Introduction to the Metaphysics of the Separation
As we start today’s session, I think we could talk a little bit about just some general basic metaphysics and then we can get into some other things. All spiritualities and religions have tried to describe how this all came about -in a sense of what has sometimes been called the “fall of man”. There are a lot of different metaphysical systems. There are Eastern systems that talk about God being lonely and making up the cosmos to express through and relate to.
There is the traditional Adam and Eve story where God said, “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” the serpent and the tempter lured them into doing it, and she went and took an apple and gave one to Adam and then, according to biblical myth, they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden and that was where the separation or the fall came.
When we come to the Course, we get a real different story about the whole “fall”. Basically, God didn’t kick anyone out. Instead, what it is saying is that the whole idea of the fall of man is a perceptual distortion, or is a vast illusion, in which the mind believed that it pulled off something that is absolutely impossible which is the separation from your Creator.
This analogy of the separation would be like this very, very, very powerful mind that was Created in the image of the Father, so to speak, turning his head and going ‘I wonder if… Could there be anything more than Heaven or more than Everything?’ [And this idea is the little “puff” of madness]. And giving such a powerful, powerful mind to such a totally laughable, ridiculous idea is what the Course, in a metaphorical sense, says about how this world seemed to come about. It was a totally ludicrous idea but instead of laughing at it, the Son of God took it seriously and fell asleep or (as the bible says) Adam fell asleep.
The world we seem to live in here, this world, is part of that sleep and that slumber. And so what we will be talking about tonight is addressing the “little puff” which we were saying is the ego. We will talk a little bit about the ego and we will talk about the answer that God gave when this event seemed to happen, seemed to occur. The course says God gave immediate an answer. It wasn’t even one of these delays or a little gap, but it was immediately when this crazy idea seemed to be believed in, that the answer was given. In Course terms, or more traditional Christian terms, that would be the Holy Spirit. In other terms it could be like the small still voice or intuition. But that was given immediately to this belief in separation.
If we carry out the story a little bit further, once the mind believed in the impossible, in the separation, it was terrified believing that it could actually do such a thing. Literally it was afraid of the light because basically the little puff told the mind, “You’ve done it now-you’ve really done it. You’ve pulled off the most terrible thing. You’ve broken away from Heaven and turned your back away from your Creator.” The puff said, “Quick. We’ll run we’ll hide” like the biblical story about Adam and Eve being naked. And it was in a sense saying, “We’ll run, we’ll hide and we’ll make up a world of form and since God is Spirit, he can’t come after you there. We can hide from him in there, we will be safe from him.” In a sense that’s what the world was made for.
In other words, this world was a projection from this tiny puff. Literally it was made like a hiding place so God couldn’t enter. And the Course is saying that God is infinite and abstract and the world is a world of duality and fragmentation and is very finite. Even the stars, we are learning, have half lives and are going to burn out and everything in the cosmos is always in flux but it is always finite. It has a beginning and seems to be moving towards an end. So that’s the basis of our discussion.
What we will go on to from there is that once the mind fell asleep in the so called “fall”, there were two thought systems; one was the fear based thought system in the ego and one was the Thought from God’s loving answer, the Holy Spirit. And the loving answer just kept reminding the mind, “You could never do such a thing, He is not angry at you, your Father loves you, your Father will always love you.” The ego’s thought system is based on the premise that the impossible has happened and that fear is real, “If you ever go back to God, if you ever go back into your mind into that white light, God will get you and destroy you.”
And so if you can imagine for a second a mind that is used to paradise in Heaven and complete oneness as its natural state, just this state of pure Oneness and being, and then having these two irreconcilable thought systems in it. The course says that the tension was just intolerable for the mind to hold together these two thought systems because it was used to wholeness and integrity and congruency. So what it [the little puff] did to alleviate this tension, was it said, “You can project this split out on to the world”. Thus the world is seen as a world of duality; good and bad and right and wrong and fast and slow and hot and cold and male and female and up and down and victim and victimizer.
The trick was the ego said that the way we can alleviate your terrible feelings of pain and this intolerable guilt that you’re feeling is to project it out. That’s the trick, the trick of this world. We were talking about judgment at dinner tonight. Whenever we judge, whenever we condemn, it seems as if the mind is undergoing something where it can say ‘this person is at fault out here’.
Another word for projection, to take it out of psychological terms and just make it a little simpler, is blame. Blame my boss, blame the IRS, blame the country, blame the government, blame my self, blame the dog, blame my past, blame my heredity. This is a world in which blame seems to be everywhere. And the course is saying yes, that’s the reason the world is made up. The world was made up to be like a dumping ground where the mind can just blame everything out on the screen so to speak, the screen of the world, without taking responsibility for the split itself and accepting the Holy Spirit and healing the split.
So I throw that out as some of the basic underpinnings of the metaphysics to put into perspective what the Course is talking about. I like to try to make it as practical as possible. In other words, it comes down to the real question of , ‘How can I apply this in my daily life?’ And if I am going through a particular issue with a person or if I am going through financial problem, medical conditions, depression or something, what we do is we try to make it real practical so we can talk amongst ourselves about what seems to be the problem and then we can trace it back to the separation that the Course talks about in our mind and work it back. In that sense when we get together, when two or more are gathered, we have a chance of spiritual psychotherapy to let the Spirit come amongst us. So that’s the basic underpinnings.
In Love & Gratitude,