The Here-and-Now of Heaven

Eventually you see through the details that seem to comprise your life. The lovers, the friends, the roads, the jobs, the poems. The this and the that. You see how it all comes and goes, rises and falls, clarifies here and blurs over there. You see how on close observation edges and seams aren’t actually discernible. There is only this experiencing, which knows it is experiencing. It’s strange and lovely and luminous, the way the ordinary is when one is attentive.

We live now in an old parsonage on Main Street. The village around us is full of people. Dogs are almost always walked on leashes. A half mile that way is a river that whispers at night and by dawn floats through the field in tendril streams of mist. Just beyond is a line of hills, the far side of which appeared to Emily Dickinson. At night I dream of the old house and the old trails and my dogs, all gone now as if they really were just a dream.

Some simplicity and clarity attends when one realizes that A Course in Miracles is simply a course – a curriculum with a beginning and an end. You take it – you maybe take it again – you enter into this or that relationship with teachers and fellow students – and then . . . you shuffle along. Or stride maybe. Or not. God waits only on the end of waiting.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven . . . because you can find nothing else. There is nothing else. God is All in all in a very literal sense (T-7.IV.7:1-4).

Which Emily Dickinson knew all along, saying of Heaven’s locale:

To Him of adequate desire
No further ’tis, than Here –

And so it is, at last.

When one consents to know Heaven – to give over all hindrances and reservations that preclude knowing it, which is simply to no longer do battle with them, which is simply to see there is no self to direct any engagement with them at all, good or bad, right or wrong – then Heaven is simply what is because it always always was what is. Clear and fine, like corn tassels in a light breeze, or a crescent moon in a late winter sky, or a chickadee’s two-note spring song coming from over the hill . . .

Well, that is a way of saying it. There are others. Why shut up when you can cheerfully sing, however nonsensical and misdirected the song? For what else does one fall in love with chickadees? We aren’t getting anywhere because what we are is beyond coming and going, beyond singular and plural, beyond even subject and object. It’s this – this this – regardless of whether we can articulate it.

what we are together
can never die

never arrive
or improve or go away

who cares
if I can’t explain it

I can’t explain moonlight
in apple trees either

and yet the one keeps shining
on the other

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Cheryl Williams April 4, 2016, 10:59 am

    So much change, Sean, that a separate self must move through, so much uncertainty. Letting go of what we must and allowing for what arrives while seeing we have no choice (if we ever want even a lingering taste of peace) but to drop our resistance to what is.

    I am in one of those periods as I write this . . . trying not to use the old ego methods to analyze and control a very difficult and emotionally charged situation . . . The two things in life I fear most have joined together to show me . . . what? . . .and the fear that has been drummed up is a “presence” in my life.

    So, here I sit, given an opportunity to turn my most terrifying demons over to God, to Spirit . . . to trust, rather than to fall back into old habits of analyzing and researching and obsessing, And you know what, Sean? I don’t know if I can do it even as I know I must do it. . . And, I imagine, from what I’ve read above, you know the same space very well.

    Love,
    Cheryl

    • Sean April 5, 2016, 7:59 am

      Thanks for reading and sharing, Cheryl.

      It is hard to write about these things – hard to even think about them, because language and thought are by nature divisive.

      Everything is
      as it is
      until we name it

      What the post aimed to say – thinking mainly of Dickinson and her joy, and the way her joy appeared to others – was that Heaven is, regardless of the myriad changes that seem to be happening, and that sooner or later this fact becomes the object of attention.

      The invitation inherent in A Course in Miracles is to see the false for the false which, once seen, leaves only the True. One can’t deny the appearance of separate lives – with learning experiences, losses and gains, favorite writers, and all of it – but nor can one precisely say what all that is, or what its source is.

      Even choice – free will – simply come and go, apparently without regard for the individual who so cherishes them.

      At long last seeing
      that I first must believe
      the world’s rules
      to even begin to think
      I am breaking them

      That is forever the paradox: everything – good, bad and in between – cause and effect – theories about cause and effect – arise in this first-person experience of awareness. It’s a trap!

      But only from the perspective of the one who believes it is that limited experience and so strives to escape it.

      Heaven may not be finding what we seek – or achieving some delicate balance between competing desires – but simply giving up on seeking altogether because one sees at last it is futile, another empty dream in a series of empty dreams.

      Then what happens?

      As fear begins
      to fall away
      ego shivers and reaches
      for its familiar blanket
      of thought

      But again, always within the experience of experiencing . . . Can we find the one who is “seeing” all this happen? For whom this ego is an object that can be observed?

      The empty vessel,
      which holds everything

      . . . and the everything that holds the empty vessel, yes?

      Which you know and keep pointing out to me, over and over. So, again, thank you . . .

      Love,
      Sean

      p.s. poetry in this comment courtesy of https://twitter.com/outbeyondideas

      • Cheryl Williams April 5, 2016, 3:28 pm

        What do I say to this, Sean, except . . . thank you. Although it seems so inadequate, anything else feels superfluous. ~ C

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