by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff
The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde describes the struggle of good and evil that seems to be within all mankind. Man’s moments of goodness and kindness can so quickly turn to anger and destruction. This split personality has been the age-old debate and yet A Course in Miracles tells us that good and evil are both untrue; we are spirit, not the acceptable or unacceptable split-image we have made ourselves into.
This awareness does not deny the fact that we may have moments of kindness and compassion contrasted by moments of anger and rage, but God did not create this split. He created our wholeness and unity and that is what this lesson from the workbook of A Course in Miracles helps us to return to, as it says, “I am spirit… Practice this truth today as often as you can, for it will bring your mind from conflict to the quiet fields of peace. No chill of fear can enter, for your mind has been absolved from madness, letting go illusions of a split identity.”
This lesson goes on to tell us that, “You are the spirit lovingly endowed with all your Father’s Love and peace and joy.” We complete God and we share His function. We are not “peace” one moment and the next moment “conflict;” we share His consistency — we are spirit.
The Course realizes that we do not believe all this, but it does ask that we be willing for it to be true for us and allow it to replace the conflicts we experience in our lives by affirming, “I am spirit.” We are told that, “Each time you practice [I am spirit], awareness is brought a little nearer at least; sometimes a thousand years or more are saved. The minutes which you give are multiplied over and over, for the miracle makes use of time, but is not ruled by it.”
It may seem hard for us to understand that giving God a few minutes of our attention in which we hold no other thought but the truth of our identity as spirit will make a difference in the world and save us thousands of years in our healing process. And yet that is exactly the case. God is more powerful than our limited impression of Him. He is not ruled by how we see or believe in Him, only we are! In Him, time stands still; it has no limit nor end. The minutes we give to God affirming we are spirit transcend our limits and lift our minds out of centuries of pain and place us just “before the gates of Heaven.” (T-18.IX.13:2)
As this lesson goes on to say, “He [God] will offer all His strength to every little effort that you make. Give Him the minutes which He needs today, to help you understand with Him you are the spirit that abides in Him, and that calls through His Voice to every living thing; offers His sight to everyone who asks; replaces error with the simple truth.”
The Course tells us many times that our understanding is not necessary for God’s truth to reign in our lives, but that our willingness is! And, as we affirm the gift of our real identity, “I am spirit,” our True Self shines brighter inside us, dispelling the darkness that keeps us in pain and fear. Even when we seem to forget and find ourselves in conflict and confusion, there will always be a light within us reminding us that we can never truly lose our way again. God’s promise of the Holy Spirit, who is always there to help us, is affirmed in this lesson when it says, “He [the Holy Spirit] will speak to you, reminding you that you are spirit, one with Him and God, your brothers and your Self. Listen for His assurance every time you speak the words He offers you today, and let Him tell your mind that they are true.”
“I am spirit.” Use this thought to dispel the temptation to see yourself as something else. You are spirit. God needs your resolve to not let illusions stop you from claiming your purpose in His plan for your salvation and the world’s. Let us affirm together: “Spirit am I, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole, free to forgive, and free to save the world.”