Atonement is the remembrance that nothing is for us alone. What we are in truth is shared and we can only know it by sharing it. To remember is not to recall something – for it is already present – but only to be willing to hear it again. This is why we can only learn what we are in truth through one another. This is why I need you, wherever you are, and why you need me. This is why we are here.
There is a plan for salvation, but we do not know it. The bluets know it and the milk snake knows it, but we do not know it. We do not know it because we do not know what we are. Salvation as either a goal or a process is beyond what we can know, but helpfulness is not. When we are helpful – when we make helpfulness our function – then we are doing all we need to do. Salvation naturally attends when we are helpful.
Real helpfulness is a form of attention. It is a way of looking devotedly at what is happening and refraining from interference. This means that we give attention not to form but what informs form. This is how we learn that the milk snake and the black raspberry and the dandelion know more about God than we do. When we see this clearly, our helpfulness is automatically amplified and extended. It becomes a policy of non-interference.
Learning is not a precedent to helpfulness. We already know how to be helpful. We are created that way. It is the simplest way to remember joy. There is no other joy, no other peace.
However invested we have become in illusion – in the idea that life is subject to our private and personal thought – the truth remains true. God waits beyond ideas and beyond conditions.
We have to be aware of when we default to “mystery” when trying to explain or understand or know God. There is nothing mysterious or hidden about God, because the absence of mystery and secrets is what God is. When we insist on darkness – calling it a mystery, calling it a secret – we are resisting God. There is no offense in this, and no penalty, but it is important to ask: is it what we want?
God’s plan is natural and requires no effort. The apple knows it, and the breeze knows it, and the willow tree knows it. There is no way to know it other than perfectly. The apple holds no more knowledge of it than the wind, nor the wind more than a star, nor a star more than a sliver of quartz glistening on a river bank at dawn. Differentiation and distinction are not God.
We are part of creation, but we have forgotten this. We are an extension of God in the same way the milk snake is, yet we have forgotten this. That is what Atonement is for: to remind us that we remain as God created us, and that we cannot be other than as God created us. What is the egoic self but an idea that life can be other than what it is?
Life does not require either interpretation or response. We cannot add to it and we cannot take from it. However invested we have become in illusion – in the idea that life is subject to our private and personal thought – the truth remains true. God waits beyond ideas and beyond conditions. Reality is already here for all of us. There are no exceptions to it, which is why it is real. It asks nothing. It moves in us as we move in it, together. It was always this way. That is why we know it.