Within Which-ness

Your Self-fullness is as boundless as God’s. Like His, It extends forever and in perfect peace. Its radiance is so intense that It creates in perfect joy, and only the whole can be born of its Wholeness (T-7.IX.6:7-9).

So we are restless. We are in search of that which will bring out search to a close. We perceive ourselves as journeying but it’s an oddly incomplete image: from where did we take our leave? In what direction do we go? Upon whose word or promise does our faith in destination lie?

Everything that arises falls, while everything that falls, eventually arises. Over and over, again and again. The form changes – first moonlight, then cardinals, then a ruined tractor nobody has driven for years – but the rising and falling don’t change. Good, bad, lovely, outdated . . .

We look for the one who perceives this flux of phenomena – the seer who must be the self – but it too rises and falls because we cannot perceive it apart from the rising and falling. We look for the first cause – the Source – the “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” – and find what? Only more images, only more ideas.

Everything that rises and falls – including the idea of God, including the idea of rising and falling – rises and falls within whatever it is that we are in truth. We can understand this in terms of the body, if we want: language and image window dressing on a corresponding neurochemical impulse. We can understand it in abstract terms like mind or spirituality: ideas arising within the one mind that is God’s.

But however we do it, can we see – can we make contact with – that within which it arises? The suggestion I am making is that this “within which-ness” is very important, in the sense that it is all there is. It’s it. It can’t be literally seen or especially defined, but it can be felt or sensed, albeit mostly in a negative way. It is neither contradicted nor confirmed by science, and what we call religion or spirituality – like philosophy and psychology and literally all art – is merely a response to it.

We could vigilantly search for ten thousand years and never find it because our very looking obscures it. We could read every last word of the world’s wisdom literature – that which is on our shelves now, that which existed only in the oral tradition and has since disappeared, and that which is tens of thousands of years down the road beyond the reach of even imagination – and we would still not know it for the very simple reason that the echo is not the voice, however lovely or alluring it might be.

And the thing is, the Voice is always speaking to us. That is the thing. We want so badly to hear it and we never see that our want is simply another form of resistance, cleverly disguised as sincerity and right effort. A kind of passivity is called for, a kind of letting go. It is a kind of resignation even. We quit – really and truly quit – and only at that moment does ever-present light finally reach our eyes.

And to want to quit is to keep going. Even to write “we quit – really and truly quit –  and only at that moment does ever-present light reach our eyes” is to keep going. It’s maddening: until we drop it, we’re holding it, and we can’t drop it until we hold it.

In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf that falls is given life in you. Each bird that ever sang will sing again in you. And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you (T-25.IV.5:1-4).

In you . . .

“You” in this case does not refer to Sean or to the body with which “Sean” presently (and stubbornly) identifies. We really have to see this: the grace and peace to which A Course in Miracles points neither begins or ends in bodies, which includes thought and feeling and idea and perception. What is has –

Nothing before and nothing after it. No other place; no other state or time. Nothing beyond or nearer. Nothing else. In any form (T-25.IV.5:6-10).

Of itself, restlessness is perfect: it is simply another breeze passing over the open field. We don’t have to bring it to peace. We don’t have to search and we don’t even have to stop searching: we simply have to notice the “within which-ness” that is always here, always present. We have to notice the emptiness from which form briefly arises and into which it returns.

To say it is a simple thing – possibly even a  helpful thing – but it is still just foam on the salty waves we are all already surfing. What remains is joy: which is not the body’s pleasure nor the mind’s happiness but rather that within which those fleeting experience arise and fall to rise again . . .

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