How can illusions satisfy God’s Son?
See complete instructions in a separate document. A short summary:
- Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
- Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
- Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
- Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
- Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
- Read the “What Is” section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice comments: Notice the response to temptation instructions in paragraph 2. They ask us to watch our minds today for any instance in which we hear some earthly thing “call to us to stay and linger in a dream” (2:2). Instead of answering this call, “we turn aside and ask ourselves” (2:2), “How can illusions satisfy God’s Son?” I recommend trying this practice now. Think of an earthly thing that is calling to you. See your mind going toward it, but then turn aside and ask yourself, “How can illusions satisfy me, when I am God’s Son?”
The Course, like some TV commercials, is telling us to accept no substitutes. We want “the real thing” (Classic version, of course). The irony of it is that most of the time we allow ourselves to be satisfied with illusions: illusions of love (special love relationships), illusions of safety (financial security), illusions of meaning (fame, worldly rewards and recognition). We allow ourselves to be content with dreams, and sometimes even dreams within the dream, such as drugs and fantasies.
We do need lessons like these. We need to ask ourselves, “Can illusions bring me happiness?” (1:4). We know the answer if we are willing to ask the question. A Christian writer and missionary, Jim Elliot, once wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Another missionary, Amy Carmichael, wrote, “It is the life that has no time for trifling that tells.” When the glitter of the world attracts us, when a special relationship seems to promise us meaning and fulfillment here, in the world, let me remind myself: “I will accept no less than what You have given me” (1:6).
We may find temporary pleasure and satisfaction in some of our illusions. Ultimately, however, nothing can satisfy us but the memory of God (1:5). Nothing can bring complete contentment except the knowledge that “I am surrounded by Your Love, forever still, forever gentle and forever safe” (1:7). Today, will I pursue yet another illusion? Or will I use my time wisely, and choose Heaven and the peace of God?