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I Do Not Perceive My Own Best Interest
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Speaker:
The ego is a question of authorship. On page forty three of the Course it talks about the authority problem. An Author is someone who writes a book. Basically the issue the deceived mind has with this Course is that the Course is saying that God is your author.

God created you like Himself. He is Spirit. He created you Spirit. Jesus says, “You are an idea in the mind of God.”

How many of us go around thinking of ourselves as an idea? A person, maybe. A linear person with a past and a future, with all these attributes and characteristics and traits. But just the pure idea, not only an idea, but in the image of our Father.

The Course is saying, “Yes, God is your Author, God is your Author, and you are Authored by God.”

The deceived mind has an issue with that. The deceived mind believes it is a body. Or if it is more sophisticated it believes it is in a body. You could go however you want with that. It believes it is time bound and it is form bound.

God can’t change His mind. God created the Son of God to be eternal. This is where the authority problem comes out. The deceived mind attaches to form, it gets caught up in outcomes, sales of houses and families and and outcomes working out a certain way. It is really caught up in the script, so to speak.

It’s denied that it is Spirit. It is terrified of that Spirit. It is afraid to let go. That’s where the trust comes in.

You get so used to relying on yourself, on your resume, on your past history, on your bankable skills that you need to survive. This turns the tables around and says “I’ve got a purpose and a mission for you. You need to help wake our brothers up and you’ll wake yourself up in the process.” But these doubt sessions are always, “I don’t know about this. I’ve got other formulas for my security that I know will work, this I don’t know about.”

It is like Jesus sending the disciples out two by two and saying don’t bring an extra coat along, an extra set of shoes, but this the 20 th century, it is a dog eat dog world. That is the way it feels. And that is why it really takes a lot of trust to start to let go of these personal interests. Because the thoughts come in and if I start doing this….

Friend:
You’ll get chewed up and spit out!

Like Randy. I was thinking about Randy, the guy that we picked up hitchhiking. When Speaker started sharing his outlook on things and some experiences, this guys says, “You’re going to get run over! You’re going to get taken advantage of!” He believed Speaker had to protect himself. That’s the ego council, there is a certain way to do things! Forget that other voice that might be saying that there is an alternative, because the alternative is death. That will be the end of you.

 

Speaker:
Not only the fear of giving up your self concept and your personal roles, but a lot of times people say, “If I give up judgment, if I quit judging like you are talking about and give it up big time, life is really going to get boring. “

Jesus keeps saying in the Course “Make this your year different by making it all the same”.

People read that and say “Blah. Yuck! Sameness! Why do I want to have everything the same?”

But that has not been my experience at all. The script is written can sound kind of boring too.

Has anyone here seen the movie Groundhog with Bill Murray? It’s about a loop. It seems as if Bill Murray keeps waking up and it is the same day. That it is his reaction too. At first it is panic, and then after a while complete boredom sets in. It is the same day, the same song, “I’ve got you Babe” by Sonny and Cher waking him up every day. The very same guy greets him outside his hotel door, it is the same weather.

It is a great metaphor for the Course because he is in this time loop, which is what the deceived mind is; a time loop. He actually goes through and says it is such a curse and another one of the dream characters in the time loop says to him, “Maybe it is not such a curse? Maybe there is another way to look at this.” It just depends on how you look at it. That is equivalent of interjecting the Holy Spirit thought system into the loop and after that he starts to change . His purpose changes and he starts to help people out. And in the end he quits judging the loop and he stops trying to control the loop, and he gets out of the loop.

What a modern day kind of a metaphor!

Why don’t we continue. In one sense the heavy duty stuff is in paragraph three and in the next paragraph he comes back to the world of form. It is not relating here, let’s try and zoom in on the specifics a little bit.

