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I Do Not Perceive My Own Best Interest

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That is why we set the goal for Oneness and let that take over all other goals that we have.

If you go forward with peace as the goal, then Jesus says in another section that you will perceive everything as coming to meet that goal. I go into a situation and I am so single-minded that this is the most peaceful and joyful situation that I could ever imagine, then no matter how people are reacting, you don’t see the negatives, you don’t see the things that are taking you away from the goal because you are so focused on the goal.

Perception is projection. It just doesn’t get in. If it doesn’t fit the goal then it doesn’t get in. If the goal is that clear and single.

To continue with that, if I have peace and Oneness as my goal, then I am going to focus on that. And I do get that. I was able to do some of that. I had to make a real conscious effort to do it, but there were a lot of good loving things that came out of that. I did see the Holy Relationship that was coming up in all of that drama.

Yeah, I’m starting to see now that the script is written means whatever is going to happen is going to happen. You see it, how can I just forget. Show me what to do here.

That is the way it seems through the ego lenses. What is interesting about the Course is that it talks about projection and denial and if anyone is at all familiar with psychology knows, the mind has lots of tricks that it uses to deny and confuse. If you really follow the thinking of the Course then you find what the defenses are being used against is the love of God.

This is interesting! That is what the defenses are defending against. It is defending against the Holy Spirit coming to the mind and saying “You are perfect just the way you are.” The deceived mind is terrified of this light. But the plus side of this is, if the deceived mind uses it against the love of God, what is it that the defenses are defending? Because what we know what they are defending against, God, and the Holy Spirit. What is it that they are defending?

What are they defending for?

Yes, what are they defending for? Separation? What is another word that the Course uses a lot of time? It is one of the very last sections of the book, where Jesus talks about self-preservation? The self-concept. A concept that has been made of a false idol image that is not eternal, it is not changeless, all of the defenses are being employed to defend this little concept, this tinyness that I believe I am.

So now we will get into the core of it. All those expectations and all those goals and all those different levels.

“You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals. These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you. This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for. As a result, you are bound to misuse it. When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them. (W38)”

Now we’re getting down to the meat. The reason that I am upset is because I have a lot of these ego goals that I am pursuing. Like we said at the beginning, that I have given everything I see all the meaning I have for me; that’s the meaning I am reading into it.

I use the example of going to the laundry mat and you can have a goal of trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. Or you can have a goal of trying to get the best prices. Or all of our goals about finances, relationships, careers, these goals are very much presumed in a linear sense. Your goals are about future relationships and romance are still looking to be a part of maintaining this image of who I think I am. This image is splintered on so many levels, so if I look at it mindfully I say, “Gosh, what a mess.”

What am I going to pick first? Once my finances get cleaned up, or once my daughter gets married or off to college I will have a little space here, or gosh, I just wish I had some sun, it has been raining so many days here, they are just sitting on so many different levels. You think, if we just had a Democrat elected in office, if we just had a Republican, there are just so many goals. What the Course is saying is, can you just start to take a look at all your goals and start to get the sense that they are all ego goals. It can be kind of overwhelming when you start to look at that.

But there have been points in my life, like when I was watching the movie Gandhi, and one reporter said to him, “You look like an ambitious fellow.” and Gandhi responded, “I hope not.”

Something inside of me went “beep” and I took a little leap. Because everything I’ve ever heard in my life, from every source I’d ever heard was that ambition is making of yourself, striving to gain something, the Protestant work ethic, everything said ambition was a real good thing.

And now I hear, “I hope not”. And I thought, that is the first time I’ve ever that. My mouth just dropped open when I heard that.

Then the more I got into the Course and metaphysics, here comes Jesus talking about the Holy Instant, the still instant when you just totally still your mind from all the pursuits and all the projections, all the chasings and strivings and are quiet and still enough to realize, by golly, right here, right now, this instant, you are whole and complete. You are everything and all of the pursuits and all of the chasings and comings are part of the ego.

But that is a little bit uncomfortable.

Maybe you strive so much, are into this ambition stuff. So, all you could do, all any of us can do is say, “Okay, I want you to help me step by step, point by point, lead me out of ambition. Lead me out of wanting things to be different than they are, out of trying to pursue and strive.”

