God is in everything I see
The basis for vision – which is the spiritual replacement of the body’s seeing – is that God is in everything that we see. God’s indwelling presence in all that we see is what gives everything its function and saves it from separation.
That this is confusing to us at this stage of our learning is a given, but we are not required to understand or even to believe. We merely have to be willing to see differently.
Certainly God is not in a table, for example, as you see it. Yet we emphasized yesterday that a table shares the purpose of the universe. And what shares the purpose of the universe shares the purpose of its Creator (W-pI.29.2:3-5).
Can we see this? What does it look like? What can we do to make this “vision” our experience and reality?
Try then, today, to look on all things with love, appreciation and open-mindedness. you do not see them now. Would you know what is in them? (W-pI.29.3:1-3)
If we would know what is in them, then we must look with “love, appreciation and open-mindedness.” And what we will discover is . . . love, appreciation and open-mindedness.
Nothing is at it appears to you. Its holy purpose stands beyond your little range (W-pI.29.3:4-5).
A table is not many pieces of wood, cut just so and assembled in a form that you recognize as “table.” A table is the function it serves (to write at, eat at, share tea at), and the love that brought the form forth (the labor, the care), and the universe that brought forth the wood (the sun, the earth, the rain, the trees).
And reflect too on what brought forth the meal you share at this table? The friend with whom you share it? What about the tools that built the table? The skill that went into the crafting?
What brought forth the sun, the rain and the soil?
If you look at a table carefully, the entire cosmos opens up from it. Everything is connected to everything else, and nothing has any meaning or function apart from this connectedness.
And yet, even this connectedness dissolves in the light in which it is itself brought forth.
When vision has shown you the holiness that lights up the world, you will understand today’s idea perfectly. And you will not understand how you could ever have found it difficult (W-pI.29.3:6-7).
It is vision that reveals relationship, creativity, connection and life-breath. The body’s eyes perceive a table but vision reveals the way in which God indwells – not in the object but in the one who perceives.
This is why earlier I pointed out that when we look with “love, appreciation and open-mindeness” we will perceive them in turn. The heart of Lesson 29 – and the essence of its powerful healing capacity – is that God dwells in us. Vision is simply the unshakable recognition of this fact.
I’m new to ACIM. I started Jan1st. Even being NEW I don’t see you as LONG-WINDED or a BASTARD. LOL. You’re perfect.
Love your blog. So helpful,
Ha ha! Thank you Susie!
God is in this blog, I see. As in, I was just going to say “beautiful”. But I wanted to express enjoying the connection with this post, you, the table, trees, rain. … light
thank you Mike . . .
I had a bit of difficulty applying day 29th lesson. I noticed my mind was questioning the presence of God in certain objects. For example, I saw this huge WW2 bunker as I was walking by the beach, and while I was really trying to repeat and feel that “God is in this bunker”, part of my mind thought “that’s not true”.
I know I am the one “coloring” that bunker with all sorts of meanings, creating separation. But in the moment I found it very challenging to apply today’s concept to everything. Anyway, I am not getting discouraged, just accepting that there is still a lot of duality in me, and hoping to progress as the course continues. Thank you for your replies and texts, Sean!
Thank you, Audrey, for sharing. I am grateful always for the chance to be in dialogue with other Course students. I appreciate very much the honesty and integrity inherent in your practice.
I find those spaces where the separation is most vivid – where the ego says, “this far but not further” – to be the most helpful. War is one of the ego’s best arguments for its continued existence – it is the quintessential existential threat. Given Normandy, given Dachau, given Hiroshima – how can one countenance a Loving Creator at all, yet alone TRUST that Creator?
I remember in my early twenties traveling around Europe with my guitar; I spent a day at Dachau. On the one hand, as anyone who has given any attention at all to the holocaust, let alone visited a former camp knows, it is utterly horrifying. It destroys our faith in our brothers and sisters. It is fear and hate incarnate.
At Dachau I experienced one of the most peace-filled moments I have ever known. After the tour, when there was nothing left to see, I sat quietly on a bench facing a little chapel. I felt ruined and empty; I felt powerless; I didn’t even know how to pray. Yet as I sat there in my hopelessness, the world gently came alive for me. The sun was bright and the sky blue. Everyone was quiet as they moved about. In some way the great trauma of the history of that place was being met – was being responded to – by a deep and abiding Love, manifest in stillness and in nature.
Without in any way losing my understanding of what had occurred, I was lifted and allowed to see the way in which the depths of fear and hatred and violence could be corrected and brought to peace. It was possible; Love was not forsaken.
More, I understood that my experience of being lifted was collaborative. My fellow humans were helping by being silent witnesses unto the awfulness; others had worked hard to sustain Dachau as a memorial and a testament, not that we might worship suffering, but that we might remember our shared capacity to commit to such atrocities never occurring again.
It was that relationship – that subtle community – which underlay and nurtured those moments of deep and abiding peace. It created in me a longing to be part of that community, to serve Love rather than fear, and to remember that Love is obscured but never defeated by fear and its effects (hatred, violence, etc).
In so many ways, human beings are so so disappointing. We said “never again” after the holocaust of world war II, but genocide continues. We said no more war; war continues.
The work of peace is the work of remembering that we are not separate from our brothers and sisters; in that joining, in that union, we remember our shared interest in Love. When we can NOT join – when we forget, when we actively resist joining – then the potential for healing is vast! Then we are gazing RIGHT AT SEPARATION. We are right then and there refusing God, refusing Love, refusing Peace, refusing healing.
It is such a gift!! Even if we cannot in the moment do more than notice it, it is still a gift. The noticing IS the healing; the holding it briefly in mind IS the healing.
Your moment at the bunker reminds me of this. But mostly your willingness to see clearly that you cannot see God in it reminds me of this. THAT is our practice as Course students – to notice when when and where we can NOT love, and rather than turn away in fear, rather than try to justify it, we just acknowledge it.
That is such a deep and beautiful thing; that is the whole work right there. We don’t even need to do anything about it – it is sufficient unto the Holy Spirit that we just SEE. The rest is in the capable hands of Love, which holds everything.
Thank you for sharing and being a witness to the way the Course can work in our lives, and in our world, restoring to our shared mind the memory of oneness by which we are all as one led home.
I am grateful 🙏🙏
Thank you for answering and for sharing such a meaningful life story with us. It looked like this place, as horrifying as it might be, helped you deepen your understanding of the course. I think from now I will try to look at my own resistance differently: as a tool to deepen my understanding, instead of as a failure. I realize even actual holocaust survivors describe moments of sheer love and peace in the midst of all the cruelty and madness. Like Victor Frankl in his book “Man’s search for meaning”.
At times I realize the ego uses everything it can, even the Course, as another way of torture and separation: “see?? how unable you are to observe Love in this or that situation? The course will never work for you. You’d better stop it”. But the good news is even the tiniest form of awareness is a sign of progress.
Thank you for helping me regain hope!
Frankl is SO helpful on these questions. Agree entirely.
And yes the ego uses everything but so does the Holy Spirit. It is really a question of to which of the two we are giving attention . . .