Being the Sea
. . . remembering our complete dependence on God
In a sense, we are developing an awareness of our total and unconditional dependence on God. This is what it means to undo separation - each step reveals our dependence, which to the ego feels like vulnerability and risk but in truth is liberation and freedom.
So peace is just realizing at deeper and deeper levels, with less and less resistance, our utter dependence on God. We are kind of like water molecules learning they are not separate from other molecules but are altogether the sea itself.
There is no heaven to which we must travel, no self to be perfected, and no world in which we are at risk. There is only a wholeness - a holiness - to be remembered.
God created nothing beside you and nothing beside you exists, for you are part of Him. What except Him can exist? Nothing beyond Him can happen, because nothing except Him is real (T-10.In.2:1-3).
If this is so then our perception of separation - separate bodies, separate interests, separate lives - is an illusion. It's a misinterpretation of reality, a substitution of suffering for peace. Ego weaves a crown of thorns, we place it on our enemy's head and then are surprised to discover that we are the ones who feel its effects.
There is a better way.
Offer your brother the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the "gift" of fear . . . Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them . . . We cannot be united in crucifixion and in death (T-20.I.2:5, 7, 9).
The better way is communion. It is the willingness to join with one another in recognition of our shared interest in remembering peace together, rather than isolating, projecting fear and guilt, and re-enacting - over and over and over - a story of suffering and sacrifice.
In practice, this means adopting a policy of nonviolence with respect to one another. It means that we must choose to see beyond the appearance of conflict to the grounds that make conflict impossible.
In you there is no separation, and no substitute can keep you from your brother. Your reality was God’s creation, and has no substitute. You are so firmly joined in truth that only God is there (T-18.I.10:1-3).
This is why we set aside the crown of thorns - because they are a lie obscuring the truth of our identity. This setting aside is hard to do - we will feel a lot of resistance - but in the end, it is the only thing we can do because peace, not conflict, is our inheritance.
You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality. Is it your decision to do so? (T-10.I.2:1-2).
When someone angers or frightens us - in imagination or the flesh - let us say to ourselves that we can only feel this way because we have forgotten God’s love for us and for the one who seems to cause us pain. And then let us ask to be reminded of that shared love.
To remember is merely to restore to your mind what is already there. You do not make what you remember; you merely accept again what is already there, but was rejected (T-10.II.3:1-2).
The water molecule all by its lonesome does not have to invent the sea. It doesn't have to understand physics. It doesn't need to do theology. It doesn’t have to beg for forgiveness or repent or anything.
It merely has to notice what is already the case.
Life is hard. I know this. Everywhere we look - including in the mirror - we see Christs burdened with thorns and forced on crosses. We see oppressors with hammers and nails. Yet within us is the power to soothe every brow, beat every sword into a plowshare, and raise the dead from shallow graves.
In every encounter - in every moment of our life - we are invited to ask and answer a simple question: Can anything exceed the Love of God? (T-10.In.3:5)
Together, you and I remember the answer, and together we live its truth, that the illusion of suffering might at last be undone, and all minds restored to the oneness that is creation.
Thank you, as always, for sharing this path with me.