I am about to embark on an online course entitled “Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”. First of all, I am interested to see how MOOC’s (massive open online course) work. This is a university level class with 35,000 people enrolled, just for this one class. Also I feel it has a lot of potential in regards to teaching A Course In Miracles. And there is also the aspect of learning about how science is looking to explore the nature of life on earth and in the universe. How does it stack up against my awakening experiences and how am I able to correlate what the MOOC is offering and how A Course In Miracles deals with the idea of astrobiology and the search for life beyond our little human range of viewing the world and the universe.
If we can get past the egoic facade of individuals peering through microscopes or telescopes at something other than ourselves, we might be able to see that we are still just dealing with ideas. You are using your mind to imagine all sorts of extraterrestrial life forms, all the time. Every time you look up at the night sky and wonder at the vastness of space, you are actually looking back in time. But what can you really see?
Here’s a lovely section from A Course In Miracles:
“The concept of the self stands like a shield, a silent barricade before the truth, and hides it from your sight. All things you see are images because you look on them as through a barrier which dims your sight and warps your vision, so that you behold nothing with clarity. The light is kept from everything you see. At most, you glimpse a shadow of what lies beyond. At least you merely look on darkness, and perceive the terrified imaginings that come from guilty thoughts and concepts born of fear. And what you see is hell, for fear IS hell. All that is given you is for release; the sight, the vision and the inner Guide all lead you out of hell with those you love beside you, and the universe with them…”
So we are being asked to take a look at our self. Everyone, and I mean everyone, understands the idea of putting up a concept/facade of yourself that you think will seem knowledgeable or likable either because you are unsure or perhaps out of your depth or feel the need to fake an air of confidence. But what that really does is just creates an internal stress which eventually leads to sickness, pain and death. Perhaps we can find another way. But it may not come from a source that you initially recognize.
“…Behold your role within the universe! To every part of true creation has the Lord of Love and Life entrusted ALL salvation from the misery of hell. And to each one has He allowed the grace to be a Savior to the holy ones especially entrusted to his care. And this he learns when first he looks upon ONE brother as he looks upon himself, and sees the mirror of himself in him. Thus is the concept of himself laid by, for nothing stands between his sight and what he looks upon, to judge what he beholds. And in this single vision does he see the Face of Christ, and understands he looks on everyone as he beholds this One. For there is light where darkness was before, and now the veil is lifted from his sight.”
“The veil across the Face of Christ, the fear of God and of salvation, and the love of guilt and death, – they all are different names for just one error; that there is a space between you and your brother, kept apart by an illusion of yourself which holds him off from you, and you away from him…”
That will be an experience, and once you have had it you will never see yourself, the world, the universe the same again.
So as look out into the universe and travel to the stars, no matter what forms of life we come across, we will be able to recognize that we are really looking at our Self. And once again we see the great importance of Knowing Thyself.