I have been reading and re-reading Thomas Merton for over a decade, but I recently found a quote from him I’d never seen, one that describes love and its affects in a way that fits me and A Course of Love beautifully:
“We discover our true selves in love.
“Love affects more than our thinking and our behavior toward those we love. It transforms our entire life. Genuine love is a personal revolution. Love takes your ideas, your desires, and your actions and welds them together in one experience and one living reality which is a new you.”
Personal revolution? Absolutely. Weaving ideas, desires, and actions together into a new reality? Absolutely. And then…as with…so without.
This Covenant is the fulfillment of the agreement between you and God. The agreement is for you to be the new. As you are new, so too is God, for you are one, if not the same. As you are new, so too is the world, for you are one, if not the same. As you are new, so are your brothers and sisters, for they, too, are one, if not the same. While not the same, you also are not different. The differences you saw during the time of learning, differences that made you feel as if each being stood separate and alone, you are now called to see no more. In unity you are whole and inseparable, one living organism now raised above the level of the organism as you become aware of unity of form. It is time now for this idea to be accepted, for if it is not, you will remain in the prison you have created. D:4.1-3
Jesus reminds us that there is no authority to whom we can turn, and says that in place of that “outside” authority he gives us our own authority, an authority we must claim in order for it be our own.
The chapter ends this way:
Let this acceptance of your own internal authority be your first “act” of acceptance rather than learning. Turn to this as the new pattern and to the thought system of giving and receiving as one. Let the authority of the new be given and received. Become the author of your own life. Live it as you feel called to live it. D:4.24
What would a greater authorship of our own lives be than to be new selves creating a new world?
In Chapter 5 I’m reminded of one of the reasons that some disagreement about “who we are” still exists. We are in a new time! We are in the process of becoming new. It is what is happening today. Creation of the new is going on and the state we’re called to is … new.
This is an acceptance that recognizes that while the Self that God created is eternal and the self of form as ancient as the sea and stars, the elevated Self of form is new and will create a new world. D:5.15
I realize that, having been with ACOL as long as I have, I sometimes forget that these are new ideas. I rush ahead, eager to talk about and embrace the new. It’s such an interesting conundrum. When we are given “authorship” of our lives, we get this extreme splash of freedom, like taking a hit on one of those watery amusement park rides. We are doused. We might cry out with enthusiasm or with shock. I am reminded to be gentle with myself and others as we face this call to the freedom of the new.
I’ll be talking of “the new” in Sedona next month:
When: Saturday, October 15, 2016 – 10 AM to 4 PM.
Where: Unity of Sedona, 65 Deer Trail Dr., Sedona, AZ 86336
To register: http://goo.gl/Rh5q5P
Contact: Kathy Scott Perry, Event Coordinator, at 512-938-9996, or firstname.lastname@example.org.