As the old folk song goes, “I had a dog named Lisle. She was a good dog to.” (In the song the dog’s name is Blue) Lisle was a grey standard poodle we bought as a puppy for my wife from a highly respected kennel in Hudson NY. Lisle became my dog though. The first time we sat down after we brought her home she came and laid down by my feet. It was a classic case of a dog choosing her “person.” In the days when I could go for a run she was with me (except for her forays into the brush to chase a woodchuck), and she always sat near me when I sat down.
Late in her life, like many canine friends, she got sick. She had a lymphatic mass in her abdomen that affected her blood balance. John, our youngest daughter Valeri’s Veterinarian husband, removed it and she was much better, but within a few weeks she was sick again. So John put her to sleep in the side yard of their West Street home in Pittsfield MA. I held Lisle a bit too tightly and she yelped. Then as John injected her she looked at me with a deep question in her eyes. Why?
Now I know that she would have stayed with me as long as she could just to be with me. Suffering or not she was O.K. with that. But we didn’t allow it because we wouldn’t let her suffer. I have explained that to her in my mind, and I believe she has, in spirit, accepted it.
The lesson for us is that this story turns things upside down. Lisle would have stayed connected to me here is this world, but on the other hand we are dreaming here in this ego split mind world to be separate from God who created us to share the bliss of Heaven. Nevertheless, we stay here in our split mind forgetting where we really are. In our deep place we never lost, which remembers Heaven, we are there with all of our “Lisles” basking in the joint love we share with God.
So why do we forget? We make – moment by moment – this world of confusing dualistic complexity so it is difficult to recall that we are truly one with God in Heaven. Yet we need only accept this line in Jesus’ new Lord’s Prayer from ACIM. “The sin of forgetfulness [our dream of separation] is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your love.”* Join this with the Course teaching; in the seeming instant when we chose the ego centered part of our split mind God placed the Holy Spirit in our right mind so we will always have that Holy connection within us. That daily surety will help us to remember we are eternally with God in Heaven. It will also help us cope with the confusing complexity of this world we are making, view it as insane, and remember God’s forgiveness and love. Then we can share with God, as Lisle wanted to do with me, an ongoing eternal loving exchange.
* See ACIM Chapter 16, Section VII, paragraph 12 for the whole prayer.