I bless the world because I bless myself.
One of the fundamental ideas in A Course in Miracles is that in order to have we must give – in fact, we only truly have that which we give away. Thus, when we extend love to the world in the form of cooperation, distributive justice and so forth – we naturally bless ourselves.
It’s like the old saying “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Except we aren’t the boats; we’re the tide.
The lesson emphasizes that we are not talking about material objects here, but rather the thinking that makes them by giving them value. If the mind that makes the world seeks to bless the world, then blessing is what occurs. But the mind has to want – it has to have – the idea of blessing first.
That is to say, it has to recognize that it already is blessed because of what it is in truth. Our acceptance of the Atonement is what makes this clear for us.
If you are to save the world, you first accept salvation for yourself. But you will not believe this is done until you see the miracles it brings to everyone you look upon (W-pI.187.3:2-3).
When we bless ourselves, we are acknowledging our own worth and value. We are accepting ourselves as God’s Creation; we are seeing our selves as God sees us. This, in turn, helps us to perceive the worth and value in others. The discovery of our shared worth and value is also the discovery of our equality. We are one and we are connected in our equality, and in our shared interest in extending the Love that underlies that equality.
In the world, the tendency is to covet and hoard. If we want something, we have to get it and protect it – hide it away under lock and key. But Lesson 187 upends that logic. The best way to protect what is of value is siply to give it away, over and over and over.
Give gladly. You can only gain thereby. The thought remains, and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving . . . there is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them (W-pI.187.5:1-3, 5).
What is the idea we are sharing? In a word, love. In more words, our equality in Creation, as extensions of a Loving God. When we hold this idea in mind, it naturally takes form in the world, under the Holy Spirit’s direction.
It might be as simple as buying lunch for someone who can’t afford it. It might be as complex as changing jobs in order to maximize our ability to help others. Our focus is not on the form – which is where ego asserts its preferences – but rather on being clear and generous with the idea, which is how we open ourselves to its extension through us unto the world.
In other words, I want to hold our shared quality in mind. When I see you, I want to see my brother or sister. When I think of you, I want to think of my brother or sister. Recalling our shared nature – our familial nature – in Creation is a basic stepping-stone to becoming comfortable with oneness itself.
It’s not about food for the less fortunate, or overcoming a cancer diagnosis, or changing jobs or partners. It is about knowing what we are in truth.
Illusions recognized must disappear. Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. The thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appeas to take (W-pI.187.7:1-4).
We are scared to remember our oneness with God. We are! Deep down we think it means giving things up – losing what we value most. We think it’s about sacrifice. If we’re one what happens to potato chips and swimming in the ocean and making love and planting spinach and all the other stuff I love, not to mention the ones I love doing it all with?
The answer to that fear-filled question is to relax and take baby steps. Little tiny baby steps. What counts is willingness. What counts is doing the work, noticing the results, and not giving up.
When we commit to love, then miracles will appear, and they will bless us and the world, and the unity will be clear and we will no longer be afraid of it for we will realize that we are only gazing at our own self.
Now we are on in thought, for fear has gone. And here, before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him Who is our Source; not distant from one brother is part of our one Self Whose innocence has joined us all as one . . . (W-pI.187.10:1-3).
This is simply the end of the ego’s ideal of separation. It is the acceptance that there is another way, and we are committed to learning what it is, and then following it. We know we are not alone. We know that the capacity to see as Christ sees is inherent in us; we know that nobody can be excluded from our joy and peace.
Whatever we see today – whatever the body perceives – let us quietly remind ourselves that it is blessed in God’s Creation, and that our remembrance makes it so. Thought makes the world; therefore we choose a thought of Love, and by it share the blessing we naturally extend in Creation.