C 1: IV. The Escape from Darkness, P 3

IV. The Escape from Darkness, P 3

3 Darkness is lack of light as sin is lack of love. It has no unique properties of its own. It is an example of the “scarcity” belief, from which only error can proceed. Truth is always abundant. Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no needs of any kind. The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything to you; or rather, to restore it to your awareness. You were given everything when you were created, just as everyone was.

Journal

Ok, let me start at the end on this one. I was given everything. I was given everything when I was created. You were, too. Everyone was. So where did it go? Where did my sense of abundance go? Where did my sense of being loved, of being loving, of being lovable go? Where did my confidence, my certainty, go? Jesus says that it didn’t go anywhere and that I still have it all, the peace, the love, the joy, the certainty. He says that the purpose of the Atonement is to bring it all back into my awareness.

Jesus is telling me that if I acknowledge that I have everything I will have no needs of any kind and that makes perfect sense. If I really do have everything and the only thing keeping me from enjoying this wealth is my refusal to acknowledge it, then the solution to my poverty is simple. I am reminded of something I heard a long time ago and common sense of it caused it to stick.

Someone said that if I have a bank account with an endless supply of money, money that is replenished each time I use any of it, then that would be wonderful. Right? But what if I am unaware of the bank account? Technically, I am rich, but what good does it do me? No matter how rich I am, in order to benefit from my wealth, I must acknowledge it.

Now that I have the solution to my sense of lack, all I need to do is use it. Lack is not an evil force keeping me from my good. It is easily overcome. As Jesus says at the beginning of this paragraph, darkness is just the lack of light. So let’s shine some light on this situation. Now that I have been assured that I already have what I want, each time I notice a thought of lack I know what to do. I deny the lack and thus shine away some darkness. I don’t need to look for abundance, it is already there waiting for me to see it. I uncover it through my willingness to see.

I keep doing this every time I see an opportunity. If I feel lonely and unloved, I remember that I have everything I need. I become willing to let go of the belief I could be unloved or even lonely. At first, I don’t know what that is supposed to accomplish or how, but I am willing to suspend my doubt and accept Jesus at his word. I am willing to allow my mind to be healed and to allow the effects to unfold in my life in unexpected ways.

I can remember a few years ago when I began this process. I had the thought that I would like to have friends. I really didn’t have any. The Course was helping me come out from under the pall of years of depression. If anyone had liked me I would not have recognized it and what good is a friend if you don’t know you have one? I was so filled with unquestioned guilt that I didn’t believe I deserved love so I didn’t let myself feel it. When anyone offered me friendship or love I couldn’t believe in it and turned away from it.

As I began the process of watching my thoughts and giving what willingness I had to be corrected, the light of truth shown just enough in my mind to allow me to ask for friendship, or at least to consider it was possible to be loved. Thus, my thought (and all thoughts are prayers) that I would like to have friends. First I felt the love within myself. I began to accept it for myself. I started liking myself more and I began to open to the light of love.

Eventually, as I began to acknowledge that I have love to give, I began to feel the desire to share that love. My life began to fill with people who wanted and needed what I had to give. It took longer for my sense of worth to become strong enough to allow myself to acknowledge that love bounces both ways. But eventually, I began to recognize friendship when it occurred.

Now I understand. Love is what I am. I am an ocean of love. The love flows from me and then returns in great waves which break over me covering me in love. Then it flows out again, only to return. Before I was like a lonely creature standing on the shore dripping wet, wishing for water. When it would break over me again, I would protect myself from its force and garb myself to prevent its touching me. In the same way, I would wish for love but then do everything I could think of to protect myself from its touch. And wonder why I was lonely and unloved.

The simplicity of it just astounds me. I am love. I can’t be without love. I can only pretend I could lack love, and defend against it to safeguard my pretense. Love will take whatever form I feel I need. More money. More health. More peace. More joy. It is all mine because those are just different experiences of love and I am love. As I open up and more light shines away the darkness I see so clearly that I have been hiding my good from myself.

I thought I didn’t deserve it. I thought I could lose what I got, so it would be less painful to not have at all than to suffer the pain of loss. I thought I was a sinner and needed to be punished. I thought it was important to keep my holiness a secret or God would find me. Darkness prevailed, but only at my authorization. As soon as I let those thoughts be healed, light flooded my mind and I saw the truth. I am love. I am abundance of every kind. Not only do I not lack, I cannot lack.

I am learning to disbelieve all proof to the contrary, to question it and to allow my mind to be healed. As my mind is healed, the thoughts change, and the effects of my thinking naturally change as well. It looks like where there was lack there is now abundance, but that is an illusion. The truth is that where there was the belief in darkness, the belief in lack, there is now light to see that love was always there because there is nothing else.

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