Sunday, December 16, 2012

On the Death of Children

Somewhere in the world, children die every day. It may be through illnesses like dysentery, cancer or a failed heart. It may be from the conflicts of men in Syria, the Congo, or on the streets of an American city. It may simply come from an everyday accident like the intersection of a car and a bicycle or a pedestrian. Somewhere a child dies every day.
Or so it seems.
As we’re growing up, there comes a point when we realize that people die. Perhaps someone close to us like a grandparent passes away. Perhaps we just reach an age when we begin to think outside ourselves and realize that everyone’s life ends in death. We will eventually think about our own death, and wonder at the strangeness of it all.
Some of us will choose professions, like nursing or hospice care, where contact with death is a daily occurrence, but most of us don’t think about death too much. After our initial realization, we put the idea of death in the back of our mind, something that’s always there, but not a part of our everyday thinking.
Only when we are in a situation where death is near do we again consider it. If someone close to us dies, or if we are briefly put in a life and death moment, or if we see  stories on the news of strangers dying, we are momentarily presented with mortality. We can also become immune to the emotions of what we see or read in the news, as long as we don’t relate too closely to those strangers. But sometimes those dying strangers are children.
Or so it seems.
In A Course in Miracles we are presented with a different view of all of this, a way to see all this living and dying in a new light. In the Course everything real is in the mind, and what we believe we see in the external physical world is an illusion. It’s a strong illusion, one we are programmed to believe in from the very beginning. It seems real to us, and life and death seem real to us.
The ego is the part of our mind that is solely focused on maintaining the illusion of separation. It’s ultimately the belief in the separation that leads to our particular illusion of an external world where bodies live and die. The ego will do whatever it can to convince us this is the real world.
Within this ego view of the world, God is no help to us. He could be punishing us for some sins we have committed, even though what kind of sins seems difficult to understand at times. What sins would a seemingly innocent child have committed? Or maybe God is not punishing us, but has some greater plan we don’t understand in which innocent children are snatched away from us.
Or the ego may have convinced us God doesn’t even exist. In this view of the world, a world we can’t completely control, death may often seem random. A tree falls on a moving car killing someone inside. How could we possibly plan for such an occurrence? How can we as isolated, separated individuals affect such an outcome?
This is the ego’s view, but the Course tells us there is another part of our mind that remembers our connection to the True God. This part of our mind knows that our true home is not this external world the ego has presented to us. This is the Holy Spirit, where we can find answers to all these questions through forgiveness.
The God of the Course is Pure non-judgmental non-punishing Oneness. This is who we are, not the body the ego tells us is our true self. Within this Mind of God, there is only Love. The God of the Course would not have children die. For each of us is a Child of God, and we are promised that death is an illusion, like every other illusion that grows out of the idea of separation.
It is up to us to forgive the events that the ego presents to us, those events of bodies living and dying in an external world. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can begin to rethink these events. We can forgive all the people associated with the event. We can forgive the ego’s idea of a God who seems to have made these events happen. And ultimately we can forgive ourselves for accepting the ego’s way of viewing the world.
Through forgiveness, little by little we can begin to have a different emotional experience of the death we see in the world around us. As we forgive, the sense of reality of that world will begin to fade, and once it fades completely, we will return to our Home, our Natural Loving Space within the True Mind of God.
And so it is.

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