In time, solely because we believe in time, we will all come to know and express the light we are. It’s impossible we will not. Why? Because God wills we return home. God wills we be at peace and no longer experience fear, disease, pain, and the countless forms of suffering the human mind has made up, endorsed, and bowed down to. We could consider each of these is a form of death that precedes the ultimate death of the body. He wills that we no longer believe we are apart from Him, housed in a body in a physical world. Let's remember our Life is in God and we were created in Spirit. We too, are spirit.
What we bow down to we erroneously establish as an idol; a false god that we endow with more power than God who is our source and creator. God alone, is the one presence and power. We’ve been told to have no other gods before Him nor to make graven images, for when we do so, we suffer. Not because God is a vengeful or punishing God; but only because as we hold such errors in thought and behavior, we cut ourselves off from His All-Sustaining Love, from His gifts, from Truth and Life itself. For God is Love, Truth and Life. When our minds look upon darkness, our backs are to the light, and we are unable to see and receive all He has given and continues to provide. It’s a simple concept: “It’s impossible to see two worlds”. (ACIM, Lesson 130)
An idol can have no real power. But by our decision, we give alcohol, drugs, sugar, and other substances more power than God and we routinely turn to these in place of Him when seeking comfort and relief. Likewise, we turn to a drug to manage pain or sickness, and a vaccine for protection. We may elect to undergo what can be painful therapies, surgery, and their resultant periods of recovery. We forget that God is our deliverer in all things, in every situation, and we deny HIs teaching and His power when we do so. Many will say God too, can work through drugs and procedures. Surely we must each be guided in options for healing.
In modern living, a vast array of substances and behaviors are addictive and have a seeming power over us. DNA, pollen, food, a virus, bacteria, time, and aging all can make us sick, impair our ability, vitality, and impose upon us a weakened state unknown to our Creator. By our will, these in effect, overpower God’s perfect and eternal creation of His Son. To all these we continue to succumb, while all along God awaits our request for help; that we receive His answer and remember Him. The act of seeking for God is a powerful prayer and provides a shift in consciousness that heals.
We don’t realize that we are making choices in every moment. With each breath we choose life or death. When we do not choose life fully, we are choosing some form of our demise. This choosing may be unconscious and may occur with lightening-like speed, so we are unaware that choice is involved. Things are not randomly happening to us but are happening by our choice. We need to get this.
Death is what lacks the light of love. It is our belief in the physical, temporary, and impermanent world. The body with which we identify, reflects impermanence and too often, this lack of light. Given these allegiances, we live until the body dies and along the way, we suffer, lacking well-being in various degrees at various times. Death further involves the deterioration of body functions, fear, and conflict within ourselves and with others. Simply stated, what does not express or reflect love is some form of death. This, again, is a simple concept.
This is a reliable litmus test for any situation we face. Upon recognizing the lack of love in a situation, condition, in our thinking, or behavior, it is a signal to choose again. It’s a call to make a change and for each of us to become an instrument for life.
“Boot camp”. During a recent “Course in Miracles” Zoom study group, I made the statement, “We are in boot camp.”, though as I spoke it, I wasn’t sure how accurate a metaphor it is for this lifetime in which we must transform every thought that stands in the way of awakening. So, I went online, and Merriam-Webster defines "boot camp" as:
1. a … camp for basic training
2. a disciplinary … program in which young offenders are forced to participate in a rigidly
structured routine (“offenders” could be replaced with “disciples” *
who require mind-training to achieve right-minded consciousness)
3. a place or undertaking … requiring one to endure intensive training or
I hope you smiled. I sure did. For me, it fits the rigorous demands of undoing our belief in the world and our self-identity as we’ve been taught since birth. The good news is we’re not alone in this. God wills we be the light, plus, we have mighty companions who share this goal and who walk this road with us. Only if we close our eyes to our spiritual seeing and sensing, do we walk a dangerous route that is uneven, has treacherous, unforeseen protrusions, potholes, and bends where we can stumble and fall. Let’s be honest and admit that as beautiful, loving and satisfying our experiences in the world can be, we have also been tossed and blown.
For myself, I want the good life. I want the “Happy Dream” though it cannot be my goal. The teaching is that as we seek for the Kingdom of Heaven, we will be given all we need, want or desire. We have been promised and assured the “desires of our hearts” (Psalm 37:4). Our focus on a higher goal is not merely to become a better person, or to achieve and have more. Our goal is to know ourselves and to remember Him. Along the way do become a better person and have more of what is truly of value. I believe we will experience greater love, peace, and joy, but we do not settle for these gains. Certainly, we give thanks and enjoy the good we receive, in stewardship, knowing what to give away as well as to whom.
Please take my hand and walk with me, with God, so we can walk together. If your language and name for our Creator differs from mine, use yours. What matters is that our hearts and minds are joined in our sincere desire to know, to serve and to remember. Being so united, the way will surely be lighted and still, if we stumble, we can lean on one another and even be lifted up. We cannot be “down for the count”. Together we encourage the choices and stance that uplifts the consciousness of the whole.
*The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word discipulus meaning “student”. ... It's derived from the root word discere—”to learn.” (wikidiff.com)
**Merriam-Webster emphasized a military definition which I edited to give a generic meaning for “boot camp”.