“You do not change your behavior to make yourself look spiritual, or perform in ways you think are in line with the Course’s teachings. Rather, you focus on changing your teacher. Jesus’ peace, resulting from your shift to him, helps you smile more frequently.”
“Throughout the lesson Jesus refers to the decision-making part of the mind recognizing its mistake and choosing against the ego and for the Holy Spirit, reflecting the theme of bringing illusion to truth, rather than truth to illusion.”
“We can almost hear him saying to us: To choose the ego over me is the silliest thing you can do, because your ego is always wrong and will never make you happy. On the other hand, I will always make you happy for I am right. This choice is available to us all the time, even when the world is so distracting and the body’s needs so pressing.”
“…we can become increasingly aware of truth’s reflection, of which forgiveness is the most prominent example. In this spirit, Jesus says to us: I am not asking you to give up your bodily identification, but only helping you realize your body should become less and less important to you; both as a symbol of pain and pleasure, damnation and salvation.”
“It is interesting to observe how many students of ACIM make the same mistake of thinking that enjoying things in this world is bad, for pleasure goes against the Course. In a phrase, they forget how to be normal. Jesus is not saying you should renounce the world. He says simply that over time the world and its offerings should become less and less important to you. You do not give up anything, for the world of pleasure and pain slides away by itself as you give up the ego.”
In response to paragraph five, sentences one and two, 5:1-2, Ken writes:
“on this road you regard the body as neutral – a classroom – not an object of pleasure or pain. The purpose you give the body and world is what gives them meaning, for in and of themselves they have none. Jesus’ gentle guidance shifts our purpose from nothingness to everything, despair to joy, failure to success.”
“As you begin to progress on the path and get an inkling of what ACIM is teaching, your ego will become terrified. The part of you that has identified with specialness is not willing to let it go. The through remains: “If I continue on this path, I will disappear.” Thus the ego jumps in and offers a compromise: “The Course does not really mean it this way. Yes, the body is an illusion, but…Yes, the world is an illusion, but…” It is at this point you start to make the dualistic body real, and begin to think, for example, that forgiveness means forgiving someone else, and that a holy relationship exists between two separate people – the opposite to what Jesus teaches in his course. To be sure, many paths do, but not his, which focuses only on the mind of its students. Recall the important line: “This is a course in cause (mind) and not effect (behavior)” (T-21.VII.7:8).
“This then is a good example of the temptation to which Jesus refers – to make duality reality. The ego would try to “have its cake and eat it, too” by convincing you that you have remained faithful to Jesus and his teachings, but all you have done is brought the truth of ACIM to the illusion of your thought system. Rather than stepping back from illusion – salvation of the body and world is real – you integrate truth with illusion, which means truth ceases to be the truth.”
One of Ken’s thoughts I didn’t share above was “Remember, your right mind wants to walk with ACIM; the wrong mind wants it to walk with you.”
I made a veritable mess of my day yesterday. My head spun all day long for a number of reasons, all self-made.
I plunged into the deep end of the pool and floundered and badly. I can swim, but I felt as though I were drowning in a cesspool of self-recrimination and regret.
Our basement is chocked full of stuff I have accumulated over many years, too many books, stuffed animals, baking pans (I don’t bake), serving dishes, you name it, it’s down there. Oh, and a lot of purses as I had an addiction to buying them many years ago and need to donate many of them or give them to family members…if they’re interested.
I told Bill last night I was experiencing gripping fear, then I changed it to crippling fear that led me to being totally frozen, inert, indecisive.
I watched all this, but not in a detached manner.
I bought the ego’s story hook, line and sinker.
Bill was wonderful.
Very compassionate as I fought back the tears.
I have stuffed, buried, denied my pain for too long and yep, it comes out sideways.
I do get in touch with some, but I find myself adept at running away from those emotions or feelings buried long ago to protect my self-identity.
Oh, and the form of the distress matters not, it was the content of aligning with the ego, the wrong mind that ailed me, not the form.
I found today’s lesson very helpful, Ken’s thoughts, very meaningful.
I can start anew at any time. I can practice the Holy Instant. I can practice forgiveness.
I can take better care of myself.
Baby steps, no infant steps, I cannot even attempt to walk yet, but I can crawl.
Have a lovely day!