Tuesday, May 13, 2008

LESSON 66 My happiness and my function are one.


My happiness and my function are one.

You have surely noticed an emphasis throughout our recent lessons on the connection between fulfilling your function and achieving happiness. This is because you do not really see the connection. Yet there is more than just a connection between them; they are the same. Their forms are different, but their content is completely one.

The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. So does it do constant battle with the Holy Spirit about what your happiness is. It is not a two-way battle. The ego attacks and the Holy Spirit does not respond. He knows what your function is. 6 He knows that it is your happiness.

Today we will try to go past this wholly meaningless battle and arrive at the truth about your function. We will not engage in senseless arguments about what it is. We will not become hopelessly involved in defining happiness and determining the means for achieving it. We will not indulge the ego by listening to its attacks on truth. We will merely be glad that we can find out what truth is.

Our longer practice period today has as its purpose your acceptance of the fact that not only is there a very real connection between the function God gave you and your happiness, but that they are actually identical. God gives you only happiness. Therefore, the function He gave you must be happiness, even if it appears to be different. Today's exercises are an attempt to go beyond these differences in appearance, and recognize a common content where it exists in truth.

Begin the ten-to-fifteen-minute practice period by reviewing these thoughts:

God gives me only happiness.

He has given my function to me.
Therefore my function must be happiness.

Try to see the logic in this sequence, even if you do not yet accept the conclusion. It is only if the first two thoughts are wrong that the conclusion could be false. Let us, then, think about the premises for a while, as we are practicing.

The first premise is that God gives you only happiness. This could be false, of course, but in order to be false it is necessary to define God as something He is not. Love cannot give evil, and what is not happiness is evil. God cannot give what He does not have, and He cannot have what He is not. Unless God gives you only happiness, He must be evil. And it is this definition of Him you are believing if you do not accept the first premise.

The second premise is that God has given you your function. We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides. There are no other guides but these to choose between, and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice but the fear that the ego always engenders, and the love that the Holy Spirit always offers to replace it.

Thus, it must be that your function is established by God through His Voice, or is made by the ego which you have made to replace Him. Which is true? Unless God gave your function to you, it must be the gift of the ego. Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?

Think about this during the longer practice period today. Think also about the many forms the illusion of your function has taken in your mind, and the many ways in which you tried to find salvation under the ego's guidance. Did you find it? Were you happy? Did they bring you peace? We need great honesty today. Remember the outcomes fairly, and consider also whether it was ever reasonable to expect happiness from anything the ego ever proposed. Yet the ego is the only alternative to the Holy Spirit's Voice.

You will listen to madness or hear the truth. Try to make this choice as you think about the premises on which our conclusion rests. We can share in this conclusion, but in no other. For God Himself shares it with us. Today's idea is another giant stride in the perception of the same as the same, and the different as different. On one side stand all illusions. All truth stands on the other. 8 Let us try today to realize that only the truth is true.

In the shorter practice periods, which would be most helpful today if undertaken twice an hour, this form of the application is suggested:

My happiness and function are one, because God has given me both.

It will not take more than a minute, and probably less, to repeat these words slowly and think about them a little while as you say them.


Lesson 66
“My happiness and my function are one.”

Truly accepting that God has given me happiness and that my function is happiness is the release into pure joy. I can see why he calls this lesson a giant stride in returning Home. If I truly accepted this without reservation, then I would make only one choice, to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in every instant.

If there is any resistance to the Holy Spirit’s Voice, it is because some part of my mind believes that God does not want my happiness. There is some form of belief that I must actually give up my happiness to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction. This means that in some part of my mind, I believe that happiness can be found in some other place than God. This is the lie the ego teaches over and over. It offers myriad forms to tempt me into believing they offer some happiness. Yet being solely illusion, they really offer only nothing. When I resist Holy Spirit’s lead, I am choosing nothing over everything, limitation over limitless joy.

I am deeply grateful for the Course, which is helping me to recognize the ego’s illusions for the nothingness they are and to see the joy that God is offering me in every instant, since before time began and after time is over. This is truly a lesson of joy. I choose to accept His gift today. I rest in gratitude.

God is Love. God is peace. God is joy. God is happiness. All that is real is an extension of God, one with God, unchanged. God is formless Love, unlimited by time or space. We all are formless Love, changeless, unlimited by time or space. What is not God or Love is illusion — false stories, dreaming. Dreams can never be real. The only thing to do with dreams is to let them go because they are nothing. To heal we don’t fight false stories, we see their nothingness. And as the false stories are laid down, which are barriers to remembering Love, what is true and real is there. It has always been there and always will be there. It is God. It is Love. It is happiness.

As I lay down dreams, see their nothingness, I awaken to what has always been and see that the dreams never were — just silly, silly stories. My function is to remember my true Identity, which is Love, which is happiness, which is peace. My function and my happiness are one. I experience my function as I open to holy instants, as I open to what is eternally real and true. That is my joy now, letting the Holy Spirit show me the difference between the real and the unreal, letting the Holy Spirit show me that the unreal stories could never bring me happiness. It is only as I open to the Holy Spirit that I am led to true and lasting eternal happiness, my true Identity as Love and nothing else.

There is great joy in knowing my happiness and my function are one. My experience of happiness is my experience of God, of Love. This occurs for me in both the physical and nonphysical realities I perceive. In other words, I can extend happiness and Love through my thoughts. I can also experience complete happiness in the beauty of a setting sun or the kind words I exchange with my neighbor. In both “realities” are the extension of Love. This is my function. This is my happiness. Great peace, great joy are my experience as I lay down any thought of separation and join in any form with the one Mind of Love in All.

God is fun. God is truly desirable, exciting. To think otherwise is to deceive myself. My relationship with God can only engender that which ignites the vitality within me. I no longer blame the unhappiness I pretend to have on God. If in any moment I find dullness, oppression, boredom, stress, disappointment about myself, I accept that it is because I think that about God.

God loves me so much. I know because God touches me with a joy that I understand. As I experience the kind of joy that I understand, I open up to more joy. I relate to higher levels of joy in this process. Never again will I convince myself that waking up with the Holy Spirit is about Self denial. My Self already is and the Holy Spirit speaks to me through that Self and invites me Home on a road of celebration and healing that does not understand sacrifice.

That is how I can devote my life to healing in the Holy Spirit. I have truly been touched by the Love of God, the compassion, the intimacy, the friendship. As I have let myself be touched so profoundly, I am inspired to love in a wondrous way that I once thought was unimaginable. I am grateful for the freedom and the power God has given me to share with Him.

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