A labyrinth — it's not a maze. If you were at the workshop yesterday you know this. It's one path. It goes from outer to inner and then it goes back. It's not a maze. There are no dead ends. There are no wrong turns. You don't have to think about it. You just have to walk it. All kinds of thoughts may come while you are walking it. You may like some of them and you may not like some others. It really doesn't matter. You just walk it. It's one path. I used to think my life was a maze — that it had all kinds of wrong turns, dead ends and problems — things I had to figure out. I'm now getting it. My life isn't a maze. It's a labyrinth. It's one path. I just walk it. The important thing is to keep walking it.
Lo and behold, this seems to be what A Course in Miracles is telling us. "This is Palm Sunday, the celebration of victory." Victory! And then it says something very interesting which relates directly to the theme of our conference. It says, "This week begins with palms and ends with lilies." (OrEd.Tx.20.2) So you get to lilies from palms. You get to lilies from celebrations of victory, maybe loud celebrations of victory, active celebrations of victory. We've had one all weekend long. This active, exciting, wonderful, happy celebration of victory. That's what leads to lilies. It's a big transition to go from palms to lilies. Might it not be that it's a step-wise thing? There has to be a certain level of celebration and mastery before we can truly give the gift of lilies. So, "This week begins with palms and ends with lilies, the white and holy sign the Son of God is innocent." (OrEd.Tx.20.2)
My time with A Course In Miracles started in 2004. I was looking at the original book that I studied, which was of course, a Foundation for Inner Peace edition. It has all of the underlines in it, and the stars and the notes that capture the learning that I went through my first time with the Course. One thing that is really interesting to me when I look at page 15, which may have occurred on my third or forth day of reading the Course, is that at the very bottom of the page I wrote a promise to myself. This is what that promise says. "I promise to let myself be led by love within an experience of joy to the full and complete realization of Self." This path hasn't all been giggles.
There is a passage in the Workbook we did just a week or two ago that talks about this final time of the year. It says, "Our use for words is almost over now. Yet in the final days of this one year we gave to God together, you and I, we found a single purpose that we shared." (W 469/485) There are a couple of ideas here I would like to focus on. As you progress in the Course, the use for words, or the importance of words, gradually drops away. As we get to the final lesson there are really no words at all except just an awareness that we are turning our lives over to the Holy Spirit and that we really don't know what it is we should be doing but we are confident that, at any given moment, the Holy Spirit will guide us — so there are these ideas in that phrase. More importantly, for me, is the thought that we found a single purpose for our lives, and we found we share that single purpose with all our brothers and sisters.
Today's principle that we are going to focus on is "Nia," Purpose. Here's the stated meaning of "Nia" that was developed by Dr. Karenga, "To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to traditional greatness." Think about that phrase, "To make our collective vocation." It is about us learning how to find ways to build our communities, to build ourselves, to build our experiences. That's what we need to do. That's what it is. We can't only build our communities. We have to develop them too. We have to train ourselves, and continue to practice our training, in ways that will continue to make us who we really are. The beauty of this, it's something I really like about this principle, is that it is reminding us of our traditional greatness. I believe that we already have greatness. We were born with it. As A Course In Miracles students know, we are as God created us. He created us. I think we get lost from that idea.
Fourth of July weekend, we’re halfway through the 2006 year. What do we celebrate on the fourth of July? We celebrate the signing of the Declaration Of Independence. There’s a picture of the document on the from cover of your program. I like to talk about the Declaration of Independence around the fourth of July. It has a phrase in it, right after the introduction, that I thinks is significant. It is certainly significant for spiritual people. It’s significant because it shows the Declaration Of Independence is a spiritual document. I’m sure we are all very familiar with this passage: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Right, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”