I. The Acceptance of Reality
- Fear of the Will of God is one of the strangest beliefs the human mind has ever made. It could not possibly have occurred unless the mind were already profoundly split, making it possible for it to be afraid of what it really is. Reality cannot threaten anything except illusions since reality can only uphold truth. The very fact that the will of God, which is what you are, is perceived as fearful, demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are. It is not, then, the Will of God of which you are afraid, but yours.
- Your will is not the ego’s, and that is why the ego is against you. What seems to be the fear of God is really the fear of your own reality. It is impossible to learn anything consistently in a state of panic. If the purpose of this course is to help you remember what you are, and if you believe that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet the reason for the course is that you do not know what you are.
- If you do not know what your reality is, why would you be so sure that it is fearful? The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what the truth is. All this could mean is that you are arbitrarily associating something beyond your awareness with something you do not want. It is evident, then, that you are judging something of which you are totally unaware. You have set up this strange situation so that it is impossible to escape from it without a Guide Who does know what your reality is. The purpose of this guide is merely to remind you of what you want. He is not attempting to force an alien will upon you. He is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness.
- You have imprisoned your will beyond your own awareness where it remains but cannot help you. When I said that the Holy Spirit’s function is to sort out the true from the false in your mind, I meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and recognize the Will of God there. His recognition of this Will can make it real to you because He is in your mind, and therefore He is your reality. If then, His perception of your mind brings its reality to you, He is helping you to remember what you are. The only source of fear in this process is what you think you will lose. Yet it is only what the Holy Spirit sees that you can possibly have.
- I have emphasized many times that the Holy Spirit will never call upon you to sacrifice anything. But if you ask the sacrifice of reality of yourself, the Holy Spirit must remind you that this is not God’s Will because it is not yours. There is no difference between your will and God’s. If you did not have a split mind, you would recognize that willing is salvation because it’s communication.
- It is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. You and your Creator can communicate through creation because that, and only that is your joint will. A divided mind cannot communicate because it speaks for different things to the same mind. This loses the ability to communicate simply because confused communication does not mean anything. A message cannot be communicated unless it makes sense. How sensible can your messages be when you ask for what you do not want? Yet as long as you were afraid of your will, that is precisely what you are asking for.
- You may insist that the Holy Spirit does not answer you, but it might be wiser to consider the kind of questioner you are. You do not ask only for what you want. This is because you are afraid you might receive it, and you would. This is why you persist in asking the teacher who could not possibly give you what you want. Of him you can never learn what it is, and this gives you the illusion of safety. Yet you cannot be safe from truth, but only in truth. Reality is the only safety. Your will is your salvation because it is the same as God’s. The separation is nothing more than the belief that it is different.
There is absolutely no reason to fear the Will of God, for we are the Will of God. You and me, Will of God. Chances are pretty good that we are not afraid of ourselves – I am a pretty nice person. All I really want is what you really want – to be loved and cherished, to love and cherish, to have goodness in my life, to extend goodness to others. I have no real desire to crush the life out of anything or anybody. I have no real desire to be the biggest or the best, the richest or the most powerful – as long as I have what I need from day-to-day, I am happy, well-adjusted, and harmless. And I can assume that this is you. This is God’s Will. You and me, harmless and happy and well-adjusted.
The only thing that our harmlessness, our happiness, our well-being can threaten is the illusion that God’s Will is for us to suffer, be sorrowful, ashamed, and prey upon others who do not believe like us, think like us, look like us, or sacrifice as much as we do to please God. If we are looking to God’s Will as something that takes away our joy, that makes us miserable, that makes us a pest or a danger or a torment to ourselves or others in any way – we must examine our own belief system. It is not God’s Will that we are afraid of, it is the lies we believe about ourselves and God which must be examined.
My will and your will does not belong to the ego and that is why our ego is not, cannot be a trustworthy guide. When we fear God, what we are really afraid of is our own reality for the ego has made us out to be very small-minded, vulnerable, blinded to our blessings, and prone to vengeance, grudges, and condemnation.
The logic of paragraph three makes so much sense to me. Why do we resist the teachings of reality, why does it seem too hard, too high-minded, too spiritually lofty for us to attain? What are we afraid of? What is there about truth that makes us afraid? What is it about being called to offer love to others that makes us balk? Why are we so hesitant to believe that God is harmless and that we are His Will?
The purpose of A Course in Miracles is to help us remember who we really are. If we believe that what we are is world-weary, disinclined to goodness, predisposed to evil, mockery, scorn, and spite – we will not learn what we need to learn from this Course. And yet we would not study the Course to find out what we really are unless we had doubts about the ego version of ourselves!
We should study this Course with criticism. We should not blindly believe something just because a woman back in the 1960s and 1970s claimed that Jesus channeled this Course, any more than we should automatically believe other texts and books labeled holy. We must learn to question, practice, and put to practical application if we are to build our trust in any belief system. They must “hold water,” or what is the point of having them?
Certainly to get anything at all out of any course of study, we must put aside our disbelief, our doubts, our uncertainty enough to take the time, make the effort, and give the teacher a chance to get his points across. We cannot learn when we come prepared to disagree, be argumentative, or disruptive. In our Course study groups, we do not accept members who do not have prior knowledge and some experience and understanding of the Course simply because we are joining to study and apply, and not to argue its authenticity.
