Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 41 God goes with me wherever I go.
- Today’s idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment all the separated ones experience. Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation. So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering, and an intense fear of loss.
- Separated ones have invented many “cures” for what they believe to be the “ills of the world.” But the one thing they do not do is to question the reality of the problem. Yet its effects cannot be cured because the problem is not real. The idea for today has the power to end all this foolishness forever. And foolishness it is, despite the serious and tragic forms it may take.
- Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world. It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real and suffered out of its allegiance to them.
- You can never be deprived of your perfect holiness because its Source goes with you wherever you go. You can never suffer because the Source of all joy goes with you wherever you go. You can never be alone because this Source of all life goes with you wherever you go. Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.
- We understand that you do not believe all this. How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within, under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see? Today we will make our first real attempt to get past this dark and heavy cloud, and to go through it to the light beyond.
- There will be only one long practice period today. In the morning, as soon as you get up if possible, sit quietly for some three to five minutes, with your eyes closed. At the beginning of the practice period repeat today’s idea very slowly, then make no effort to think of anything. Try, instead, to get a sense of turning inward, past all the idle thoughts of the world. Try to enter very deeply into your own mind, keeping it clear of any thoughts that might divert your attention.
- From time to time, you may repeat the idea if you find it helpful. but most of all, try to sink down and inward, away from the world and all the foolish thoughts of the world. You are trying to reach past all these things. you are trying to leave appearances and approach reality.
- It is quite possible to reach God. In fact, it is very easy, because it is the most natural thing in the world. You might even say it is the only natural thing in the world. The way will open, if you believe that it is possible. This exercise can bring very startling results even the first time it is it is attempted, and sooner or later it is always successful. We will go into more detail about this kind of practice as we go along. But it will never fail completely, and instant success is possible.
- Throughout the day use today’s idea often, repeating it very slowly, preferably with eyes closed. Think about what you were saying; what the words mean. Concentrate on the holiness that they imply about you; on the unfailing companionship that is yours; on the complete protection that surrounds you.
- You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): Yes, God is here with me in Miami. God is with me wherever I go. On the plane. In the airport. While we were waiting for that tamale breakfast at the Spanish market. While we drove around Homestead. While Yvonne and I went to Publix for steaks and dinner items. God is with me while we listened to old Navy stories, while we ate and drank, and while I was in the swimming pool in that chilly water. God was and is with me. I am part of the Sonship of God. James is part of the Sonship of God. Mark and Yvonne are irreplaceable parts of the Sonship of God. I am not forgotten, and now I choose not to forget who and what I am, and that God is ever with me. God is with me wherever I go.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): Here we are, having our devotions over the phone again. I have my first cup of coffee; James had his with breakfast in the lobby. He opens with a prayer, and I read today’s lesson as usual – and as I am reading the words the truth of it seems to jump out of me. Last year we were in Miami with our friends having a good time. I read my lessons and practiced them as best as I could around all the fun we were having, and of course the lessons taught me and the practice of them strengthened the resolve to finish the course.
However, this year, the lesson tied in with the discussion we had at our ACIM meeting on Saturday, speaking directly to the existential angst, the loneliness, the yearning for connection, and inevitable rejection that we as individuals, as separated ones, experience in the world. One of the founders spoke of how changing his perception of God and himself has replaced the desperate, sinking feeling of being alone with the sense of an everlasting, never-failing Presence, that holy Companion. So often we burden our relationships with others unnecessarily by demanding of them that they fulfill the desires we can only get from remembering who and what we are in God.
Today’s lesson tells us that this separation is not real – we only think it is real because we are using the eyes of the ego and believe that we are separate bodies, when our reality connects all of us through our minds, an invisible realm that is one in God. We live in this imaginary little bubble of separateness and because our minds are powerful, as long as we believe we are in this bubble, it is real to us. And we can all attest to that, can we not? James seems far away because his body is four hours away from my body – however, in reality, no time, distance, or space can ever separate us – we are one. This is easy enough to grasp when we think of a husband and wife, however, Jesus tells us that all of us are actually of one pure Mind, the perfect and holy Mind of God.
Because of this, we can never be alone; we can never be deprived; we can never suffer. Our bodies of course tell a different story, but we are not discussing bodies here. As long as we want to identify with them, we know how that story ends. But this story! This story of who and what we really are has no ending.
In paragraph five, Jesus tells us that the Sonship understands that we find this hard to believe. The Sonship builds no case against us for being deceived by what we have been programmed with our human brains and our human experience to believe. While Jesus likened it to a dark and heavy cloud, He said today we will attempt to take you through it to the light beyond.
Remember Harry Potter, when he went to the train station to catch his first ride to Hogwarts? Hagrid said he would meet his train at platform nine and three-quarters. Of course, when he arrived, there didn’t seem to be a platform nine and three-quarters, but Mrs. Weasley told him to just walk straight at the barrier, not to stop, not to be afraid, even to go for it at a bit of a run if he was nervous. *
Jesus isn’t asking us to look outward and find an enchanted platform, which only those who practice magic can see. He is asking us to go inward, to get past all the idle thoughts of the world and enter deeply into our own minds, denying any thoughts that would distract us. All He is asking of us is to take three to five minutes this morning and then throughout the day and remind ourselves: “God goes with me wherever I go.”
The truth of this statement will astound you. It will never be a superficial platitude to you again; when you hear this message in any form, it will sound as a gong in your soul, calling you to its reality. As we meditate upon today’s lesson idea; as we deeply consider what the words mean, focusing on how holy is the One who has made us in His own holy image, our attachment to our separate identity in the world is loosened. We realize that nothing can touch our real and holy Selves. We can laugh at what that false self cries about, because we know that God goes with us wherever we may go.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 41 God goes with me…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 63-64.
*This will be different from the audio from which I was reading from memory of the book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, Kindle Edition, p. 99. In the audio, I mistakenly refer to Mrs. Weasley as “Mrs. Beasley.” The audio is also a bit incorrect about what Mrs. Weasley told Harry about getting to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. The text is correct.