Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Cavern

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through the narrow chinks of his cavern.” (William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

The early lessons in the Workbook of A Course In Miracles lay the foundation for all the shifts in perception the Course refers to as "miracles". As Blake might have said it, the cleansing of our perception is fundamental to our liberation from the perceptions of the ego. Spiritual awakening is like emerging from a perceptual cavern into the light of the eternal Now.

Today's lesson, "I do not understand anything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place]." (A Course In Miracles, W-3), is an example. The Course explains:
"The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them. It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful." (A Course In Miracles, W-3.2)
On his Course website, Robert Perry refers to it as the 'beginning of understanding'.
"In the Course, the beginning of understanding is understanding that I don't understand anything." (Perry, R., http://bit.ly/stWuCS)
Time and space beckon to me right now so I must leave you with a final thought from our 18th century Swedish mystical friend Emanuel Swedenborg. He explains in his work Divine Love and Wisdom how the understanding of the human mind is first formed by means of 'appearances' and how tough those appearances can be to shake off.

“… appearances are the first things out of which the human mind forms its understanding, and these appearances the mind can shake off only by the exploration of the cause; and if the cause lies deeply hidden, the mind can explore it only by keeping the understanding for a long time in spiritual light; and this it cannot do by reason of the natural light which continually withdraws it. The truth is, however, that love and wisdom are the real and actual substance and form that constitute the subject itself.” (Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom 40)

Enjoy your practice!