I don’t consider myself to be a Course in Miracles teacher. I don’t really teach the Course even though I have studied it for many years, yet my life and my work are based on it or, rather, on the message that gradually suffused me, as my understanding of its teachings started deepening. The teachings are really Advaita teachings imbued with exasperating Christian language, a constant source of irritation for a stubborn rejecter of Catholicism, the religious tradition in which I grew up living in Spain.
To me, A Course in Miracles was a real slap in the face regarding the perception I had of the world and of myself. The book doesn’t mince its words and, for me, its message was summed up in a resounding “cut the crap”. But…what crap, exactly?
I must admit I used to suffer a lot. Some days more than others, but there was not a day without suffering, regardless of its intensity and aspect, whether it was disturbance, irritation or discomfort. And although I didn’t like to suffer, I always assumed that life was just that, and that suffering was part of its charm. Some charm. And then I came across the Course, whose primary idea was basically that if I made the decision there and then, I could begin the process of leaving suffering behind for good, and live in peace.
This sounded awesome. Then why did I keep giving it endless thoughts, mull it over, doubt it, resist it, get angry, distracted, and then start all over again?
I guess there were many reasons, the primary one being downright and sheer resistance to the price that had to be paid to stop suffering. And that price was none other than to give up believing what my mind told me was true, particularly about myself, but also about the world, and about all around me; to abandon my own thought system, and to open the door to the thought system that would lead me to experience real peace.
It took me years to make a decision. I wanted to stop suffering, yes, but that price was too much to ask from me, wasn’t it?
Well, at the time it did seem to me it was. Yes, I wanted to be happy, but on my terms, which are the same terms for most mortals: I wanted to do well at my job. I wanted my daughters to behave well. I wanted to make a lot of money, and to travel at least once a year. I wanted my partner to get me and love me, I wanted my loved ones to die very old. And since we were at it, I wanted my friends to always be on time when meeting up with them, I wanted traffic lights never to turn red when I was in a hurry, I wanted the tiller at the supermarket not to take so long, I wanted it to not start raining right after i had hung up my clothes. And so on.
You’re full of it, the Course in Miracles kept telling me every time I ventured into its pages. There is no way you’re going to make it like this. If you really want to leave suffering behind and be at peace, cut the crap and get to work. And so I did.
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