The shocking thing you’ll notice if you ever open A Course In Miracles is the seemingly pretentious introduction. It never fails to spark intrigue.
Check out the first five sentences:
“This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time.”
And, the only choice is when?
And yet… There is enormous wisdom in it.
Image courtesy of Liz.
After browsing a few pages anyone can tell it is required, because it is the only spiritual message there is.
It is the same message we hear from all spiritual teachers. It is the way to remove the veils that cloud our perception. Or at least ONE way.
Yes, there is a heavy “Christian” tone to the book. BUT, to my surprise, and unlike the stories I heard in both catholic-elementary AND catholic-high-school (such was my luck) — this book interprets things correctly.
For example… take a contentious phrase from the bible, something like: “revenge is mine.”
Can you imagine how someone can ‘interpret’ that and deliver it to a captivated audience of easily scared listeners? Or… worse! Can you imagine the reaction of someone who may be furious, thinking of killing someone, and stumbling on such a page?
It could be dangerous.
But the Course makes the meaning clear, at least for me….. this is what it says (I paraphrase):
Revenge is mine means you NEVER take revenge. You do the right thing, but you do not take revenge because the results of the actions of s/he, whom you perceive as your perpetrator, are NOT up to you, but up to a higher power.
Early this year I took to A Course In Miracles again and found gems within it. I wanted to share three that I find very enticing because they can be put to the test right away.
Here they are:
1. INFINITE PATIENCE DELIVERS IMMEDIATE RESULTS
The first time I read this I laughed. I mean, c’mon! Immediate results, oh yeah, ha ha ha.
So I decided I to put it to the test, that very day. It was one of those days when I needed to open a new bank account while on the way to work, and I knew these things take forever, perfect setting.
When the bank representative asked for the usual documents and apologized for the computer being slow, I took it as a sign. I said to myself: infinite patience delivers immediate results. Then…
I said to him: “Take your time. No rush at all.” (I was sweating on my back because I was genuinely late)
But I meant it. If I was to try it I had to go all the way.
The account was open within twelve minutes (I tracked it). I’ve never seen that happen in a NYC bank before. I was early for work.
Beginners’ luck? Observational selection bias? Maybe, I don’t know, you go ahead and try it and see…
Later I thought about why it could be that something like this could work, and realized that the magic in might be that it removes “time” from the equation.
The first part has the word “infinite” in it: We are outside of time, no beginning, no end, NO TIME.
That in turn, is coupled with “patience”, which is a human demonstration of infinity.
The second part has the word “immediate” in it, which means NOW. Again, NO TIME. And it is coupled with the word “result,” meaning: something happens, NOW.
NO TIME = INFINITY = NO TIME = SOMETHING HAPPENS NOW.
Stepping into the present with an open heart gives you an advantage… You are operating from infinity.
2. A MIRACLE IS A SHIFT IN PERCEPTION
The power of an alchemist lies not in turning dust into gold. That is a metaphor to show the strength of the mind behind such a miracle.
A real miracle is one that happens when in spite of desperation, hurt, defeat, bankruptcy, we still shift our perception from lack, to abundance. THAT is hard.
We have our feet on the ground, we know where we are, and we know that the conditions are not precisely favorable… But we also trust the infinite force that is keeping us alive right now, and we know we are abundant, in this moment, because we are here, me writing, you reading.
The Course re-defines the meaning of a ‘miracle’ as something quite mundane which we can all do if we are willing to show up for it and be strong.
Why do we need to be strong? Because changing our habits is not easy.
We need to feel the fire of anger and the fear of not-knowing where the next money will come from and STILL let it all go, and re-open our minds for new possibilities.
The stuff of alchemists…
3. I DON’T PERCEIVE MY OWN BEST INTERESTS
How rue is that? Give it a minute, let it sink in…
There is a story of that enlightened monk who, one night, gets a visit from the parents of the teen-age girl that lives next door.
The parents, furious, accuse him of getting their daughter pregnant. They tell him he will have to look after the baby. And that they will tell everyone in the village he is a fraud.
The monk says: Is that so?
No reaction. Because he is aware that he does not perceive his own best interests.
The baby is born. The monk takes care of it. And his reputation is ruined, of course.
A year later the parents come back and apologize, they tell him their daughter confessed that the child was fathered by the butcher. And they want the baby back.
The monk says: Is that so? Because of the same reason as before.
The baby goes back to his parents.
The monk’s reputation is restored. Further, perhaps he now becomes a legend.
We are talking about it now.
The story survives because there is truth in it.
All three lines above point to patience, surrendering and a shift in perception, they direct us to do what we can and release the results, to always ask to see things differently and to know that whatever comes is what we need in order to grow.
Here is to YOU, Dear Veils: Take your time to clear yourselves from my perception.
Take all the time you need…
I have infinite patience…
P.S. If you have lines you enjoy from the Course in Miracles, please let me know which ones in the comments or in Twitter, and tell me why you like them.
Featured image courtesy of Jake Givens via Unsplash.com.