The journey without distance

Thursday, Feb 10, 2022 2278 words 10 mins 7 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

There are two approaches to spiritual progress.

1) You start out with nothing and have to attain, build, accumulate, get, learn, grow, become, seek, do something, believe in, empower, achieve, turn into, so that you will be more than you are now. So that your ego and self image will expand, and so that you will become a superhero and the God of the world. Or...

2) You start out perfect and have everything, but then you deny it and hide it, and pretend you have nothing. What you then need to do is backtrack, return, reverse, undo, cancel, deny the denial, dis-believe, withdraw power from the illusion of emptiness, remove the blocks, so that you can recognize and re-awaken to what is already permanently true. That you are with God in heaven and always have been. You "need do nothing" but accept this is already true.

We are very accustomed to thinking in terms of the first approach, because the entire ego thought system has denied God even exists, has hidden your inheritance, has thrown away any notion of you being permanently perfect, and sets you out on a path of "seek and do not find" beginning in emptiness and nothingness. We think this is normal. And we then think that salvation, love, awareness, God, our self, is somewhere else, yet to be attained or earned. Achieved through punishment and suffering and at a cost.

This is the illusion of a spiritual path. Where our whole focus is on "I don't have it now", and therefore "I need to get it". It drives the ego's focus with a complete disconnect between giving and receiving, suggesting you have nothing so have nothing to give, so need to "get" before you can give. It suggests you are devoid of love and perfection, as an attack on your true nature, hiding you from yourself, and then encourages you to seek to become more spiritual. To hide from yourself by finding yourself in another, or in the body.

But there can really be no progress at all if all we do is maintain the belief that we are not ALREADY perfect, and keep trying to become something as if we don't have it already. The ego is plenty happy to encourage you to overdo on the course, commit to paths and books and ceremonies and teachers and groups and seminars and so on, to exalt salvation outside yourself and worship it like an idol. But all this does is it turns everything you have denied within yourself, into an externalized illusion, which you now worship as though it can save you from your emptiness.

The problem is that in this approach, we're not really addressing what has ACTUALLY happened to us. We didn't pop into existence out of nothingness, with no inheritance, with no real source, and starting out with nothing. We didn't just materialize in a state of total lack and need, from which we have to spend our whole lives trying to accumulate food and objects and toys and money and fake identities and shit, just to try to build up a sense of having something, to fill the emptiness with emptiness.

"The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything TO you. (That is, to restore the awareness. Later clarification.) You had everything when you were created, just as everyone did."

"The Garden of Eden, which is described as a literal garden in the Bible, was not originally an actual garden at all. It was merely a mental state of complete need-lack. Even in the literal account, it is noteworthy that the pre-Separation state was essentially one in which man needed nothing."

We have to recognize instead that we HAD everything when we were created. We were created perfect and without needs or wants of any kind. We were created permanently, and cannot be changed in our perfection. We cannot lose what we are, we cannot stop being ourselves, and we cannot destroy what God has created.

The truth is that we in fact first denied and hid from our natural permanent immortal perfection, to PRETEND that we had nothing, so that we would seek outside ourselves to find ourselves where we don't exist. The whole story reveals that not only did we try to throw away heaven and God and our real family and identity, we actually did not even accomplish this in reality. We just fooled ourselves into believing that it was possible, and that we had done it. That sin was real. And in that we are mistaken.

So then the only way to REALLY make progress isn't so much in the forward acquisition of the world, the price of which is the loss of your soul. But to realize that our perfect pre-existing immortal safe self is ALREADY THERE, simply disguised and hidden BEHIND various "blocks to the awareness of love's presence". There's simply a pile of garbage in the way, full of fake lies and un-truths, which make it seem like it's not there, or that innocence has been lost and converted into guilt.

Our real task then isn't the ego's path of gathering stuff from outside of us to plug the holes, but to reverse our steps, backtrack, undo, let go, surrender the world, deny the denial of truth, accept the reality of God's truth, simply melt into and settle into what you already ARE, and RE-discover your real nature within. To go inside and find yourself, RIGHT NOW, in a state of immaculate perfection, undisturbed and unattacked, immortal and invulnerable, incapable of suffering or sickness or death, and utterly beyond the reach of this entire world.

It's so easy to become lost in this whole drive to go do be find add get, that we can forget we're supposed to really be RECOGNIZING that we are STILL as God created us, we haven't changed at all, nothing has happened to us, we REMAIN in heaven safely with God, we haven't really journeyed anywhere but into a detour of fear, and we are utterly beyond the reach of all dreams of death. We are constant and we are permanent and we can NEVER be hurt, threatened, endangered or destroyed. Nothing has EVER happened to us. We are utterly indestructible.

