The other day I realised that if there’s anything I may have learned so far on the path of spirituality it’s that not Spirit but ego is running the show. That brought me down to earth with a bump, but it’s okay. It comes with the territory of living a dream. Reality doesn’t have to wake up, reality doesn’t fight battles with itself. It’s the dreamer’s job to cherish the illusion of struggling towards enlightenment. This is an honest trade, however illusory.
The practical thing to do in spirituality, like in any other trade, is acquire a thorough understanding of the material you are working with through firsthand experience. That’s exactly what we’re doing when life seems to be getting tough and we’re way over our heads in ego stuff.
Spirituality works with ego material like a carpenter works with wood. Just like getting rough hands, sawdust in eyes and nose, and an occasional cut from a sharp tool are unavoidable experiences for a carpenter, we cannot expect to become aware of all that’s ego by avoiding contact with it on cloud nine.
The insight that ego — the insane illusion of separation — is behind everything I do, even in so-called spiritual endeavours, provides forgiveness with its reason for existence. Forgiveness is the divine spark in the massive darkness of ego thought. Forgiveness is the way to see things from a perspective that does not originate in ego but can only be applied within the dualistic ego frame of mind. Forgiveness is the only way to make good use of dualistic thinking, by not taking it too seriously. Forgiveness means accepting my insanity without judgment, if only for a moment.
My insanity is totally founded on my own judgment, it couldn’t exist without it. So, being spiritual means still being insane, still living a life of judgment, but with the growing acceptance of being totally forgiven for it. Forgiveness is only possible and justified because in reality this little life in a world of separation — the realm of the illusory ego — simply never happened. If it were real it would be unforgivable, and that’s the idea we usually seem to suffer from.
It doesn’t hurt to be light-hearted about the value of my own existence. Value is a dualistic thing, too. Everything we can think of is dualistic. That includes every form of despondency and hopelessness. What is it that we are left with when we have nothing, are nothing, and cannot not even despair about it? Every time I felt totally lost in an impossible situation like that, I’ve found great inner peace. Of course, still living this fleeting dream, I couldn’t keep it, but it’s good to know that peace is the rock-bottom of my mind.
Let the winds of time blow every thought away and there will be nothing but mind totally at peace.
Okay, in the knowledge that I am forever and totally safe in peace, I turn again to the daily struggle of forgiveness work. Forgiveness is what I do for a living here in this ego dream, in spite of all worldly appearances. If it were easy from the beginning, it wouldn’t need to be done. But with time and practice I may indeed become a little bit quicker in remembering to forgive, and laughing about the impossible odds when judged in a dualistic frame of mind.
Of course it is impossible. That’s why this whole dream never happened in the first place. So, it’s back to work again now with perhaps something of a smile on my face.
- A Course in Miracles (ISBN 0-9606388-8-1). More information about this wonderful book for self-study can be found at the website: http://www.acim.org/
- Gary Renard’s The Disappearance of the Universe : Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness.
- Gary Renard’s Your Immortal Reality : How to Break the Cycle of Birth and Death.
- Kenneth Wapnick, A Vast Illusion: Time According to A Course in Miracles
- Kenneth Wapnick, Ending Our Resistance to Love
- Kenneth Wapnick, The Healing Power of Kindness-Vol. 1 Releasing Judgment
- Kenneth Wapnick, The Healing Power of Kindness-Vol. 2 Forgiving Our Limitations