If God is, and we are not experiencing God, then we have interjected something between ourselves and God. It is not an object though it may certainly appear that way. It is simply the idea that we can be separated from God. That is all. If we can liberate ourselves from the tyranny of that one idea, then we will know the peace and joy of God.
And yes, I know. Easy to say, hard to do.
But that is the promise of A Course in Miracles! And it is backed up by a curriculum that will assist us in the necessary liberation. The hard part is letting go of the world and turning inward. That interior landscape – of ideas, of images, of fantasies – can seem unwieldy indeed! Yet it is only there that meaningful help can come. And it is there that the necessary undoing will be accomplished – in us and through us, but not by us. Not like that.
When I say let go of the world, I mean only to withdraw one’s investment in it. To let go of the idea that external circumstances can be the cause of anything. The Course does not advocate asceticism. You don’t have to swear off cheesecake, do yoga three hours a day and Tantric meditation the other twenty-one. Sackcloth and ashes are not required. You are allowed to live your life in the world.
You are simply asked to consider seeing that life a little differently.
How does this work? We allow the Holy Spirit to see for us. We allow the Holy Spirit to offer guidance – where to go, what to say, who to see. Don’t complicate this. Don’t make it so metaphysical and abstract that you can’t decide whether to brush your teeth or not. The Holy Spirit is just that part of your mind that remembers God. The ego is a way of thinking without God; the Holy Spirit thinks with God. It’s a gift and it was given to you. More than that, it was given to you to be used.
So use it! Find a way to make this possible.
I’m a word guy. I talk a lot and I write a lot. So I believe in talking to God, talking to Jesus, talking to the late Tara Singh, who is my teacher, talking to the Holy Spirit. I ask for a lot help. And the help comes.
And I am here to tell you that as time passes, and as my faith and my practice deepen, the help doesn’t leave. I don’t have to talk it through as much. I can relax into the Presence.
I am learning to experience God as eternally present and conditioned on nothing but willingness.
The Presence – call it God, call it Source, call it what you like – is not contingent on external circumstances. It is as consistent and supportive and lovely in the forest as in traffic. It’s not out there. It’s inside. When you make contact with it, whatever appears to be outside is transformed. It has no power over you. It is beautiful and nurturing because that is how the Presence “sees.” You move through it – interact with it – but it’s all changed. It doesn’t seem as important or as real.
Navigating the internal landscape is not easy. In fact, it can be so terrifying and apparently challenging that returning to the external world can seem very reasonable! The interior is filled with fear and guilt. Images from the past haunt us – choices not made or made poorly, times we were victims and times we did the victimizing ourselves. Dread and gloom shade the future. Who needs it?
But that’s where the willingness comes in.
Can you let what you experience inside be? Can you look at the sludge and ugliness and just let it be? It’s not your job to fix it or heal it. The Holy Spirit will shine it away. All you need to do is come to that place where you allow that function to be fulfilled on your behalf.
Bringing illusion to truth, or the ego to God, is the Holy Spirit’s function. Keep not your making from your Father, for hiding it has cost you knowledge of Him and yourself. The knowledge is safe but where is your safety apart from it? (T-14.IX.1:4-6)
Spend a few minutes in meditation whenever possible. Don’t worry about getting it right. Right and wrong are not helpful ideas when it comes to God. Just be still – sitting, standing, walking, kneeling. Whatever. And let your mind do what it does: let it fill with the horror show. Let it be all judgmental and cruel. Let it be silly or boring.
And say: here you go, Jesus. Say: this one’s for you Holy Spirit.
Maybe not this hour and maybe not today even but soon you will discover that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not simply metaphors. You will encounter an internal light – faint, flickering, tiny – and it will heal you. Slowly it will heal you. I feel completely comfortable promising you this is so!
Don’t run away from what scares you. Don’t hide from how horrible you think you are or how terrifying the world is or how rotten other people are. Give it over. In words, with images, in prayer. Sing it out loud if you have to! But find that willingness. A spark is all that is need to start the conflagration. Let go.
The Atonement does not make holy. You were created holy. It merely brings unholiness to holiness, or what you made to what you are (T-14.IX.1:1-3).
What you made to what you are . . . God created you perfect and you remain the perfect Creation of God. Find the truth of that! Everything else is of your own making. Let the many obstructions you made go. Undo the separation by accepting that it never happened. Let the One whose job it is to teach you that truth teach it to you.
And like that, you will be home.
Thank you, Sean.
I want to thank Jesus and Holy Spirit for useing you to give these Truths to me. After raising my 8 children mostly alone, I am aware of how I automatically assume it’s my responsibility for everthing in my earth life, even though they have all now left the nest, and I have been studying the Course for nearly 2 years. And I must give Him credit, because as you said, I do notice that I am slowly hearing His reminders.
One question, I fear asking as it may be a ego question : Why all the mental work for us all, in all the seriousness of trying to remember Jesus meanings of words like salvatiion etc. that are not the common meaning, etc., etc., etc., when we are still with God, never left Him and we only think we are living on earth, none of the people are real and it’s all really only a Dream that we’ll eventually wake up from anyway?!?!
With much appreciation for the ‘experiences’ of your writings from His Mind to yours, sally
Thanks Joel & Sally.
Yes, good question, Sally. I think we do the work for two reasons. For me, first, I simply want to do it. I am happy when I am close to God – happy when I can share the love and the joy, in whatever form is given in the moment. It is more fun and enriching than not doing it.
Yet on a more practical level, the ego is entrenched and in order to undo it, I have to be vigilant. I have to transition to a new way of thinking. I want to leave the world of perception for the world of knowledge – each has its guide, each has its thought system. I am familiar with the ego and its methods and modes. It feels natural. It’s the default state. React to the world, postpone grace, wallow in fear and scarcity.
The alternative has to be learned – or remembered, is probably a better way to put it. We know it – it’s our truth, our reality – but we’ve made ourselves alien to it. We’ve hidden it with all kinds of veils and ideas and habits and opinions. It is true that once in Heaven we will see that there was never anything to do – but so long as we believe we are in time and of the body, then there will be this learning process.
In general, we hear the ego first so we have to develop the habit of not reacting to it but listening instead for the Holy Spirit, whose voice is quieter and – to our ego-twisted minds – often confusing.
I want to wake up. I believe it is possible. For me, the path is with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, to the kingdom of Heaven. It’s not the only path or even the best path. But it is mine. We have control over the waking up! We can choose when to take the Course and we can choose how vigilant we will be in its study, whatever form it takes. Having come to this point, I am eager to go all the way, as it were. The end is sure but I see no reason to postpone any longer.
So yes, it’s work – or it appears to be work – until suddenly it isn’t. And it gets easier with time. And the doing of it is always connected to the extending of joy to others.