As the wholehearted, you have it within your ability to do what those who live their lives with a split mind could never do. You have it within your ability to mend the rift of duality, a state that was necessary for the learning of the separated self but that is no longer necessary. The mending of the rift between heart and mind returned you to your Self. In the same way, the mending of the rift of duality will return the world to its Self. D:3.5
Earlier this week, I was forwarded a missive written by Gary Renard in which he mentions A Course of Love by name. His “letter” to interested parties was generally about some comments made at the end of the ACIM conference in New York, and led to his defense of the FIP (blue book) edition of ACIM. He wondered why anyone would be interested in anything else, including the supposed “continuation” book, A Course of Love, especially when ACIM is “a complete and unique non-dualistic thought system.” He calls these “course alternatives” unnecessary imitations, and suggests sticking with the real thing and accomplishing its goal of awakening.
Two people recommended that I respond in my blog today, and I have chosen to do so; not because I have any problem with Gary speaking his mind but because Gary also mentions that I “incredibly” said “in public” that I don’t believe in the illusion. This is true. That the “illusion” has become something to believe in makes no sense to me. In my understanding, non-duality is about accepting the both/and nature of reality . . . which is next to impossible to see through the ego’s lens. After my years with both Courses, I recognize the “ego’s world” as illusion. That is all.
Oddly enough, as I’m recording A Course of Love as an audio book, the chapter that I am currently working on is Chapter 19: “Oneness and Duality.” The happenstance of that coincidence, (I am where I am in the project for a reason) has, more than anything else, guided my response.
Before I provide a few quotes from Chapter 19, I’ll just share with you some of the ways that ACOL is so good at helping us to get beyond the very basics of what produces dualistic thinking:
A Course of Love rejects having an ideal and/or false images.
It speaks only briefly of enlightenment, calling it enlightenment “without judgment.”
ACOL doesn’t say “you will get there” but you’re already there (already accomplished).
It doesn’t say you need to study or apply effort to achieve anything, but rather that ceasing with these practices is necessary.
Jesus says no one can teach you what you really need to know. You can’t get it intellectually, and that your either/or thoughts are inconsistent with the both/and of the truth.
He says the mind alone cannot take you where you want to go and when the mind fails to achieve its goals you might let go and surrender to the way of love.
He says the heart at the center of who you are can hold it all—all your feelings, yearnings, imaginings.
You are not separate from anything and need not reject anything but the false self (ego).
ACOL doesn’t encourage seeking. It proclaims a finding.
ACOL does say that you are not who you think you are.
ACOL says that when you get beyond who you think you are you can know who you truly are.
Jesus says that when you get beyond the ego and the world the ego made, you will be a true self, see a true world, and create a new world.
At A Course in Miracle’s end, in the Epilogue to the Clarification of Terms, we find (5.):
Let us go out and meet the newborn world, knowing that Christ has been reborn in it, and that the holiness of this rebirth will last forever. We had lost our way but He has found it for us. Let us go and bid Him welcome Who returns to us to celebrate salvation and the end of all we thought we made. The morning star of this new day looks on a different world where God is welcomed and His Son with Him. We who complete Him offer thanks to Him, as He gives thanks to us. The Son is still, and in the quiet God has given him enters his home and is at peace at last.
When I read that, my heart feels a sense of promise. Why should it be such a surprise that we are asked, now, definitively, to turn from the ego and rebirth the Christ in us and in the world? To, in union and relationship, turn to each other and see the Christ revealed? By the end of ACOL, Jesus implies a most perfect non-dualistic alternative to illusion—a combining of our humanity and divinity in a way that allows us to truly be here now. And he is so confident in this joining that at the end he says to put the book away and go be it.
Let’s move forward with the promise of this beautiful epilogue at A Course in Miracle’s end, and with the new beginning offered in A Course of Love. From the Prelude:
You were your Self before you began your learning, and the ego cannot take your Self from you but can only obscure it. Thus the teachings you need now are to help you separate the ego from your Self, to help you learn to hear only one voice. This time we take a direct approach, an approach that seems at first to leave behind abstract learning and the complex mechanisms of the mind that so betray you. We take a step away from intellect, the pride of the ego, and approach this final learning through the realm of the heart. This is why, to end confusion, we call this course A Course of Love. p.43-44
For anyone interested in more, here are a few quotes from ACOL, Chapter 19: Oneness and Duality, that fill out the more practical side of this approach.
C19.15 …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
C19.16 To think without thought or know without words are ideas quite foreign to you, and truly, while you remain here, even experiences beyond thoughts and words you will apply word and thought to. Yet love has often brought you close to a “thought-less” and “word-less” state of being, and it can do so again. As you join with your own Self in unity, all that in love you have created and received returns to its home in you, and leaves you in a state of love in which the wordless and formless is very near.
C19.17 [O]neness and unity go together, the unity of creation being part of the oneness of God, and the oneness of God part of the unity of creation. A mind trained by separation can have no concept of this, as all concepts are born from the mind’s separate thoughts.
C19.24 The concept that in oneness there is no need for blame or guilt or even for redemption is inconceivable to the separate mind. But not to the heart.
We have found the way of wholeheartedness, of heart and mind joined in union. We are being brought home and co-creating Heaven on Earth. Let us go out and meet the newborn world, knowing that Christ has been reborn in it, and that the holiness of this rebirth will last forever.