I love how the Course constantly grounds us back to the business at hand… Just when we might be feeling particularly out in elusive, abstract space in our minds while we make our way back to the memory of Who we are in truth… ~ “Earth to the dreamer of the dream”~
In this life it does seem we are constantly evaluating… that is what this world is all about. Yet it is critical to remember that the first value judgment, which spawned all the rest, was the seeming choice for specialness, and therefore separation from the knowledge of our Self and God…
Like the lesson says: “The laws that govern choice we cannot make, no more than we can make alternatives from which to choose. The choosing we do and must, yet it is wise to learn the laws we set in motion when we choose, and what alternatives we choose between: there are but two, however many there appear to be. The range is set, and this we cannot change”. This is important to keep in mind when the ego is presenting the myriad of seeming alternatives, to avoid unnecessary time wasted in delay in nothingness, until we arrive at the obvious… There is but one choice that must be made.
Also crucial to awareness is the law: there is no compromise between the real and the unreal, between innocence and guilt, between truth and falsity, between love and fear, between everything and nothing. And there are no degrees in the importance of the choices we make… Each one brings everything… or nothing…The choice is always between all value and no value of any kind….
For today’s lesson practice, the Course is outlining specific, fail-safe(when applied) criteria, by which we can test our seeming choices. This requires a state of detached mind-watching on our part, where we look with the Holy Spirit at what we seem to see and judge and believe and feel; suspending route interpretation in favor of His. And this last piece is no small thing. We cannot accomplish this without the one choice for the Holy Spirit’s influence/interpretation in our observation. We are much to vulnerable to believing the same set of values that got us into this in the first place (perhaps dressed up in a ‘new-age or spiritual’ garb~ but still self-concept instead of Self).
It has amazed me over the years, what an ingenious impersonator the ego is. How slick it can quickly and smoothly mimic every ‘spiritual – ah-ha’ I have claimed as progress: Now this would certainly be a clue to my state of mind and the seduction of the choice for specialness, which is in the nothingness category … My laying claim to anything, secretly in the recesses of my private mind, has to be the ego, yes?. But the thing is that when you’re in the mist of it, it can be quite difficult to see, due to the simulated ‘good’ feeling generated by the ego’s replica.
Here are the real criteria by which to test all the things we think we want:
1). Will the thing I’m choosing last forever? Or is it a thing of time, space and body preference, all of which pass away.
I remember when it dawned on me that if there was a feeling of urgency present, that a choice be made, now, something had to be done, now, etc., I was shut off from the influence of the Holy Spirit. Only the ego deals in time/space ultimatums. I had really already made my choice. And I wanted things to go ‘my way’. This ah-ha about ‘urgency’ (designed by ego to distract), became and awareness and a way of freeing my mind to remember that I don’t know what this particular ‘must-have’ is for in the big picture of all that is. That is the Holy Spirit’s role. I am available to do my part forgive what I judged to be real and of value in surrender to the truth instead.
2). Will my choice give to all…or will someone lose. If there is the idea of loss in any form, the choice is supporting the idea that one can gain… which is just another way of saying that I don’t know I already have everything… again a choice for nothing.
Question the source… I see this as a direct deciphering tool, this is the foundation criteria (not that I’m not effectively aware that inattentiveness at this juncture can be temporarily debilitating ~I am). Here, as always we ask the simple questions:
3.) Why is this choice of value to me… what attracts my mind to it? And, what purpose does it serve?
These questions can only be asked sincerely by the mind that has surrendered its own answer in honest desire for the truth. It is the Holy Spirit within our mind that assists us in honest evaluation.
Just a note: I’ve got the T-shirt from this one~ I have been duped by the ego’s dummied-up substitute ‘good reasons’, more times than I can ever account… seemingly infinite delay by way of seductive reasoning… Thank God, delay is not permanent!…
This brings us to the forth criteria, which actually, once seen and accepted as my own, of my own making, has turned out to be the criteria that, since intolerable by nature, gets my attention, and has become a ‘main-switch’ of sorts in my mind, back to the Holy Spirit’s Charge.
4). If guilt is present in any form, it is allegiance to the ego.
Why would I feel guilty unless I actually, on some level, thought I had gone against God (you) and taken something that didn’t belong to me? The inevitable “being found out” and retribution served, is bound to ensue. A gift of course, comes wrapped within this free-floating fear inherent in the false. ~Even steeped in the seduction of the ego’s dictates that my choices are in my ‘best interest (and even yours), the red flag of guilt can be used as a warning sign to flag me over and re-evaluate, with the guide that knows; the Holy Spirit…
Don’t you just love specific criteria to test our fearful, impotent little self’s choices by? I know I do. And here we have evaluation check points every step of the way, so as to not completely get lost in distraction and delay… Doesn’t this lesson give the feeling that you’ve got the road map now, and can proceed? The methodology employed by the Course lesson structure, not to mention the entire theosophy, is, well, nothing short of miraculous, nés pas?
Let’s give our fifteen minutes twice today for the miracle which brings to mind the awareness of our V A L U E and therefore all that has value in truth… We need but say and mean this: I will not value what is valueless, and only what has value do I seek, for only that do I desire to find. And the Holy Spirit will do the rest… enlightening our minds to recognition… How glorious is God and His simple plan to save us from or dream of self…for we are the value of this world because we are still as God created us and the miracle is enacted through His Atonement principle, which, simply undoes all we thought we thought apart from Him or each other…