[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
I have just had a wonderful experience with today’s lesson (66. “My happiness and my function are one”), and I want to write about it before it fades away.
The focus of the teaching and the practice is a logical syllogism:
God gives me only happiness.
God has given my function to me.
Therefore, my function must be happiness.
After providing us with an explanation of the logic in the idea for the day, Jesus asks us to reflect on the two premises and their conclusion. When I’ve practiced this lesson in the past it has convinced me on an intellectual level, but this time it went beyond that to convincing me through an experience of the truth of the conclusion. Here’s what happened:
As I sat reflecting on the two premises and the conclusion, these related thoughts came to me:
Every parent wants happiness for his or her child, but no human parent can give that child happiness. That’s beyond his or her power. But God is no mortal parent; He is the ultimate loving parent who can and does gives me happiness. He not only has happiness; but He also is happiness. He is the Source of all happiness; all my happiness comes from Him, and only Him. He created me like Himself, so Happiness created me like Itself! Everything God has and is is mine, so, His happiness is also mine. Furthermore, that happiness is what I am; it’s my true identity. Just as God is happiness, I am happiness.
The Course tells me that “identity and function are the same, and by your function do you know yourself” (T-27.II.10:6). So, if my identity is happiness, so is my function, and through fulfilling my function of happiness, I will remember myself as happiness. I will teach only happiness, because happiness is what I am! Just as God shares His being with me, I am here to share my being with others! I am here to be a source of happiness for everyone I meet. By accepting happiness as my function, I will be a vehicle for the expression of God’s happiness and I will remind others that they too have happiness and are happiness. That is the only thing that will bring me happiness; it is the only that will bring me home.
As these thoughts came to me, tears welled up in my eyes, and I was totally filled with gratitude and happiness. It was such a wonderful experience, like nothing the world has ever given me. I don’t remember when I have ever felt such pure joy before. James and I had been a bit off kilter, but when I came out of our quiet time, I was filled with so much joy that I could hardly contain it, and I saw him only through the eyes of my happiness. (He wanted me to tell you that my joy was so infectious that it pulled him out the depression he had been in.)
This lesson is a perfect example of how the practice of logic can change our minds. Using the Course’s logic and drawing on my own related thoughts about the premises and what they meant, I talked myself into accepting the truth of the conclusion. My mind was changed and it led me to actually experiencing that truth.
I am constantly amazed at how the ego can try to derail things. I wanted to write a blog on this because I felt so much happiness and gratitude and I wanted to share it with you. However, as I wrote, I started to feel tense and a bit anxious. I wanted to remember the thoughts I had had and to capture what I had experienced, but I wasn’t getting it quite “right.” Then James came down to get me for a practice, and it dawned on me: Here I was, wanting to share my happiness with you, and I wasn’t feeling happy! I had got caught up in trying to recreate (interesting word!) that earlier moment of happiness and, in the process I had lost sight of that happiness. I had almost got trapped into thinking that my function was to write a good blog! I had even forgotten to stop and practice the words that brought that experience of happiness to me! Thanks to James’s reminder and the power of the Course, my practice got me back on track, to the point of my feeling that happiness well up in me again and spill over to James––and to my writing: I am back here sitting at my computer with a big smile on my face and feeling very happy!