“Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. (T553)”
Affirmation: “We live in illusion and would not make it real.”
1 – Striving = of the Ego?
This passage is very close to saying that our striving is nearly always of the ego, which will inevitably hurt us. A Course in Miracles is very clear that the world that we know is an illusion, but we do not usually recognize this, and so we make it real to ourselves. If we stare at a misdeed, we cannot overlook it, because we have made it real by the fact of thinking about it seriously.
2 – Avoid Meaningless Striving
ACIM would not say that no deeds are worthy. Our function of salvation is worthy indeed, to name the central function that we have. But we ought never to engage in meaningless striving from the standpoint of the ego. The ego always lets us down. The world is set up that way, and Jesus in ACIM makes this point repeatedly. The ego is constantly being undone, and as long as our investment is there, we will be hurt when the ego is undone.
3 – Salvation = Effortless Way of Living
Living in the way that forwards salvation is meant to be an effortless way of living. Of course, in this world we are not often ready to accept this. We think that there is more that we have to do. But ACIM notes that the contribution of the Holy Spirit is much greater than our own. We need to display only a “little willingness,” and we will be on the pathway home–for ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters.
I would appreciate this passage today, in that it reminds that much of the striving that I have done, much that has weighted me down, was actually of the ego and not a fit way for Your child to function. Help me to let the ego wither away, doing nothing to reinforce it today. May I, instead, seek to know how to live Your way, which gets things accomplished effortlessly. To my personal self, this seems to be a paradoxical way to live, but I know that You do not mislead us, and so it is a true way to live.
Be with me today as I seek to carry out the tasks for the day. I know that the tasks change each day, for we get a new start. May I lean upon Your Guide as my leader in what to say and do. May I come ever closer to the Self that You would have me be.
Thank You for the direction that You provide almost constantly to me. Help me not to be mislead into thinking that I always choose the right, but help me to discern when my still present ego is falsifying all my dealings. I would walk Your way today and every day.