One of the spiritual teachings of A Course in Miracles that I work with almost every day is “the consistency of means and ends.”
I find myself examining this teaching as it plays out in my life.
In ACIM, we’re told, “You recognize you want the goal. Are you not also willing to accept the means? If you are not, let us admit that you are inconsistent. A purpose is attained by means, and if you want a purpose you must be willing to want the means as well. How can one be sincere and say, ‘I want this above all else, and yet I do not want to learn the means to get it?’”
In other words, we SAY we’d like Joy, Love, Peace, Abundance, Harmony, Freedom and all of the spiritual qualities to be fully realized by us in our lives, and yet, we’re not willing to employ the means necessary to experience those spiritual qualities.
This teaching is simple. It really is.
We say we’re clear about the goal: awakening, Peace, Love, heaven on earth.
Spirit has given us the means.
It’s the way out of our personal hell.
And yet, we resist.
We make excuses.
Because the means is forgiveness.
And we do not want to forgive.
We say we don’t know how, that we’ve tried, but when we look more deeply, we haven’t. We cling to our position and the meaning we made of what happened.
We defend and justify.
I was so defensive. Sigh.
The means to be restored to the fullness of Peace, Love, Joy, Freedom, Abundance, Harmony and more, is to let go of the blocks to Love that we hold in our heart. That’s true forgiveness.
We’d like to have great Love, but we’re not willing to let go of our resentments.
We’d like to have Prosperity, but we’re not willing to let go of our belief in lack and limitation.
We’d like to have Peace, but we’re not willing to let go of our attack thoughts against ourselves and others.
We’d like to have Freedom, but we’re not willing to let go of the guilt and making others feel guilty.
In our minds, we imagine defending ourselves, punishing people and seeking revenge.
It’s as though we’re saying we’d like to stop feeling pain, but we won’t let go of the hot iron that’s burning us.
Niccolò Machiavelli famously said, “the ends justify the means.” That was his opinion. He was a philosopher and statesman, a contemporary of DaVinci during the time of the Renaissance. He was an atheist and a cynic seemingly devoid of morals. He wrote many books including “The Art of War.” He believed that the means to the goal, no matter how cruel or vicious, were justified.
We could say he was ego personified.
In a sense, you could say that Machiavelli’s philosophy became acceptable because of his writing and the success he experienced in his lifetime. We see that kind of thing play out today. Someone who manages to become wealthy and famous is considered successful even if they lied and cheated to get to their “success.”
What kind of success is that?
Those who wish to justify their means can do it with their ill-gotten gains – and still, whatever anyone takes or makes at the expense of the suffering of others, will never ever be worth it. It will never bring fulfillment or happiness. Which is the whole reason they’re doing it in the first place.
The best it can ever do is offer a very temporary cessation of longing.
People whose method of success is to bring harm to others, to steal, to lie and to cheat, will never, ever be able to be happy, but they won’t know that till they get there.
While they can think, and even say, they believe that they’re better than others and deserve more than others, but they don’t really believe it, not really. They never will. Their class, their position, their financial power and leverage, their talent and their beauty won’t ever make them happy because in their soul, they know that we’re one with each other. We all do.
Other voices have spoken up about ends and means, particularly in the last hundred years or so.
Wilhelm Reich, the radical psychoanalyst said,
“You think the end justifies the means, however vile.
I tell you: the end is the means by which you achieve it.
Today’s step is tomorrow’s life.
Great ends cannot be attained by base means.
You’ve proved that in all your social upheavals.
The meanness and inhumanity of the means make you
mean and inhuman and make the end unattainable.”
Perhaps the human race consciousness had grown enough in the five centuries between Machiavelli and Reich that it was now obvious, based on the experience humanity’s had of suffering at the unfeeling hands of blood thirsty egomaniacs, that ends can never justify the means.
Writer Aldous Huxley came along and said,
“the end cannot justify the means,
for the simple and obvious reason
that the means employed
determine the nature of the ends produced.”
Ayn Rand, another famous author, said,
“the end does not justify the means.
No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others.”
Amen to that.
More recently Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,
“You can’t reach good ends through evil means,
because the means represent the seed
and the end represents the tree.”
