To have experienced only separation is to have known only half of any experience.
After I completed A Course of Love, what consumed me for a long while was a desire to understand my own experience. I don’t remember precisely when this began, and admit there may have been varying stages of it. But I’ve recently revisited some of the books that helped me explore this when it was an ardent question.
My quest then was not to understand “the book” and what it said, but my experience of “receiving” the course. As you are each “receivers” too, I hope you can relate, because the extraordinary thing I’ve been seeing since then, is that A Course of Love simply is an experience. In some ways, we don’t know what to make of ACOL because it will not stay contained within its own pages. It moves out into our lives and moves our lives along in ways we could never have foreseen.
I’m moving into a time of adding to my experiences. New experiences await. You’ may have heard that I’ll be in Vegas for the ACIM Conference, (details of which can be found on ACOL’s website), but I’ve received an additional invitation to speak in St. Louis next month. ACIM St. Louis will hold the event March 12, from 10-4. Here’s a link to the flyer for the event: http://acimstlouis.org/sites/default/files/MariPerron2016Flyer.pdf
I am in the midst of what I’m calling my “Yes” year. I am going to give my all to some new experiences and see how they suit me. The gentleman who contacted me about St. Louis said he’d heard I was a bit of a recluse and I was secretly quite pleased. I am a bit of a recluse. What will a more active, and interactive life feel like?
I’ll report back about ten months from now!
In the meanwhile, I took a look at some of the ways the word experience, mentioned more than 500 times in ACOL, was used. Here are a few:
C:18.10 The only way to make the unbelievable believable is to alter what you experience.
T4:1.25 All have become aware that a new experience awaits and that they stand at the threshold of choice.
In Day 28 Jesus says that our time on the mountain provided “The experience required in order to realize a new possibility.”
The following quote may best describe the difference I was attempting to realize—almost as if you can’t see the new experience alone, but only in contrast to what was. We know union as a new experience because of the experience of separation that was once all we knew:
Day 31.5 To have experienced only separation is to have known only half of any experience, to have seen every experience in only one dimension—in short, to have seen experience as happening to you rather than as you. By realizing the unity of the relationship in which experience becomes manifest, you not only realize oneness, but realize that you are a creator and that you always have been.
I’ve described receiving in many ways over the years, and I know that to think of it only as receiving the words of this course would be terribly limiting. I know that receiving is not about seeking, but being sought. It is there in thousands of ways, ways that wait for us to be receptive to what is constantly given. It is a re-connection to our givens. (To re-connect, by the way, is the original sense of meaning of the word religion.)
I bring this up partially because I want to share this stunning quote from R. D. Laing. His book The Politics of Experience was one of my sources of exploration.
“What we think is less than what we know; what we know is less than what we love: what we love is so much less than what there is. And to that precise extent we are so much less than what we are . . . .”
With the experience of A Course of Love, we are becoming “more” of what we are. Alleluia!
Thanks, Derek. Yes, the contacts that are happening now feel very responsive, if not to my intention, then to ACOL’s movement in the world!
Great Blog Mari. And all the very best with sharing all of who you Are at the St. Louis Event. It is a response – the Invitation – to your yes’ year intention I imagine. xx
Paula, it is so lovely when I begin to hear of experiences of “receiving in life” . . . as you often share. It is so true as Jesus says, that our lives are our curriculum. The newness that enters us from our encounter with this book comes alive in the living of it.
As you know, I’ve also had experience with an alcoholic family member. I know the feelings that you describe. One thing I remember from ACOL is this: Those who give in to abuse are merely calling louder for the selfsame love that all are in search of. (C:9.48) I say this knowing it was much easier for me to see in retrospect than in the midst of the most trying times. I wish you love and balance in your delicate situation.
Mari, you are so right! This Course IS an experience. I can well imagine you had a lot of processing to do to understand your receiving of ACOL! Experience is so where I am right now. A:33, “…this time of engagement with life is just what is needed to integrate what has been learned.” To me that means some experiences in the day-to-day so I can experience myself as a divine being having a human experience (T1:2.21).
Now to continue in the richness of A:33 “A treasure that you do not as yet recognize is going to be recognized. …And finally, through experience it will become your identity.” The treasure is me, you, them (as in a class) v34. Powerful, Mari. And, just where I am right now in experiencing life, particularly with a family member who is addicted to alcohol and it’s such a delicate situation where I go back and forth between resistance to this experience and seeing the opportunity in it to learn more about myself and how to carry this in my heart as the bridge I want to be. I want to experience myself as the bridge between the treasure that is truly this person and the self-hate that is being lived out. Between the love and what is not love here.