IV. The Escape from Darkness, P 2
2 Holiness can never be really hidden in darkness, but you can deceive yourself about it. This deception makes you fearful because you realize in your heart it is a deception, and you exert enormous efforts to establish its reality. The miracle sets reality where it belongs. Reality belongs only to spirit, and the miracle acknowledges only truth. It thus dispels illusions about yourself, and puts you in communion with yourself and God. The miracle joins in the Atonement by placing the mind in the service of the Holy Spirit. This establishes the proper function of the mind and corrects its errors, which are merely lacks of love. Your mind can be possessed by illusions, but spirit is eternally free. If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within. But the Atonement restores spirit to its proper place. The mind that serves spirit is invulnerable.
Holiness can never be really hidden in darkness, but you can deceive yourself about it. This deception makes you fearful because you realize in your heart it is a deception, and you exert enormous efforts to establish its reality.
Everyone carries a secret anxiety whether they realize it or not. It has been a part of their lives for so long that they don’t notice it on a conscious level, but it is there. It is a deeply unconscious guilt that while well hidden, nevertheless informs our daily thoughts and actions.
This unconscious guilt is the cause of the world we see. It is projected outward and appears as the circumstances in our daily life. We then look at those circumstances and think, “Yes, that’s why I feel anxious,” or “Yes, that’s why I feel guilty.” We would rather be guilty of unkind acts and betrayals, even adultery, murder, or theft than to uncover the true cause of the fear.
We think we are hiding from God, and yet we cannot even hide from ourselves. Our holiness, no matter how we cover it with acts of brutality, war and such, or even the everyday business of distractions, making a living, making love, making children; our holiness seeps out and this scares us. Even when it doesn’t, we know in our deepest heart what we are, and we are afraid it will betray us to God. Holy Spirit, thank you for helping us remember the truth that God loves us and harbors no resentments. Thank you for reminding us that we have nothing to fear from God.
The true purpose of the miracle is to bring us to truth. It is to establish our reality once more, to bring us out of the dark and into light. We are afraid we must atone for our sins, but Jesus is giving a new definition to Atonement. Atonement is the gentle undoing of this strange and cruel choice we have made.
I picture it like this. I am a child hiding in a dark closet. I am surrounded by monsters and there are terrible things happening all around me. Better to stay here because if I come out the consequences will be even direr. I have been here in this dark place for so long that I have gotten used to the monsters and the fear. I have learned to deal with it. I have spent many lifetimes here and now the only thing I fear worse than the monsters is leaving the dark. I don’t remember why, but I do remember it is important to stay here.
But I grow weary of the pain and suffering and I have the occasional dream of something else, something light and happy. I begin to pay attention to that thought a bit more. This thought seems to be a whispering Voice in my heart, gently coaxing me out of hiding. We have been in this conversation, this negotiation, for awhile now. It works like this.
The Voice reminds me of another life, a life of peace and freedom. I tell Him why I don’t want to take a chance on coming out of hiding. I bring Him one scary thought at a time, laying each one down before Him. He shines a light on the thought and I see it differently. It is not really a monstrous thought, but just a shadow that fades in the light. I see behind the shadow a true thought and my heart lightens a bit. I am less afraid.
This goes on for a seemingly long time, with many thoughts being brought forward, more thoughts and more quickly now because I am gaining clarity with each exchange. Each time He says, “See, you but do this to yourself. There is no real threat in this.” This is a miracle! Each healed thought is a miracle. As my thoughts are corrected, the miracle takes form and I see the connection.
The Voice is right. The monsters are not real. The monstrous circumstances are not real. The world I see is not real. I but did this to myself, after all. As I allow my mind to be corrected, all the monsters disappear. The frightening circumstances, the suffering and the pain were all simply effects of the untrue thoughts I was holding in my mind. They were the guilty thoughts taking form and now that the thoughts are changing, so is the form they take.
I see now that I am not that frightened child hiding in the dark that I once thought I was. I am not that at all. I am spirit. I am the maker of the child and the maker of the dark places, and yes, even the maker of the monsters, the unpleasant circumstances, and the pleasant distractions as well. I am the maker of it all and as I allow my mind to be healed, I become the maker of happier stuff.
When the healing is complete, and when I have finally and fully accepted the Voice and It’s reassurances, I will come all the way out of the darkness and stand before my Creator. That is the final step for me to take. Then, when it will no longer frighten me, He will lift me up. He will enfold me with His Love and His care.
He will bring me into His Self and I will laugh as I realize I have been there all along. I see this. I see it just over there. Holy Spirit, please free my mind of any remaining impediments to this happy ending. I gladly look at any of the mistaken and frightening thoughts still in the mind. I gladly give them to You. I want to be free again. I am ready to lift the veil and pass through to You. Spirit, please take me to God.