[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
I have been profoundly affected by our recent TRP readings, especially since “The Dreamer of the Dream” at the end of Chapter 27 and into Chapter 29. I found them very hard-hitting and sobering. I have dreamed into my life everything, everything, everything! Here are some of the most sobering thoughts of all:
- I make myself sick expressly to avoid joining, to stay separate and apart, and to “prove” that I am separate and apart!
- I avoid fully joining with with others to stay separate and apart; to keep love away and, therefore, God away.
- I love only partially to avoid losing myself to love/God.
- I find fault to stay separate and apart, to avoid loving fully. How can I love someone fully if I find fault with him? Surely because of his faults he doesn’t merit my joining fully with him, so finding fault justifies my not loving completely.
- I “join” on the condition that I can choose to “un-join” whenever I want; that is, I can choose to pull away, withdraw, and therefore keep love and the awareness of its meaning away.
- I love only so far, because I want to keep my option to hate open. If I loved completely, I’d have to stop hating in all its forms (criticism, judgement, impatience, annoyance, nastiness, etc.), and I’m not so sure I really want to do that. (Obviously I don’t want to, or else I wouldn’t still engage in those activities!)
Note: as I was writing this list, I kept wanting to write, “we” instead of “I,” and I kept slipping back into it. It seems safer to include all of us in this, to keep it more impersonal, instead of applying it to me directly.
When all of this hit me as I was reading these sections, I felt such pain and sorrow. I was struck by how I will go to any lengths to maintain the dream of separation and keep the gap between my brother and myself––even if it’s impossible, because there can’t be a gap between the different aspects of what God created! There can’t be a gap between God and me. Apartness and aloneness are impossible, so there must be a tremendous strain and pain in maintaining the illusion that I am apart and alone. My irresistible attraction and pull (as we’ve been seeing lately in Robert’s writing and classes) is to God, to joining and to oneness, so what an effort I must expend to resist that irresistible attraction and keep pulling myself in the other direction.
Just so you won’t think this is a real bummer, I must share my way out. In the midst of these reflections came Lesson 329, “I have already chosen what You will.” It’s funny how I can practice a lesson, even teach it, for years and not get all that much out of it, and then one day it’s like a whole new world has opened up to me. That’s what happened when I practiced this lesson the other day. I loved it!
I have already chosen what You will.
As You are One, so am I one with You.
And this I chose in my creation, where my will became forever one with Yours.
I read it on the same day I read an all-time favourite passage from T-28.VI.6:4-6:
God keeps His promises; His Son keeps his. In his creation did his Father say, “You are beloved of Me and I of you forever. Be you perfect as Myself, for you can never be apart from Me.” His Son remembers not that he replied, “I will,” though in that promise he was born.
Why ever would I continue to try to defy, deny, oppose, or ignore God’s Will when it’s mine as well? When I can be “safe, untroubled and serene, in endless joy, because it is [His] Will that it be so”? Why ever would I continue to pretend that I am something other than God’s beloved Son? For it is nothing but a pretense. I can try to convince myself until I’m blue in the face, but it won’t change a thing, so why persist? Why ever would I continue to try and stay separate and apart from others when “we have no will apart from [God’s], and all of us are one because His Will is shared by all of us,” and through this “we find our way at last to God.”
I found such hope in this lesson and all through the day my practicing brought me great joy, which has, for the most part, continued. I could hardly contain myself. I am writing this after the first Sunday in Advent––the Sunday dedicated to hope. And I am filled with hope because, even if I forgot that I replied, “I will,” the fact is that I did and nothing can change that. Hope because, just as I chose to dream a dream of pain and suffering, I can now choose to dream a gentler, happy dream. In the words of T-27.VIII:
The secret of salvation is but this: That you are doing this unto yourself…. (10:1)
“I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.” (11:6)
…And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead (T-28.II.12:6)
How can I not make another choice, when I can only “choose once again” what I already chose in the first place?!