“Perhaps you think that different kinds of love are possible. Perhaps you think there is a kind of love for this, a kind for that; a way of loving one, another way of loving still another. Love is one. It has no separate parts and no degrees… Workbook, page 230, Lesson 127
This lesson teaches us that one of the main characteristics of love is that it never changes. “It never alters with a person or a circumstance.” Yet, if we think about the people we once loved and no longer do, then we realise that our human type of love cannot really be called love at all. Romantic love, in particular, quite frequently fades away; is it love or is it a mutual arrangement based on perceived needs? Lesson 127 stresses that those who think love can change do not know the real meaning of love.
Love cannot change and it also cannot judge. “As it is one itself, it looks on all as one. Its meaning lies in oneness. And it must elude the mind that thinks of it as partial or in part. There is no love but God’s, and all of love is His…” The meaning of love “lies in oneness” is linked to the Atonement. If we recall that the Atonement is the recognition that the separation from God never actually occurred, then we can see that there is no love but God’s because we are all part of God.
It is difficult to imagine what an all-inclusive type of love is really like. We love some people but not others; we love our partner until the relationship ends and we move onto a new relationship; we love those who are good to us but not those who are not; we love our nearest and dearest but it isn’t easy to extend that love to include everyone else on the planet. That, of course, is not practicable but Lesson 127 asks us to look on everyone with love because, “…we cannot leave a part of us outside our love if we would know our Self.” If our love excludes another person then it means that we haven’t accepted the Atonement—we haven’t recognised that that person is actually a part of us because there is only one of us. According to ACIM there are no good guys and bad guys in this world; there is only one guy—One.
It is not surprising that we cannot understand the meaning of true love because, here on earth, the ego uses love for its own ends. It encourages us to form “special love relationships” as a substitute for our love of God. “The special love relationship is the ego’s chief weapon for keeping you from Heaven.” T341. It is explained in Chapter 16 of the Text that this world was made to be the exact opposite of Heaven and, it follows, therefore, that the meaning of love on earth is the opposite to the meaning of love in Heaven. “In Heaven, where the meaning of love is known, love is the same as union. Here, where the illusion of love is accepted in love’s place, love is perceived as separation and exclusion.” So love, as we know it on earth, is the illusion of love, and we have to learn how to grasp the true meaning of love.
Lesson 127 points out that we are caught up in so many laws that limit our minds. We also believe that certain changes are part of human destiny; we believe it is normal to grow up, grow old, become sick and then die. But Jesus tells us: “The world that seems to hold you prisoner can be escaped by anyone who does not hold it dear. Withdraw all value you have placed upon its meagre offerings and senseless gifts, and let the gift of God replace them all.” W231. It is interesting to think about all the “senseless gifts” we strive for in this world, only to become bored with them shortly afterwards and replace them with even more “senseless gifts.” A child is full of glee when it is given a new toy. But how long does it take before it discards the toy and goes in search of something new? Are we any different from children? Isn’t it time we grew up? If we could understand that this world of dreams really has nothing to offer us, then we would be able to follow the teachings of A Course in Miracles or another spiritual path and begin our awakening process.
So, how do we learn how to grasp the true meaning of love? Jesus asks us to call upon God for guidance. “He will shine through your idle thoughts today, and help you understand the truth of love. In loving gentleness He will abide with you, as you allow His Voice to teach love’s meaning to your clean and open mind…” W231. We need to have an open mind and we need to have the determination to let God’s Love into our minds.
Lesson 127 asks us to repeat the following to someone who comes to mind: “I bless you, brother, with the Love of God, which I would share with you. For I would learn the joyous lesson that there is no love but God’s and yours and mine and everyone’s.” This practice could be extended and applied every day in a shortened form. All we need to do is to mentally bless those whose paths we cross, whether it is a stranger in the street, a colleague at work or a friend or family member. Just say: “I bless you, brother, with the Love of God, which I would share with you.” It is particularly important to say this to someone who has just annoyed us in some way. It can even be applied to someone we see on the TV news who has just committed a horrible crime. You see it is the ego of the criminal who is to blame, not the Higher Self of that person who is still a son of God, as we all are. A Course in Miracles makes no exceptions. We are all One because we are all part of God. If we judge someone as being apart from God, we are, actually, judging ourselves.
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