Ten years ago when my relationship with A Course in Miracles was just beginning, people talked about Gary Renard a lot. Were his ascended masters real? Was he a big liar?
It seemed to matter that one take a stand on that question. And lingering behind a lot of the conversations was an implicit longing for supernatural experiences of one’s own – to be visited by illuminated beings, to channel the newest insights of Jesus, to see lights, hear voices, taste Heaven.
These are old desires, familiar to all of us and our ancestors. Nor is there indication they are going away any time soon. I am hardly immune myself. Part of appearing human is the longing to be other than human, to transcend human.
When I give attention to the world, what I notice is its lawfulness and transparency. By lawfulness, I don’t mean people’s behavior. I mean the apparent physical world itself: the appearance of violets, the flowing of rivers, the taste of apples. And by transparency, I mean the still calm intelligence in whose care all this appearing and flowing and being unfolds and is extended.
Can you make violets multiply beyond measure? Can you make them green instead of purple? Can you make the river flow in another direction? Can you make the trout in the river grow wings and fly away? Can you you go to the orchard and see bananas on the trees? Instead of black bear scat under the blueberry bushes can you see gold coins?
And as you fall in love with all this – this beauty, this bounty – can you not fall? Can you stop that within you which longs to partake of the beauty and extend the bounty?
Truly: what have you ever done that God cannot undo, and what have you ever left undone that God cannot do?
When we sit quietly and give attention to living, we perceive its beneficence. It takes care; it lives and offers its living. Here, too, it is clear that “I need do nothing” (T-18.VII.h). Indeed, what even am I? “I” not apart from the dew in the meadow, the stars in the sky, the thrumming of blood between this heart meeting that heart . . .
The extraordinary experience (ascended masters, new scriptures, disco ball spirituality) distracts us from the miracle of ordinary experience – the very living presence of Love in the world as it is given, right here and right now. And when we perceive this gift – this givenness, this Love – it flows through us, undoing the sense of separation, and we learn again that the Love of God, being All in all, permits no exclusion or alienation. There is no “Sean,” no “Mike,” no “Cheryl,” no “Robin.” There aren’t even violets and rivers. There’s just this: this this.
Truth is, we don’t need ascended masters. Or rather, we already have ascended masters, save for most of us they appear in mundane forms easily overlooked. Here is the vegetable garden already being planted, here is the potato garden ready to be expanded here is the flower garden and here is its bee hive, here are the horses and the chickens, here is the nearby river and the back porch on which to sit quietly at night and listen to the river as it flows quietly beneath ten thousand stars and low rolling hills, the far side of which my wise and loving and fiery Sister Emily Dickinson once gazed at.
What wonder! What gratefulness! What a miracle!
It is not required that we stray beyond the very living that is right now, right here blessing us beyond any measure, each and every aspect of it calling us home to our God, in Whom self, other and God are utterly dissolved, melted and commingled beyond commingling.
There are no secrets. Nothing is hidden. We need nothing that is not already given. Only the willingness to see it and the readiness to accept it. The Peace of Christ is here; the Love of God is here. I offer you my wordiness as a hand, that by taking it, you and I might together behold Creation more clearly, and gather it calmly in our shared heart. Shall we not – on this day of resurrection and new beginnings – together take the last step home?