LIFE

In a tense scene from Moonstruck (one of my favorite movies), Loretta meets Ronnie for the first time in his cellar bakery.  Loretta tells him his brother Johnny wants him to come to their wedding.  Ronnie then exclaims,

I have no life. What is life? They say that bread is life. I bake bread, bread, bread. I sweat and shove this stinking dough in and out of this hot hole in the wall, but I have no life. 

He tells Loretta how his brother caused him to lose his hand and then his bride; blaming Johnny for his life without a loving relationship.   Ronny believes that having a life here must include a love partner.  Yet, in A Course In Miracles we learn that life does not reside here in our illusory world of being separate from God.  Life resides only on the level of  God’s Love in Heaven.

Communication with God is life.
Nothing without it is at all. [T-14.IV.10]

The above two sentences mirror my oft cited passage from T-3.

God did create spirit in His Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own. There [is] nothing else. [T-3.V.7.3]

In Manual for Teachers Question 20 is, What is the Peace of God? paragraph 5 we find a clear answer to Johnny’s belief.

Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real.  In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is.  [M-20.V.8-10]

The final scene in Moonstruck is set in the family kitchen where Ronnie and Johnny reconcile and Ronnie and Loretta become engaged. Then Johnny with all of the family joins in a toast declaring, “A la familia.”

We yearn for togetherness, and our families are the basic source of that. They are the biological source for new humans, to which we refer to as new life. Our common belief aligns with Johnny’s. We associate life with our body’s existence, and death comes when it ceases to function. Salvation is the process the Course gives us that leads us to remembering our true life in Heaven. This is stated in this succinct line from Chapter 20, The Awakening.

Salvation seeks to prove there is no death, and only life exists.   [T-29.VII.10]

Nevertheless, in far too many ways, we yield to the desire to end ours and others illusory existence here. If we think that way we must consider Jesus’ words in this passage from Chapter 12, The Holy Spirit’s Curriculum.

When you are tempted to yield to the desire for death, [remember that I did not die.] You will realize that this is true when you look within and [see] me. Would I have overcome death for myself alone? And would eternal life have been given me of the Father unless He had also given it to you? [T-12VII.15]

Thus Jesus returns us to the truth of our real existence in Heaven.  There we are still and always are joined as One with God.  For help in everyday existence here in this insane world accept these words. They reflect the first sentence of the new Lord’s Prayer at the end of Text Chapter 16.

Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter.

O Death where is thy Sting?

J. S Bach set the above line from Corinthians to music. Bach, as a devout Lutheran, believed that his path to eternal life lay in following Biblical Teaching within his Church. There the belief that Jesus Christ’s crucifixion removed the sting of death gave him access to eternal life.

Then on the other hand, in the movie “Moonstruck” Mrs. Castorinni asked her daughter’s fiancée, “Why do men chase women?” He answers tentatively, “Because they fear death?” She quickly agrees, “That’s it, that’s it.”
I ask: do men gain immortality by womanizing and fathering children?

Ken Wapnick in his, Journey Through The Manual of A Course in Miracles, explains how in ACIM Jesus leads us to a more helpful answer. Ken brings together teachings from Manual Section 27 along with Text Chapter 19 part IV and Workbook lesson 163 to dispel that most sinister fear. Section 27 begins with this declaration,“Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem.” The paragraph then lists all of the struggles of life here in the separation which we accept as “The way of nature,” and then believe that God creates them. The final sentence, “And no one asks if a benign Creator could will this,” is important to accept the following where Section 27 ends with this helpful idea.

And what is the end of death? Nothing but this; the realization that the Son of God is guiltless now and forever. Nothing but this. But do not let yourself forget it is not less than this. (my emphasis)

We are guiltless because we are now and have forever been at home as God’s one son in Heaven. The world we project is an illusion where we split our mind to accept the ego’s making of the body as the Hero of our dream.

In the first sentence of the new Lord’s Prayer; Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter. “in which there” refers to Heaven. When we remember that our fear of death vanishes along with all of our illusions.

The course is filled with helpful passages to gain that remembrance. Manual 28, What is the Resurrection, is just one example. In my next blog I’ll discuss that.