God is not the Question

The question is not really whether God exists, or if God does exist what God looks like or sounds like, but rather are we at peace? That is a very practical question and attendance to it will actually take care of the larger metaphysical questions.

David Bohm observed that it was more important we that we learn to think or perceive differently than to acquire any particular knowledge. This is an important point going directly to the question of how to attain inner peace. Perception is what we are dealing with – thought is what we are dealing with. That is what we are healing.

To say that we are going to heal perception is in a sense to say that we are going to give attention to attention itself. This can become a semantic dead end very quickly; all we are saying is that we are looking at the way we look. We are looking at looking. We are seeing what looking is doing and how it leads to or implicates the narrative “I.”

We are not wandering afield from A Course in Miracles when we talk this way.

Perception is temporary . . . Misperceptions produce fear and true perception fosters love, but neither brings certainty because all perception varies. That is why it is not knowledge. True perception is the basis for knowledge, but knowing is the affirmation of truth and beyond all perceptions (T-3.III.1:6, 8-10).

At this precise moment, you are perfectly constituted to perceive wholeness and to rest in it without conflict. You need do nothing but drop that which blocks you awareness of this perfection.

“Love” in this instance is synonymous with “inner peace.” It is not a so-called Kumbaya moment and it is not a biological phenomenon. It is a quiet and gentle recognition of what we are in truth. “Knowledge” is the affirmation of that recognition, an allowance that both expands and extends it.

All A Course in Miracles aims to do is heal our thinking – to shift perception from an egoic framework to a framework that is “miracle-minded.” And that – for all its religious and spiritual overtones – is really just a way of being open-minded.

What does “open-minded” mean in this context? It is not really a question of being willing to entertain new ideas in order to find a better one or a more useful one. Rather, it is the willingness to give perception over entirely in order to encounter what Bohm would have called “a different way.” If we can think differently – if we can think without rushing to conclusion, if we can think without attachment to “right” or “wrong” – then we are moving in the direction of inner peace. Inner peace is not a result but a process, and the process is a letting go of that which impedes peace, and what impedes peace are our ideas about peace.

There is tremendous familiarity in resorting to rituals and language that center on God. Students of A Course in Miracles are not exempt from this. But God is not really the issue. God takes care of God. Our work is to learn what blocks our awareness of that which goes by the name of God, which we might also call Love. We can discover those blocks – and see them to undoing – by focusing on inner peace as a present experience rather than a future ideal.

In other words, at this precise moment, you are perfectly constituted to perceive wholeness and to rest in it without conflict. You need do nothing but drop that which blocks you awareness of this perfection. A wild and beautiful passivity is called for: a radical openness: a surrender of the known for the experience of unknowing.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Alexandra June 18, 2014, 1:24 am

    Greetings Sean – and a timely post for me. Current work with the course is focusing on Workbook Lesson #189, paragraph 7: “Simply do this …. forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God”. I love this. I struggle with this! Letting go the daily and sometime minutely course ritual and language: ‘ let me not use this for death or destruction’ or ‘ let me see peace instead of this’ or a more egoic “God lemme just come hoooome”, or , or … etc etc. Now just a gentle nudge and the softly whispered words ‘What is?’ (as in: what is truth? what is real?) to every second of every day. If I’m paying attention (you are so right there! And it does seem to be about centering attention on form with mindfulness – except unlike you, I’ve never been able to go gaga at nature and tend to see bluets as successfully grown only because they were more aggressive than their more timid neighbors! ) I am shown the blocks I’ve erected, can then gently let them go and every now and then receive the grace of blessed timelessness and peace … but it’s a very elusive as I get frightened, overwhelmed and start thinking I’m special because of it so … bang it’s gone again … anyway I hope you are moved to write some more on this … but if not, no worries… I probably need to turn inward more now anyway and get quiet the better to hear my inner Teacher … but Many Thanks Sean … am enjoying coming here very much…

    • Sean Reagan June 18, 2014, 4:31 pm

      Hi Alexandra – nice to hear from you!

      Ha ha! Those mean bluets crowding out the gentler flowers! Thank you for that. It made me smile . . .

      Those are lovely lines indeed, calling us to go beyond all the forms. And I hear you about the struggle with it – in particular the fear that arises as we do let go. That is a big theme for me lately – it used to be a fear of nothingness but it seems clarified internally that I am scared of love, that big rush of love and it’s so funny because at the level of intellect it seems so unreasonable – who would be afraid of love – and yet in the more vital interior it is just so strong and prevalent. I am afraid of love.

      And yes – for me, one of the big defenses, a favorite resistance – is about specialness. Look how far I’ve come spiritually! Look at what I have done! And as soon as I do that it’s gone . . .

      One of my students once wore a t-shirt to class that I really appreciated – it said “Jesus loves you but he loves me a little more.” And I get that! I so get it!

      So I guess we just keep on keeping on as Bob Dylan once said. Show up, turn inward, little steps. I used to hate awakening was a process – longing for something more dramatic and celebratory – but it does seem more in the nature of a low tide coming in, gentle wave after gentle wave, and you don’t even really notice it until you know, you notice it . . .

      Thanks for being here Alexandra, and for the kind words . . .

      Sean

  • Michael June 21, 2014, 11:42 am

    Sean. I’m really grateful for the writings. They are of a kind a quality that is uncommon in my experience. I feel like teachers for God are ever near to me, wherever I may be, and you most certainly are one of them.
    So much thanks – Michael

    • Sean Reagan June 22, 2014, 7:05 am

      Thank you, Michael. I appreciate the kind words, and I am glad you are here.

      Love,
      Sean

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