“You have the right to all the universe—to perfect peace, complete deliverance from all effects of sin, and to life eternal, joyous and complete in every way, as God appointed for His holy Son.”
(Unless otherwise credited all the quotes in this post are from A Course in Miracles. And any underlining is mine and is for emphasis only)
Yesterday I had a short conversation with the boyfriend of one of my Granddaughters, who is very young when compared to me. The conversation, somehow, came around to the subject of aging. At one point I said to him, when you’re as young as you are, and look ahead to where I am, it seems a long, long way; almost too far to imagine. But when you get up here where I am and look back over it all, it doesn’t seem very long at all. In fact, it seems very, very short.
Even though he agreed with me, I don’t think he understood just how much truth there is in what I said. For something like that is difficult to see until it’s experienced for one’s self. I’ve often read, or heard it said by some, I don’t regret growing old, because it’s a privilege denied to many. There’s no doubt that there is some truth in that statement, but even so, I wonder how deeply they actually feel it and believe it.
They’ve accepted the fact that in this physical world there’s no other alternative except to die while you’re young, or grow old. But through experience I’ve learned that the growing old is bound to have, at least, a longing for youth even if it’s not regretted. I had a son die at the age of just forty-nine, three years ago. And a grandson just twenty-nine, killed in an accident less than one year ago. Therefore, I do understand where they’re coming from when they point out that growing old is a privilege denied to many.
Through the years I’v also heard people say many times that there’s nothing worse than outliving your children. And, again I understand from experience where they’re coming from. Please don’t misunderstand me, and think I’m feeling sorry for myself, as the saying goes, for nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m simply putting these personal experiences out there to let you know that as I write these posts it’s not all about what I learned from books. A lot of what I write comes from personal experiences in this so-called life.
“The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught.”
As the Course says, the meaning of love is beyond what can be taught; for how could the meaning of God be taught? It matters not what your perception of God may be, there’s just two words that make any sense at all in trying to describe Him, and they are: God is. To try and go beyond these two words when discussing the subject can only lead to disagreement and confusion. And it’s the same with love, for Love is God, and God is Love. Therefore, Love is – that’s it.
“Forgiveness must be practiced, for the world cannot perceive its meaning nor provide a guide to teach you its beneficence.”
It stands to reason that if the world cannot perceive the meaning of forgiveness, then it’s impossible for it to be taught. This puts it on the same level as love, which is of God, and therefore, not of this physical world. One of the main teachings of the Course is, the world is an illusion. That’s why the meaning of love and the meaning of forgiveness are beyond what can be taught here. For in this world of illusions, reality, which is the meaning of Love and forgiveness, cannot be known, and therefore cannot be taught.
When the Course talks about love and forgiveness it’s not talking about the same love and forgiveness that the world believes in. Those who see themselves as physical beings and listen to the dictates of the ego believe that love can change. They believe it’s not only possible, but normal, to love someone one day and hate them the next. Concerning this, the Course says, Love‘s meaning is obscure to anyone who thinks that love can change. He does not see that changing love must be impossible. And thus he thinks that he can love at times and hate at other times.
The above header quote says that the world cannot perceive the meaning of forgiveness nor provide a guide to teach you its beneficence. But it also says, Forgiveness must be practiced; how can that be? Well it all circles right back to the beginning where we must make that pesky decision to see the flesh or recognize the Spirit. As I mentioned above when the Course talks about forgiveness it’s not talking about the same forgiveness the world believes in.
Those who see the flesh believe in guilt, and therefore forgiveness is, in some cases, offered but the forgiven party remains guilty of committing the act that needed to be forgiven.
Those who recognize the Spirit understand that everything in this world is an illusion, and that includes guilt. Therefore they learn to forgive the illusion, which means they look beyond it to the truth. The truth is, if everything is an illusion then the act that the world sees as real never happened. There’s nothing to forgive except the illusion – there’s no guilt.
This is what the Course means when it teaches that Forgiveness must be practiced. It means that God’s Creations are innocent always, therefore there’s nothing to forgive except the illusion. Recognizing this, believing this, and doing it, is what needs to be practiced.
Love and Forgiveness go Together
How would it be possible to love someone and not forgive them? And how would it be possible to forgive someone unless you loved them? These questions are hardly relevant to those who see only the flesh. In this illusionary world it’s entirely possible to do both. We believe we can love someone and hold a grudge against them at the same time, and we believe we can forgive someone if it suits us, without loving them at all. This is not love, and it is not forgiveness. Both are opposites of what they’re meant to express, and are no more than forms of fear.
There is no beneficence to be found in either of these actions. But there is plenty to be experienced when we learn and practice forgiveness of illusions. I’m going to revert back to the personal experiences I mentioned earlier in this post; the passing of my son and grandson. Again, as I mentioned earlier, all that I write about doesn’t come from books alone, but from personal experience.
I’m going to express my ideas and beliefs about the illusion we refer to as death in this world. But in no way is it meant to downplay the grief and sense of loss that accompanies the death of a loved one. It’s meant only to shed light upon how my understanding and beliefs concerning the experience helped me. My learning over the years, and my use of the Power of reason contributed immensely in allowing me to let go of something I had absolutely no power to do anything about.
The most powerful contribution was my belief that death actually is an illusion. It’s very easy to say the words, death is an illusion. But to reach the point where they truly mean something and their message is accepted, and then to move to the place where it is indeed, believed, is something far, far different. Before we can even begin to move to this place, the choice to recognize the Spirit is an absolute necessity.
For those who see only the flesh there’s no alternative but, as the Course says, to regard death as “the way of nature, not to be raised to question but to be accepted as the natural law of life.”
But for those who have made the choice to recognize the Spirit there’s no alternative but to accept the Course’s assertion that: “There is no death because what God created shares His Life.”
Enter the Power of Reason
I have never been one to accept words in a book as being enough, regardless of which book they may be written in. To me they are just that, words in a book, unless they are able to withstand the scrutiny of the Power of Reason. Ever since I can remember I’ve had a difficult time believing the teaching that life began as some sort of chemical reaction in a primordial soup of some type. That may be a simplistic description of the occurrence, but nevertheless I’ve always been unable to accept any evolutionary version of how life began. They simply would not pass the test of reason.
Even though I couldn’t accept the evolutionary version, the Power of Reason wouldn’t allow me to completely accept the religious versions that were prevalent when I was younger, either. So I kept searching, and after awhile some spiritual teachings I began to hear started to make some sense. And then I discovered A Course in Miracles, which filled in all the blanks and answered most of my questions. My firm and deep belief in Life, which tells me there is no such thing as death, has really been of immeasurable comfort to me during those experiences I mentioned above.
I’m going to close this post with the following quote from the Course: “If death is real for anything, there is no life. Death denies life, but if there is reality in life, death is denied. No compromise in this is possible. There is either a god of fear or One of Love.”
Thank you for visiting this blog – I really and truly appreciate it
POSITIVE MIND – HAPPY LIFE
2018 Walter Theriault. All rights reserved