“If you cannot claim at least a small amount of love for your own Self, then neither can you claim your power, for they go hand-in-hand. There is no “common good” as you perceive of it, and you are not here to assure the continuance of society. The worries that would occupy you can be let go if you but work instead for the return of heaven and the return of your own Self.” (ACOL, C:16.26)
This quotation seems to be refutation of the social gospel that many find important to the practice of religion in the world today. Jesus says that there is no “common good,” and that we are not here to assure the continuance of society. But are these statements a refutation of the social gospel?
I think not, for Jesus also says that we need to work for the “return of heaven,” and what would this state be but a much preferred way of life in our world? He pairs this statement with the assertion that we need the return of our own Self—seeing a return of heaven, here, and the return of our Self, here, as equally important—perhaps. Even if these two are not seen as equally important, we can well recognize that we can’t very well have one without the other.
Elsewhere Jesus counsels against proselytizing. Our first task is to get our own house in order, for anything that emanates from a divided self is a self that is still caught by the ego. We need to love this Self of ours, this Self with a capital “S.” And this may be a new idea for us, for we have had trouble finding anything to love in the being that we are. When we love the Self, our insane worries will fall away. And this is a goal well worth striving for, though not struggling for. Striving is good; struggle is not only unnecessary, but also undesirable.
We want our own power, but in order to assume power, we must first love the Self. In our darkest hours, when we are the most dejected, we look dimly on the house that we have built. This “house” is the personal or little self, and it has nothing to do with the Christ Self who dwells within. The Christ Self will assert its authority when we get our personal baggage out of the way. And that means we turn aside from the ego, its longings and its demands. There is only love, borne of unity; and fear, born of the egoic self. And we know which one we truly want.
Jesus is here giving it to us straight: Remove the impediments to Love’s primacy. Assume our own power. And therein establish the love of the Self that will usher in a heaven on earth. This is the new to which we are called.
This is creating a new world, a call that we find within the pages of A Course of Love.
Be with me today as I seek to love this Self that You have given me. Don’t let me drop into dismal thoughts, thinking that this command is something that I don’t have within my power. We can love our Self, and others, and God—and it is best that we engage in practices that will cause this love to blossom.
Thank You for this good day. The sun is shining, the temperature is temperate, tree limbs move gently in the breeze. There is nothing amiss in my world unless I choose to drop into depressing thoughts. And I would not do this. I would welcome a glimpse of enlightenment, if this is possible on this beautiful day. Be with me as I drop my worries, I drop all judgment and all fear, and I welcome You into my heart.