Jesus\’ words from ACIM:
- \”The Holy Spirit begins by perceiving you as perfect. Knowing this perfection is shared He recognizes it in others, thus strengthening it in both. Instead of anger this arouses love for both, because it establishes inclusion. Perceiving equality, the Holy Spirit perceives equal needs. This invites Atonement automatically, because Atonement is the one need in this world that is universal. To perceive yourself this way is the only way in which you can find happiness in the world. That is because it is the acknowledgement that you are not in this world, for the world is unhappy.
- How else can you find joy in a joyless place except by realizing that you are not there? \”
Before finding A Course in Miracles (a little over a year ago), I tried everything to find happiness. I tried career success and money, relationships, approval of authorities, monastic life, Harley Davidson, positions of trust in organizations, service work and the new age. I\’ve travelled all over the world. My family had a ski cabin and I was an expert skiier by the age of 10. I read books about the art of happiness. I tried it all and always came up short. Finally I quit.
I had decided at the age of 22 that God was the answer. Even though I sought happiness in \”things\” for another 20 years, I constantly had God and meditation on a parallel path. God and meditation have never ceased to be a significant part of my life; even without the enlightenment experience that causes most people to be interested in God.
Reading the above quote, I am off the hook. About 3 years ago, I disenfranchized and marginalized myself. I quit participating in normal human society. I no longer cared about it. What others were doing seemed fake to me and I couldn\’t stand it. I ran long distances. Meditated for hours a day. Fasted for up to 19 days. I practiced \”lectio divina\” for an hour a day. I continue to pray with the ACIM Text twice a day. I didn\’t do these things as discipline or punishment. I did them because they were what I like to do and what makes sense to me to do. The result of my renuncuation of society was it became possible for me to embrace ACIM. I no longer had to worry about anybody\’s approval; and, believe me, the teachings of ACIM are not compatible with what most people believe. In the past year, I\’ve read the ACIM Text 3 times.
For awhile, I felt guilty for renouncing society. I was told it was wrong to just walk away and be by myself. Through ACIM, I\’m off the guilt hook for participating in human affairs. But I am happily on the hook for finding happiness in the abstract. The Christ Self and The Holy Spirit reside in each of us and all of us. God created each of us and all of us. My only happiness is in practicing this reality. Seeing Christ is the only blessing I have to give. I put my faith in this and not in the world. I am off the hook. I don\’t have to go out and get anything or win at anything or care about anything. Social programming is nonsense and I am off its hook. This world is an illusion and I do not put my faith in it.
I live in a world where career goals are programmed into us. They don\’t matter to me. I live in a world where watching TV and over eating are normal. I cannot allow this into my thoughts or energy pattern. You see, it is by walking away from all the social programming that it was possible for me to find something else, ACIM. Now, I stand outside the box. I refuse to go back in. But I have to learn not to hate the box and its contents. This is what Jesus did. He was outside the box and helped other to get outside it.
I just learn the new way of perceiving and practice it. Nothing else matters. In the ordinary sense, I don\’t \”have a life.\” In the extraordinary sense, I am learning to BE ALIVE!