And the “means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.”
Now, if you look at all those voices, speaking of different views of the same philosophy or theory, you can see which statement has the most heart in it. It’s King, letting us know that he seeks pure agape Love.
And because the revolution he led was of loving means, he was able to be profoundly successful and we can learn from this now.
If we needed any proof of theory – we have it.
We’re spiritual beings having a human experience. We cannot find Peace with unpeaceful means. We cannot have a war to bring Peace.
We get angry, we fall into despair, we blame others for our shortcomings. We withhold Love because we want Love. We do the darndest things because we’re upset and we lack perspective.
We let our emotions run away with us just because we feel like it and don’t love ourselves enough to honor our feelings and instead we stuff them and stuff them and medicate them and then we either explode or implode.
And still, the teaching that is so helpful to us, especially right now, TODAY, is that if we’d like to experience Peace, Prosperity, Wholeness, Freedom, Joy, Clarity, Harmony, Love and so much more, we must forgive the past.
This IS consistency of ends and means.
We must let go of our judgments.
Judgments are the mechanism by which separation from Spirit’s infinite goodness is brought into our experience.
The ends is in the means.
That will never change.
We can’t stuff our feelings and expect to feel better.
We can’t medicate our feelings and feel free.
We can’t focus on lack and limitation and feel expansive.
We can’t withhold Love to get Love.
We cannot hide our light under a bushel and hope for our dreams to be realized.
We cannot believe we’re unworthy, not good enough, wrong, bad, unlovable and live the life we desire.
Something’s gotta give.
And that something is the false beliefs, the painful patterns, the habits that keep us living blocked from our destiny.
We each have extraordinary gifts that the world can benefit from if we share them. Please be willing to share them.
We each can help liberate our brothers and sisters from the prison in their minds when we release ourselves.
I made a decision to begin sharing because I was inspired and felt that I just had to share. I couldn’t be silent. I couldn’t hide. I had no platform. I had no audience. I just started sharing with the people I knew.
I gave from the overflow.
I didn’t need anything in return.
I was, and still am, so grateful just to be able to offer something that’s meaningful to me – and to connect.
I can remember driving four hours round trip to lead a workshop that only one person attended. And still, it felt worth it.
I used to give workshops at my friend’s house, in my own living room, any place I could find would work for me. I HAD to share because I was so full of gratitude for the inspiration I felt.
To achieve our goals of awakening awareness, living in Peace, and BEING a blessing in this world, we are required to learn that consistency of means and ends is necessary.
To have Peace, teach Peace. What does it mean to teach Peace? It really means to forgive. To stop judging, complaining and attacking.
We teach with every choice we make.
Learning NOT to judge is much easier than learning to judge. We’ve learned to judge and attack ourselves and others, and now we’re unlearning it. Let’s forgive of ourselves for all the ignorance, and all the ways we’ve chosen to NOT be helpful in this world. Let’s wipe that slate clean by giving ALL of our self-judgment to our Higher Holy Spirit for healing.
No more excuses.
We forgive ourselves first, and then we can forgive others.
We’ve got work to do. Let’s forgive ourselves so we can focus on something productive.
And, forgiveness takes work too. Practicing non-judgment IS forgiveness. We have what it takes because we have infinite support in the invisible and we always will.
In our Power of Love Ministry community, we have something we call Forgiveness Friday. We have sessions where we share our forgiveness work, bear witness for each other and release our attachments to the pain of the past. It’s deeply healing. Together, we’re remembering to laugh. It’s easier this way. On our own, we procrastinate and delay and that doesn’t do anyone any good.
Our willingness IS required.
Our willingness is ALL that’s required.
If we can’t be willing, be willing to be willing – honestly, this does the trick, and if that’s not sufficient, let’s be willing to be willing to be willing! A tiny bit of willingness is still willingness.
Our goal is liberation.
What are liberating from? False beliefs.
Our own false beliefs can be released in a moment.
We don’t have to wait.
We can choose heaven today instead of hell.
Ultimately we WILL liberate.
Let’s actively choose it, work towards it and ALLOW it to be revealed.
Our liberation is tied to everyone else’s. Let’s not delay another day!
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