“Before you can make any sense of the exercises for today, one more thought is necessary. At the most superficial levels you do recognize purpose. Yet purpose cannot be understood at these levels. For example, you do understand that a telephone is” …ringing!…(a telephone is ringing in the background and the group breaks into laughter)

“…That a telephone is for the purpose of talking to someone who is not physically in your immediate vicinity. What you do not understand is what you want to reach him for. It is this that makes your contact with him meaningful or not. (W38)”

That is a great thing to use as a contrast. You can agree and say, “I know what a phone is for, I know what a car is for, I know what a couch is for, I know what a knife is for…” At the superficial levels …the next thing you know we are back into the ego thing that we’ve been trained in how to survive and how to get through this world. We’ve learned what objects are for and what they are most useful for. He is trying to reach the mind at that level but he also throws in the thing “Yet purpose cannot be understood at these levels” so that there has to be a purpose that is guiding us towards that literally transcends all of this. What the telephone is for, what the cars are for, etc.

In fact, if you pop over to lesson twenty eight, He gives a real good concrete example. It is the fifth paragraph in lesson twenty eight.

“You could in fact gain Holy Spirit’s vision from just that table if you would withdraw all your own ideas from it and look upon it with a completely open mind.

It has something to show you. Something beautiful and clean infinite. Full of happiness and hidden under all your ideas about it is it’s real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe. (W43)”

That’s a phenomenal idea that you could receive salvation from even a coffee table. A lot of the times it is that if you could see the Christ in one of your brothers it transfers automatically. Jesus brings it down to even a table.

When you look at a table through the ego’s eyes what you see is texture, height, length, color, maybe ideas about durability. There are all meanings that are just read from the mind through the ego that is a table.

Friend:
And it is all form.

Also, I would say in an elemental sense it relates back to body identification. What purpose would a table have? If you trace it back to all of it’s other characteristics, what is a table for? Table is to put things on so bodies can sit around. It is more at the level of the body. You see how it comes back to the body identification?

Friend:
It makes it convenient for the body.

Speaker:
There it is. It comes back to that. When you think about all these pursuits that we’ve been talking about, all these ambitions, it all traces back to the comfort of the body, the convenience of the body, satisfactions in some way. It all comes back to that authorship idea and the body identification idea.

Everything traces back to the body identification. That is a very deep basic idea.

Even the electrical telescopes that they have that can locate these distant planets and they study, it is still through the telescope and the body’s eyes. Everything traces back to the body.

It is slowly letting go of that body identification. What would there be to defend other than the body?

Jesus was always so defenseless. When they arrested him and all throughout his mission, he was defenseless. How can that be possible unless you were convinced that you weren’t that little slab of flesh?

Whether it is more subtle things; if someone says “You are such an intellectual, I can’t stand you”. If I identify with personality trait of being intellectual, then I feel a little defensive. It still relates to my body identification. I am a person with that trait, and I am upset that you said that.

More importantly, a compliment – you are beautiful - or a lack of a compliment, an insult; you’re too fat, you’re too skinny, you’re too ugly, you’re too …whatever. Those all relate to the body.

As we keep going we will see that the next paragraph gives the positive extreme and the negative extreme. It is not just a negative thing.

“It is crucial to your learning to be willing to give up the goals you have established for everything. The recognition that they are meaningless, rather than “good” or “bad“, is the only way to accomplish this. The idea for today is a step in this direction. (W38)”

Speaker:
That covers it.

Friend:
The ego would love to have us believe that the Holy Spirit is trying to coerce us to do something. It is only when you get to the point where you see something is not good or bad that it is nothing, that you don’t feel coerced or sacrifice in giving up this ridiculous whatever…

Friend:
To me this is intellectualizing an idea about love because love looks at something and does not see anything that is not itself. Then again, it is not saying that is good or bad, it is just accepting. This is the nuts and bolts part of it. But then you sit back and scratch your head and say, if everything is meaningless, then I haven’t got a reference point for anything. But knowing what we really are; the Christ and love, then that puts meaning behind it again.

Speaker:
And really, all that is saying is all we have to do is withdraw the goals that we have established for everything. So that meaning that you are talking about is right there. It is obscured by these other goals.

Friend:
How do you experience that? Therefore the goal for everything I guess is to be forgiven? How do you experience the goal of giving up all the meanings that you have attached to things?

