Our practice of A Course in Miracles leads us to that space where there are two choices: either we are indulging the ideal of coming closer to God, which is effectively to worship an idol, or we are undoing the illusions which prevent awareness that we are already in God, as God is in us. The distinction is subtle but important.
Many ACIM students say – certainly I do – that we want to grow closer to God, or move towards Love, or strengthen our interior clarity, or whatever. But all of those are ideals that presuppose time. The assumption is that I am not with God now but through some series of actions I undertake I will be with God soon – tomorrow or next year or in another lifetime.
Whenever I make awakening an ideal, I bring time and effort into the equation. I make a process out of that which is timeless. It is important to see that in doing this I am tacitly confirm my belief that I am presently separate from God.
So what is the alternative to good intentions and promises to get it done tomorrow or next week or next year?
Undoing illusions. Rather than give attention to how sincere and devoted I am – and many of us who are still listening to the ego are sincere and devoted – I can give attention to what right now impedes my awareness of God.
God is given. God is present. Why am I not experiencing the fact of this now? What are the illusions – the internal beliefs and thoughts – that block this awareness?
If I can see those obstructions clearly and without judgment, then they are undone.
There is never anything to do about those blocks – in the sense of having to call someone for advice, or read a book, or take a pill or do some yoga. Those activities are not bad but the solution to any problem is always inherent in the problem. If the problem is that my beliefs obstruct my awareness of God’s presence, then I need to drop my beliefs. That can only be done now. They are a problem now and they can only be solved now.
To give attention to illusions is to meet our responsibility for awakening. It’s not a big deal. It is very straightforward and unremarkable. Right now – literally right now – we can experience God. What is stopping that? We might say that we don’t know, but how do we know that we don’t know?
There is nothing in the present moment that will not bear the gift of our attention and return it. If we are not sure what the impediments are, then we look at our uncertainty. We always look at what is. Soon enough we learn the clear and lovely simplicity that there is nothing else to see. Only this. And it is always here. It is always given.
A Course in Miracles teaches that we have to choose to listen to one of the two voices in us – the ego or the Holy Spirit (T-5.II.3:4) One, the ego, advocates for the efficacy of our own resources and efforts as well as the use of time. This never has worked and it never will work.
The other voice, which is the Holy Spirit, forever brings our attention to the present moment, where our remembrance of God is.
The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and other (T-5.II.3:7-10).
This is what we are doing: we are giving attention to the still small voice inside which surely and quietly removes the internal blocks to awareness of God’s Presence. Focus only on this and all else will be given, because it already is given. There is nothing else to learn, and nothing else to do.