“Take the work seriously, and your self not seriously at all.”
– Judy Dench as quoted by Alan Rickman
My “Holy Triangle”
I decided to study The Course in Miracles for 2017. Actually, I’ve been studying it for a few months already, on the heels of reading the unexpectedly impactful The Universe Has Your Back, but I’d like to focus in further.
To be honest, the all-positive, Secret/Law of Attraction ‘motivational coach voice’ of some materials has been a stumbling block for my immersion up to now, as well as ACIM’s Christian language. But the ‘coach voice’ is helpful at the right times, and I am in just such a time…. pulled to be more outward and receptive. I wouldn’t have read a book titled “God has your back”, and would have missed out on meeting a fun and vibrant community. There really is something to “your vibe attracts your tribe.”
Actually, The Course reminds me a little of Abhidharma, which is Buddhist mind training… a methodical system for questioning the world as it appears (opening perception)… learning to see through the solidity of appearances by way of less personal attachment. ACIM daily exercises are especially unusual and koan-like, but far more bothersome than koans, which often have a nice aesthetic or interesting characters to relate to. The 16 ACIM exercises I’ve done so far, have been uncomfortable in a very different way.
Actually, let’s face it. I’m seriously resistant to many of them, but also fascinated by the new avenues this exploration is opening, unique rituals that feel comforting and playful — the most recent being a symbol of the Brazilian John of the Cross community. I haven’t learned how to work with this yet, but did enjoy making it this weekend, decorating with meaningful embellishments, like pearls. Although most I saw in a quick scan of images online were very plain, I invested childlike wonder in the process.
My favorite line of Gabby Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back (which may have come from A Course in Miracles) is, “When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender more.” Which comes down to the heart longing of “Not my way but Yours”, with that ‘Yours’ in the language of ACIM being God, or in Gabby’s book Universe (or God interchangeably). For others it could be Higher Self, or Flying Spaghetti Monster. I like simply, Life, but more and more, Holy Spirit is also feeling quite personal, folding back in the faith of my youth, which I’d mostly abandoned.
Everything I’ve studied over the course of decades leads me to the notion that humanity’s been moving toward non-duality for quite some time, which (lightly) means negating bad vs. good thinking, leaving a third way open – a middle way.
However, the phrase middle way could be taken to mean some compromise, which is farther away from the mark than the transcendent notion of a play dynamic. In ACIM, it is a dynamic of Three, which you also see the three-fold vision in major traditions (Buddha Dharma Sangha; Father Son Holy Spirit; Time Space Knowledge; Body Speech Mind).