There is no conflict, for my will is Yours.
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.
In a study group recently, I said that our fundamental problem is that we really believe that we are terrible people. We don’t trust our own love. A fellow was expressing his concern that the material of the Course could be used to justify just about any behavior. “I could go rob a liquor store because the world is just illusion and nobody would really be hurt except in the illusion. Nothing I do affects my relationship to God negatively.”
The direct answer to that question is that you only do such things in the world when you believe the world is real. If you truly believed that the world is an illusion, you could not be doing such things and would have no desire to do them.
The fear that he would do terrible things if he believed no one would really be hurt belied a belief that he could not be trusted with the truth. The Course is saying that we don’t believe that what we truly want is good. The truth is, we can trust ourselves. Even if we are still confused and bemused by illusion, we are not going to make terrible mistakes. It is safe to let go of the constraints of guilt because we truly are extensions of God. We think we need the guilt to restrain the monster within us; A Course in Miracles is saying guilt serves no useful function (see T-14.III.1:4), and in fact keeps us locked into the illusion of our sinfulness. That illusion about ourselves is the fundamental error. And it goes on to say that thinking the self has usurped the throne of God is nothing to be guilty about:
Seek not to appraise the worth of God’s Son whom He created holy, for to do so is to evaluate his Father and judge against Him. And you will feel guilty for this imagined crime, which no one in this world or Heaven could possibly commit. The Holy Spirit teaches only that the “sin” of self-replacement on the throne of God is not a source of guilt. (T-14.III.15:1-3)
It is just a “trivial mistake” (W-pI.138.11:5). Love has not left Itself. I share God’s nature as Love. I could not leave Him, nor He me (1:5).
It is “foolish” (1:1) to believe that I could in reality oppose the Will of God, and corrupt myself. Any apparent corruption or conflict between me and God must be an illusion, evidence of nothing except that I am asleep and dreaming of the impossible (1:7-8).
“To know reality is not to see the ego” (W-pII.12.4:1). Yet paradoxically we must see the ego first in order to overlook it. It operates in a hidden fashion, secretly, stealthily. It hides behind all kinds of cover. We must unmask it, see it for what it is, and then overlook it, ignore it. As long as we don’t know what our imagined enemy is we will be run by fear. We have to get to the place where we can see clearly, “Oh! It’s just the ego, it’s just me thinking I’m separate.” Then we can let it go.
When you have at last looked at the ego’s foundation without shrinking, you will have also looked upon ours. (T-11.In.4:2)
Let us look at our ego, then, without shrinking, without being afraid of it, able to see that it is just a “trivial mistake.”