“Pain is a mystery, as is life. The path to peace requires it. It is not helpful to try to understand what cannot be understood.” COL bk.2, 20:II
This assertion, attributed to Mary in Choose Only Love, is an appeal to relax in God’s care. We know that He is always with us, and that He wants us peaceful. We also know that pain is something that many of us experience, at times, and for some, always, in our lives. Mary says that the path to peace requires pain, but this is not something that can be understood.
Jesus differed from Mary in A Course in Miracles. He said there that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is more lasting.
This is the first instance that I have run across in which Mary and Jesus have different concepts.
I do agree with Mary, that pain cannot be understood, at least not in this world. There are some things that we just have to accept, that this is the way that life shows up for us at times.
We don’t need to get ourselves hung up over this difference in advice. Regardless of what Jesus told us in ACIM, many of us still endure pain—even when we think that we are following the new revelations. So Mary’s advice may just be an acknowledgment that pain does dog our footsteps, and we can best live well when we don’t struggle for answers to the problem of suffering.
I do know that love heals suffering, this from A Course of Love. So when we love enough, we are healed. Not all of us can reach this pinnacle in every day. It is quite possible that Jesus in ACIM was speaking on an ideal level. Ken Wapnick talks a great deal in his works about the two levels of speaking that Jesus uses in A Course in Miracles.
There very well may be something that we don’t understand in this conflicting interpretation of pain. Ask to understand; see if God moves to bring us to a better sense of what Mary and Jesus meant.