I am spirit.
I know many students of A Course in Miracles who find this lesson – and its simple but profound declaration – to be their favorite. Indeed, it is a powerful lesson. Where sometimes we are trying to work through complicated metaphysics, or really engaging our thoughts and images, with this we are simply stating a home truth about what we are. This whole sequence of lessons has been about getting clear and comfortable – confident even – with what we are. And now we can say it. We are spirit.
This is a positive declaration. Yet it negates a great deal. If we are spirit, then we are not body. The lesson is clear – we aren’t trying to combine opposites or merge various competing identities. We are purely spirit. The rest is illusion. Can we accept that? Can we at least try?
When we say that we are spirit – and implicitly state that we are not bodies – then we are also bidding farewell to the various conflicts and problems that face the body in the world. Whether it is the material scarcity that we believe we suffer from, or physical ailments up to and including death, or just a crappy day at work, they are gone. We are spirit. This world in which we move is a dream.
Again, that can be a big pill to swallow. But we are not really being called to do it alone. The five minutes per hour which are devoted to this lesson are effectively a gift to the Holy Spirit. It is like giving permission to our right mind – that part of us that knows it is healed and that nothing is broken – to simply run the show for a little while. And the effects of that are grand indeed. We are going to feel blessed and peaceful, but we are not the only ones.
The Holy Spirit will be glad to take five minutes of each hour from your hands, and carry them around this aching world where pain and misery appear to rule. He will not overlook one open mind that will accept the healing gifts they bring, and he will lay them everywhere He knows they will be welcome (W-pI.97.5:1-2).
So another implication of this affirmative statement of self identity is that it blesses the world. We are connected and our healing is never for ourselves alone but for the whole world. This is a powerful idea central to the course, and it is bright relief in this lesson.
One other thought that jumps out at me here. The lesson suggests that just a few minutes of sincere practice of this lesson can save a thousand years or more of study and practice. A thousand years! It’s worth staying with that for a moment. The span of time contemplated by the course – for our healing, our awakening, and the release of the world – is immense. It’s not about getting salvation wrapped up before dinner, you know? We are playing a long game here. Sometimes it is good to take the long view and to appreciate just how vast the plan of atonement really is.