A Course in Miracles: Part 1 — Lesson 131
Today I seek and find all that I want. My single purpose offers it to me. No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth (ACIM, W-131.15:5–7)
Growing up Catholic the conversation of heaven vs hell was pretty common. Follow god’s rules (all of them) and (maybe) you’d go to heaven but probably not because even the best people go to purgataory. Don’t follow god’s laws and go to hell. God have mercy on the souls in the furthest reaches of the earth who have never heard of the Catholc god — they are doomed for hell.
The regular talk was about life being a test, the grounds where you suffer in this life for joy in the next. I remember my grandma having vision of Hell and telling us all about it. She would regularly pray for the souls in purgatory and we all were encouraged to wear a brown scapular to protect us because if we died without wearing one we’d probably go to hell. There was no way to win, heaven was an unattainable goal.
When I started to go to youth group at a different church with my friend the conversation of Once Saved, Always Saved was the message. Accept Jesus as your Savior and that is your guaranteed ticket into heaven. To my Catholic mind whose upbringing was centered around earning it and hustling for it, that level of grace and ease seemed unfair and assanine. To hedge my bets I accepted Jesus hundreds of times just in case he forgot to add me to the “good” list.
Today’s lesson in ACIM is that heaven is now and there is no separation from God. You’ve probably heard that too — you don’t need to wait for hell, when you feel jealous, resentful or angry you’re alread there. That is such a challenging throught to accept.If there is no heaven or hell then what does that mean? No afterlife? Nothing to hustle for? What do I do with all my mental energy if it is not spent working to enjoy a life after this one that will hopefully be better because of all the “good” points I have accumulated.
Today’s message shares the following: Today I seek and find all that I want.
My single purpose offers it to me. No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth. (ACIM, W-131.15:5–7)
The idea that god’s will for me is to enjoy my life now seems like heresy, indulgent and selfish. What about the need to earns god’s favor through my sacrifice? What about that? God wants me to succeed, he wants me to live in a heaven state now? This is so triggering to me after years of being taught I have to earn it. Have I done enough to be worthy of actually having a great life now? Do I deserve it?
This thinking is death thinking. Earning, deserving, doing. But it is sewn into a Catholic’s young mind every day. It is deep. I see it everywhere in my life, I hustle to be a good girlfriend because I feel I have to earn love. I hate that I think this but it was taught to me as a path to heaven. Earning is the way, don’t expect something you haven’t worked for.
And then there is the message of grace. Amazing grace. My theory on grace is that it is psychologically harmful as it is based on the premise that we are broken, sinners and are lost except for the grace of god. To me, this is not that helpful but makes me feel like a charity case. No one will be singing this at my funeral.
What if it is not about being saved for the purpose of a hopefully better afterlife? What if we are able to create our own heaven here on earth? What if earth is the canvas and we have the ability through the laws of metaphysics to create any and all things we seek — no repentence or rosary praying required. That seems insane but so much better than the previous way of thinking that I should expect to suffer in this life because that is god’s way of teaching me something. OMG I’m feeling sick thinking back to all the buls*(t I was taught about god. She must be so sad…
God I open up my mind to accept that I can have good now and that is your will that I do so. You are not glorified by my pain but your desire for your creation is plenty and abundance. I wish it were possibe to have a lobotomy instead of having to renew my mind, I feel like I have so much work to do.
God I open my mind to receive now. Not later. Not after I die. I am open that heaven or hell are here and I choose to accept all the good and blessings in this life. This is so exciting, god I’m on board. Lets do it!