The self you made is not the Son of God.” (W-93.5:1)

All of us who appear to be here came for one reason, to pretend we are self-reliant. The prerequisites for us having the delusion of self-reliance, enabling us to participate in the fantasy, are many and varied. But they all boil down to making the separation real. We made a self to be separate with and a body to be separate in. We made a world to experience our separation. In this world, separate from God, we are self-reliant because there is nothing else to be reliant on. The remembrance of God has been all but obliterated.

If not for God placing the Holy Spirit in our minds, there we would remain. But now, in perceptionland, we can either be self-reliant or Holy-Spirit-reliant. We can use worldly “happenings”, personal or global, to burn off self-reliance or fuel self-reliance. We can use worldly “happenings”, personal or global, to promote Holy-Spirit-reliance or deny it. All stories in the illusion, until we rise above them, are made by the ego. The question is, “For what purpose are we going to use them?”

Course students often ask why they cannot hear the Holy Spirit. Hearing the Holy Spirit requires an unwavering unflinching commitment to die to self, the self we made. This self, we made, must be burned off if we want to learn what Jesus learned as his final lesson, to listen ONLY to the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit will actually speak to us, but we must be willing to stop listening to the ego voice altogether. We must relinquish everything that we have made whose only purpose is to witness to the ego’s, the separation’s reality.

As long as we seem to be here we are engaging in a self-crucifixion. At the level of the wrong mind, we believe that we left or killed God and that we need to be punished. That we are guilty, unworthy of love and deserving of punishment. This is the level that dictates all seeming happenings on the level of form. All happenings on the level of form are a reflection of that sick thought system. They are an image in a mirror. Can you imagine looking in a mirror and attempting to comb the mirror because that is where your hair appears to be? But that is what we do. There is a whole mirror world we participate in as if it were real. We seem to be locked inside the mirror world, our mind and our will imprisoned with no escape.

Much like a fish in a fish bowl, we have no awareness of ourselves as the fish in a bowl. There is nothing to look with from outside the fish bowl that would allow us such an awareness. As long as we believe we are the fish, and if we swim around and eat our food and participate in fish life as if it were real, that is attesting to that belief. The fish is a robot swimming around at the behest of the robot fish maker that tells it what to do, say and think. But what if, one day the fish sensed a light. It knew nothing of the light, but it did realize that it was unlike the voice that usually told it what to do, say and think as it “happily” swam around in the bowl.

And what if one day that fish thought it might try something. Maybe it would ask that light what to do, say and think. Then suddenly, for one split second the fish seemed to fly out of the bowl, soar into the air and look back and see the bowl. Almost in the next second it was back swimming in the bowl. Having experienced the truth for a split second, what does the fish do now? Go back to listening to what its seeming maker is saying and happily return to swimming around the bowl? Or is it going to build on that split second of awareness?

Each of has had such awarenesses. But we cannot build on those awarenesses by watching, with Jesus, the fish swim around in the bowl while simultaneously believing that it is us happily swimming around in the bowl and playing with all the fish toys and eating all the fish food. If we really got that this world were not real then we would not participate in it at all except at the explicit behest of the Holy Spirit for His purpose. Why would we willing participate in hell? Why would anyone possibly want anything to do with this world we made to hide from God? Why would anyone want to participate in a world made by the great deceiver, with our imprisoned mind and will, for the sole purpose of perpetuating a fraud?

I know. Because we have no other choice. Our only choice is to listen to the ego and its interpretation of the fish swimming around in the bowl or to watch the movie of the fish, we think we are, swimming around in the bowl with Jesus and listen to his interpretation. Do we think the real world is about us sitting around and watching the movie of the selves we think we are swimming around in a bowl? Did Jesus sit around and watch the world go by reinterpreting with the Holy Spirit? Or did he empty himself of the self-reliant, self-crucifying, self-aggrandizing self he made, allowing miracles to flow through him, from outside of time and space, resulting in much healing? Did he burn off the self to return to our natural state of complete and utter God-reliance?

We cannot just look at the effects of this thought system, all of our miscreations, with the Holy Spirit and look at them a different way. Sickness is a result of wrong or sick thinking. Like the movie of the fish, I cannot just look at sickness, or overlook it, and have the Holy Spirit interpret it for me. I have to locate the entire root system of the idea of sickness and pull it out. Otherwise it will just keep happening because I did not deal with the cause. I must look at it with the Holy Spirit and let Him show me how I made it and the reason I made it, the purpose I used it for. Only with this lesson in Holy Spirit reason can I be persuaded to choose against it by realizing its unreality. By withdrawing my faith from the unreal, the seen, and placing it in the real, the unseen, I am practicing the undoing.

Besides, who is the us watching with Jesus? The us that just bought a new fish toy? The us that just redecorated our fish bowl? The us that just delighted in our new fish food? We have to do the work of digging up every thought and belief that holds the wrong-minded thought system together and choose against it at the Holy Spirit’s direction. He knows the escape plan. We are forever prisoners without Him. And only in a humbled state can we hear our Guide.

If we want to build on our awarenesses, we have to give up every one of our miscreations including the bowl and the fish we think we are. We must stop participating in the world as if were real. There is another way of living in the world. It comes to us from outside of time and space. Forget it is written, forget I just need to interpret with the Holy Spirit and forget even I need do nothing. How about, I am a fish in a fish bowl. I know nothing. I have no idea what any of this is for. I am blind and deaf to the truth. I cannot escape because I don’t even know I am in prison. I would empty myself of all that I have made that I might let miracles flow through me like living waters. I have no idea how to continue climbing the ladder of awareness but I place my mind and my will at the disposal of true Authority that I might be His humble servant. I will value nothing I have made and will let Him teach me of their insignificance. Not one finger will I raise except at His instruction.

Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it.” (T-14.XI.12:1-2)

And if I fall short may I be reminded that I am a fish in a fish bowl until I am home. And then let me turn back to my Guide that I might continue in His service as God wills. And if I did not still think I were a fish in a fish bowl, I would remember my will is His, my Father, my life.