As you know, we’ve had some very deep, metaphysical conversations about life and the world over the last few weeks. Talking about God, talking about how this world is not our real home, but really more like a dream, talking about heaven, divine support, fate and free will, … And a lot of you have probably gained some new insights from this conversation, which is good. But something that often happens as a initial response to this information, is that you feel kind of removed from this world and start wondering if anything even matters. That’s what I want to address today.
This feeling of numbness, inertia or confusion is a somewhat common first reaction to A Course in Miracles. And it’s the ego’s interpretation of the Course. I mean, it’s the ego’s signature move! Always just throwing its hands up in the air, shrugging its shoulders and saying, “Well, nothing matters, everything is meaningless, so I’m just gonna sit right here and do nothing! YES! Finally a justification for me to be lazy and stand by!”
That’s not the meaning of the Course. That’s the ego’s selfish interpretation of it. I mean look at that ego statement above. That’s coming from a very privileged place. Not everyone has the option to be a lazy couch potato. Not everyone has the option to be complacent. No one who finds themselves in a disaster zone thinks that we don’t need disaster relief! There’s nothing unspiritual about screaming “Fire!” when the house is burning down. And the Course would tell us to be LESS selfish and MORE loving, helpful, and kind. It doesn’t want us to be complacent. It wants us to make life for ourselves and everyone better!
I said before that the first change, before dreams disappear, is that your dreams of fear are changed to happy dreams.
–A Course in Miracles
Yes, the language of the Course is poetic, because it is more timeless, but once you “speak the language of the Course”, once you truly understand it, once you start looking at it as instructions for you instead of a cute metaphor, then it becomes apparent to you that it is urging you to make this life the best for yourself and everyone else that you possibly can. The only way you can even think that maybe you should do nothing is because you do have a roof over your head, you do have food in your fridge, you do have money in your bank account, you do have clean drinking water, you do have electricity, you do have sanitation, you do have your health. No one without those things would ever suggest that we just do nothing, be complacent, and let life live out the way it wants to. I think it’s clear to see that that mentality is coming from a very privileged place. As we said here, suffering is real. It really, really hurts. It’s not right. And A Course in Miracles tells us that since WE’RE the ones who created the suffering for ourselves (God only created heaven, love, harmony), WE’RE also the ones who can annihilate it.
It’s like when Donald Trump said, “We hope to God that we don’t have to attack North Korea.” Don’t hope to God! Just don’t do it! YOU’RE the one giving the command! YOU’RE the one pushing the button! It’s not up to God; it’s up to YOU!
And when you think about something like attacking another country – that requires a long chain of people. If anyone of them said no, it wouldn’t happen. It takes scientists to come up with the technology necessary to fire missiles, it takes engineers to build them, it takes people to service them, it takes the entire chain of command, up to the last person who actually pushes that button. But that chain reaction could actually be stopped at any point. Scientists could refuse to come up with that kind of technology, engineers could refuse building those things, people could refuse working in a career that is in any way connected to that field, and every single person in that chain of command could refuse to complete that order, up to the very last person who is in charge of pushing that button. If they didn’t push it, it would not happen. So you see, we are in charge and we are responsible for the suffering in this world. A Course in Miracles doesn’t want us to become less involved in the world; it wants us to get more involved in the world, because it doesn’t want anyone to suffer in any way. Being complacent is NOT spiritual. Spiritual is to be kind and loving and helpful, and a force for good. Spiritual is to be responsible and to take care of shit. Spiritual is working to alleviate suffering for all living things.
A Course in Miracles does say that this earthly life isn’t ultimate reality, but it never says that what’s happening here doesn’t matter! It matters a lot. Why? Because while you’re here, you’re living it! You’re experiencing it all. Having good relationships matters because they make life worth living. Using reusable shopping bags matters because we are literally destroying our own habitat with all that unnecessary garbage. Working out and eating healthy matters because while you’re here, this body is your home. It’s so much harder to be happy and helpful and a force for good in the world when you’re sick, weak, and suffering. Gun control matters because people get hurt and people are dying! Even if you never get hit by a bullet, if it hits one of your loved ones, you are suffering! With all the shootings, no matter how high the number of the victims is, and it’s always too high, you can multiply it by a hundred, because there’s about a hundred people for every single victim who are suffering because of that person got hit. How could that not matter? It matters a lot.
I actually find it hard to relate to the kind of “spiritual people” who are totally airy, fluffy, and removed from the world. People who only talk about things like crystals, chakras and mantras. And I don’t have anything against crystals, chakras or mantras, but again, you are very privileged if you’re able to spend your life talking only about those things because clearly, you’re living a very protected life. And at a certain point you’re just like, helloooo people are suffering, animals are suffering, the planet itself is suffering, and it’s because of us and our reckless behavior. And it’s up to us to make things right again. So for me, the point of spirituality is to become MORE empathic, MORE helpful, MORE loving, MORE engaged in the world. Not the other way around.