That's what waking up is about. A recognition of what has ALWAYS been true, and is still true, and will forever be true. You simply can't go anywhere, or do anything, or be anything other than God established you to be. And you have nothing that he did not give you, or which you did not create with Him. And there is nothing else. You are real and you cannot be threatened, and nothing unreal exists.

You are perfect NOW. And you need merely to relax into accepting that you are ALREADY holy, innocent and perfect. You have been all along, and everything else is a lie. We simply need to acknowledge and admit that we've been perfect all along, have never deviated or changed, and we are STILL exactly as perfect as God created us to be. Which means you have no need to seek for anything.

"Who could have done this but you? Recognize this gladly, for in this recognition lies the realization that your banishment is not of God, and therefore does not exist. You are at home in God, dreaming of exile, but perfectly capable of awakening to Reality. Is it your will to do so? You know, from your own experience, that what you see in dreams you think is real, as long as you are asleep. But the instant you waken, you KNOW that everything that SEEMED to happen DID NOT HAPPEN AT ALL. You do not think this mysterious, even though ALL the laws of what you awake to WERE violated while you slept."

"The ego is trying to teach you how to gain the whole world, and lose your own Soul. The Holy Spirit teaches that you CANNOT lose your Soul and there IS no gain in the world, for OF ITSELF, it profits nothing."

"Whom God has joined CANNOT be separated, and God has joined all His Sons WITH HIMSELF. Can you be separated from your life and your being? The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance, to a goal that has never changed."

"Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all. Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well. The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own. It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source. It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home."

"Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God, for as you were created you contain all things within your Self. And you are still as God created you. Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. In your heart the Heart of God is laid. He holds you dear because you are Himself. All gratitude belongs to you because of what you are."

"We begin the journey back by setting out TOGETHER, and gather in our brothers as we CONTINUE together."

"Ours is simply the journey back to God Who is our home."

"We have forgiven one another now, and so we come at last to You again. Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home. How glad are we to have our sanity restored to us, and to remember that we all are one."

"Today we will anticipate the time when dreams of sin and guilt are gone, and we have reached again the holy place we never left. Merely a tiny instant has elapsed between eternity and timelessness. So brief the interval there was no lapse in continuity, nor break in thoughts which are forever unified as one. Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son. This we accept as wholly true today."

"Father, I was created in Your Mind, a holy Thought that never left its home. I am forever Your Effect, and You forever and forever are my Cause. As You created me I have remained. Where You established me I still abide, and all Your attributes abide in me because it is Your Will to have a Son so like his Cause that Cause and Its Effect are indistinguishable."

"In prayer you have united with your Source, and understood that you have never left."

"You are he your Father loves, who never left his home, nor wandered in a savage world with feet that bleed, and with a heavy heart made hard against the Love that is the truth in you. Give all your dreams to Christ and let Him be your Guide to healing, leading you in prayer beyond the sorry reaches of the world."

"In quiet listen to your Self today, and let Him tell you God has never left His Son, and you have never left your Self."

"Now try to reach the Son of God in you. This is the Self Which never sinned, nor made an image to replace reality. This is the Self Which never left Its home in God, to walk the world uncertainly. This is the Self Which knows no fear, nor could conceive of loss or suffering or death."

"Now into Your Hands we give again the spirit of Your Son who seemed to lose his way a little while but never left the safety of Your Love."

"And turn you to the stately calm within, where, in holy stillness, dwells the living God you never left, and Who never left you."

"There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you never left. But there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false beliefs about your Identity, Which God alone established in reality."

"Then will we wait in silence, giving up all self-deceptions as we humbly ask our Self that He reveal Himself to us. And He Who never left will come again to our awareness, grateful to restore His home to God as it was meant to be."

"Beyond all idols is the Thought God holds of you. Completely unaffected by the turmoil and the terror of the world, the dreams of birth and death that here are dreamed, the myriad of forms that fear can take, quite undisturbed, the Thought God holds of you remains EXACTLY as It always was. Surrounded by a stillness so complete no sound of battle comes remotely near, It rests in certainty and perfect peace. Here is your ONE reality kept safe, completely unaware of all the world that worships idols, and that knows not God. In perfect sureness of Its changelessness and of Its rest in Its eternal home, the Thought God holds of you has never left the Mind of Its Creator, Whom It knows as Its Creator knows that It is there."

"Forgiveness, once complete, brings timelessness so close the song of Heaven can be heard, not with the ears, but with the holiness that never left the altar which abides forever deep within the Son of God. And when he hears this song again, he knows he NEVER heard it not."

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