1. Laws for Physical Survival - in this world that we experience. They are absolute and impersonal and form the boundaries of our physical life. One such is gravity. Things fall down. If you are under them, they hurt. Sometimes we can learn these laws by listening to wiser people. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. But when an airplane takes off, it supersedes the law of gravity and enters a “freer” law, the law of aerodynamics.
2. Laws for Spiritual Being. These laws exist just as surely as
physical laws, but sometimes we get so wrapped up in the physical realm
with all its problems and “rewards,” that we fail to remember or recognize
spiritual laws. When a spiritual law is allowed to happen for us,
that is the miracle. The change in our perspective from physical
to spiritual awareness is the “shift” that takes place to allow the miracle
its natural course. Allowing this shift in our mind and experience
a. That we recognize that there is a Being greater than ourselves which is our Creator, and is capable of Loving, protecting, guiding and nurturing us.
b. That we are worthy of these benefits, which are our natural inheritance.
Once we place ourselves in that relative position, we are aware of that Light and are able to begin to recognize the blocks of resistance and darkness that we have built against that Light.
So, like the airplane we “rise above” the gravitational pull of the physical realm and recognize the reality of the spiritual. Once in that receptive space, awareness will come to us, first slowly perhaps as in any learning (or remembering) process, then faster and faster as the pieces of the jig-saw puzzle all start to fall into place. The process is one of recognition and acknowledgement of the miracles (a change in the way we “think” about things) as they happen and the almost incredible realization of how it all fits together.
If we resist the spiritual laws, we will injure ourselves as in conflict, distress and dis-ease that will even eventually lead to physical sickness. These results are as certain as they would be if we ignored the physical laws. (Like, don’t walk off a roof if you haven’t got a ladder.)
Recognizing and accepting spiritual laws can be referred to as spiritual growth or spiritual healing. ACIM© says “All healing is of the mind.” That is where it begins, and that is where it will end.
In the final sub-section of the last chapter of ACIM© text, we are encouraged to reflect on these things and “Choose Once Again”.
“In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, “My brother, choose again.” (T-620)
And so our journey into our dream of time and space began as we looked and looked for the “place of specialness.” We had forgotten that we were already complete and perfect and that we didn’t need specialness to complete us. And so we wandered in the “far country,” forgetting who and what we truly were and eventually ended up choosing bodies in a world where we thought specialness might be found. Some sought it in other bodies, since it seemed they were different and possessed magical parts and qualities. Some sought it in fame, money, hatred, work, and invention of all kinds of forms. But nothing worked. Every time we got the object of our “dream,” it was not what we were looking for. We had picked up a “friend” along the way we called “the ego,” who advised us where we could go and look some more for the specialness we were seeking.
The process in the search for specialness between two bodies goes something like this. I feel this emptiness within me. I see another body that appears to have some great qualities that would make me complete. If the other body also sees the same in me, a bargain is made and the special love relationship begins. If the body (country, organization, etc.) disagrees with me in the beginning, then I form a special hate relationship and go to war immediately. A special love relationship goes along fine until one or other of the parties fails (even partly) to live up to the bargain in dependency. Then the relationship turns right over from special love to special hate and a new “special partner” must be found.
When we finally have had enough of these fruitless searches we stop, step back, get quiet and say, “There must be a better way.” This recognition will open our spiritual door and begin to lift the veils of darkness; we have made to cover over our own completeness and spiritual perfection. When we have come to realize the total love that we are, we then can go out into our world of renewed beauty and join with our brothers in sharing our love because it simply can’t be contained. When we meet another brother (now you will recognize him) doing the same, the joining will be a true miracle, and joy will know no bounds. These experiences will be holy instances and will indicate the “shift” from the special relationship to the holy relationship.
However, in the beginning, Our Father Creator had wisely realized the
futility of our dream and had appointed a guide for us in our “travels,”
called “the Holy Spirit.” So even if we couldn’t remember who and
what we were always and our Life in heaven, Holy Spirit was always there
to remind and guide us. He is in each of our minds, waiting in infinite
patience for us to call on him to gently awaken us from our dream and guide
us back to our true Self as The Christ in Heaven. So when we are
ready (that’s what free choice is all about), all we need do is be very
STILL, go quietly within, recognize “I AM”, and follow the guidance of
Holy Spirit in remembering and finding our way Home.
