When my daughter was in kindergarten she won an award in our school district’s ‘Young Authors’ competition for a picture book she wrote and illustrated entitled, The Egg That Cracked.
The story involved an egg fearful of cracking, of giving up its shell to the life within. One day the long stationary egg found itself rolling down a big hill, terrified. At the bottom it hit a rock. It cracked open. Then it discovered it was not the shell after all, but the baby bird within.
In the nostalgic frenzy I currently find myself in, preceding my daughter’s impending high school graduation, I have been frantically searching for that book, along with a number of other missing talismans of our early life together, including a diary she kept during a family visit to Paris at around the same age (but that’s another story).
Cracks and changes
The book about the egg came to mind last week when I awoke to a shocking ambush of emotion over the encroaching transformation of our relationship from live-in parent/child to the maturing long-distance variety. I had just been congratulating myself, and bragging to a friend about my ability to embrace this perfectly normal passage calmly and philosophically. I knew the time had more than arrived for my daughter to test her own already vigorously flapping wings.
Then, without warning, I found myself plunged into this darkest of places. Grieving and consumed with regret over how quickly it all had passed. How elusive so many of my perfect parent/child fantasies had proven, much like the photos and mementos I couldn’t seem to locate now.
As I sat with Jesus (that symbol of the awakened mind used in A Course in Miracles) and a box of tissues watching myself rummaging in yet another file cabinet for documentation of my parenting role. All the special roles I seemed to have played in this lifetime bobbed to the TV screen of my puny little brain for review. ‘Can I survive the relinquishment of these roles?’, I wondered aloud, to ‘you know who’. Because releasing them felt like death to the self I still think I am.
Jesus just shook his head and smiled
Even though I was in no mood for reality, I already knew the answer. My identification with the self I think I am would have to go. Along with the roles I created for Susan to play (and then forget she was only playing). I would have to release my identification with these roles. And costars. These sets and costumes. Not in the scary, obliterating, cataclysmic manner the ego keeps describing in gory detail, but gently, gradually, kindly. Like a photograph developing backwards, fading into the ether from which it was captured. All with a proverbial Jesus at my proverbial side.
I would need to turn my fear of cracking the self I still think I am over to the part of my mind that knows no fissures. And then wait for these blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence to pass. Blocks that I had crafted out of the secret fear that I had destroyed eternal Love with my desire to experience individuality. I would have to quit resisting the inevitable ride down that big hill. To trust that facing my fear of cracking wide open would finally reveal my true identity, instead of the bleak emptiness a part of my mind could not stop picturing.
The universe has a great sense of humour
Jesus was getting on my nerves again, with that little knowing smile of his. So I took a break in my wallowing to open that big blue book to a random page for a second opinion. This is a practice I refer to as ‘A Course in Miracles as Ouija Board’. And I had to laugh. In Section V. The Holy Instant and Special Relationships, Chapter 15, I read:
“You cannot love parts of reality and understand what love means. If you would love unlike to God who knows no special love, how can you understand it? To believe that special relationships with special love, can offer you salvation is the belief that separation is salvation. For it is the complete equality of the Atonement in which salvation lies. How can you decide that special aspects of the Sonship can give you more than others? The past has taught you this. Yet the holy instant teaches you it is not so.”
The roller coaster ride
I was sitting beside Jesus again, acutely aware of all the highs and lows my special relationship with my daughter has offered. Alongside this, the roller coaster rides of all the other special loves I had turned to for salvation in this personal past. Acutely aware that – conceived from a finite thought system that seeks to mete out the punishment it thinks we deserve over that original belief in separation from our source realised – so-called love in all its seeming forms here in the dream can’t help but constantly morph into different forms and cannot, by its very nature, stay.
“Because of guilt, all special relationships have elements of fear in them. This is why they shift and change so frequently. They are not based on changeless love alone. And love, where fear has entered, cannot be depended on because it is not perfect.”
Fortunately, we can transform our special relationships to holy (whole) relationships. We do this by taking responsibility for the belief that we exist separately back to the part of our mind that knows only the whole Love we are and have always been. In the holy (whole) instant outside this tale of time. In which we accept the right mind’s uninterrupted, benevolently amused certainty that the separation from perfect oneness was just a tiny, mad, idea completely void of consequences, we discover the one life within that has been waiting for us all along.
In so doing, our mind is healed of the need to find its identity outside itself. We crack wide open to embrace the eternal, joyful, present. Here our attachment to the form of our special relationships dissolves, leaving behind only the infinitely loving content we continue to share and can always count on.
A Course in Miracles is not telling us to get rid of our special relationships. It’s just suggesting we change our mind about their purpose. The offer is to recognise the many ways in which we use them to reinforce a bogus belief in duelling interests. We can see how we employ them as human shields to defend against our awareness of the only real relationship we have; our one relationship with our creator. A creator with whom we are seamlessly fused in our one mind, in ways beyond the comprehension of non-existent brains specifically invented by a guilty ego to accept only dualistic lies.
An eternal smile
We need to recognise what our clinging to specialness and exclusion has cost us with our inner Teacher. We can choose again for the part of our mind that remains happily unaffected by our hallucinations and continues to smile the gentle, knowing smile of the eternally present.
“God knows you now. The holy instant reflects His knowing by bringing all perception out of the past, thus removing the frame of reference you have built by which to judge your brothers. Once this is gone, the Holy Spirit substitutes His frame of reference for it…For in the holy instant, free of the past, you see that love is in you, and you have no need to look without and snatch love guiltily from where you thought it was.”
Even though I am not yet ready to let go of this shell called Susan completely, in honestly, recognising and forgiving the fear underlying that reluctance with Jesus/Holy (Whole) Spirit/right mind I can, for a moment, step out of time and allow the egg of false identity to crack. Thereby admitting a little more of the light in our one, united mind. To shine away the dark idea that love has, or ever could, vacate the premises.
This article first published in LivingNow in 2011.
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