How do I return love to God without perceiving duality?

Q: In Lesson 225, it repeatedly says “I must return Your Love for me.” How do I return love to God without perceiving Him as a separate entity from me? Since starting the Course, I have worked hard at believing in “non-duality,” and I find this lesson confusing.

A: The Course doesn’t use the term non-duality, but it does talk a great deal about oneness. However, it defines this oneness in its own way, a way that is hard for us to comprehend in our current state. 

It says that we are one with God, part of God, and made of God’s Being. However, it also says that He created us, that He is our Cause and we are His effect, and that it will always be that way (see W-pII.326.1:2).

This means that within oneness, there is also relationship. The Course speaks often of our relationship with God, even in the heavenly state, saying it’s the only relationship we ever had, or could ever want to have (T-15.XI.9:5). It says that we feel a natural and irresistible pull toward this relationship, a pull that we usually repress out of fear that we will be uprooted. 

Letting ourselves feel that pull again and get back in touch with that relationship is one of the greatest joys we can have on this earth. We all long for relationship, and here is the perfect relationship freely held out to us. 

We need to honor both of these sides, as the Course constantly does. There is oneness, but there is also relationship. Each one is a key part of the big picture, and somehow, in a way these brains cannot fathom, they go together. 

My suggestion, then, would be to suspend your reservations, just for a moment, and try praying the prayer. Let yourself get into it, and see if it won’t stir in you the memory of a relationship that the Course says once meant everything to you.

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