The purpose of the Course is not mastery but to prepare us to pursue mastery. It is not an end but a beginning. It is the foundation for the final leg in our journey home to God.

If we are not clear that we are done drinking of the illusion, making it real or as the Course puts it; ready to retire from the world and seek reality instead, and if we are not done valuing the world and the images we have made of ourselves, and if we are not done experiencing separation and specialness, and if we are not clear that in our present delusional state we know nothing, and if we are not ready and willing to turn our life as we know it and our will over to the Holy Spirit for guidance to get home to God, the Course can serve as a readying tool. Its study can support us in beginning to loosen the grip that the ego thought system has on our mind. The Course can also support us in finding our inner teacher, the Holy Spirit, and beginning a remembrance of Him and His role as guide and comforter. We can use the Course to establish or deepen our relationship with Him. We can also use the Course to have a temporary spiritual experience of who we are in truth, the sinless Son of God, so we can realize that the we we thought we were is not our real Self. We can also use the Course to learn the terms and definitions that make up the Holy Spirit’s thought system of forgiveness. Finally, we can learn of forgiveness and actually practice the elements of forgiveness; practice not making it real.

But mastery, with all of it’s names (enlightenment, resurrection of the mind, salvation, sanity, sobriety) cannot be obtained until we have decided to stop drinking of the illusion, stop making it real. We must be done trying to make the illusion “work”, trying to get the we we think we are “needs” met by the external. We must be ready to say, “I am done. I don’t want to ‘play’ in the illusion anymore. I want to go home to God. I surrender.” We must be ready to retire from the world and seek reality instead and be willing to do whatever it takes to get home to God. Until then, we are preparing ourselves, readying ourselves, bottoming out, however you want to look at it.

What makes someone decide they are DONE? What makes one addict say, ‘I am going to get sober,’ and do it, while others die from their addiction? When you find out the answer, let me know. In the meantime, let’s acknowledge that in the beginning we made the separation real by accepting it and valuing it. We are now addicted to making it real by reacting to it, valuing it and having grievances about it. I have making it realism. I am a making it realaholic. I have mirism. I am a miraholic. Don’t believe there is a such thing? Just try to detox off making it real. You will find out just exactly how addicted we are.

Becoming sober of making the illusion and our identity as a special, separated individual self real, is a daunting task. The ego, as exampled in the story of Jesus, will throw every possible temptation at us. In the desert Jesus was tempted, by the ego, with all the good things he could experience in the illusion. During the crucifixion he was tempted with all the bad things. Jesus refused to make either situation real. He stood fast in forgiveness, not making it real, even unto death. We too will be tempted at every turn, to make the world, the body, the personality self, and the illusion real. But as we work our program, as we deny the illusion (the denial of truth) we will begin to sense the loosening of the grip of the ego thought system. We will experience holy instants. We will begin to see the proof of the Holy Spirit’s presence. And as we collect these “supernatural” experiences our belief in the real world will become stronger and stronger until that is our only experience. That is mastery.

When we decide to retire from the world and seek reality instead and stop making the body, the world and our self-made identity real, there is a tendency to take all of the guilt we have been projecting onto the world and others and turn it inward. Until we adjust and learn not to do that, some emotional volatility may occur. We have exchanged our special relationships for holy relationships. A relationship is the interplay between any two or more thoughts. So we have changed the relationship between us (a thought) and all our illusory thoughts from a special relationship, a relationship used to make the illusion real and therefore deny truth, to a holy relationship where the interplay of thoughts is used for the holy purpose of being an aid to help us reach the home where God abides. A period of unsettling is expected and can even be extremely distressful. Don’t doubt. Put your faith in the real. Everything is in perfect order. we have declared our intention of mastery, sobriety, and all the forces of Heaven are on our side. We can and will succeed, guaranteed.

So my brothers, if you are still sleeping, if you are awakening and preparing for your entrance into the Masters Program of not making it real or if you are already in the program, remember, we all want to get home to God. We are all brothers. But more than that, we are all one Self, the Son of God. Your gain is literally my gain, our gain. We are all going home together, one act of true forgiveness, of not making it real, at a time.