The attraction of Godby Robert Perry

One of the ideas that we have restored in the Complete and Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles (CE) is the "pull of God," which was originally mentioned no less than eight times. This idea is that at the root of our nature, God exerts an overpowering pull on us. We feel a literally irresistible attraction to Him.

To appreciate this concept, we need to think about our usual attractions. We experience ourselves as pulled here and there by various powerful drives. The problem is that pursuit of these drives brings only momentary satisfaction and, unless we control ourselves, can wreck our lives. We can become addicted to sex, to food, to drink, to "love," so that the very things that gave us pleasure now bring devastation.

Try to imagine, then, a drive that is actually far stronger than our physical instincts. The Course says, "The pull of God Himself can hardly be equated with the pull of human appetites" (T-4.V.4:2). Try to imagine a drive that yields not momentary pleasure, but eternal satisfaction. Finally, try to imagine a drive that has no downside, so that the more we lose control-the more our mind "yields to His pull" (T-7.III.6:7)-the more all-encompassing our joy becomes.

According to the Course, the pull of God is the fundamental desire within us. It is our truly natural instinct. Our other impulses are pale distortions of it, or at best pale reflections. One thing this means is that we don't need to manufacture feeling for God, we just need to uncover it, let it rise to the surface. The Course specifically says that "His pull…is in all of you" (T-7.III.6:7).

As evidence of this, I find it very interesting that this pull is actually reported by those who have near-death experiences (NDEs). For instance, there is Dianne Sherman's NDE, in which she initially saw a tiny glimmer of light in the distance, which then began to grow:

"And as it starts to grow, I can't take my attention off of it, because it's what I'm drawn to now…And as it grows and starts to encompass more of the space where the darkness was, I'm feeling this pull, pulling me forward into it….I'm feeling this pull from in front of me, into this glimmer of light. And all of a sudden it starts to grow, and everything is illuminated in this light, including me. And I'm overwhelmed by the feeling…a feeling of such joy and overwhelming ecstasy, being in this illumination of light."

If it's true that the pull of God is in all of us and brings "such joy and overwhelming ecstasy," shouldn't this be the pull we spend our lives yielding to?

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