A Course in Miracles Blog

You only keep your illusions because you think they make sense

  • By Paul West
  • 2 comments
  • In Illusion, Law, Mind
  • 5649 Words
  • 28 minutes 14 seconds
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You only keep your illusions because you think they make sense

It's really impossible to separate from God, given that God is everywhere and there is nowhere else to go. But the ego mind believes that the impossible is possible. It thinks it can actually succeed in being separate and can have an existence somewhere that God doesn't exist. To be separate from God, if it were possible, would have to mean you exist somewhere that God is absent, and that is why following the separation, God seemed to no longer be present.

But this is all really an illusion, being impossible in truth, and only by some illusory interpretation of what is happening could you believe that you have actually succeeded in achieving this separation. It's as if you found some kind of loophole or exception or special interpretation which allowed the impossible to become possible. There must be an illusion that God does not exist, otherwise you couldn't possibly believe that separation is possible, it would make no sense, and you would not believe it. Only by hiding or denying the truth does an illusion seem to make sense to you.

This mentality carries on through all stages of separation from sin to guilt to fear to death. At every step, we actually believe that if we buy into the ego's illusion, we're actually becoming capable of succeeding at doing something impossible. We then believe that doing it actually "works", that we're actually getting away with it. And because in this illusion there doesn't seem to be any reason why you can't do this, it seems justified and as though you have the freedom to do it. Nothing therefore seems to be stopping you from getting away with murder - the murder of God and His Holy Son.

It's not that you're an inherently evil person. You don't automatically see things in a twisted way. You're not fundamentally broken. You actually keep with you at all times an attempt to maintain some semblance of truth. You also always retain an attempt to make sense out of what you are experiencing, using some kind of logic or reasoning to explain it, to come to conclusions based on it, and to then act on those conclusions. Decisions are actions based on all previous conclusions.

You're actually just in the business of trying to make sense of your experience of reality (or unreality), and base your conclusions on all of the information that you are aware of. You look around you at everything you can see, and you look within at everything you aware of taking place within yourself, and you look at other people, and often it seems to just make sense that they must be the cause of your upset. You do not see what the real cause is because you do not see fully, or the whole of what is happening, but you believe you do.

At all times you believe that whatever is within the scope of your awareness is all that exists, is all that is true, and is all that is happening. This is true whether you are fully with God or whether you are hiding in a dark corner in an unconscious state. The extent of your awareness determines what you can SEE, and therefore the scope of your idea of "wholeness". You believe, even if you are not whole and are in denial of a great many facts, that you are a whole person, with a whole perception, seeing the whole situation clearly.

Given that you believe this is true, and you do not suspect there is anything hidden from you, you then attempt to make sense from the evidence. You look at it and examine it and judge it and then conclude certain things based on that. The trouble is, you're not really in a state of wholeness or full awareness, and there are many important facts and pieces of truth which are hidden from your awareness.

Whatever the scope of your awareness is, you'll also find that this correlates to your sense of identity. You will ALWAYS be believing that you are a whole self, regardless of how limited you are. However, when you become more conscious, to be aware of parts of you that you were blind to before, you become aware that you are more than you thought you were.

Your awareness uncovers not only the truth that love is present, but it also uncovers the rest of your hidden identity. And if you are unaware, you do not fully or clearly perceive who you really are, and so do not see all of your motivations or beliefs, or the full extent of your will, or the full extent of what you might be doing in the situation.

If you are having any kind of experience of unhappiness, unlove, unforgiveness, fear or guilt, punishment or suffering or upset, it is guaranteed that you must be in some kind of state that isn't really whole. Love and forgiveness and happiness come from true wholeness, so if this is absent, then immediately it means that you have some blocks to your awareness which are preventing you from being aware of those conditions. And yet you will believe that you are whole, in your partiality, and that there is nothing more to see.

