I write at a time societies across the world are rapidly moving to social isolation, where distancing yourself from others is the recommended thing to do. Supermarket shelves are emptying as people prepare for an extended period of isolation. There is extensive and widespread concern over an invisible virus that in a bitter lottery will determine who will be ill, who will be impaired, who will die, and who will barely notice. And that concern is not only for the self, but for others, for loved ones, and for the frail and elderly. There is concern that healthcare systems, already weakened through avarice-induced underfunding, will be overwhelmed. Where the usual protections of wealth and status are no protection at all. Where other dangers in health and accident will be all the more serious as healthcare is so strained.
I write at a time when concern has not yet moved to anger. As societies are mobilised to new priorities and usual ways of life are disrupted. As politicians and civil servants realise that for years they have focussed on the wrong priorities. As the rich and powerful begin to realise that their domain will be seriously threatened. As secret plans to control civil unrest are armoured. As people only start to realise the lies those that lead have told, and how the citizen has been robbed for lifetimes.
I write also on what for me is likely to be the worst day of having the virus, where things I have taken for granted, like taking a breath, requires increased attention and effort.
I write in the quiet before the coming storm.
And what are we who are on a spiritual path to make of it? How is God to be experienced in a time of plague? How are we to extend a hand when it is the hand that offers danger? How are we to be the presence of peace when this phony war is about to give way to full battle? What are we to make of a life if it is soon to be lost?
Dear friends, I am not saying that other paths don’t, but A Course in Miracles does answer these questions and more. And while the Course provides explanation for all that is happening, this is not a day for explanations, but action.
The Course provides a practical three-part solution to anything that troubles us, causes us anxiety of any kind, or causes us to be even a little afraid.
The first part is to know that this is fear. Whatever is going on in the hidden layers of our mind, the situation is the manifestation of our own fear. Not so much that we made the virus, but more that we made how we perceive the situation. We are not asked to stop being fearful, or reprimand ourselves, or somehow be better. We are not expected to correct the fear on our own. For we cannot, and to attempt to is to waste the day. No. All we are asked to do is to acknowledge that we feel fear.
The second part of this solution is to turn inwards and to ask for help. We are asked to turn to a part of our mind that we can find difficult to get in touch with. Most of us, indeed, actively work against being in touch with it. Many flat out deny it even exists. However, it matters not whether we believe or not. It is sufficient to ask; to be willing to seek that help.
Although it goes by many names, in the Course it is called the Christ. That part of our mind that is shared with all living things, the very spirit of life. Each of us is a representative of this one Christ. However, in the Course, the main figure we can all learn to relate to as the representation of the Christ, is Jesus. Of course, most of us have issues with Jesus. He has been used by religions to oppress, punish and induce fear. He has been used to assist in condemnation of the self and others. And each of us has denied him many more times than thrice. However, it matters not what you think of him, or even if you don’t believe in him. It only matters whether you are willing to ask for help.
The third part of this remedy is to acknowledge, no matter how vaguely and tenuously, your own holiness and that of others. It is having sufficient trust in another, and in yourself, to accept the help. You have not been condemned to a time of plague. You are not beyond hope. You have not been abandoned. You and others are entitled to receive God’s help.
These three parts are the Course’s form of prayer. But they don’t ask for faith in God. They ask for faith in each other. God does not need your faith. He knows He exists. Rather, the Course asks us to have faith in another person. It is in another person where your faith will be rewarded. It is in seeing another as worthy of God’s help regardless of what they may have done, that opens you to His help.
In our secluded fox holes we are asked to pray.
- To recognise that what you feel is fear.
- To turn to the Christ within you for Jesus’ help.
- And have some faith in yourself and another that there is something in each of us entitled to that help.
And help will come.
From this prayer, we will be able to know how best to extend a safe hand in friendship. We will learn how to assist others. We will be able to express healing love to other people. We will become the presence of love, when we thought it had passed us by.
Living for living’s sake is not what life is for. Life is for expressing love to others. That function is what each of us came here to learn, and to do. Keeping this holy function in mind by using this three-part prayer is where we will find peace in such troubled days. In whatever form we are to express it, choosing to live our function is life. And no disease can hold sway against that.
Our destiny is to love one another, and we find how to do just that through this three-part prayer. Pray today, and you will find yourself expressing love. Pray today, and you will experience love. Pray today, and you will be love.