The Collaborative Nature of Salvation

We can be as mirrors to each other, mirrors in which the Light of Christ is perceived and strengthened in both of us accordingly. Indeed, until we see this Light in our brothers and sisters, we have not really seen them (T-5.III.1:1). And – importantly – we will not really see (or experience) it in ourselves until they have seen it there for us. Salvation is collaborative.

One of the more helpful shifts in one’s practice of A Course in Miracles comes when we stop thinking of ourselves as separate perceptual centers of the universe. It is true that from the body’s perspective, we are those centers – it is my eyes that see, my hands that touch, my brain that processes the sensory data so received. Our identification with the body is very strong and so this I-centered universe feels very natural.

But slowly that attachment (of self to body, self to world) loosens and becomes tenuous. It is not that my eyes stop seeing sunlight on snow or my hands stop kneading bread or my brain stops searching for the right way to put these words together. Rather, it is the awakening of the dim sense that those things in and of themselves are thin gruel and the real sustenance – what we might call Truth, or Reality, or God – is hardly so subject to containment. In that light, the body’s helpfulness as a means of communication is its only reason for being¬† and all to which we are attuned (W-pI.136.17:5).

Gratitude begets a strong cycle of healing, reinforcing our natural (if hidden and weakened as yet) inclination to radical loving

Thus, the course teaches that “[B]oth Heaven and earth are in you, because the call of both is in your mind” (T-5.II.8:5) and makes clear that the mind in question is the one that we share with one another, as we share it too with Jesus (and Buddha and Emily Dickinson and Jonathan Edwards and so forth) because it reflects our creation by God as equals (T-5.II.9:1). That is why Jesus insists in the course that we are, along with him, the “light of the world” (T-5.II.10:3).

The ego is not averse to this language. It is delighted to “share” a mind with Buddha. Of course it creates along the lines of Emily Dickinson. Light of the world along with Jesus? Never thought otherwise. That is because the ego equates – insists, really, because it cannot conceive otherwise – self and body. It translates the course’s vision of Oneness to specialness, making it about Sean (or Sue or James or whatever). And because that specialness resonates so perfectly with the body’s impression that it is indeed the perceptual center of the universe, we accept it. It must be true. What else could be true?

The undoing of this painful mess is not a solo venture. We do not heal the separation by more separating but by union (T-8.IV.5:4-5). When you search for the Light of Christ in anyone, you strengthen its radiance in yourself and, because it is not strengthened in a body but rather in the mind we all share, you also strengthen it in those you perceive as “outside” of you (T-5.III.9:5). That is your gift to me:¬† your conviction that you will find in me the Light of Christ. Because you believe, I will too.

[T]o heal is to unite with those who are like you, because perceiving this likeness is to recognize the Father. If your perfection is in Him and only in Him, how can you know it without recognizing Him? The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself (T-8.V.2:5-7).

The reciprocal nature of this recognition matters. It does not begin in me and end in you, to my benefit. It is more in the nature of a circular flow – a willingness to perceive only what God created – which blesses both of us simultaneously. When we understand that our brothers and sisters are blessing us, we make contact with both humility and gratitude. We understand that healing is a “collaborative venture” (T-8.IV.4:8), not a personal accomplishment.

Humility undermines our attachment to egoic thinking and encourages us to be “open to learning” (T-5.III.11:4) which always leads to gratefulness, which is love under another name. And gratitude begets a strong cycle of healing, reinforcing our natural (if hidden and weakened as yet) inclination to radical (because it is impersonal) loving. It is important to remember always that miracles bring more love both to those who give them as well as those who receive them (T-1.I.9:3). We must be open to the love that others offer us.

It is impossible to heal alone and to be healed alone (W-pI.137). This single concept is the bedrock of salvation (W-pI.137.1:1). We are so bent on awakening that we often lose sight of the fact that it is not personal. You are not an image through which I remember my personal oneness with God. Rather, our shared attention to one another is itself the Light of Christ. In this, giving and receiving are one.

When we approach one another as literal saviors rather than stepping stones (or obstacles) to a personal experience of Heaven, we align ourselves with “truth as God created it” (T-1.I.36:1). That is our function and its effects are peace and joy. Together we know it.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Janet Acquilano February 17, 2014, 7:52 pm

    Hi Sean. Wow! This is exactly where I am right now. This means more than we are each others teachers, which still sees us as a little separate. Something just happened in my life that I would not have expected from someone, but it is enough to get me to finally let go, but still hold on to how we are one. That what is coming from me is coming from them too, the Christ Spirit, the only real thing there is. Another friend comments how we are in a giant play down here. I like that, and my question is, are all of our parts pre written. I know the separation never happened, but I have been led to letting go here for quite some time, but did not fully do it. Now something, expected, has shown up right in front of me where I need to let go NOW. Could call that fate, but I am letting go without letting go of what we really are. One being. This post was all about this. Thanks again : )

    • Sean Reagan February 17, 2014, 8:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Janet. It is wonderful when the “unexpected” shows up so perfectly, reminding us we are one and the only thing to let go is what obscures that truth. Thanks for reading!

      ~ Sean

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