Speaker:
You give it up through recognizing that it doesnt have any value. Sometimes the meaning of relinquishment or “give up” has a lot of connotations and charges. There is the belief in sacrifice there. The mind believes that you have to “give up something”. As long as you believe that nothing is something, then it is going to seem like a sacrifice. So it seems like a lot of going through the metaphysical connections to start to see that literally I am giving up nothing.

Now I really like the part at the back of the book where it talks about relinquishment of judgment. He says it is not that you shouldn’t judge, it is that you can’t. You are not capable. He says at one point “ You will have the illusion of giving up judgment“. That is literally what this world is, the illusion of giving up.

When we reach the point of, “AHA! it is nothing.” It is realizing that I never had to give up anything.

The whole point is just the idea of holding onto an intention and trusting that and just letting it carry you. That is the only answer I could give of how you come to that.

Friend:
Okay, it is the recognition I don’t know anything because there is nothing about this world that you can know. In other words I cannot even judge anything because if there is nothing about this world that can be known, then how could I be capable of judgment? The idea is perhaps a sense of light and sense of love in which your mind dwells. And from that level you have a sense of certainty. Whatever it is you do you don’t question it, because yourself you cannot judge it. Because if you do how can you say it is bad or wrong when you cannot judge at all? When I personally use the term giving up, I don’t mean …things, I mean mentally something in the Course describes bringing illusions to the truth; giving up illusions. That is bringing illusions to the alter and leaving them there, exchanging them for light – light in your mind. Mentally not holding on or clinging to certain things in your mind, being willing to allow the light and the love to come in, so that all these things can disappear in the light and the love of the truth.

Friend:
It is a releasing of things to the truth. That is the sense that I got.

Speaker:
“I do not perceive my own best interests. In no situation that arises do you realize the outcome that would make you happy. Therefore you have no guide to appropriate reaction and no way of judging the results. What you do is determined by your perception of the situation, and that perception is wrong. It is inevitable then, that you will not serve your own best interests. Yet they are your only goal in any situation which is correctly perceived, otherwise you will not recognize what they are. (W36)”

Friend:
Say you are at your point where you don’t have a lot invested, and whatever the outcome is, the outcome is fine with you. But you keep on hearing this voice that keeps on going “well, what‘s the goal?” And so you think of the goal as being Oneness, you want the situation to reflect that, you want all situations to reflect that. So then do you get rid of whatever does not fit that picture?

If I walk into a situation with a lot of people, and a lot of conflicting emotions are among these people, I don’t really care what the outcome of the situation is, the only thing I want is a peaceful outcome for me and I know that the Holy Spirit will work me in doing that, but what am I supposed to see with all those people? The Oneness that we all are and just focus on the goal as it is? I’ve been in situations and I’ve seen people change somewhat, is that what they are talking about? You can change a situation just by being there? Because it goes on in the Course to say you don’t realize that the Holy Spirit has. I’m not really attached to it, but I want to see the Oneness of everyone in that picture. So I’m not real certain what I’m supposed to be doing there, besides just focusing on that goal. I’m not creating a scenario of what should happen, so I’m trying to be detached in all different ways and turn it over to Holy Spirit.

Speaker:
Yeah, what we’re talking about is a perceptual thing here. It was like we were just talking about “I give the meaning to everything I see.” It literally means, that is what the perception is, what meaning am I going to give to what I see? So it’s not so much this sense of, “What am I here to do?” It’s more like, “With which lens am I looking at all of this?”.

And also, a lot of times we do hear and say, “I know I created this and I know I would create something else if it wasn’t this. But the word create is very carefully used in the Course and Jesus uses words terminology such as, “I’ve invented the world I see”, and uses words like make and made but Jesus always reserves the word “Create” and “Creation” for that fourth dimension. Or even if there was such a thing as the fifth dimension, which is just heaven, not even the real world, which the Course describes as an illusion. But Heaven is God extending to the Son and the Sson extending in pure Creation, just pure Spirit, pure abstract, no perception at all, just abstract Oneness, that’s that state.

So it is kind of guilt inducing even to think I created this for myself and I’m probably going to continue to create it. There is almost like I am doing this to myself and I know I am doing this to myself, but I feel like I can’t help myself. It is that kind of a feeling, like a powerlessness to it.

