What does daily practice actually mean? Surrender maybe, or intention, or that illusive “little bit of willingness” that Jesus seems so keen on in the text. Is it a process that allows me to touch the divine ground of my being perhaps? Or does it reveal my “self” as a creation of my own mind?
“You know nothing” whispers Holy Spirit in my ear while I thus muse, and I hear a snapping noise in my head as a cortical partition collapses.
“I know nothing…I know nothing”. These words are a silent ground bass that I realise I need to return to every time I try to interpret my own process, my own practice. “I” (the imperial “I”) will never understand it’s own unimportance. “I” will always want to run the show.
Find a spiritual path and do it as if your life depends on it. This is the best piece of spiritual advice I have ever been given. “Do it” does not mean “understand it”, it means do the practice exactly as it says on the tin. ACIM is my chosen path, and detailed instructions are included.
Resistance has been strong these past ten years. It took me five and a half years to do 160-something workbook lessons. I hosted my local ACIM group every week, went up and down the country attending Miracle Network events, and read pretty much every book around the subject. I was quite the expert on ACIM. Except I hadn’t nearly finished the workbook. Then one day my teacher told me “Just do it and your life will never be the same again”.
So, finally, I did it. Half a workbook in half a year. I was advised to start each day with the intention to do the lesson as instructed, but to crack on with the next lesson the following day even if I felt I hadn’t done it justice. At the end of those six months, I wasn’t awake, and I hadn’t forgiven anyone, (I still haven’t), but something had shifted. The deep sense of depression and loneliness I must have been born with was gone. I have no idea how, but it went and to this day hasn’t returned. All I know is, I finally did what it said.
At the end of the workbook we are told that we are not at an end but at a beginning. I used to interpret this as the beginning of a new path, and took excursions into Buddhism, Sufism, ACOL and Way of Mastery. But every time I came back to the course with a bump. Find your path, and do it like your life depends on it. It’s not rocket science! Now when I get to the end of the workbook, I go right back and start again at the beginning.
It says in the text that following the path of ACIM requires willingness. It’s taken me 10 years on the path, up to this very moment, to realise I have no idea what willingness means. Who or what is it that is willing? And it’s OK not to know. For me at the operative level, following this path requires faith. Faith to persevere with my daily practice in the ever-increasing awareness that I know nothing.