Lately, I find myself contemplating just what illusion is. In A Course in Miracles terms it is ego’s version of reality, which is not Reality at all. “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” So all the ideas that my mind conjures to tell me there is something to fear, something that is not love – all of that is illusion. Today’s ACIM lesson, #322, I give up what was never real, is about recognizing that all the things I think are sacrifice are not. “Is it a sacrifice to give up nothing, and to receive the Love of God forever?” “Is it a sacrifice to leave littleness behind, and wander not in vain? It is not sacrifice to wake to glory. But it is sacrifice to accept anything less than glory.” Giving up illusion is giving up the lies of the ego (aka the “lies of the serpent”). That was when a “deep sleep fell upon Adam” and the Son of God dreamed that he had separated himself from God and the appearance of duality came into being. Prior to that point, there was no evil; there was no idea that he could be anything other than the perfection that God had created.
Now, what God created was/is perfect. It was only when the idea was born that we could create apart from God and go against His will that illusion was born. Adam was afraid (he created fear) because he made up a story about what would happen if he disobeyed God and projected that illusion upon God. This is what the Course refers to as the “authority problem.” “This is ‘the root of all evil.’ Every symptom the ego makes involves a contradiction in terms, because the mind is split between the ego and the Holy Spirit, so that whatever the ego makes is incomplete and contradictory. This untenable position is the result of the authority problem which, because it accepts the one inconceivable thought as its premise, can produce only ideas that are inconceivable.”
It was never real.
“The issue of authority is really a question of authorship. When you have an authority problem, it is always because you believe you are the author of yourself and project your delusion onto others. You then perceive the situation as one in which others are literally fighting you for your authorship. This is the fundamental error of all those who believe they have usurped the power of God. This belief is very frightening to them, but hardly troubles God. He is, however, eager to undo it, not to punish His children, but only because He knows that it makes them unhappy. God’s creations are given their true Authorship, but you prefer to be anonymous when you choose to separate yourself from your Author. Being uncertain of your true Authorship, you believe that your creation was anonymous. This leaves you in a position where it sounds meaningful to believe that you created yourself. The dispute over authorship has left such uncertainty in your mind that it may even doubt whether you really exist at all.”
Nothing real can be threatened. Today’s lesson, from last year’s writing:
As I become more aware of what is real and what is illusion, I start to notice that giving up illusions is a piece of cake. It’s letting go of drama and sacrifice, being right, competition: all ego constructs born from fear and the dream of separation. The dream of separation is one that entails loss and sacrifice; of being something other than what God is. It is duality. The world of opposites, where what never was is focused on and grieved over and allowed to become central to life. Death/loss is the core theme of illusion. God never demands sacrifice, but idols must be relinquished if we are to have the “real world.” All the crap we thought was important, the shiny car, the latest electronic gizmo, status, fame, none of that is what’s important. None of that is Love. “I sacrifice illusions; nothing more.” Of course, ego whispers that God is a mean bastard who is hell-bent on taking away all our toys. Nothing could be further from the truth. But happiness cannot be found in choosing profits over people, and those who think money is more important than love don’t understand God or love.
I can give up but what was never real.
I sacrifice illusions; nothing more. And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome, and in readiness to give God’s ancient messages to me. His memory abides in every gift that I receive of Him. And every dream serves only to conceal the Self which is God’s only Son, the likeness of Himself, the Holy One Who still abides in Him forever, as He still abides in me.
Father, to You all sacrifice remains forever inconceivable. And so I cannot sacrifice except in dreams. As You created me, I can give up nothing You gave me. What You did not give has no reality. What loss can I anticipate except the loss of fear, and the return of love into my mind?
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Is it sacrifice to let go of the things that have been blocking me from the awareness of Love’s presence? Is it sacrifice to let go of being afraid, of allowing the things that have frightened me to become powerless in the presence of Divine Love? Is it sacrifice to let go of the small self, with its mad ideas and impulse to attack in order to defend its identity?
Yet ego tells of a time when individuality will cease to exist and that is the bait it uses to stay in control and keep the dream going. It’s a common misperception that someday when the dream is over and illusion fails to hold sway over Reality that somehow who I am and who you are will meld into this exploding blue star where no one matters. It’s beyond comprehension and it’s the hook that keeps us tethered to illusion. I want to be an individualized expression of the One. I’m not keen on losing my individuality.
Listen, I don’t pretend to know it all, but I know that only the Love is real, and the game is rigged and that it is a lie to think I can sacrifice anything of value. Plus, we are each of us a central piece in God’s plan for salvation so I don’t think it’s accurate to dismiss ourselves like chopped liver. We aren’t letting go of our value, we are letting go of the idea that any of us is more valuable than another. Though ego wants us to believe that “love demands sacrifice;” it does not. “Special relationships” do with their twisted ideas of what love is, but not love. Ego eagerly attempts to secure the specialness it craves from God but cannot get since God loves all His children (even the undeserving bastards!). “For the special relationship is the renunciation of the Love of God, and the attempt to secure for the self the specialness that He denied. “
Of course, it’s not too surprising that a lot of us are somewhat confused about love since ego seeks it in the special relationship “6 The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable.”
Tell me again why it is we don’t want to give up illusion?
So, the reminder that I can give up but what was never real is remembering that I don’t want the gifts of the ego. I don’t want to be jealous, or vengeful, hurtful and cruel. I am much happier asking the Holy Spirit:
For Love created me like Itself and I am happy to remember “there is no order of difficulty in miracles when you apply them to all situations. There is no situation to which miracles do not apply, and by applying them to all situations you will gain the real world.” I do these things while remembering that I am not the one doing the work. “You can do nothing apart from Him, and you do do nothing apart from Him.” “Of yourself you can do nothing, because of yourself you are nothing.”
It’s easier; easier to just trust in God and allow Him to lead me. It’s really just a matter of practice.
Which is why I come here each day.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
- Here Comes (U.S.) Thanksgiving: The Unbreakable Link between Gratitude and Joy (challies.com)
- Do you depend on God? (vanguardngr.com)
- Hearing God – Sunday Thought For The Day (mychal-massie.com)
- Do Something (riveradouthit.com)
- Pope Francis bestows sainthood to poncho-wearing Argentinian ‘gaucho priest’ (latino.foxnews.com)