T. 1. Introduction
A Course in Miracles
Chapter 1 Introduction
1 This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
2 This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
From the very beginning, I see that free will is different than what I thought it was. The world was made as a place I could pretend that I am free to be something I am not. But it is a finite experience. I must awaken from the dream of separation because that is the Will of God, which is also my will. I cannot remain forever separate from my reality and so I must one day take a course in miracles. When I do this is up to me. I am free to play in a world of experience for as long as I can stand the pain.
Removing the Blocks
To have an experience that is different from reality I needed to block reality from my mind. Otherwise, the experience would not feel real. Since reality is Love, I have hidden love from my awareness and now must uncover it. It feels like I am learning what it means to love so different is the experience of love as we see it in the dream. But as the introduction to the Course says, love is beyond what can be taught.
Instead, through the study of A Course in Miracles, I am learning to remove the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence. First I have learned to recognize those blocks in my mind; the belief in guilt, fear, pain, suffering, and death. I am learning to recognize them in all the forms in which they appear in this story of Myron’s life.
Trying what Doesn’t Work
The next step is to realize that I don’t want them anymore. It is hard to believe that I could value experiences that are so painful but it seems that I have done so and sometimes still do. I have clung tenaciously to my dream existence, insisting that I can make a happier dream, a better dream, a different dream. Maybe, I can rearrange this one with a different decision. I can learn from my mistakes and gather more information, get smarter, finally meet the right person, earn more money, and find the key to happiness within the dream. And if this doesn’t do it for me, then I’ll try again in a different life, a different form and personality.
Like a Child
I am like a child having the most amazing play-day ever with all my friends. We are dressing up in an incredible array of costumes. And we are taking on the personas that go with the bodies we have chosen for this act in the play. Every experience is so real it is easy to forget that I am not that. And like a child who has overstayed her curfew, and who has done something not allowed, I feel guilty and fearful of facing my Father. It seems the only thing to do is to stay in the play and bury my fear under more and more experiences, trying to forget my belief that I am in trouble.
This sense of guilt and fear are the blocks that keep me unaware of my Father’s unconditional and unending love. They are the blocks that keep me from remembering my true Self. So these are the blocks I am learning to recognize in their many guises, and these are the blocks I am deciding that I don’t want anymore.
I Am Ready!
That the Course came into my life and I picked it up and kept reading past the introduction; that I have practiced it and embraced its hopeful promise, is the way I know that I am ready to wake up from this dream of separation. And A Course in Miracles is the way I chose to do it so very long ago when time began and ended in a tiny tick of time.
At First, I Didn’t Understand
When I first read the introduction I didn’t understand it at all. If fear is the opposite to love (and really, how is that true?) then how could love then have no opposite? And nothing real can be threatened? Everything I ever thought of as real could be threatened, and I had so much proof that this was true because of all the loss I had suffered in my life.
Nothing unreal exists? Well, yeah. But what did that mean? It was all such nonsense that I didn’t even try to figure it out. And yet, I read it over and over, returning to it like a metal filing to a magnet. With the ego-mind I was working with at the time I was unable to understand what was being said. But there was a deeply guarded memory in my mind that was being tickled awake as I read those enigmatic words.
The ego didn’t understand them, but I was to discover that I am not the ego, and “I” know exactly what they mean. That memory pulled me along and kept me reading. The ego-self I was so thoroughly identified with was mystified as to why I wanted to study this book. And yet, that is exactly what I was to do. A Course in Miracles is not the only path home. There are thousands to choose from, but it is the path I am to take, and I am deeply grateful to have found it.
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