For a long time I defined myself as a seeker – seeking Christ, seeking peace, seeking enlightenment, seeking God, seeking truth, seeking source, seeking awakening, seeking what is. One thing I discovered is that my seeking – no matter how passionate and intense – was never satisfied. I began to question my sincerity at the deepest levels. Was it possible there was an ulterior motive in all this searching – an intent to obscure, obfuscate and distract?
I learned that underlying the desire to know God and become the Christ and experience the peace and joy that attends that knowing and that becoming was helplessness. The desire was born of the belief that I did not already know God and was not already the Christ. And it derived its energy from the assumption that I was helpless to do anything about it. Thus, the search was always doomed to fail. It was a front for keeping what was broken, broken. As A Course in Miracles says, the ego’s first rule is “seek but do not find” (W-pI.71.4:2).
Yet the Course also advises that seeking is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. As Jesus said long ago:
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
In A Course in Miracles, Jesus clarifies this somewhat. Seek, yes, but don’t do it recklessly or mindlessly.
Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. The goal must be formulated clearly and kept in mind. Learning and wanting to learn are inseparable (T-4.V.5:3-5).
So I enquired into the nature of helplessness. It seemed to undergird so much of my belief system, to be endemic to my condition and identity. It confirmed that I was a victim of genetics, of the way I was raised, of the social and economic and political systems of the world in which I lived. In its light, reality was harsh and unrelenting and one could either surrender to its cruelty, eking crumbs before turning to dust, or perish in a vain struggle against it. It was all a matter of time.
But I questioned that conclusion. After all, the other directive we are given in the Course is to submit everything to this simple standard: what is it for? What is the purpose (T-4.V.6:8-9)?
So: what was the purpose of this helplessness? What end did it serve?
I learned that helplessness was not a law of the universe. One was not subject to it against their will. It was not part of reality or truth as created by God created, but rather a filter I had made as a defense against that divine truth and reality. It had no power over me that I did not willfully allow it to have. Thus, helplessness was a deliberate decision against Heaven. It only seemed otherwise.
Once I saw the truth of that, the next step down was natural (though not necessarily easy). I had long assumed that this helplessness was the floor – the ground from which all spiritual seeking extended. But it turned out there was another level. Beneath helplessness was pride. Beneath helplessness was arrogance. Helplessness was a weapon in my personal fight against God.
I saw the truth of it then: in what we might call a secure hidden location deep in the mind I was at war with God. I believed that my self – my life – was under siege and it was up to me to defend it. Beneath the veneer of helplessness was a vicious vigilant intent on destroying Heaven, whatever the cost.
Who wants to see that about themselves? Who wants to confront it? But it is there: the belief that God crucifies, that God punishes, that love is an illusion, peace impossible, and joy the naive dream of a child. Against that cruel God, one can only do battle, however futile.
On Redemption and the Kingdom of Heaven
Go even deeper, says Jesus in A Course in Miracles. Go deeper and learn that
You are not really afraid of crucifixion. Your real terror is of redemption (T-13.III.1:10-11).
It is like nesting boxes, isn’t it? Or the proverbial onion. You peel off a layer and you think you’re there but there is always another level. We say that – we accept it – but it is not true. At some point, one does reach the center.
When we can say and accept as true that we fear redemption, then we can at last understand that we do not want to heal our separation from God. This is so important to salvation! We made that separation, we believe in that separation, we have sustained that separation and have all but forgotten that it’s fundamentally untrue and entirely without consequence.
You realize that, by removing the dark cloud that obscures (the separation), your love for your Father would impel you to answer his Call and leap into Heaven. You believe that attack is salvation because it would prevent you from this. For still deeper than the ego’s foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and his for you. This is what you really want to hide (T-13.III.2:6-9).
You see, it is all – and it was always – about love. In a way, we are back at the introduction, the simplicity of
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists (T-in.2:2-3).
It is as if all our seeking merely returns us to where we have always been and to what we have always been. Our oneness with God is a fact, discoverable simply by turning within and facing each of the darknesses and fractures we encounter. There is a light in us that is not visible to the physical eye. It is possible to perceive it and to be guided by it. This is the meaning of “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”
We cannot fail because the journey we undertake was completed before it began. We merely labor in dreams to learn they are dreams. Our joy is assured:
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.