To say that we are all thoughts in the mind of God is perhaps to engage in a bit of literary gamesmanship. It’s a smooth and cool phrase, ripe with metaphysical implications. But it’s also just a metaphor. It’s a way of trying to understand or appreciate the relationship between God as Creator and you and me as Creations. It’s okay to try and talk about this stuff. In fact, I believe it’s important to talk about it. But we also have to realize the futility of language in this regard. What we say is almost always imperfect. We have to be willing to get beyond words.
The God of A Course in Miracles is presented as being altogether beyond conception. That which is formless and eternal cannot be readily squeezed into half a dozen choice words. Indeed, the text and lessons seem less focused on getting us back to God than removing the blocks that stymie our awareness of God. I’m apt to overlook this myself at time. We get carried away about our Oneness and the Kingdom of Heaven, but the Course is less about attaining all that than it is about helping us set up a good base camp. God takes the final step in our “union.”
Yet the last step must be taken by God, because the last step in your redemption, which seems to be in the future, was accomplished by God in your Creation. The separation has not interrupted it (T-13.VIII.3:2-3).
This is a hard idea to grasp, at least for me. On the one hand, it’s easy to say that our salvation is already accomplished. That’s clearly a principal tenet of A Course in Miracles. On the other hand, the notion that all of Creation is “one forever” (T-13.VIII.5:1) can feel mighty abstract and way outside the realm of our spiritual comfort zone. This is where we start grasping at linguistic straws, hoping to find one that might shed a helpful light.
Yet importantly, the course doesn’t equivocate and it certainly doesn’t bend over backwards trying to explain itself.
There is nothing partial about knowledge. Every aspect is whole, and therefore no aspect is separate. You are an aspect of knowledge, being in the Mind of God, Who knows you (T-13.VIII.2:1-3).
We are inside the Mind of God but believe that we are not. This is the separation, a “faulty formulation of reality, with no effect at all (T-13.VIII.3:5).” The world that we perceive – which includes the self as we understand it – is our line of defense against the made-up vicious and retaliatory God with whom we believe we have broken. When I try to experience that – not intellectually, but in a deeper and more substantive way – that language feels painfully awkward. I can’t get through it. I’m what? The world is what? God is where?
Obviously, help is needed. Prayer is instructive, if only because it symbolizes our willingness to reach beyond our own means. Indeed, I sometimes think that is its best quality. When we surrender, even a little, there is an interior shifting that tends to promote intuition and understanding. We “see” a little better. And the more we practice this letting go or giving up, the better our vision becomes.
What I am trying to say is that there is really not a whole lot to do. If you’re a student of the course, the best practice is simply to spend as much time with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God as you can. Get quiet, get still, say “Here I am” and then wait. Don’t make it a chore and don’t make it about self-improvement. Don’t worry about what happens after or whether you’ll be able to explain it. If you have to sneeze, sneeze. If your legs ache, stretch them a little. What’s going to happen is going to happen anyway. Why not sit back and enjoy the ride? It’s okay to breathe. It really is.
To say that we are but thoughts in the Mind of God is really to say that we are – right now, right this instant – one with God. V for Victory! This Oneness is what we want. Beneath layer after layer of guilt and hatred and anger and fear, this oneness is all that we burn for. And it’s already ours! God is happy to show us this faultless and perfect formulation of reality. Indeed, God wants to show it to us because our longing for it is his longing too. The separation never happened. You say it and say it and then, one day, you believe it. You feel it. It becomes your experience.
And yes, the feeling drifts away. That’s hard! But it comes back, too. For me, simplification is particularly helpful. Clearing time in order to be with God in prayer – a deeply personal process that is necessarily different (sometimes radically so) from one student to the next – opens the gates. God answers. And each answer is like a breath of cool clean air that sweeps through the dust and cobwebs that hinder my inner life.
More and more one learns that salvation simply has to do with showing up. Showing up willing to be transformed. Step by step – however grudging or stumbling – we are being led home.