‘Light and joy and peace abide in me.’
You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as from a poisonous snake. These are beliefs so firmly fixed that it is difficult to help you see that they are based on nothing. That you have made mistakes is obvious. That you have sought salvation in strange ways, have been deceived, deceiving and afraid of foolish fantasies and savage dreams; and have bowed down to idols made of dust, – all this is true by what you now believe.
Today we question this, not from a point of view of what you think, but from a very different reference point. These thoughts are not according to God’s will. These weird beliefs he does not share with you. The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that.
Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Over and over this must be repeated, until it is accepted. It is true. Nothing can touch it, or change what God created as eternal. Light and joy and peace abide in you.
In our longer practice periods today, which would be most profitable if done for the first five minutes of every waking hour, begin by stating the truth about your creation:
Light and joy and peace abide in me.
My sinlessness is guaranteed by God.
Try to devote at least a minute or two to closing your eyes and realising that this is a statement of truth about you. Should you be tempted to become angry with someone, tell him silently.
Light and joy and peace abide in you.
Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God.
How many of you read this and thought, ‘She’s flipped now. This is pure gobbledegook, positivity gone mad.’ Or maybe you are of the persuasion that ‘self-denial and escapism are the order of this lesson and anyone who believe in it.’
I say this because these were my first reactions in 2005. Coming from a psychology background where I’d spent years encouraging people to take responsibility for their actions, I was appalled that this was saying ‘there, there you didn’t do anything wrong.’ I almost gave up the course at this point. This was going against everything I believed in. How could I have any credibility with friends, colleagues, clients with this hands off ‘God loves you, it’s all OK approach.’
What made me engage with the lesson in some way was because the first part resonated with me. I use to say to people (especially men) ‘when you really get to know me, you’ll find I’m not really a nice person.’ And truly I believed I had a streak of evil running though me like writing throughBrightonrock. The lesson wasn’t demanding that I took it all on board, just that I carried out the actions, a bit like soldiers who don’t really want to kill anyone but just follow the orders and carry out the actions.
So I went with it, didn’t manage the five minutes every hour (as I didn’t today) and felt very uneasy at the end of the day, not at all full of light and joy and peace. Now…?
Having accepted the illusionary nature of the world, and with a greater understanding that we are created perfect, and that whatever is layered on top of that does not change who we are at our core, I was much easier with it. Imagine a diamond dipped in excrement. It is still a diamond; the excrement has not changed it. If the excrement is cleaned away the diamond will still be pristine. This is how I see this course; it is helping me to clear away the years of excrement I’ve built up over the years. The work I do is helping people to clear away their excrement and get back to their diamond. Sometimes, if you’re involved in this kind of work, you have to get your hands dirty, put up with a few bad smells.
On the couple of occasions when I found myself getting annoyed with someone today I tried to see the diamond at their core. When I did my brief forays into insecurity and inadequacy I pictured me as a massive diamond and couldn’t help smiling. Try it! You might just surprise yourself. I hope you surprise yourself.