Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 184 The Name of God is my inheritance.
- You live by symbols. You have made up names for everything you see. Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name. By this you carve it out of unity. By this you designate its special attributes and set if off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it. This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.
- This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world’s perception is achieved. You see something where nothing is and see as well nothing where there is unity; a space between all things, between all things and you. Thus do you think that you have given life in separation. By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.
- What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awareness? You gave these names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be. The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well. For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequence inherent in itself.
- This is the way reality is made by partial vision, purposefully set against the given truth. Its enemy is wholeness. It conceives of little things and looks upon them. And a lack of space, a sense of unity or vision that sees differently, become the threats which it must overcome, conflict with, and deny.
- Yet does this other vision still remain a natural direction for the mind to channel its perception. It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more. Yet you believe this is what learning means; its one essential goal by which communication is achieved, and concepts can be meaningfully shared.
- This is the sum of the inheritance the world bestows. And everyone who learns to think that it is so accepts the signs and symbols that assert the world is real. It is for this they stand. They leave no doubt that what is named is there. It can be seen, as is anticipated. What denies that it is true is but illusion, for it is the ultimate reality. To question it is madness; to accept its presence is the proof of sanity.
- Such is the teaching of the world. It is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through. But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are it premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects. Learning that stops with what the world would teach stops short of meaning. In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin, a new perception can be gained, and all the arbitrary names the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised in doubt.
- Think not you made the world. Illusions, yes! But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming. When you call upon a brother, it is to his body that you make appeal. His true Identity is hidden from you by what you believe he really is. His body makes response to what you call him, for his mind consents to take the name you give him as his own. And thus his unity is twice denied, for you perceive him separate from you, and he accepts this separate name as his.
- It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function. You have need to use the symbols of the world a while. But be you not deceived by them as well. They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them. They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.
- Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name Which God has given you; the one Identity Which all things share; the one acknowledgement of what is true. And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules.
- Use all the little names and symbols which delineate the world of darkness. Yet accept them not as your reality. The Holy Spirit uses all of them, but He does not forget creation has one Name, one Meaning, and a single Source Which unifies all things within Itself. Use all the names the world bestows on them but for convenience, yet do not forget they share the Name of God along with you.
- God has no name that we could ever give Him, He has no need of a name. And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end. All names are unified; all space is filled with truth’s reflection. Every gap is closed, and separation healed. The Name of God is the inheritance He gave to those who chose the teaching of the world to take the place of Heaven. In our practicing, our purpose is to let our minds accept what God has given as the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made as fitting tribute to the Son He loves.
- No one can fail who seeks the meaning of the Name of God. Experience must come to supplement the Word. But first you must accept the Name for all reality and realize the many names you gave its aspects have distorted what you see but have not interfered with truth at all. One Name we bring into our practicing. One Name we use to unify our sight.1
Father, our Name is Yours. In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator. What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Reality. And we are glad and thankful we were wrong. Shine the light of Christ upon all our mistakes, our beliefs in darkness, our fractured thoughts, and fragmented distortions, that we may be absolved from all the dastardly effects our strange devices seemed to have. We accept the truth You give, in place of every little thought that would distinguish us from You. Your Name is our salvation and escape from the hellish realm we made. Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace. Amen.
Notes and Personal Application: The world’s view of Creation intends to keep all things little, separate and distinguished. Its reality are the spaces between things; while true vision perceives lack of space, a sense of oneness and wholeness. True vision is a threat to separateness. Any attempt to see correctly is a cause for ego to attack, to create conflict, to go into denial. Time and the world it runs thrives in the mind of separateness and lack of wholeness. Its systems are built upon it. Here the Sons of God believe they are sons of man, splintered, segregated, and suppressed.
No matter! The vision of Christ is the natural direction for the mind to channel its perception. Who wants to be burdened with thousands upon thousands of names for all the different pieces in which the world would splinter Creation? The more names we know, the more things we can dissect, dismember, and distinguish the smarter we think we are, while the reality is how apparent it is that this only seems to make the rift and divide between us deeper and denser. We think that we strengthen our vocabulary but the less we can communicate meaning and purpose, the less we understand, the less we exchange ideas that have the ability to heal and transform.
