As Mystic Insights – No. 7 – The Spiritual Mystic illustrated, we reside within the Divine Source of All and therefore, all separation between us and others is an illusion. A key hindrance for us to understand that accurately is the human suit we wear during our various incarnations – the body. It houses our spirit and allows us to experience material reality while we learn our lessons on love in the school of Earth. Ironically, it also makes that learning process more difficult as the body creates an artificial barrier to understanding the energetic interconnection between all life.
A small section in the A Course in Miracles* (Chapter 18, The Little Garden), the channeled reading by psychologist Helen Schucman from the mid-1960’s, beautifully illustrates this hindrance towards Unity Consciousness and the pathway to becoming whole again:
“It is only the awareness of the body that makes love seem limited. For the body is a limit on love. The belief in limited love was its origin, and it was made to limit the unlimited. Think not that is merely allegorical, for it was made to limit you. Can you who see yourself within a body know yourself as an idea? Everything you recognize you identify with externals, something outside itself. You cannot even think of God without a body, or in some form you think you recognize.
The body cannot know. And while you limit your awareness to its tiny senses, you will not see the grandeur that surrounds you. God cannot come into a body, nor can you join Him there. Limits on love will always seem to shut Him out, and keep you apart from Him. The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea. It draws a circle, infinitely small, around a very little segment of Heaven, splintered from the whole, proclaiming that within it is your kingdom, where God can enter not.
Within this kingdom the ego rules, and cruelly. And to defend this little speck of dust it bids you fight against the universe. This fragment of your mind is such a tiny part of it that, could you but appreciate the whole, you would see instantly that it is like the smallest sunbeam to the sun, or like the faintest ripple on the surface of the ocean. In its amazing arrogance, this tiny sunbeam has decided it is the sun; this almost imperceptible ripple hails itself as the ocean. Think how alone and frightened is this little thought, this infinitesimal illusion, holding itself apart against the universe. The sun becomes the sunbeam’s “enemy” that would devour it, and the ocean terrifies the little ripple and wants to swallow it.
Yet neither sun nor ocean is even aware of all this strange and meaningless activity. They merely continue, unaware that they are feared and hated by a tiny segment of themselves. Even that segment is not lost to them, for it could not survive apart from them. And what it thinks it is no way changes its total dependence on them for its being. Its whole existence still remains in them. Without the sun the sunbeam would be gone; the ripple without the ocean is inconceivable.
Such is the strange position in which those in a world inhabited by bodies seems to be. Each body seems to house a separate mind, a disconnected thought, living alone and in no way joined to the Thought by which it was created. Each tiny fragment seems to be self-contained, needing another for some things, but by no means totally dependent on its one Creator for everything; needing the whole to give any meaning, for by itself it does mean nothing. Nor has it any life apart and by itself.
Like to the sun and ocean your Self continues, unmindful that this tiny part regards itself as you. It is not missing it; it could not exist if it were separate, nor would the whole be whole without it. It is not a separate kingdom, ruled by an idea of separation from the rest. Nor does a fence surround it, preventing it from joining the rest, and keeping it apart from its Creator. This little aspect is no different from the whole, being continuous with it and at one with it. It leads no separate life, because its life is the oneness in which its being was created.
Do not accept this little, fenced-off aspect as yourself. The sun and ocean are as nothing beside what you are. The sunbeam sparkles only in the sunlight, and the ripple dances as it rests upon the ocean. Yet in neither sun nor ocean is the power that rests in you. Would you remain within your tiny kingdom, a sorry king, a bitter ruler of all that he surveys, who looks on nothing yet who would still die to defend it? This little self is not your kingdom. Arched high above it and surrounding it with love is the glorious whole, which offers all its happiness and deep content to every part. The little aspect that you think you set apart is no exception.
Love knows no bodies, and reaches to everything created like itself. Its total lack of limit is its meaning. It is completely impartial in its giving, encompassing only to preserve and keep complete what it would give. In your tiny kingdom you have so little! Should it not, then, be there that you would call on love to enter? Look at the desert – dry and unproductive, scorched and joyless – that makes up your little kingdom. And realize the life and joy that love would bring to it from where it comes and where it would return with you.
