C:3.10 Everything has birth in an idea….
I began my “Foggy reflections” last week, with a quote on symbolism and mention of the beginning of my reception of A Course of Love at the start of the season of Advent … the time of the coming of Christ. I then went on to other things. I thought this week, if I could get it down to a page (?!) I’d tell of this “coming.” But then I remembered that I have a video that speaks of it, which I am now editing to post, and that, in turn, gave me a chance to reflect, in a different way, on the birth of A Course of Love, on this date, sixteen years ago.
I actually want to return to the idea of symbolism and the way that it exists naturally in our lives…the symbolism that gives us our clues and hints at deeper meaning, and how it isn’t, at times, until afterwards, that we see and feel all that these signs have come to give us.
Anyone who has gotten married might be able to relate. If asked to describe your wedding years later, few would speak of the ceremony itself. You might start with falling in love, then getting engaged, then the friends and family with whom you celebrated. Or you might speak of the mishaps and the nerves. All of these things matter to us and have a place. And yet a wedding swims in symbolism and meaning that we don’t necessarily think of, but that exists, and that affects us and carries us through, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. And we need that, because besides the love that has brought us to the point of “legal” joining, there is often also ambivalence, fear of the unknown, doubt, concern for what is left behind. Layer upon multi-layer of thought and feelings.
And that is how it was with me as this Course began, and all of those usual “telling of an event like a wedding” scenes have been included when I share my story. It is also why, I believe, the symbolism of the Course coming at the time of Advent has become more powerful to me over the years. The “coming” of A Course of Love was announced in several ways, but this one had the feel of ceremony. Even so, my sudden awareness of Ordinary Time ending, and Advent beginning, is one left out of the video I’m preparing and many other tellings of the coming of A Course of Love. The funny thing is that I didn’t have any real understanding of the symbolism of either Ordinary Time or Advent until the day, in 1998, that coincided with the birth of “the idea” that my “work for God” (which I felt had been predicted by a dream) was “a new course in miracles.”
I’ve thought of it since as quite ridiculous that I was Catholic school educated for ten years and had attended Mass almost since birth, and I’d never been taught, and never caught on, to the basic structure of the Church’s year. I could remember years of wondering why we couldn’t have the lovely music of Christmas in church until Christmas day. I did not grasp the idea of Advent as a time of awaiting, (there were no Advent wreaths or Advent calendars around in my youth) or the reason hymns like “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel” were the staple in the weeks before Christmas. But in 1998, after attending an early morning Mass, I suddenly did. I remember how I rushed home, after this dawned on me, to look up “Ordinary Time” and “Advent.” I was on fire with wanting to understand. I spoke of it with Mary Love, my companion of “The Grace Trilogy” days and since those days. And on that particular day (which just happened to be her birthday), it was Mary who took me the rest of the way to understanding what it was I was awaiting, by revealing a dream in which she had seen “a new Course in Miracles.”
As she spoke of her dream, the feeling flooded me that this was what had been trying to get through to me. She and I sat at my dining room table, having coffee and a birthday treat as we visited. After she left, the feeling that her dream had been shared as an “announcement” was overwhelming. I could suddenly see all sorts of messages in a new light, all pointing at this outcome. I “asked” about it, in my way, and the truth of the feeling was confirmed.
A “new course in miracles” felt like way too big of an undertaking for me. My mind could barely grasp the idea, and for a week was overwhelmed with the enormity of it. I wondered how long it would take and why anyone would want a new course. I prayed and wrote and hoped and didn’t hope for it until, on December 1, I heard the first words of A Course of Love.
AND THEN, in the seventh paragraph I received, there was mention of the second coming of Christ!
It is easy to imagine how the Christ in you differs from your ego but not as easy to recognize how the Christ in you differs from spirit. The Christ in you is that which is capable of learning in human form what it means to be a child of God. The Christ in you is that which is capable of bridging the two worlds. This is what is meant by the second coming of Christ. C:p.7
Awe, love, hope, disbelief, confusion…they all were mixed into the soup of my feelings at this beginning. Yet the standouts that pointed me to the truth of what was happening, were the signs and symbols that, when waited upon, revealed what they had been pointing to.
Having a spiritual view opens us to all that is beyond the concrete or substantial in our ordinary lives, but that are, at the same time contained within them. Signs and symbols do the work they are given to do: they are revealing of the truly real. They evoke and guide and all we can do is yield to them. Yield . . . and await further revelations.