Light and joy and peace abide in me.
I think this lesson is so 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. Or it will certainly feel that way. If you are really looking at the ego’s handiwork, then you are going to feel repulsed. 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 sort of 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 start all over again. It’s a process and anybody who tells you it’s all bliss all the time is not being honest.
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 that’s why a lesson like this is so beautiful. It’s like a drink of water in the desert. It is so refreshing to spend a day reminding ourselves that we contain light and peace and beauty and joy. For me, it reminds me 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 without worrying am I going to talk too fast. Or whatever. It’s like being given permission to be content for a day. It’s like recess.
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 aside – give yourself permission to experience that level of happiness.
A cynic – or a real hardcore student – might say, okay fine. But you’re not really practicing the course when you walk around pretending your physical self in the physical world is real – even if you are being happy and kind and gentle.
Well, sure. I get that. And sometimes the lessons drive us in that direction and it’s good. But this lesson is not just a wade through the shallow end of the pool. If we want, it can also help us deepen – and for the very reason it is so liberating at the surface level. 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 illusions all the way to Heaven.
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. And all the course does is remind us of that fact. It brings us into contact with that fact. It lets us ease into our real identity, our real self.
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 so-called spiritual level. There is a relationship there that is worth noting and accepting. It’s not so hard, you know? Or it doesn’t have to be. And that is perhaps the biggest lesson this lesson teaches us: waking up is easier than we think.