Recently, I had the opportunity to join with my amazing sister and colleague Coreen Walson. Together we recognized just how subtly the false-self concept will try to convince us that intellectual knowledge and the need to understand are signs of progress on the spiritual path. Unless we are really attuned to our deep and abiding innocence, we will lack the trust necessary to identify those instances when we are tempted to want to understand more than we desire peace. Peace is attained through the Holy Instant and forgiveness. This is the only way we can come to understand anything at all.
“Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone. Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate. They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.” T-14.XI.12:4-6
At some point on the spiritual journey we all succumb to the temptation of trying too hard to understand, especially when we’re confused. Confusion and the fear it produces comes from Self-doubt; doubt in our Holy Self. The temptation is to try to figure things out from fear (a sense of lack) instead of simply acknowledging that of our (little) self, we know nothing.
The belief in fear blocks our willingness to understand, as well as our willingness to accept the divine correction of our perception – the Atonement. Let us recall that fear and it’s so called effects (problems) are illusions. Nothing can be understood through fear. Fear always blocks understanding. And nothing can be healed if the motivation for healing arises from fear. Fear blocks healing. Fear blocks peace. Yet peace is the only condition in which we can open our heart to receive the Love that delivers understanding and heals all.
There is no hierarchy of illusions – problems – because they are all equally untrue. This is why they can all be healed via the miracle. Remembering this, we can then open to receive the very first miracle principle, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.”
Let’s remember that the body’s senses were made to report conflict as the mad idea of separation. We cannot understand anything if we depend on them to relay reality.
“What the body’s eyes behold is only conflict. Look not to them for peace and understanding.” M-8.1:6-7
All attempts to problem-solve through the fear which initially projected them, never heal. These are always attempts to shift illusions around, to reconfigure them without healing their one cause which is in our mind. This leaves the un-healed cause intact to wreak havoc again later, albeit perhaps in another form. The only thing that can heal both the cause and its seeming effects is Love. This is why forgiveness and accepting the Atonement are the one fool-proof remedy for all problems we perceive.
Coreen and I discussed how tempting it was to take on false-responsibility when we want to understand more than we genuinely desire peace. There is a temptation to value false-responsibility (conflict) more than we want to enter a Holy Instant and surrender deeply into not knowing, into peace and trusting that Holy Spirit always has us covered.
Jesus tells us that real understanding of anyone or anything is gifted us only through forgiveness. This necessitates the willing surrender of our own perception and judgment first. We make a heartfelt decision that we now want peace more than we desire understanding. This means we must desire peace more than we want a seeming problem’s resolution at the form level. For instance, say physical healing is desired. However, real healing only occurs when we prioritize peace (forgiveness of the cause in our mind) above wanting the physical effects healed.
There is no understanding apart from peace – ever. Forgive first and then you will understand. This also translates to: forgive first and then you will heal. “And it is recognized that all things must be first forgiven, and [then] understood.” T-30.V.1:6
Yet while we still believe the false-self and its illusory body/world, we will attempt the impossible, which is to try to understand or heal from fear and conflict. Nothing can be understood from this vantage point because that which “sees” and “believes” the conflict, the small and separate self, is not real!
In addition, what it sees is a hallucination which “it” projected. This may include relationship conflict, pain or disease, financial lack or even death. If we don’t recognize and correct this profound confusion via accepting the Atonement, we then attempt to defend, rationalize and justify which merely serves to make the initial threat appear more real.
The spiritual ego thrives on what I call “the race for understanding.” While we’re running in that race, we are heavily distracted from entering the Holy Instant of deep surrender and peace, where true healing is offered and received. It’s very helpful to have a grasp on the metaphysical principles of A Course in Miracles (Truth) as an intellectual understanding, however unless we open to a regular experience of the “feeling state” of true peace and joy (Love), we’re doing a spiritual bypass. All healing requires the elements of both Truth and Love.
Gratitude and peace are necessary attributes of Love, of our Holy Self. This is why if we really want to advance in our faith and trust, it’s important to spend time in “presence” within. This is where we show up in our heart to listen and receive the Word of God. The feeling state of Grace brings with it conviction in our Holy Self; a state which the race for understanding will never fulfill.
The feeling state of Grace is whole and complete. It’s our natural state underneath the veil of fear we use to forget this. It is always here now. But do we stop to receive it? Our incorruptible innocence and its safety are deeply known here. Our awareness drops its veil of fear and lack for an instant, and meets our majestic Self unified as Love itself.
Faith, trust and surrender take us to the state of inner conviction, and this state of Grace. It is the feeling state of Grace that is the prayer which reaches God directly; and is reciprocated by Him. In the radiant light of certainty which is the result of this most sacred union, all thinking and words simply fall away.
Whenever there is fear, anxiety or concern it means we are seeing an illusion from the split mind. This is why we need immediate help from Holy Spirit by admitting we perceive wrongly, and now we want His help to correct our perception. Following here is beautiful reminder from Jesus on how to come back from fear, and into the state of peace:
“When anything seems to you to be a source of fear, when any situation strikes you with terror and makes your body tremble and the cold sweat of fear comes over it, remember it is always for [one] reason; the ego has perceived it as a symbol of fear, a sign of sin and death. Remember, then, that neither sign nor symbol should be confused with source, for they must stand for something other than themselves. Their meaning cannot lie in them, but must be sought in what they represent. And they may thus mean everything or nothing, according to the truth or falsity of the idea which they reflect. Confronted with such seeming uncertainty of meaning, judge it not. Remember the holy Presence of the One given to you to be the Source of judgment. Give it to Him to judge for you, and say:
Take this from me and look upon it, judging it for me. Let me not see it as a sign of sin and death, nor use it for destruction. Teach me how not to make of it an obstacle to peace, but let You use it for me, to facilitate its coming.” T-19.IV.C.11.
Note: For the Forgiveness Process go to: https://takemetotruth.org/nouks-blog/the-seven-essential-principles-in-quantum-forgiveness/
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