Whatever is outside of your awareness you will believe does not exist at all, and you might not even suspect that there IS anything else. Whatever is unconscious to you is outside of your conscious awareness, as though it is nowhere, and so you do not see it. Any evidence it might provide you will dismiss. That is, unless you are willing to look deeper for the truth.

If you are upset or unhappy, and given that happiness is wholeness, you cannot truly be whole. There must be something blocked or something you are unaware of. But you will believe you are aware of everything. You don't see what you're choosing or why you're choosing it. You don't see what you're doing to yourself. You don't see who is truly responsible for what you are experiencing. You don't see how you might be using your reactions or behaviors for a secret motive. And you don't remember having asked for suffering.

Along comes what appears to be a situation which seems to attack you, and you look inside the confines of your awareness to examine all the possible causes or influences or reasons why it is happening. You use your ego mind's logic to try to come to some kind of understanding, to try to make sense of what you are experiencing. This is quite natural and everyone does this at all levels of awareness. Whatever you are aware of and are experiencing is the truth to you - reality, and its truth equates with 'sense' or with rationality or sanity, and so you attempt to make sense out of your limited viewpoint.

So you're now experiencing attack and you look around, you do not see that you are involved, you do not see that you're choosing it, you do not see that you're using the other person as an opportunity to get rid of a hidden sin, and you don't realize what you're doing to yourself. You see this other person is present and when they showed up the attack seemed to start and you started to suffer, and not seeing your involvement it seems to "make sense" that they are the cause of it. You seemed innocent, being unaware of any guilt or causality on your part, so it MUST be their fault.

It simply makes sense to you, based on your limited evidence which you think is the whole evidence, that they are the culprit and so you are now justified in being angry. You didn't seem to ask for this, it was unwanted and uncalled for, and it seems real. Given this fundamental basis for your deciding what the truth of the matter is, it seems only logical, sensible, understandable and rational, to be upset about what this other person apparently is doing to you against your will.

Anger becomes justified and so does a counter-attack, which is an attempt to defend yourself. You believe you are acting in self-defense, given that you did not seem to be the one to start all this. You see yourself as upholding your innocence, as having been needlessly and unfairly treated, at which you are outraged. You do not in any way see that your anger has another motive, or that it is self destructive, or that it does not work to alleviate your suffering. Instead, your unawareness of some key facts has led you to be MISTAKEN, so now you actually believe that your angry retaliation can succeed in achieving the impossible, once again.

If you could retaliate against the attack and prove them wrong, it would seem to prove you right, and thereby uphold your obvious innocence and keep you justified in maintaining your sense of identity and wholeness. Your enemy came to attack your truth and you must defend it. The trouble is, the goal being the defense of yourself and the maintaining of your truth, all of that is thrown into jeopardy as soon as you justify your anger.

Your belief in attack attacks yourself and undermines your innocence. Your counter attack therefore renders you guilty, which destroys your innocence and shakes the foundation of your truth. What you thought would "work", does not work. And yet in unconsciousness you may not even realize it is not working, and will just carry on with this device believing that it is helping your situation.

Only with a lack of information and a lack of truth could you continue using a device which is broken, does not work, isn't bringing about the peace you lost, and is working against your own goal. Yet you won't stop using it while you continue to fail to correctly recognize the faults in your system, the lack of truth in your reasoning, and the mistakes that you are making. You don't see them AS mistakes because you believe you're totally logically, naturally, and inherently justified.

This is how we continue to use the ego in the same way we did at the separation from God, all the way through our progress towards death, believing that whatever we are doing with the ego makes sense, is understandable, is justified, it works, it can succeed, and that if you will just do more of it you will reach your goal. It is extraordinary, however, that given how obviously the ego's promises are lies, and how they constantly fail to deliver, and how they always make your situation worse while pretending they will help, that we can so easily "overlook" the truth and believe that we're getting away with the impossible.

