The Given is Always Present

What is given is present: what is accomplished is already manifest. It is here and it is now. As students of A Course in Miracles we are not inventing salvation – are not co-creating salvation – but are rather learning how to become aware of what we know but have trained ourselves to forget.

We are exchanging a dysfunctional mode of perception for one that is functional – highly functional. Our mode teaches us that reality is fragmented and fraught with scarcity and so vicious rounds of attack and defense as the best means of survival.

It teaches us that survival – not Life – is our function.

When we see this clearly, we naturally open to the possibility of exchanging it. There is only one option: the perception of the Holy Spirit. When we adopt this perception as our own, everything is transformed – from the bluets in the side yard to the wind in the trees to the moon in the sky.

Why is the external so transformed? Because we are asking nothing of it. When we turn to the Holy Spirit, we assent to our identity as Christ, and thus restore cause and effect to their proper places. No longer are we victims of wrong-minded perception. Instead we are blessed with the power that comes from knowing we are on with God.

Open the curtain in your practicing by merely letting go all things you think you want. Your trifling treasures put away, and leave a clean and open space within your mind where Christ can come, and offer you the treasure of salvation. He has need of your most holy mind to save the world (W-pI.164.8:1-3).

So we become like Bill Thetford who, exasperated with grief and conflict, said “there must be another way.” And the way was opened, and the holy relationship begun, and its light is still extending right now for me and you.

When we can admit that we are ready to perceive God instead of the pathetic alternative we made in God’s stead, it is given to us to know the Truth. Why? Because it has already been given to us.

We need only acknowledge how tired we are of the sad and lonely and broken lives we need. We need only ask for help, because “Christ answers for you, echoing your Self, using your voice to give His glad consent; accepting your deliverance for you” (W-pI.164.2:5).

I think it is right to take these words literally, and to be both comforted and inspired accordingly. When we can admit that we are ready to perceive God instead of the pathetic alternative we made in God’s stead, it is given to us to know the Truth. Why? Because it has already been given to us.

We are like little children whose mother took them to the beach. We close our eyes and scream “I want to go to the beach and instead you took me to this place where it’s dark all the time.” And our mother patiently says, “open your eyes.” And we don’t and we don’t and we don’t.

But then we do – maybe just to peek at first – and we see that we are at the beach, and we have always been at the beach, and our mother – bless her heart – has simply been waiting for us to join her there.

And so today, this instant, now, we come to look upon what is forever there; not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ. He looks past time, and sees eternity as represented there. He hears the sounds the senseless, busy world engenders, yet He hear them faintly. For beyond them all He hears the song of Heaven, and the Voice for God more clear, more meaningful, more near (W-pI.164.1:3-6).

Earlier today Chrisoula, the kids and I went canoeing on a nearby lake. We stopped at an empty little beach to rest a little in the sun, dig our toes in the rough warm sand. The kids swam in their clothes, and we threw sunflower seeds to a couple of high-strung chipmunks. A couple of old women in kayaks waved; a heron passed overhead, the slow arc of its wings reminding me of writing by hand.

Every now and then I would close my eyes – begin with “thank you” and let the prayer deepen – not unlike slipping into water, the sun-pillared depths – to what we call “Christ” but which in truth goes nameless and formless and does not attach to our wants or desires. A few seconds only but for now it is enough . . .

We make this contact slowly – piecemeal – and forget we made it and so relearn the sinking, relearn the emptying. It’s okay. What is Christ is not affected by resistance or delay; and what is given is ours unto eternity.

2 thoughts on “The Given is Always Present”

  1. Sean, what a terrific analogy for our situation ~ sitting at the beach with our eyes closed screaming, “I want to go to the beach and you took me to this dark place instead!” While Mom waits patiently for us to open our eyes to realize we are at the beach. Awesome. Perfect. Thank you.

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