If waking up is so simple, then why does it appear so hard? Why are there so many teachers with books and lessons and methods and why do we patronize them? If we have everything – which is to say that we are everything – then why can we not bring that wholeness into application?
We are searching for what we already are. We know this – we intuit this – every guide and guru reminds us of it – and yet we keep on going. Why?
To seek and not find, to knock and not be answered, to long and never be satisfied are the hallmarks of the ego. The ego is an idea, as God is an idea, but it is the idea of scarcity and lack. So long as we are beholden to it, and we are beholden to it, then we will experience its deprivation.
Why is this so attractive, this experience of relentless pain and anguish?
Because it confirms our guilt. We believe that we suffer because we are guilty, or we believe that we suffer because suffering will somehow expiate the wrongdoing which gives rise to the guilt.
But we never ask: what did I do? To whom did I do it? And who is the “I” who did it?
What is our resistance to asking those questions? What are we afraid we are going to learn?
The ego thrives in clouds and darkness. To ask that it come into the light, to share its beliefs, to consider a new paradigm is altogether reasonable. It is a just and fair request. That the ego won’t consent – that it viciously fights any attempt to know it, that it slyly undercuts any attempts to mitigate its harmful effects. . .
Seeing that, can we not begin to question the value of this idea? Can we not begin to reassess our allegiance to it?
All salvation lies in the willingness to ask those questions! We aren’t called to produce the answers, or evaluate the answers, or understand the answers, or repackage the answers for others.
You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is. Yet we have emphasized that you need understand nothing. Salvation is easy just because asks nothing you cannot give right now. T-18.IV.7:5-7
Right now. Right this moment. Stop reading and try it, really give yourself to it. What you can give right now is the willingness to question the ego’s value, the ego’s logic, the ego’s effects. You can give your desire to be released from bondage to it. Nothing more than that is required. How simple, right?
Forget not that it has been your decision to make everything that is natural and easy for you impossible. If you believe that the holy instant is difficult for you, it is because you have become the arbiter of what is possible and remain unwilling to give place to the One Who knows. T-18.IV.8:1-2
Our practice of A Course in Miracles must be rooted in this “little willingness.” We have to root out the ego in all its forms, which is – paradoxically yet fundamentally – to absolve ourselves of responsibility for waking up. We don’t “achieve” Heaven. We simply accept the gift of being reminded that we never left.
When we feel it is our obligation to “achieve” – either because we are experiencing the shallow fragments of holiness with which the ego tempts us or because we are bitter that such a gift should be beyond our power to give – we have again fallen prey to the ego. We have become the arbiter of what is possible. And that is not a role for which we are equipped. All our misery and the world’s unhappiness attests to this. Listen to those witnesses!
And remember, above all, that the Holy Spirit asks only for our willingness.
The preparation for holy instant belongs to Him who gives it. Release yourself to Him Whose function is release. Do not assume His function for Him. Give Him but what He asks, that you may learn how little is your part, and how great is His. T-18.IV.6:5-8.