. This is about awakening.
This effort is marked by an attempt to simplify my external life. I am trying to reduce the distractions that can pull me away from prayer and communion with God.
For example, I am deliberately not reading what I call secondary miracle texts – Ken Wapnick, David Hoffmeister, Liz Cronkhite. I am avoiding texts about ACIM in favor of ACIM itself.
Similarly, I have set up a fairly rigid writing and teaching schedule and, allowing for the inevitable bumps (I’m a parent, after all), I am planning to stick to it. This means that there is less questioning energy in my life. What should I write about today? It’s preordained.
I am also divesting of certain social obligations, cutting back (people who know me will laugh, wondering what was left to cut) from those activities that draw me out of my home and into the worldly sphere of political and social conflict. I’m not helpful there and it’s not helpful to me.
This is not monastic at all. As I said, I’m a parent. I’m a husband. I’m a son to parents who require help and attention. I have students for whom my active presence is important. Rather than leaving the world behind, I am simply trying to make sure that my engagement with the world is restricted to essentials. The standard is simple: will this lead to salvation or obstruct the way?
Again, my objective in doing this is to allow my energy to be focused on salvation. I am committed to directly experiencing the love of Jesus and my oneness with God. I do not want a merely intellectual understanding of those things and I do not want crumbs where I know God has placed a banquet at which I am welcome.
Bearing witness to all this is part of my calling, my special function. I sometimes wish it were otherwise. I have fantasies about a small cottage in the deep northeast, huddled over my poems by a fire. Perhaps that is yet to come.
For now, I am simplifying and going deeper into atonement, the lamp of forgiveness lighting my way as I seek a constant companionship with Jesus, and beyond that, a Heaven that cannot be described with words, nor apprehended by human sense.
And I’m glad – I’m very glad – that you’re here, too.