What message do we want to receive? For the message was already given us, and it is our choice now what message to hear: the one given to us by God in creation or the one we made – and make and remake moment by painful moment – in order to obscure the simple clarity of God’s.
To learn what we are in truth is to learn that there is no self external to what God created, and that what God created is not external to God. That is the meaning of “The cause a cause is made by its effects” (T-28.II.1:2).
Cause and effect are one, not separate. God wills you learn what always has been true: that He created you as part of Him, and this must still be true because ideas leave not their source (T-26.VII.13:1-).
If we would accept the truth of this – not interpret it, not analyze it, not pretend it’s too abstract or metaphysical, not ask teachers to spoon feed it to us – then we would understand that receiving God’s message is about as complicated as drawing our next breath.
Attention given to thought is “a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119). It is the “light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). And it is the promise of Christ that “[W]hoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
When we turn within we encounter first the tangled chatter of ego – loud, raucous and variable. It holds our attention – for lifetimes, it holds us. But that voice is not the gift of God. That is the mess we made to hide the gift.
So we have to go deeper. Going deeper is not a matter of concentration or intention. It is akin to balance, somehow. It is in the nature of surrender, not accomplishment. We have to discover it for ourselves. We watch the ego’s gruesome vaudeville and then sink beneath or beyond it where God waits.
For several minutes watch your mind and see, although your eyes are closed, the senseless world you think is real . . . then let [your thoughts] go, and sink below them to the holy place where they can enter not (W-pI.131.11:5, 7).
“Sink” is the right verb here, because to sink is to become passive. To let go and fall. There is a reason the course does not say “swim down” or “follow the ladder down” or something like that. There is a passivity involved that is anathema to the ego but dear to God.
Have you seen a bear in the forest? Come upon them suddenly on the trail? So close you can see the raspberry juice staining their snout, see the muscles rolling as they jog away into the bracken? Do you know that moment when you stare at them – and they stare at you – and it is not about human or bear but something else – some other energy that enters and fills you so there is no you, no that, but only what is?
My life changed the first time that happened. I am not being facetious when I tell you that I have lived for it ever since.
Angels light the way, so that all darkness vanishes, and you are standing in a light so bright and clear that you can understand all things you see. A tiny moment of surprise, perhaps, will make you pause before you realize the world you see before you in the light reflects the truth you knew, and did not quite forget in wandering away in dreams (W-pI.131.13:2-3).
I am not saying this is easy. I don’t want to lie. I want only to say that God speaks in and through us and the message resounds both within and without: it is each drop of rain, each fluttery chickadee, each car on the highway, each cloud drifting overhead and every blade of grass beneath our lonesome wandering feet. It is these things and it is the awareness that perceives them and – beyond what is measurable and beneath what fits in words – it is the mind that created them, mine and yours, and together God’s.