“Love is the feeling of the infinite”. —Mary Reilly Nichols
Love is always with us. We focus our whole Self on being entirely with Love. We tune out distractions and place our entire focus on simply being with the Love that is always with us. This is the return. This is eternal Comfort and Peace: Being with Love, as Love is with us.
I feel alternately encouraged and discouraged today.
Reading A Course in Miracles this morning, I found clarity and answers. Several separate situations this week became interconnected, each one a different aspect of the same lesson. Through the text, I found a near-exact explanation. “Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack is justified, and that you are in no way responsible”. In the first situation this week, I felt that I had been attacked; I felt that it was justified; and I felt that I was in no way responsible. In the second situation of this sequence, I observed as someone else went through the exact same feelings, and I recognized what I was observing as similar to my own experience.
Before I tell you the third situation in this sequence, let me interject the next line from ACIM: Given these three wholly irrational premises, the equally irrational conclusion that a brother is worthy of attack rather than love follows. What can be expected from insane premises except an insane conclusion?
If I felt attacked, then I agreed that I was worthy of attack rather than love (the attack was “justified”).
It was the third situation that shattered my belief in the “irrational premises” and which showed me the “insanity” of how I had been feeling: in describing the second situation to a friend, she showed me that I was completely responsible. Everything that happened had been a series of events that I chose, and I could have chosen differently. When I accepted responsibility, everything shifted–the “irrationality and insanity” just evaporated.
It was thanks to reading the ACIM text that all these pieces came together. I felt encouraged.
Later today, I read an article by Mary Reilly Nichols (link above). It was thorough and intelligent, and it described several of her own experiences with the Divine. In the article she says, “Actively contemplating one’s identity with Shiva is perhaps the main sadhana of Shaivism”. I felt encouraged, because–though I did not know this as a tenant of Shaivism–I have been actively visualizing “Shiva ‘as’ me” when I have been doing the Shiva mantra (Om Namah Shivaya). I imagine Shiva surrounding me, coming through “as” me. This visualization began at first spontaneously, but since then, I have been consciously working with it. I felt encouraged, because it felt validating that something that I was doing, that came to me spontaneously, is an actual sadhana (practice) of Shaivism.
But at the same time, reading this article, I felt discouraged. The old fear came through that I’m not doing enough. If I were doing enough I would be more advanced…If I were doing enough I would experience the divine…If I were doing enough, I would be doing something different.
Do you hear the irrationality there? Even as I was thinking/feeling this, I could feel how irrational it was– I am fine. I am doing fine. I am taking my steps. I am committed, dedicated, devoted. What is this voice bringing me down?
Then I started the Journey today. You know what I realized? Love is always with us. Love is the feeling of the infinite. Infinite includes all things. Even this. Even that. The infinite lives within me, as me, as all things. And that is comforting, when I feel discouraged.