We'll keep using the ego this way, keep falling for its traps, keep reacting with anger and justification, and keep remaining in denial, simply because it all seems to make sense and seems rational given what we're aware of. So long as we are keeping our illusions and keeping the truth out of awareness, we're really just doing our best to respond to situations in a way that makes sense to us.

We're simply very mistaken and are making "errors" in perception and judgement, without realizing it. It's not as though we are fully aware of the whole entire truth and are then making a deliberate decision to defy it and ignore it and act in insane ways. We do not SEE them as insane. We've blocked out so much truth that we simply are not aware of the ways that our beliefs and perceptions are mistaken.

If we had all the evidence of what's really going on, and were aware of it, it would once again make sense. We'd evaluate it and look at all of the pieces and see how they fit together. Without any denial, it would be obvious and clear exactly who caused what to happen, why it happened, and what the effects were. There would be no confusion within that context. Everything would be completely clear and obvious and easy to accept.

And you would accept it, because you will always be accepting of whatever you have ALLOWED into your awareness. Whatever is inside your awareness and not outside of it, you have accepted into your mind, and it therefore becomes part of you and is your truth. You can only accept what you believe is true, and anything you believe is not true or of which you are not aware, you will see as false and dismiss it as false evidence.

If you had the whole truth, you'd see the part that you play in all of your experiences. You'd see exactly who it is that is doing things to you - it's yourself. And you'd see the entire chain of cause and effect stemming from your own initial decision to separate from God and all the way through to all of the forms of suffering you are experiencing. You would not be ABLE to deny that it is all coming from you. It would be so obvious. The only sensible conclusion you would be able to draw from it is that you did all of this to yourself and no-one else was ever to blame.

The trouble is, key evidence and key truth has been blocked from your awareness. You do not know what you do not know. And even in a state of profound denial and unconsciousness, whatever little amount of awareness you have left seems to you to be "all" that there is. And whatever you see, from that perspective, seems to show you a reflection outside of you which you also believe is "all there is". And since that is truth to you, that presents to you a world which seems hostile, unfair, confusing, dramatic, upsetting and unsafe.

These are conclusions which you must come to, albeit mistaken. You can't conclude anything else because you have no other evidence to the contrary. All of these beliefs and perceptions about how the world is against you, life is unfair, people are victimizing you, you are alone and afraid, you're suffering against your will, you're constantly in conflict with other people, etc... it all comes solely from a lack of awareness and a lack of truth. It all seems to make sense to you and you believe in it, even if it is very upsetting.

People believe in the inevitability and un-avoidability of death, simply because of a lack of truth and a block to awareness, which seems to show them that they have no say in the matter and no power to choose otherwise. Such power is unconscious, such ability to decide is unconscious, and such truth that shows them that they cannot die because they are really immortal is also unconscious.

Without those key facts, death seems like something that happens to you against your will and it just "makes sense" to you that you must die. You see no other way out of the dark maze of hell and will therefore ACCEPT it and allow it, even if you seem not to want to.

This is also why when things happen to you seemingly against your will, you experience them as upsetting and unwanted. And yet, simultaneously, you experience them. You can't seem to make them go away, because you don't see that you are choosing them. You'll be very upset or afraid or suffering and experience it as though you really, really do not want this and are not in any way choosing it. And death is the ultimate expression of this - the idea that you are not choosing what you experience whatsoever, and therefore have become a passive victim of fate.

You'll experience these upsetting situations as being so against your will that you resist them and hate them and wish they would stop. You'll kick and scream all the way to the grave as though someone else is deciding for you what will happen to you. You seem not to want to be a victim, that you don't want to be afraid, you don't want to be sick, you don't to suffer and die. But it seems to be happening. And given you are unaware of the secret fact that you can CHOOSE for or against all of this, you don't believe you have any power to stop it. And that is terrifying and very upsetting.

