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 plan is always now and the plan is forgiveness. When we focus our attention on this single purpose, anything is possible. The Course teaches that in this illusion of time and space, there is only one tool that will lead us to salvation, and that is forgiveness. This in turn leads to the Holy Instant.
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.”
Jesus will guide us so our journey is smooth and joyful. We only feel pain and sacrifice when we resist. Plan Bs are resistance, used to support the self-concept rather than the Christ Self. Yet the Holy Spirit and Jesus show us that trust is justified. Are we willing to trust so much that we let go of our plan Bs? Our problem is that first we decide what we want, and then we ask for guidance. The asking needs to come first. When we are identified with a self-concept we don’t know our best interests; we are completely lost and need the help of the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, that help is available to us anytime we ask for it
A plan B is anything we have in mind for our future happiness while ignoring the present moment. We are fighting ourselves with these distractive plan Bs. To be happy we need to trust the present Love of God, to trust it so much that we give up the plan Bs. In no situation do we know our own best interests. Yet we think we do. We tend to first decide what we want and then ask Spirit for direction. Instead, by deciding not to decide, we can open ourselves to let Spirit decide for us. In this way we come to experience that all real pleasure comes from doing God’s will.
In order to have peace of mind, we have to raise up the ego beliefs and be free of them. Sexuality is the basic belief in needs which is all part of the perception of being a human being. As these needs are fulfilled on a regular basis the mind can be raised up into and advanced higher order of needs and that would be self-actualization. Sexual desire is a distorted miracle impulse, and is actually a gentle reminder, to see that you are being called back to God.
David Hoffmeister shares an experience he had while practicing A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 163, “There is no death. The Son of God is free.” He had the experience that there truly is no death and that death is the ego. A woman in front of David had collapsed on the ground and stopped breathing in the grocery store he was in while practicing the ACIM lesson. When David had the experience that there truly is no death, the women seemed to be a reflection of mind and simultaneously began breathing again. What does Jesus mean by, “There is no death. The Son of God is free”? He’s really saying, “There is no ego. The Son of God is free.”
There is only one problem with self-help—the Self that we are doesn’t need any help. As we move towards the Atonement, we move increasingly to the awareness that we have been wrong about everything, and towards the realization that, “my mind holds only what I think with God.” Our purpose is not to create a utopia on earth, but only to open our minds to a state of deep love and gratitude for the One, our Creator. Many of us were taught that it’s not wise to become too happy, but Love invites us to be divinely and fully happy now.
Is storytelling good or bad? The ego made up all the stories, and will use storytelling to justify emotions and to reinforce the personality identity. Yet storytelling can also be used by the Spirit to heal and bless. The real question to ask is, “What is the point, the purpose, of the story?” Just as Jesus only told stories that had a clear point and purpose to them, so too should we be equally mindful as to why we are telling a story.
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.