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Going Deeper part 24
Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.
Pleasure & Pain - Is it a Sacrifice to Give up?
Speaker: Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? No. It’s the belief in this world, the belief in the body, the belief in perception – the twisted perception – that is literally death. That is the belief in and the investment in death, and it is painful. It is painful to maintain belief in something that isn’t true. So the question it comes down to is: Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Those who come to this world, those who seek for idols; those who seek for answers in this world are literally seeking for happiness and salvation where it cannot be found. And this is painful. So literally, the giving up judgment, the giving up of the ordering of thoughts and so on, is the giving up of pain! Is it a sacrifice to give up pain?
Participant: Only to a mind that doesn’t recognize that this is pain.
Speaker: Yes, exactly.
Participant: And the undoing is to recognize just what you said, that there is nothing here.
Speaker: And this runs immediately right back into
our discussion on pleasure and pain, that they are two sides of the
same coin, and we talked about love and marriage – you can’t
have one without the other. You cannot have one without the other. In
many passages of the Course you can read that you cannot seek for pleasure
without finding pain as well. It’s a disguise. The body’s
pleasure, to the ego, is good; it whispers to the mind, that this is
good. To itself it whispers: this is death. You can read in the Course
that the ego does not want the mind to see the trick of pursuing pleasure.
So when we get to the question of pleasure and pain,
the Holy Spirit overlooks pleasure as He overlooks pain. People can
accept that the Holy Spirit is forgiving or overlooking the painful
aspects of the world. But there are passages in the Course where we
also see that he just as easily overlooks pleasure; a tiny stab of pain,
a little worldly pleasure, is the way it’s stated. (T-27.VI.6)
So we get to the fact that the Holy Spirit does not look to effects.
And the world of sensations; the feelings in the body; pleasurable or
painful, or anything in between, are not in the domain of the spirit.
The Holy Spirit does not see the body as the deceived mind sees it at
all. So it comes back full circle to the giving up the values of the
world. And as you just said, the mind will perceive it as a sacrifice
to give up the values of the world unless you can see that they are
painful, regardless of how they seem to be experienced. And one must
see that pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin to be able
to clearly come to that Recognition. In any single instant the attraction
of guilt would be experienced as painful. But within the projected world
of time and space, it kind of gets spread out on time so that the mind
then can believe it is a person that has painful experiences and pleasurable
experiences, kind of spread out. The body is always remembered or anticipated.
One can think back like; “Boy those were painful experiences –
that really hurt!” And “Boy, those were pleasurable experiences,
wow, ooh lala!” But they were all miscreations, misthoughts. The
mind is blank. The mind isn’t thinking at all. The mind is covering
over the Holy Instant.
Speaker: Yes, we’re getting down to the core
of things now. We are not dancing around the periphery anymore; we’re
down to the core, to the basics of it. And there is joy! There is immense
release, immense joy that comes when the mind gets clear on this, when
the mind no longer buys the tricks of the ego. It literally listens
to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s lessons are joyful. When
the mind is learning what it thinks it perceives as a painful lesson,
the perception of it being painful is because there is the decision
being made in the mind – for the ego. One does not choose the
Holy Spirit as the advisor and experience pain. That’s ludicrous.
So, saying: O, it’s painful and o, pain is good, even, you know...
Speaker: Yes, and all those different ideas, you know, the deeper one goes one sees how absurd it is. This is not to say that pain can’t act as a contrast. That the Holy Spirit does teach through contrast. But it is a contrast to this painful experience, the joy, peace and love and the experience of the feeling of connectedness,. It is the contrast between the two that really impels the mind to want to move toward the joy and to make choices with the Holy Spirit, to continue to feel that joy.
We have to have something to rely on daily, when all those things come up. And if we have these false self concepts and we are working through all those lessons in forgiveness we need something we can feel close to. And the Course calls that something the Holy Spirit. It goes by many names in many traditions; the inner voice, intuition, the small still voice, just many, many names. We have put together a section on quotes about the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of joy. He is the Call to return with which God blessed the minds of His separated Sons. (T-5.II.2)
The Holy Spirit is the Call to awaken and be glad. (T-5.II.10)
How can you wake children in a more kindly way than
by a gentle Voice that will not frighten them, but will merely remind
them that the night is over and the light has come? (T-6.V.2)
The opposite of joy is depression. When your learning
promotes depression instead of joy, you cannot be listening to God's
joyous Teacher and learning His lessons. (T-8.VII.13)
The Holy Spirit's Voice is as loud as your willingness
to listen. It cannot be louder without violating your freedom of choice,
which the Holy Spirit seeks to restore, never to undermine. (T-8.VIII.8)
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