To give and receive are one in truth.
A Course in Miracles aims to teach its students how to see only what is the same and, critically, to see what is the same as one (W-pI.108.2:3). To see this way is a form of Vision, or knowledge, a state of mind that is so unified that “darkness cannot be perceived at all” (W-pI.108.2:2).
Here, the “light” that makes this sight possible, and the “darkness” that is undone accordingly, refer not to what the body’s eyes perceive but rather to what the mind knows. For example, the body’s eyes percieve a person weeping at a funeral but the mind knows only the cry for love that image represents. It also knows how to respond to that cry with love.
Today’s lesson asks us to apply this understanding to our experience of giving and receiving. Essentially, it will reverse the world’s understanding of these apparent actions and instead suggest that “to give is to receive” (W-pI.108.7:3).
Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone, and see how quickly peace returns to us. Light is tranquility, and in that peace is vision given us, and we can see (W-pI.108.7:4-5).
So we are not talking about bringing donuts to work or hugging everyone hello or taking the dog for a longer walk. Do those things or don’t do those things! But don’t confuse them for the cause of peace.
Turn, rather, the abstract level of the mind. Take a moment or two to become quiet and still. And then – in that state of calm recollection – gently name the gifts you would offer everyone in the world (broadly defined to include whales and roses, strangers and rain clouds). In silence, name them. In stillness, given them.
What you want for the world is what you want for your very own self: peace, tranquility, happiness, rest. The name you give the feeling does not matter, nor does the form by which the feeling is brought forth. Each is merely a reflection of “the one Thought which underlies them all” (W-pI.108.6:3).
When we do this lesson sincerely, when we are truly open to receiving the gift of peace which is our inheritance in Creation, then this quiet space of offering love will bring forth in us the love we are giving. We will see clearly that in order to offer it, we must have it, and because offering does not diminish its abundance in us, then it must be a quality of our being right here and now.
Then we can truly rest in happiness and peace because we know – we are in the light of knowing – that we remain as God created us, and that everyone remains in Creation with us (e.g., W-pI.94.3:3-4). Giving and receiving themselves dissolve for there is only one mind and only one thought.
There is no cause for worry that the world of form – its many apparent minds and many apparent thoughts, almost all of them in conflict – persists. Think of this not as a failure on your part but as an opportunity to share with others the joy that is given to them but remains obscured by confusion and projection.
Our practice is not to dwell on the one who is weeping nor the one is singing but rather to give attention to the cry for love and the love that is endlessly helpfully responding. Both are in us as conditions of our creation. Today, by practicing seeing giving and receiving as one, we remind ourselves of what we are in truth, taking yet another step towards the fullness of God.