Friend:
There seems to be such a reality to it, that’s the thing.

Friend:
The things that we created seem permanent.

Friend:
So create has nothing to do with reality in the real world. And by saying “I created” that’s like saying I created an illusion and of course that is impossible. Right?

Speaker:
Yes. The word Creation is not even used with in connection to the Real World in the Course because even the Real World is made up. It is not heaven, which is beyond the realm of perception.

Another thing to think of it as is the time sense. Life seems to be linear thing: The past is behind me, here I am now, and I’ve got these things to deal with in the future. But the Course teaches that the script is written.

During that tiny madness that all of the perceptions that ever could be were spun out, in the same instant the Holy Spirit made a new world, which is the Real world, which just took away all of the meaning of guilt and judgment and fear and has a fresh perception or a fresh way of looking at the world. But the main thing we need to do here is, we need to bring it back to why was it so important that the outcomes were the way they were? If the Real World is there, then why am I concerned at all with outcomes?

If we go down to the lesson and the next lesson, we will literally trace back why my perception is so twisted about the situation? And Jesus says that perception is wrong. We need to keep going into “why is my perception wrong” or “what can I do to change it?” Because literally, it spun out the way it is going to go. The script is written – over and done. So, the question now is more like, “What do I have control over?” That is another thing a lot of times people have a big reaction to, it’s like “wait a minute, I feel so strapped down by even thinking that things have to be the way they are going to be. It is my free will being violated in there, what’s going on here?”

We’ve had a friend in Cincinnati that brought that up a lot. And there is a part in the Rules for Decision section where it says that there is no way of avoiding what must happen. Clearly, if that is the case, the only choice we have is how we can look upon the situation. And that means it is a perceptual problem. As we go on here we are going to get some big insights here into what is going on with our perception.

Friend:
So you are saying the script is written, it can’t be changed?

Speaker:
It was all spun out. I always have the sense of destiny. Do you ever read any metaphysical idea about destiny? I would hear psychics and they would predict the future, or things that already happened and they would read the past. It seemed like there was something to this destiny business, because how in the world could people dream something and it come true identically? Or how in the world could someone predict something and it happened in just that way? There was too much coincidence that someone could predict it with so much accuracy.

It is almost like they are reading something and they can see all of time laid out. The only thing was that I didn’t like that. I believed in free will. I believed in choice. And I always thought, there has to be choice in here, I don’t believe in Determinism.

What the Course says is “Yes, you do have choice left and the only choice you have is the meaning that you will give to the script playing in front of you.” When Jesus talks about free will, He says, there is no free will in this world. “Will” in this case refers only to your interpretation of the script. You are free to choose your own interpretation.

In the back of the section on Clarification of Terms, basically Jesus says, ‘Your will does not have anything to do with this world. Your will is in heaven. Your will is complete happiness, in your Father’s Will. It doesn’t meaningfully translate. Your will seems to be imprisoned while you are in this world. So, there isn’t any point talking about that or equating it with choice. But you do have a choice on how you look at the script.’

That sounds great. That’s what I’ve been hearing all along. I can see this differently. There is a way to look at this with the Holy Spirit, there is the miracle which results in peace, and then there is the ego lens in which case I get hopping mad or fearful or depressed in some way.

Now I need to get really clear on this choice. I need to get clear on these two lenses. Why in the world, why would anyone in their right mind look through the ego’s lens? No one in their right mind looks through the ego’s lens. When they are in their right mind they are looking with the Spirit.

So if we go on maybe some of these things will start to come out here on what is really going on.

Friend:
The question is “How did I get to be so insane to be looking through the ego’s lens?”

Or to rephrase that in a more meaningful way, “Help me please to be clear on this insanity so that I can be sane.” I want to be sane, I want to be peaceful.

“If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. The idea for today is a step towards opening your mind so that learning can begin. (W80)”

Speaker:
This is that thing of like and dislike. I know what I like and what I dislike. These are my favorite things and these are my least favorite things. The ego thinks it knows what it likes and what it dislikes, then it also thinks it knows what is in it’s own best interests. Because if it knows what it’s likes are and what it needs are then the mind is closed, saying “I already know, Jesus. I don’t need to take your hand.”

