This rabbit hole started with a Heidi Priebe video What Does An Unhealthy (vs Healthy) ENFP Look Like?. She asks if the way you are living your life overall is to avoid pain or discomfort, or to pursue purpose or meaning.
Oof. On reflection, I realized I really have been living from fear a lot of my life. I’ve been pursuing growth and inner liberation, but often with an undertone of trying to prove I’m OK, and alongside avoiding large swaths of life that scare me. Some of this is just part of recovering from CPTSD, so I’m not beating myself up about it, but I felt ready to ask myself this question of “what am I living for?” and find a better answer than “to stop being in pain”.
That led to a deeper contemplation of Steve Pavlina’s concept of trusting reality. I decided I really did want to trust reality and lean into it.
Then Heidi made another video of the best books she read in 2021, which included A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. She described it as a condensed version of A Course in Miracles, and that she found it better than ACIM itself as ACIM is pretty inaccessible and difficult to translate into regular life. Having tried to read ACIM before myself, I was like, “yup, that tracks”.
I started reading A Return to Love, and lo and behold, she was discussing the same concept of fear vs love. Love, the Course says, is the only thing that is real. Everything else is not real.
I thought that was a metaphor. It’s not.
Then, I felt God.
As I was reading A Return to Love, and being just a tiny bit high (honest, it wasn’t much), I had a for-real religious experience. I felt that God loves me. It felt like I was being seen on every level of my being, everything about me was seen and known, and completely accepted and loved. It was beautiful. It felt very personal, and very real.
And it’s still with me, not as strong, but definitely still there. It’s made something relax deep inside me. I don’t have to prove anything. I don’t have to earn anything. I don’t have to do anything to be loved because that love is just there, it’s free and eternal. I can feel the realness that it can’t be destroyed because it just is.
It feels like the sun. I can hide from the sun or I can walk outside, but I can’t do anything to make the sun shine more or less. It’s just there. That’s what the love of God feels like.
This made me want to understand the Course better, so I did a little more research into the main concepts of the Course. What I found was holy shit, WTF is this? Because this is what the Course actually teaches:
- We are not humans. We are, collectively, an extension of God.
- We’re really in Heaven, asleep, dreaming that we are humans.
- Nothing we perceive with our senses is real. Literally. That’s not a metaphor. The only thing in our world that is real is love, which can’t be destroyed. Everything else, anything that changes or can be destroyed, is not real and does not exist. It’s simply a projection of our mind. In short, we are insane.
The goal of the Course is to help us wake up.
The primary way to do that is through forgiveness, which allows us to see other people as God sees them. This change in perception is what they call a miracle.
And having had that experience of being seen by God, I actually understand what this means. It means loving everyone absolutely, without regard for any flaws or pain they have caused you. The only way to do that is to realize that you, like God, are invulnerable. The vulnerability of your mind and body are simply untrue, they are illusions. You are a being of Love that cannot be hurt, altered, or destroyed–it’s just literally impossible.
And yes, if that sounds like an insanely delusional thing to believe that sounds more like dissociation than healing, I’m with you! But, having had that experience that God loves me, I want to keep an open mind and try to understand this.
As wild as it sounds, it actually tracks with a lot of things I’ve experienced in my life. I’ve often felt like life just isn’t quite real–kind of like Neo in the Matrix. The idea that this is a simulation of some kind makes complete sense. Is that a product of very early childhood trauma? Possibly! But there’s more…
Healing has always felt to me exactly like a little miracle.
You go along for a lifetime struggling with the belief that one thing is true, an awful thing, and then in just one moment, your perception shifts and you realize it just isn’t true. You never were broken, you were just mistaken.
That kind of shift is something I’ve experienced over and over and over again, to the point where I have faith in it now simply because I’ve experienced it so much. I have the ability to be “insistently optimistic” (from a recent comment on my other blog) about healing because I’ve experienced it so many times that I know it is real, absolutely possible, and in fact inevitable if you keep working at it.
Because all you are really doing when you heal is aligning with what is true, and the truth doesn’t change.
I should mention that this whole course was channelled from an entity claiming to be Jesus (yes, that Jesus), and the Course is meant to update and correct what was written in the Bible. The terms used are Christian but are largely redefined. For example, God didn’t create the world, we did. And the “devil” isn’t a real thing, it’s this whole delusion that is perpetuated by the Ego, which isn’t real either, but thinks it is. The Holy Spirit is something God created as a counter to the Ego, a being who helps us awaken. Jesus is one of us, a creation of God, but one who happens to be awake now.
The entire Course is available online and consists of the main text, a workbook of 365 daily exercises, and a handbook for teachers of the Course. The text is pretty dense and I haven’t read it yet. The above outline is mostly from this 16 point summary and reading through this Glossary of Terms used in the Course, and watching some YouTube videos about concepts from it.
I have read that the exercises in the workbook are actually the main work of the Course, because that is what actually changes your perception of reality, so that is what I’m focusing on, while continuing to read and try to understand the concepts behind it.