My true Identity abides in You.
Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God. Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable. Let me not worship idols. I am he my Father loves. My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God. Is not what is beloved of You secure? Is not the light of Heaven infinite? Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?
Now are we One in shared Identity, with God our Father as our only Source, and everything created part of us. And so we offer blessing to all things, uniting lovingly with all the world, which our forgiveness has made one with us.
Once again Jesus is reminding me that I am still as God created me. He reminds me that I can make an image of myself that is unlike what God created and I can worship this idol, but I cannot make it real. My true Self continues as it always has and always will be, and is unaffected by my thoughts of separation. Thank you, God, for this.
For as long as I continue to believe in the littleness of the image I made, and to identify with it, I will be unaware of my glory; I will be unaware of peace which continues unabated just beneath the story I created to make its opposite; I will be unaware of my wholeness which has been lost to me as I continue to insist my brother is something I am not. In other words, I continue to live in hell and to believe that something put me here, and surely it must be God Who is punishing me for my sins.
Yes, I know, good Course students don’t believe in a punishing God. And yet, I see signs that this insane thought has found a home in my mind. That I am afraid to come out from behind my ego mask and look God in the face is a sure sign I am still afraid of God. It is a sure sign that I think I am better off on my own, and that there is something of value to be gained from being separate from God. How do I undo this strange belief in my mind?
First I must stop denying the obvious. It is in refusing to look at what I am doing that I keep it in place within my mind. Holy Spirit, I ask you to look with me at this thought in my mind.
As He looks with me I see a vision different than what the ego showed me. When I look with the ego I see the mind as a huge ego with a little small part that is the Holy Spirit. This is a little spark of God that cannot be put out and keeps me from being in hell forever. The ego does not scare me with the thought that I can get out of hell right now but rather holds that little spark up to me as something safely in the future, the far far future.
The Holy Spirit must think this is very funny because when I look with Him I see a vast unending mind that is the Holy Spirit with a little sliver of a thought that is the ego. The mind is perfectly still and peaceful. It is joyful. It is love. It is playful and creative. It forever extends itself. The ego is a little thought of chaos. It is like a child continually throwing a tantrum because it goes unnoticed. It is like a dog chasing its tail because it has no real destination. If it stops running in frantic and nonsensical circles, it will cease to exist because it will no longer be able to maintain the lie that is its existence.
The Holy Spirit reminds me that He will always show me the truth if I will only ask. I identify so closely with the ego because that is the place within the mind I choose to place my attention. The Holy Spirit asks me to quiet my mind during the day and look again, this time with Him, and see who I really am. He offers to show me the vast and glorious truth of my Self as often as I like. Just as I reinforce my smallness by looking at the small ego-self, I can learn to identify with my true Self by choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to correct that vision.
How often will I remember to ask the Holy Spirit for His help today? How often will I be willing to still my thinking mind and turn to silence so that I can hear His Voice? The answer to those questions will tell me how much value I still place in my own self will, and how unwilling I am to give it up. I am not going to try to cover my unwillingness with lovely words and pretty thoughts. Instead, I am going to look unafraid into the ego thought of separation and allow my mind to be healed.
A few days ago a sentence from the Course came to my attention. It is the one that says we should ask the Holy Spirit to decide for us. I must have been ready, more than I have in the past, to do this because this time when I read it, I felt something in me crack open. I have been using this simple prayer frequently, and more has revealed itself to me.
I use it when I think about it, even for the most mundane things. What to choose from the menu becomes an opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to choose rather than the ego. I have done this before, but this time it feels different, though it is hard to explain the difference. Perhaps the difference is the conviction I feel. I want to bypass the ego mind. I want to make all decisions through Spirit rather than ego.
I have been asking Holy Spirit to decide for me when I am confused about my thoughts and don’t know what to believe when I am confused about what I should do, what I should say, how I should feel. It is not the sacrifice I used to think it was to give up deciding for myself, making my own choices. Instead, it feels like freedom. It feels like love.
The question He brought to my mind to examine is this: What am I afraid to bring to Him? What little part of the dream am I still holding onto and holding back from Him? I am watching my mind for those thoughts. I am more than willing to see them so that I can allow them to be undone. I don’t want to be a little free, or even mostly free. I want to be free!
I have continued this practice of asking Holy Spirit to decide for me, and I think that is why the idea of surrender has so much appeal for me. It is a natural next step to think of full surrender. “Take it to the boss. I’m not interested. It’s none of my business, now. I’ve turned myself in.” Those words are the same as, perhaps more emphatic, but the same as “Holy Spirit, decide for me.” Those words are leading me ever closer to home. They are clearing away the cobwebs and exposing my true identity.
I slept for a little while and then woke up. It seemed I was going to be awake for a little while, so I wondered what I should do. I started looking at this lesson and it brought to mind that there is a better way to phrase this question. What would You have me do with this body that is awake?
Every time I see a distinction between the body/personality I think of as me, and the observer self that is aware of the body but doesn’t think it is the body, I come a little closer to remembering what I am. And what am I? The answer I find depends on who is being asked. If I am asking the body/personality self, I would say that I am me.
If the observer-self answers, it might say that I am an extension of God, God experiencing itself as form. And the thought that ideas leave not their source becomes a little more meaningful. I know I am not a body but something that is aware of the body. One is not separate from the other but the observer is freer than the “me” that thinks its a body, more in touch with its Godness.
There is more, though. There is a glorious self that is without form and without any identification with form. I am told that in meditation I can touch that part of Self. There is no me to be found and no them either. I can only learn about that from those who have shed their identification with body and separation because I have not.
But, I can move in that direction with some simple practices. That is why I remind myself as often as I think to do so that I am not a body. That is why I ask what would be the best use of the body right now rather than what shall I do right now. It is a way to shake loose this persistent idea of being unlike I was created, of being different than the Creator. I long to know my shared identity with God.