Ascending to God

When I was first a student of A Course in Miracles I was very ambitious. I half-jokingly talked about “ascending” one day. I imagined myself in a white-robe and Birkenstocks, transparent, rising into a pure white cloud, down from which beautiful rays of light poured. I had no idea what I was talking about, of course, and deep down I didn’t think I ever could ascend. It seemed like something magical or something that required an unimaginable – and unobtainable -- power. It was far beyond me to overcome the world and rise up to God.

So I was amused the other day when one of my students, having read my blog about entering “stage five” of the development of trust, said that he was afraid I would “ascend” soon. I hadn’t thought of “ascending” in decades!

When I was a twenty-year-old kid, “ascending” was very appealing to the ego. The ego will always use whatever we are doing on our spiritual path to glorify itself. Ascending was a lofty and unobtainable goal, the ego’s favorite kind. It could feel good about itself without being threatened. Of course the irony is that “ascending” is not personal, it is not something that you make happen, it is the natural result of giving up the personal and all making. I sensed that as a new student and needed to think of ascending as something that required a special power to make it seem impossible. I didn’t want to give up the ego!

Let us ascend in peace together to the Father, by giving Him ascendance in our minds. (T-17.IV.16)

We’ve made idols, instead of models, of those who have given God ascendance in their minds so that we won’t identify with them and know we can do the same. We’ve turned the miracle of their awareness of Oneness into magical powers that it would seem too difficult, and maybe even too ridiculous, to acquire ourselves. The beauty of A Course in Miracles is that it de-mystifies the words (symbols) of spiritual awakening by presenting them as the practical and logical: Let go of what is not-God and your mind will rise to its natural place in God. No special powers, knowledge or awareness required. All you need you already are, no matter who you seem to be.

The resurrection is the complete triumph of Christ over the ego, not by attack but by transcendence. For Christ does rise above the ego and all its works, and ascends to the Father and His Kingdom. (T-11.VI.1)

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