I have been thinking lately about my insistence that love assume a certain form in order to actually be love. Jack, my daughter’s blind horse, who I visit each morning with a flake of hay, is teaching me that this is insane. He reminds me that service is the way to end projection, and thus remember Love.
I wrote about the service part of this lesson in today’s newsletter. You can sign up here if you like. The horse part – which is the love part – I want to go briefly into here.
Jack lost sight in both of his eyes last year. Both eyes were eventually removed. At the time, the vet responsibly told my daughter that some folks opt to put their horses down when this happens. Sophia said – how do I put this delicately – “fuck that.”
Jack struggled for a month or so with blindness, and then became so skilled at navigating pasture and run-in you wouldn’t know he doesn’t have eyes. Sophia still rides him. It’s like nothing has changed. It is amazing.
What does this have to do with love?
It is fear that insists life must assume this or that form – a certain man or woman, say, or a horse with intact eyesight – in order to be love. You know, right, full, just, perfect, ecstatic, et cetera . . .
The perfect ideal is the ultimate projection because it can never be met, and thus leaves us forever searching, thus obeying ego’s dictate to seek but never find (T-12.IV.1:4).
Yet life somehow manages to flow without this perfection. It is almost as if life is perfectly whole and safe, and we – through the lie of projection – simply refuse to see this. It’s almost as if ego isn’t even wrong – it’s not even actually there.
It turns out that while eyes are nice, Jack does not need them to live a happy fulfilled life. It is as if the forms he perceived were – how shall we put this delicately – not actually there in the first place.
I mean we know that’s not true but . . . do we?
A Course in Miracles insists that our emphasis on the sensate world – the world brought forth through the body’s senses – is an illusion and thus unimportant. It asks us to consider that the body’s eyes don’t see, its ears don’t hear, its hands don’t hold . . .
Can this be true? Can love be formless? How would we know?
Mornings I usually wake to Jack calling from the pasture. He’s hungry; my function is to feed him. I stumble into chore clothes and head outside in pre-dawn darkness. Chickens natter in the barn as I gather the requisite flakes. Jack waits by the gate, impatient as always. “Ask and ye shall receive,” I say jokingly, and toss the hay.
And as the gold flake lands on still-frozen earth, I hear in the recess of my mind – the cave of my heart – Jesus say “ditto.”
Am I not blessed? Is the gift not given? Shivering in the New England cold, wordy and unwise but not unhappy? Listening to a blind horse munch hay? Sun rising, chickadees singing? Who is serving who?
Beloved: how much longer must we pretend we don’t know?