Sabotaging perfection

No matter how cleverly we plan, no matter how carefully we prepare, no matter how hard we try, our plans never work out perfectly. There’s always something unexpected that we either hadn’t noticed or could not have anticipated. As computer programmers say: “There’s always another bug.” Still, we stubbornly keep trying, hoping that “this time we’ll get it right.” In retrospect, though, we usually conclude that things turned out differently anyway. And so we plod along, hoping against hope that someday we’ll succeed; someday it’ll be perfect.

Studying A Course in Miracles, we eventually become aware of the silliness of our efforts to achieve perfection. Briefly summarized: in the ontological moment of separation from oneness, which set in motion the Big bang and the beginning of time, the seemingly sleeping Son of God rejected the perfection of God’s Oneness Love, thinking that He could do one better and be perfect on His own, without God. The gargantuan guilt that came with the realization that perfection wasn’t attained but destroyed, ensured that the seemingly sleeping Son of God became deathly afraid of the perfection of God. And so He felt the urge to hide from God in an illusory world that is all but perfect.

So there we have it: we want to be perfect on our own, apart from God, but somewhere deep inside we realize that perfection is of God and only of God. Since we believe we attacked that perfection, and are terrified of God’s imagined retaliative wrath, we’ve become deathly afraid of perfection, and we believe in our gut we’ll never have it. And as the Course teaches us that our fear of God’s anger is only a defense against our fear of God’s Love for us (T-19.IV.D), it gets worse: the more I seem to achieve perfection, the closer I seem to get back to God’s perfect Love, which means my would lose my unique individual self. As I still very much like to be my little self, I inevitably self-sabotage all my attempts at perfection. Yes, I want perfection, but I also still want to be me!

That’s the insanity, or silliness rather, of life in time and space and in a seemingly separated body. Lifetime after lifetime we try to achieve the combination of perfection and individual existence, which is verily an impossible combination. We “hang on in quiet desperation”, as Pink Floyd put it in the seventies, tired, weary and worn, uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear (T-31.VIII.7:1), until we reach a turning point where we throw up our hands and exclaim that “there must be better way” (T-2.III.3:5-6). That’s the moment when we first realize that we should “resign as our own teacher” (T-12.V.8:3), since “we were badly taught” (T-28.I.7:1), namely, by our own wish for separation from perfect oneness.

Everyone eventually reaches a point wherein it becomes clear that thinking and acting from intuition gives much more satisfying results than thinking and acting based on our rationalized planning. We slowly become aware that we have an “Inner Teacher” Who is not located in the brain, where we usually believe our own rational thoughts to be. In A Course in Miracles, this Inner Teacher is called the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love. The Holy Spirit is not some external entity that we can call upon. The Holy Spirit is the memory of our true Home which we believe we have exiled ourselves from. It truly is the Voice for Love and therefore the voice for perfection. And this Voice is within each of us! Remember: “The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense.” (T-5.II.3:7).

The good news of A Course in Miracles is that you and I have the freedom to choose to follow the advice of this Voice for Love at any time. Most of the time we do not choose to listen, as this Voice also seems to remind us of the perfection that we rejected and therefore do not deserve. The Course however teaches us to recognize that such self-sabotaging reasoning merely serves to keep the individuality of the ego intact, as we still believe we need this individuality to simply exist. However, since not only the ego is wholly illusory, but the entire universe of time, space and perception as well, giving up this individuality does not result in annihilation but in eternal peace: “You believe that without the ego, all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.” (T-15.V.1:7).

Should I then stop making plans altogether, as chapter 18 in the text (“I need do nothing”, T-18.VII) seems to suggest? Certainly not! That would be most impractical as long as we still firmly believe we are a body that needs to survive in an undependable, if not outright threatening world. The beauty of A Course in Miracles is that it meets us in the separated state we still believe we are in. We are taught that the question is not whether or not to make plans, but with whom we choose to make plans. Therefore, workbook lesson 135 states: “A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it.” (W-pI.135.11:1-3).

This kind of planning-through-intuition is the invitation for the perfection of God’s Love to once again enter the mind. The result can only be perfection, that is, the reflection of the perfection of the God we thought we had rejected. As long as we can uphold our own “little willingness” (T-18.IV) to have faith that the Voice for Love is always right, while the rational ego voice is always wrong, and we are glad that this is so, we are well on our way back to our true Home. What keeps us from consistently following trough in this trust is our fear of losing our precious individuality in the perfect Love of God. It’s the constant evaluation, a thousand times a day, of choosing between the Voice for the Oneness of God’s Love (back to perfection) versus the ego-voice for separation (sabotaging perfection), that should be our mind compass throughout our days. Happy practicing!


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:

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See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.

 

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