You are here to make one another known and in so doing to know oneness. D:Day15.15
It is said that when you awaken to find the ground covered in dew, it means that a fair day is ahead. This has certainly been true today. I’m sitting in the cabin with the windows thrown open, the temperature moderate, the sun bright, and the breeze invigorating. I’ve thought several times, as the wind moves near branches about, that someone is approaching. Yet I’m not sure if it is actually because of the wind that I keep glancing up. I get few visitors, and seldom look out with the feeling that, at any minute, a friend might come walking down the path. I think it’s because of the thought of companionship that’s entered my mind today.
I copied a snippet from a friend’s email onto the top of my writing page this morning because it inspired me. It was from a Course of Love reader with whom I’ve been sharing emails for many years. The snip was about feeling connected. We’ve never met yet we both feel that we know each other deeply.
In the new edition of A Course of Love, there is a Foreword written by Glenn Hovemann as editor of this combined volume. In it he mentions my “abundant private correspondence.” I was so delighted by that. I hadn’t asked him to speak of it, highlighted it in any of our conversations, or expected to see it there. That he noticed my attention to correspondence and thought to include it gave value to this generally under-appreciated way of communicating. The private way. The one-to-one way. A way that, even if it seldom includes a stamp and an envelope these days, is still a personal exchange between two people. I believe I was as thrilled as I was because this correspondence has been invaluable to me. What I was glorying in this morning, relishing to the max, was not the feeling of being a companion but of being companioned. And then tears came to my eyes over the sweet recognition of how mutual companionship is. How positively and perfectly mutual. How true to what this Course is.
For some reason it got me considering what I only half-jokingly call the “job description” that Jesus gave me after A Course of Love was complete. I’d basically asked him, “Now what?” and he said, “Be a companion to those willing to leave hell behind.” Before, when I’d considered this “job description” I was always getting hung up on the word hell. I’d trade it in most often for the word ego. Sometimes for the word illusion. Be a companion to those willing to let go the ego and the illusion and to live as a true self in a true reality. Heaven right there.
As it happened, after tears, I had to wonder. Could it be that when we are ready to be companions to one another: to neither lead nor follow; to neither teach nor learn; to be together in the openhearted and intimate way that the word “companion” suggests . . . that this is when hell is left behind?—when everything is mutual and we get tears in our eyes over it?
In its original meaning, the word “companion” has to do with “one who eats of the same bread.” It is an accompanying. It is about fellowship. The lovely Quaker Thomas Kelly, writing about fellowship, spoke of “men and women whom we now know to the depths . . . now we know them, as it were, from within. For we discern that their lives are already down within that Center which has found us.” The word companionship is not used one single time in A Course of Love, and yet I find the idea of it in many places, one of my favorites being, [I]n order to be your Self, you have to share your Self, C:31.14 and another is in dialogue:
When you fully realize that sharing is necessary you will have entered the dialogue. When you have fully surrendered to the fact that you can’t come to know on your own you will have entered the dialogue. When you fully accept that the voice of the one can be heard in the voice of the many you will have entered the dialogue. When you fully realize that you are in-formed by everything and everyone in creation, you will have entered the dialogue. D:Day15.1
And so, tomorrow morning, as the official publication date for A Course of Love: Combined Volume comes and goes, it is companionship and dialogue that I will be grateful for, and wish for you.