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Hell Is Special Favor

You were at peace until you asked for special favor (T-13.III.10:2).

Tara Singh often writes about the impersonal nature of God and Love. It has become an important concept in my evolving understanding – and ability to practice – A Course in Miracles. We have to get beyond the self in which we are so invested. That self is an illusion. We want to reach the calm center that is God.

To move away from the personal
and touch upon the eternal
is to make right use of the brain.
Whenever the brain touches the eternal
it is grateful.
It is at peace.
Peace is of God.

– Tara Singh, “The Voice That Precedes Thought”

So much of what passes for thought in our lives is time-bound and body-bound. When I think of love, I think of my children and my wife. When I think of productivity, I think of my writing or my gardens. It is not that these things cannot be related to love and productivity. They can and are. They are rich and vibrant symbols of love and productivity. But I forget that. A symbol represents a larger whole. I take the symbol as the whole itself. It becomes mine. It becomes exclusive. When it is just my reality, it is no longer a shared reality. It is no longer of God.

We move so easily away from Oneness! It is the only natural thing there is and yet we have trained ourselves to avoid it. And our training has been very effective. When I ask God for Peace, it is almost always “my” inner peace. Me in this incarnation – a father, a husband, a teacher, in this income bracket, facing this political system. Sometimes I ask that peace be extended to others – but they are always others. The reality of “All that I give is given to myself (W-pI.126) is forgotten altogether.

One of the hardest concepts for ACIM students to grasp is that they – we – don’t want to wake up. We actively resist salvation. We like the separation and we want it to continue. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said this and everybody in the room starts objecting at once. Not me. No way. But it is a repeated theme of the Course and if we are going to end the separation then we have to accept our existing relationship to it.

You are not really afraid of the crucifixion. Your real terror is of redemption (T-13.III.1:10-11).

Our sole wish is to obscure God, to obliterate Oneness from all memory.

For this memory would instantly restore you to your proper place, and is this place that you have sought to leave. Your fear of attack is nothing compared to your fear of love (T-13.III.2-3).

We want to be separated. That want is expressed in our conviction (and experience) that we are separated bodies with separated histories and ongoing personal narratives. We are male or female. We are alcoholics or drug addicts. Democrats or Republicans. Gestalt therapists or EFT practitioners. Irish or Lithuanian. On and on. Who doesn’t identify this way? Who doesn’t see the world this way?

But that is not how God sees Creation. God’s Creation is not personal. It is not a bunch of separate but equal beings. I love all my children but they are so different from one another. It is not like that with God. And we want it to be – we want to be the special child. The A student. The Prince or Princess chosen to inherit the throne.

That is why we translate the Course in terms of self-improvement, making it a personal journey on which we are a little better today than we were yesterday. That is why secretly – often quite deeply – we harbor the feeling that we’re a little bit better than people who don’t have a spiritual path. Or a different one. Or who don’t “get” A Course in Miracles the way we do.

If we are being honest with ourselves, can’t we see that this is at least a little bit true? And seeing that, can we then accept that even this tiny speck of fear makes the whole of God impossible?

Healing must be as complete as fear, for love cannot enter where there is one spot of fear to mar its welcome (T-13.III.9:4).

That yearning for specialness is what gave rise to the separation. And our unwillingness to let it go – to experience a love so profound and beautiful that it naturally encompasses the whole of Creation without even a shred of exclusion – is what keeps the separation going.

We are not here to improve. We are here to let go and to be undone.

There is never a moment
when the blessing of God is not with you.

– Tara Singh, “The Voice That Precedes Thought”

Can we see that not as a personal reality but as Reality? Encompassing all without any effort on our part? Without any judgment? Can we look around us and try – even for just a moment – to see as God sees? God sees Unity, a Oneness that is perfect. It is there. We can glimpse it, too, because we are not apart from God. That is the contact we have to make. It is not about us. It is so much bigger, so much more ripe with potential than anything we can even imagine.

To “single out” is to “make alone,” and thus make lonely. God did not do this to you (T-13.III.12:1-2).

If we accept that, then we will naturally turn in the direction of God’s blessing. We will ask for God’s help. When we do, the answer is certain.

For His answer is the reference point beyond illusions, from which you can look back on them and see them as insane. But seek this place and you will find it, for Love is in you and will lead you there (T-13.III.12:9-10).

Love is in all of us, leading all of us Home. There is nothing special about it.

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