The FIRST illusion, which must be displaced before another thought system can take hold, is that it is a sacrifice to give up the things of this world. (M-13.1:6-7)

The full acceptance of salvation as your ONLY function necessarily entails two phases; the recognition of salvation as your function, and the relinquishment of ALL the other goals you have invented for yourself. (W-65.1:5)

And when you think you see some value in an aspect or an image of the world, refuse to lay this chain upon your mind, but tell yourself with quiet certainty: This will not tempt me to delay myself.
The world I see holds NOTHING that I want. (W-128.8:2-4)

The problem is not that we value things in the illusion or have goals in the illusion or have wants, desires or preferences in the illusion. The problem is the whole thought system we have to accept to participate in any of those things as real. To value, have goals in, have wants,desires or preferences in the illusion you first must make it real. That is it. Game over. Ego wins. That is its only goal. Our first mistake was not the separation, it was believing in it. Our belief gave it “life.” The ego always tempts us to make the unreal real by believing it. If it can get us to keep believing in the illusion, the separation as real, it lives on. If we are participating in the illusion based on valuing of, having goals in, having wants, desires, preferences in then that is further error that has us moving further in the wrong direction. We made it by believing in it. Participating in it as if it were real makes it doubly difficult to undo.

The Holy Spirit cannot possibly use what we have made to support us in remembering who we are if we are participating in it as if it were real. Who is the you participating in it as if it were real? Who values, has goals, wants, desires or preferences in the illusion? Is it The Son of God you say you are? Or is it the individual character made-up self? Who adorns the body with make-up, jewelry, facial hair, and preferred clothing? Who and for what purpose? This IS the identity problem. We are participating in the world as if it were real and wondering why our family and friends don’t get it when we tell them that this is not real, it is a dream. Our job is to give our made-up character self over to the Holy Spirit to be undone. That is accepting the Atonement for ourselves, accepting the undoing.

The character self is a block to love’s presence. Our belief in it as real blocks our hearing and taking direction from the Holy Spirit. It must be undone if we are to carry out our Holy Spirit assignments. Before we do anything in the illusion we can go to the Holy Spirit and ask who wants to do this and for what purpose? That’s a start. We are so enmeshed with theses character selves. It is beyond co-dependency. We think we are them and that their survival is ours.

We all deny, dissociate and twist the Course into all sorts of distortions just so we can keep playing the illusion game. Look no further than the special relationship. No you do not have familial relationships. No you do not have romantic relationships. Those are only character selves we made-up having relationships, not even with other character selves, but with our made-up interpretation of their character selves which are based on the made-up characters we encountered in our made-up childhoods.

We are allowing our character selves to run the show. Do you know who your character self is the spawn of? The ego. Ideas leave not their source. Your personality self’s source is the ego. It was made from hate and guilt and fear and is the idea of separation. Every time you participate from that self  in the illusion you are buying the whole belief system which we are addicted to. So that judgmental thought that just went through your mind, is that what needs to be addressed or is it the thought that you think you are the self that had the judgmental thought?

Can you paint rosy lips upon a skeleton, dress it in loveliness, pet it and pamper it, and make it live? And can you be content with an illusion that you are living?  (T-23.II.18:8-9)