Everything that is pursued and all the striving is for the self-concept. Whether it is fame, recognition, pleasure, whether it is money, freedom of the body; the body can go anywhere, see whatever it wants, see any sights it wants. Or, some people find a lot of glory in conquest. Join the military and see how many people you can shoot and rack up, or sexual conquests.

All of those are different strays and shreds, and some people are ambitious for misery. It is a strange way. It is like, “I didn’t get enough of this yet, how much can I get?”

“Another way of describing the goals you now perceive is to say that they are all concerned with “personal” interests. Since you have no personal interests, your goals are really concerned with nothing. In cherishing them, therefore, you have no goals at all. And thus you do not know what anything is for. (W38)”

Okay, now Jesus has taken off the blinders and He is starting to just say that He is going to give it to us straight. These personal interests that we were just talking about. All the things that make us who we are. All the things that make us special and unique, all our likes and dislikes, all that makes our life visual.

That make our life interesting.

All the things that make our life interesting and fascinating. That is what gossip is all about. Personal interests. Let’s just think about it. If you didn’t have personal interests, how would you get into an argument?

What would you argue about?

When you think of conflict that comes up in families, and at work and in the different situations, there is a conflict of interest involved. So what we have there is a battle of illusion of self-concepts that is totally fictitious is battling with another self concept that is totally fictitious.

You can see above the battle field there is peace and calm, because there is just a clash of illusions. But that is not the way it feels if I believe I am one of those illusions. Because then I will defend. In male and female issues, if I identify with male, I will defend men. Or I may defend women, or Kentucky , or Ohio . Here we go again, I’ll defend Democrat or Republican, or this side of the abortion issue or pro-choice, I’ll defend musicians or sports teams, or whatever. The list just goes on and on.

It is kind of amazing that all the conflict is from saying “I want something my way.” If you look at it you see it is kind of amazing that we‘re all……………………..One, we have the Holy Spirit with us to kind of level things, and two we say, “Well, I’ll let you have it your way now and I’ll get my way later.” But it is still what seems to be people and still in conflict But it is all from “I want it my way“.

A couple of times it will go your way, a couple of times it will go my way, and then we’ll be happy!

What about when someone says life is sixty percent problems and forty percent problem solving?

The thing about this personal interest thing is evident in a place, take for instance, New York City . People walk the streets and walk down the sidewalk and look away when there are so many people together. It is almost like the personal space issue comes up and “don’t invade my personal space. Watch your eyes, you keep your eyes to yourself. There are a lot of people here in this town and I’ve got my space here, don’t look at me.”

Look around but don’t look too much. The ego wants to protect this false image of itself so it allows you to get ‘so’ close, and that is close enough. “Ah, you’re fine enough as an acquaintance, as a friend” that’s where the specialness of special relationships comes in. Oh, you can get that close but that’s close enough. The special love relationship is saying I am going to search out and find another person who will agree with me on the majority of things, if I can. Someone who will share my interests, my personal interests.

You can see where this is going. Finally, it seems like it is the payment. It seems as if I’ve succeeded in pulling away from the abstract level of God in heaven and found in form the thing that will finally make it work. The thing that will get rid of these terrible feelings of worthlessness and guilt and fear. When it actually is doing is taking on another self concept and making a new self concept as a God substitute. That is why all special relationships in this world that come through that Special Relationship lens are doomed to the hate part. It is bound to come with the wrath and that hate, because you let me down. I put all my emotional eggs in your basket, and you are supposed to help me get over this unworthiness I feel, and the guilt, and you let me down.

How can another person live up to being a God substitute? It must be that I am mistaken about myself if I think that they can let me down.

In intimate relationships, or what the world calls significant relationships, there is a lot of rejection that goes on. A lot of stuff comes up. Really, the whole idea of the encounter is to say “my ego, my personal goals, my interests are not who I really am and I need to give up who I think I am. I need to give up these personal goals.”

Because that is the only way that I will ever come to a recognition of who I am, is getting the other stuff out of the way.


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