God’s Gifts Cannot Be Returned

The moonlight has been lovely these past mornings. I have been waking extra early to walk in it. When the leaves are gone, the light travels further. The frost and early snow glisten in the fields. It is such a stillness: we forget how beautiful the world can be, how it opens before us like a luminous nave.

Yet to call the moonlight “lovely” and the world “beautiful” is a judgment. It is a projection. Someone else might not be impressed with moonlight. They might prefer the starry brilliance of the new moon. Or they find the earth more attractive in Spring when all the flowers and trees are coming into bloom. Opinions abound, always.

Loveliness is not inherent in moonlight, is what I am saying. Moonlight just is. When I perceive it as “lovely,” it is only because I have projected loveliness onto it. I projected that sense of awe and wonder and amazement and named it “lovely” to ensure I remain separate from it.

Yet what I project is my own: the loveliness I perceive in moonlight or bluets or Chopin is merely the Godlit wonder that is within me – inherent in me as a condition of creation, of life. And it’s the same for you.

We are always experiencing the projected life: the external world objectified, rendered a canvas on which we cast our joy and sorrow. We disown what is sacred through projection. We feel safer, somehow, with these second-hand lives – when beauty is the moonlight, genius Emily Dickinson, fresh-baked bread nurturing. But in truth, this is why we always feel so lonely inside. This is what the separation from God is: our rejection, through projection, of the gift of creation. Of course, we feel devastated and frightened. We were given everything and we tossed it aside like ash.

Yet the gifts of God cannot be returned. Ignored, hidden, despised, yes. But given back, no. Thus, through our practice of A Course in Miracles, or some other spiritual path if that is more helpful, we learn how to restore to our one mind the fullness of creation. We learn that nothing has happened; we merely looked in the wrong place for peace and joy. But peace and joy were always there, awaiting our right glances.

Only truth can be true! What is the moonlight when we are not colonizing it with our own judgment and crazy need to deny our own holiness? What is a bluet when we stop insisting it be a symbol for grief or beauty or Heaven? What are you when you no longer deny yourself the fullness of creation?

All we are asked to do is give attention to what we are doing with thought – to literally observe the mechanics of thought in order to see that our loneliness and grief and fear is simply the result of a certain way of thinking. If we bang our head against a wall, it will hurt. If we stop, it won’t hurt anymore. When we realize that we are the ones banging our heads, then we stop.

There is another way of thinking of which we are right now capable, and it is incumbent on us to think that way now. It cannot be done for us: we have to see it ourselves. It is a question of willingness, of becoming responsible for creation. Nothing else will do.

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