There is a seamlessness to our experience that we basically deny. We’re here, the cat is there, the driveway is out there, our friends are scattered hither and yon. Work is is three hours, supper is in ten, tomorrow is the doctor’s appointment, Easter is a few months off. Segmentation – separation – is the way we deny that seamlessness, that oneness. It’s a habit that’s hard to break but, like most habits, it’s only a decision we made once that we have since repeated a thousand times a thousand times. It’s not reality. It’s a choice against reality.
Lesson 30 of A Course in Miracles has a sort of “take the kid’s gloves off” feel to it. It’s like we’ve been taking guitar lessons for a month and the teacher has us working scales and practicing chords and learning songs nobody really wants to learn (little etudes, Twinkle Twinkle, etc.). The amp has been off and when it’s on the volume is just a hair below one. Then bam! The teacher says, well, okay. You’ve been pretty diligent. Why not play for a while?
God is in our mind. God is inside us. This idea threw me hard when it finally hit me. I felt as if forty years of worship and idolization were knocked aside, leaving me naked and vulnerable. I was walking in the early morning and I realized that God wasn’t a separate or distinct entity, an intelligence moving us around like pawns on a chessboard. I felt dizzy and frightened.
God is in our mind. What did the text say the other day? We are the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Heaven is you and I.
That’s heavy stuff. The first time I did this lesson, it more or less sailed right past me. It was a couple months later that I measured its full impact, staring up into the morning sky and wondering what was going to happen, now that God was no longer roaming the heavens like some overpowering adversary.
I don’t remember the second time I did it.
This time around, it feels comfortable. Yesterday I was in a friend’s kitchen and I was doing lesson 29. The borders of what I saw grew fuzzy and indistinct. It was like everything was merging with everything else, the wood stove into the rocker, the coffee maker into the bread bin. I sensed vaguely that the external world only exists in relation to our seeing, our perception. I’m not trying to sound super-spiritual here. It was just a hint and I experienced it mainly as an idea. But when I turned to Lesson 30, it made sense. God is out there – in everything – because God is in here. There is nothing else.
It recalls what Meister Eckhart said so long ago: The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me. And it recalls, too, those simple lines from the introduction to A Course in Miracles that Jesus says sum up the entire Course:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
How do we approach this lesson? As we do the others. Just practice it. Let it be. There’s really nothing that you – the little you, the egoic you – can add to it. Bring your sincerity, your diligence and your willingness to the task. Do the best you can. Waking up is a process and each step is a gift. There’s really nothing we have to do but maintain a state of joyful anticipation.
Often, the fruits of our learning are not reaped in the immediate moment of practice but rather down the road, as was the case with my first experience of this lesson. However, I do think that the core idea in this lesson stands some meditation or reflection. It’s not something that we grasp intellectually, or only intellectually. It’s more like staring at an optical illusion and then suddenly getting it! Our eyes and our minds adjust and reinterpret what they were seeing and what as there before is gone, replaced by the new.
Jesus will take us as far down the road to Heaven as we can manage. And when it’s time to stop and catch a breath, he stops and breathes with us. It’s not big thing. You’re not really going anywhere where you don’t already dwell. Have fun. Enjoy the companionship. Expect miracles and then do them.