I. The Origins of Separation, P 3
3 The Garden of Eden, or the pre-separation condition, was a state of mind in which nothing was needed. When Adam listened to the “lies of the serpent,” all he heard was untruth. You do not have to continue to believe what is not true unless you choose to do so. All that can literally disappear in the twinkling of an eye because it is merely a misperception. What is seen in dreams seems to be very real. Yet the Bible says that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and nowhere is there reference to his waking up. The world has not yet experienced any comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. Such a rebirth is impossible as long as you continue to project or miscreate. It still remains within you, however, to extend as God extended His Spirit to you. In reality this is your only choice, because your free will was given you for your joy in creating the perfect.
Every time I listen to the thoughts of the ego mind and believe what I hear, I am Adam listening to the lies of the serpent. What the ego says to me over and over again is that I should be worried. I should be afraid. I am guilty. Then it says that it’s not my fault. It is his fault or her fault. The ego says that the world is real, my body is real and it is separate from every other body and every other thing. It says that not only am I separate from God but that God is a threat and something to be avoided.
The ego says these things over and over in a thousand different ways every waking moment, and then it dreams of them all night. If I continue to believe these lies I will live in fear and regret. I will never let go of separation because I will believe I need my brother and the world to be separate so I can have someplace to project my guilt. I will never move toward God because I will be afraid of God. I will never create because I am so busy miscreating so that I can cover my tracks.
Do you wonder how to stop believing the lies when they seem so real, when you seem to have so much proof that they are real? Are you waiting for a sign? Are you looking for confirmation that the truth is true and nothing else is true? Are you asking the ego to show you this? Of course, the ego will not, and if you are looking at the world for proof you are looking to the ego. The world is your proof against God. Do not look there for proof of God.
There was an Indiana Jones movie in which he desperately needed to cross a chasm. There seemed to be no way and the bad guys were fast approaching. His mind showed him that he was on one side and there was nothing but air and a long deadly fall between him and the other side. But he also had reason to believe that there was a path in spite of the emptiness his eyes were showing him. The only way to find out was to step out into the apparent emptiness.
It was a delicious moment of spine-tingling suspense when he just closed his eyes and disregarded appearances. He stepped out into nothingness and put his foot down on a column rising from the floor of the cavern. It had not been visible to him until his foot touched it. He hesitated again and then stepped out on faith and as he put his foot down the next one appeared.
Again he hesitated, but as he was rewarded with another column to support him, his faith took him swiftly across. Each time his foot left the column it disappeared and when the bad guys caught up they were dumbfounded to see him on the other side with no apparent way to reach it.
This is it! This is the way it is done! I look at the world and I am so convinced that it is true, but the Course and the lessons in it have opened my mind to something else. I have allowed myself to believe in the “other side” and now I am putting my trust in what I cannot see to take me there. I am putting my foot forward and trusting that there is something to put it on. This is the only way to awaken. The proof that the truth is true comes from believing it, not from staring at the lie and waiting for it to reveal something else.
When the ego is desperate to regain my attention, the body becomes its fallback plan. Pain and sickness are good ways to make the world seem very real. But putting my foot out into apparent emptiness, I remember that Lesson 190 says that there is no pain. And if there is no pain, there is no sickness. I turn to that simple statement even as pain and sickness dog my heels. I turn to it even in the face of apparent proof.
The thought given me is that what is happening in the body cannot be real because the body is not real. I am reminded that there is nothing outside my mind. If nothing is outside my mind, then neither is this body outside my mind. It is only a thought I am having. I must be thinking of illness or pain for the thought of the body to be sick or in pain. And further, I must think there is some value in pain and sickness or I would not be doing this to myself. The column appears under my foot as I set it down. I ask the Holy Spirit to heal my mind of this obvious error in thinking.
The ego does not easily give up the belief in pain and sickness. This has always been its ace in the hole, the way it convinces me that the body is real. The ego mind warns me that if I stop believing in the body as real, I am giving up my hiding place and will soon find myself face to face with God and this will be deadly.
A Course in Miracles says that God loves me and that it is safe to return to Him. I decide to put my faith in these words instead of the ego story, and I put my foot down again and find I am still being supported. Crossing this chasm has been slow and tedious as I question and doubt each step, but there is nowhere to go but forward, and my perseverance has paid off. I move forward more certainly and more quickly now.