I am often struck by how gentle A Course in Miracles is even as it works powerful changes in our lives. Gandhi once said that he observed life in the midst of great destruction and concluded that there was a higher law than destruction and hate – the law of life, or love. The Course is one way to make contact with that law – to not only become aware of it but to allow it into our lives in an active way.
Many of the significant changes in my life have been the result of havoc and pain. You know – I drank myself into a deadly corner and got dragged back to life kicking and screaming. It was a blessing, sure – but it was wrapped in nails and chains.
The ego will make us pay for healing, but the Holy Spirit just gives it away. It’s the difference between a kick and a kiss, you know?
The Course comes on like a whisper and it leaves even softer. You look up and you’re a little less invested in the level of time, the level of the body. How did it happen? You didn’t even notice you were being worked on.
I am practicing ACIM Lesson 132 these days: “I loose the world from all I thought it was.” Big stuff! We are being taught that there is no world. It’s totally crazy, totally opposed to all the egoic self holds dear.
Yet this lesson (and the sequence of which it is a part) is so important because it grounds our understanding and application of “I will not value what is valueless.” We are coming to Truth. We are shifting our focus from the meaningless to the only meaning possible. What else is there? Any one of these lessons has the capacity to awaken us, to lead us directly to the gates of Heaven. All we have to do is want it without equivocation.
And yet, for such a powerful blessing, the teaching remains easy. It is not like Jesus saying “this way and no other.” God isn’t threatening us – you better not listen to that Buddha guy. You better not say “she” and “god” in the same sentence. It’s not that way at all. It’s like Jesus saying, “You want to follow this path? It’s okay. You want to follow another path? That’s okay,too.”
We are being introduced to a Love that is not contingent. Our ideas about that love are nothing. Love that has no opposite . . . who knows it here? We get glimpses maybe but knowing it as our reality . . . We’re not there yet. We’re still here.
What can we do? We can see the gentleness inherent in the Course. That’s a good start.
Healing is a gift of those who are are prepared to learn there is no world, and can accept the lesson now. Their readiness will bring the lesson to them in some form which they can understand and recognize (W-pI.132.7:1-2).
“Some form which they can understand and recognize . . . ”
There is such blessing in those words! It acknowledges the seeming differences here at the level of the body and the world while simultaneously pointing to the Oneness that is our reality.
How many spiritual teachers or texts are wise enough to say, “the Truth is here but it’s also over there.” The God inherent in A Course in Miracles is indifferent to the differences we perceive between Catholics and Buddhists and Course students and Zoroastrians and whatever else. It doesn’t see them and so they are not real. Variety in form never affects the unity of content.
And we can get with that! We can do the work and find our way back to knowledge of God. Softly and lovingly, Jesus uses the Course to dissolve the idea of separation between self and God, simply by reminding us that it never happened.
[I]f you are as God created you, you cannot think apart from Him, nor make what does not share His timelessness and Love . . . If you are real the world you see is false, for God’s creation is unlike the world in every way. And as it was His Thought by which you were created, so it is your thoughts which made it and must set it free, that you may know the Thoughts you share with God (W-pI.132.11:1, 3-6).
Are we ready to take responsibility for that? At least a little? The world of the body and of time is not real – it is an invention, an idea that we have interposed between our minds and the Mind of God. Love would undo it for us, so long as – and to the precise degree – that we are willing for it to be undone.
It always comes back to love. The Course is gentle because it is predicated on love. It doesn’t traffic in fear and fear’s effects. Fear and love are contradictory terms, said Gandhi, adding that “[l]ove is reckless in giving away, oblivious to what it gets in return.” Love isn’t just in the Course. The lessons are everywhere.
Love is the law to which we are subject. All our grief and pain comes from our resistance to it. A Course in Miracles is a way – one way, there are so many beautiful others – to make contact with that law. We learn to live by it – day by day – until the day comes when we don’t need time any more. We don’t need the body. Heaven is always right here at hand, ever waiting on us to slip the bonds of fear and return to Love.