Monday, November 4, 2013

Starting Again; Where It All Began

Four years ago I stopped writing in this blog, mostly due to a busy schedule, plus we only had dial-up internet service available and I became frustrated with the achingly slow speed.  Now we have fast internet and I should be able to find time to make a few entries now and then.

A Course in Miracles continues to be the center of my life.   For many years prior to becoming its student, the Course was calling to me.  I didn't realize that at the time, of course.  I would find it referenced in other books that I read, and several times I tracked it down in a bookstore, thumbed through it, read a few pages, then put it back on the shelf.   It looked overwhelmingly complicated, and, having been brought up in a traditional Christian family, I quite frankly found it scarey!  I mean, if Jesus was going to speak to somebody, shouldn't it have been a priest or a monk - somebody who was already into religion?  Certainly not an atheist!  And I really wasn't convinced about that channeling stuff.

One evening in 2007, I was reading History of Mysticism, by Swami Abhayananda, and something opened up inside of me.  It expanded to fill my heart and mind - a desire unlike any I have ever felt before.  Tears streamed down my face and I said out loud, "I want to go Home."  I knew that Home had nothing to do with dying.  I wasn't sure how I was going to get there, but I knew I would find my way.  Shortly thereafter, I bought Gary Renard's Disappearance of the Universe, which, unknown to me at the time, is about A Course in Miracles.  I shared Gary's book with my skeptical, antireligious, husband, who, after reading it, suggested we find the Course.  We did and have been avid students of it ever since.  We have both done the lessons in the workbook and have read the text twice, as well as other books Course-related, such as Elizabeth Cronkhite's translations of the Course text, workbook, and Manual for Teachers into plain English.  After studying the Course and absorbing its divine message, both my husband and I fully believe that the Course was indeed channeled to Helen Schucman by Jesus.  The Course has changed our lives.

As anybody who studies the Course will probably agree, you can read the Course and every book that has been written about the Course, but until you make it a part of you, until you actually do what it says, you are standing in front of the stove with the gas turned on, thinking about cooking.  You have to be willing to go all the way, and all the way really is only a matter of choice.  Yet, there is really only one choice to make:

"The truth makes no decisions, for there is nothing to decide between.  And only if there were could choosing be a necessary step in the advance toward oneness." (ACIM Chapt. 26, III, 1 (10-11)

"That there is choice is an illusion.  Yet within this one lies the undoing of every illusion, not excepting this."  (ACIM Chapt. 26, III, 6 (4-5)

The thing is -- I'm certainly not there yet.  I struggle daily with keeping my mind in line with the Course, but therein lies the problem - I struggle.  There is no need to struggle.  The Course is very clear that we need do nothing but step back and let the Holy Spirit (the One Whom God Has Given You), take charge.  In my mind, I often hear Jesus' voice as he sarcastically says in the Course:

"Think not that happiness is ever found by following a road away from it.  This makes no sense, and cannot be the way.  To you who seem to find this course to be too difficult to learn, let me repeat that to achieve a goal you must proceed in its direction, not away from it.  And every road that leads the other way will not advance the purpose to be found.  If this be difficult to understand, then is this course impossible to learn.  But only then.  For otherwise, it is a simple teaching in the obvious."  (ACIM Chapt. 31, IV, 7)

And so I carry on.  I'll get there one day.  Meanwhile, this blog is helpful as a means for recording and exploring my thoughts about the Course in Miracles.