Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This world I see holds nothing that I want

That's the lesson today from the Course in Miracles, which can be misinterpreted in so many ways. Last night I spoke with a friend who had just found out that his son-in-law had committed suicide. His son-in-law had been depressed for years and on anti-depressants. He didn't even leave a note. He just kissed his wife and drove his car off a bridge. I can't imagine the pain he must have been in to kill himself.

Well, actually I can. There have been times when I felt that life wasn't worth living and would have welcomed death. But fortunately I'm too much of a coward to actually do more than wish myself dead. I imagine most people wish they were dead at some point, but no one talks about it. Most people are going around with a smiling face acting as if they have their act together, trying to hide their suffering from the world. We think we're the only ones who are suffering and that there is something wrong with us. The truth is most of the world is suffering.

To me the statement from the Course in Miracles--This world I see holds nothing that I want--is telling us to not be attached to anything in this world, as all things are temporary and eventually will lead to suffering. Are you attached to your romantic partner and think you can't live without him or her? Well, you're setting yourself up for suffering, because eventually your partner will leave or die. Are you attached to your beautiful house? You're setting yourself up for suffering because you might lose it when you can't pay the mortgage or if it burns down. Are you attached to your job? At some point you won't be able to do it, or someone will show up who will replace you. You get the idea. Anything you are attached to in this world will keep you in this world of suffering.

So what can get us out of hell and into heaven? Committing suicide won't do it, for sure. There is no heaven waiting for the tormented soul who leaves this world violently. What can get us out of hell and into heaven is the desire for things that do not belong to this world, but belong to eternity: the desire for freedom, truth, love (not to be confused with lust/need), peace, joy. So next time you think there is something in this world that you cannot live without, look deeper and see what it is you really desire. My guess is that your deepest desire will be for freedom, truth, love, peace, or joy.

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