You can expect to have a very profound experience in the mind because you are welcoming the experience of Inner Truth. All of us have the Spirit’s Voice within us, and so today we pray that that Voice be loud and clear for us. That Voice is always very gentle, very kind, always reminding us that we are perfectly innocent, that we remain loving as God created us and the Voice is there to guide and direct us back to that experience. The Spirit is very simple. I would like to talk about some terms that we are familiar with on this inward journey to happiness.
finding true happiness
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Many of us who were raised in Christianity or around Christianity were told about this word called sin, and this is a major idea in Christianity. It’s described as if all of mankind, all of the human condition, is based on original sin. But in A Course in Miracles, Jesus defines sin as an error, and we all know that errors can be corrected. This is a term in Christianity called forgiveness, forgiveness is a correction of the original error. Our entire lives on planet earth are really about one thing, and that’s accepting the correction of error. So this is what the Spirit’s Voice wants to tell you, however your life appears to be in form, whatever your circumstances, however your movie looks, whatever roles and duties you’ve taken on, the Spirit says: “Just relax, you have only one responsibility, you have only one duty, and only one role and that is to accept the correction.” You don’t have to make it more difficult than that, you can tell yourself that as many times as you like.
Let’s say you’re going to the grocery store to go shopping for food, and that’s a very specific purpose, but really you are only going there to accept the correction of error. It’s really not about buying the food and this is why people feel stress in their life, they have just forgotten that they only have one responsibility. Now food can seem to be one thing, but children can seem to be another, but again we can see that this transfers to every aspect of human life. We have been told that we must have an education, that we must learn many different skills, that we will take on many different roles and responsibilities and that everyone gets to go through this and that these skills must become more developed and more refined. We are told we must learn about the body and how to take care of the body. We are told that we may have jobs taking care of other bodies, and you can see that there are many expectations about our human life and it’s all coming from a belief system that says, this is just the way it is, you better get with the program. Because if you don’t get with the program you will not be able to function and the chances are you will die. You will die much sooner if you don’t follow the program. Also, our happiness is tied into the program, we’re told we have no hope of happiness unless we follow the program. But there are so many versions of the program, millions and millions of versions, but this is our ego conditioning.
Along comes A Course in Miracles and Jesus is saying, “No actually, I mean this, you have only one responsibility and we could call it forgiveness,” and that’s what it’s been called for many centuries in Christianity. But even in Christianity if you forgive all your sins you still have to grow old and die and if you’ve been good enough you get to go to Heaven after you die and so you have to wait for Heaven. Christianity does not teach that Heaven is now, it teaches that Heaven is in the future, hopefully, if you’re good enough, and if you’re bad, oh well. Heaven is not now and Heaven isn’t even in your future, Heaven is out of the picture completely. So as I find, when people work with A Course in Miracles, they do uncover a lot of guilt and this guilt is usually around this feeling, I’m not enough, I’m not good enough, I haven’t done well enough on earth. Then all these roles that have been taken on, I’m not the best father or son, not the best mother or daughter, not the best sister or employee. We always fall short of these roles and responsibilities and we always hear the word, “You can do better,” but it’s a strange world because better never really comes in a lasting way. We become better and then there’s always more, it just never ends it’s like a cycle. It’s like we’re saying, “Is that good enough?” And the guilt in us is saying, “No, no that is not good enough.”
So this world becomes very, very complicated, and for example if you mess up your phone you can always go back to the default setting. Often times if you call for technical support and they can’t figure out what the problem is they’ll say, “You have to re-set your phone. Go back to the beginning and re-set the whole thing.” And this is what Jesus is telling us to do: reset your life, push the re-set button because these little attempts to make things better are not really working. In fact, I think it gets more depressing when you go down trying to make things better when things never get completely better.
I have a friend of mine named Peter and he grew up in a family that was very Christian and he married a Christian wife, all of his children were Christian. But the world never made much sense to Peter and he had a lot of questions around Christianity, even questions about the Bible. Then at some point in his life, he discovered A Course in Miracles and it began to confirm some of his deeper teachings from the Bible. He started to really connect with Jesus in a very deep way and there were sayings from Jesus that jumped out to him about leaving the world behind. About leaving your family, leaving everything behind and following Christ, and so he was so excited he decided to talk to his wife and family and they said, “That’s not what Jesus is saying, you’re taking all of this way too far, you’re getting way to happy and you’re becoming fanatical about forgiveness.” He said, “I don’t think it’s fanatical, I’m feeling very peaceful and happy,” but he had very strong resistance from his wife and his family because he took it that he really just had one responsibility. He started to be very sincere about that idea, he started to practice with everything and everyone, including his own family and he did come over to spend some years working with me and my community and that wasn’t very well liked by his family. They said, “You are wasting your life.”
Actually, if we really take the teachings very sincerely Jesus will always go before us and give us whatever we seem to need, and will actually take care of us as long as we need to be taken care of. And Jesus is calling us into an experience, a real experience of true happiness. As we go deeper we have to let go of all of our concepts of God, we have been taught that sometimes God favors other things instead of just being pure Love and pure acceptance. We have things called religions and philosophies, different theologies, but in the end we must yield all those things away too. And so you might say we are on a very deep journey together, to practice every day at hitting the re-set button. Wake-up every morning and say, “You’re going to have to show me the way today. My best plans have not solved the error. My best plans have not shown me the correction, maybe it’s hidden but I know I do need help to find it.”
No “person” finds this correction because it is much deeper than our personality self and we need lots of miracles to show us the way. We need to feel that things are showing up in our world, like signs and symbols and good feelings that tell us that we’re going in the right direction. Because even if we have not found the re-set button, we would feel hopeful if we know that we’re moving in the right direction. Now part of our programming is, we’re always making decisions and it’s important to make the right decisions because the right decisions will lead us towards happiness and the wrong decisions will lead us towards pain and guilt and suffering. But we live in the land of many choices and it seems to get more and more complicated with these many choices, we need to be trained how to make the right decisions in our mind and in the end Jesus will tell us there’s only one decision that’s important, to accept your one responsibility and to accept the correction. Out of all the trillions of seeming choices, only one matters, that’s amazing when you look at all the decisions we seem to make as a human being, only one counts and the rest don’t count. You don’t have to answer for them when you get back to Heaven, God is not going to say, “Why did you choose that?” None of them count except the correction, and just to begin to acknowledge this, is a huge thing because this acknowledgment is the beginning of the end of guilt. This acknowledgment is the beginning of true happiness and that’s what we want in our hearts, we want to be truly happy. I am grateful to Jesus and his Course In Miracles for showing us the way!