A Course In Miracles Lesson 35
A Course In Miracles Lesson 35 states:
My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.
My mind is part of the Field of All That Is. I am whole, uninjured, sound, healthy, and complete.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 35 uses two terms that are found in religion and which can often be off-putting or vague to a secular way of thinking. I wonder if we can translate this lesson into a secular format. In previous lessons, we redefined the word God to mean – the Field of All That Is. So the first part of the sentence reads: My mind is part of the Field of All That Is.
In the second part, we find the word holy. My modern mind has a conflict with the word “holy” and does not really connect with today’s teaching right away. But I suspect there is deep value in it. So I want to take a look at the words that are causing my mind to go blank. How the word holy became a discomfort to my modern mind would be a long conversation about the history of institutionalized religions and the violence they have perpetrated over the centuries resulting in constant hypocrisy with words like God, holy, and many others we will reclaim in this conversation with A Course In Miracles. If I put aside my frustration with that religious institution double-speak and spend time with the words alone, I can find the value in today’s teaching.
When I look up the word Holy on the online dictionary I find it defined as an eternal state of wellness and wholeness. Records dating as far back as the 11th’ century show that the Old English word “haling” is an adjective form of the word “hal” which translates as meaning whole, uninjured, sound, healthy, entire, and complete. Holiness is Wholeness. Holy is that which is exalted for being perfect and complete in goodness and rightness. If I use the Old English translation of the word holy, the lesson reads as:
My mind is part of the Field of All That Is. I am whole, uninjured, sound, healthy, and complete.
The day’s lesson then goes on to explain that we do not see ourselves as amazing on a day-to-day basis. We do not believe our minds are a part of All That Is. The reason we think we are in this world is because we think we have separated from the source of our being and that we exist in a kind of exile from All-That-Is. So, we do not believe that our minds are part of the whole Field of Reality. We think we are separate, independent of all other “things” which are all also floating around in isolation and in connection with nothing.
This is not the case. But when you believe it is the case, you make the experience of such an impossible notion. And you experience that situation even while it is not true. You are not a single, lone piece of thread existing outside of or just next to the Fabric of all reality. You are part of the whole thing with all the other threads. You are an integral and irreplaceable part of the structure of all that is.
Another concept that A Course In Miracles Lesson 35 speaks about is involves the nature of images and vision. We believe we are in this world which means we believe we are a separate, single entity outside of the whole. But all that is exists all together in an ever-changing arrangement. All that is exists in a field. One, single, unifying field. There can never be something in existence that does so outside of the one whole field of reality.
You will believe you exist in an isolated state for as long as that belief interests you. Your interest in an experience of isolated separateness is not a problem for what is actually true in reality. (The fact that you are not separate but only choosing to believe you are) The truth is never in danger if someone chooses not to see it. The truth continues to be true regardless of recognition. This is why the truth never needs defending and always speaks for itself and is what it is.
You will believe you are a part of the environment you want because you have invented your current environment to protect the image of yourself that you have made. (See Lesson 32 – I have invented the world I see)
What you “see” while you believe you are in this self-made environment will be seen through the rules needed to describe the desired self-image you have an interest in experiencing. Today’s lesson is the beginning of reminding ourselves that we are not any of the descriptions we ascribe to ourselves. We have created a very elaborate narrative. What we see in this narrative is not a vision from Reality. It is a self-made image of your current self-made situation. It is a reflection of your current interests. It is not a presentation of true reality.
The proof that your situation is a self-made illusion is found in the fact that your situation keeps changing.
That which is real is forever real. It does not change. You, in reality, are forever as you are, well, whole, and complete with joy and love. That is the true state of you. Any experience otherwise is an investigation into an illusion, a hypothetical, a self-made event. What goes away is not real. This is the law of reality. And this is how we know that this world is not real. It is illusion. Everything about this world changes. Behind all the change there is the eternal, that which is always.
The world is a playground to explore self-made beliefs because it is fun to do that and we have an interest in doing it. When you are done investigating self-made beliefs, you will leave this dimension and move on to all else there is to “do” beyond investigating notions of separation. There is much more to do. But whatever you believe while here is given space to “seem” to exist, even if it is a made-up notion. Whatever happens here in this world is not truly real. Any purpose you find here, any goal you may achieve will only ever be fulfilling in a lasting way if it involves discovering what is true. All activities that are not motivated by discovering what is true will eventually lose meaning and stop being fulfilling. This is because you are Truth, itself engaging in the freedom to think you are not. This endeavor will always fail until it starts on the path towards realizing you are the light, life, and love of truth.
The way to begin walking that path can start with the exercises found in A Course In Miracles. If we enter into meditation practices that still our thoughts we begin to sense an inherent state of wonder underneath all things.
