The Seeker of Peace

To Whom Do We Pray?
October 7, 2008, 9:14 pm
Filed under: God | Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m on day 38 of the workbook from A Course in Miracles, and I’m finding it very profound. A friend suggested I look at Marianne Williamson’s Illuminata: A Return to Prayer. I did, and had a hard time with the prayers she suggests.

The only way I’ve been able to accept God is to adopt the non-dualistic, immanent view: God is everything, including us, and it’s only our egos that make us feel like we’re separate. This is consistent with what Hale Dwoskin teaches in The Sedona Method, as well as what I’ve learned so far from the Course.

Yet Marianne’s prayers seem to address a completely external, transcendent god. Since she’s a teacher of the Course, this actually make me worry that I had fundamentally misunderstood what I’d learned in the Course so far. Then, fortunately, I had a major insight.

What I realized was that, really, my ego is separate from God. If, as Hale describes it, my ego is a layer of stuff obscuring the underlying Beingness (his usual term for God), then the ego does in fact have to look outside itself in order to ask for help. It’s not that God is outside me, but that the ego is outside God.

So, having a prayer ask for God’s help suddenly makes a lot more sense, even if God is immanent. All problems must be problems of the ego, and thus it makes sense to have it address God as an external entity. God never has any problems, and thus never has reason for prayer, and that’s why we don’t have prayers written to ourselves. That would suggest that the ego could solve its own problems.

This is yet another example of how my traditional Jewish religious education, and my subsequent rebellion against it, throws up stumbling blocks to my understanding. I can only hope that once one gets over the hill of accepting God, that one starts to pick up speed!


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