There is no will but God’s.
This is a simple but deeply satisfying lesson of A Course in Miracles. If it’s true – and if we accept its truth – then all our perceived conflict is over. And in the absence of conflict, there is only peace.
Thus, if we can grasp this lesson – and bring it into application – then we will know in fact the peace that surpasses understanding.
To share is to make one. If you and I travel separately to Cape Cod, we have two different experiences. But if we travel together, stay together and recreate together, then we have a unified experience because it is shared.
That analogy is imperfect but it does move our thinking in the direction of what it means to share a will with God. Where it fails is in our recognition that God’s is the only will there is.
Thus, it is more accurate to say that there is only God’s Will, and to leave our own self out of it. That is not easy for us to conceptualize, much less accept, but it is the truth of our being, and in realizing it without resistance, our happiness is complete.
The belief that conflict is possible has gone. Peace has replaced the strange idea that you are torn by conflicting goals. As an expression of the Will of God, you have not goal but His (W-pI.74.1:4-6).
That last sentence bears patient reflection, for it essentially defines us: we are expressions of the Will of God.
Is that your experience? Is that your truth?
What does it even mean?
It means that the ideas, plans, goals, strategies, excuses and assumptions which characterize our lives in the world are illusory, and that we are no longer capable of denying it.
There is no middle ground here. There is no option for compromise. Either God’s Will is the only will, or our will is real among all the other separate wills out there, each conflicting with one another, fighting one another, struggling with one another. Which do we prefer be the correct understanding?
But if we relinquish our own will – our separate will, the will whose objectives always revolve around favorable outcomes for this body, this self – what happens?
Ego says that everything will fall apart. We’ll lose everything from our shoes to our next meal to our dignity. We’ll suffer and die. It will be awful.
Don’t argue with ego! Just let it be for a few moments – or a few hours or days even. What happens when we just let go?
One thing that we will notice is that life does not stop. It goes on; things happen; other things don’t. We begin to see that the ego’s interventions are obtrusive, not helpful. We begin to see that it’s at least possible that God’s Will is sufficient.
This is not an argument that it won’t rain at the picnic or that our bodies won’t be diagnosed with cancer. It is a reminder that those outcomes – negative unto the ego – mean nothing to what we are in truth and therefore cannot disturb our peace. And joy is the hallmark of peace (W-pI.74.6:1).
Lesson 74 asks us to be alert unto our joy, our happiness. If we are practicing the lesson effectively, then joy is its sure result. If, instead, we find ourselves withdrawing from the world or from our lives, then we are still confused.
When we identify with Spirit, which is to let go of our identification with the body, then we naturally let go of a lot of the investment and expectation that surround the body and its experience. By extension, we also relax our investment and expectation of the world. It’s not that the body or the world go anywhere, but that we begin to experience them differently. They are no longer the primary mode of our experience.
Thus, the lesson calls us simply to repeat its core idea and remind ourselves that peace and happiness are both our goal and the result of practicing A Course in Miracles.
Awakening is not about loss; the ACIM’s happy dream does not call for sacrifice of any kind. To remember that we share a will with God, and that this is so because only God’s will is real, is a profound statement aligning us with what we are in truth: expressions of God’s wholly perfect and wholly loving Will.