CAN GOD BE REACHED DIRECTLY?
1. God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son. His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart. Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of recognition only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case? Here, then, is the role of God’s teachers. They, too, have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the power of God.
2. There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own identity perfectly. These might be called the teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their name and in no other.
3. Sometimes a teacher of God may have a brief experience of direct union with God. In this world, it is almost impossible that this endure. It can, perhaps, be won after much devotion and dedication, and then be maintained for much of the time on earth. But this is so rare that it cannot be considered a realistic goal. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, so be it as well. All worldly states must be illusory. If God were reached directly in sustained awareness, the body would not be long maintained. Those who have laid the body down merely to extend their helpfulness to those remaining behind are few indeed. And they need helpers who are still in bondage and still asleep. so that by their awakening can God’s Voice be heard.
4. Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them. If you would be heard by those who suffer, you must speak their language. If you would be a savior, you must understand what needs to be escaped. Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the help you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. Let us not then be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you. What more could you desire when this is all you need?
While God is always with us, we cannot experience God directly until all barriers to truth have been lifted from our consciousness. While there are times in which all barriers to truth are lifted from our consciousness and we do experience God directly, it is important for us to understand that we cannot maintain this in our human state of being. Our bodies – with their constant needs and concerns – distract our minds and keep us from maintaining our direct connection with God.
Jesus tells us in this passage that we join together for the purpose of reaching God. I cannot reach God on my own – for on my own, I am an ego, I am a symbol of separation and disunity, on my own and for myself, I oppose the oneness and unity of God. Without you, my reaching for God is in vain. I am wasting my time. I may as well be doing a crossword puzzle or watching TV! But with you, we practice unity and when we practice unity we reach for God and what we seek is given us.
In paragraph two Jesus tells us that there are those who have given up the flesh, who have reached God directly, and who remain with us to teach us. They are the teachers of the teachers. They come to us in our minds, they appear to us in the dream, they give us ideas, illuminate our minds, help us to recognize our mistakes, forgive ourselves and others, and share all their gifts with us. They are the teachers who have gone before us, who have reached Christhood, who come in the name of Christ to help us answer the call of God in our lives. They know us, they were one of us, they remember what it was like to be trapped in these cycles and in this delusion and now they are Christ, even as we are Christ when we accept our true identity and remember our holy function.
The biggest thing that I take from this is that we are not to despair over our limitations. I love how Jesus tells us that our function is to escape from them but not to be without them! We must be able to go both ways – we must know what it is to suffer in order to know what it is to be healed. Salvation is not a theory. It is not an idea. It is an awakening from a stupor of disease, decay, and death. It is a return to the Kingdom of God. Salvation is an escape from a realm of opposition and opposites to the Reality of God. We are not given a means to escape from this madness to quarrel amongst ourselves over ideas and theories of salvation. We are to behold the problem, ask for the answer, and accept it when it comes. We will not waste our time quibbling over if it matches up with our traditional doctrines. We will not be tempted to make this world our home, our resting place, or respond to its calls to engage in meanness and spite toward each other. We will reach for God and in the meantime we will trust in God to provide for us all we need in our reaching and our teaching. We will make no demands, nor concern ourselves with reaching goals, or worry over how far we have to go – God takes us where we are and welcomes us – directly and indirectly – we reach God in the perfect time and in the perfect way.
 A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 26. Can God be reached directly? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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