Could the separation have happened for a higher purpose?

Q. Is it possible that the separation happened for a higher purpose? The Course talks as if it was purely a mistake. But I wonder if there is more to the story.

A. A great many spiritual teachings put forth the idea that we embarked on this journey apart from God for a divinely ordained reason. In other words, it was God’s plan, not our mistake. The purpose of this journey is to achieve some kind of higher or more complete state than we were in originally, something that could only be won through long struggle.

I believe I can speak with real sympathy for this view, because I used to believe it myself. I even convinced myself for a time, many years ago, that this view could be reconciled with the Course.

What is so attractive about this view is that sees our passage through time and space as having a preordained divine purpose. This is far more inspiring than seeing it as one big avoidable mistake, like a cosmic version of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It is also attractive because it seems that about 80% of the channeled teachings out there teach some form of this. Surely they must be on to something. How could they all be wrong?

What I first realized was that I could not reconcile this view with the Course. The Course clearly frames the separation as an insane choice that did not need to be made. Think of that famous line, “Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh” (T-27.VIII.6:2). That clearly implies that we should have laughed at this crazy idea, but forgot to. It doesn’t sound at all like “Into eternity, straight from the Mind of God, there streamed a glorious idea to which the Son of God humbly agreed.”

Eventually, I also realized that the Course’s view only initially seems more depressing. In actuality, the Course’s view of the separation as a genuinely avoidable mistake is a direct outgrowth of its concept of a perfectly loving God.

Imagine two different Gods. One God creates you, but only does the job halfway. He creates you in need of further development. Thus, once you are created, God says to you, “I need you to leave My presence and head out on your own into a cold and heartless universe. I need you to spend a few million—or billion, whatever—years there, passing through countless struggles. But in the end, it will all be worth it, because you will become an even more glorious being than you are now.”

The second God creates you, but this God creates you perfect from the start. “You have not only been fully created, but have also been created perfect. There is no emptiness in you” (T-2.I.1:3-4). Therefore, the state that you would have achieved after millions of years of struggle in the first scenario, you have right from the start in the second scenario. This God then says, “You can now stay with Me forever, in infinite joy, needing nothing.” Then He adds, “To create you fully, I endowed you with free will. I create authentic beings, not automatons. If you decide to use your freedom to explore existence apart from Me, that is OK. I will make sure the experiences you have are perfectly designed to gently teach you that all you really want is to be with Me. And then we can pick up right where we left off.”

The question is: Which God is more loving? I don’t know how you would answer that, but in my mind, the second is the clear winner. In the first scenario, the universe of time and space is affirmed, and my choice to enter that universe is also affirmed. But in the second scenario, God’s perfection is affirmed and my inherent perfection is affirmed.

That is why, while I used to prefer the first scenario, I now actually prefer the second. Which is a good thing, because the second scenario is what my spiritual path teaches me is the truth.

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