Different Expressions of the Holy Relationship

The holy relationship A Course in Miracles most often refers to – especially in the Text – is one where both people in the relationship have asked to see their holiness reflected in the other. They have decided together to change the goal of the relationship:

You undertook, together, to invite the Holy Spirit into your relationship. (T-17.V.11)

In the Course, the Holy Spirit is speaking directly to Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, who together accepted the Holy Spirit into their often contentious working relationship and who together brought A Course in Miracles into the world. What the Holy Spirit had to teach them about their specific relationship can be generalized to all of us.

Of course, you can look upon another’s holiness at any time, even in the most casual circumstances. But for most students the first time they invite the Holy Spirit into a relationship it is with someone they know well. Often, they find the relationship conflicted in some way or they recognize it as a special relationship and want to transform it into a holy relationship. Usually they do so without the other person being aware of it. Whether you invite the Holy Spirit into your relationship alone or with the other, your experience of the relationship is going to change. In chapter 17 of the Text, part V, The Healed Relationship the initial discomfort you will feel when you do this is explained. You shift the goal of the relationship from one in which you defend specialness and separation to one in which you experience Oneness and wholeness.

A relationship, undertaken by two individuals for their unholy purposes, suddenly has holiness for its goal. As these two contemplate their relationship from the point of view of this new purpose, they are inevitably appalled. Their perception of the relationship may even become quite disorganized. And yet, the former organization of their perception no longer serves the purpose they have agreed to meet. (T-17.V.5)

The structure, or dynamics, of the relationship are going to be affected by the change in you. You are going to become detached from the drama of ego – attack and defense and fear and blame and guilt. If you and the other have the same goal and support each other through these changes the relationship will become unbelievably rewarding. And it will also be a happy relationship if the other is grateful for the changes in you even if they don’t understand where they come from. But if the other is dependent on you being part of ego’s drama they may not be able to accept the changes in you. One or both of you may make the decision to break the relationship off. This is not failure. What appears in the world is not the measure of the success or failure of your decision to see holiness. Your choice to experience Oneness and peace is successful once you have made it. Now all you need do is accept the blessing of your choice to experience its gifts of peace and joy no matter whether the other person is physically still in your life. It is the choice to experience holiness, not the expression of the relationship, that is the blessing.

Think not your choice will leave you comfortless, for God Himself has blessed your holy relationship. Join in His blessing, and withhold not yours upon it. For all it needs now is your blessing, that you may see that in it rests salvation. (T-17.V.10)

What the holy relationship teaches you is that all along you have only seen your own reflection in others. From this one relationship you learn to extend holiness into all your relationships, not matter how they appear in the world. And this is how you learn that all relationships are One because they reflect your relationship with your Self.

The Holy Spirit teaches that you always meet yourself, and the encounter is holy because you are. (T-13.IV.6)


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