A Course in Miracles Lesson 156

I walk with God in perfect holiness.

God does not move; we appear to move. The course is using “walk” here to reflect both our understanding of the world brought forth in separation and the reality of the real world. Basically we are on a journey that is an illusion because there is nothing to leave behind, nowhere to go, and nobody and no thing to do the journeying.

We don’t know that yet, and so we need helpful illusions to teach us and steady us while we learn. Hence, we “walk with God in perfect holiness” (W-pI.156.8:5).

The value of this lesson then lies in our ability to take it seriously but not literally. It points to something, and empowers us to integrate this something into our lives in the world so that we can ultimately go beyond it.

You cannot walk the world apart from God, because you not be without Him. He is what your life is. Where you are He is (W-pI.156.2:4-6).

The key word in that quotation is “life.” Life is where the abstract perfection of God – itself impossible to imagine in the context of separation – becomes tangible to an exquisite degree. That is because the course emphasizes not many lives in many forms but one life, inclusive.

There is one life. That life you share with Him. Nothing can be apart from Him and live (W-pI.156.2:7-9).

Tara Singh often observed that there was “one life beyond appearances.” Therefore, the maple tree that you pass on your walk only appears to be separate. Same with the chickadees on it limbs, the dandelions at its base. Same with the soil and the sun and the rain. All one.

It is possible to give attention to this one life. We can start by loving the seemingly separate instances of it – who doesn’t love a maple tree full of chickadees – yet in time this love will generalize. We will stop seeing the form as an example of oneness, and begin to see oneness because of the form (and thus effectively eclipsing the form). The chickadees are our brother, and the maple tree is our brother, and Tara Singh is our brother, because there is only one life.

This love – which begins as a remembrance and self-transforms to a present recognition – is a gift in which our innocence is revealed as a gift that we are giving unto the world.

The light in you is what the universe longs to behold. All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you. The light you carry is their own. And they they see in your their holiness, saluating you as a savior and as God (W-pI.156.5:1-4).

The light that we carry is shared – it is not Sean’s. It is not even “ours.” It cannot be possessed. It can only be recognized, and it is only recognized when it is shared, or allowed to extend itself through us. This sharing is kin to the willingness to see only what is true. What is true is Love in which all differences – those that are negative, those that are positive, and the full spectrum in between – are undone. Since we too are merely a symbol of life, we get out of the way, and let Life be Itself for Itself. That is what salvation is.

As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world. It heralds not the end of sin in punishment and death. In lightness and in laughter is sin gone, because its quaint absurdity is seen (W-pI.156.6:2-4).

We are not guilty. Guilt depends on separation for its existence – separate bodies, separate interests and the endless string of conflicts in which those bodies become entangled, often in terrifying ways. Yet when we see there is one life – not our life, but one life – then the grounds for guilt are dissolved and our innocence appears, like a light that cannot be put out.

This happens in time. It happens to selves apparently encased in bodies. It happens in the world. Collectively, it is the transformation of nightmares to happy dreams, and it is reflected in our shared willingness to be servants and peacemakers rather than masters and warmongers.

When we declare that we walk with God, we take a stand against separation – which is death – in favor of Life, which is God, which is Love. We live on terms that reflect our shared salvation, and thus make salvation real for the world.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day. That means that if we asked who walks with us a thousand times (e.g., W-pI.156.8:2), then we would do it every minute and a half. We literally would not go two minutes without stopping to ask: who walks with me? It sounds crazy, right? But is there any evidence that Jesus is not being literal here? Isn’t this a variation on the old idea to ask and ask again. 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).

This lesson invites us to an intense devotion, the ultimate fruit of which is freedom. We awaken when we remember – and are no longer willing to forget – that it is God who walks with us, that we bear within us a holy light whose radiance we can neither diminish nor eliminate. Holiness, it turns out, is the condition of life. We go with God always, as God goes with us.

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