Yet it is natural to love one another. It does not take effort or discipline; we don’t have to be taught. Love arises in us as a condition of our being. You could say that we are love, and does it not feel true? Does it not feel like you did not say those words alone but in concert?
In the hayloft where I write three windows face east. Glass bottles line the dusty sills, prisms hang in the panes. At dawn, as the sun rises, the room fills with a glorious light; rainbows glide across the walls and floors. At times I cannot bear this loveliness and have to look way. Other times it makes me as happy as if war itself were forever dissolved, the hungry fed and the imprisoned set free.
And yet war goes on. Hunger goes on. The prisons are full. The poor cut their pills into quarters. So my studies go on, laying me low, brushing me aside, lifting me up . . .
Why? What is the cause of this long sufferance? And what if anything shall we do to end it, you and I?
In A Course in Miracles, “separation” is the belief that we have an identity apart from Creation itself. But the course teaches that this belief is an error.
You have not only been fully created, but have also been created perfect. There is no emptiness in you. Because of your likeness to your Creator, you are creative. No child of God can lose this ability because it is inherent in what she is . . . (T-2.I.1:3-6).
In his essay Biology of Love, Humberto Maturana noted that “love is the grounding of human existence,” but acknowledged that we are alienated from this basic truth.
In the blindness that the negation of love creates in our living, we stop seeing ourselves as part of the harmonious interconnectedness of all existence in the unending dynamics of life and death, and we begin to live guided by ambition, greediness and the desire for control . . . we suffer because we become denied by the very same world and psychic existence that we are bringing about, as this is a world and psychic existence that denies the fundaments of our existence as loving animals.
Thus, as A Course in Miracles points out, “[T]he secret to salvation is but this: that you re doing this unto yourself” (T-27.VIII.10:1).
No matter what the form of attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true (T-27.VIII.10:2-4).
We are loving beings who make systems by which our capacity for love – but not love itself, never love itself – is thwarted. And yet as we construct these systems, so can we also deconstruct them. We can give careful and sustained attention to what obstructs the free flow of love in and through our being and do the necessary work of clearing space, opening channels, and getting out of the way.
For it is work and it is not easy. It takes effort. It takes discipline. It takes time and energy, more than we might care to give. We have to learn to see the fundamental deception in a sustained way, which is the only way it can be dissolved. We have to see the deception of self-satisfaction – “I’ve done enough” or “I’m all done” or “It’s too hard / confusing / unrewarding.” It is the hardest step of all.
For the work is not to perfect our own being but to clarify it through service and contemplation so that the world itself – the collective that holds the individual as dearly as it holds the all of us – might remember its natural inclination to love. Tara Singh said to be fully awake was to be always learning.
A student has to give life for life.
Learning is to Be the Children of God.
(Tara Singh, The Voice that Precedes Thought 155)
So I go on reading the difficult texts. So I surrender to what I cannot understand, what yet baffles me, what ruins me and in my ruin lifts me up. So I open my eyes to loveliness and to that which would obscure and denigrate and end loveliness. For it is through the clear seeing of our own poverty and ignorance that the grace to learn is given. To awaken is merely to begin again, forever.
So this morning I come to the hayloft, and write this, and offer it to you, whose love is my salvation, and whose joy is my joy is our joy.