Philosophy applies thought to mystery and that is why philosophy becomes such a muddle of words. It is difficult for you to accept that what you most need to know cannot be achieved through the same methods you have used in order to know about other things. And, increasingly, you are willing to exchange experience for second-hand knowledge and to believe you can come to know through the experiences of others. Yet, in the case of coming to know what lies before you now—coming to know your own Self— it is obvious that another’s experience will not bring this knowledge to you, not even my experience. If this were so, all of those who read of my life and words would have learned what I learned from my experience. While many have learned much of others, this type of learning is but a starting point, a gateway to experience. C 19.15
There’s something about this time of year. I think the first time I noticed it was on July 22 in some year of the last decade. Somewhere close to mid-July the days start turning toward fall, and no matter the heat or humidity or sunshine, it is there, evident in a different quality to the light and air. This year that day is today. It has begun.
Change is all around us all the time. One of the ways we realize change is through experience.
Next month I will be in Santa Fe to be in dialogue with ACOL reader/receivers around the idea of experience. I get invited to these gatherings because of my experience and I couldn’t be more blessed to have that as the reason behind the invitations. The delight in this, for me, goes beyond sharing my own experience, and hearing of how others experience themselves newly through ACOL, but to having experience itself be the umbrella beneath which we meet. We meet to share our experiences. . . yes. But to meet in a way that we come to a new acquaintance with the value and validity of our own experience is what thrills me.
The acceptance of our uniqueness or distinction within unity opens all kinds of additional gateways. Rather than attempting to attain a “type of experience” that another has described as enlightened or awakened; rather than attempting to achieve these states by means of learned ways that are taught; you and I are guided by Jesus to follow our hearts and our inner guidance. In this way, through our own experience, each of us come to know and to share “who we are” and the new states of being that open to us.
[T]he sameness of union is not about becoming clones or one specific type of idealized holy person. Union is being fully who you are and expressing fully who you are. This is the miracle, the goal, the accomplishment that is achieved through the reign of love, the maintenance and finally the sustainability of union. D:Day5.17
I was given a book recently that I won’t share the name of (this same list could come from many, many books). It’s a fine book that uses a lot of the same language as A Course of Love in its introduction. But this language is followed by a list of how we can achieve its ends:
The tools in this book enable us to…
The emphasis here is to modernize the practices…
The methods are …
The goal is…
Learning how to…
There are guideposts and an experiential map.
These are examples of ways that have been unquestionably seen as helpful for a long time. But they aren’t the new way and we can’t get to the new by means of old:
Now, as we embrace the new together, it must be realized again and yet again, that the new cannot be learned. In other words, it must be realized that you cannot come to know the new, or to create the new, through the means of old, including the means of thought. D:9.10
Having an ambition to achieve enlightenment or elevation will actually prevent it. Many of us have realized this as we begin to experience the reversals of this Course. All those actions of “trying” have prevented our acceptance of what is given—including, often, an acceptance of our own experience!
In the Epilogue we hear:
Do not be afraid now to be who you are. Do not think you need to be something different, something other than you have been. Leave all thinking behind. Leave all notions of being better, smarter, kinder, more loving behind. Realize that these were all thoughts and notions of becoming. If you hang on to them, your being will not have the chance to realize and make real its being. You will be different, only if you allow and will yourself to realize and make real this difference. It is a difference between becoming and being. It is all the difference in the world. It is the difference between separation and differentiation in union and relationship. E.20
All of our “trying” alters the experience of what will naturally arise. No source before ACOL had ever given me this feeling of freedom, a freedom to accept all that I feel and all that I experience as the “givens” come to replace learning with love’s transformative power, the power of revelation:
The saying, “The truth shall be revealed to you” is
the same as saying “Your Self shall be revealed to you.” T1:4.22
Revelation can only be . . . experienced!
Revelation is a proper description of the mode by which the art of thought teaches and helps you learn. It is not through study, effort, or reinterpretation but through revelation. Revelation is direct communication with God in the sense that it is direct communication from a Self you have known not, the Self that is one with the Creator. T1:4.23-24
If you are interested in joining the Santa Fe Event, please see the attached flyer: http://spibr.org/Mari_at_Unity_Santa_Fe_Aug_27_2016.pdf