Is there a better way? YES
Is guilt a package-deal with one’s faith? NO. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE.
There is a better way. But you have to be ready to completely change the way you perceive yourself, others and the world. Not to mention Heaven. And yes, Hell, yet another name for guilt and fear.
I recall writing a letter to the editor of our local newspaper. The topic of my essay was about the inherent identity of people. Because judgment leads to discrimination, which I had experienced too many times and which runs rampant throughout so many cultures, I felt compelled to take a stand. I wrote:
If the true essence of a person is his/her soul and not the color of his skin, her body weight, the accent of his native language, or his/her gender or sexual orientation, then aren’t we all alike? Essentially, aren’t we each our spirit, which has no color, weight, accent, gender or sexual orientation? So, if our real identity is that of our soul, how then can we judge and discriminate against another when there is truly nothing to judge and we are all the same?
I was on to something, but not receiving any feedback on my contention (and feeling a little uneasy about even having it published), I abandoned my stand. I put my premise out there and then walked away from it, not fully developing my thoughts. Yet, something deep within my being was calling out to be recognized, if not by others, then surely myself.
So, what is this better way? Why isn’t it making headlines? How come people haven’t heard about it? Why are we suffering when there’s no need to?
The better way isn’t just one way. There are many paths out there and one must choose that which calls to them; that resonates with them. My better way is A Course in Miracles. The Course first caught my attention in 1996 when I picked up my sister’s ACIM book. The Introduction hooked me, and I quote it here verbatim from the Combined Volume, Second Edition, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
This is a course in Miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God. I-1-2
You want to know what first caught my eye in this beautiful introduction? The statement, The opposite of love is fear… That is pretty darn powerful. Had I been asked, What is the opposite of love? prior to reading that line I would have answered: hate. But guess what? Hate is based on fear. So is envy, spite, jealousy, animus, ridicule, bullying, discrimination, anger, resentment, abuse, repugnance, attack, repulsion, abandonment, enmity, hatred, hostility, loathing, antagonism, rancor, revenge, guilt, shame, disgust, aversion, disgust, animosity, grievance, revulsion, scorn, war. And yet the list is not complete. But how easily these synonyms came to mind. Er-r-r-r!
My challenge: Would words and actions, which compliment LOVE burst forth as easily?
I knew that I had found my path, away from fear and toward a remembrance of Divine Love. But it would take me another sixteen years until I found the connection to my Inner Teacher.
Photos by Barb Adams (c)2014
This is what I understand today.