I've always felt a bit of resistant about a Course of Miracles, but the truth is, I’ve never really studied it.
I understood it as teaching that we can manifest our reality via our thoughts. I’m uncomfortable with this idea because it implies that someone who by chance was born into poverty and lives on-going struggle, is to blame for not manifesting a better reality for themselves.
In this way, the Course fails to account for realities of systemic oppression.
Yet, the Course does point to the importance of our thoughts and research supports that our mindset matters, a lot.
In an attempt to learn more, I’ve been reading Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles". Although I’m not a converted devotee to the Course, I admit it’s been a surprisingly valuable read offering important insights into faith.
Faith is my word of the year for 2016, the non-religious, non-doctrine kind of faith. I chose faith defined as: (1) a firm belief in something for which there is no proof, and (2) complete trust.
That last part “for which there is no proof” is what most attracted me to this word.
Williamson’s book emphasises faith as a gateway into a more positive, more helpful mindsets. Faith helps us reframe our thinking.
Our mindset - the ideas and attitudes with which we approach a situation - influences our behaviour. If our mindset lacks faith - complete trust that we’re enough and okay - then we act out of fear, instead of out of love.
Here is my favorite point in the book:
“The ego bases its perception of reality on what has happened in the past, carries those perceptions into the present and thus create a future like the past...We then enter the present in an effort to compensate for the past. Since that perception is our core belief, we recreate its condition in the future”.
This is powerful: “We then enter the present in an effort to compensate for the past.”
Our past presents us with data, evidence, and examples of who we are who we can be. Our past can leave us with limiting beliefs, invisible scripts, doubts, and fear.
By releasing the past - choosing a healthy interpretation of it - we are able to step into our present ready to begin again, trusting, fully open to possibility.
Faith facilitates our releasing the past and helps us see possibility.
When we have faith - when we trust even when there is no proof - we can reframe our thinking into more positive mindsets.
I'm beginning to think of faith as a ladder:
When we are in the middle of a life storm and our vision gets foggy, we all need a ladder that we can step onto to elevate our thinking past the clouds and back into the sunshine of possibility.
Faith can be that ladder.
Having faith is not always easy, but it is crucial.
Whether we cultivate it via religion, spirituality, art, movement or through other means is less important so long as we actively cultivate it.
What’s your faith ladder made out of?