Nothing Is For Us Alone

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.

6 thoughts on “Nothing Is For Us Alone”

  1. Hi Sean,

    Thank you for writing this topic as I think it is a very important one in what A Course in Miracles is teaching us.

    Nothing is for us alone. What a on point statement. I think in the preface of the FIP Edition, it states that the course is highly individualized. Sometimes this seems to be interpreted as if we should just study the course merely on an individual basis. Of course we do certainly study the course on an individual basis, but I don’t think the course is asking us to isolate ourselves in doing so. This only furthers separation. Yet, I also think that many if not all students do isolate themselves at some point studying the course. I know I did.

    Yet, the words, “Nothing is for us alone” could save course students time if only they were really listened to. Nothing is for us alone, because we live in relationship. We are relationship. Nothing is separate, but interconnected. We cannot live isolated, separated off from everything else.

    I don’t see the course stating it being highly individualized as a statement as it being just about us alone, but that it comes to each student in a manner in where they are at. Everyone has their special function until as the course says, all talents are shared when the Atonement is completed.

    Max Strom, a Hatha Yoga teacher once said, “We can either affect people or infect people.” The reason is simple when we really look at it. Because we live in relationship within the Sonship. We are not isolated from each other, even though we often think we can be. Yet when looked at honestly, it can be seen this is not true.

    In the section, “The Two Emotions” the course beautifully tells us that we are not really seeing our brothers, but only our own split mind everywhere. There is no true communication, and therefore no sharing.

    The course even tells us : If you make the mistake of looking for the Holy Spirit in yourself alone your thoughts will frighten you because, by adopting the ego’s viewpoint, you are undertaking an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide. This is bound to produce fear. ~ACIM


    You can no more pray for yourself alone than you can find joy for yourself alone. Prayer is the restatement of inclusion, directed by the Holy Spirit under the laws of God. Salvation is of your brother. The Holy Spirit extends from your mind to his, and answers you. You cannot hear the Voice for God in yourself alone, because you are not alone. And His answer is only for what you are. You will not know the trust I have in you unless you extend it. You will not trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or believe that it is for you unless you hear it in others. It must be for your brother because it is for you. Would God have created a Voice for you alone? Could you hear His answer except as He answers all of God’s Sons? Hear of your brother what you would have me hear of you, for you would not want me to be deceived. ~ACIM

    I remember there was a point in time studying the course where I withdrew from my brothers, I withdrew from life itself and these were dark days. I had this “understanding” that everything was an illusion and so I withdrew myself from what I believed to be illusion. But my understanding now is the course doesn’t teach this.

    I don’t think the course asks us to walk around telling ourselves that our brothers are merely illusions that we made up. In fact, in the section, “The Two Emotions” I wouls say that the course is saying that is the problem and not the solution. There is a reality within our brother, just as within each one of us, beyond the bodies and conceptual ideas of ourselves and our brothers, there is a shared reality. A relationship. And the course asks us to look beyond all of this when it says:

    Like you, your brother thinks he is a dream. Share not in his illusion of himself, for your Identity depends on his reality. Think, rather, of him as a mind in which illusions still persist, but as a mind which brother is to you. He is not brother made by what he dreams, nor is his body, “hero” of the dream, your brother. It is his reality that is your brother, as is yours to him. Your mind and his are joined in brotherhood. ~ACIM

    Eric: The more I find myself fully engaged with my brothers and with life itself, the more I sense God. The more I withdrawal from my brothers and life, the more I sense despair. Nothing is for us alone, because we are not alone. There are two passages that for me sums up the problem and solution that leads out of the problem. They are:

    In sleep you are alone, and your awareness is narrowed to yourself. And that is why the nightmares come. You dream of isolation because your eyes are closed. You do not see your brothers, and in the darkness you cannot look upon the light you gave to them. ~ACIM


    God’s Will is your salvation. Would He not have given you the means to find it? If He wills you to have it, He must have made it possible and easy to obtain it. Your brothers are everywhere. You do not have to seek far for salvation. Every minute and every second gives you a chance to save yourself. Do not lose these chances, not because they will not return, but because delay of joy is needless. God wills you perfect happiness now. Is it possible that this is not also your will? And is it possible that this is not also the will of your brothers? ~ACIM

    I am going to stop here, but I would like to leave some passages on sharing within the course that I used to write an old blog.

    You think with the Mind of God. Therefore you share your thoughts with Him, as He shares His with you. They are the same thoughts because they are thought by the same Mind. To share is to make alike or to make one.
    ~ACIM Lesson 45

    Remember always that your Identity is shared, and that Its sharing is Its reality.~ACIM

    Every loving thought held in any part of the Sonship belongs to every part. It is shared because it is loving. Sharing is God’s way of creating, and also yours.~ACIM

    This communication is the Will of God. Creation and communication are synonymous. God created every mind by communicating His Mind to it, thus establishing it forever as a channel for the reception of His Mind and Will. Since only beings of a like order can truly communicate, His creations naturally communicate with Him and like Him.~ACIM

    I have said that the Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracles. He always tells you that only the mind is real, because only the mind can be shared.~ACIM

    You did not make this power, any more than I did. It was created to be shared, and therefore cannot be meaningfully perceived as belonging to anyone at the expense of another.~ACIM

    The mind we share is shared by all our brothers, and as we see them truly they will be healed.~ACIM

    Because God shared His Being with you, you can know Him. But you must also know all He created, to know what they have shared.~ACIM

    1. Brother Eric!

      Thanks for the kind words . . . That is an interesting point about isolation. I remember early on in my study someone at a study group telling me that the course was designed for people who were leaving the world. But I think – and I know you say this, too – it meets us where we are, whether we’re running an investment firm or living in an ashram. Jesus isn’t particular that way.

      And I love that important idea that we all have a role to play:

      Your special function is the special form in which the fact that God is not insane appears most sensible and meaningful to you. The content is the same. The form is suited to your special needs, and to the special time and place in which you think you find yourself, and where you can be free of place and time, and all that you believe must limit you (T-25.VII.7:1-3).

      We have to show up for these lives and follow where they seem to go!

      I resisted for a long time the course’s focus on relationship with our brothers and sisters. I hated that. I wanted it to be about me and Jesus in a cave somewhere. But I think the course is actually very clear – the quotes you shared are so helpful – that we can’t do this alone and to think otherwise is a mistake. We aren’t going to be punished for that mistake, but we are going to stumble a bit because we’re following our plan rather than God’s plan for salvation.

      On a side note, somebody emailed me the other day and reference spiritual bypassing and I thought of you. Need to look into that a bit more.

      Hope all is well –


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.