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What Does Not Pass But Stays

We are made whole in our desire to make whole (T-18.III.7:4)

At some point during my 4 a.m. walks I began to see the way in which Life was simply happening and that my contribution was minimal to the point of nonexistent. It really didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do. Starlight, rainfall, maple trees blooming, coyotes howling on the hill . . . Life expresses itself continually – and has and will – and this little body and narrative self, its cities and cultures, its satellites and solar systems – are just blades of grass, swaying pines, specks of dust in pillared sunlight, fading notes in the chickadee’s Spring song offered in the forest at dawn.

There is nothing denigrating about this. It is not a personal insult. It is simply a fact of bodies and the stories attached to them. They come and go. Society comes and goes. The suggestion inherent in A Course in Miracles, and other nondual paths, is that we are not these bodies. Life is not our cities and buildings and social institutions.

Rather, we are what does not come and go. We are what does not pass.

Let truth be what it is.
Do not intrude upon it,
do not attack it,
and do not interrupt its coming.
Not even faith is asked of you,
for truth asks nothing

Trying to talk about this stuff can be maddening, especially when we begin to perceive the degree to which talking about it really doesn’t matter very much. The words pass, too! Often they are gone before we are finished uttering them. Meaning has about as much permanence as the reflection of clouds in a rain puddle. Blink and you miss it.

But if we can see this, and not resist it but just try to keep looking at it, then we can start to make contact with what does not pass. We can do this because what does not pass is always here. It doesn’t really matter what we call it – God, Life, Being, Consciousness. The simple truth is that as we give attention to what we signify with the word “God” or “Life,” it gives attention to us as well. In fact, the whole movement of attention is not really from subject to object. It feels this way at first – and from time to time thereafter –  but in fact attention includes subject and object, joining them as one, in the same way that moonlight is not separate from the moon but is its extension, even unto what it illuminates.

That is what we eventually learn while giving attention: there is nothing but attention, nothing but awareness. Attention is the condition of wholeness itself.

A Course in Miracles teaches that “Heaven is joined with you in your advance to Heaven” (T-18.III.8:3), and that “[t]hose who would see will see” (T-18.III.6:3). What can these words possibly mean except that we are already that which we seek? Have already been given that which we think is absent?

. . . you sought a blackness so complete that you could hide from truth forever, in complete insanity. What you forgot was simply that God cannot destroy Himself. The light is in you. Darkness can cover it, but cannot put it out (T-18.III.1:5-7).

Thus, we can trust our desire to be whole because it is itself wholeness. The word “desire” comes from the old Romance languages and means – roughly literally – “down from the stars.” In other words, desire is not a reflection of unrequited appetites – one body lusting after another, say – but is rather the very essence of accepting our unconditional oneness with the universe, with life itself. We are life expressing itself. God longs to express us as we long to express God; and the heart that longs for wholeness is itself already whole.

This can feel counter-intuitive but it is worth considering. If we were not already whole, then how could we possibly miss wholeness? The only way to know that something is missing or separated or broken off is to know first the whole itself. Thus, our desire for wholeness is a witness to the wholeness that waits patiently in our mind to be remembered. It is perfectly untouched by all the drama and horror and anguish we have tried to visit on it.

So there is nothing to do but give attention: to let Life happen: and see in it our desire to be whole: to seek that interior space in which we long for the wholeness of God because we already know God: and are ready at last to rest there.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jeanette April 29, 2015, 2:58 pm

    Attention as relational and inclusive; I love this. Thank you. Reminds me of that profound “I see you.” moment in the film Avatar. Brokenness as PROOF of original wholeness, not proof of lack or failure on my part; hmmm. Need to nosh on this notion!

    • Sean Reagan April 30, 2015, 3:31 pm

      thanks for reading Jeanette – and for noshing!


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