12. The Holy Spirit as Guide
Our goal is God and truth. We are not here to win at or fight the illusion. We are here to remember who we are for our brothers and ourselves. That is our job. We are not concerned with any of the story lines that seem to be happening. We will use whatever is in our story-line for the purpose of aiding us to reach the home where God abides, or more accurately, to remember that we are there now and have never left. Whatever we are “dealing” with in form, be it poverty, sickness, wealth, health, relationship, or lack of relationship, death – it doesn’t matter.
Specifics of the story and all the seeming variations and differences in the story serve only one ego purpose – to have us believe the illusion is real and to block out the Voice of the Holy Spirit. An exercise, a practice, you can engage in to both learn to make the illusion not real and to stand in acceptance of the Holy Spirit as your Teacher is to ask the Holy Spirit what to say, do and think. Of all the tools at your disposal, including the Course, this tool has the potential of offering the most peace. It is a powerful exercise in surrender. The Course says that taking instruction from the Holy Spirit is no less than the way out of hell for you.
Besides if you don’t ask the Holy Spirit what to say, do and think, by default your four characters will war over the decision and one of them will decide. So you either ask the Holy Spirit or let the characters decide. Those are your choices. But remember, when you let your characters decide you are tacitly agreeing that you are your characters, the ego, denying your true Identity. If you ask the Holy Spirit you are affirming your true Identity. Also remember that the characters are children making decisions in the past about the past. Asking the Holy Spirit for guidance has you in the now, the closest place to eternity, not in the past or future. If our goal is ultimately to learn to think with the Holy Spirit this can be an excellent exercise in turning our minds and will over to Him. Finally, asking the Holy Spirit is a declaration that we do not choose to believe that the illusion is real. After all, why would you care what you say, do and think about “nothing”. If it were really nothing, you would be glad to turn over all your judgment, assessment and decisions to the Holy Spirit.
If asking the Holy Spirit what to say, do and think is beneficial, why don’t we do it? We are addicted to thinking we are the self we made, the child, the ego and thinking with the wrong-minded ego thought system. Asking the Holy Spirit for guidance is a threat to the ego’s control. If we think we are the ego it can be viewed as endangering our very existence. This can be very fearful. Having a firm foundation in Course principles can be supportive and help mitigate the fear. You can also start practicing by asking the Holy Spirit for guidance on smaller things and work your way up to “bigger” decisions.
Learning to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance is a challenging task. The ego will fight you every step of the way. It will say – “How do you know that’s the Holy Spirit? That’s just your ego pretending to be the Holy Spirit. Who do you think you are? You can’t hear the Holy Spirit.” Don’t listen. Have faith and keep practicing. It is very much like learning a foreign language. The more you speak it, the more you become comfortable, the more accurate and discerning you will become.
One of the benefits of taking the Holy Spirit’s advice is that it becomes more difficult for the ego to convince you that you are guilty. When tempted to judge yourself harshly and crucify yourself for saying, doing or thinking something, you need only tell the ego, “ The Holy Spirit made the decision. I trust that the Holy Spirit knows what’s best for everyone in this situation and what is the most efficacious way for me to get home to God. Think what you want ego. I have a new coach. He’s calling the shot’s. I’m thinking with Him.”
This process, of learning to hear only the Holy Spirit’s Voice takes faith. Remember, we are not asking the Holy Spirit to guide us to winning at the illusion. The purpose of His guidance is to get us home the shortest way possible. That won’t necessarily look the way we think we want it to in the illusion. We have to trust the Holy Spirit and that he knows what is best in every situation and for everyone involved.
Our model. Jesus, if he had wanted one, had a pretty good argument that the Holy Spirit was off and that things weren’t looking too good for him. He did not believe his physical eyes and bodily experiences but chose to listen to the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of what was happening instead. The ultimate result, no matter what it looked like was happening on the level of form, was that he completed his forgiveness task, stepped out of the ego script, ended his participation in the cycle of birth and death, remembered who he really was and supported and is still supporting his brothers in doing the same. He was able to do that by diligently practicing asking, listening to and being directed by, the Holy Spirit. If he hadn’t perfected listening only to the Holy Spirit, the story might have been very different. The whole crucifixion thing could easily have tempted him to make the illusion real and thwarted his victory over death and his return to the Kingdom. Who knows what we will accomplish when we learn to listen only to the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised we would do greater things than he. Sounds good to me.