“This is not a self-help course but just the opposite. This Course has stated time and time again that you cannot learn on your own and that resigning as your own teacher is the only way to learn a new curriculum. This Course will not call you to effort of any kind. It will not tell you to leave behind your addictions or to go on a diet or a fast. It will not even tell you to be kind. It does not tell you to be responsible and does not chide your irresponsibility. It does not claim that you were once bad but that by following these tenets you can become good. It gives no credence and no blame to any past cause for your depression, anxiety, meanness, illness or insanity. It merely calls you to sanity by calling you to let go of illusion in favor of the truth.” (ACOL, T3:4.1)
Jesus echoes Mari’s (the scribe) distaste for self-help literature. He tells us, as he did in A Course in Miracles, to resign as our teacher. Why? Because we don’t know enough to get us out of the mess we have made. And “made” is the right term—not “create”—for we are living in illusion. All of our more negative traits—depression, anxiety, meanness, illness, insanity—are evidence of the ego working within us. It is the part that tried (in vain) to separate from God, but always it was an illusory separation. We could not really separate and still live, for we are a part of God. God, we are told in ACOL, “let go,” and He and we, together, agreed to this illusory separation because we had forged ahead before we were ready to assimilate life in physical bodies.
Our physical bodies, our form, were meant to allow a new expression for the Self. Non-form, or spirit, preceded physical bodies. And these bodies required a great learning curve, a curve we were too impatient to see through to its end. So we dropped into fear as we failed to take our time. This fear, being unnatural to Being, God, could not but cause a rupture in our loving demeanor in relationship to God. And so the “detour into fear” (a quotation from A Course in Miracles) began.
If we have seen ourselves in depression, or anxiety, or meanness, how do we atone? This is not our doing. Atonement, or correction, happens of its own accord when we follow the admonition to be who we really are. Being who we really are is much heralded in A Course of Love. We won’t understand, in the beginning, what this means not how to effect it, but if we stay firm in our intention to follow Jesus’s way, to follow in his footsteps, the way will become clear. We will know that Atonement leads to true reality, and this includes harmony, peace, calm, joy.
Let our past negative traits disappear in the mists that brought them about. Don’t actively resist; just make a decision that, for example, we don’t want to be angry people anymore. And miraculously, we will find that this new decision is all that it took for anger to be gone from us.
The way is easy. The way is clear. Let us proceed.
Help us to see a clear path ahead. I see patches of difficulty, but miraculously this sight disappears when I stay close to You. There is nothing ahead that You can’t smooth for me. And You want to do so. It is my own sense of self-sufficiency that gets me in trouble. Let me lean on You in every circumstance, and my problems will disappear as mists before the sun.
Thank You for another good day. Thank You for the clarity that You bring to my mind and heart. And remind me always to let the heart lead. My heart knows no obstacle to Your love, and my heart doesn’t ask for “proof” that You love me. My heart just accepts that Your love is genuine. And then I feel enfolded with Your grace.