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.
Awesome. Thank you!!! As I just shared with my CIM teacher, I bring joyful anticipation to my awakening. You, Sean are a true gift in my studies. I like how you reframe ACIM, which so often eludes me in the way its written.
With gratitude, I am now your beloved student
Thank you for reading – and for the kinds words. They are – like your Presence – much appreciated.
Thank you Sean! I am so enjoying your words and finding them so helpful in understanding the lessons 🙏🏽
Thank you very much for your words offered for every lesson. They had help me greatly.
I found that I have stronger resistance when doing lessons 23 and 30. While I followed the instructions in repeating the ideas of the lessons, I found myself forcing those ideas instead of being with them. When practicing lesson 30, the tiny voice of “how do I know God is in my mind?” kept popping up questioning myself or even denying that God is in my mind. This voice bothers me very much. Maybe I just don’t really understand what “mind” means here. Could you please help me understand more if you have time to write a few words explaining that for me? A similar feeling while I practiced lesson 23 when running through the idea “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.”; I knew I totally agree but I just can’t give up the attack thoughts; especially those that are very disturbing and heavy. It’s like that I know Love is the answer to everything and it can dissolve all conflicts and suffering. But there are times when I just can’t love and don’t want to love. When those times arrive, I get very frustrated with myself and can’t stop the thoughts of questioning and blaming myself. Is this a “faith” issue that I just don’t have enough faith in these ideas? Thanks for offering this space.
In a sense, mind is closer to an activity than an object – to a process rather than a processor. Sometimes when we see it that way, we can also see how everything is in the mind – every perception, idea, opinion, concept, belief et cetera. Including God – or not-God.
But I think the real value of resistance is just in noticing it. Like, when we realize we are resisting then we’re finished. We don’t have to fix anything – don’t have to resist more or less, or understand differently, we just have to notice that we are resisting. And that insight – that understanding – will generally nudge us in whatever direction healing requires.
None of us can fully give up attack thoughts; all of know love is the answer and still find ourselves acting like hate and fear and guilt are the answer. That’s the separation! That’s what is means to be a human!
The course, like other healing paths, spiritual or otherwise, is just about taking next steps, noticing the dysfunctional patterns, becoming increasingly open-minded about what works and what doesn’t, trying new things, not giving up, and so forth.
It’s good to hold the ideal of love in mind, just like it’s good to hold the concept of “this is all a dream” in mind, but in the end, in the practice and application, it’s all about showing up and asking for help and being willing to take the baby steps towards grace.
Which, ironically, is helped greatly when we realize just how far we have to go and how little of this we can manage on our own.
I don’t think it’s a faith question; I think it’s a practice question. You will have faith when you see they work, and you will see they work as you practice them. Or you will see that they don’t work, and realize your path lies another way, and set off on that new path.
You seem intrigued by the course, you seem motivated, so I think there is something there. Maybe give it some space, try to be less judgmental (or just notice when you’re being judgmental) and see what happens.
Thanks Yihsing . . . I’m grateful for your energy and interest. Your questions help me think more clearly and deeply. Thank you.
Thank you again, for your words, they are helping me. Three pieces from your message here I had brought into my daily work and they are precious to me.
First, you said “when we realize we are resisting then we’re finished.” This is like a permission giving to me allowing me to stop falling into the darkness even knowing the fall was my choice. I had been trying this and it helped. Thank you.
Second, your reminder of showing up, asking for help, and my own willingness had helped me be able to feel the comfort by simply checking on these items. I was a bit surprised by the “asking for help”. That feels like warm light shining in. I didn’t know asking for help can be (or is) part of this work. Thank you.
Last, you reassured me that it’s probably not a faith issue, it’s a practice question. You said “You will have faith when you see they work, and you will see they work as you practice them.” This is enough to keep me going. Thank you.
Thank you Sean. I really appreciate your help.
You’re welcome, Yihsing. Thank you for being here and for sharing. In a nontrivial way, we do not practice alone – your practice is mine and mine is yours, and everybody who reads our dialogue is encompassed in our practice, and we in theirs, and so our willingness to just keep working, reaching out, mulling and clarifying, and just not letting one another go is really all there is. That is love. I am deeply grateful. 🙏🙏