I will step back and let Him lead the way.
1. There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. ²You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. ³Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. ⁴And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. ⁵Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before.
This is so true. I feel so different that it amazes me that even those who are closest to me don’t seem to notice. I think on some level they feel something, but for the most part, they believe I am like them, as I was before. I am grateful for my Course friends because it’s nice to have people you can share with on a deeper level, share what really matters.
2. The world is an illusion. ²Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality. ³Yet when they find their own reality is even here, then they step back and let it lead the way. ⁴What other choice is really theirs to make? ⁵To let illusions walk ahead of truth is madness. ⁶But to let illusion sink behind the truth and let the truth stand forth as what it is, is merely sanity.
There was a shift in which it became obvious to me that the world really is an illusion and that while still here, I could change my mind about seeking illusions. I still have ego thoughts and I still become briefly attracted to some of them, but not often and never for long. It really is madness to choose to follow the way of illusions when you know the alternative. Anyway, once peace is pretty consistent, being out of peace is truly painful so the motivation for getting back to peace is strong.
3. This is the simple choice we make today. ²The mad illusion will remain awhile in evidence, for those to look upon who chose to come, and have not yet rejoiced to find they were mistaken in their choice. ³They cannot learn directly from the truth, because they have denied that it is so. ⁴And so they need a Teacher Who perceives their madness, but Who still can look beyond illusion to the simple truth in them.
I have no idea why I resisted the simple truth for as long as I did. I remember doing so, though. I said that I couldn’t understand and that I wanted to change my mind but didn’t know how. In retrospect, I realize that was just resistance to giving up the illusion. I have never given up any ego idea that I regret losing. I am happy to let go of the belief in guilt and don’t miss it a bit.
When it shows up again, I don’t hesitate to release it because I know it is just another ego lie. Holding grievances seems insane to me now. When I think of how I used to cling to my grievances, I am amazed that I did so. Thank God, we are given the Teacher Who perceives this madness but knows Who can still look beyond illusion to the truth, and thank God I decided to turn to that Teacher for correction.
4. If truth demanded they give up the world, it would appear to them as if it asked the sacrifice of something that is real. ²Many have chosen to renounce the world while still believing its reality. ³And they have suffered from a sense of loss, and have not been released accordingly. ⁴Others have chosen nothing but the world, and they have suffered from a sense of loss still deeper, which they did not understand.
Jesus wants us to know that when there is a sense of sacrifice in giving up the world, it is only because its unreality has not been accepted. And worse than that is when the world is fully embraced and there is no desire for truth. When I began the Course, I thought I was being asked to sacrifice the little I had. Eventually, though, as I gave up more of it anyway, I had to laugh in joy to discover that I was happy to give it up. I saw that it had no value being nothing of itself.
This is the reason I tell anyone willing to hear that there is no world. Be happy to hear that, it is your release from suffering. It is possible to be in the world of illusion and yet not to be of it. It is so much better than believing in the illusion. There is peace and happiness when we dream of a forgiven world. Both are illusions, so the only question is do you want to dream of suffering or dream of happiness.
5. Between these paths there is another road that leads away from loss of every kind, for sacrifice and deprivation both are quickly left behind. ²This is the way appointed for you now. ³You walk this path as others walk, nor do you seem to be distinct from them, although you are indeed. ⁴Thus can you serve them while you serve yourself, and set their footsteps on the way that God has opened up to you, and them through you.
How do I serve others as I serve myself? Every time I say or do or even think of the truth, I affect others. And as I give the gift of truth to someone else, I receive it. Remember what Jesus told us in the previous lesson: We will not recognize what we receive until we give it. Here is an example. When someone says that I misunderstand something in the Course, I appreciate that they care enough to want to help. I have that thought rather than the thought I need to defend my position. So instead of giving myself judgment and attack, I am giving myself understanding and appreciation.
Here is something that Einstein said that I appreciate very much. “When something vibrates, the electrons of the entire universe resonate with it. Everything is connected. The greatest tragedy of human existence is the illusion of separateness.” We are not separate and so what we think and what we believe resonates throughout the universe, throughout the Sonship.
6. Illusion still appears to cling to you, that you may reach them. ²Yet it has stepped back. ³And it is not illusion that they hear you speak of, nor illusion that you bring their eyes to look on and their minds to grasp. ⁴Nor can the truth, which walks ahead of you, speak to them through illusions, for the road leads past illusion now, while on the way you call to them, that they may follow you.
