“You who are looking for help wonder now how this would help you. What is there left to say that has not been said? What are these words but symbols, by my own admission? It is in what they symbolize that help arrives. You do not need to believe in the words nor the potential of the exer¬cises to change your life, for these words enter you as what they are, not the symbols that they represent. An idea of love is planted now, in a garden rich with what will make it grow.” (ACOL, C:3.9)
A Course of Love emphasizes love, as we might imagine would be appropriate for a course that focuses on the heart. We understand immediately what the heart feels; we are not lost in complexities of the mind that an ego would foster. The words that occur in ACOL are intuitively understood. Jesus doesn’t try to teach us what love means; he merely points the way. He has said that the meaning of love is not something that can be learned. And with the words in this passage, we may well see a further indication of this truth. The words hint; they do not teach.
Jesus says that he is planting an idea of love, “in a garden rich with what will make it grow.”
That garden, I believe, is our heart, and it is rich with the desire to be One with God. This yearning actually increases the likelihood that the idea of love will take root, that we will begin to act on our feelings of love for ourselves, for God, and for each other. We will dwell on the good things that we know, the good that we have done, and others have done. And we will not be so quick to lose our temper, to attack, to drop into all sorts of negative reactions.
Yes, Jesus is dropping into our essence the idea of love. And it is up to us to do something with that idea. Love is our inheritance from God, an inheritance that we have all too often not known because of our egoic thinking. Our egoic minds got in the way of the truth of our heart’s desires. Let the heart rule again, and love will blossom in this beautiful garden of the heart.