This is a commonly asked question by non-dual students on the topic of enlightenment. David’s answer is direct—that is a misperception; he says that there is no pain or suffering of any kind in Oneness. It is the deceived mind (the ego) that seems to experience emotions. If you perceive a world of separate images and seem to feel fluctuating emotions, that is the indicator that you want to ask for Help. It is the opportunity to question and enquire within; to forgive the very possibility of emotions, pain, and suffering, to use the language of “A Course in Miracles”. “Help me to see,” then an openness and humility can come in and you can choose again; to choose the joy of reality, of truth, of God instead of a false idea of pain.
In a world of opposites, forgiveness isn’t positive. In fact, “A Course in Miracles” states, “The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo.” (T-28.I.1:1-2) So, we could even call a miracle a positive thing, in the sense that all it does is undo. The journey from the ego’s perspective is very disheartening, challenging, disconcerting, frustrating, irritating. In fact, a vast amount of the stages in the development of trust are very difficult to go through. With this forewarning, it is no surprise when the floor drops out and we experience intensity. But it is only inevitable that the floor will no longer drop. Eventually, we experience lasting stability in mind. This is no small gift.
Just like a child outgrows a favorite toy, as you move towards Awakening you are outgrowing the familiar. Everything is totally brand new! There is a sense of wonder. David shares his experience of how wonderful it is to not be sentimental, to not have an expectation. As soon as the mind clicks into the familiar, it is as if the mind knows something, and you don’t question the world. The agony of outgrowing the familiar brings openness, a freedom from conclusions, and joy.
When we have “free will” associated with “choice,” that is where the distortions of mind enter in. There is no free will in this world, for our will is imprisoned in this world so long as its believed in. In “A Course in Miracles,” free will is equated with God’s Will, which is perfect happiness. And perfect happiness can only exist where the concept of choice does not.