What if I (or they) run out of time?
A concern of many who work with or contact me is that they will “run out of time”, meaning, that they will die before they reach what they consider “enlightenment” or “awakening”. Some also are concerned about loved ones who have no interest in being enlightened. What about them?
[Spiritual awakening or enlightenment can mean different things to different people. But I find in general that what spiritual students mean by these terms is a sustained awareness that only the Truth is true. This would be the highest level of awareness (consciousness, perception) one could attain. It is also known as Christ or Buddha Consciousness.]
The question of running out of time is a personal one of course. There is fear behind it that one must attain enlightenment before they die or they will end up in purgatory or have to come back in another life. But both views represent a mistaken view of what life in the world is about. It is not a cause for a future effect, as in, if you do it right you will go to Heaven. It is an effect, or expression, of an idea long past (discussed below). So you cannot “run out of time” with regard to your role to play because how your life unfolds, whatever degree of awareness you attain, is the perfect expression of that idea through you.
Now, let’s get into the idea that is the universe of form:
True Being (“God” in A Course in Miracles) is formless, infinite, eternal (timeless) and the same throughout (one). Mind is the aspect of Being through which Being knows Itself. (Mind, Being, Truth – these terms are all interchangeable). Being All, the Mind of Truth must contain the idea of Its Own opposite. But being All, Truth cannot have an opposite. It is as though Truth thought, “What is my opposite? Oh, yeah: I’m All; I cannot have an opposite.” So the idea of not-Truth was over as soon as it was thought. It was cancelled out by Truth’s All-encompassing nature.
Since Truth is formless, infinite, eternal, and the same throughout, the idea of not-Truth is time-bound, limited, diverse form. So within the idea of not-Truth it seems as though the idea of not-Truth began long ago as a universe of form and will be undone in some indefinite future. The experience of time is the idea of not-Truth/the undoing of the idea of not-Truth unfolding. The outcome of this unfolding is inevitable because the idea of not-Truth is already undone. In other words, everything in time is heading toward the inevitable conclusion of undoing.
So, let’s get back to you and your part (and everyone else’s). What are you? The part of the Mind of Truth where the idea of not-Truth seems to occur is called the split-mind because it is still a part of Truth but it seems to also contain not-Truth. It seems to be split off from Truth and it seems to be split between Truth and not-Truth. (In ACIM this part of the Mind of God is called the “Son of God”). This split-mind is where the universe of form and its story seems to occur. And the split-mind is projected into the universe of form as billions of versions of itself in forms, or bodies. Each mind seems to be split between Truth (the Awareness of Truth or “Holy Spirit” in ACIM) and not-Truth (personal thought system or “ego” in ACIM). But each mind is at first only aware of not-Truth, or the personal thought systems in it, and identifies with a body.
Because the outcome of the story of time is inevitable, everyone’s life is a part of the Undoing (the “Atonement” in ACIM). However, only some minds manifest overtly the Undoing. This is expressed as a mind becoming aware of the Truth within it to whatever degree. Some may have only glimpses of Truth and really know for only a moment or moments that the Truth is true. Others may attain a full awareness that only the Truth is true. But whether one is aware of Truth at all, and if one is aware to whatever degree they attain, it is really all the same because every life is an expression of the Undoing. So no one can fail to do their part. No one can “run out of time” in that sense.
I realize this is small consolation when your focus is on your own personal experience. You may not care about the bigger picture. You may only want to know what you are going to get out of it. But if you are drawn to grow your awareness of Truth that is your part to play and you will play it out as far as you can. You won’t be able to help yourself because that is your part to play. And in time you will come to see the larger picture and it will mean more to you than your personal attainment.
What about those you love who have no conscious awareness of Truth and no desire for it? They, too, are playing their part perfectly. If nothing else, they are your teachers in forgiveness and in that way they lead you to further manifesting the Undoing.
No matter what you feel motivated to do or motivated to not do that is the story of the universe of form, the Undoing, unfolding through you. This is true of the spiritual and what does not seem spiritual. You cannot see this “down on the ground” in the midst of the story. And knowing this is not necessarily helpful in the day-to-day of life. But it is helpful to remember this when you do not like what is unfolding for you personally or in the world at large. You can step back and remember that no matter how it looks now it is the Undoing unfolding. As you quiet your mind to be aware of Truth you will find that you also become more aware of your part in the flow of the universe. And you can be reassured that, as far as your part goes, you cannot fail; you cannot “run out of time”.
Why struggle with fears and doubts on the path to peace? Validation, reassurance, and clarification are a large part of the work I do with my clients. Email me at Liz@acimmentor.com to set up an appointment. You can learn more about what I do at www.acimmentor.com.