IV. This Need Not Be, P 2 Cont.
2 I have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind. When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be. In every case you have thought wrongly about some brother God created, and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass. Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly, and then change your mind to think with God’s. This may seem hard to do, but it is much easier than trying to think against it. Your mind is one with God’s. Denying this and thinking otherwise has held your ego together, but has literally split your mind. As a loving brother I am deeply concerned with your mind, and urge you to follow my example as you look at yourself and at your brother, and see in both the glorious creations of a glorious Father.
As Jesus has already told us and will tell us many times in the Course, it is our mind that must be changed. He is really emphasizing this now, telling us that because he loves us he is deeply concerned with our mind. Another thing that he tells us all through the Course is that we must see both our self and our brother differently, and as one. We are all glorious creations!
One night when I was still working, I spoke to a group of people who had a problem they wanted me to solve or to at least give them good advice on how to solve it. I felt very competent to do this and I knew that we both shared the same intent. As a salesperson, I used to think that my job was to convince people to buy my product and I measured success and failure against that scale. This is not true anymore. Now I know that my job is to be helpful in whatever way I can.
So when I got to the Board meeting I felt very happy to be there. They had a problem and they needed more information and I had information and wanted to help them solve their problem. It felt like joining. I understand that solving their problem will not help us wake up, but coming together with a shared intent, will. The answer to separation is joining and the form joining takes is irrelevant.
When I left I felt good for both of us. I felt love for them and felt like I had been helpful. But the ego mind was all over the place. It kept replaying the meeting over and over and then it started critiquing it and making judgments. Soon it led to concerns and doubts and even fear. It all happened very quickly and while I saw it happening, I seemed helpless to stop it.
My joy and my peace were gone as soon as I started paying attention to the ego thinking. I brought my mind back to sanity over and over as I reminded myself that I had one purpose and that was to be helpful so I succeeded. I reminded myself that getting a sale is not my purpose and that waking up is. I asked myself what it is that I am thinking that God would not think, and what I was failing to think that God would think. I examined my thoughts carefully as I made this evaluation and it helped me to see more clearly.
These and other reminders helped but I had the thought that it should not be so hard to do this. I felt like I should be able to move out of this conflicted thinking more easily and with less suffering. It could not be God’s Will that I suffer in order to wake up, so I must be doing this with the ego. It was then that I had one of those remarkable moments when I was given a thought that clearly did not come from my own thinking mind. I was pointed to gratitude.
As soon as I accepted this direction gratitude welled up in me. I allowed myself to bathe in that feeling and to enjoy the gratitude. I encouraged the feeling of gratitude as I began thanking God for His help. As soon as I did this I noticed how good it felt and how peaceful I became. So every time the ego would try to distract me with more worry thoughts, I returned to gratitude. I fell asleep last night with a smile on my face.
It is up to me to change my mind, but I am never alone in this. I have help outside the closed system of ego thinking which will just run me in endless depressing circles if I let it. I decide that I don’t want to remain confused and I surrender to my Helper, and whatever I need to help me change my mind is provided. I don’t have to figure it out on my own or do something to deserve it. I just have to want it. I have to want to awaken more than I want anything else.