“No one who learned from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs additional convincing. Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain, because pain is an ego illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect. (T68)”
Affirmation: “Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain.”
1 – We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain
This passage is very important. It assures us (as Jesus also does elsewhere in the Course) that we do not have to learn through pain. Here he even tells us that learning through pain will be a temporary learning at best. We long for a breakthrough to the joy that is ours to claim, and then the learning can commence in earnest.
2 – Study of ACIM Brings Increased Peace and Joy
Anyone who has studied the Course sincerely over years will have experienced the increased peace and joy that come with this study. Of course, if there were no peace and joy, the effort would probably have been given up fairly early upon discovery of the teaching. Not everyone, of course, finds his or her “home” in A Course in Miracles. But many do, and if you are reading this, it is likely that you are one of those who will benefit greatly from your study of the Course.
3 – Pain Brings Only a Temporary Effect
It is enormously gratifying to know that someone like Jesus says that pain brings only a temporary effect. So long in our world we have brought pain upon ourselves and our world, and we have believed (when we reflected) that we have learned something from this pain. But here Jesus makes it plain that our pain is not wanted by God, and, especially, that God did not “cause” our pain. We do not have Him to blame, but only ourselves and our mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). We can turn to reward whenever we wish. We just need to ask the Holy Spirit for help in how to proceed.
4 – Choose to Learn through Rewards
Jesus would have us learn through rewards, because he would have us happy. Elsewhere he defines happiness as our function. This may be hard to believe for individuals who think that some sort of higher goal would not mean true happiness for the self. But the Self does not know this logic. Happiness is intended for us, even here in this world. May we go forth to let our light shine in the joy that the Course promises.
May I know that pain is an unnecessary way to learn. I ask that I learn through rewards, which is the only lasting learning.
What a grand promise this is! Thank you. That You want my happiness is a great blessing for me to realize. May I know that any so-called higher goals do not entail my sacrifice or my unhappiness.