You'll then set about trying to change others, trying to stop events, trying to resist life, trying to prevent bad stuff from happening, and trying to defend yourself from all the ways that some "other will" - an unexplained influence - seems to be deciding when you are or are not happy. You want all those bad influences to just go away so that you can carry on being innocent and harmless, to enjoy your "life", but bad stuff keeps cropping up. You don't see what you are doing to yourself so it seems entirely unwelcome and you just wish it would stop. Why is life so unfair? Why can't they just leave you alone and let you live in (an illusion of) peace?

These dramas and stories of suffering and unfairness will continue until you become willing to look at how you might be mistaken. It takes for you to become a little bit open minded about the possibility of something which seems very unlikely. If you are experiencing that you are a whole person, that you are fully aware of everything that's happening, and that you know everything there is to know about what is causing what, then you may not be willing to entertain this idea. But the idea is, that you MIGHT NOT BE WHOLE, and you MIGHT NOT BE FULLY AWARE, and there MIGHT BE MORE TRUTH than you are currently aware of.

Sometimes this is expressed in the form of "there must be a better way". This can be a natural reaction to the experiences of unfairness and strife and misery which all SEEM to happen for no good reason, which perhaps after a while don't seem to make sense, which perhaps seem so unbearable and stupid that it surely can't be the truth. When life becomes too painful and unmanageable, there can be a stirring of awareness or a desire for peace of some kind that prompts you to start to question whether what's happening - your experience of it - is really the truth, or whether there must be some kind of "deeper" truth or meaning that you just aren't seeing.

This requires a willingness, however small, to consider that you MIGHT be mistaken about what you're experiencing, or about the conclusions you keep coming to based on the evidence you have. It means literally a willingness to question your SELF, your own righteousness and your own sense of knowing everything. It even means questioning the truth of your identity - who you are - and what is the basis for yourself. To the ego this seems like self-attack, but in truth it is a willingness to dismantle your false self to reveal the "True You".

It's the beginning of humility, it's the beginning of honesty, and it's the beginning of opening up to a possible truth that exists in 'addition' to your current idea of Self. In other words, you are beginning to make ROOM for the truth in your life, creating a space where a larger truth can dwell where you are not filling that space with all of your own egoic conclusions and interpretations. It means you are making room for God, stepping aside a little bit from your ego mind and becoming willing to LOOK AT the situation from a slightly different perspective. And that means, you are starting to ALLOW a bigger truth to enter your awareness - therefore you are starting to wake up.

Illusions will be kept so long as they make sense to you, so long as you do not see their real purpose, and so long as they seem to work. Or at least, even if they don't work, you keep them because you believe they CAN work, if you will just use them hard enough. You think for example that in your justified anger, your anger will somehow bring about happiness.

If you can be angry enough at someone else for what they did, and thus prove that you are right and justified, then there will be some kind of acceptance by the other person, a backing down of their attack on your truth, and you will get the respect and recognition that you believe your truth deserves.

In their acceptance and admittance of how they were wrong and you were right, you'll feel vindicated and satisfied having "proven" that your truth is true. It's as though you need others to admit to YOUR truth and accept it and humble themselves, in order for YOU to believe your own truth more - that you've given them the power to accept your truth for you, which is what you want because it's part of your disowning of responsibility for you own decision-making.

You think then that you'll find peace and satisfaction from this. But does anger ever produce peace and happiness? No. It does not really work. Getting someone else to admit to your truth for you will not cause you to be happy indirectly, but you think it will. And most likely their ego will not be humble enough to accept your truth on your behalf, meaning you cannot gain the happiness that lies in their hands. To admit to that fact is to admit to the truth, which means you are allowing a greater truth to shine its light on this response and to show that it is false.

Everything that you do in the ego thought system has a justification, a purpose, a reason behind it, a motive, a secret plan and an attempted goal that it would achieve. Just as in the truth everything you do is deliberate and intentional, producing exactly the results you ask for every time, this still holds true in your use of the ego. Every decision you make to believe in the ego's interpretation and follow its advice, is based in a deliberate, intentional decision to do so. You have a purpose and a use for every ego device you use.