I almost never teach fear and guilt anymore, not with my words or my thoughts. When I have a fear thought, I take it to the Holy Spirit for correction rather than sharing it or clinging to it thus making it stronger. So, I may still have ego thoughts, but not sharing them is the part that I can control and usually do. This decision not to share the fear and not to keep the fear is the way I let the illusion step back. Instead, I do my best to share only the truth and I do this by letting the Holy Spirit lead the way.
7. All roads will lead to this one in the end. ²For sacrifice and deprivation are paths that lead nowhere, choices for defeat, and aims that will remain impossible. ³All this steps back as truth comes forth in you, to lead your brothers from the ways of death, and set them on the way to happiness. ⁴Their suffering is but illusion. ⁵Yet they need a guide to lead them out of it, for they mistake illusion for the truth.
8. Such is salvation’s call, and nothing more. ²It asks that you accept the truth, and let it go before you, lighting up the path of ransom from illusion. ³It is not a ransom with a price. ⁴There is no cost, but only gain. ⁵Illusion can but seem to hold in chains the holy Son of God. ⁶It is but from illusions he is saved. ⁷As they step back, he finds himself again.
All that I am being asked to do is to be willing to release the untrue beliefs that are reflected as the world. It doesn’t cost me anything and offers me a loving, peaceful, and happy life while I am still here, and eventually complete freedom from the illusion. This reluctance we all have to give up the world is the reason Jesus goes to so much trouble to help us realize how very little it has to offer and what an awful price we have to pay to keep it. Once we begin to realize just how much suffering is involved in believing in the world, we become ready to let it go.
9. Walk safely now, yet carefully, because this path is new to you. ²And you may find that you are tempted still to walk ahead of truth, and let illusions be your guide. ³Your holy brothers have been given you, to follow in your footsteps as you walk with certainty of purpose to the truth. ⁴It goes before you now, that they may see something with which they can identify; something they understand to lead the way.
10. Yet at the journey’s ending there will be no gap, no distance between truth and you. ²And all illusions walking in the way you travelled will be gone from you as well, with nothing left to keep the truth apart from God’s completion, holy as Himself. ³Step back in faith and let truth lead the way. ⁴You know not where you go. ⁵But One Who knows goes with you. ⁶Let Him lead you with the rest.
I appreciate that Jesus is reminding us that the path is still new to us. We need to be careful, to be vigilant for our thoughts and beliefs because we can still slip back into a story if triggered. He also reminded us of our obligation to our brother who is looking to us to provide certainty of purpose. And the third reminder is that while we may walk ahead of some, as Jesus walked ahead of us, in the end, we are all one and there is no gap between us.
11. When dreams are over, time has closed the door on all the things that pass and miracles are purposeless, the holy Son of God will make no journeys. ²There will be no wish to be illusion rather than the truth. ³And we step forth toward this, as we progress along the way that truth points out to us. ⁴This is our final journey, which we make for everyone. ⁵We must not lose our way. ⁶For as truth goes before us, so it goes before our brothers who will follow us.
There will come a time when all journeys are over and we will not have a desire for more illusion. Jesus says that this is our final journey, which we make for everyone so we don’t want to lose our way.
12. We walk to God. ²Pause and reflect on this. ³Could any way be holier, or more deserving of your effort, of your love and of your full intent? ⁴What way could give you more than everything, or offer less and still content the holy Son of God? ⁵We walk to God. ⁶The truth that walks before us now is one with Him, and leads us to where He has always been. ⁷What way but this could be a path that you would choose instead?
13. Your feet are safely set upon the road that leads the world to God. ²Look not to ways that seem to lead you elsewhere. ³Dreams are not a worthy guide for you who are God’s Son. ⁴Forget not He has placed His Hand in yours, and given you your brothers in His trust that you are worthy of His trust in you. ⁵He cannot be deceived. ⁶His trust has made your pathway certain and your goal secure. ⁷You will not fail your brothers nor your Self.
We walk to God. Think about that. We walk to God! What does the world have to offer that compares to this as a purpose? Jesus is using these two paragraphs to emphasize the importance of what we do, the sacred intent. He wants us to stay vigilant and to not forget our purpose, and to not forget our brothers. Don’t be deceived. Trust God, trust yourself, and trust your brothers. ⁷You will not fail your brothers nor your Self.
14. And now He asks but that you think of Him a while each day, that He may speak to you and tell you of His Love, reminding you how great His trust; how limitless His Love. ²In your Name and His Own, which are the same, we practice gladly with this thought today:
³I will step back and let Him lead the way, for I would walk along the road to Him.