Nonduality, A Course in Miracles and What We Are In Truth

I don’t know how it happened for you – finding and committing to A Course in Miracles. And I don’t know what happened when you did. All we can ever do is share about our own experience, being as clear and honest as possible, always willing to learn something new.

For me, I was searching for easy fixes to what felt like a persistent unhappiness. Things had been very bad in my late teens and early twenties – depression, suicidal ideation, active addiction, homelessness – but by the time was in my early forties the worst of that had passed. What remained was a nagging sense of dissatisfaction. “This isn’t it” but without a clear sense of what “it” was or what would help.

In those days I tried a lot of tools and modalities to address the problem. I went back to school and got a degree in creative writing. I studied and practiced energy healing. Did yoga, got craniosacral massages, talk therapy and tarot. I switched careers, then switched again. Spiritually, I was stuck. I’d finally left the Catholic church for good, but nothing had replaced it. I was lonely and adrift. Nothing was really working.

That was the space in which A Course in Miracles found me. Or I found it. The fit was instantaneous. There have been ups and downs for sure, but I have never seriously doubted that ACIM was the way for me.

What does that mean though: “the way?”

A Course in Miracles teaches me that I am not a body and the world is not real. It teaches me that forgiveness is not graciously agreeing to overlook harm done by another, nor even reframing that harm as some kind of psychological or spiritual error, but rather in learning how to not see the harm at all. Which, when you really go into it, can leave you foundering in existential crisis. Our minds are designed to judge! We are built to notice problems and fix them and then share the fixes. We are alive because of that skill! We have penicillin, air bags and twelve string guitars because of that skill. Even it was was desirable to stop analyzing, comparing and evaluating, how could we?

The course teaches me that our unhappiness – regardless of our perception of it as minor or major or somewhere in between – is an effect of our belief that separation is real. We believe we are separate from God, from Creation, from one another and even from our own self. And because we believe it, it seems real which, in essence, means it is real. Our beliefs shape our perception, and our perception reinforces the apparent accuracy of our beliefs.

In turn, those beliefs make a world – one which seems to be dominated by zero-sum thinking, endless conflict, and an eternal binary of us vs. them – or something vs. something – so that we are always either suffering, or about to suffer, or gaining a very temporary respite from suffering.

It’s not great. But there is another way.

For me, the first step in the solution proposed by ACIM is to discern between ego and Holy Spirit, both of which are in our mind. They are modes of perception that “speak” or give direction. They shape our perception, which guides our activity, which produces a world, which influences our perception, which . . .

The ego is the part of the mind that believes it is “in” a body, and is therefore subject to the body’s many vulnerabilities. Ego is basically an argument that the body’s adventures are our adventures and the body’s inevitable death will be our end as well. Ego is a great persuader, ever getting us to invest in guilt, fear and sacrifice. It is always raising the stakes and doubling down. When we listen to the ego, it feels like war and famine are at the door, that evil has or is just about to triumph over good, and that it is up to us to fix everything, even though it can’t actually be fixed.

Listening to – and living with – ego is painful, difficult, and full of despair.

In contrast, the Holy Spirit is simply our mind at rest. My Buddhist friends sometimes call it “right mind.” It is calm and quiet. It makes offers rather than arguments. It seeks consent rather than persuasion. It is calm and quiet, happily honoring our perception of self-will and agency. It does not trick us, fight with us or denigrate us. It speaks easily of what is true, and gently calls us to the contentedness and rest that are natural effects of remembering what we are in truth. Peace, not war, is its mode. It has no enemies.

We are happy, creative and engaged when we are listening to the Holy Spirit.

So it is good (in the sense of helpful) to discern between these two voices, these two ways of thinking. It’s also good to get a grip on the belief system that underlies them.

The more skillful we are at this discernment, then the better we will be able to answer the following important question: to whom do the Holy Spirit and ego communicate? You are not the ego, and you are not the Holy Spirit. You are that which they address.

What are you?

It’s no good having someone answer that question for us. The “answer” is basically a non-transferable experience. In the same way that if I eat a slice of bread, your hunger doesn’t go away, if I tell you what you are in truth, then you won’t actually realize anything. It’s just words; it’s just somebody else’s interpretation and opinion which can be accepted or rejected. We really have to come to the experience on our own. That’s the whole point.

A Course in Miracles teaches us that we share the Name of God (e.g, T-8.IX.7:3, W-pI.183.1:2, W-pII.266.1:5). The two religious traditions from whose confluence ACIM arises (Christianity and Advaita Vedanta), suggests that God’s “name” is not a word but an experience: “I AM.”

