The separation is the starting point. It is the beginning. We believe that we are separated from God. It is an old problem, an old belief, and it gave rise to religion and all other sorts of thought systems and beliefs. We are always struggling with the self that we think we are – the egoic self, the false self, the human-made self – and the self that remains as God created it – eternal, unified and free.
A Course in Miracles teaches us that the Separation never happened. There was no fall from grace. We never left the garden. The idea that we could somehow somewhere be separate from our Creator was both tiny and mad. All we had to do was laugh at it. But by taking it seriously, we gave the separation credence. And given the power of our minds – which create as they were created, fully like to their Creator – the separation became real. This world, these bodies, these personalities.
Can we accept that it is all an illusion? If we could, then we would remember. We are still as God created us. We have not left our home. Heaven is not a place, attained after virtuous sojourning through a material world, but a state that is accessible to us now. Do we know it? Are we willing to know it? It is without conditions. It is contingent on nothing but our readiness to accept it.
Every lesson, every sentence of A Course in Miracles wants to assure us that what we think happened – the break from God – did not happen. Period. And if it did not happen, then it is not real, and it has no effects. No scarcity, no sin, no loneliness, no guilt, no fear, no anger. The egoic self says, “it sounds nice but you know it’s not how the world works.” The egoic self says, “it’s just a metaphor. Don’t take it literally.”
The egoic self wants us to believe that we broke from God in the past and can heal that break in the future. It is perfectly happy to allow for self-improvement. It uses the past and future as a sort of hammer and anvil with which to crush the present – render it a blip between the two periods of time in which we are utterly powerless, in which everything is meaningless.
God, through the Holy Spirit, calls to us now. It would restore our fullness – our sanity – this instant forever. That is the promise of A Course in Miracles. And yet we go on with half-measures. We listen to Holiness with one ear and give the other to hell.
The lives we think we live are based on wrong ideas, wrong thinking and resistance to the help that is always present. No wonder we ache. No wonder we are ever in touch with our brokenness. We own the lie for fear of Truth. And all we need to do is say, “okay. My way is not working. I am ready to try yours.” The Holy Spirit is aflame in the tiny gap created by willingness. Jesus walks beside us. So does the Buddha, so does Guru Nanak. We are not alone. We are not inventing spiritual wheels.
Every time I think I get it – every time I think I’ve given it over – I learn there is a little more. More sludge and cruft that needs healing. More shadows in need of the soft light of Christ. Is this what Jesus meant, so many years ago, when he said “you will not get out until you have paid the last penny?” It’s not a threat – not a condition as the world knows conditions – but a promise. Give it all over. All. And when we do . . . “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven.”
We have to question the separation. We start there – with questioning, with healing. It is either real or it is not. The miracle teaches us it never happened. The miracle says it’s okay to breathe: we’re home.