III. Love Without Conflict, P 5
5 There is a kind of experience so different from anything the ego can offer that you will never want to cover or hide it again. It is necessary to repeat that your belief in darkness and hiding is why the light cannot enter. The Bible gives many references to the immeasurable gifts which are for you, but for which you must ask. This is not a condition as the ego sets conditions. It is the glorious condition of what you are.
I questioned the darkness, and my little willingness to see through it cracked it open and light is coming in. Once light shown through the shadowy darkness, I saw how insubstantial the darkness really was, and I longed for more light. So what kept me from throwing the doors wide open and allowing light to flood my mind?
Truly, I don’t know. I crept around in the darkness with what little light I would allow myself, peeking cautiously into dark corners, asking for the gift of clarity for this one little area, and then another. Never once have I regretted uncovering the deception that lies in the darkness, and never once has my discovery caused me pain or suffering. But the ego still insisted that I am being asked to sacrifice my own will for the will of a vengeful and jealous God, and insanely I stood there cautious and uncertain, wondering if this time it could be true.
My progress was slow, but it was steady and certain and finally, there was no chance I would creep back under the covers and hide my head. I wanted to wake up! It felt like it was time and I was ready, so I swallowed my disappointment in my reluctance to just throw wide the doors and welcome the Christ with open arms. I continued the slow methodical search for dark thoughts and kept nothing from Jesus.
Usually, that was a pretty straightforward job. I noticed a judgmental thought about someone and I realized that thought, that bit of darkness, must be brought to the light. My happiness depended on it. Behind that dark thought are the gifts of God, but I could not get to them while I clung to my judgment. Light will not penetrate my desire to hide from it. I’ve done this often enough to look forward to the moment of enlightenment as I allow the thought to be undone in my mind.
What I finally realized is that bringing the judgmental thoughts to the light are helping me to wake up, but that as I continue to do this I am just poking around in the dark, choosing the judgments I am ready to expose to the light. This is why it feels like an endless process. I have been invited to skip to the end, to just pull aside the veil and welcome in the glorious light. Would I like to give up the very idea of judgment? With that gift, all the judgmental thoughts will all go at once, replaced with peace and joy, and love.
The thought makes my heart sing and I think, surely, I am ready now! How many of these useless thoughts am I going to uncover before I am ready to laugh away the whole idea of judgment? What has it ever gotten me? Why do I protect it as if judging were my last hope of salvation? It is not!
The thought that I might expose the very idea of judgment to the Light swells me with anticipation, but then I notice that little reluctance hiding in my desire for light. It is not even a thought, just a feeling of pulling back. What? Am I crazy? Apparently so. Some insane part of me thinks there may yet be use for judgment.
I swear I don’t know why I fight for the right to judge. But of course, I do know. I just don’t want to look that closely. I would give the thought to the Holy Spirit, but I would be clutching it so tightly, He could not take it from me. It is like we were fighting over it, a spiritual tug of war, but actually, I was only fighting with myself. I give it up. No, I can’t. Yes, I give it up. Then I pull it close, clutching it feverishly to my self. Stop it, Myron! Just stop it. Conflict is exhausting. I took a two-hour nap yesterday just to recover enough strength to go to sleep. I am absolutely ridiculous.
It would make me sad if it were not so funny. I will not indulge the ego with fear of failure. I already fell for its story of struggle and now that I see it so clearly, I laugh at myself and I surrender. “Holy Spirit, I surrender my dark thought to you. I don’t know what to do with it. I cannot make myself think differently, but I want a clear mind. I offer you the darkness alongside my sincere desire and trust you know what to do with it. I want to let go of the belief I have any use for judgment. Please strengthen my resolve. Thank You, God. I love You, God.”
PS: Less than a year later I can say that this tug of war is pretty much over. I still feel the pull of judgment but I am unconvinced that I want the “right” to judge, which is the right to be miserable and to feel separate from my God. I see the thought of judgment and I reject it. John Mark Stroud said that this is my opportunity to master my choice. This is all that is happening and I have no fear of the recurring judgment thoughts. They are simply meaningless.