The suggestion is that when we seek to know God we are seeking Being itself before it dissipates in the specificity of form and language. Form and language are downstream of Being. Before the many distinctions, and the ways of identifying, categorizing and evaluating them, there is the One Being, call it what you will. It is this: this this.

In my experience, the function of the Holy Spirit – through the holy instant and holy relationship – is to guide us to a direct experience of “I AM.” Using means and tools – i.e., forms – that are individually meaningful for us, the Holy Spirit introduces us to the reality of Being, which we will eventually recognize as our own self. Everything in the world is dependent on this self for its existence – the moon and the sun, evolution and gravity, chocolate and fried chicken. Everything – from a child’s drawing to the Mona Lisa, from a quasar to a quark – is dependent on “I AM” – which is your own self – for its existence.

When we approach this from the perspective of is it right or is it wrong (which is how the world does approach it) – when we make it into an argument that can be won or lost – then it always ends up feeling like a loser. Am I really suggesting that the moon is dependent on me for its existence? That when I die every mother’s son dies also? Come on.

But the observation is simpler than that. From the perspective of “I AM” – which we might also call radical subjectivity – it’s not even worth arguing about. Of course the moon is dependent on the “I AM.” When that goes, everything goes with it. But, curiously, the “I AM” never dies. So far as it knows, it is eternal and infinite. When are you not here? How could you not be?

This is a fairly straightfoward take on nonduality in terms of contemporary expressions of Advaita Vedanta, especially popular cultural models such as Eckhart Tolle, Leo Hartong, Jeff Foster, et cetera. In my experience, most students of ACIM are aware of this frame and are relatively comfortable deploying it to explain and/or process their experience. And it’s not unhelpful.

But here’s the thing. Nisargadatta – who was not an ACIM student but whose insights into nonduality I have found very helpful – said that “I AM” is the first ignorance. It’s good to see it – indeed, he advocated giving attention only to “I AM” – but in and of itself it is simply another perceptual and cognitive error, albeit the first, or original, one. We can correlate this to a seminal concept in A Course in Miracles: “Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh” (T-27.VIII.6:2).

“I AM” is the tiny, mad idea that we took seriously. From what does it arise? Against what does define itself? All the dreams, stories and images that have followed its appearance and presence – what is their actual origin? What is their relationship to their origin, whatever it is?

The invitation the Holy Spirit makes is to restore to our awareness “I AM.” When we rest in the “I AM,” we return to the moment of decision when we separated from the whole and took the separation seriously. Therefore the suggestion is to ask, over and over, from what did the “I AM” arise? It is an invitation to find our way back to the moment of decision at which we effectively parted ways with That-Which-Cannot-Be-Divided, which is also That-Which-Cannot-Be-Parted-From.

If you go into the “I AM” and stay with it, and if you seek to understand its origins, then eventually you will reach the void. You will reach the limits of your capacity for inquiry; you will reach the terminus of cognition and perception. You will reach an end that is not the end. We do not know what we do not know. Imagination and study and everything personal ground out here. “I AM” is something but what it arises from cannot be articulated or described in any way which means that it’s nothing, no thing, “no-thing-ness,” the void.

Whatever that is, the “I AM” is dependent on it.

Whatever that is, that is what you are.

And whatever that is, we cannot – in anything other than a highly politicized, highly spiritualized way, which is to say highly relative way – speak of it.

Abhishiktananda (a Christian monk who moved to India to integrate Christianity and Advaita Vedanta) used the metaphor of the baby. An infant is born and lives but its sense of “I AM” does not appear until later in its development. Like, when did “YOU” suddenly appear? On the world’s logic, it was after your body appeared. But the “I AM” isn’t there at the beginning. Only later does it appear. You can look back and find scenes – flashes or glimpses – of the “I AM” coming online. And then it is there, fully. So ask: how did “you” live before the “I AM?” Before all of this – this this – what were you? How did you live?

Clearly you didn’t need the “I AM.”

Or you can ask it this way: how does a flower live without “I AM?”

When you do this, you start to see how “I AM” is dependent. It’s not first. It’s not creative – e.g., the source of all things. Rather, it is a limit on Creation. Upon what it depends we can’t say (though we will surely try) but that’s okay. What matters is that we see – truly and deeply, beyond doubt – its dependency. That seeing, that knowing, is what teaches us that whatever we are, we are not “I AM.”

