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Article by Gary R. Renard
This is an article Gary R. Renard wrote for the Miracle Network in London's Newsletter. He recently shared it in his Facebook.
Most people, if they happen to be the only person in the room, think they’re alone. That’s not true, but it is their experience. That experience is rooted in a couple of key false beliefs. The first one is that they are a body. If you’re a body you are separate from other bodies. This inevitably leads to a feeling of lack. Because the body is the thought of separation given form, then as long as you believe you are a body you will think you are deprived.
I’m not denying peoples’ experience is that they are a body, but I am saying it’s a false experience, rooted in the idea of separation. The body is the idea of separation given form. This brings up the next false belief; the idea of separation. But if people believe they are separate, then they have to realize just what it is they believe they are separate from. The obvious answer for most people would be that they are separate from other bodies, but that’s too limited. In one sentence, ACIM gives us both the problem and the solution: “A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.”
If you could correct that one real lack, a sense of separation from God, then all the other lacks would take care of themselves and eventually disappear. You would never feel lack. You would always feel like you were being taken care of, provided for, and Guided through life. Who would be doing the Guiding? One of the main goals of the Course, as stated right in its Preface, is to help its students find their own Inner Teacher.
This Inner Teacher, the Holy Spirit, will give you right minded ideas. One of them would be the idea that there is nothing outside of you. In fact, everything you see in the illusory universe is a symbol of what is in your unconscious mind, because it’s a projection of what is in your unconscious mind. And all of it is based on separation. The mind is the projector, and the universe is the “outside picture of an inward condition.”
In my last book, “The Lifetimes When Jesus and Buddha Knew Each Other: A History of Mighty Companions,” I quoted an old Buddhist saying:
There are three great mysteries in life.
To a bird, it is the air.
To a fish, it is the water,
And to a human being, it is himself.
Over time, we come to realize that we (our one mind, because all minds are joined) is everywhere; thus there is nowhere that our mind is not. One of my favorite movies is, “I Heart Huckabees.” In one of the scenes the character played by Dustin Hoffman is talking to the character played by Jason Schwartzman, and he explains how everything in the universe is the same, because it’s all one, despite the different appearances. And, as the character goes on to say, once you get the oneness and wholeness thing you can relax because, “Everything you could ever want or be, you already have and are.”
That’s true! But In order to actually experience that oneness, a seemingly separate human being with a seemingly private psyche has work to do. The Course calls the “separate” you a member of the “Sonship,” which is a word used to describe the separate minds that in the illusion appear to be individuals. When you put Humpty Dumpty back together again as One, then the Sonship is Christ, God’s One Son, but nobody knows that at the beginning of their spiritual journey. It remains to be uncovered and experienced. It would be easy and convenient if knowing this intellectually was enough, but without undoing the false you, the ego, the real you cannot be experienced except in anything but brief, lovely flashes.
The truth is in every mind. The Course says, “It has not changed because it has been forgotten.” That being the case, I’d like to share with you a couple of ways I’ve come to realize that I’m never alone.
The very first thing I do every morning when I wake up is say in my mind, “Jesus, you’re in charge.” This immediately undoes the idea of separation in my mind. I’m never alone because Jesus is always with me throughout the day. You may not feel comfortable using the name of Jesus. That’s all right. You can call it the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Holy Spirit now. They’re not in competition with each other.
I started talking to Jesus in my mind when I was a child. I didn’t know why, but I felt like he was my friend. I felt like he would encourage me and help me do the things I needed to do, like going to school, even though I hated it. It wouldn’t be until many, many years later that I would understand why I felt this way about him. The first time I read some of A Course in Miracles in a little New Age bookstore in Maine, I recognized him as being the Voice of the Course. That, along with the Teachers who are described in my books, kept me interested in it, even though the first time I saw it I had no idea what it was saying. And this brings up the first way you can know you’re never alone. Talk to the Holy Spirit. Even if you feel at first that you’re not hearing Him, the Holy Spirit is always with you. That’s what Jesus meant two thousand years ago when he said, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” But you have to be willing to carry on a dialogue in your mind. If you do this, then as time goes on you become more discerning. You start to be able to tell for yourself if the ideas you’re being given are coming from Spirit or not.
Another thing I do can be found in “The Song of Prayer” section of the Course. Everyone has their own style of prayer and meditation. Mine starts off as a visualization, where I imagine the universe and my body disappearing, and being replaced with Spirit. Then I make a direct approach to God until we are one. At the level of Spirit, words like God, Christ, Jesus, Holy Spirit disappear and all that’s left is that “awareness of perfect oneness” that the Course talks about. I join with God in a condition of love and gratitude. The Song of Prayer is a song of love. When you do it you are getting used to being with God again. Eventually you’ll experience that you never left Him.
And of course in order to really experience that you are never alone, you have to undo the ego. “Salvation is undoing.” And the great teaching tool of the Course is true forgiveness. Not forgiving what really happened, which the Course calls “forgiveness to destroy,” but the kind of forgiveness that realizes the full awareness of the Atonement, which is that the separation never occurred. The truth is we never left Heaven. We’re still there. What we thought others did or said, and what we think we did or said never happened. That’s why we’re all innocent. And so we learn to see everyone, including ourselves, as we truly are, instead of the false images we have made. Every day, all day, I try to see and think of others as being the perfect, divine creation of God that they really are. They are not part of it, they are all of it. It doesn’t hurt to remind myself that this is the fastest way to experience myself that way. “As you see him you will see yourself” is one of the most important teachings in the Course. It can change not only how you feel about yourself and others, it will eventually establish your real Identity as you will see it, feel it, and believe that it is.
There is fullness and wholeness in Spirit. It’s the only thing that will ever completely satisfy you. There’s nothing missing in perfect oneness. So how can you be alone?
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