God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.
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 this problem. 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. Wherever you look, whatever you see with the body’s eyes – there’s a way to see it that brings for the Love that inheres in the presence of God which is in us in a real way. This idea threw me when I finally opened up to it in with genuine willingness. Forty years of worship and idolization were knocked aside, leaving me naked and vulnerable. I was walking in the early morning and realized that God wasn’t a separate or distinct entity, a distant intelligent Creator moving us all around like pawns on a chessboard. I felt dizzy and frightened. But also I felt alive.
The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom? This is the whole message of the Atonement . . . (T-4.III.1:4-6)
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 but was in my mind, indivisible from whatever I am in truth.
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. Everything appeared to merge with everything else, the wood stove into the rocker, coffee maker into 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.
In this way, projection is undone and all that remains is the gentle extension of love.
It recalls what Meister Eckhart said so long ago: The eye with which I see God is the eye with which God sees me. And it recalls, too, those simple lines from the introduction to A Course in Miracles which are its effective summation.
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God (In.2:2-4).
How do we approach this lesson? As we do the others. Just practice it. Let it be. There’s really nothing that we – the little us, the egoic us – can add to it. We bring our sincerity and diligence and willingness to bear and then let the chips fall where they may. For most of us, awakening is a process unfolding in time and each step is a gift. Adopting a spirit of joyful anticipation and gratitude can ease the journey considerably.
Often, the fruits of our ACIM 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, 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.
. . . the world will open up before you , and you will look upon it and see in it what you have never seen before. Nor will what you saw before be even faintly visible to you (W-pI.30.1:2-3).
A Course in Miracles will take us as far down the road to Heaven as we are ready, willing and able to go. And when it is time to stop and catch a breath, that will be okay. It’s no big thing. We are not really going anywhere save where we have always already dwelt.
Thus, in a sense, Lesson 30 is simply an invitation to be quietly happy in the presence of that which wants only to make us happy. Have fun. Enjoy the companionship. Expect miracles and then do them.