I think in that sense, A Course in Miracles is not especially Christian. That was always Ken Wapnick’s argument and I have generally disagreed with that argument, because it is framed so bluntly and dogmatically in terms of gnosticism. What I am talking about here is more of a Vedantic move. Abhishiktananda finally concluded that one could not claim to be either Christian or a Vedantan if they were serious about remembering what they were in truth. One had to let it all go. The means by which we reach that juncture can vary (Hinduism, Catholicism, ACIM, whatever), but the letting go Itself . . . that is like falling in love. We all do it, we all know how to do it, but nobody can do it for us. It’s deeply and naturally intimate. To let go, to paraphrase Abhishiktananda, means to take up residence in the Cave of the Heart, where neither perception nor cognition can enter.

The critical insight here is not to be able to make a scholarly argument or to coach others on their remembrance of nonduality – both of which are ultimately just forms of the lovelessness of “I get it and you don’t” – but rather to come to a natural and serious happiness for our own self in our own way which is already given. When we finally remember what we are in truth, then our so-called problems are solved and we no longer mind what happens. A Course in Miracles was for me – and remains – deeply helpful in this regard. I wish the same for all students.

A Course in Miracles Lesson 239

The glory of my Father is my own.

A major stumbling block for many of us is false humility. We think by making ourselves small that we are acknowledging God’s greatness. It’s true that we are called to be servants! But what enables us to adopt that posture of love is a full-hearted and open-minded embrace of what we are in truth.

When we acknowledge the God’s glory is shared with us, we are not elevating ourselves over and against our brothers and sisters (broadly defined to include maple trees, whale sharks and mosquitos). We are making a statement about all Creation. God does not play favorites or, if you prefer, God has only one Child and we are, together, it.

This lesson makes clear that the opposite of humility is gratitude. When we realize that we are not separate from our Creator, and are radically equal with all Creation, we do not become power-hungry Lords or tyrants. We become deeply, almost mystically, thankful. All problems are solved in this light, all hurts and grievances healed. Of course we are grateful.

Gratitude is actionable. It is a feeling, yes, but it’s also a foundation. When we act from Love, we always act in ways that bring forth the Atonement, which can only be brought forth in relationship. The world becomes an interlocking network of relationships, all nurturing and feeding into one another, and our job is to render our node in that system holy.

Holiness means that we live in reality with open eyes and open minds. We do not deny ourselves. We are not afraid because we trust God and know that God trusts us. We serve our brothers and sisters by refusing to burden them with projections of fear, nor do we accept their projections. We undo interior blocks to our awareness of Love so that we can serve with as much clarity and integrity as possible.

This is the practice of holiness.

The happiness that living this way – living the practice of holiness – begets is hard to describe. It is not contingent on the right arrangement of external circumstances. It liberates us from the external by fundamentally rearranging our understanding of cause and effect. It restores to us the power to refuse separation and thus reconnect with what it truth we could never leave nor be apart from.

All this sounds too good to be true but “too good to be true” is a defense. It’s an idea we use to keep ourselves from truly partaking of the creative power and glory that is ours because of what we are and what reality is. So the work, then, is not merely to accept or reject the idea – anybody can do that – but to bring it into application.

The question is: if you do, in fact, share God’s glory, then how shall you live today? What will you do? What will you say? How will you respond to what appears?

The prayer in this lesson uses the metaphor of light to describe God’s presence in, to and with us. And it suggests that when we give attentin to this light we remember that we “are one, united in this light and one with You, at peace with all creation and ourselves” (W-pII.239.2:3).

That is a promise! It is a promise that if we accept our nature in truth, and remember our creative abilities, that we will also remember we SHARE those abilities with all Creation. We will be restored to collaboration, and our happiness will not be constrained or restricted in any way.

That is our practice today: to remember the glory of God and to accept the memory speaks to what we are as well. Indeed, we can only remember it because it reflects what we are in truth. What else but gratitude could possibly suit us?

←Lesson 238
Lesson 240→

A Course in Miracles Lesson 238

On my decision all salvation rests.

What I really enjoy about this lesson is the idea of God trusting me with his kids. I’m being flippant but you know what I mean. We spend a lot of time on “trusting God” and here we reverse that. God trusts us.

What I find amusing in a low-level frustrating kind of way about this lesson is the way certain sentences end up so convoluted by pronouns that they effectively lose all meaning, e.g., “You would give your Son to me in certainty that he is safe Who still is part of You, and yet is mine, because He is my Self” (W-pII.238.1:5). Huh?

But what I think is most noteworthy in this lesson is its one-sentence title: on my decision all salvation rests. Why that? Why here and now?

