Posted On 25 May 2019
My best friend Humpty, the other members of The Group, and I used to mock the idea of living in sin fifty years ago.
Back then the phrase meant cohabitating with a lover to whom one wasn’t married.
In fact, we thought, perhaps secretly, that it would be preferable to doing what we were doing, namely, frequently hanging out with the same group of guys.
A few years ago, I did a post here entitled “Sin.” Its fundamental distinction was the critical one between Being and Becoming. It’s a distinction worth emphasizing.
Have you read A Course in Miracles?
If so, you realize that it’s not a work that would appeal to everyone. It’s long, full of Christian terminology that is used in a peculiar way, and lacks parables or stores that are easy to remember.
Despite its shortcomings, however, it’s a work that repays close study. [The direct quotes in this post are all from it.]
BEING (“reality”) and BECOMING (“unreality”)
It begins with the end in mind, which is “the peace of God,” in other words, the peace of mind (serenity, tranquility) that surpasses all understanding.
Is that something you’d like to experience?
The argument is very simple:
“Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”
The idea of Being is the idea of reality, knowledge, or truth. Being is what is real. “Truth is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. It can be unrecognized, but it cannot be changed . . . it is beyond time and process. It has no opposite; no beginning and no end. It merely is.”
The idea of Becoming is the idea of unreality, opinion, or dubitibility. Becoming is what is unreal. It is alterable, temporal, and ambiguous. It is the domain of opposites. Everything in it has a beginning and an end. It’s merely becoming, perpetual flux.
Being cannot not exist. Becoming cannot (really) exist.
If we assume that perception is the way in which we apprehend reality, we’re in trouble.
All perceptions are interpretations. That really means that they are illusions or, worse, delusions. How could there be any facts in a world of ceaseless change? There’s no stability.
“The world we see [perceive] merely reflects our own internal frame of reference – the dominant ideas, wishes and emotions in our minds.”
It’s a bit like trying to proofread something you typed. It’s nearly impossible. Why? You’ll read what you intended to type, what’s already in your mind, instead of reading what you actually what you typed, so you’ll miss your typing mistakes.
“Perception is a function of the body,” and, so, limits apprehension. When we limit our awareness to what we perceive, our awareness is inherently limited. Bodily vision cannot yield apprehension of Being.
Perception can be in the service of either self or Self. We have a choice.
self / Self
The ego (the “little I,” the self, the ego/I, the egoic mind) comes from “the little, separated self.” It has no Being and, so, is perpetually threatened with extinction. It’s incomplete and unsafe. It’s perpetually needy. It’s defensive and combative. It’s always afraid.
It’s therefore incessantly absorbed in seeking “to enhance itself by external approval, external possessions and external ‘love.’” Its essential task is to gain more and more. That seeking is the way of the world.
The ego is a slave to egocentric desires. It constantly pursues “special relationships” that “are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric.”
By way of contrast, the Self is divine. It is Being and, so, lacks nothing. “It is forever complete, safe, loved and loving.” It is wholly without separation, which is the cause of dissatisfaction. It transmutes special relationships “into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening.”
It’s therefore incessantly absorbed in sharing abundance, in loving. It’s completely free from egocentric desires.
Therefore, there are two visions, two points of view, open to us: There is the vision of the self and the vision of the Self.
Those fools (i) who live life pursuing the way of the world are enslaved by the vision of the self. Those sages (ii) who live with the vision of the Self are free from life condemned to the way of the world.
Avoiding the way of the world is sanity; it leads to an untroubled mind and a life of peace. Following the way of the world is the height of foolishness; it leads only to madness (insanity, dysfunction, mental illness) and a life of fear.
It’s only sages who enjoy love’s presence and the peace that surpasses understanding. The foolish are condemned to leading fearful lives without love.
The good news is that “love’s presence . . . is your natural inheritance.” All you have to do to claim that inheritance is to open to it.