The following is from the weekly message by Circle founder, Robert Perry, delivered each Thursday to Course Companions members. Course Companions is our global community of students and teachers walking through the Course, section-by-section and lesson-by-lesson, together as friends. For access to any classes, handouts, and additional commentaries referenced in these posts, we invite you to join Course Companions by visiting CourseCompanions.com. Please note that partial and full scholarships are available and no one is turned away from Circle of Atonement programming for an inability to pay.
June 11, 2020
It has been a very thought-provoking week in Course Companions. We had a lively class on Lesson 162, in which we talked about the power of its central idea—“I am as God created me”—and about the power of words. But what mainly has stayed in my mind is our Text class on “Seeking and Finding” (T-12.VI), which also dovetailed with the teaching in some of our recent daily Text gatherings.
Love, you could say, is our Holy Grail. It is our lifetime’s quest. Like Knights of the Round Table, we spend years wandering in search of it. We long to find love with another person. And we yearn to become more loving ourselves. Yet for all of our questing, our prize remains elusive. We typically fail to find true love with another. And after all our best spiritual efforts, we may actually become less loving inside, more self-absorbed.
That’s what Course author Hugh Prather discovered at a reunion of Course in Miracles teachers he had met in the 70s: “Everyone I saw at the gathering,” he said, “was far more separate and egocentric than they were when Gayle and I first met them. In fact, their egos were so large that many of them had lost the ability to carry on a simple conversation.” What is going on?
According to the Course, the problem lies in the human ego. We have an ego that is deathly afraid of love because it is literally incapable of it. Our ego can never love. If it found itself in the presence of love, it would just be cold, unable to respond.
What our ego does, then, is cleverly deceptive. It actively sends us out on our quest, while simultaneously making sure that our efforts are doomed to fail. It hands us maps and weapons and says, “Ride! Ride! The Grail awaits you. Fly to the four corners of the earth and the prize will be yours.” Yet as it sends us out, it never tells us that it has buried the Holy Grail right beneath its feet.
We thus spend our lives looking in the wrong places and in the wrong ways. Our search for love with another person is typically about using the right techniques to locate and land the right person, yet it needs to first and foremost be a quest for change within ourselves, so that we become capable of love. Our search to learn how to love is about assembling our own grab bag of spiritual teachings and tools when we really should find our assigned path and place ourselves within its structure.
This past week has been for me a rededication to the goal of loving. There is an ego in me that wants to win, that draws lines between who is on my side and who is not. It feels old, innate, and immovable. But that, the Course says, is an illusion. I can let it go and will, if sufficiently motivated. And what stronger motivation is there than to at last lay my hands on the Holy Grail, the love I have sought my entire life?