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.
July 2, 2020
This week in Course Companions was unusual, in that all three of our events were about Heaven.
The Sunday Gathering was about the desirability of Heaven. I made the point that we need to see Heaven not as boring, but as the infinite fulfillment of our deepest desires.
The Workbook class (on Lesson 182) was about how we are constantly haunted by the sense that we are not at home here and that there is another home out there waiting for us. That other home, of course, is Heaven.
And the Text class (on “The Certainty of Heaven”—T-13.XII) was about looking ahead and seeing ourselves as absolutely destined to reach Heaven, because that is God’s will, and nothing can thwart the will of God.
Through doing these three events this week, I’ve come to an overdue realization: We Course students tend to be disconnected from the theme of Heaven. That really shouldn’t come as a surprise. There are so many major themes in the Course that we are disconnected from. But this isn’t one of those disconnects that the Circle has spent years trying to remedy.
It’s understandable that many, if not most, of us keep the concept of Heaven at arm’s length. From what we have heard, Heaven can sound like the extinguishment of everything we relate to, including a sense of personal identity. But in this case, as in so many other cases, what we have heard may be very different than what the Course says.
After the Text class yesterday, Emily and I were talking about the need Course students have to make friends with the notion of Heaven. If Heaven is the ultimate destination of our spiritual journey, then what happens when we’re ambivalent about getting there? Emily said athletes who make it to the Olympics podium have dedicated themselves to a single-minded focus on that goal. Everything is harnessed in pursuit of it. As Course students, we should be making Heaven our goal with the same sense of commitment.
Embracing the reality of Heaven can change everything along the way for us. As I said, it can motivate us to do whatever it takes to reach the finish line. It can fill us with hope, and all of us have a profound need for hope. It can make whatever happens along the way seem trivial, in view of the endless, shining destiny that awaits us. And it can cast a light back over our whole journey, just as any happy ending casts its positive light across everything that led up to it. The thought of Heaven can buoy us up and carry us forward. Why wouldn’t we make friends with it?
Let’s, then, try to build the certainty of Heaven into our minds and into our days. Let’s realize that it is an object of our haunting desire for a home that won’t let us go. It’s the palace at the end of the road that makes all the effort worth it and all the trials seem like footnotes. It’s the sublime happy ending that allows us to, as the Text puts it, walk in glory, with our head held high (T-23.I.3:1). As we walk through each day and each hour, let’s do as the Course asks us when it says: “Look up and find your certain destiny the world would hide but God would have you see” (C-Ep.3:10).