“I am a person, I am a body, I’ve got my likes, I’ve got my dislikes, and I deserve it.” That is part of what it means to be a special person. And here we come with these lessons that say you can’t even perceive your own best interests till you know what they are. So that is going to take a little bit of extending our minds a bit and opening up just a little bit. Even with the simple things, I don’t know what is best for me.

Let’s skip down to the fourth paragraph. Now we are going to zoom in quickly here.

Friend:
“The practice periods should begin with saying today’s idea followed by searching mind, with closed eyes, for unresolved situations about which you are currently concerned. The emphasis should be on uncovering the outcome you want. You will quickly realize that you have a number of goals in mind as part of the desired outcome, and also these goals are on different levels and often conflict. (W36)”

Speaker:
If you just take it in and start to do the searching in your mind, you may have outcomes related to family, you have outcomes with relationships, we were talking about earlier, “What about marriage?” You may have outcomes about career, about sales, or financial outcomes. Then there may be things about wanting world peace, or save the dolphins, or a particular personal interest like that. Maybe there are personal issues you feel strongly about, political issues or maybe abortion or something, there are certain outcomes that are tied into that.

Friend:
So are outcomes expectations?

Speaker:
Yes.

What he is saying in that last line is, “These goals are on different levels and often conflict.”

That is the situation that has come up and seen clearly. For instance when we were talking about the other night when you really wanted to be home, those were outcome goals there. And then going into work to do this sales job, there is something else that you “want”. When the fall took place [the separation], or when the seeming fall took place, one of the earliest beliefs was the belief in levels: Levels of needs.

You will hear that you have to take care of your body, you have to take care of your spirit, you have to take care of your emotions and your mind. In spiritual terms you will hear about different levels, you have to have them in balance.

There weren’t any levels before the fall. The levels actually are made up and they are part of the system.

Jesus is saying that the problem is that you have all these different outcomes and all these different goals in mind because you perceive yourself as a person on all these different levels. You are doing a juggling act. Okay, personal relationships, I’ll focus that. Oh, got to get financial, it’s falling over here, or the dogs, or whatever! You can see how they come in. What we will see is this is insane.

As you go on with the Course as you work your way on to Lesson 79 and 80 you will see that there is only one problem and one solution.

Oh, this is too good to be true! As we go on we will see that there is no way that all these problems could ever be solved on all these different levels. It is absolutely impossible to do it.

It is insane and it is so frustrating because it is impossible.

Doesn’t it seem that the Truth, if there is such a thing as Truth, would be simple? That it would extremely easy and simple and not completely complex and complicated, that there is only one problem and one solution?

The next paragraph continues on the same thing.

Friend:
“In applying the idea for today, name each situation that occurs to you, and then enumerate as many goals as possible that you would like to be met in it’s resolution. The form of each application should be roughly as follows:

In the situation involving _____ , I would like _____ to happen , and ____ to happen, and so on. Try to cover as many different kinds of outcomes as may honestly occur to you, even if some of them do not appear to be directly related to the situation, or even to be inherent in it at all. (W37)”

Speaker:
“In the situation involving my sales, I would like ….”

Friend:
Everything to turn out like I want it to!

Speaker:
If we go back to our “script is written” you can see how bizarre this is. If the script is already written and the outcome is already going to be the outcome and there is nothing in the world that can be done to alter the outcome, the only thing that the mind has is the perception or the lens that it will see it through…

Friend:
You are saying that there is no choice in outcomes, doesn’t that imply that the world of form is real?

Speaker:
It is not real. The only reason that it is not real is because it occurred during the unholy instant. Remember how we said that when the tiny puff of an idea was taken seriously, it all spun out, and it all occurred in the past. Jesus tells us constantly about the past in the Course. It is gone. It is gone into an ancient instant, it is over and done with.

It is kind of like Jesus keeps saying, “Guys, we are all in the present, it is all right here, all of it.” And literally that is the sense that there is no reality to the script.

