“The second rule of the art of thought is to acknowledge relationship, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all. This is thus a call to realize that you exist in relationship, that your relationship calls for a response, and that you are given to all as all are given to you.
“This is an enormous shift in your habit of thought as you become the center of the universe.” (ACOL, T1:4.6 – 4.7)
A “response” may not seem to us, at first glance, to be putting ourselves in the center of the universe. And we may bristle at this description, thinking that it is an egoic statement. But when we respond to that surrounds, faithfully and truthfully, we are not in the ego. We are in relationship to all others—all others, God, and the Self deep within, where the center is.
Think of the example of the sunset again. This simple, everyday occurrence, will soothe us as we try to come to terms with what the art of thought really means. We appreciate the sunset as a gift of God—that is the first rule of the art of thought. And then we are moved to respond, usually internally, to that sunset, and this is the second rule of the art of thought. We see ourselves in relationship to the natural world, the sunset being an especially beautiful example of the natural world.
The sunset has been given to us. The All has been given to us; there is no difference. This All is God Himself, present in all that exists. This form of pantheism, presented in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, still sees the All as One. This is why, from every point, that point is the center of the universe. That is why we can begin to see ourselves, in a non-egoic response, as the center of the universe. It is like a hologram; the whole is present in each point. And that point is the center, for the center if actually everywhere.
We need to recognize that we are given gifts by God, gifts for our pleasure and enjoyment. And, in return, we are asked to respond to the whole universe, the universe with which we are in relationship. These are the two rules for the art of thought. And when we begin practicing the union of heart and mind, and our own union with our deeper Self, we will know a joy that has eluded us until now.
Ask for the joy to rain down upon us. Just ask.
And we will be met with a happiness unexpected in common hours.
Thank You for your guidance. Thank You for ACOL. Its heartwarming passages do indeed teach us a new way to live, a new way to think. And we are made the better for the transformation that we are about.
Be with me today, as I seek to increase intimacy with others. I need them, as they need me. Isolation doesn’t become any of us, for we are meant to be in relationship, to be interdependent.
May the rules of the art of thought inform all of my comings and going today.