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A lesson in adjusting perception
on December 5, 2016
I feared religion, feared succumbing to the opiate of the masses. The word "God" troubled me, even while I sought a deeper spirituality. Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit... I blindly closed my mind to anything in Christian terms. But I was fortunate enough to pick up this book at a time in my life when I was beginning to shed many of my judgements, and consider faith not by how others may abuse it or be shackled by it, but how it might empower me to find a deeper happiness. It all started with me re-stumbling upon a quote I read five years ago on how we feared not our inadequacy, but our strength. And it ended up with me finishing this book minutes ago and my mind screeching to a halt, "What? It's over? I need more!" Only the whole point of the book was telling me I don't need to read more, I just need to act on what resonated with me from the words so recently imbibed.
I rather doubt I'll ever consider myself Christian. But when you translate the concept of God from a bearded Old Testament crotchety and vengeful powerhouse to the raw and unadulterated purity of love... I don't need to read the Bible to find answers. When the idea of Jesus isn't so much the one and only Son of God, but a state of grace each and everyone of us can become through the shedding of fear... I can relate. When the word Christ is us used to speak to the fact that all of us are connected, rather than a fixation on crucifixion... I can open my mind a crack more. And the concept of the Holy Spirit as the guiding force that allows us to replace fear and its derivatives with love for ourselves and one another... alright, finally Christianity makes at least a lick of sense.
Does everything in these pages resonate to me? I'm not sure, but it doesn't need to. The whole point as there is no single right answer, beyond the fact that love is always the right answer. But going to church on Sunday, believing in Jesus, living a life of abstaining from all physical joys or looking upon others or ourselves with judgement and shame... not a prerequisite to finding wisdom in these pages. I would finish a chapter, and the whole world would seem to make more sense. Colors looked better, and I would sink into a feeling of peace is never felt before. The book calls my shift in perception a miracle. I don't think I'm capable of disagreeing on that point. As the author says, this is only the beginning, not the destination. I don't know if I'll read or undertake A Course in Miracles, but I do know that this companion, this interpretation, has changed my world for the better.