However if we cannot apply what we learn to our day-to-day lives, if we put forth our best effort and still find the concepts of the Course somehow out of our grasp, the fault does not necessarily lie with us. To teach that we are at fault would lead us into a dangerous practice of shame, self-criticism, and defeat which is not the aim of the Course. It may simply not be the right time in one’s life to study the Course. It may be that the Course itself is not what it says it is – we must always be open to that conclusion. However, for those who wish to sincerely learn what A Course in Miracles teaches, while we study the Course, we come with open minds. We assume that Dr. Helen Schucman did not make this up, that it was truly the Voice of Jesus who dictated the Course to her, and that the Foundation for Inner Peace and The Circle of Atonement did their best to keep the books we have today as close to the original dictation as possible.
That said, in sentence three of paragraph three, Jesus points out there is something beyond our awareness that is illogically associating with something we do not want. Speaking for my own self, my biggest fear is that I will seek God and find God and then find that God is going to enslave me against my will and make me live in this big commune in the sky where I have to share everything I have with everybody else, and that I won’t have any time or space of my own and that I will be rubbing shoulders with all the people that get on my last nerve here on earth throughout eternity. Because I love solitude, because I love my little private spaces, because I adore peace and quiet and uninterrupted time, God’s Will sometimes scares me until I remember what I have learned in this Course about God’s Will. I am God’s Will. God’s Will is love and peace and joy; God’s Will is my happiness. But no matter how much I study this Course, no matter how many times I experience the holy instants of bliss and love, there are times that I forget that I am God’s Will.
Jesus assures me – there is no alien will that is forced upon me, in fact the alien will that has been enforced upon me is not of God at all, but from this other thing that comes with the territory that is not God’s Kingdom! And then Jesus says in sentence eight of the same paragraph: Holy Spirit is making every possible effort, within the limits you have imposed on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness.
Years ago I was trying to coax an orphaned duckling to get in the water. I knew that the little drake would love the water. He was created for water. Once the little guy got into the water he would find his rightful meaning and joy. But he was so afraid that I was at first unable to teach him what he was. He had no idea of what he really was because he had spent so much time with me, with my husband and grandkids. He followed me around in the yard and quacked at the door when I went in the house. But every time I tried to put him in the water, he would waddle away, and flap his vestigial wings, squawking and carrying on like I was trying to drown him. Finally, he learned to trust me enough to let me put him in the water and paddle his webbed feet whilst I supported him, and it was not too long before he had found his joy and delight with no more encouragement from me!
Holy Spirit reminded me of Little Duck as I read today’s text. Holy Spirit does not coerce, force, attack, or ridicule us – Holy Spirit is the calm, quiet, inner voice that is born in us all, leading us by and to love, goodness, and uprightness. We all have Holy Spirit whether we listen to Him or not, whether we believe it is Holy or not – it just is. It is very distinguishable from the ego, which is not holy and is not spirit. As we learn to listen to Holy Spirit, to trust Him, to know Him, we will remove the fearful obstructions that keep us from knowing what we are as God’s Will.
We have imprisoned God’s Will in our subconscious where it remains but cannot help us. Holy Spirit knows our subconscious. He knows what we have hidden there. He knows what is true about us and what is false about us, and He has the power to look beyond what we think we are and recognize God’s Will. Because He recognizes it, He will make our Selves real to us, because He is not only in our mind, Holy Spirit is our reality. The reason we are afraid is because what we think we might have to give up, what we think Holy Spirit will make of us, what changes Holy Spirit will wrought in us. But it is only Holy Spirit that perceives everything we truly are. We can forget all weird things we have learned about Holy Spirit, all the special intonations that preachers and priests use to signify how unworthy we are before His presence. We are worthy of Holy Spirit for that is what we are. We are not what the ego has made us out to be, we are not flesh and blood, we are holy, and we are spirit and God loves us as His Son.
We do not sacrifice anything for Holy Spirit, for God’s Will, for God’s Son, because there is no difference between what we are and what Holy Spirit, God’s Will, and God’s Son is – and if we had not listened to the ego’s lies and temptations, if we had not split our minds between truth and delusion, we would recognize that salvation lies in accepting ourselves as God’s Will because it is the communication of love, not the excommunication of condemnation, sacrifice, suffering, and separation.
Jesus tells us that it is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. To communicate love, peace, and joy is to create more love, peace, and joy. We can only do this when we speak the same language as those we create with and for. Confused communication means nothing because it makes no sense to us. When we do not accept that we are God’s Will, if we are afraid of this message, we will seek God’s Will from ecstatic spiritual experiences, we will try to find it in sacred texts, we will depend upon our spiritual leaders to tell us what it is. When we do not recognize ourselves as God’s Will, we will be tempted to think that we are out of God’s Will when we are not off to the mission field winning souls for Christ. We will not recognize that our worth is in Being.
We will close with paragraph seven today and finish this section in tomorrow’s post. Take a good look at paragraph seven and let it rest upon your mind with joy, with a sense of fun, with a sense of overall good cheer. If we feel as if Holy Spirit is not answering our questions, giving us what we want, is letting us down, and feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that we are learning – think about what kind of questioner we are. What are we really asking for? Is it what we really want? If we truly want all the lovely attributes of God, why are we seeking it from the ego? Why are we relying on our judgments, our little digs about others, our doubts and uncertainties, our feelings of inferiority and superiority, the pieces of gossip we exchange to give us what we can never get from that source? If we are afraid of the harmlessness and loveliness of God and His Will, we may feel safe in our illusions of safety – but Reality is our only safety. Being God’s Will is our salvation. Extending love, joy, and peace and all the other beautiful fruits of Holy Spirit is our Being, is God’s Will, is, dear brothers, what we are all about. The separation is nothing more than the belief that we are something different.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. I. The acceptance of reality. 1-7. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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