Generally speaking the overall purpose of the entire ego thought system is to get rid of yourself by becoming an artificial self that doesn't exist. To replace yourself with non-existence. To replace God with death. And because your attempt to do this is based in your belief in SIN, the attempt to get rid of your sin is just another part of your attempt to get rid of yourself. Every step of the way, in every ego device that you use whether it be denial or projection or anger or reactions or suppression of guilt or punishment or death, all of these "tools" have a purpose for you, in furthering your attempt to get rid of sin and to get rid of yourself.

So when you are angry with someone, even though you are angry because it seems completely justified and sensible, given the (lack of) facts, this anger is actually also serving this goal. It is an attempt to get rid of sin by finding someone else guilty. Behind this anger, in greater truth, you actually are the one who believes YOU sinned, you have accused yourself of a horrible crime, and subsequently felt extremely guilty. You are trying to cover that up and get rid of it, because you believe deep down that YOU are the one who "did it".

When someone comes along and SEEMS to be the one who must have done something to you, instead of seeing that you believe that YOU are the sinful one, you take the opportunity quickly, based on the lack of awareness and the presence of denial, to scapegoat the person and put all your sense of guilt onto them. You might seem as though you are projecting onto them because "clearly" they did something to you against your will, and it therefore seems justified, but the rest of the evidence shows that you actually are USING that person to get rid of your sin and ultimately yourself.

In light of that additional information, it would also show you that your attempt to use them to get rid of sin is actually an attack on YOUR part, towards someone who is NOT the cause of your sin, and they in fact are the one who is innocent. So now you have committed a further crime, for which you will feel guilty. Even if you think your anger is justified, you will not be able to explain why you feel remorse and guilt and "bad" about having done so.

The truth would also reveal that you in fact WANTED that person to "seem" to attack you, because you wanted to have an opportunity to get rid of your sin. Even if it seems to you as though you did not want it, did not choose it or ask for it, and that it was completely uncalled for, you in fact DID call for it, ask for it, and were given what you asked for. You hired the person to play the role of attacker so that you could use them. Even if you suffered, even if you didn't SEEM to want it in your semi-conscious state, you really DID want it. You wanted to be hurt so that you could make out that you are not the one who is guilty.

Without this key information, without the awareness of what you are doing to yourself, without realizing and recognizing how you are using these ego devices for an ego purpose, and how everything is a deliberate part of your plan to get rid of yourself, it is easy to see how and why you would conclude what you do. It also then becomes easy to see why you are MISTAKEN, and are making an error, and why you therefore need CORRECTION. You need the truth in order to see what is REALLY happening here, and to have any hope of being set free.

If it is true that you did not ask for suffering, then you are stuck. Suffering is going to happen against your will and you will not be able to stop it. If it is true that you did not ask for death, then death will happen against your will and you will have no power over it. But if it is true that you made sickness and death and suffering, and have chosen them, and are using them for a special purpose (to get rid of yourself), and you want them, and you yourself are using them against yourself, then at least now there is potential for you to CHOOSE AGAIN and to decide to stop doing this to yourself.

It also means realizing that because you are doing this all to yourself - this is the truth which you have been keeping hidden from yourself - there is a possibility now for SALVATION. If you are doing it to yourself, you can change your mind. You can stop your self attack. You can forgive yourself. Your mistakes can be undone and corrected by your willingness to become more aware of the whole truth, and you can be free of all suffering and death. It also means you will realize that no-one else ever attacks you, there is no other will acting against you, and therefore you are perfectly safe forever.

The secret to salvation is that you are doing this all to yourself. But until you can become aware of and admit to this truth, allowing this truth into your awareness, you will not be aware of it and will not be able to use it to make sense out of what you are experiencing. If it also remains in the realm of intellectual concepts, you will not be able to experience it and know it and feel it and trust it.