The Thought of God surrounds your little kingdom, waiting at the barrier you built to come inside and shine upon the barren ground. See how life spring up everywhere! The desert becomes a garden, green and deep and quiet, offering rest to those who lost their way and wander in the dust. Give them a place of refuge, prepared by love for them where once a desert was. And everyone you welcome will bring love with him from Heaven for you. They enter one by one into this holy place, but they will not depart as they had come, alone. The love they brought with them will stay with them, as it will stay with you. And under its beneficence your little garden will expand, and reach out to everyone who thirsts for living water, but has grown too weary to go on alone.
Go out and find them, for they bring your Self with them. And lead them gently to your quiet garden, and receive their blessing there. So will it grow and stretch across the desert, leaving no lonely little kingdoms locked away from love, and leaving you inside. And you will recognize yourself, and see your little garden gently transformed into the Kingdom of Heaven, with all the Love of its Creator shining upon it.
The holy instant is your invitation to love to enter into your bleak and joyless kingdom, and to transform it into a garden of peace and welcome. Love’s answer is inevitable. It will come because you came without the body, and interposed no barriers to interfere with its glad coming. In the holy instant, you ask of love only what it offers everyone, neither less nor more. Asking for everything , you will receive it. And your shining Self will lift the tiny aspect that you tried to hide from Heaven straight to Heaven. No part of of love calls on the whole in vain. No son of God remains outside his Fatherhood.
Be sure of this; love has entered your special relationship and entered fully at your weak request. You do not recognize that love has come, because you have not yet let go of all the barriers you hold against your brother. And you and he will not be able to give love welcome separately. You could no more know God alone than He knows you without your brother. But together you could no more be unaware of love than love could know you not, or fail to recognize itself in you.
You have reached the end of an ancient journey, not realizing yet that it is over. You are still worn and tired, and the desert’s dust still seems to cloud your eyes and keep you sightless. Yet He Whom you welcomed has come to you, and would welcome you. He has waited long to give you this. Receive it now of Him, for He would have you know Him. Only a little wall of dust still stands between you and your brother. Blow on it lightly and with happy laughter, and it will fall away. And walk into the garden love has prepared for both of you.”
~ Jay Kshatri
- “A Course in Miracles (also referred to as ACIM or the Course) is a book written and edited by Helen Schucman, with portions transcribed and edited by William Thetford, containing a curriculum to bring about what it calls a “spiritual transformation”. The book consists of three sections entitled “Text”, “Workbook” and “Manual for Teachers”. A Course in Miracles was written as a collaborative venture between Schucman and Thetford. In 1965 Schucman began her professional career at a medical center as Thetford’s research associate. When their weekly office meetings became more contentious, Thetford concluded that “there must be another way”. Schucman believed that this speech acted as a stimulus, triggering a series of inner experiences that were understood by her as visions, dreams, and heightened imagery, along with an “inner voice” which she identified as Jesus (interestingly, Schucman was Jewish by background and had no prior experience with Christianity). She said that on October 21, 1965, she believed that the “inner voice” told her: “This is a Course in Miracles, please take notes.” Schucman said that the writing made her very uncomfortable, though it never seriously occurred to her to stop. The next day, she explained the events of her “note taking” to Thetford. To her surprise, Thetford encouraged her to continue the process. He also offered to assist her in typing out her notes as she read them to him. The transcription the next day repeated itself regularly for many years to come. In 1972, the dictation of the first three sections was completed but the dictation of the last two sections of the material lasted until November 1977.” ~ Wikipedia
- In my opinion, A Course in Miracles is one of the key texts to understand in a modern day spiritual quest. It is a substantial and challenging work, so the appropriate investment needs to be made. There are many ACIM study groups around the country that meet to discuss the book and you may find that an interesting option. Also, new-age author Marianne Williams has written a number of very accessible books about the concepts in ACIM and they may serve as a good introduction – A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” – is one of her best known books on this subject.
- Here are some interesting YouTube Resources on ACIM: Marianne Williamson – Return to Love audiobook – studying a course in miracles; A Course in Miracles Helen Schucman Audiobook Part 1; Ken Gorman – A Course in Miracles – The Simplest Journey in the World
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