My Padded Cell
Today’s lesson compares my choice of living with the ego to living in a stark, white, padded cell. The door opposite me represents my freedom from what I have finally come to admit is my chaotic, miserable life. The problem is, I think I can find a way out by myself. But when I look around, I am surrounded by images of other people (my brothers), each offering me a key to the door. However, I refuse and persist in thinking I can power my way through and escape into “the heaven beyond” by myself.
The Course in Miracles does not appeal to everyone. It resonates with those who have lived long enough and/or tried enough other spiritual paths, but still feels empty. I am among those who have reached the “end of their rope,” and in one way or another admit to themselves:
I give up. There has to be a better way.”
Having spent nineteen years in a convent, then delved into a variety of other ancient and new age spiritual traditions—each offering me a temporary–I have finally found the Course. I recognize I’m inside, my cell facing the locked door that offers an escape ito a sweet haven of peace on the other side. Not heaven, as per traditional Christianity, but a true and lasting peace of mind–an escape from this nightmarish dream of life.
The Course teaches that this life is a dream and that there is an escape: Forgiveness. Accepting the key presented by each my brothers is the “key: to exiting the door together. This represents a whole new, non-traditional kind of forgiveness, which I am slowly beginning to learn. A whole new kind of door-opening that frees me from my solitary confinement and stills my being at its core.