We learn to accept the signs and symbols, the names and ranks that the world assert is real. We learn to call childlikeness and innocence an impediment to truth; to believe in our Father a fantasy, and belief in the world’s point of view as proof of our sanity and intelligence and worth. As we come through the world, all of us are educated in this matter. We cannot escape it, but we can question it, we can see it for an illusion, a place where time gobbles up every passing moment and never gives it back, how all of it is set up to attack and take away, how decay and death are its ongoing gifts. When we begin to question our humanity, we begin to question the theater of life, the mechanics of our vision, the falseness of its premises, the programming of its vision.
Learning that stops with what the world teaches, stops short of meaning. No matter how many certificates, diplomas, or degrees we may have, or how many letters distinguish us from others, it doesn’t matter how many languages we can count to 100 in, none of it will have any meaning unless we take what we learned in the world and use it as a starting point from which another kind of learning will begin.
Jesus affirms that it is only when we begin to recognize what is missing in the world’s perception that we can gain a new perception – a perception that undoes the world’s vision and replaces it with the true vision of Christ. In paragraph eight, we are told that we did not make the world, but we are certainly responsible for the illusions we made to take the place of the real world. It is important to recognize this fact: Truth in Heaven and on earth is beyond our ability to name. When we sum one another up, we are summing up an illusion because we have no idea of the holiness and the purity and the value of that which we name here on earth. The true identity of each one of us, indeed of all Creation, is hidden from our human eyes. We give each other names and titles – even our pets will perk their ears at the names they have been given, but Jesus says do not be deceived for this is only a way to deny our oneness twice over because as we demand a name, we are distinguishing one part of Creation from another, and when he responds to the name he is accepting his separated state.
As long as we are in the world we use the world’s symbols, but we do not need to be deceived by them! They do not stand for anything and knowing this and meditating upon this thought will release us from our bondage to the idea of separateness. We can use the world’s symbols, its words, its names, its ways of perceiving one splintered part of Creation from another, but Jesus emphasizes that we must fully understand that this is not true communication and oneness and knowledge cannot be found where space and time has splintered the minds and hearts of God’s creation into separated parts.
I keep thinking of a chocolate cake and how awful it would be if every ingredient separated itself and vied for independence. What a pickle we would be in if our bodies decided to separate their parts and live independently of one another, our livers taking a little road trip through the Rockies while our spleens decided to go to camp meeting in Miracle Valley, Arizona.
In our devotional practices we take time to realize and appreciate what we learn in the world while recognizing it as an elementary and temporary phase of our learning. Jesus likens it to darkness, a prison even, which we leave to go into the sunshine and forget its lonely cells and dim corridors. Our practice is the sunshine that lights our minds with truth – we are not these dimwitted creatures fighting one another and vying for special privileges – we are Sons of God; we all share the same name. Basking in this truth, letting our minds rest upon its loveliness and joy, we take it back with us to the house of bondage, knowing that the prison house of death is not our reality. Sharing the good news that we are not bodies; we are everlasting spirits which share the identity of God becomes our only function naturally and willingly. We are ready to transform. We look forward to the day when we can shed our humanity and take our real identity as a whole, and not in parts, with God.
In conclusion, we use the names and words and phrases of the world, but we no longer accept them as our reality. For Creation has one name, one meaning, one Source Which unified everything with His Love. Never again will we be seduced into thinking that God will fight our battle and not theirs, that our holiness is greater, our skin color defines us, that our physical beauty gives us worth. We are one and we have one name and that name we share with God.
And yet we know that God has no name that can be spoke or understood in the human tongue. When we learn the namelessness of God we are one with Him. We know everything there is to know, all names are unified, all space is filled with truth, there are no more illusions, nothing is hidden from our consciousness. We are one – you and me, us and we – transparent in our love and affection and complete as a whole.
To seek the meaning of the Name of God, we are guaranteed to grasp the truth. Our experiences will make the truth we study quite apparent to us. But before all that, we must accept God’s Name for all reality. Realize that while naming of this thing and that, of putting privilege here and taking advantages there, of prizing one thing and disregarding another may have perverted the truth in the worldlings’ mind, truth still stands untouched by any vain imaginings.
In our devotions today we meditate upon One Name. One Name we use to unite our perceptions. We begin to open our mind to the oneness of God which He has given to us. It is One Name where all the foolish separateness, which blinded us to truth will go away. It is reflecting upon the idea of One Name where we are given strength to see beyond the splintered, splattered distortions of this world. Only when we recognize that we are one with God, that we share His Name and His Being, can we give as we receive.
1 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 184. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com