You believe you are personally responsible for your survival, but you can change your mind about that! The belief that you are a separate individual creates exhaustion, weariness, depression. When you are tired of the rat race, ask instead for guidance. This goes beyond material props. It is about the attitude of joy that happens spontaneously as you open to divine inspiration. In the story of Pinocchio when he want’s to become a real boy, he’s taken to Pleasure Island, and some scary things happen! The body is like a puppet, wanting to be real. “A Course in Miracles” talks about the authority problem; wanting to make the puppet real. You get to experience trying to make a living, fighting off disease and death, struggling to survive. It’s a drama! Your prayer to the Holy Spirit can be, “Get me back on the strings!” Or as Saint Francis said, “Make me an instrument.”
So much of the time, we as humans get hung up by too many options. When you are happy, you get a lot of invitations. People love to be around you. Instead of being confused and overwhelmed, this is an opportunity to remember to connect with Spirit. “What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?” (W-71.9:3-5) are questions you could ask. This is a time for true inner guidance and connection to the Voice of wisdom. David talks about all the places he was guided to visit when he first began to travel to ACIM classes all over the U.S., all the while listening inwardly for directions. Very gradually, it seemed as though that Inner Voice became the voice of Jesus.
Although the world tries to teach you otherwise, it is possible to live completely in divine providence. Lesson 50 of “A Course in Miracles” is “I am sustained by the Love of God.” (W-50) In that lesson, Jesus tells us that “In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God.” (W-50.1:2) By following the Holy Spirit’s prompts, we begin to trust that we will be divinely provided for in every circumstance.
How much do you cherish the body? What plans do you make that don’t involved the body? If you watch your mind, you’ll know how much you cherish the body, even as you go about your daily activities. Those little flare ups in emotion signal that you’ve chosen attack.
Would you rather be right or happy? If you are not happy, what do you see as the problem? Money, family, job, health … or is the complex list of issues just a distraction device? As you become aware of where the problem is, you can move towards the solution instead of continuing with the distractions. ACIM daily lessons 79 and 80 direct the mind towards this awareness. Lesson 79 gives you the thought: “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.” (W-79) Lesson 80 moves into: “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.” (W-80)
Autonomy is a more subtle form of specialness. God creates and creation is extension. Spirit creates Spirit. This is what Jesus calls true autonomy. What counts as autonomy in this world is independence, which is a false sense of autonomy. The spiritual path leads to the realization that “I Am-ness” is so more vast than we can imagine. There are many praises of autonomy in Western culture and great fear can arise around the idea of losing personal independence. However, both personal identity and collective identity are false constructs. Complete God-dependence is a feeling of trust and being completely taken care of without any risk.
The Holy Spirit is like your intuitive Inner Voice, the Bridge back to your Higher Self. The Holy Spirit uses symbols of the dream world to guide you deeper inward until you can reach the point of releasing identification with ego entirely. At that point, you experience yourself as the Higher Self and at one with God.
“A Course in Miracles” says that the world is backwards and upside down, that you are asleep and dreaming. As you follow the Course, it brings up intense emotions and upheavals in your life. It can seem to be a difficult journey. But when you go deeper, the rewards are immense. In our community, we rely on Guidance. We see that that the skills we formerly used to prop up pride are now humbly used for love.
David Hoffmeister responds to a question about vanity and pride and how to deal with wanting to be recognized and/or to be in the spotlight. The important question is always, “what is the purpose?” You are here to experience the constancy of divine Mind. You won’t find it in trying to change your behavior or in self-improvement. Those all still involve pride, trying to come up with a better self. But God created us perfect. You don’t have to prove your worthiness. You are already perfect. Simply trust and you will be carried through to the experience of your perfect purity and innocence!