The ego has set up many different kinds of self-concepts and roles to keep us trapped, including identification with family relationships and with the body. The only responsibility we have is for our state of mind, we are not responsible for people, animals, debt, etc. If we give ourselves over to the Holy Spirit and following His guidance, the Spirit will handle all of the needs we seem to have in miraculous ways while we unwind our mind back to God. All things will be used in this unwinding, including family relationships. “The whole purpose of life is to wake up from this dream of this world. The ego would have you believe that you exist in this world and you have to attain and achieve certain things in your lifetime. And all of education and learning is based on learning more, but everything in this world is backward and upside down. When you think you advance in this world you are really falling back. And when you think your life is completely falling apart, you are actually opening your heart. So actually, there are always miracles and there are always blessings. The ego invented linear time, and God only knows eternity. So, past and present and future are part of the trick.”
The way to receive the gift of happiness is to make a habit of living a Spirit-guided life. To do this we must recognize that the mind, not the body, is the decision maker. Our current perception shows us a fragmented world of fear and rage. So when confronted with a decision it is helpful for us to step back and ask “What is it for?” Then we can choose the Spirit’s purpose of forgiveness or undoing. We can choose to serve something bigger than our self. David and Frances continue on to tell enlightening parables about: opening to love, our one responsibility, Siddhartha and the movie, “Sully.”
Nothing can go wrong when we follow the Spirit’s guidance. When we begin the spiritual journey, we may seem to get negative reflections from our family at first; but they are really just calls for love. Keep extending love in these moments and just trust in the great plan for awakening and in the Holy Spirit. Everything always works out in the end. And remember that all things work together for good, you can’t mess this up!
When someone you are concerned about (such as a daughter) keeps coming to mind, it is a Call for Love to bring to the Holy Spirit. It may or may not call for a specific action (such as calling or emailing the person), but it is always helpful to take it to prayer and look at one’s thoughts. The ego has set up many “ego ideals” such as being a “good-enough mother”, and it’s important to look with honesty at these thoughts and be willing to release them with Spirit’s Help.
Every situation that we experience in the world is an opportunity to let go of the idea that we know what things mean. When we recognize that we have given everything we see the meaning it has for us, we can choose differently. Becoming still and receptive to the Holy Spirit’s way of seeing, rather than interpretations based on the belief in past learning, opens us to guidance in a very practical way.
Sickness is a trick of the ego; an attempt to project the problem of guilt onto the body so that the mind will be too distracted to look within for the real solution. All forms of sickness and pain have, at their root, an unforgiveness. In this beautiful talk, given at the 2016 international A Course in Miracles Conference in Las Vegas, NV, David shares a parable about Robert Varley in which his toothache was healed by following Jesus’ guidance to forgive his father. The cause of the problem is never in the body, but always in the mind.
Every symbol and image that you see with the body’s eyes is a reflection. When you look at a child, you can see the child as a mirror of your mind. Any grievances and limits you see in the child are within your own mind. If you are practicing ACIM and raising children, you see what is taking place in your thoughts. As children go through grade school and into high school, you can look at your own beliefs about authority, normalcy, education and success.
The essence of who we are is not the role and it is not the name. When I free my mind of thinking of people as those roles and names, and that they are limited by a role and by a name, by a history, by their ambitions, or who they seem to be in a personality way, then I feel all this love. This happens when I do not hold them to something from the past.
Empty the mind of concepts. The mind is the classroom. Spirit will use many different backdrops for mind training. The goal is to be able to watch the world without having investment in it, to become a passer-by.
You start off with loosening what is most dear to you. The ego doesn’t want you to know you’re dreaming. Yet the Holy Spirit uses the symbols in a beautiful way until we know we are the dreamer. Your strength is in the presence, and keeping that in awareness fuels our journey. Ultimately the awareness of dreaming is the function of God’s teachers.