One of the most commonly asked questions during our meetings with friends sharing in studies of ‘A Course In Miracles’ is: “What is the Holy Spirit?” It is a question which I recognise is virtually impossible to answer in words, for the Holy Spirit is indefinable. However, it is possible to discuss in some detail the role which the Holy Spirit plays in our personal journeys back to the full awareness of “Love’s Presence.”
The Course refers to the Holy Spirit as “He” and “Friend”, which suggests a loving personality, someone who can relate to us and communicate at our level of understanding. He is also referred to as “the Voice for God”, suggesting that our “Friend” has a direct link with all the knowledge we could ever need. He is also known as “the Healer”, hence the title “Holy”. Healing is of the mind and is a movement away from the awareness of fear to the awareness of love. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is therefore to walk with us and to guide us at the precise level of our understanding, correcting perceptions that promote fear, if we offer them to Him, enabling us to return to full awareness of our Oneness with God.
How does the Holy Spirit speak? The Holy Spirit is in our mind and speaks through empathy. The dictionary definition of “empathy” is “the power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation.” When we open ourselves mentally to the Holy Spirit, He is able to empathise with us. The experience is as if another level of understanding has entered us and we enjoy the clarity of knowing exactly what to do or say.
How do we allow the Holy Spirit to empathise with us when we need help and guidance? I have developed my own formula for healing, based upon the principles of the Course. I refer to it as “The Five-Step Process.”
1. I acknowledge that I am in a fearful state of mind (“The Confession Stage”).
2. I recognise and state that I cannot handle the fear with my own mind or with past learning (“Humility”).
3. I call for help from the Holy Spirit (“Prayer”).
4. I listen for the answer (“Silence”).
5. I act upon the answer or the miracle (“Love In Action”).
The first step of healing is to recognise that there is a problem in my perception, and it is fear. I have found this to be a most difficult thing to accept; that I am in fear and that it is not my natural state. I would rather call it stress, anxiety, doubt, judgement or worry – but not fear; because if it is fear then I would need to do something about it. This is ego, and it is in denial. The Holy Spirit cannot empathise with a closed mind, so the next step is the “opening”: I need help, and I have to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit who can help me. The third step is an invitation to the Holy Spirit to fill my mind, and this simply requires a form of asking. The Course states that “prayer is the medium of miracles” (T1/3). It is the channel through which the Holy Spirit makes contact with our feeling of separateness. Following prayer is the time of silence, or listening. This is where joining is established, where two minds become one and the split is healed between God and me. I can then hear the “Voice for God”, the Holy Spirit, and He will direct me very specifically.
Finally, it is time to act upon the guidance given. All that I need to do or say is shared in the union. This is Love in action, and it carries with it a complete sense of peace and certainty. It is the embodiment of the miracle, the shift in perception from fear to love.
For me, this is the time of practice; a continual opening up to the “Unseen Guest” or the Holy Spirit in my mind. I know He never fails to respond to my call for help, although the key is how quickly do I admit that I am in fear. That seems to be the most difficult admission to make.
“I am not alone, and I would not intrude the past upon my Guest.
I have invited Him and He is here.
I need do nothing except not to interfere” (T307/331).