With respect to trust: A Course in Miracles typically personifies God as a superior male, the Father to end all fathers. Though it uses “Kingdom” quite a bit, it never uses “King” or “Ruler” or anything overtly militaristic.

I appreciate that! It is consistent with everything we know about the historical Jesus, whose emphasis was not on Rule but rather collaboration with a Loving Father whose patience, gentleness and kindness transcended our imagination.

And so in that spirit, I am grateful to consider a father who trusts me. As a father and a son in this life, I understand the role that trust plays in establishing and nurturing healthy relationships, and the way its absence undermines wholeness and happiness. I think the course is being very pro-family here, very pro-functional family.

With respect to the overly-dense sentences . . . I know, I know. If you go through them carefully, taking note of what’s capitalized and what’s not, they eventually parse into meaningful nuggets. Do I think Jesus spoke that way? No I do not. Do I think that ACIM sometimes indulges semantic density as a kind of juvenile pretension to intellectuallism? Yes. Yes I do.

Is all that merely opinion and therefore not worth the pixels comprising it? Of course it is.

What really stands out here is that the lesson’s title directs our attention not to trust, or ambling pronoun-strewn sentences, but to the decision we are entrusted by God to make – the decision upon which all salvation rests. No pressure!

What is the decision? It is the decision to “heal the separation by letting it go” (T-5.II.1:4), which is also our shared response to the Holy Spirit’s call to joy, given Him by God for our salvation (T-5.II.3:2).

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 no other (T-5.II.3:7-9).

When we choose to listen to the Holy Spirit, we are choosing to listen to God, who is not in us because we are in God (e.g., T-5.II.5:5). The Holy Spirit teaches us this by teaching us how to be happy together. Our “decision” really amounts to saying, over and over, “sure, I’ll be happy. How?”

And then we wait on the answer. The answer is always given, because the answer is what we are in truth! But here in the world it takes time to learn this, and then to accept and trust it. But as we learn to accept and trust it, we realize that we are merely reflecting the trust that is already in us.

In a real way, we are what we seek. We already live where and how we want to live. But we have forgotten! Today we take yet another gentle step together in the direction of remembrance.

←Lesson 237
Lesson 239→

A Course in Miracles Lesson 237

Now I would be as God created me.

This lesson reminds me of Saint Paul’s insistence that to be Christian was to have one’s value system utterly refactored in the Name of Love. One had to be transformed in a way that was visible to others; it wasn’t just about ideas but rather the effect of taking those ideas seriously.

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day has drawn near. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Rom 13:11-12).

A Course in Miracles says this refactoring is not something new but rather the remembrance of what is and was always true: we are creations of a loving God whose function is to create as God creates.

I will arise in Glory, and allow the light in me to shine upon the world throughout the day. I bring the world the tidings of salvation which I hear as God my Father speaks to me (W-pII.237.1:2-3).

Indeed, in that same letter to the Romans, Paul used the phrase “put on Christ,” which he characterized as opposite the human body. To be Christ was to no longer “make provision for the flesh” and the gratification of its desires.

A Course in Miracles is less rigid in its dualism (though it still sets body and mind as opposites, with the latter preferred by orders of magnitude). Instead, it suggests that when we “put on Christ,” as Paul puts it, the body’s perception is transformed. Our senses, when given to Christ, reveal a world that “ends the bitter dream of death” (W-pII.237.1:4).

Awakening is not about not having sex or chocolate or refusing long walks on the beach but rather about seeing the form of these things in the light that was given to us in Creation. That light, which is the Vision of Christ, is what allows us to know what everything is for because we know what we are. When we know ourselves, perception is transformed. We are no longer deluded.

That is, our uncertainty about self-identity ends when we accept ourselves as God created us. That is our truth, and that reveals to us our true Self, in and for whom the world is neither a cage nor a battlefield. Instead, it becomes a site of sharing the peace that is in us as a function of our Creator, who does not abide suffering.

Reality is true, regardless of our acknowledgement. It’s like being at the beach. I can close my eyes and say “I’m not at the beach,” and I can even believe myself and convince others. But I am still at the beach. The crisis arises not through what reality is but through our resistance and denial. Therefore, this lesson gently invites us to become open to a new way of being. It is a hearty “yes” rather than a hesitant “maybe” or stubborn “no.”

←Lesson 236
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A Course in Miracles Lesson 236

I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.

What kind of ruler are you?

