Course author and speaker Gary Renard receives clarification about the nature and state of this dream world, the path of the Atonement, and how to become increasingly miracle-minded, through a remarkable manifestation of the Holy Spirit called Arten and Pursah. Many people familiar with A Course in Miracles have read Gary’s books about them, so I’m not going to elaborate on details here. What I find particularly fascinating is that they provided Gary with a rendition of the Gospel of Thomas, containing the sayings of Jesus that Didymus Judas Thomas recorded back then directly from Jesus. So these sayings have not been altered by the early church fathers of Christianity. Although each saying would merit a blog in its own right, let’s zoom in on the final one, wherein Jesus says: “The disciples said to him, “When will the Kingdom come?” He said, “It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Behold here,’ or ‘Behold there.’ Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.” (PgoTh, 113).
First of all, the ‘Kingdom of the Father’ is a symbol for that state of life where there is no more fear, no more war, no more lack of anything whatsoever; in short, it’s more or less the state of the paradise of the garden of Eden before the cardinal sin. Or, if you’re more into metaphysics, it’s the state wherein the dream of duality has ended and the one Son of God has reawakened to his natural nondualistic state at Home in the Heart of God, experiencing and being the inner Light of Heaven, content with merely doing God’s Will of extending Love forever and ever. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says that this is not something that will happen by waiting for it in the future. It is not a place outside of us that we can point at. Rather, this perfect state of life (state of mind, really) is here and now, and it is everywhere; we just don’t see it. How could this be, and, assuming this is true, why do we not see it?
Rather than just stimulating students to focus solely on the love and light that’s within them, A Course in Miracles explains — in great depth — just what this inner Light of Heaven (“the Kingdom of the Father”) is, and why you and I do not see it, or, more precisely, do not want to see it. As long as you and I believe we are a body, born in time and space, with the inevitable outcome of physical death which will be the end of the brief candle we call our life, we will not experience this inner Light of Heaven that we all share; we will not see the Kingdom of the Father. As Jesus explains in his Course, all of us are one spirit, seemingly asleep in a dream of fragmentation in time and space. We dream we are an autonomous body, separate from our Creator. The guilt we feel about this ‘act of separation’ (which, again, never really happened, although we believe it did), has led us to be bitterly afraid of the Light of God, and to seek for absolution and salvation through a life of penance and sacrifice, to prove our worthiness. Within this dream, the concept of ‘Jesus’ has shifted from the Voice for unconditional Love, to an external deity who might grant our souls access to Heaven if we promise to be good for the rest of our lives.
We should try to regard Jesus not as some external savior who will come to absolve and rescue all the souls who still desperately seek for salvation. Rather, he simply remains a symbol of the Love of God, the inner Light of Heaven that is the essence of all living things. In Thomas’ Gospel saying 91, the disciples asked Jesus: “Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you.” Jesus responded: “You examine the face of Heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment.” (PgoTh, 91). In our contemporary time, Jesus might have stated it thus: “You can study spirituality as much as you like, but you still condemn everyone around you, consciously or not. You still do not really focus on the Light of Heaven that shines in everyone. And you can only behold this light now, by cleansing your mind of all the condemnation that you constantly choose, and accepting instead the now as the only time there is.”
Jesus is the symbol of what you and I and all of us are, a state we’ll experience once we wake up from the dream. As he assures us in the very first chapter of A Course in Miracles: “Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. […] There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you. “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist.” (T-1.II.3:5-4:1). So in the end you and I and all of us will return to the eternal light of nonduality, and we will understand the inherent equality of Jesus and ourselves, since in nonduality everything is one.
Jesus is attempting to have us realize that a focus on ‘improving’ anything external in the world is not the road to salvation. It’s fine to spend your days on raising a happy family, on contributing to better healthcare, or on transforming the way we produce and use energy resources, but this in itself does not lead to the lasting experience of ‘the Kingdom of the Father’. Jesus would have us see that we will not find salvation in the world, because there is no world: “Give up the world! But not to sacrifice. You never wanted it. What happiness have you sought here that did not bring you pain? What moment of content has not been bought at fearful price in coins of suffering? […] If you choose a thing that will not last forever, what you chose is valueless. A temporary value is without all value. Time can never take away a value that is real. What fades and dies was never there, and makes no offering to him who chooses it.” (T-30.V.9:4-8; W-pI.133.6:1-4).
A Course in Miracles is a curriculum in mind training. It’s never the world that is the problem; it’s the belief that there is a world that can give us some form of salvation that’s the problem. The solution, then, lies in a change of mind about the purpose of the world, and therefore about the purpose of your life. This entails a change of mind from wrong-mindedness (“salvation lies outside of me”) to right-mindedness (“my salvation comes from me”). A Course in Miracles shows us that forgiveness is the vehicle to achieve this change of mind. A healed mind, cleansed of all condemnation, ushers in the real world, which heralds the near end of duality. In the Kingdom of the Father, the many become one again. We practice that state of consciousness here by joining — in the mind — with our fellow brothers: “If you would know you are saved, never doubt a brother. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in yourself. If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me whose faith in you cannot be shaken. Can you ask of the Holy Spirit truly, and doubt your brother? Believe his words are true because of the truth that is in him. You will unite with the truth in him, and his words will be true. As you hear him you will hear me. Listening to truth is the only way you can hear it now, and finally know it” (T-9.II.4).
So when Jesus said that “the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it”, he meant that we do not see it because we choose not to see our brothers as they really are: the One Son of God, as are we. Only by truly forgiving ourselves for each deliberate choice to keep oneness at bay, do we allow the Holy Spirit to gently undo all this silly separation stuff in the mind. This is the mind training that Jesus would have us practice day in, day out. As you progress on that journey-without-distance, you notice that your days become increasingly more peaceful. You are on your way to the real world. You are on your way to finally seeing the Kingdom of the Father spread out here and now, for you put to the forefront of your mind the inner Light of Heaven that shines in everyone, and let the mad rumblings of the world recede ever further to the background of your mind. You still live an active life here, contributing to ‘a better world’, but in each action the miracles you offer in extending the inner Light of Heaven in yourself is what really matters.
See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:
See also my Feb. 2018 Course workshop at www.youtube.com.
Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.