The kids and I were driving yesterday – coming to the town line – when I pulled quickly to the side, made a three-point turn and zoomed back in the opposite direction. I parked on the shoulder, threw on the emergency lights and leaped out of the car.
My kids didn’t blink. They knew what was going on: I’d spied a turtle (a young snapper, in this case) crossing the road, and I was going to give it a lift across.
I am thinking of starting a new organization: TARP. Turtle Assistance, Rescue & Protection.
I love turtles.
But turtles are – like elephants and moose, like steamed clams dipped in hot butter, and certain Bob Dylan songs – illusions. So what’s the point? Rescue them or don’t rescue them – it’s all the same.
If A Course in Miracles were a course in pure metaphysics, I’d say sure. But it’s not. It’s a thought system that enables us – through forgiveness, a kind of honest and open attention empty of judgment – to make use of the illusion in order to facilitate awakening to reality.
Kindness matters! The form will change from student to student – you may be into rescuing horses, or growing organic cucumbers, or protecting what remains of our forests, or feeding the hungry, or giving lots of hugs, or telling jokes when laughter is needed – but the content never does. The content is always love.
It is never a mistake to be as loving as possible here in the world, so long as we don’t confuse our small expressions of love with Love itself, with reality, with God.
I’m still learning this myself, of course. But it’s a fun lesson. How helpful can I be? How much fun can I have? How much love can I extend?
Those are questions worth answering. The separated world – from humans to pine trees to turtles – will thank us for considering them. It’s not Home – but it does help make clear the way.