“Give Him your thoughts, and He will give them back as miracles which joyously proclaim the wholeness and the happiness God wills His Son, as proof of His eternal Love. And as each thought is thus transformed, it takes on healing power from the Mind which saw the truth in it, and failed to be deceived by what was falsely added...” ACIM, Workbook page 280, Lesson 151.
This lesson points out that we are deceived by the things in this world that we perceive with our senses. We use our senses to come to decisions and to pass judgement on others; what we fail to realise is that we can never count on our senses to show us the truth. Jesus questions our faith in our senses and says, “You do not seem to doubt the world you see. You do not really question what is shown you through the body’s eyes. Nor do you ask why you believe it, even though you learned a long while since your senses do deceive...How can you judge? Your judgment rests upon the witness that your senses offer you. Yet witness never falser was than this...?” W278. Witness never falser was than this! Yet we seem compelled to trust the things we see with our eyes and the words we hear with our ears. If the world of form really existed, maybe we could have relied upon our senses. But, as ACIM repeatedly stresses, this world is an illusion.
It is the ego which compels us to rely on our senses and the reason for this is given in paragraph four of Lesson 151: “It guides your senses carefully, to prove how weak you are; how helpless and afraid, how apprehensive of just punishment, how black with sin, how wretched in your guilt.” The guilt and fear, of course, stem from the initial separation from God or the fall. Yet that never happened; we only think it did.
If we rely only on our senses we will feel weak and vulnerable. As we age our eyesight deteriorates, our hearing may become impaired and even our sense of taste may diminish as we grow old. And it is not only our senses that weaken with age; our bones become more fragile; our digestive and respiratory systems become less efficient; and other organs may begin to fail—not a pleasant thought if we identify with our physical bodies, which we all do. But the Course reminds us constantly that we are not our bodies. As we read in Lessons 201 to 220, “I am not a body, I am free. For I am still as God created me.”
If one stops to think about life one could very well come to the conclusion that it is inherently meaningless—even the pleasurable things can become less meaningful than before. The longer one lives, the more apparent that becomes. Things that were fun gradually become less so. Then one understands that God did not create our meaningless world, and God becomes the only truly meaningful goal.
Perhaps it is the repetitive nature of life that eventually causes one to become aware of the fact that it is lacking in meaning. In the film The Truman Show it was the repetitive nature of his life that aroused Truman’s suspicion. When he eventually realised that everything all around him was part of a large TV studio he decided to walk away from it all. In the last scene of the film, the director of The Truman Show tried his best to convince Truman to remain in that safe and secure environment but Truman would not listen to him. Similarly, the ego would like us to remain in its grip forever and tries to convince us that we can find security and shelter in this illusory world. But can we? The only true safety and shelter we will ever find will be when we return in our awareness to our Source.
So what is the solution now we have come to realise that we can’t trust our senses or our own judgement (which is, in fact, the ego’s judgement)? There is only one thing we can do—turn to the Holy Spirit. “...Let the Voice for God alone be judge of what is worthy of your own belief...” The Holy Spirit guides us beyond our senses and beyond the ego’s judgement of others, which is based on our senses. The Voice for God is the only voice we can trust. So when our ego judges and condemns others, we can tell it to be quiet and recognise that what it is telling us is false. The Holy Spirit will lead us from illusion to truth, and truth, after all, is the goal of all spiritual seekers.
The ego keeps reinforcing in our split minds the idea of guilt and sin and fear. But the Holy Spirit knows that we are all holy Sons of God, as Lesson 191 tells us. If we listen to Him, He will help us reinterpret all that we see, thus enabling us to recognise that our world is nothing but an illusion or the mental projection of a split mind.
But what if we aren’t actually able to hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit? Some people can, but many cannot. It is important to realise that He guides us in different ways: maybe through the words of a friend or passer-by; or through a page of a book opened at random; or through our dreams when we sleep or through our gut feelings. If we are open to His guidance, He will reach us through ways in which we are able to receive him. So it is very important to follow our intuition and to take our hunches seriously. Our sixth sense is probably the most reliable of all our senses.
It is also important to spend quiet times in meditation because even though we haven’t heard His Voice up to now, one day we may suddenly do so. And even if we don’t, if we remember that, “All things are echoes of the Voice for God,” then we know that He is all around us, even though we can’t actually hear His Voice.
The beauty of awakening to truth is that, in doing so, we help others to do the same because our minds are joined. Although it is difficult to comprehend, there is, in fact, only one of us. “Behold your brothers in their freedom, and learn of them how to be free of darkness. The light in you will waken them, and they will not leave your asleep. The vision of Christ is given the very instant that it is perceived...” T274.
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