Relate only with what will never leave you, and what you can never leave (T-15.VIII.3:1).
What will never leave us? What can we never leave? Those are important questions! Tara Singh used to say that when A Course in Miracles posed a question, or when we came to one on its account, the discerning and serious student stops to answer it, no matter how long it takes. What else is time for?
A Course in Miracles is very practical. Beyond its dense metaphysics and sometimes overbearing poetry is a very grounded and common sense intelligence. It speaks to us in a language we can understand so long as we are ready to hear it.
Oneness may not be our present experience, but it can be: this is the premise and promise of A Course in Miracles. We don’t have to wait on it. We don’t have to climb mountains, memorize a thousand lines of scripture, crawl across cut glass on our hands and knees. Nobody and no thing is absent.
We simply have to listen – give attention – to what the Voice of God says to us, in this moment, which is every moment. When you hear it, you realize you have never not been hearing it. It is the simplest, most obvious and most natural thing in the world. Its only condition is that we want to hear it more than anything else.
So we come to this sentence and we stop because it is so clear and unequivocal: “relate only to what will never leave you, and what you can never leave.” What is it? What is it?
If we stay with the question in a focused and practical way, it will be answered. We don’t have to search for the answer. We don’t have to merit it through devotion or sacrifice. It is given. We simply have to want it more than we want the unanswered question.
If we are honest, we might see that we are content to just keep asking the question. For a long time I was happy with that. It was a form of delay that suited me: asking tough questions, confronting people with them, writing about them. Wordiness can obscure as well as clarify! The gift can fuck us up as well as lead us home.
But we reach a point where the old confusion no longer works. Our capacity for delay and obfuscation can be very deep and sustained but eventually we reach its dregs. Eventually it runs dry. And then, in the mud and dreck of the bottoms, we start to want the answer more than the unanswered question.
Refuse not the awareness of your completion, and seek not to restore it to yourself . . . Accept your sense of failure as nothing more than a mistake in who you are (T-15.VIII.3:3, 6).
I promise you that if you give attention to this, then attention will reveal with utter and perfect clarity the whole peace of God. You will see the Face of God and live, and it will be precisely what it has always been, and what you have always been looking at. And all that will remain will be deepening the habit of relating this way. And you will want to do it because it is the loveliest and most peaceful thing you can imagine.
I had a dream the other night: I was walking a familiar trail through a familiar forest. My hands were full of jewels – and the jewels were full of light – but I was crying because I was alone. Jesus – who did not look like Jesus at all but like you, just like you – kept looking back at me.
“Drop the jewels,” he said. “Drop the jewels so we can walk together. We cannot hold hands if we hold anything else.”
How sad I was! The jewels were beautiful. They made me rich beyond imagining. I said, “I will let go of one or two of them. That will be enough.”
But I couldn’t choose which one to let go! And when I did, it looked so beautiful on the trail that I had to pick it up again. How many years passed that way! How many lifetimes until at last I had one hand free . . .
But it wasn’t enough. Of course it wasn’t enough. You were still there – you will always wait for me – but shadows had nearly swallowed you. And I saw then with total clarity the truth of it: I had to come to you with wholly empty hands. There was nothing left. How else could I hold you? How else would you hold me?
So when it is clear we throw down the jewels and run to the One: and when we look back we see the jewels were not jewels at all but bits of gravel and slate. Nothing matters but the Beloved. “The loneliness of God’s Son is the loneliness of his Father” (T-15.VIII.3:2). Kabir advises us to “Behold but the One in all things.” A Course in Miracles says “forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God” (W-pI.189.7:5).
When we set aside all that comes between us and Love – which is not sex, not desire, not pleasure, not beauty, not security, not certainty, not poetry but that which is altogether without opposite – then Love is all there is. Love is what remains. We cannot leave it and it will never leave us. This is a fact now. This is our reality now.
And I can only say it this way because you showed it to me and said write it so I will remember, too. Even now you sit so patiently reading these sentences, gently making allowance for my wordiness, waiting until at last I surrender my fistfuls of dust and stand beside you, all of us together in the only light there is.