We live in a state of self-imposed exile from God’s Love. It hurts; there is a better way. Are we ready to accept that way and go home?
A Course in Miracles is a way to undo the effects of our supposed descent into fear. It helpfully frames this undoing – this journey from darkness to Light, from separation to the quiet stillness of our God-created being – as a two-step process.
The escape from darkness involves two stages: First, the recognition that darkness cannot hide. This step usually entails fear. Second the recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could. This step brings escape from fear. When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into holy communion but will also understand peace and joy.T-1.IV.1:1-5
The “darkness” referred to here might be thought of as “lack of knowing.” We have forgotten what we are in truth, and this fundamental error makes knowledge of truth impossible.
This error – this confusion of identity – is both made and sustained through projection and denial. We don’t see hatred in ourselves, we see it in folks outside of us. That’s projection. We frame the violence of yelling at our child as justified under certain circumstances. That’s denial.
When we realize that projection and denial don’t actually work, we become fearful. Deeply fearful. It means we have to look at hatred and violence in our own self. We have to own those feelings in our heart, our mind.
Think of a messy room. We don’t like looking at the mess, so we turn off the light. Now we don’t see the mess because of the darkness. But the mess is still there.
That’s the first step, or stage, of the escape from darkness – the recognition that darkness doesn’t actually solve the problems it pretends to hide. Therefore, it doesn’t really hide at all. It can’t.
The second step of the escape is the realization that even if darkness could hide something, there is nothing that we want to hide.
This is the insight that healing – or salvation – comes from releasing literally everything that appears to constitute the egoic self. There is no secret, memory, mystery, goal or fantasy that we would keep from being raised to light. We commit to releasing every last shred of guilt, hate and fear. We will look at all of it.
To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure it will jeopardize your learning.T-24.in.2:1-2
When we say “yes” to this condition – when we are exactly that willing – then darkness no longer has any hold on our mind. It doesn’t work and that’s okay. We wouldn’t want it to.
Thus begins a sort of spiritual psychotherapy. We search for every scrap of resentment and hostility and dysfunction we can find and offer it to the Holy Spirit. If we’re scared in any way – however it appears, whatever the form – we look at it. If we’re hateful, we look at it. We look at it because looking at it is how it is undone. In the light of holiness – which is our willingness – nothing remains to mar the perfection of love. It is all undone.
As we do this work, we gradually remember the promise inherent in the first principle of miracles: there is no such as thing as a large or a small problem, and so they are all healed with equal ease. “All expressions of love are maximal” (T-1.I.1:).
No matter how egregious the hate appears, no matter how terrified we are of what we perceive in our self, love simply washes it away.
Why? Because it all arises from the same basic problem – the mistaken belief that what we are is a vulnerable body in a dangerous world. The miracle gently undoes this over and over, and eventually – in time, in bodies – we realize that we are ready to go home to God. We are ready to be done with piecemeal healing.
Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.W-pI.189.7:2-5
And there – and then – because it is God’s Will and we share that Will – we remember that we are creations of love given only to create as we are created. And all is well and will be well and was well, forever and forever, amen.