I will there be light.
It is easy to say that we are not separate from God – that we are one with Source – but is that really our experience? Do we truly know what it means to know ourselves as one with God? If not, why not?
This lesson – as those previous in this sequence – develops the idea that we are meant to know that what we are in truth and what God is are not different. When we close our eyes and will there be light, God also wills there be light. God cannot will apart from us and we cannot will apart from God. The idea that we can – or that God can – is the belief in separation. That belief gives rise to anxiety, depression, scarcity and meanness. Seeing this, would we not try something different?
For a long time I woke up very early – 4 a.m., sometimes even earlier than that. I walked my dogs in dark fields and along old logging trails in the forest. I came back, made tea, and studied and prayed and wrote. This was the backbone of my “practice.” It was intense and powerful and I was very much invested in it. It was “who I was.”
A few months back, during an unusual moment of clarity, I felt guided to stop waking up so early. Though it was hard to let go of that practice, I did. Almost immediately, I felt more rested. That rest in turn affected my whole life – I was more patient with my children, more helpful in our home, and more focused as a teacher. Yet I still missed my morning routine.
Lately, I wake up at about 5 or 5:15 a.m. Sometimes I sleep in, but I like to be awake before anyone else is. Our house is small and once the family is awake, it is hard to find any quiet. It is hard to be free of the demands of others. So for an hour or so, I sit quietly and pray. I do the daily ACIM lesson. I read some of the text. If there is time, I write. It’s not the same as 4 a.m., but it is still helpful.
My experience of the Course has been quite powerful these past months. I feel true clarity regarding the choices before me. I feel a closeness to the Holy Spirit and to Jesus that is remarkable mostly for how natural and simple it is. And I begin to see that I do not understand much. I begin to see that I confuse the intellectual activity of the brain for awakening. Some mornings I find that instead of real prayer, I mostly laugh at myself. What am I waiting for? What do I expect?
The peace and insights of those morning hours – even truncated – are a blessing to me. Yet they are rarely sustainable. They fade as the day passes. The car needs to be taken to the garage, or papers need to be graded. Dinner and lunch need to be made. What is the peace that remains through the day, that isn’t contingent on perfect external circumstances? That would be a truly helpful quest, right? This is the real reason I am being led away from my morning sanctity, my morning ritual – because it reinforces specialness. My time, my enlightenment, my divine experience.
But you see – and what this lesson teaches – is that there is no “my.” There is only God. What I am is part of God. There is no division. There is no time for prayer and then a time for work. There is no Sean the teacher vs. Sean the father vs. Sean the husband vs. Sean the son, friend, neighbor, etc. It is all one and all of it is God and to see it in component parts is to miss the truth about both myself and God. Yet even to say it that way is to veer dangerously close to the problem. There is nothing to understand. That is what really trips me up in the end, the idea that I can somehow cobble together an intellectual understanding – ideally transferable through writing and formal teaching – that will constitute awakening. Something marketable, sellable. A product, not a process. But my brain’s output is not the answer any more than the answer is the output of my kidneys. Or my liver. The body is not the answer any more than it is the question.
So what am I waiting for? What is going to happen? What is my unity with God going to look like or feel like?
I don’t know.
It is good to sit with “I don’t know.” I don’t mean sit literally – although that can’t hurt either. I mean simply to go about our business accepting that a) we are not separate from God and b) we don’t know that we are not separate from God. That is another way of saying that we don’t know what we really are. And that’s a good idea to sit with as well. When we are able to face our “I don’t knows” then we are really present to a much-needed undoing. This is because we are seeing the problem and we are declining to solve it through customary means. We are allowing something new to happen. We are making a new space in which our awareness of God can dwell. That is fructive. That is helpful.
There is nothing outside of us that needs to be fixed. Everything is right where it is supposed to be. What is, is, and it is without our effort. We are part of that isness. Our lives can unfold with the same natural ease as a flower blossoming or a maple tree releasing its sap. In fact, our lives are unfolding that way. But we aren’t aware of it because we are trying so hard to be important actors, powerful causes. Or we are studying enlightenment. Or we are trying to be spiritual super hero’s. And all of that is merely the spinning of wheels and the tugging of wool and the banging of one’s head against the proverbial wall. It doesn’t work.
So what can we do? Well, if you are a student of A Course in Miracles – or you feel a little desire to be one – then you can do the lessons. You can read the text. You can spend a little time listening for God. You can cultivate a space in which the Holy Spirit is welcome. You can ask Jesus to model grace for you, to model effective learning. The end is sure, which is another way of saying that nothing is really happening. What is going to be already is because it always was. That’s a crazy idea but it’s also a peaceful one! Don’t spend a lot of time today on what is external. Will that there be light, and trust that your will and God’s will are as one. The truth of this will be revealed to you not as an idea but as a fact. The light is already there. We are already – because we are always – home.