Bringing our thoughts into stillness is not easy to do because it is about putting down “doing,” and letting the Movement move us. Like a lake in the rain, our mind is set off into thousands of ripples of movement all rippling into one another. But when the rain stops the lake becomes as still as a mirror and we find, there is something there, in the reflection of that still lake. After all the commotion, there is a presence, an enduring wellness. That calm, enduring wellness is the life field, the source from which all that is comes.
The life field is not an event. Events come and go. The life field always is. We are from this field. There is no other source from which we could be from. We can not exist without a source. There is one unified Source of our existence.
Today’s lesson is reminding us that this Source is whole and complete in quality and that we are from that Source. We are therefore whole and complete as well, being from that which is whole. We are sacred. We are part of a wondrous phenomenon of being.
We do not remember this very often as we live our lives. The perceptions we hold in this world are an investigation into the concepts of separation from our source origin, from all-that-is, from God, the Field. In this world we are experiencing what it would be like to be a separate and sourceless being. This is not actually possible, but what is possible is for us to believe it is possible. We can believe something even when it is not true or possible. It is not possible to be separate from reality which is inherently all-inclusive.
Because reality is all-inclusive, it includes the ability to think and experience separation as if it were possible. That is how all-inclusive All-inclusive is. Reality holds space for illusions. We are able to believe and simulate situations that simply can not be. Reality accommodates rebellion. We can not get out of reality but we can simulate an experience of separation that would seem real, which would never ever be possible in reality. These simulations of thinking are how this world has come about. We are all exploring the infinite array of ways we could separate into single, unique bodies of experience. But deep within, we know (even if we choose to forget) that we come from a source. We come from the only Source, the Field of all inclusion. If something is, it is included in reality. It has a place. Even vacuous black holes are given the space to be what they are.
While we are here in this world in our exploration of separateness, we, with our minds, surround ourselves with the environment we want. We want that environment to define and protect the image of ourselves that we have made. There are an infinite number of variations of what we could think we are. We engage in many different forms of identities throughout our lives. And all these identities are images we have made. These images are part of their surrounding environment. This is best understood with national identities. We believe ourselves to be America, or Chinese, or French, or young or old. We believe ourselves to be identified with a skin color and a gender. And our environment serves to set these definitions in place both by contrasting as well as agreeing. We are an American in America or we are an American in China. Our identity image is part of the surrounding environment. The environment protects the definition of self we are pursuing.
All of these experiences of separate, unique identities are images we have made in our minds. These self-made definitions of temporary identity are not true vision of what we really are. Images do not see. Images do not have vision. Images define and instruct how one is to see what they are. Vision is a creative state of receiving. Vision is a metaphysical awareness while images are a physical event.
Today’s idea states that you are holy, whole and complete. This presents a very different view of you than the one you currently hold. When we establish that the source of our minds come from the Field of energy behind all physical events, we are then able to establish a real identity. Your real identity describes you as you are in reality, forever. That which is real does not change. Real is always real. And it is always there.
Today’s lesson focuses on the perceiver of the lesson rather than on what is being perceived. You came from somewhere and you are still a part of it. You are not alone. You are included.
This exercise is a beginning to have a look at what you think you are. We are looking at the self-made narrative descriptions of our personality and our sense of identity. List all the descriptions you have for yourself in these 3 five minute meditation practices today.
An example of the list you might make about yourself could be:
I see myself as imposed upon.
I see myself as depressed
I see myself as a failure
I see myself as in danger.
I see myself as helpless.
I see myself as successful.
I see myself as shut out.
I see myself as generous
I see myself as virtuous.
See what you think you are. Then say to this list,
But my mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.
If you find that the religious language pinches and makes you tense, try to redefine the terms that bother you. You could say, “My mind is part of the Creative Field of all that is. I am a sacred wonder.”
During the five minutes of quite meditation, search your mind for all the ways in which you describe yourself. Include all the ego-based qualities both positive and negative, desirable or undesirable, grandiose or excessively humble. All these qualities you see in yourself are equally unreal. You are not any of them in reality. You see these qualities because you are not connected with the Source of your origin and because you are continuing to choose to investigate notions of separateness. Consider taking a break from the belief of separateness and consider the belief of inclusion.
In the first half of your five minute meditation, you will probably list all the qualities you consider to be negative about yourself. Then later you will describe your finer qualities. Try to recognize that the positive or negative attributes of your fantasies about yourself do not matter. Illusions have no direction in reality. They dwell, immobile in a self-invented mirage state of untruth.
Throughout the day see if you can locate all the definitions you believe about yourself. These definitions will occur to you in various situations with different personalities and events that you encounter. After you have named each one, say to all of them,
But my mind is part of God’s mind. I am very holy.
My mind is part of Reality. I am whole.
When you practice today, it will probably occur to you that your mind draws a blank. Do not strain to find a description of yourself. Do not dig with effort. Let descriptions of yourself come to you with ease. If you have a blank mind just say the days lesson again,
My mind is part of God. I am very holy.
My mind is part of All-That-Is. I am whole.