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“Nothing, not even the ego, has been able to keep you from expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. You came into the world of form incapable of not expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. That you are is an expression of beauty and truth. You express the beauty and truth of who you are by being alive. It has only been your inability to accept this that has caused your grief and pretensions. In a certain sense, your ability to express the beauty and truth of who you are has been taught out of you by learning practices that sought for sameness, and saw not your differences as the gifts they are.” (ACOL, D:Day9.27)
John Keats, a Nineteenth Century poet, expressed an idea that Jesus is here expressing also. Keats said, in the well-known “Ode on a Grecian Urn”: “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”
Not many people could explicate that poem as beautifully as Jesus has in this quotation for today. We are often obvious of the beauty that surrounds us, but even our desire for physical beauty is a reflection of our God-given love of beauty. And here Jesus says that being who we are is an expression of both beauty and truth. And being who we are is the theme with which A Course of Love ends, the take-away for all of us.
Jesus also expresses a desire that we recognize the diversity that we all have. We often thought, previously, that we had to be “alike” or the “same” to fit in. Our society is just coming to the realization that differences are to be celebrated, and we find in that celebration a champion no less than Jesus.
Many literary critics have sought to understand what John Keats was trying to say, but very few of them would ever recognize that “being who we are” is likely the best interpretation that could be made. Beauty and truth enfold us, and we don’t have to be egocentric to recognize value in this; indeed, if we are egocentric, we will miss the point. Being who we are is to celebrate our diversity, our differences, but know that there is a divine nature undergirding all of us. We have many gifts from God, and we abide with them when we are aware that they exist. We don’t take credit for our diversity; we celebrate it, and we celebrate most of all the myriad ways that our truth and beauty can be expressed.
Thank You for giving to me an understanding of what beauty and truth really mean, here, in Jesus’s words. Our attempts to be beautiful physically can even be seen as a reflection of divine longings. Let me live with Your words and Jesus’s interpretation today. May I see the beauty and truth of the words themselves.
Thank You for another beautiful day in our beautiful world. Help me to look at the positive, even as the news may bring reasons to shake my head at the difficulty of this world. Be with me, point out the positive, and give me Your blessings today, as always.