In the mind training curriculum that is A Course in Miracles, students learn that enlightenment is not attained overnight: it is a slow process, in which we stumble, get up and move on; not only once, but many times: “Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again.” (C-ep.1:2). And although in the same paragraph we read that “Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain. […] No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do” (C-ep.1:1,3), many times we notice that we got off track once again, despite our best intentions. Usually this is followed by a load of guilt, which is actually the last thing Jesus would want us to choose, since guilt is the problem. A Course in Miracles is therefore first and foremost a course in self-forgiveness, from the happy realization that there is no-one else out there to forgive: everything we perceive and interpret around us happens in the mind.
The prime goal of A Course in Miracles is to set us on the road to lasting inner peace, by learning how to allow the Holy Spirit to gently undo the ego regime that we cherish so much. We still cherish it because we want to keep up the illusion that we can be on our own, separate from Oneness: “The world is an illusion. Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality [as spirit, as Christ].” (W-pI.155.2:1-2). It is therefore imperative that each time you notice you’ve chosen illusions (the ego) again, to stop judging yourself, honestly look at what’s going on (from ‘above the battleground’, T-23.IV), and then simply choose once again, this time for the guidance by the Holy Spirit.
The following quasi-Platonic dialogue may help in this process. It is, of course, in the same vein as the “Rules for decision” in chapter 30 of the text (T-30.I). Practice this dialogue (or any variation on it) at the moment you realize you’ve chosen the ego again.Think of it as the Holy Spirit addressing the decision making part in your mind. Most statements are literal quotes from the text, the workbook or the manual.
Wherein lies salvation?
In listening to the Holy Spirit; in hearing the Voice for Love.
Wherein have you been seeking salvation?
In devotion to idols; in achieving silly goals; in gratification by others.
Where does that lead to?
To misery and pain. I may experience moments of ecstasy, but it never lasts.
Why would you choose this?
Because I still have some lingering hope that I can be happy here, on my own in the world of time and space.
What are you?
I am not a body; I am spirit. I am free, for I am still as God created me.
What would make you truly happy?
Forgiveness offers me everything I want. Heaven is the decision I must make.
What do you need to decide for Heaven?
To fully realize what brings pain and what brings joy, and then to choose again. The power of decision is my own. No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.
What do you need to remember to make this choice again?
Let me remember I am one with God. And there is no love but God’s.
Why would the world be anything to you?
The world I see holds nothing that I want. I will not value what is valueless. I loose the world from all I thought it was.
What’s the alternative?
Beyond this world there is a world I want. I want the real world, devoid of judgment.
Where does the real world lead to?
To my Self as Christ, my true Identity. I therefore thank my Father for His gifts to me: eternal Love; eternal joy; eternal peace; eternal happiness.
What will you do in this world of perception?
I am among the ministers of God. I choose to be a teacher of God. I will step back and let the Holy Spirit lead the way. I will give the miracles that I receive, and not place any demands on where their healing effects are bestowed.
What is the key to happiness?
Forgiveness is the key to happiness. And I will perceive forgiveness as it is: a declaration of the unity of the Son of God, which eliminates all cause for any condemnation. I will therefore trust my brothers, who are one with me.
What does lasting happiness depend on?
Salvation of the world depends on me. I will look past form, however ugly I perceive it to be, and focus instead on the content of Love alone.
Please grant yourself a moment of silence to experience the joy of the essence of these messages. At this point, if you are sure these answers are honestly chosen, you can be pretty sure that the decision making part of your mind has decidedly chosen to follow the Holy Spirit’s path. Practicing this will be helpful each time you realize you have chosen the ego once again, only to find yourself on the road to pain. And although, to recap, “Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again”, also remember that each time you successfully make this choice, you are saving yourself perhaps thousands of years of misery in ego-reincarnations, that you won’t have to go through anymore. How’s that for motivation? Happy practicing!
See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at Amazon.com:
See also my Feb. 2018 Course workshop at www.youtube.com.
Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: ikzoekvrede.nl.