When we finally DO realize we have the full load, we are so happy we just want to share it with everyone. Since our ‘load” is really love, it is the only thing that we can give and give and just have more of.
The paradox about love is to realize that I need no one else to make
me complete; but to want to share that completeness that I am out of the
love that I am. Such is the true joining in love. It is not
exclusive. I share it with everyone, equally.
It was then we noticed that a Shining Friend had always walked with
us. We turned to Him, took His hand, put our trust in Him, and were
really grateful and happy that He could lead us Home where all is peace
and joy, eternally. Will we remember this experience and not wander
away from Home again? If our dream of wandering in the far country
has served its purpose of being our proving ground, we will never again
desire to wander away from our home in heaven.
Few are satisfied to leave the symbols of beauty and innocence alone,
enjoy (love) them where and as they are and encourage them to be fully
what they are. The need to possess and/or destroy is a real ego sickness.
When we notice this in others we should remember that it is another call
for love, in trying to regain the innocence we thought we gave up in our
separation from our Source.
But “guilt” has yet another meaning. It is an all-pervasive sense of alienation, isolation, and helplessness that remains with us from the moment of our birth to our death. For me, this translates as a very deep and all-encompassing DESPAIR. I am not primarily conscious of the fear of God’s love or His existence, or my place in heaven. I do not fear punishment for “wandering off into the far country”. What I do feel very acutely is the absolute impossibility of ever being able to return there again. DESPAIR. It is as if I had gone into the candy store, paid my 25 cents for one particular candy that I thought I wanted; it is gone - it wasn’t what I wanted at all and there are all these great candies I should have chosen. Then everything else in life worked out that way too. Houses, cars, boats, money, relationships, food, etc.; none were what I was looking for. After a long life of searching and trying, I realized what I am looking for and want is my true Self, the original innocence that I am, not the things of this world because it is not of this world.
Into this hopeless situation comes my Quiet Companion, the Holy Spirit
who DOES know the way back to my Home and my Innocence and waits quietly
to gently lead me there. So despair gives way to hope and hope to
purpose as I walk back to God, ever holding the Holy Spirit’s hand.
So when we get up in the morning and face a new day, do we greet it happily in anticipation of what may be learned, or do we hide from our lessons and anesthetize ourselves with work, food, relationships, pain, pleasure, etc. etc.? It is very important that we stay as open to situations as possible and in each case ask, “What is this thing for; what is its purpose; what is my lesson to be learned here.”
Very often it is almost too difficult to recognize that there could be a lesson for us when what we are facing are extremes of pain, pleasure, need, isolation and even death. It is particularly at these times, we very quietly need to go inside and say, “I cannot handle this situation by myself, please show me my lesson in it, and allow me to realize the Peace of God.”
If we could truly know who and where we really are, all other learning would not be necessary. However, since few of us ever come totally into that realization, it is then necessary for us to remember our lessons one-by-one. Some of the stages in learning that we may come to realize are:
1. UNDERSTANDING of the purpose of life. Understanding of all our brothers, and ourself, regardless how far along our personal paths we may be. Give up judgment since we do not know the reason for what we see.
2. TRUTH - Always, with Guidance, see and speak truth in yourself and others.
3. PATIENCE - Be aware that you and everyone are part of a perfect plan for Awakening. The script is written. Have the patience not to try to do it instead.
4. PRAISE - to all of the creations of God. Give thanks to and join with “all living things,” regardless of their stage of learning.
5. LOVE - Love as God loves, without qualification, expectation, or condition. Know that You are Love, which, by its nature, must extend itself.
6. FORGIVENESS - The central thought in the Holy Spirit’s completion of the Circle of Atonement. The shift in perception made possible by the miracle that ends separation. Through forgiveness, I am one with my brothers in God.
7. TOLERANCE - for all of God’s creations, and for myself. All are at different places on the same path. Respect other’s position and progress. Remember your hand is to help lift, when asked, not to push.
8. KINDNESS — comes out of the other seven stages, and is the manifestation of their presence. In kindness, I show that I am a Child of God; and as such, extend myself, as is my inheritance.
In reality, we all possess all these qualities already! However,
we have “lived here so long”, that it seems we have almost completely hidden
our true Light under all the dark blankets of illusions that we have made
and piled up around and over us. As we “learn our lessons” and remove
the dark blankets, we again begin to see the Truth and Love that we really
are and which will lead us surely home to God.