You have to actually be willing to shift your experience by expanding your awareness, becoming more conscious of what was unconscious, admitting to or owning up to what you have been doing yourself, and bringing your unconscious mind back into your conscious awareness. That is only going to be possible if you are willing to question or doubt your current experience, reconsider whether what you think is true is really true, undermine your own beliefs which hold the truth prisoner or judge it wrongly as "false", and be willing to be corrected in your mistakes.

Essentially this means you need to be willing to surrender and let go of your ego's illusions, its holding onto false truths, its blame and denial, and its various ways of convincing you that you can actually get away with or succeed at using its tools to produce a desirable outcome. It is only because you do not see what the ego's outcomes are (always worse, leading to death), that you think they must work. And even if they don't work you'll still keep using them, insisting that they MUST work because they seem to make sense to you. You won't question what makes sense to you because you trust it as the basis for your whole reality.

But what makes sense in a limited ego consciousness makes no sense in a greater expanded awareness. And even if you believe that you know all there is to know or are aware of all there is to be aware of, both within you and without you, you need to be willing to question that. There IS stuff outside of your conscious awareness, stuff you have denied, stuff you have forgotten, stuff you have deliberately avoided wanting to admit to or allow into awareness.

Even if you see yourself as whole, complete, innocent, truthful, loving and caring, or seeing completely clearly, be assured that if there is something in your unconscious mind - if you have an unconscious mind - your facade of innocence and perfection WILL NOT hold up to the truth. And it will not be capable of stopping bad stuff from happening to you. Being ultra perfect and ultra pure is not going to stop your unconscious separate will from attacking you, and it's not going to keep you safe, and it's not going to prevent you from attacking yourself indirectly.

So if you think you are perfect and your life is still filled with suffering of any kind, you must KNOW that this means you have something outside of your conscious awareness, some way that you are attacking yourself and therefore you need to become willing to question whether your idea of perfection is really sound. There must be some way that you are in denial and there must be some truth you do not want to admit to. There must be some false belief you have which you think is true but which is not. And your sense of identity - of who you even ARE - must be not quite whole or complete or as true as you thought.

It can be difficult to look more deeply for a greater truth, and it can seem at first to be pointless given how much you are convinced you are all of yourself. But you have attempted to get rid of yourself, in a big way. You are Christ, maker of this universe, pretending to be a little suffering self in a body that dies.

There is much more to who you are than you are AWARE of, and that means that there is more to BE aware of than you are aware of right now. And that means it is highly likely you are going to be mistaken and come to false conclusions about what things mean and what sense it makes. It means you will act and respond to "reality" based in false perceptions and will make errors, and these will seem to hurt you against your will. But there is a way out.

The Holy Spirit, maintainer of truth in your mind, protector of your connection to Truth as God, is always with you and is the very truth in which you are recognized as being set free. Even your sin isn't real. Even your self attack isn't happening. And even your real identity has not been lost or changed or damaged. There is much truth that awaits you in which you literally will be set free from all suffering forever. There is no real death. There is no real sin. The Son of God is free.

A little willingness is all it takes to invite the truth into you - to invite Holy Spirit into you. A little willingness to put aside your ego identity and make room for the truth. A little willingness to open up to receiving a truth from beyond your little ego self, which also means receiving love. A little willingness to let go of what you thought was real, what you valued and what you thought was important, based only on false conclusions you came to just because you didn't have all the information.

There is more to your identity and more to your sense of self than you may be currently aware. Even if you think you are the whole of you, there is more to you than this. You are bigger and more magnificent than you realize. And you are far more free from suffering and death than you realize as well. There is no cause for fear because sin is impossible and separation is impossible. There is only cause for gratitude to God, that because of what God is, you can never be anything other than how He Created you.

You are innocent and holy, forgiven because you have done nothing wrong, are immortal and invulnerable, and permanently reside in Heaven as One with your Creator. And all is well.

 

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