The Vision of the Holy Relationship
In the last article I discussed the difference between the two “visions”: What the body’s eyes report and the meaning (or the awareness of no meaning) that your mind projects or extends. Spiritual Vision is not just a “nicer” way of interpreting the world. It is a wholly different vision that you can invite and welcome, but you cannot make it happen. It comes to you when you are ready and open to It.
When I was a new student of A Course in Miracles for a few months I experienced the Vision of the Holy Relationship with another. I saw that we were one and the same, obviously not as bodies and personalities, but in Truth. The inner Vision I had was that the Truth in her was the exact same Truth in me. Even thinking about her brought an experience of deep recognition beyond any human experience. This is the experience that Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford had. I recognized it completely when I read the passages in ACIM about the Holy Relationship. This Vision is what, in ACIM, Helen was reminded to remember in her relationships with others.
I want to be clear that this Vision is not the stoned-out hippy ideal of “Yeah, man, we’re all one. Let’s all just love one another.” It has nothing to do with the level of form. It transcends it completely. It does not result in a desire to change world policies. It reveals that the universe of form is not Reality. It draws you inward, into an awareness of Perfect Formlessness, instead of leading you to change imperfect, unreal forms.
The woman with whom I experienced the Holy Relationship left my life after a few months. But the Vision of the Holy Relationship remained. What this taught me (when I finally chose to accept the lesson) was that this Vision had nothing to do with her or our relationship. The Vision was within my own mind. It was the Vision of the Holy Spirit. That relationship was the mirror in which I saw the Truth within me. The relationship reflected Oneness, or Wholeness. And that Wholeness was within me. It did not come from anywhere outside of me.
My dilemma as a spiritual teacher who uses ACIM as a common language with others is that very few seem to have had this experience. Many experience what I call “higher miracles” in which they have a moment of Spiritual Vision that transcends the universe of form even as they are aware of form. Sometimes they have this experience with others. Sometimes no one else is involved. But the experience of sustained Spiritual Vision that is the Holy Relationship is rare. So what I found was that many students were trying to apply ideas in ACIM in ways that it could not be applied because they were not experiencing the Vision that is the centerpiece of the Holy Relationship. And they were feeling like failures.
So years ago when I first wrote about my experience of the Holy Relationship I discussed it as two experiences: the mystical and the practical Holy Relationship. “Mystical” refers to experiencing the Vision of the Holy relationship. I experienced the mystical in that first Holy Relationship. There wasn’t time in that particular relationship for me to really get to the practical application of that awareness. However, years later in my relationship with my wife, Courtney, I was able to apply the practical lessons that came from an awareness that my Wholeness is within me, not in another. This did not involve the Vision of the Holy Relationship but rather what I learned from it. And as a teacher the practical Holy Relationship is what I emphasize since the mystical Holy Relationship seems to be so rarely experienced.
When you read ACIM it helps to understand that when it discusses the relationship between Helen and Bill (“your brother”; originally “each other”) it is reminding them that there is a whole other Vision through which they could see each other. That Vision is the Vision of forgiveness because it shifts you to an awareness of Truth. It is not merely a nicer personal view of the other. Even if you have not experienced the Vision of the Holy Relationship but you have had a higher miracle then you do have something to which to refer in your own experience when you read those passages. You can remember that there is a whole other Vision. If you have not yet experienced a higher miracle you can read in those passages a reminder to invite this other Vision into your awareness.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.