“Again, do not let your thoughts stray to benefiting and affecting others. In unity, all others are one with you and thus what you strive for in effectiveness is your own learning. Now, rather than learning the truth, you are learning how to live by the truth. This will benefit you and in so doing benefit all others.” (ACOL, T3:20.3)
We first give to ourselves. And then we reach out to all others, not by proselytizing, but by living the truth that we have come to know. One truth has been laid out in A Course of Love. And it is enough. We don’t need to “know” more; we simply live by what we have come to know, and in that we are abundantly satisfied.
If we focus too much on a contribution to others, we will lose our way. What is within is projected outward, and a focus on the outward means that limited attention is given to the inward. We must first be saved, in other words, before we can save others. The social gospel works only in limited ways. The way of redemption teaches others to live by their own lights, the guidance from deep within the psyche, and it does not press our thoughts and ideas upon a disbelieving world. We will make contributions, but first we must know that we have truly learned how to do so. If we proceed to make contributions from a separated state of mind and heart, we will make abundant mistakes in our charity work. And this we don’t want to do.
In living by the truth, we do first benefit ourselves, and then this better state of mind and heart inevitably reaches out to others. They benefit in ways that we could not predict, ways that we could not imagine. The way back home is not hard, but it does take patience. We can’t put a timetable on the bestowal of Christ-consciousness. And getting downhearted about its lack doesn’t help anybody, most especially ourselves.
Seek first to live well, even though Christ-consciousness may be coming only sparingly. There will be moments of truth, for Jesus promises this in ACOL. Don’t, above all, seek to become an ideal self, for an ideal self is an idol, and idols have been forbidden in all religions. We learned this as children in Sunday school. But previously we didn’t see the ideal self as an idol. Now we know better.
We just accept ourselves as we are. If we have flaws, we can pray for their removal, and realize in our depths that that miracle will happen. Miracles happen all the time to those who keep their eyes open, those whose eyesight is focused with true vision.
My heart is full today, the way that I would wish it to be each and every day. I am grateful for a beautiful world, sunshine, green grass—nature in all its glory. Balmy weather completes the picture. Thank You. It is easy to feel loving when the day is so grand.
Help me to develop internally before I try to reach outwardly to my brothers and sisters. I want to help, not hinder, their way. And only when I am together, inside, am I ready to make a good contribution. Thank You for guiding me in this and in all ways.