That is the question behind today’s lesson. What kind of ruler do you want to be? What kind of ruler do you need to be? The mind is a kingdom given to us to rule. How shall we govern? How shall we assert our authority?

Another way to frame the fundamental question is: what is your relationship to power?

It is not an accident that the lesson urges us to serve, rather than to rule. Or rather, that it equates true service with ruling. In A Course in Miracles, true power is found in our willingness to share freely with our brothers and sisters, without fear or condemnation. Always ask: how can I help here? How can I be of service?

In this, the course tracks a long Christian tradition of subverting the world’s ideas about power, leadership and accomplishment. When John and James seek positions of influence in Jesus’s Kingdom, and the other disciples grumble, Jesus gently admonishes all of them.

Whoever among you seeks greatness shall be the minister of all, and whoever seeks to be first shall be the servant of all, for I did not come to be ministered unto but to minister (Mark 10:35-45).

For most of us, the mind is an unruly kingdom. It is full of ideas, images, visions and stories that seem to spring up from nowhere. Some we like, others we don’t. We are often anxious or depressed on behalf of the mind’s content. We seem to be doing its bidding, rather than the other way around.

What we want or need seems beside the point. Mind asserts itself over and aginst us, like a child veering between tantrums and boundless play, with no loving parent to guide and care for it. The result is chaos and pain.

A Course in Miracles invites us to reconsider this characterization of mind, and to realize that true power lies is offering the mind – its function and the many forms (ideas, images, visions and stories) it generates to God. That is, we offer the mind to God, through the Holy Spirit, to be used only for the purpose of atonement.

When we do this, we are actually allowing the mind to do the only thing it really can do – which is to serve (W-pII.236.1:5). To become a servant of our brothers and sisters – to teach atonement and nothing else – is not our highest or best function. It is our only function.

When we learn that we can offer our mind to God on behalf of our brothers and sisters, we are effectively realizing that love, not fear, is our true motivation. Thus we are released from suffering, and given the function of salvation.

Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement. Miracles are the way in which minds that serve the Holy Spirit unite with me for the salvation or release of all of God’s creations (T-1.III.3:3-4).

Thus, our “exercise of power” is really the open-minded and full-hearted expression of willingness to choose the Holy Spirit rather than ego. We ask that our thoughts reflect God’s Thoughts, and then actively seek those Thoughts so that we might follow them to shared happiness and peace.

Sometimes we ask, what are the Thoughts of God? The simplest answer is that they always guide us into relationship with our brothers and sisters, in ways that elevate the happiness and inner peace of all involved. Are you happy? Are you free of conflict? If the answer is yes, then you are thinking with God. If the answer is no, then you’re not.

It is not a crime to not think with God! This is not easy work we are doing, because we are undoing the habituated thinking of decades, in a world that does not support that undoing at all. We have to be patient and gentle with ourselves, as God is with us.

Somewhat cryptically, this lesson concludes by reminding us that our “gift to God” is also God’s Gift to us (W-pII.236.2:3). In a sense, the Course is suggesting that God’s “gift” is the free will which we accept by returning it to him for HIS ends, rather than ours.

This is a fair and helpful characterization! Left to our own logic and perception, we are easily sidetracked into schemes of sacrifice and bargaining, which always lead in the end to shared suffering. Cooperating with God – availing ourselves of Creation – becomes the way that we honor our will. We recognize it is not ours alone but rather is shared with God, and with all life.

To say this is to realize that peace and joy are a shared goal of all of us, and is altogether reasonable. Atonement abides no loss or other cause for grief. Our “rule” is the giving away of everything that obstructs the free flow of Love; our power is the power to serve in God’s Name. Nothing else becomes us.

←Lesson 235
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A Course in Miracles Lesson 235

God in His mercy wills that I be saved.

I am grateful for this lesson’s emphasis on mercy, which is so intimately connected to justice which, in turn, is so intimately connected to Love. God’s mercy is the assurance of our shared salvation, for what God loves cannot be condemned.

Thus, to know ourselves as God’s Child in Creation means remembering that Love is the ground of our being, and its effects extend Love throughout the cosmos.

Out of love he was created, and in love he abides. Goodness and mercy have always followed him, for he has always extended the Love of his Father (T-13.I.6:6-7).

But we forget this! We try to put our own spin on it, mostly because we don’t want to be merciful as God is merciful. We want to judge others in order to exclude them from Heaven. We think judgment is what makes us safe; we think exclusion is how we ensure our personal experience of salvation.

But we are wrong. And the effects of our error hurt all of us.

