V. The Ego-Body Illusion, P 5
5 This is the question that must be asked: “Where can I go for protection?” “Seek and ye shall find” does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. The goal must be formulated clearly and kept in mind. Learning and wanting to learn are inseparable. You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you. However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value. Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last.
Luckily we have chosen A Course in Miracles as our path to find our way home. It is a meaningful course that is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. Thank you, Jesus, for that. All we need to do is follow the clear directions set out in the Course. That is the first part. Then Jesus says that learning and wanting are inseparable. I must desire what the Course has to offer, and so I must find it of value.
Honestly, when I first started the Course, I don’t think it was so clear to me. I mean, I didn’t suddenly decide I wanted to wake up and looked around for something that would guide me. It was more like I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was fed up with my life and wanted something better. I seemed to have stumbled over the Course. Actually, in retrospect, I see that the Course showed up when I was ready for it. All along I was being guided and each time I was ready for the next step, there it was.
The only thing that was clear to me at first was that I was thrilled to have found these books. (They came in three volumes at the time.) I loved reading the Text and felt the truth of it deep in my heart. I learned to value it as it began to change my life. The Course proved itself to me, and soon it became essential to my life.
As Jesus says, not everything we want to learn has lasting value. The ego tries to distract from the true purpose by presenting insolvable problems and by offering solutions that will never work. I once spent literally months trying to forgive an in- law. I prayed to forgive him and worried about it, and cried about it. Holding a grievance was miserable but I couldn’t seem to let it go. Finally, I realized that I had made his “crime” real in my mind and so forgiving became impossible. When I let go of the idea that he was guilty, forgiveness was simple and welcomed.
The ego will sometimes decide to spend a few years in therapy looking for the source of the problem, finding ways to cope with the pain, but never seeking healing. Sometimes ego will offer fun and interesting diversions with “spiritual themes.” There is nothing wrong with any of these, but if they don’t lead to inner healing they won’t get us where we want to go. We are not guilty for taking these side roads, but if waking up is our purpose and what we came to do, we will soon discover that procrastination causes suffering, and will want to get back on track.