On Bridges

I have been writing as if I am climbing a hill, and this is not an unhelpful metaphor, but it is still a metaphor. It is a funny way of saying that more and more I am simply standing in place, giving attention to what arises, learning how to let it go nameless, learning how to let it drift away.

A Course in Miracles does not call it a mountain but a bridge. When you finally step onto the bridge and begin crossing, life becomes a little disoriented, a little discombobulated. You know where you’re going – and you’re ready to go, you’re more than ready – but you’re still close to what you left. The gravitational pull of illusion is still tangible.

In the transition there is a period of confusion, in which a sense of actual disorientation may occur. But fear it not, for it means only that you have willing to let go your hold on the distorted frame of reference that seemed to hold your world together (T-16.VI.7:4-5).

“Bridge,” like “hill,” is misleading because it implies we are in motion: that we are actually going somewhere, actually doing something. But in fact, the bridge – like the hill – is simply “a transition in the perspective of reality” (T-16.VI.7:1). We are not doing a damn thing except learning how to see without the error inherent in perception. We don’t do anything to perception; we simply begin to apprehend what lies beyond it. We stop falling for lies; we begin to realize (and accept) that “Truth is true” (T-14.II.2:5).

In a way, to even write this is a kind of frivolity. It is an experience that doesn’t lend itself to language, and it is so personal that what resonates for one of us can seem cold and dead to another. On the other hand, it’s not possible to make a mistake. So you do what you can, and let the various chips fall where they fall. The Truth is beyond our ability to injure or impair; all we can really do is studiously avoid looking at it. But you and I are mostly past that now, thank Christ.

Perhaps what I am trying to say is that you, like me, have begun the last steps of what A Course in Miracles calls a “journey without distance” (T-8.VI.9:7). And rather than fuss about the external details – who is with us, who has left us, what we’re carrying and so forth – perhaps it is time to simply focus on this last journey: this brief passage across the bridge that isn’t real, this brief ascent up a hill that doesn’t exist.

Delay will hurt you now more than before, only because you realize it is delay, and that escape from pain is really possible. Find hope and comfort, rather than despair in this . . . you are no longer wholly insane, and you would soon recognize the guilt of self-betrayal for what it is (T-16.VI.8:6-8).

Be attentive; be kind; be helpful. Forget yourself. Forgive yourself quickly and generously when you seem to fall short. There are no mistakes in salvation! (M-3.1:6) All the gift of our attention reveals is that we’re okay – we’re more than okay. We are home.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Hazel January 20, 2015, 11:35 am

    “All the gift of our attention reveals is that we’re okay – we’re more than okay. We are home.” Mmm… I feel peace when I read that.
    There’s no place like home.
    Thanks,
    Hazel.

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