A Course in Miracles Blog

The prodigal son and his independence

  • By Paul West
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  • 3 minutes 17 seconds
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The prodigal son and his independence

Independence can seem like a good thing. It seems to in some way be better than dependency on others, or codependency. It seems to represent being responsible for ones own life, and having the freedom to choose anything.

The ego has an idea about independence. To the ego mind, independence from God is highly sought after. If you can exist and be autonomous without Him, that's your goal. And you can be relatively successful at this, albeit that usually the success will be punctuated with failures and is short lived.

You can, if you want, have your life all to yourself and do whatever you want to do. But at some point it will become obvious that something is missing. There is an emptiness, and your heart yearns for meaning. And that's because your independence is an attempt to be separate from meaning.

Separation from God, in which God's love is heartfelt and meaningful, must lead to a meaningless life in which the ego has taken over control of your life and is running the show on its own. This autonomy is artificial and pretends to be freedom. But it leads to death.

Without God, alone and incapacitated, there is only so much you can do. You cannot move the planets or heal the sick. You cannot raise the dead or bring miracles to those in need. And you cannot experience true peace.

Your independence from God is at a price. You may not realize it at first, but the cost is great. To be separate is to have nothing. And yet independence from God is an attempt to have everything for yourself. This grasping and holding-on to everything cannot accomplish what it aspires to do. Instead, everything is lost and you have nothing of value.

Your very existence, your being, cannot last while it is disconnected from the Source of Life. Cut off from supply, you will become sick and die. Disconnecting from your Real Self and from God is a lonely path of weakness, vulnerability, suffering and death.

If you want to eat real food at the table of God, then it comes with requirements. The Kingdom has some conditions you must meet. It is not that the Kingdom is conditional, but it does not include the ego. The idea of independence from God must be recognized as an ego attempt to be separate from God, to have a will of your own, to overthrow the Authority of God and to play at being God of your own world.

This you must be willing to let go if you are to reconnect and reunite with the only source of True Strength. This you must surrender if you want the benefit of Eternal Life. You must give up your desire for separate control over your life, and allow yourself to receive God again. Together you can share everything, but alone you have nothing but scraps.

The world is a dry and dusty desert where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. Without God, it has no life, and there is no hope of forever. Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven, come to rejuvenate, resurrect and bring life back to the living. Only when you allow God to nourish you in this way might you enjoy the fruits of Heaven.

You can have it your way, exercising all the rights and freedoms to the full extent that individuality and separation allows, yielding every possible result that can come from an single separate self. But you will grow tired and be thirsty for more. And true meaning will not be found in a separate life.

God is your home. The Father shares everything worth having. True Peace can be yours again if you will open your heart and mind and let Him help you with living. Plug yourself back into His Power Source and return to Life. You have been dead without Him. Now is your time of resurrection. It's time for the prodigal son to come home.
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