For as long as I can remember I've enjoyed shoveling snow. No matter whether it was a small area to be cleared or large expanses of pavement. As a little boy I would beg neighbors to let me shovel their driveway, pro bono. I had no interest in being paid, I just wanted to clear the snow.
Several theories might explain this unusual interest, including my engineering mentality for precision and order. But I contend it has less to do with any psychological underpinnings and much more with The Cat in the Hat.
What might the chaos-causing troublesome feline have to do with my interest in snow? He came back.
And his exploits make for a wonderful metaphor for understanding A Course in Miracles.
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back may very well be the first book I read on my own. And the tale finds our hero, an unnamed little boy narrator, being instructed by his mom to clear away a large pathway of snow while she is out running errands.
As the boy and his sister begin shoveling, into the house struts the hatted Cat, claiming refuge from the snowstorm. What could possibly go wrong?
For starters, Cat is found in the bathtub eating cake. "But there's work to do," cries the boy. Upon draining, a nasty pink smear of cake icing rings the entire tub. As they try to clean it, the pink stain transfers from one object to another - eventually onto the mother's beautiful white dress.
No worries. Cat has a plan to address the crisis. Upon doffing his hat, we learn there's another, smaller cat inside: Cat A. Who also is wearing a hat. Cat A removes his hat revealing yet another cat in a hat, Cat B. And so on continues the Matryoshka stacking doll-like reveal until all these cats, purportedly helping clean, are merely creating more and more of a pink mess all over the house.
It is a total disaster.
Until Cat Z removes his hat and unleashes a "Voom."
The Voom meticulously cleans the widespread pink stains AND completely clears the snow from the path - which was the task originally assigned to the boy and his sister. All is well. And Cat assures the little boy he'll be back if there are any additional problems.
Cat and his coterie of little minions are just like the ego mind. Convincing us they can help make things better - addressing our seeming problems. Without ever acknowledging that all issues are entirely due to the ego in the first place.
The ego wishes no one well. Yet its survival depends on your belief that [its intentions can help.] (T-15.VII.4)
Each time we turn to the ego - which is whenever we believe problems have to do with our body or other bodies - we do nothing well. Other than spreading distressing “pink stains” throughout various parts of our life.
Until we finally decide there must be a better way.
And that’s by the unleashing of Voom - otherwise known as the right-mind of the Holy Spirit. When we choose against the ego and for the mind of spirit, “the world will sparkle and shine.” (T-23.in.6). All our problems and pain are instantly transformed to peace.
Join me in Thursday’s class where we’ll explore the nefarious, messy undertakings of the ego and how we can convert them into spotless, serene surroundings. I look forward to seeing you then.
PS: Please don’t take my disparagement of our fictitious feline friend as an aversion to cats. I love them and spent many years of my youth with cat pets.