And back in the day when I first started out on this spiritual journey, I thought I would meet all these cool, awesome people in the spiritual community, and I was bummed to find that I had nothing in common with those people, and I actually couldn’t stand them. Why? Precisely because they were so removed from the world. I’m very spiritual, but I’m also very real. And I don’t think the two should be mutually exclusive. I think they should ALWAYS go together. I actually think I’m more in touch with my humanness now than I’ve been before. And I don’t think you should lose that in favor of being a pseudo spiritual douchebag who can’t relate to anyone anymore because they’re so out of touch with normal, human things. I mean think about it, no matter what I’m talking about, people are way more likely to listen to me and to trust me, if they can relate to me. And I certainly can’t relate to these holier than thou folks.
You have to remember, the ego can use ANYTHING to its advantage. So that means it can also use spirituality to its advantage. It can make people believe that the point of spirituality and the point of life is to just talk about spiritual principles and ideas and metaphors, to use a very airy, fluffy language with no actual meaning behind it, and to spend your life removed from the world just playing with your crystals, stimulating your chakras, while reciting your mantras. And that’s good for the ego. Why? Because it’s just another delay and distraction tactic. Because it means you won’t do anything to alleviate the suffering in the world.
A Course in Miracles doesn’t want you to be an empty-inside poetic douchebag. It wants you to keep your humanness, your personality, your character, your quirkiness. It wants you to be real and relatable.
So the way I see it, I’m still me, weirdo Elisa, and I always will be. Spirituality doesn’t take over my life or my personality, rather it is more like the thing that gives me purpose, the driving force behind everything I do, the energy with which everything I do is infused. And I feel more grounded in my Self now, with all my spiritual knowledge, than I ever did before. I feel like I understand myself better, I understand others better, I understand the world better, and I honestly feel so much smarter and more savvy and more equipped to deal with this imperfect life. I feel like that line from the serenity prayer that says: taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
And when spiritual literature like A Course in Miracles says things like “seek nothing outside yourself” or “nothing in this world is of any value”, that doesn’t mean that you should remove yourself from the world, or that you should give up your humanness, or that you have to become a monk, live in poverty, or give up any worldly pleasures. All it means is that nothing, no thing, in this world has any inherent value. It gets its value from us and from how we use it. One example that always comes to mind is that gun powder was originally invented by the Chinese in the form of fireworks. All around the world fireworks are used as a form of celebration, and they bring a lot of joy to so many people. So that was a really good use for gun powder. But then some mofo came in with his tiny, mad idea that, “Hey, we could shoot people with this!” And that’s a very shitty use of that technology.
In the same way everything, EVERYTHING, can either be used in a miracle-minded way, or in a fearful way. You can grab a chair so your grammy has a place to sit, or you can grab a chair to smack it over someone’s head. You can use spirituality to become a more empathic person and a force for good in this world, or you can use it to become a narrow-minded, unrelatable, unhelpful douchebag.
So that just means that everything in this world gets its value from you and from how you use it. It isn’t inherently valuable. YOU are inherently valuable. And everything we do is infused with the consciousness with which we do it. So in that way, spirituality can become like the driving force behind everything you do, and then everything you touch and everything you do becomes infused with the consciousness of love, peace and harmony. And then you’re “using your powers for good” so to speak.
You don’t have to renounce all wordly things. You shouldn’t make them your god either, but that’s a different issue. You know? Like for example when you think that money is the most important thing, so you do whatever you can to get as much money as possible, and you don’t care if it’s ethical or legal. You just want that money because it’s the most important thing in your life. That’s making money your god. And that’s a wrong use of money. But on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be abundant so you can take good care of yourself and your family, have a nice home, be more charitable and giving, and have a nice comfortable cushion in your bank account so you don’t have to worry about money all the time. That’s a very good use of money. You don’t have to be poor and miserable in order to be spiritual. God doesn’t want you to be broke. God’s will for you is perfect happiness. And since world peace is achieved one person at a time, when you are happy and at peace, the world is one step closer to being happy and at peace.
So that’s it you guys. Don’t use spirituality as an excuse to become complacent; use it as your driving force and as a reason to become MORE empathetic, loving and kind. Yes, this world isn’t perfect, and life isn’t perfect, but together we can make it really, really good. One step at a time. And that’s the miracle-minded way to deal with this imperfect life.
I hope you found this helpful! Please leave me your feedback or questions in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
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