ACIM Daily Lesson 66 My happiness and my function are one.
My happiness and my function are one.
ACIM Daily Lesson 66
My happiness and my function are one.
1. You have surely noticed an emphasis throughout our recent lessons on the connection between fulfilling your function and achieving happiness. ²This is because you do not really see the connection. ³Yet there is more than just a connection between them; they are the same. ⁴Their forms are different, but their content is completely one.
I don’t doubt this is true. As I forgive (let go) the world we made, I become happier. When I choose to believe in the world, I become anxious and afraid. I talked about this yesterday when I referenced a disturbing phone call. Because I had past painful and unforgiven and memories, I was triggered by the call. I started projecting the past into the future and expected more suffering. When I saw what was happening and chose to forgive, the fear and anxiety fell away. This is because through forgiveness I was fulfilling my function and so I was happy.
A Meaningless Battle
2. The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. ²So does it do constant battle with the Holy Spirit about what your happiness is. ³It is not a two-way battle. ⁴The ego attacks and the Holy Spirit does not respond. ⁵He knows what your function is. ⁶He knows that it is your happiness.
3. Today we will try to go past this wholly meaningless battle and arrive at the truth about your function. ²We will not engage in senseless arguments about what it is. ³We will not become hopelessly involved in defining happiness and determining the means for achieving it. ⁴We will not indulge the ego by listening to its attacks on truth. ⁵We will merely be glad that we can find out what truth is.
I would like to say that I never argue against my happiness or the means for achieving it, but that would not be honest. An example is when one of my children is suffering. My first reaction might be to suffer with them which leads to unproductive efforts to fix them. I know this is old thinking and old behavior and I know it doesn’t work. However, if the situation were dire, I would feel strongly drawn to past thinking. Still, I would choose again as soon as I could because I know better now what works and what does not.
The argument is the thought that I can’t stand to see my child suffer and so I must do something. The emotion that accompanies this thought is very strong and this makes it seem real and true. But an intense feeling does not make something true. This reaction is not so common anymore, but when it happens my response is to sit with the discomfort without acting on it. I let all the ego arguments come into my mind. There I look at them with the Holy Spirit until they dissolve. This is a forgiveness process and it brings me to my natural state of peace and happiness.
Practice Accepting Your Happiness and Function are One
4. Our longer practice period today has as its purpose your acceptance of the fact that not only is there a very real connection between the function God gave you and your happiness, but that they are actually identical. ²God gives you only happiness. ³Therefore, the function He gave you must be happiness, even if it appears to be different. ⁴Today’s exercises are an attempt to go beyond these differences in appearance, and recognize a common content where it exists in truth.
5. Begin the ten-to-fifteen-minute practice period by reviewing these thoughts:
²God gives me only happiness.
³He has given my function to me.
⁴Therefore my function must be happiness.
⁵Try to see the logic in this sequence, even if you do not yet accept the conclusion. ⁶It is only if the first two thoughts are wrong that the conclusion could be false. ⁷Let us, then, think about the premises for a while, as we are practicing.
6. The first premise is that God gives you only happiness. ²This could be false, of course, but in order to be false it is necessary to define God as something He is not. ³Love cannot give evil, and what is not happiness is evil. ⁴God cannot give what He does not have, and He cannot have what He is not. ⁵Unless God gives you only happiness, He must be evil. ⁶And it is this definition of Him you are believing if you do not accept the first premise.
For half of my life, I did believe that God was evil and wished evil on me. Of course, I didn’t think of it this way but that is what was happening. I thought he deliberately set Adam and Eve up for failure. Being omniscient, he knew they would fail when he did it and then punished them for it. Surely this is evil. On a personal level, this idea of a scary God showed itself in many ways in my life. I know there is still fear of God in my mind or I wouldn’t be here. Through the practice of forgiveness, I am learning to accept the first premise. I am learning that God is Love and not fear, and as such, He gives only happiness.
Logic Takes Us Further
7. The second premise is that God has given you your function. ²We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. ³One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. ⁴The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides. ⁵There are no other guides but these to choose between, and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice but the fear that the ego always engenders, and the love that the Holy Spirit always offers to replace it.
8. Thus, it must be that your function is established by God through His Voice, or is made by the ego which you have made to replace Him. ²Which is true? ³Unless God gave your function to you, it must be the gift of the ego. ⁴Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?
The idea that the mind only has two parts is important. I used to have the mistaken belief that I could hear the ego and hear the Holy Spirit but also decide without either. It was like I had a mind apart from the right mind and the split mind. I discovered this is not true. My mind contains the split that allows for a thought system based on separation. The Course calls this the ego. My mind also contains the Truth, what the Course refers to as the Holy Spirit. That is all the mind contains and I must use one or the other. The ego-mind engenders fear and the Holy mind replaces fear with love.
We have a function; the only question is who gave us our function. Jesus says that our function was given to us by God. If not by God, then it must have come from the ego. Since the ego is an illusion then all it can give is illusion. God is real and God is Love so God can give us what is real and that is love. This can only mean that since forgiveness is our function, forgiveness must move us from fear to love.
Consider the Ego’s Gifts
9. Think about this during the longer practice period today. ²Think also about the many forms the illusion of your function has taken in your mind, and the many ways in which you tried to find salvation under the ego’s guidance. ³Did you find it? ⁴Were you happy? ⁵Did they bring you peace? ⁶We need great honesty today. ⁷Remember the outcomes fairly, and consider also whether it was ever reasonable to expect happiness from anything the ego ever proposed. ⁸Yet the ego is the only alternative to the Holy Spirit’s Voice.
When I was young, the ego offered me special love relationships and special hate relationships. These were supposed to make me happy. Three divorces later, I began to suspect the special love relationships. Years of resentments and grievances and I had to admit that special hate didn’t offer me happiness either.
When I was working, the ego offered me a special self as a success and as being better than the other guy. It felt like winning at first, but it was fraught with fear because what can be won can be lost. As my mind healed I realized that being better than others which used to be my goal, now felt lonely. These are only two examples of how the ego gift of happiness turned out to be fraudulent. They didn’t bring me happiness after all.
Only the Truth Is True
10. You will listen to madness or hear the truth. ²Try to make this choice as you think about the premises on which our conclusion rests. ³We can share in this conclusion, but in no other. ⁴For God Himself shares it with us. ⁵Today’s idea is another giant stride in the perception of the same as the same, and the different as different. ⁶On one side stand all illusions. ⁷All truth stands on the other. ⁸Let us try today to realize that only the truth is true.
11. In the shorter practice periods, which would be most helpful today if undertaken twice an hour, this form of the application is suggested:
²My happiness and function are one, because God has given me both.
³It will not take more than a minute, and probably less, to repeat these words slowly and think about them a little while as you say them.
I like how Jesus casually throws in that last sentence saying that it will only take a minute or less to do the lesson during the day. There is no way we can tell ourselves we just didn’t have time. If we fail to do these simple one minute reminders during the day it can only be because we prefer the truth not be the truth. We are not guilty of this but we are also not happy. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of suffering.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 66 click here.
If you found this content helpful, please share on social media so more people can read and learn.