“Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time. Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.6)”
1 – Childhood
This passage recalls to mind our childhoods, which were often tainted with the image of a fearful world, because that is what our parents believed. Even religious parents carried this image to a great degree, believing, if they were particularly protective, that we, their offspring, must turn to them to be “saved” from a world that would do us harm.
2 – Jesus
Jesus would have us lay all this conditioning behind. We are in an unsafe world only if our perceptions show us such a world. And even in harsh conditions, we can rise above. We, of course, do not always do so, because war and natural disasters test us to the limit. But, as Eckhart Tolle says, we can avoid turning pain into suffering. This statement is not made specifically in either ACIM or ACOL, but Jesus does say in ACIM that we do not have to learn through pain. There is a better way.
3 – Ken Wapnick
We must be realistic about what Jesus is saying, because, as Kenneth Wapnick (a writer and scholar of A Course in Miracles) has said, there are two levels to A Course in Miracles. One I would view as an ideal, sometimes not achieved; the other, the more practical, day-to-day world in which we find ourselves. We can find this Ideal more often than not through our communion with the Holy Spirit (as in ACIM) or our assumption of Christ-consciousness (as in ACOL). We are not alone, and we do not have to walk our pathway alone. There is a spiritual world that impacts our own, and it would be well for us to turn to spiritual guidance more often than not.
4 – Judgment
“All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity. While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God. You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 3.7)”
5 – Fear
As long as we are lost in fear, we can approach God only as though we were in a foxhole. We cry out to Him in desperation, asking for His help.
6 – When?
But when else do we commune with God? Do we seek Him when the day is going well? Do we thank Him for the blessings which so surround us? This type of communal prayer is, to my mind, what God really wants from us. A Course in Miracles, in an anthropomorphic sense, says that God is lonely when the minds He created do not commune with Him. He then says, in effect, “My children sleep, and they must be awakened.”
7 – Awakening
We need to awaken, and we need to realize, first of all, that this prayer for Awakening is strictly in line with God’s wishes for us. When we give up sleep, we will be in communion with God virtually all the time, whether or not we realize it. This is the goal that awaits us all. And it is a goal that all, sooner or later, will reach.
May we forgive our parents for the conditioning that they, in their innocence, gave us about living in a “fearful world.” Let us realize today that this world is fearful only in our perceptions of it, and these perceptions, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can be changed.
May we walk into the sunlight today. May we take Jesus’s hand and walk without fear. Mighty companions walk beside us along the way.