Today, I am playing hooky. It is Pi Day and my husband and I are off on an adventure – heading to Pie Town, NM ,shortly, to celebrate geekiness and perhaps mourn the death of Stephen Hawking who choose today to discard his weary body. Meanwhile, though I undoubtedly have work that will call my name today, I am reveling in these morning hours while my husband is still in bed and I have some time to savor A Course in Miracles before we scurry out the door.
Today’s ACIM lesson is #73, I will there be light, a lesson that focuses on the recognition that truthfully, we want what God wants for us: His will is our will and it is at this point in our mind training that the Course asks us to own it. It is the acknowledgment that we actually don’t do particularly well when we allow ego to be our tour guide. “Forget the ego’s arguments which seek to prove all this is really Heaven. You know it is not so. You cannot want this for yourself. There is a point beyond which illusions cannot go. Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. Such is your will in truth. And so salvation is your will as well. You want to succeed in what we are trying to do today. We undertake it with your blessing and your glad accord.”
We WANT to be happy, and on some level, we know that all this shit we’ve called to ourselves is NOT happiness.
Last night, at our ACIM Tuesday Night Group, we read The Fear of Healing. It is the crux of the challenge each of us faces because we think we are our bodies. Belief in the vulnerability of the body is easily demonstrated (Stephen Hawking did this quite well!) and becomes justification for the need to attack. It is what things like the second Amendment and our military are built upon. We need to be able to defend ourselves, or so ego tells us. It’s easy to forget the Course teachings and fall back into relying on our own frail resources when we feel threatened. And we are so powerful that we create circumstances that belie our justification for attack. It is, unfortunately, what keeps us in hell. Seeing the world as we are, and not knowing the truth of who we are, we witness tragedies and then cite them as evidence in our case against truth.
Maybe that is why there is something heart wrenching about witnessing vulnerability. To witness someone standing defenseless stirs something deep within. The Course teaches us that our safety lies in defenselessness, that our strength comes from resting on truth (Strength comes from truth, and shines with light its Source has given it; weakness reflects the darkness of its maker), yet the part of the mind that still listens to ego does not belief this is true. A dim awareness of how easily we could destroy remains to reassure us that it is folly to listen to the Holy Spirit.
So last night’s reading was a provocative section. It says, “Who forgives is healed.”
Now, anyone who has been subjected to the ills of the body will testify that it’s not that easy. Most of us would swear that we would gladly forgive if it meant we could have our health back. So, yes, it is provocative to say that forgiveness is the answer to being healed. This section tells us that reason we don’t believe this is because we are trying to straddle two worlds. “Yet no one can forgive a sin that he believes is real. And what has consequences must be real, because what it has done is there to see.” We want to keep the guilt we’ve branded our brother with. We want to proclaim that they are unworthy of forgiveness because of what they’ve done, but we want the healing. It’s a little like the Little Red Hen – all the animals want to be able to eat the bread, but no one wants to do the work required to make it. We want the healing, but we don’t want to let go of our grievances.
What the Course is endeavoring to teach us is that to experience healing, we must go beyond appearances. Those appearances are the outpicturing of where our faith lies. We can be hurt because we insist on preserving guilt and sin. If we would align with the Holy Spirit’s agenda instead of ego’s, we woud witness the beauty that was always there.
“4 Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself. You must attest his sins have no effect on you to demonstrate they are not real. How else could he be guiltless? And how could his innocence be justified unless his sins have no effect to warrant guilt? Sins are beyond forgiveness just because they would entail effects that cannot be undone and overlooked entirely. In their undoing lies the proof that they are merely errors. Let yourself be healed that you may be forgiving, offering salvation to your brother and yourself.”
Forgiveness is the recognition that nothing really happened. And yes, I know that is human terms that is challenging because kids in Parkland, Florida died. Thousands died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. Millions died during the Holocaust. It is difficult for the human mind to accept that “nothing happened.” But Heaven is felt in light, not darkness. And the only way out is through.
To receive the balm of forgiveness means that we/I must let go of feeling there is some benefit to our brothers’ pain. When revenge is released and no satisfaction can be found in punishment of any kind, then God’s peace can be felt. Make no mistake. It never left. It was always here for the asking. But the Atonement requires wholeness, and none of us can BE whole as long as any of us is left behind.
We are one.
In this remembrance, am I returned at last to the peace of God. We are not our bodies and I can’t help thinking that at this moment, Stephen Hawking , who was a self-proclaimed atheist, is marveling at what it means to be limitless in the arms of Love.
Now, it’s time for me to take off with my husband in search of pi(e).
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.