This final part of the course is more difficult to explain. In content and action it is not much different from the course so far. Yet there comes a time when we feel the need to go further. There is little new here, except a need to challenge everything that keeps us apart. Now this challenge will include the beliefs and foundation that have helped us get to this stage in the first place.
Before we undertake this stage we need to be confident in the experience of wholeness, because now this is the only thing that we have to fall back on. To be strong enough to challenge the foundation of our belief, and not to lose our way, we need to be able to return to the core of what is true for us.
We need to be able to challenge everything; our belief in God, the spiritual supporters like angels and guides, the consolations that keep us going, what we believe enlightenment to be. We challenge everything that has the potential to keep us apart. We challenge belief, not to deny it, but to discover the underlying truth. We want to answer just two questions, “Who Am I?” and “What is God?” until we discover that there is only one answer.
This is a process of unlearning. We are free to challenge beliefs created in this life and those passed on for centuries. We challenge our belief in the path and our belief in where the path leads. At the end and all along the way, we renew our commitment to do God’s will. Now in the knowledge of what that is and what it means.
The Development of Trust (part 3)
From A Course in Miracles
The next stage is indeed “a period of unsettling.” Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned was that he did not want the valueless, and that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, has made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what willingness is for. And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must lay all judgement aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed!
What is Enlightenment?
Do we really know what enlightenment is? We have read about it and if we have come this far then there is a part of us that seeks it, for ourselves and for mankind. But do we know what it is, what it takes to get there and how do we know when we have arrived? We may have read about it, but unless we know directly we do not really know.
Knowing God and being enlightened are the same thing. We approach this stage from different directions yet arrive at the same place. If there is only One they cannot be different. There cannot be two answers when the answer is always One. We may write it differently, use different words and tools but in the end there is only One answer.
Either way, or both ways, we need to challenge our fundamental belief. In what God is and what enlightenment is. We need to remove any belief in our being separate and any belief in not being good enough. To be one is our natural state, it is our inheritance. We are born knowing it. It is already there, how can it be hard? It is natural, it is within us, it is who we really are. There is nothing that can keep us apart except our belief. Some of those beliefs that keep us apart are the same ones that helped us to get close. When you are ready, be prepared to challenge everything that keeps you apart.
This course is a course in spiritual unfoldment. It is hoped that your commitment is to your spiritual unfoldment, but it is important you only choose that if you truly desire it. Whatever you are committing to, do. Make the commitment to whatever you believe in, to God or whatever your belief system is, because the other side of the commitment is from God to provide you with everything to make it happen. Be true to yourself. This is between you and God and nobody else.
Making a commitment is a sacred act and it is important that you are fully prepared for this. This commitment is between you and God, or between you and the universe, if you prefer. This is not a time to get hung up on words, but be clear in your belief and in your experience and understanding of the Universal life force to which you are committing. It is a commitment to put God first in your life and to do what is needed. You are putting your trust in God and surrendering the path you take to God’s guidance.
What you commit to is up to you e.g. if you commit to your spiritual unfoldment you could use these three vows:
‒ I devote my life to the unfoldment of my true self
‒ I surrender my path to God’s guidance
‒ I promise to fulfill whatever is asked of me
This is a strange contract, it cannot be broken by God. Yet you have free will. There are no penalty clauses for defaulting on the contract and no punishment for forgetting. Yet if you are really ready to commit you are aware that the pursuit of your spiritual self and whatever path it takes is the most important thing in your life.
Once you make your commitment, it is important to embed it and maintain it by renewing it every day and then doing something to support that commitment every day.
Making the vows
Understand first what you are committing to. This is not a commitment to wholesale change in your life, this is a commitment to follow a path of change in order to discover who you really are. Be clear what you are committing to. You still retain choice, free will and the ability to create your own life.
Find a quiet place and meditate. Come up to your heart and open your heart to God. State the vows you choose to make and feel that commitment. The words of the vows should be your own, this is a personal commitment. Sit and allow that feeling to fill you.
Renew this commitment at the start of each day, in silence and stillness, until it becomes a natural part of your life.