In a Course in Miracles, a special relationship is a kind of idol. By loving and worshiping it, we effectively blot out the memory of God. We have chosen this one tiny thing – a person, a place, a song, a religion, et cetera – to take the place of all that we were given in Creation. In the banquet hall of Heaven, we settle for stale crumbs.
It doesn’t matter what we render special. Could be A Course in Miracles. Or a certain career. Could be a relationship with another person. We’ve all been there. We meet someone and it’s like bam! They’re our soul mate. They know all the right Bob Dylan songs. They like just the right flavor of ice cream. They complete our sentences and we complete theirs, effortlessly. It’s the closest to the pure love of God we’ve ever found in the world. Jesus himself put a stamp of approval on it.
The thing is, that’s not love. It’s hate. It’s hate because it is exclusive. It takes the fragment and calls it the whole and thus perpetuates the painful separation of self from God. We can’t take a shard of broken glass and make it a window by closing our eyes and wishing really hard. We can call it love – we can pretend it’s love – but if all we’re doing is whipping ourselves bloody with specialness, what else is it in truth but hate?
This is how A Course in Miracles can be so effective. All we have to do is see this particular special relationship in all its dimensions with Jesus. And what does that mean? It means that we set aside our inclination to judge, our inclination to hurry, and our inclination to get involved. So a little quiet enters. A little stillness enters.
In that space, we can invite our inner teacher to look at the special relationship with us. And here is what we see: we see the holiness and we see the dross, together. We see that on the one hand, we really are in the presence of a brother or sister who is spiritual kin to us.
And we also see that we are in this relationship for ourselves: what can we get out of this?
We see both of these things – the love and the hate, the holiness of Christ and the profanity of the ego – side by side, like books on a shelf.
And seeing them that way – clearly, without drama – we will naturally choose the lovelier book. We will accept the one that brings us peace, radiates light, and lifts and buttresses the spirit.
We will choose holiness over the ego. And when we make that choice, the egoic view is gently dissolved by a power that is not of us even as it works through us. We will literally watch as the greed and lust and vanity just seep out of the relationship. And all we have to do is ask our internal teacher – whose joy is to help us see with clarity and grace – to help.
I am not saying this is easy. Or that we don’t slip up. Or that some new special relationship is going to come waltzing down the pike. It will. But it’s okay. Our goal is not perfection; our goal is simply peace of mind.
No relationship in life – be it with a human being, a dog, a building, a country, or what-have-you – is free from the bonds of specialness. We are always looking at the world for what we can get. But we are also not without a helper who can see anew what we perceived in such a dim and selfish light.
God asks for your forgiveness. He would have no separation, like an alien will, rise between what he wills for you and what you will. They are the same, for neither One wills specialness (T-24.III.5:1-3).
Thus, it is fair to say that no relationship in our life is without the capacity to be rendered holy and lovely and healthy. All we need do is turn to our inner Christ, whose presence is sure and steady.
The sight of Christ is all there is to see. The song of Christ is all there is to hear. The hand of Christ is all there is to hold. There is no journey but to walk with him (T-24.V.7:7-10).
. . .
You who would be content with specialness, and seek salvation in a war with love, consider this: The holy Lord of Heaven has Himself come down to you, to offer you your own completion (T-24.V.8:1).
For which all we can really say is: thank you.