You who have been unmerciful to yourself do not remember your Father’s Love. And looking without mercy upon your brothers, you do not remember how much you love Him (T-13.X.9:1-2).

When we separate ourselves from the remembrance of our Creator, we open up the world to all kinds of horror and grief. Yet when we insist on remembering God, then we also remember how to create like God.

And that becomes a means to true forgiveness and happiness.

I need but remember that God’s Love surrounds His Son and keeps his sinlessness forever perfect, to be sure that I am saved and safe forever in His Arms. I am the Son He loves (W-pI.235.1:3-4).

Thus, our prayer today is a prayer that we might remember God’s mercy – not as an ideal but as a fact of our existence. Mercy is a way of being present to ourselves and to one another, so that together we might create like our Creator.

←Lesson 234
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A Course in Miracles Lesson 234

Father, today I am your Son again.

This can be a confusing lesson. It invites us to anticipate a time “when dreams of sin and guilt are gone, and we have reached the holy peace we never left” (W-pI.234.1:1).

That is, it invites us to imagine a future which is already here. “Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God . . . ” (W-pI.234.1:4). But if that’s so, then why do we have to pretend it’s not here but in some faroff future?

More plaintively, why are we being invited to suffer when we clearly don’t have to?

The answer is, because we don’t actually believe the peace of God is here in the present. If we did, we wouldn’t need the Course or any other spiritual or psychological practice. We really do think the peace of God is far off in the future.

Thinking that way allows us to spiral out in ten thousand directions – different teachers, traditions, therapists, healers, books, classes. None of them ever solve the problem. But they do keep us distracted. That is their whole function – to keep us in fear and away from love.

What we would we look at if we were not so invested in perpetuating separation through a projected healing process that never works?

Eventually, we would look at the decision to project in the first place. We would take seriously the idea that we are doing this – “this being suffering – to ourselves (e.g., T-27.VIII.10:1). We could ask: absent projection, what is the external world?

So here we are: two hundred some odd lessons into A Course in Miracles, half a dozen runs through the Text, maybe a dive into the Manual for Teachers, and we are still incapable of realizing that God is Love, that Love wills only to create, and that we are Love’s Creation, created to create like our Creator.

What are we so scared of?

A moment ago I used the word “incapable.” It felt right in the moment. But is it true? Are we actually incapable or is it more like unwillingness? Like deep down we are stubbornly clinging to our right to say no, decide for ourselves what is true and what is false, bow to no man or woman, deny God, take what is ours by force if necessary et cetera?

For me, the study and practice of A Course in Miracles invites me over and over to this precise interior confrontation – of what am I so scared? What function does all this spiritual and pyschological drama serve?

All we really have to do is look within and see ego for what it is, without fear or resistance. Nothing hidden, nothing projected, nothing mysterious.

What happens when we do that? When I do that, what do I see?

Honestly, I see a child. I see a hurt child, a damaged child, a doubtful child. I see Robert Bly’s thirty-thousand year old boy who had to make up his mind how to save me from death. I see Alice Miller’s wounded inner child. I don’t see evil. I don’t see anyone to blame. I feel what I always feel for wounded children, within and without: Love.

When ego is reconfigured as an inner child then healing becomes possible. It’s like setting aside fear in order to parent; doing so is a form of communion with God. I can be kind to myself and, by extension, to you. Why not? Comfort and consolation are second nature to Love.

Maybe you say, well, that sounds great Sean. I’m glad you figured it out. But HOW do we do that? What’s the trick? What’s the insight? What’s the key to unlocking the happy dream?

Lesson 234 has a suprising answer, one that neatly sidesteps the whole rigamarole of ACIM. How do we remember innocence? Undo guilt and fear? See the Face of God and live?

Be grateful.

As you learn, your gratitude to your Self, Who teaches you what He is, will grow and help you honor Him. And you will learn His power and strength and purity, and love Him as His Father does (T-16.III.7:5-6).

In other words, when you seek that which obstructs your awareness of Love, take thankfulness with you. Take gratitude with you. Then, when you find ego, it will not be scary. It will be a wounded child and you will remember naturally what you are because what you are will take over in that moment. In the absence of fear, you will remember Love, because Love is all there is.

And yes, this practice of Remembering God Through the Practice of Gratitude takes time. But it also takes time with it. And yes, it also takes intention and devotion, and a context for their application, but also, it takes intention and devotion and the context for their application with it.

Today, let us be grateful for each other – that we are not alone, and do not have to figure all this our ourselves. God goes with us because we are together. What else could we be grateful for?

←Lesson 233
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