Today’s ACIM lesson, #328, I choose the second place to gain the first, is the reminder to allow God to run the show. It is remembering NOT to be insane by listening to ego. “For only the insane would choose fear in place of love, and only the insane could believe that love can be gained by attack.” Ego would have us believe we need to be separate from God, that we are separate and that we ned to listen to its voice to be happy. Nothing could be further from the truth. “The belief in ego autonomy is costing you the knowledge of your dependence on God, in which your freedom lies.” So, today, we practice stepping back and allowing God to lead. Seriously, He does a much better job of running the show.
From last year’s writing:
There comes a time for every serious Course student when he/she finally figures out that the world is upside down and backwards. We live in Opposite World; the world ego made to take the place of God’s creation. Except that ego is a twisted, fucked up bastard whose goals are contrary to what we really want. I think you need to have figured that out before you’re willing to accept the next logical step, which is what today’s lesson tells us: I choose the second place to gain the first. You need to have realized that “4 The ego cannot afford to know anything. Knowledge is total, and the ego does not believe in totality. This unbelief is its origin, and while the ego does not love you it is faithful to its own antecedents, begetting as it was begotten. Mind always reproduces as it was produced. Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear. This is its allegiance, and this allegiance makes it treacherous to love because you are love. Love is your power, which the ego must deny.” (Emphasis mine on the nixing the love.) As we often remind ourselves around here, “ The ego is therefore capable of suspiciousness at best and viciousness at worst.”
It’s simple really: ego does not want us to remember who we really are because the moment we do, we will recognize that it is insanity to listen to it and deny ourselves everything we have been yearning for.
“6 Yours is the independence of creation, not of autonomy. Your whole creative function lies in your complete dependence on God, Whose function He shares with you. By His willingness to share it, He became as dependent on you as you are on Him. Do not ascribe the ego’s arrogance to Him Who wills not to be independent of you. He has included you in His Autonomy. Can you believe that autonomy is meaningful apart from Him? The belief in ego autonomy is costing you the knowledge of your dependence on God, in which your freedom lies. The ego sees all dependency as threatening, and has twisted even your longing for God into a means of establishing itself. But do not be deceived by its interpretation of your conflict.
“7 The ego always attacks on behalf of separation. Believing it has the power to do this it does nothing else, because its goal of autonomy is nothing else. The ego is totally confused about reality, but it does not lose sight of its goal. It is much more vigilant than you are, because it is perfectly certain of its purpose. You are confused because you do not recognize yours.”
So, we practice today’s lesson so we can remember how it is we get all that we have been yearning for. (We become it, since “God has given you everything. This one fact means the ego does not exist, and this makes it profoundly afraid. In the ego’s language, “to have” and “to be” are different, but they are identical to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows that you both have everything and are everything. Any distinction in this respect is meaningful only when the idea of “getting,” which implies a lack, has already been accepted. That is why we make no distinction between having the Kingdom of God and being the Kingdom of God.”)
I choose the second place to gain the first.
What seems to be the second place is first, for all things we perceive are upside down until we listen to the Voice for God. It seems that we will gain autonomy but by our striving to be separate, and that our independence from the rest of God’s creation is the way in which salvation is obtained. Yet all we find is sickness, suffering and loss and death. This is not what our Father wills for us, nor is there any second to His Will. To join with His is but to find our own. And since our will is His, it is to Him that we must go to recognize our will.
There is no will but Yours. And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me be. It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace. And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.
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We cannot gain autonomy by pretending we are separate from God. The more I do these lessons, the more I remember that no matter how hard I try, I can never actually BE separate from God. I can forget that I am not separate, but there is nothing I can do to lob myself off from the Divine.
11 If the ego’s goal of autonomy could be accomplished God’s purpose could be defeated, and this is impossible. Only by learning what fear is can you finally learn to distinguish the possible from the impossible and the false from the true. According to the ego’s teaching, its goal can be accomplished and God’s purpose can not. According to the Holy Spirit’s teaching, only God’s purpose can be accomplished, and it is accomplished already.
“12 God is as dependent on you as you are on Him, because His Autonomy encompasses yours, and is therefore incomplete without it. You can only establish your autonomy by identifying with Him, and fulfilling your function as it exists in truth. The ego believes that to accomplish its goal is happiness. But it is given you to know that God’s function is yours, and happiness cannot be found apart from Your joint Will. Recognize only that the ego’s goal, which you have pursued so diligently, has merely brought you fear, and it becomes difficult to maintain that fear is happiness. Upheld by fear, this is what the ego would have you believe. Yet God’s Son is not insane, and cannot believe it. Let him but recognize it and he will not accept it. For only the insane would choose fear in place of love, and only the insane could believe that love can be gained by attack. But the sane realize that only attack could produce fear, from which the Love of God completely protects them.”
So, I choose the second to gain the first. I allow God to lead. I trust that, despite what ego tells me, that God loves me fiercely and that to know my own happiness is to listen to God, not to the insanity of ego. I let God lead me. I listen to the Voice for Love. I see innocence where ego wants to paint everything in guilt. I accept that I am not insane, but perhaps more sane than I have ever been in my life (despite feeling like some zealot that I want nothing to do with!).
I am willing to give up ”sickness, suffering and loss and death” by joining my will with His. The truth is that my will was always joined with His. I have just been pretending that it would be otherwise.
But why??? So I could be miserable a while for the “pleasure” of autonomy?
“I choose the second place to gain the first.” Because I really am ready to let go of my limiting beliefs and accept my role, the role God gave me: my “function as it exists in truth.” “2 God is as dependent on you as you are on Him, because His Autonomy encompasses yours, and is therefore incomplete without it. You can only establish your autonomy by identifying with Him, and fulfilling your function as it exists in truth. “
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.