IX. The Extension of the Kingdom, P 4
4 The Kingdom is forever extending because it is in the Mind of God. You do not know your joy because you do not know your own Self-fullness. Exclude any part of the Kingdom from yourself and you are not whole. A split mind cannot perceive its fullness, and needs the miracle of its wholeness to dawn upon it and heal it. This reawakens the wholeness in it, and restores it to the Kingdom because of its acceptance of wholeness. The full appreciation of the mind’s Self-fullness makes selfishness impossible and extension inevitable. That is why there is perfect peace in the Kingdom. Spirit is fulfilling its function, and only complete fulfillment is peace.
This sentence stands out for me. “Exclude any part of the Kingdom from yourself and you are not whole.” First, I understand that it is the memory of my wholeness that restores me to the Kingdom. The emphasis I want to focus on is that I cannot exclude any part of the Kingdom from myself if I want to know my wholeness. I suppose that should be obvious. If I exclude, then I am not whole. And yet, I notice myself doing this.
As I was sitting here this morning getting ready to read today’s paragraph, I noticed a thought in my mind. It was a thought of exclusion. Someone I know and don’t want as part of my life, part of my self. I don’t have really strong feelings about this person, and in fact seldom think about him. But when I do, my thoughts are thoughts of exclusion.
So I am sitting here getting ready to join Spirit in my morning reading and this thought flits across my mind. This man is not like me. Just at that moment, I glanced to my right and this is where I keep my reminder board. It has a picture of my oldest child, a card from my youngest, and many little notes, helpful ideas, things I want to remember. The note that caught my attention says, “You cannot enter God’s presence if you attack His Son.”
Well, ok. I see my problem. I want to return my full mind to the Kingdom. I want to enter the presence of God. More than anything, this is what I want. Well, mostly more than anything. Would I have to like this man who crossed my mind? Would I have to acknowledge him as part of my Self? Would I have to give up my attack on him? It would seem so.
I started out by saying that I don’t have extreme feelings about him. I don’t hate him; I just don’t want to spend time with him. At one time when I was still trying to negotiate with God to let me in Heaven with some of my more favored sins intact, I would have argued the point. Here are some of the arguments I would have used. I would have said that I am not really attacking him; I just happened to “discern” that he is a jerk. Or, I can love him without liking him. Here is an early favorite; I would reason that I could love everyone else except him. I would leave out just this one person.
In the ego there is always room for compromise. That is what the ego is all about. It varies with the circumstances. It shifts according to mood and perceived needs. It is completely undependable and totally unstable, but it allows me to hold grievances and to exclude anyone who does not meet my expectations. I used to think this was a fair exchange and one that I valued. Fortunately, I have come to my senses.
Truth is uncompromising. It is also completely stable and dependable. It is eternal. It is love and joy and perfect peace. It is my inheritance, my birth rite, mine for the asking. But it is also whole. That means nothing is absent from it. There is nothing outside it. That one man, that irritating person who is not what I think he should be, is part of the Kingdom or the Kingdom is not what It is. I can have the Kingdom, or I can have my grievance. I cannot have both because I cannot enter God’s presence if I attack His Son.
I could talk about this man and I could list his faults and I could try to convince you that we don’t want him in our Kingdom. But honestly, I can’t remember who it was I thought of this morning. I can’t remember him or his sins. It just passed through my mind for a brief bit of time, just long enough to remind me that I still hold the belief that grievances have some value for me. I willingly, and enthusiastically relinquish the belief that my petty grievances, or even my major grievances, are valuable to me in any way.
There is only one way to approach God, and that is hand in hand. No one stands alone or at the back. We are one whole Self and to know Self I must know my wholeness. I am grateful for this moment of recognized insanity. It gave me the opportunity to change my mind. When I stop trying to push my brother away, the Holy Spirit shows me his beauty and his perfection and it is mirrored back to me and I see my Self.