Loving in a Loveless Place

Fail not in your function of loving in a loveless place (T-14.IV.4:10).

This is a powerful sentence from A Course in Miracles, neatly summarizing the curriculum’s emphasis on the miracle as a shift from fear towards love, and our ongoing responsibility to bring forth love with our brothers and sisters.

It requires humility and open-mindedness. We cannot do it alone.

We think we know what to do in our spiritual lives – what grace is, how it is given, to whom it belongs, where it is received, the best way for us to respond to it, engage with it. But do we?

Our emptiness and grief – in a word, our suffering – is ongoing, like a great tide against which we forever struggle in fear that we will be swept away. Our insistence that we know – what love is, what God is, what we are, what truth is – is precisely what threatens us. Our pretense unto knowledge is the emptiness that forever predicts and ensures our suffering. “We” cannot push back on this intimation because “we” are “it.”

The self that we imagine is real – the self that knows what is what and what to do – is the very source of our suffering. In this sense, Heaven can be understood as no longer mistaking a confused idea about what we are for the truth of what we are. We don’t know. But if we accept this simple fact then joy and inner peace abound.

Before you make any decisions for yourself, remember that you have decided against your function in Heaven, and then consider carefully whether you want to make decisions here. Your function here is only to decide against deciding what you want, in recognition that you do not know (T-14.IV.5:1-2).

Walking in forests and fields, alongside rivers and up and down mountains, reflecting on my study of A Course in Miracles, I learned that Life goes on without my intervention or participation and that this is okay. It is more than okay. I did not create life; God created life. But I did make a lot of ideas about life, and then fall in love with those ideas, and give them all my attention.

But life is not what we think it is, even as it contains – or, better, holds loosely – our ideas about it. God is indifferent to our seeming confusion, because what we actually are cannot be confused. Indeed, if we could accept this – that God does not agree that we are suffering – then our suffering would dissolve on the spot.

Decide that God is right and you are wrong about yourself. He created you out of Himself, but still within Him. He knows what you are. Remember there is no second to Him (T-14.IV.4:5-8).

If we remember that God is Life (e.g., T-14.IX.4:5), then the full passage quoted above need not be mysterious or complicated. Life surrounds us – holds us within it not as separate beings but as life itself – and in that understanding, we see at last there is nothing to do or learn, and that even consequences are illusory. Tara Singh  spoke of this insight as the grace that lends itself to our fruitful practice of A Course in Miracles.

There are no consequences – hence, in reality, no reaction. What an astonishing discovery: truth unfolds like a flower within the mind emptied of itself! The duality of punishment and reward, on which society is based, begins to crumble before your very eyes. Even the vanity of the loveless “I know and you don’t” slowly starts to fall away. A new vitality, the inner conviction of your own reality emerges – a clarity that begins to dispel thousands of years of misbelief (Nothing Real Can Be Threatened 12).

Thus, to “love in a loveless place” means only to recognize and remember that we who were given Love in Creation have forgotten Love and so must be taught to remember it. We must receive it again: we must yield to Creation which is forever and always offering itself to us.

And all this means is to give attention to what is appearing at this very moment. It is to be intentionally aware of life in this moment which excludes nothing and neither sets nor accepts any conditions. In this moment, everything is perfect – even our resistance to perfection is perfect.

When we decide not to decide we have made the choice that restores to our awareness the reality of God’s love. And then, by virtue of that love, the “loveless place” is transformed to Heaven.

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