Purpose: To further loosen the hold of your belief that pain buys you something. To realize pain has no benefit, no purpose, and no reality. To realize that what you want is the same perfect happiness God wills for you.
Longer: Every hour on the hour, for five minutes (if you cannot do this, at least do the alternate).
- Say, “I share God’s Will for happiness for me, and I accept it as my function now.” Try to mean it, try to make it an actual act of accepting God’s Will.
- Then, again spend the rest of the time in meditation trying to “reach the happiness God’s Will has placed in you” (3:1). This is the practice you did in the previous two days and will continue doing for several more. Remember to seek this place with real desire, for only here do you feel at home, at rest, safe, and at peace. Remember also to seek with confidence, for if you really will with God to reach this place, then quite simply, “you cannot fail to find it” (4:4).
Frequent reminders: Frequent.
Repeat, “I share God’s Will for happiness for me, and I accept it as my function now.”
“I share God’s Will for happiness for me.”
How nice that the Workbook is going to spend several days devoted to “exercises planned to help you reach the happiness God’s Will has placed in you” (3:1). I notice that I’m not trying to “make myself happy” but rather trying to reach a preexistent happiness. An American guru (who went at one time by the name Da Free John, now often called Adi Da) once said, “You are always already happy.” That phrase stuck in my mind, and it is consonant with what the Course is saying about happiness.
The Self within me is always happy. It was created happy by God; God’s Will “placed” happiness within me. I am not trying to create happiness; I am merely attempting to locate it within myself, to discover it there.
Happiness is contrasted with our belief in the merit of suffering. The lesson isn’t expecting us to be at the point of total freedom from this belief. “Yet this belief is surely shaken by now, at least enough to let you question it, and to suspect it really makes no sense” (1:3). This belief is what has been superimposed on our native happiness, obscuring it and causing us to experience pain and suffering. Our happiness is hidden under layers of pain only because we believe there is value in the pain. And I know that I do at least question this belief. I don’t want to suffer; of course I don’t. Yet if I do suffer, I have chosen it, not because I want the pain but because I want what I think the pain will get me. The message of the lesson in this regard is: “Pain is purposeless, without a cause and with no power to accomplish anything” (2:1). Not only so, but everything that I think the pain will bring me is equally lacking in existence. The whole thing is a deceptive mirage conjured up by the ego to keep us from our eternal satisfaction in God.
So today we declare that we share God’s Will for happiness for ourselves. We declare that we will to be happy. Simple being what God created is our function. “Be happy, for your only function here is happiness” (5:1). The next line (5:2) speaks of our being less loving to our brothers than God is, and says there is no need for it. Unhappiness is our “excuse” for being less loving than God. How can I open my heart to you in love when I am unhappy? By choosing to be happy I am enabling myself to be wholly loving. The Course always seems to be making these interesting connections between things that would never occur to me, but which seem obvious when it points them out.