I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for 9 glorious months of intuitive art, playing the gong, walking the gem strewn hillsides surrounding the city, going to all manner of exotic spiritual gatherings, and living in the most adorable guest casita with a terraced garden full of hummingbirds. This was pre – A Course in Miracles, but I was guided by Spirit to go there, and it did indeed seem like Paradise on earth, and living the abundant life.
A small inheritance from my father supported this adventure, and other previous travels, and I was confident that Spirit would continue to provide once the funds ran low. A couple of weeks before I was due to return to the UK I received clear Guidance to take no more of this inheritance, and that it was time to call upon my True Inheritance. This meant saying goodbye to around £10,000 and coming back to the UK with £200, nowhere to live, hardly any contacts as I had been traveling, and being unable to work as I was in long term recovery from a serious illness.
But I knew it was the right thing to do, symbolising a moving beyond some unresolved issues within the family. Full of the ebullience of Santa Fe living, I came back and waited for money to arrive! The way was shown, but I never expected it to be via a night’s homelessness, a month’s hostel hopping in London, with every accommodation door closed because I would need to be on housing benefit, and then mercifully a few months in a caravan on a friend’s farm.
While I was witnessing deep fears of being homeless come to light, I was blessed with a world class set of gongs to play (on a farm in E. Sussex – you couldn’t make it up!), and the friendship of an American traveling ‘High Priestess’ who was staying in a neighbouring field. More exotic and surreal spiritual gatherings in her camper van… Most incongruous of all was a spectacularly diverse spiritual forum held in the very mainstream local village pub; enter ACIM in the form of Course teacher John Campbell. A few weeks later I was guided to Brighton and a Buddhist Minister landlady who took me in…
So what does this story have to say about True Abundance?
I missed Santa Fe deeply for a long time, but 5 years on I can see that I loved it because it was a reflection of my mind. ‘Peace and Beauty’ had been a longstanding mantra, resulting in many travels to ‘beautiful places’. I would not love it now because my ideas of Peace and Beauty have changed. The homelessness episode was a priceless gift in helping me release a deep fear, clearing the way to approach the idea that I am Peace and Beauty, at home in the true Beauty of God’s Mind.
No seemingly beautiful place could ever offer this emerging truly abundant knowing of myself.
The Course says, in lesson 249, ‘Forgiveness ends all suffering and loss… The world becomes a place of joy, abundance, charity and endless giving’. This brings in two ideas that are the foundation of True Abundance: forgiveness and endless giving. The physical world represents a belief in deprivation, and so any seeming abundance found in an experience of separation can’t arise from our Source. It will be temporary and resting on fears of lack. Santa Fe arose from my growing connection with Spirit, but it was still far from reflecting True Abundance because I still believed the world was real, and thus in separation. This is the belief that needs to be forgiven, released, in order for us to welcome the miracle of knowing Spirit as our Identity, and Spirit’s nature of infinite abundance. Only then can we experience True Abundance reflected everywhere, independent of how the body’s eyes see the physical environment.
‘And in your storehouse it (the miracle) will make a place of welcome for your Father and your Self. The door is open, that all those who may come would no longer starve, and would enjoy the feast of plenty set before them there. And they will meet with your invited Guests the miracle has asked to come to you. This is a feast unlike indeed to those the dreaming of the world has shown. For here, the more that anyone receives, the more is left for all the rest to share. The Guests have brought unlimited supply with Them. And no one is deprived or can deprive. Here is the feast the Father lays before His Son, and shares it equally with him’. (Ch28. 111.8:6-8, 9:1-4)
This is saying that if we welcome the miracle, the Love of God flowing through our minds, then the abundance of Spirit will be known to us, and we will naturally wish to share it. It is in the sharing of it that we know it is ours, and we can see the reflection of it in our lives. It may not turn up as millions in the bank! It will show up in the best way for us to understand that nothing physical contributes to our true wealth; the physical is merely an effect of our thinking.
I live in London in humble circumstances on a low income, and yet I feel teeming with riches. I never worry about money, the fear of homelessness has gone, and I embrace ever more deeply the fact that ‘I am sustained by the Love of God’. (Lesson 50) For example, my neighbour works in a charity shop and has appointed himself as my ‘personal shopper’, regularly appearing with the latest ‘good buy’, my size and colour. I have recently been given an Apple Mac, wonderful timing as my old Del was on the way out, and Dan – the manager of the Miracle Network – has given me his mobile broadband box as the house where I live has no wi-fi. I could go on…
Looking back at the call I made in Santa Fe on my True Inheritance, I can see that A Course in Miracles is exactly that showing up in form. It has opened doors in my mind that I had no inkling existed, even though Spirit had been central to most of my adult life. This fabulous wealth is reflected in the best job I could ever have imagined – events manager for the Miracle Network, ACIM facilitator and healer – I love it all. Prompts from Spirit flow freely; articles, poems, creative ideas for designing workshops… that is joyful abundance! Writing this now is pure happiness.
Dan nudged me to start a Facebook Page, and although nothing could have been further from my thoughts, I knew to give it a go. More joy! It quickly turned into a Page dedicated to ACIM, and I find myself receiving all kinds of ideas for posts, and being shown where to make comments that might be of use. My prayer since the early days of studying ACIM has been to Jesus – ‘help me help you’, and he is giving me an abundant supply of ways to do my best to help him. I could ask for no greater riches than this.
I’d like to leave us with some beautiful quotes from the Course, treasures for our minds, to help us remember that True Abundance is the true nature of Life.
‘Each day a thousand treasures come to me with every passing moment’. (Lesson 315)
‘My treasure house is full, and angels watch its open doors that not one gift is lost, and only more is added. Let me come to where my treasures are’. (Lesson 316)
‘He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness. And yet, unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received’.
‘The Son of God is limitless. There are no limits on his strength, his peace, his joy, nor any attribute his Father gave in his creation’. (Lesson 320)