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A Course In Miracles, Lesson 41 plus Commentary by Allen Watson


God goes with me wherever I go.
Today's idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment all the separated ones experience. Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation. So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering and intense fear of loss.

The separated ones have invented many "cures" for what they believe to be "the ills of the world." But the one thing they do not do is to question the reality of the problem. Yet its effects cannot be cured because the problem is not real. The idea for today has the power to end all this foolishness forever. And foolishness it is, despite the serious and tragic forms it may take.

Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world. It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to them.

You can never be deprived of your perfect holiness because its Source goes with you wherever you go. You can never suffer because the Source of all joy goes with you wherever you go. You can never be alone because the Source of all life goes with you wherever you go. Nothing can destroy your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.

We understand that you do not believe all this. How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within, under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see? Today we will make our first real attempt to get past this dark and heavy cloud, and to go through it to the light beyond.

There will be only one long practice period today. In the morning, as soon as you get up if possible, sit quietly for some three to five minutes, with your eyes closed. At the beginning of the practice period, repeat today's idea very slowly. Then make no effort to think of anythin. Try, instead, to get a sense of turning inward, past all the idle thoughts of the world. Try to enter very deeply into your own mind, keeping it clear of any thoughts that might divert your attention.

From time to time, you may repeat the idea if you find it helpful. But most of all, try to sink down and inward, away from the world and all the foolish thoughts of the world. You are trying to reach past all these things. You are trying to leave appearances and approach reality.

It is quite possible to reach God. In fact it is very easy, because it is the most natural thing in the world. You might even say it is the only natural thing in the world. The way will open, if you believe that it is possible. This exercise can bring very startling results even the first time it is attempted, and sooner or later it is always successful. We will go into more detail about this kind of practice as we go along. But it will never fail completely, and instant success is possible.

Throughout the day use today's idea often, repeating it very slowly, preferably with eyes closed. Think of what you are saying; what the words mean. Concentrate on the holiness that they imply about you; on the unfailing companionship that is yours; on the complete protection that surrounds you.

You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go.



Commentary by Allen Watson

Innumerable problems seem to have arisen from our perception of ourselves as separate from God. A sense of loneliness and abandonment, depression, anxiety, worry, helplessness, misery, suffering, and intense fear of loss all stem from this root problem. Most of our lives are spent, if we look at things objectively, with various ways of trying to circumvent and overcome these problems.

But the one thing [we] do not do is to question the reality of the problem. Yet its effects cannot be cured because the problem is not real.

A spiritual teacher, Adi Da, once wrote a book subtitled The Imaginary Disease That Religion Seeks to CureThat is what separation is: an imaginary disease. How can you cure a disease that does not really exist? The answer is obvious; you cannotThere is no cure because there is no disease. This is why all our attempts to "cure" ourselves do not work. We cannot find the way "back" to God because He has never left us; God goes with us wherever we go. All of our strife and drama is just foolishness, "despite the serious and tragic forms it may take".

Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world. It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to them.

We carry the "cure" for our disease deep within us. This cure heals, not by overcoming the "illness" but by healing our belief in the reality of the illness. God is always with us. How could we ever, in any way, ever be separate from the Infinite? How could we ever be apart from All That Is? The very idea is insane and impossible.

We understand that you do not believe all this. How could you, when the truth is hidden deep within, under a heavy cloud of insane thoughts, dense and obscuring, yet representing all you see? Today we will make our first real attempt to get past this dark and heavy cloud, and to go through it to the light beyond.

How reassuring to have our Teacher tell us that he understands we do not believe this as yet. Oh, perhaps we hold an intellectual belief in God's omnipresence, but we do not believe it to the core, in a way that banishes all our fear, sorrow, pain and loss. That is the purpose of this lesson: to get past "this dark and heavy cloud" and to reach the light.

This lesson is the Course's first introduction to the practice of what we might call traditional meditation. While the Course does not make such meditation a primary focus, it definitely accords it a place of great importance. Meditation in the Course consists of sitting with eyes closed and making "no effort to think of anything", but attempting to enter deeply into our own mind, to sink down and inward while trying to keep the mind "clear of any thoughts that might divert your attention. The purpose, as has been stated, is to become aware of the light within ourselves. Or, in more traditional terms, to experience a sense of God's presence with us. We are attempting to reach God today.

This meditation exercise, says the lesson, can achieve startling results the very first time you try it. That may not happen for you the first time, but "sooner or later it is always successful". That certainly implies that we are expected to repeat the exercise, and to expect something as a result.

Clearly, if this idea of God's presence is meant to banish our loneliness, we can expect to develop a very clear and tangible sense of Someone Who is always with us, in every moment. When we begin to develop this sense we may be tempted to think it is our imagination. This is no imagination! It is the absence of this Presence that is imaginary.

"You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go".


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