Preface to "Awakening To One Love"
Each of us contains an Inner Voice, a Guide, a Helper Who speaks to us from a sacred space within. For most of us, this Voice lies deep within the recesses of our mind, unnoticed, unheard, denied, and buried. This Inner Voice has gone by many names, and some who have managed to hear It have written about the wisdom they've received. In the pages that follow, I hope to share conversations with you from my own inner journey with this Voice, and the profound messages I received. These conversations center around the Workbook lessons from a book called A Course In Miracles. They deal with our everyday individual problems, and the world at large.
I was drawn to meditation and communion with "the power beyond me" at an early age. I've always prayed, but by the time I was a teenager, I began actively seeking two-way communication with God, or Whomever must have created me. I knew I did not make myself, and I had questions about that. Where did I really come from? Why am I here? What does God want from me anyway?
It was through seeking answers to these questions that I was drawn to A Course In Miracles sometime in 2004. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is a 669 page section referred to as the Text. It took me almost 9 years to get through this part, largely due to the fact that I would set the book aside for days, weeks, and sometimes even months at a time. I did this because I had almost no comprehension of what I read within its pages, and found I couldn't read it at a faster pace. But stubbornly, I kept at it; hoping I'd understand it in time. I at least recognized the divine importance of the words, though I had little idea as to their meaning.
Fast forward 9 years to 2013 when I began reading the second section called the Workbook For Students. This section is comprised of 365 daily lessons based on the material from the Text. The reader is instructed to do no more than one lesson per day, but more than one day may be spent per lesson. The lessons themselves are comprised of spiritual teachings on peace, love and forgiveness, which the reader is to learn to incorporate into their daily lives. I finished it in exactly one year, not missing a single day, then moved on to part three: the Manual For Teachers. This section is comprised of material intended to help answer questions and clarify terms from the Course teachings. I finished its 72 pages in just a few months.
I felt my understanding of this enigmatic work had only inched forward after reading every single word within its pages. By this time it was now 2015, and I decided to try the 365 daily Workbook lessons for the second time around. It was at the beginning of my second attempt at these lessons that my inner ears opened wide to the Voice within me.
This Voice is never judgmental, cruel, or depreciating. He is never negative. He has always, and will forever be, wholly loving, forgiving, and kind. I believe this Voice is none other than the Holy Spirit Himself, Who dwells within every single one of us.
I've been asked: "How do you know this Voice isn't just a fabrication of your own imagination? How do you know you're not just crazy?"
The answer is: I don't know. Is this Inner Voice only me, or truly the Holy Spirit? Is it both of us, or neither? I have no way of proving anything to myself, much less to anyone else. All I can ask myself is this: Has the Voice been loving, helpful and kind to me? Yes, of that much I am certain. And that much I can share with you in order that you, dear reader, may decide for yourself. I can also say that I am frequently surprised by His answers; feeling as though I couldn't have come up with them on my own, and many of His ideas are entirely new to me. The rest I must take on faith alone.
That being said, I want to emphasize the fact that I am in no way more special than anyone else for hearing Him. He speaks to all of us, but few choose to listen. The lessons in this book are aimed at teaching you how to listen, in order that you too, may hear Him and consciously benefit from His loving Guidance. We all carry His Voice within us, and we can all learn to hear Him once again. We have simply chosen to block our inner ears to His Voice. The good news is, this choice can be unmade.
This whole experience came about as I sat down in 2015 to attempt the Workbook lessons for the second time, feeling deeply frustrated. I read the first lesson and thought, "I still don't know what this means, and I've read this book cover to cover now. I must be the worst student ever. I'm failing this course."
To my surprise, the Voice of the Holy Spirit clearly answered me.
"You are not the worst student ever," He replied. "No one understands My lessons right away. And no one can fail My Course."
At first, I couldn't believe that me of all people, would be lucky enough to be in contact with the Holy Spirit. In fact, I didn't truly believe it for a long time. I felt as though I was just "playing along," being a good sport, listening, and taking down notes on what He said about each lesson. But after some time, I realized there was no way these answers were coming from my own imagination. They were coming from somewhere Divine, beyond my small mind.
At one point I asked, "Why me? Why are You giving me all this extra help? Am I such a remedial student that I need such special assistance?"
His only reply was, "Because you asked. Then listened for My answer."
And so, the Holy Spirit and I went through each daily lesson together over the course of a year, as He explained each one to me in the simplest of terms. I felt as though I had my own tutor.
Along the way, I also asked many questions about life, our purpose here, and the world in general. Our discussions were candid, and I held nothing back. I have incorporated these questions in a Q&A format at the end of each section of lessons. The Holy Spirit answered all of my questions within the context of the Course teachings; explaining how this information can be used to heal our individual and global problems.
I have no control over the Voice of the Holy Spirit. I only know that I cannot hear Him if He is not invited by me. Learning how to offer this invitation has taken some practice. Some days, the answers to my questions would come as I read the lesson itself. At other times, the dialogue would happen suddenly while folding laundry, washing the dishes, while driving, or at work. The key element to my hearing Him always seemed to be when I was in a state of inner peace. I didn't have to spend hours meditating in the lotus position, attend any type of class, or go to any special place. Our conversations would happen when I was at peace with what I was doing in the present moment; going about the ordinary daily tasks I always do. The task didn't seem to matter so much as the level of peace my heart slipped into while doing it. And so it was, that at times, the Holy Spirit would speak to me all through the day.
I refer to this Inner Voice as the Holy Spirit and as a male, only because I am most comfortable with this. I believe He presents Himself to us in the form we can most easily accept without fear, and for me that's as a loving father. I don't truly believe God has any gender or form; He is beyond all words or form. I am simply most comfortable speaking about Him using the male pronoun, and referring to Him as the Holy Spirit. Please keep an open mind, and take no offense at this. You may decide you hear God, Jesus or another Divine Voice. Call Him whatever you'd like. It does not matter. Recognition of the Voice within doesn't come from the title you assign Him. Recognition comes from the consistently loving message He delivers to you.
We are all traveling this path together, on the same journey, towards the same happy destination; the remembrance of our Union in God. There are many ways to learn to regain this memory, and hear His Voice once again. I aim to share one of those ways in the pages that follow.