9.Sobriety

When you engage in true prayer, joining with God in communion, not asking for anything just resting in His loving arms in gratitude, a secondary benefit is possible. The secondary benefit is that maybe you will receive some inspirational direction about a perceived problem that will come at a later time.

You have been told to ask the Holy Spirit for the answer to any specific problem, and that you will receive a specific answer if such is your need. You have also been told that there is only one problem and one answer. In prayer this is not contradictory. There are decisions to make here, and they must be made whether they be illusions or not. You cannot be asked to accept answers which are beyond the level of need that you can recognize. Therefore, it is not the form of the question that matters, nor how it is asked. The form of the answer, if given by God, will suit your need as you see it. This is merely an echo of the reply of His Voice. The real sound is always a song of thanksgiving and of Love.

You cannot, then, ask for the echo. It is the song that is the gift. Along with it come the overtones, the harmonics, the echoes, but these are secondary. In true prayer you hear only the song. All the rest is merely added. You have sought first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else has indeed been given you. (S-1.I.2:1–3:6)

But remember we are not engaging in true prayer to get answers or doing our forgiveness work to get “better” results in the illusion. These may or may not happen. It is like getting sober. Just because you get sober doesn’t mean that all your problems are answered or that the story becomes better. You are “just sober”. So the question is: do you want to be drunk (asleep) or sober (awake)? And are you willing to do whatever it takes to get sober (to awaken)?

You don’t get sober so you can change the story-line. You get sober because the drinking that you engaged in to alleviate your anxiety is now causing you more dis-ease than what it was supposed to cure. The same thing applies to the illusion. The illusion, this false universe, was made to handle our intense fear of God. We believed we had attacked Him and we were afraid of His wrath. We needed a place to hide from him. But now the cure is becoming as intolerable as the dis-ease. So the Course is for those of us who acknowledge that we’ve had it with the illusion. We don’t want to play this game any more. We want to go home. We want to stop drinking of the illusion, not because we want a better illusion, but because we want reality instead. We want to remember our everlasting, undeniable, unalterable, unceasing love for God and His for us and we will do whatever it takes to awaken to that truth.

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