Friend:
The world of form is completely a projection of my mind. I gave it all the meaning it has, and it is all the wrong meaning. Which means it very literally is not there, except how I made it up incorrectly to try and stick it out there. I really didn’t have a violin recital last Sunday. In other words, when the script is written, I don’t see how it could possible apply to any event, or so called situation.

Speaker:
When we say the script is written, it is all in the past, it is done, we don’t want to do like to go from the top down. In other words, there is God, then there is heaven, then there is Christ. God did not create the world, so God does not have anything to do with the perceptual world.

If you take the basic idea of the Course at the beginning, “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists”, well, where does that put the world?

But we don’t want to go from the top down [that only heaven is real and all else is illusion] because what Jesus is saying is that He knows we believe in the world and so to go from the top down would be inappropriate or at the least unhelpful. We need to start with a metaphor, in the sense that we are talking about the whole book being written at the ego level because Jesus starts with the premise that, “You believe in the world. You believe you are a person in the world, so we’re going to have to take problems and situations that you believe you really have. You believe in problems and concrete issues and deal with it.”

Friend:
That makes sense. But when you say , “the script is written”, you are saying metaphorically that since we think we are here that is the way we can think about it and it can be useful. But to me, “the script is written” can never apply to anything that supposedly happens because the script is written means God Is. And it is all over. And so I just have a choice... I can’t get at what is really bothering me about that, but the idea of Determinism is that “the script is written” seems to apply and seems to be used in such a manner as it suggests that whatever I supposedly do in the world of form has already happened in some sort of linear sense.

And of course that is not possible.

Friend:
What about incarnation, though? Do you believe in reincarnation? From what I understand , the script is already written, this may be tenth incarnation and I may have five more to go before I finally let go of everything and can forgive. Is that what you are saying? That I am dreaming this dream for the tenth time?

Speaker:
That’s right. Jesus addresses reincarnation and says that if it helps strengthen your belief in the eternal then it may still be a useful belief. But it is still defined in a sense of place. This thing called a soul, I believe the soul is immortal and eternal and yet it seems to be entering into the finite and being contained there. That must be questioned. How could it be? The metaphor that I found helpful is the one that others have used in the sense that here is the mind set back, and the mind is watching things come up on the screen as if you were sitting in a recliner flipping through the channels on the television. That’s another analogy for reincarnation. More and more images keep coming onto the screen regardless of the channel. What seems to be death in this world isn’t a real ending. It is like, what is next?

As long as there is still guilt in the mind, as long as I still believe I can seek for idols in this world and as long as I can still find something more valuable here that is not in heaven, I keep asking for more scripts.

Okay, reel in the next reel! Change the channel! That kind of gives me that perspective that what Jesus is saying is real.

It is like Jesus is right with me, saying “Yes, all the reels have happened. Come out of the theater now, come outside to the light. “

Friend:
And that can happen in an instant. That’s the way that I understand it. If I can find the energy to just let go. So I look at this loss and at this time which I know it doesn’t mean anything, but I wonder how many more incarnations? So, I feel conflict, it seems like you can control it, but you can’t.

Speaker:
Well, the one thing you have choice on is when. At the very beginning of the book, at the introduction, Jesus says, “Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time.”

Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It certainly seems on the surface, that I am choosing to study A Course in Miracles, but in the ultimate sense, that is not even a choice. We don’t even have a choice in how we are going to wake up, the so called path we take.

But the when is our choice. There will come an instant where the mind sees clearly the faults, as Jesus did, that is the choice that is left up to the mind. That’s where the will and the choice comes in. Without trying to figure out in a form sense, you can go nuts trying to analyze, is this the right book, the right person, the right relationship? Is this the wrong move, you know, one false move….

Friend:
So the part that you just mentioned several times, the question or the realization is that everything is truly helpful, but now the question becomes, “Is it helpful?”

Speaker:
It is the second one on the Development of Trust; does it increase helpfulness?

So that implies that you can make a choice; that you can make a decision to do something in the world that will increase the helpfulness.

