A Course in Miracles Lesson 217

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.

Yet there is an important and helpful corollary to the truth that we can only crucify ourselves. If we are doing this to our self, then we can stop doing it. We can change the cause of suffering to the cause of joy. And when we do, it is our own gratitude that we earn (e.g., W-pI.197.h).

This sequence of lessons makes clear a challenging but essential aspect of A Course in Miracles. The many divisions the course appears to embrace – Holy Spirit! Christ! God! Atonement! – begin to dissolve and flow into one another. There is no name for the Whole implied by this flowing unity, yet it can be known. We can know God because it is God’s Will to be known (T-11.VII.4:8).

When Moses asked to be taught the Name of God, the first word of the first answer was ” אֶהְיֶה‎ (’Ehyeh), which has the meaning of “I am.” Set aside for a moment the many debates about the centuries-long debate about the translation and meaning of the word and the phrase. Set aside the theology. Set aside altogether your inclination to argue and debate.

Just consider for a moment that for the people both writing and consuming that text, God did not have a name (like “Moses,” say) so much as an Existence that was shared and thus knowable. God was being itself, before any particular name or label was assigned.

Nor was the western religious and cultural tradition the only human culture to notice this and find it helpful. Nisargadatta, the relatively contemporary sage who is fairly representative of Eastern nondual theology and culture, observed that “[y]ou are sure of the ‘I am’, it’s the totality of being, remember ‘I am’ and it is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond.”

Neither of those traditions – neither of those two applications of language – are far from today’s lesson.

Who should give thanks for my salvation but myself? And how but through salvation can I find the Self to Whom my thanks are due? (W-pI.217.1:2-3).

Soon, our ACIM practice will urge us to rely less on words (W-pII.in.1:1). It will urge us to give attention more to actually resting in and with the Peace of God rather than being adept at explaining and describing it. The emphasis on wordlessness facilitates trust. We become confident that God will reach us no matter how far we seem to have drifted from Him, and no matter how unworthy or undeserving we still consider ourselves.

Listen only to God, Who is as incapable of deception as is the spirit He created. Release yourself and release others. Do not present a false and unworthy picture of yourself to others, and do not accept such a picture of them yourself (T-4.I.10:5-7).

One way to think about that time – and to begin to practice it now – is to simply seek “I am.” This is not an intellectual exercise. No argument for or against it can hold sway over us. We merely want to draw as close to God as we can, the better to remember the cause for gratitude and hope and, in that space of remembrance, reconnect with the Love we both have and are (T-7.IV.6:6).

Therefore, today’s lesson is an invitation to let go of the wordy division that is a hallmark of all texts and workbooks, and all forms of the curriculum, and simply return to the very fundamental essence that merely is, without needing to justify or restrain or express itself at all. The lesson indicates that is our gratitude we earn, and this is true, but can we also begin to see the way that pronouns are not necessary at all? There is merely gratitude? Merely love?

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