Cultivating the Holy Relationship, by Ivor Sowton

I am so grateful for both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, which for me are a continuum.

Jesus tells us in A Course of Love that after our creation as one unified being within God “something went wrong” with creation. Our initial idea was perhaps to use a somewhat separated identity to explore physicality, but somehow we lost conscious connection with Source. Soon we began unconsciously using judgment and suffering to maintain that separate identity—obviously a mistake that God never intended.

Thankfully deep down all of us separated beings do remember our divine heritage, and if we allow ourselves to be led by these great spiritual masterpieces, A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and A Course of Love (ACOL), we will find help getting back home—at least that has been my experience so far.

ACOL in particular proposes an urgency to our earnestly seeking that divine memory of God-union at this particular time in human history. This for me makes it relevant. Do you know what I mean? It resonates well with the pressing demand most of us feel to come up with some kind of a positive response to the obvious problems of overpopulation, global warming, and especially the violent nature of the human species under threat. (Jesus says in ACIM “frightened people can be vicious.” )

It feels to me that if the human experiment here on Earth is not to reach extinction by its own hand, we need to take strong collective action to find that Oneness as soon as possible.

But how to respond to such great need?

First Jesus guides us in re-establishing that sense of Divine Peace within. At the end of the First Treatise in ACOL he says: “Peace, in whatever way you find it, in whatever expression it takes, is your answer to God and God’s answer to you.” So if we want to help, it has to be from that sense of Divine Peace, and not from outrage or desperation.

For me the learning-ground for finding that peace is in my relationships with others. I’m increasingly aware of my ego attempts to “keep others other.” These are my special relationships, I guess. I feel that Jesus is helping me to gradually let go of special relationships in favor of holy relationship, based in unity, not fear. There is fierce resistance from my ego at times, and the basic teaching of both Courses is so helpful here. For example, remember that wonderful question from Jesus in ACIM, “Would you rather be right or happy?” (T-29,VII in ACIM). When I’m in my fearful-separated place I watch myself trying to make others wrong– with me being right, of course. But I can see more quickly now that the return of happiness requires letting go of that judgment and seeing that “other” as needing love, just as I do.

Yes, we still get to use common sense and appropriate boundaries. A parent or a boss maintains that role, but the need to prove things–the rancor– drops away.

There’s a wonderful image from the Second Treatise in ACOL (4.6) in which Jesus likens the ego and struggle with special relationships to trying to walk in deep water. If and when we “get it” we relax and start floating, and soon we’re swimming gracefully and easily in the waters of union–holy relationship!

In studying A Course of Love I am assembling a treasury of one-liner quotes from the text of the Combined Edition by Take Heart Publications. I will close with the first of these one liners:

This holy relationship is what you are called to cultivate as a gardener cultivates her garden. (ACOL, 12.10)

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