The spaces we occupy have parameters.
On this computer, typing out the letters onto a white page there are the edges of my screen.
In this room, sitting in this chair at this desk there are four walls around me.
Beyond these walls is the neighborhood where I currently reside, Marcy-Holmes. It has a boundary line, when crossed, takes you to the riverfront.
The Mississippi river, long, winding, moving through the country begins in Minnesota and ends, streaming into the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans.
The oceans large and expansive do not go on forever. They too have parameters, and we can not simply fall off the edge into oblivion as we once believed so many years ago.
The constructs of time and space as we define them are real (to us).
In fact with any defining we create a parameter for what something is or is not. And with definition we also assign meaning.
The first lesson in ‘A Course in Miracles’ is: “Nothing I see….has meaning”.
With definition I can create connection. I can define something, add a qualifier to it, and if you agree with me then we are connected.
It can also create discordance. I can define something, add a qualifier to it, and if you disagree with me than we are disconnected.
Here in lies the rub, if you will. Without definition how can I connect?
I find simply moving back to the first principle in the course helps. I will define things. It is my nature as a human being. I will also likely qualify those definitions. This is something I can practice attaching to or letting go of however. To not qualify something as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. To let the definition of something be a fact rather than a qualifier can be very liberating.
This is a pen. I can write with this pen. I can use the pen to chew on the end of it, deep in thought and consideration. I can pass the pen to you so you can write with it. Or chew on it. Or stick it up your nose, if that’s what you desire to do. The pen is not good nor bad. It simply is a pen. It has no meaning.
Now, if this pen doesn’t write or the ink has run out, it would be very easy to qualify it as less than. This is a bad pen. It doesn’t do what it is supposed to do. And here, our parameters become more dangerous.
Not in relationship to the pen necessarily, more to the likeness of qualifying people as good or bad based on their beliefs or opinions that are in opposition to how we’ve defined and qualified those beliefs and opinions.
There’s another way. I could simply choose to believe that this is a pen. And this pen does not write. Nothing else.
And you are a human. Nothing you think about this pen matters. You can believe it is a bad pen if you’d like. You get to believe what you believe. I get to listen to those beliefs and if I make a skillful choice of not qualifying them then I’m also able to listen without judgement.
I’ve recently been investigating how I show up in the world. Am I a person who judges? Am I a person who accepts and listens without judgement?
My desire is to be the latter. And I went back to the course today and did lesson one. It’s been a few years since the last time I went through the lessons.
Something I teach is:
‘Practice Makes You Better.’
Maybe I’ve been practicing judgement. Maybe I haven’t. I know one thing. If I witness it in myself, it’s there. It’s definitely been more challenging during these pandemic times. So for me, it’s a nice and perfect time to begin the lessons in the course again and practice. A Course In Miracles, for me, is a practice of non-judgement.
On this computer, typing these words out on a screen with edges, in a room with walls, residing in a neighborhood with boundaries leading to a riverfront that flows into the Gulf Of Mexico I can’t help but think how I’d like more space.
I enjoy wide, open spaces. I always have.
I don’t love tightness. Restriction. Rules. Regulations. All of this confines me and I feel suffocated. That inability to breathe and feeling the parameters tighten around me is one I remember, from so long ago. When everything must be this way and I must be this way and there is no other way.
Now, I remember what I’ve learned through the years.
All ways are one way. And perhaps you disagree with me on this. And I would say that is okay.
One is a way to freedom. When there is no map, directions, or best route, in fact, every road becomes a route. A route. A road. A reasoning. To go where you need to go, and get there when you do.
And perhaps we will meet at some point along the way and smile at each other. I imagine we could nod and say, “It’s nice to see you here too”. And then we may walk a little ways together and enjoy the company of each other for the time we do. Maybe after a bit we’d part ways, or maybe we would walk the same road together all the way to the end.
In any case. All roads are good roads.