Speaker:
Right, as opposed to “the script is written” which is really a deep idea, it doesn’t even enter in until pretty late in the workbook.

Friend:
So “the script is already written” the final outcome is already done. But in the meantime we still make a choice about which illusion we choose [red or blue for example] and such is that, but the outcome is not our choice. It is written. Is that what you are saying?

Speaker:
Yeah. Remember last week when we talked about the big skyscraper and we said the flag is blowing on the top of the building and that is where the person is? That is the way it seems in the illusion, that we make choices between illusions, where to go, what to see, what to do, those seem to be real choices. Because first of all, I seem to be a real person who makes choices.

That is even part of the illusion. But there is the Holy Spirit and the ego down there in the basement and those are the two lenses that I can chose to look at anything with. Once the mind can work it’s way down through all the false beliefs, it will come to “Ah, this is it, it is so simple.” Instead of choosing between billions and billions of things like in the menu of the world which seems to have an infinite number of choices to make, really it is just a simple choice, and that is just between the Holy Spirit and the ego.

Friend:
“If these exercises are done properly, you will quickly recognize that you are making a large number of demands of the situation which have nothing to do with it. You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out.

After covering the list of as many hoped-for goals as possible, for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind, say to yourself:

I do not perceive my own best interest in this situation.

And go on to the next one.(W37)”

Speaker:
That’s in the last paragraph at the very bottom of it, you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out. So what that is saying, aside from how the situation turns out, the problem is I’ve got a problem with conflicting goals in my mind.

Here’s the situation. It is going to turn out like it is going to turn out. Situations don’t turn out simultaneously two different ways.

So really what it is saying is that it’s the goals in your mind that are conflicting. You have conflicting expectations in your mind. Like the Saturday night event where you would rather be home doing something fun, and on the other hand you thought, “I want to go in and make the sale,” so you had conflicting goals.

I want to do both, what am I going to do here?

This sets us up for the next lesson, because if we have conflicting goals and expectations, then that is the problem. We’re willing to admit, that is my problem, I don’t have a unified goal. I have a lot of things going on in my mind. And where did these things come from? If I could just find the source for all these thoughts that are coming up in my mind, they are all straying up from something, that would solve it.

Now we are set up for lesson 25. These are humbling exercises. Lesson 25 turns it up a little bit more.

Friend:
“Lesson 25. I do not know what anything is for.

Purpose is meaning. Today’s idea explains why nothing you see means anything. You do not know what it is for. Therefore, it is meaningless to you. Everything is for your own best interests. That is what it is for; that is its purpose; that is what it means. It is in recognizing this that your goals become unified. It is in recognizing this that what you see is given meaning. (W38)”

Speaker:
Now that is pretty tight. Everything is for your own best interest. What? You mean to tell me that everything is in my best interest? You can see why this gets back to “the script is written” in a sense.

That the script is out and everything single thing that happens, even tiny thing that happens, is for my own best interest. Why don’t I see it like that? There must be something going on in my mind if I could lose my peace over this, over not making the sale or a girlfriend leaving me.

Friend:
Or when they call and say that you have to move out of your house.

Speaker:
Or a flood. We’re going up to Iowa in a couple of weeks, we’re going to do A Course in Miracles gathering in Davenport , Iowa , right in the middle of the flood lands. How is this for my best interests? I was reading the headlines of one of the newspapers there and one of the ministers said, “People are angry with God. Very, very angry with God.”

Over a natural disaster. Who else is this going to get pinned on? Mother Nature or God?

You could spend a while looking at the ideas in the first paragraph. All it is saying is the mind is totally confused, it doesn’t know what anything is for. “Everything is for your best interests, that is what it is for.” “All things work together for good, there are no exceptions.” There is another one that we heard this evening, “Everything that seems to happen I asked for.” It is all in Divine Order. But as long as you perceive yourself as having different levels, conflicting levels with conflicting goals, you can’t see the Divine Order. It is right under your nose. Everything is perfect, there is not a pinhead that is out of place. And we have to say, “Help me, because I am not seeing this, here.” I am not experiencing that everything is for my own best interest.

Continue to Part 2


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