Light and joy and peace abide in me.
I think this lesson is important at two levels. First, it bolsters our confidence here and now by reminding us that we are perfect as God created us. We are not lacking in any way, however much we believe otherwise. Second, at a deeper level, it reminds us that what we are trying to accomplish is already done. We are not on a search for something distant or hidden. Rather, we are clearing interior space the better to love what we already are in truth. There is a lot of practical value in realizing this because it reduces our focus on externals. It is hard to make inner progress towards peace when we are obsessed with what appears to be happening outside of us.
I say often that A Course in Miracles will batter a serious student. It will challenge you, pressure you, even frighten you. When you really look at the ego’s handiwork, then you are going to feel repulsed. You are going to feel terrified. The course suggests you might even feel suicidal (e.g., W-pI.93.1:3). We are not to take a warning like this lightly! You are going to feel sad and guilty and scared and angry. These feelings pass but while we’re in the midst of them it sucks. It really sucks. And that midst can last a long time! Or you think you’re past it and then you peel off another layer and the tears and suffering start all over again.
It’s a process that unfolds in a body in time. Anybody who says it’s all bliss all the time is not being honest. Here in the world we are learners, and our learning is challenging.
So we need sometimes to be reminded that it’s all okay. Right now it’s all okay. We forget that when we’re doing the work. We get so serious about being diligent students that we slip away from the natural joy and peace that is our inheritance, and which we are allowed to taste right now. And that’s why a lesson like Lesson 93 is so beautiful. It’s like a drink of water in the desert, a bed when we need to crash, a light in the darkness that threatens our soul.
It is so refreshing to spend a day reminding ourselves that we contain light and peace and beauty and joy. It is a gift to be allowed to discard the self we made for the creation of God that we are. We may not believe that yet; we may push against it for a while longer – it’s early in the workbook, relatively speaking. But still: we are creations of Love and our remembrance of this fact is not being withheld from us.
Try to experience the unity of your one Self. Try to appreciate Its holiness and the love from which it was created. Try not to interfere with the Self which God created as you, by hiding Its majesty behind the tiny idols of evil and sinfulness you have made to replace it. Let It come into Its Own (W-pI.93.9:3-6).
For me, Lesson 93 is a reminder that it’s okay to smile. It’s okay to be happy – to be nice to people, to have fun while teaching, to drink two cups of coffee, to linger watching the sun set or deer graze in a far field. Lesson 93 – essentially functioning as a microcosm of A Course in Miracles – gives us permission to be content, to be joyful even. “Here you are; this is You” (W-pI.93.9:7).
So enjoy this lesson at that level. You’re perfect. You are exactly as God created you and whatever else appears to obscure that truth can be set gently aside. You do not need to give attention to images of sin and regret, hate and evil, depression and suffering. It is okay – it is more than okay – to feel the quiet joy of your Creator.
A cynic – or a real hardcore student – might say, “okay fine. But you’re not really practicing A Course in Miracles when you walk around pretending your physical self in the physical world is real – even if you are being happy and kind and gentle. You’re just doubling down on the original error.”
Well, sure. I get that. And sometimes the lessons drive us in the direction of grappling with the underlying metaphysics of the course. That’s a good space to be in, too! But Lesson 93 – with its emphasis on joy, its encouragement and inspiration – is not a mere wade through the shallow end of the divine pool. If we want, it can also help us deepen at the level of Spirit – and for the very reason it is so liberating at the level of the body and the world.
That is, it is a tangible reminder that we are as God created us. And if that is so, then whatever we are seeking – whatever union we imagine the atonement will bring – is already inside of us. Right now we are capable of waking up. Right now we can go straight through the many illusions of self and world and other selves all the way to Heaven. This is what the lesson promises when it teaches us that “you are and will forever be exactly as you were created” (W-pI.93.7:6).
We aren’t chasing something that is outside of us. We aren’t inventing anything. We aren’t earning anything. We’ve already got everything there is. All A Course in Miracles does is remind us of this fact. It brings us into contact with this fact. It lets us ease into our real identity, our real self.
It lets us taste the peace and joy of our Creator in Heaven.
And the truth of this practice is that the more we are able to manifest happiness at the physical level, the more space we clear at the spiritual level. There is a correspondence here which the course invites us to notice and accept. It’s not so hard, you know? Or it doesn’t have to be. And that is perhaps the biggest lesson Lesson 93: waking up is easier than we think.