23. Retiring from the World to Seek Reality Instead
The purpose of the Course is not mastery but to prepare you to pursue mastery. It is not an end but a beginning. It is the foundation for the final leg in your journey home to God.
If you are not clear that you 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 you are not done valuing the world and the image you have made of yourself, and if you are not done experiencing separation and specialness, and if you are not clear that in your present delusional state you know nothing, and if you are not ready and willing to turn your life as you know it and your 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 you in beginning to loosen the grip that the ego thought system has on your mind. The Course can also support you in finding your inner teacher, the Holy Spirit, and beginning a remembrance of Him and His role as guide and comforter. You can use the Course to establish or deepen your relationship with Him. You can also use the Course to have a temporary spiritual experience of who you are in truth, the sinless Son of God, so you can realize that the you you thought you were is not your real Self. You can also use the Course to learn the terms and definitions that make up the Holy Spirit’s thought system of forgiveness. Finally, you 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 you have decided to stop drinking of the illusion, stop making it real. You must be done trying to make the illusion “work”, trying to get the you you think you are “needs” met by the external. You 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.” You 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 you are preparing yourself, readying yourself, 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 you are.
Becoming sober of making the illusion and your identity as a special, separated individual real, is a daunting task. The ego, as exampled in the story of Jesus, will throw every possible temptation at you. 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. You too will be tempted at every turn to make the world, the body, the self, the illusion real. But as you work your program, as you deny the illusion (the denial of truth) you will begin to sense the loosening of the grip of the ego thought system. You will experience holy instants. You will begin to see the proof of the Holy Spirit’s presence. And as you collect these “supernatural” experiences your belief in the real world will become stronger and stronger until that is your only experience. That is mastery.
When you decide to retire from the world and seek reality instead and stop making the body, the world and your self-made identity real, there is a tendency to take all of the guilt you have been projecting onto the world and others and turn it inward. Until you adjust and learn not to do that, some emotional volatility may occur. You have exchanged your special relationships for holy relationships. A relationship is the interplay between any two or more thoughts. So you have changed the relationship between you (a thought) and all your 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 an aid to help you 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. You have declared your intention of mastery, sobriety, and all the forces of Heaven are on your side. You 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.