A Course in Miracles Blog

When the world does good stuff and bad stuff to you

  • By Paul West
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  • 5 minutes 27 seconds
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There are two things that you can receive from the world when you are being a victim:

1) It does bad stuff to me
2) It does good stuff to me

Both of these are really the same. They both rely on you being a victim.

This means, you have to perceive that something outside of you has power over you, and can affect and change you.

When you have what we call emotional reactions to things, these so-called reactions are actually the 'effects' that are brought about in you to 'match' the causes that you see outside of you. They are like a mirror reflection or an expected, standard response to that external cause. Because you believe and perceive there to be a cause 'out there', that same belief manifests 'changes' in you to match that perception of yourself, and so you literally redefine and re-mold yourself - your experience - and it feels like hurt emotions.

Perceiving there is an external cause with power to do something to you, regardless of whether the reaction you have is good or bad or happy or sad, is a state of victimhood.

The ego will tell you that only the bad stuff that happens to you is part of your victimhood, and that you should decrease those things.

The ego will also tell you that only the good stuff that happens to you are things that you want, and are not part of your victimhood at all. It tells you that you should in fact try to increase and focus on those things as much as possible.

What that actually means though, being a trap, is that so long as you are focused on and dependent on being 'positively affected' by outside causes, you STILL are firmly and squarely inside a perceptual structure, in which you play the role of victim.

Victim means, perceiving that something separate from you, something outside of you, something you have no connection to, has the power to do something to you, which changes you in some way. Usually we focus on this being 'bad stuff' or 'enemies' or 'unwanted events' or 'things which scare us', but that is only half the story.

So the ego is very clever here to deceive you by saying, if you will focus on decreasing the bad stuff that happens to you, and focus on increasing the good stuff that happens to you, this means you are succeeding and improving and gaining a better life. It is an absolute farce. A total trap. 100% lie. The persona part of the ego is saying, keep the good stuff, but reject the bad stuff, which reinforces the sense of separation between the judgements of good and bad, which intensifies the bad stuff, and diminishes the good stuff. So eventually in your effort to increase good stuff that happens to you, you will in fact increase bad stuff happening to you. Focusing on receiving exclusive 'goodness' automatically generates more badness. Go figure. The trap has been set and many of us constantly fall for it.

As you then become dependent on trying to get good stuff to happen to you, so that you can indirectly be 'caused' to be happy, you don't realize it but you're sealing your own fate. In order to get good stuff to happen to you, and to want good stuff to happen to you more, you must buy into the perception and belief that you are at the effect of the world more. You want to experience even more good stuff affecting you and the only way to do that is to position yourself as even more vulnerable and disempowered. The ultimate good thing that can then happen to you is some kind of sacrificial death or 'going out on a high' or escapism. Or like, being sexually pleasured to the point where you practically die from overstimulation.

You don't want this.

There is another happiness. There is a permanent happiness that you can attain, that has nothing to do with what happens to you. It's a happiness in which you are completely invulnerable and at peace and cannot take anything in the world seriously, because you do not position yourself as at the 'effect' of the world. It means surrendering your attachment to getting good things or making good stuff 'happen to you'. Instead it requires you to honestly realize that that's a victim mentality, and that you need to stop seeing yourself as a victim otherwise eventually you will just be attacked. There is no invulnerability in 'good stuff happening'. There is no peace or protection or security there. It's an ego gamble, that maybe you'll temporarily feel happier and then inevitably lose it.

Permanent happiness comes from relinquishing all NEED for having good things happen to you. Letting go of all DEPENDENCE on the world being 'good' to you. Letting go of all aspects of the victim role, which is a role of the reversal of cause and effect. You don't want to be affected positively by the world. You want to realize YOU are the world, you are the cause, and you cannot be affected.

As ACIM says, pleasure and pain are the same thing. Perhaps now you can see why. Pleasure means you are being affected by causes outside of you, made to feel things, caused to have experiences that you can't control. And this relies on you being a vulnerable victim. And so it's the same thing as pain, it is actually hurting you just as much, but it's in a different form to pain, because that's part of how the ego disguises the illusion of it. Pleasure is really an attack disguised as something you want, while pain is an attack disguised as something you don't want. Neither of them are your natural way to be. And you do not need either of them.

Happiness given by God is given permanently and relies on nothing and no other sources for it to exist. It just is. It is there, permanently, underneath all these other deceptions that say it isn't, which are the very same deceptions that lead you away from true happiness seeking for artificial sources of happiness outside of you. Trying to get something separate from you to make you happy is irresponsible and indirect. You can experience direct happiness from God. It is also a far more magnificent happiness than anything, ANYTHING, that you can experience coming at you from outside of you, as an effect of an external cause.

This is where the Course says, "this world holds nothing that I want". Not even the 'good stuff'.
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