Opening to the Possibility

What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn't Fail?

Lesson 129: Maximal Love: Beyond this World

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Beyond this world is who we truly are: divine beings having a human experience. All expressions of love are maximal. I choose love, as I did a year ago in this blog post.

all expressions of love are maximal

Maximal

Part of what I love about studying A Course in Miracles is that it is imminently practical.  Following yesterday’s rather harsh proclamation that The world I see holds nothing that I want, this lesson opens with the reassurance, “You cannot stop with the idea the world is worthless, for unless you see that there is something else to hope for, you will only be depressed.”  And so, it gives us this: Beyond this world there is a world I want.  If you’re going to burst my bubble by telling me “The world you see is merciless indeed, unstable, cruel, unconcerned with you, quick to avenge and pitiless with hate,” you’d best come up with something to make me feel better so I can get past the impulse to think I should just slit my wrists right now!

So the Course, in true Course style, poses the question: “Is it a loss to find a world instead where losing is impossible; where love endures forever, hate cannot exist and vengeance has no meaning? Is it loss to find all things you really want, and know they have no ending and they will remain exactly as you want them throughout time?”

Heaven is surely a suitable substitute for the cruelty of this world, isn’t it?

In church last Friday, the teens held a mini-camp experience service.  It was their first one and it was not well-advertised and therefore not well-attended.  I held high watch throughout the service.

I’m here to tell you that the folks that didn’t attend missed out.  The adults who were there were blown away – split wide open with love.  They experienced what our teens experience when we send them to camp: that love can transform life; that acceptance and respect have the power to change the world.

It requires allowing oneself to be vulnerable and that is scary stuff.

Lately, I have been reading Dr. Lissa Rankin’s The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind and Soul (which I apparently purchased from Amazon when it was on special for $2.99 back in March) and what I’m noticing is that somehow I am becoming more comfortable with fear in a “feel the fear and do it anyway” sort of attitude.  In reading the book, I am coming to recognize the many ways the Course has helped me make peace with uncertainty; the moments I have begun to feel less squeamish with putting myself out there.

In one of our Tuesday night classes, we’ve discussed how there is a hesitancy to “like” my blog posts despite that several of the group read them because then the judgmental folks that we are Facebook friends with may figure out who we really are.

I get it.  It’s scary stuff to reveal our beliefs, to open ourselves up for criticism.

Rankin says of fear, “Fear points a bony finger at everything that needs to be healed in our lives, and if we’re brave enough to heal it, courage blossoms and peace is the prize.”

When you don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the illusion, when you trust that this is a friendly world, that God has your back and that the universe is conspiring in your favor, then you can let go of thinking things should be different than there are and embrace whatever is happening as a gift.

“Fear is only inverted faith; it is faith in evil instead of good.” Florence Scovel Shinn

Fear is only inverted faith.

Inverted Faith

God is always present.  Love is always here.  But you must be willing to trust that goodness is trying to find you.  As Rankin says, “Fear carries with it a precious message, and if you’re willing to listen to your fear, rather than run away from it, fear can help you get on the fast track to healing in body, mind and soul.”

Lissa Rankin, M.D. quote

A Precious Message

Hmmm.

Today’s ACIM Lesson:

Lesson 129

Beyond this world there is a world I want.

This is the thought that follows from the one we practiced yesterday. You cannot stop with the idea the world is worthless, for unless you see that there is something else to hope for, you will only be depressed. Our emphasis is not on giving up the world, but on exchanging it for what is far more satisfying, filled with joy, and capable of offering you peace. Think you this world can offer that to you?

It might be worth a little time to think once more about the value of this world. Perhaps you will concede there is no loss in letting go all thought of value here. The world you see is merciless indeed, unstable, cruel, unconcerned with you, quick to avenge and pitiless with hate. It gives but to rescind, and takes away all things that you have cherished for a while. No lasting love is found, for none is here. This is the world of time, where all things end.

Is it a loss to find a world instead where losing is impossible; where love endures forever, hate cannot exist and vengeance has no meaning? Is it loss to find all things you really want, and know they have no ending and they will remain exactly as you want them throughout time? Yet even they will be exchanged at last for what we cannot speak of, for you go from there to where words fail entirely, into a silence where the language is unspoken and yet surely understood.

Communication, unambiguous and plain as day, remains unlimited for all eternity. And God Himself speaks to His Son, as His Son speaks to Him. Their language has no words, for what They say cannot be symbolized. Their knowledge is direct and wholly shared and wholly one. How far away from this are you who stay bound to this world. And yet how near are you, when you exchange it for the world you want.

Now is the last step certain; now you stand an instant’s space away from timelessness. Here can you but look forward, never back to see again the world you do not want. Here is the world that comes to take its place, as you unbind your mind from little things the world sets forth to keep you prisoner. Value them not, and they will disappear. Esteem them, and they will seem real to you.

Such is the choice. What loss can be for you in choosing not to value nothingness? This world holds nothing that you really want, but what you choose instead you want indeed! Let it be given you today. It waits but for your choosing it, to take the place of all the things you seek but do not want.

Practice your willingness to make this change ten minutes in the morning and at night, and once more in between. Begin with this:

Beyond this world there is a world I want. 
I choose to see that world instead of this,
for here is nothing that I really want.

Then close your eyes upon the world you see, and in the silent darkness watch the lights that are not of this world light one by one, until where one begins another ends loses all meaning as they blend in one.

Today the lights of Heaven bend to you, to shine upon your eyelids as you rest beyond the world of darkness. Here is light your eyes can not behold. And yet your mind can see it plainly, and can understand. A day of grace is given you today, and we give thanks. This day we realize that what you feared to lose was only loss.

Now do we understand there is no loss. For we have seen its opposite at last, and we are grateful that the choice is made. Remember your decision hourly, and take a moment to confirm your choice by laying by whatever thoughts you have, and dwelling briefly only upon this:

The world I see holds nothing that I want. 
Beyond this world there is a world I want.

 

© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA  94942-0598

So many of these lessons, for me, are about learning to trust.  The Course does not deny that the material world we live in can be soul-crushing.  It does not deny that the ego-thought system is cruel.  In a world where there is no trust, only fear, it is challenging to have faith that there is anything good in the appearances we sometimes witness.  Someone is murdered.  Another person is tortured.  There is corruption and our political systems seem so broken.  How do we feel hope when such atrocities exist?

“Turn toward the light.”

Problems are not cured by focusing on grievances.  They are solved by looking beyond the hopelessness to possibility. Rankin says, “The flip side of the fear of uncertainty is the excitement of possibility.  Instead of fearing ‘I don’t know,’ you start embracing ‘I don’t know’ with a sense of adventure, because when you don’t know what the future holds, anything can happen.”

(“I do not know what anything is for.”)

The whole point of training the mind to go beyond the seemingly possible to the miracle is to recognize that 1 There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger’ than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.”

All expressions of love are maximal.

Only the love is real.  So today, this Mother’s Day, May 8th, 2016, I take time to know:

The world I see holds nothing that I want.
Beyond this world there is a world I want.

What is not love is a call for loveOnly what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.

The world I want is brimming with love.  So I choose it because I know, beyond this world there is a world I want.  It is a world of kindness; a world of beauty; a world of joy.  I choose it because I choose to “teach only love.”

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.

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