“You have already succeeded in learning in this new way once or you would not be here. This is your proof that you can do so again and again until the new way totally replaces the old and the art of thought leaves behind forever the need for what the ego-mind once but seemed to offer you. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.9)”
Affirmation: “May I leave the ego-mind behind from now on.”
1 – Pipe Dream?
It surely seem a pipe dream that we can leave the ego-mind behind from now on. But Jesus would not mislead us. It is possible, and indeed probable, if we follow his advice. We do not have to think egoistically. We can “think” with our heart, which loves all others (and ourselves too, for we must not forget that we love our neighbor as ourselves). The ego-mind has never given us anything that was a lasting peace. We had flights of joy, but if these were ego-based, there was a low that followed the high. We paid for those flights of joy with tears of pain. And we would no longer have it so.
2 – Leaving the Ego-Mind
The change from ego-mind does not usually happen in one felt swoop. We venture ahead, led by the heart, then take a step backwards into ego-mind, and then disown the ego-mind once again, choosing the heart instead. This oscillation is common, and it should not be a cause for downheartedness. We have listened to the ego-mind for eons, and now that we are leaving it behind, it does not go quietly. We are constantly confronted with temptations of the ego, temptations to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. And these temptations trip us up. But we do not have to remain tripped up. We ask for help, and the help is forthcoming. Always. When we ask help of God, He responds, gladly and quickly. The solution is always with the problem.
3 – How to Have Lasting Joy
The ego-mind never gave us joy that was lasting. But the heart, and the mind and heart together, do just that. The joy is lasting. There may seem to be some effort involved, but it is a peaceful effort. And the peace that it gives soon makes the effort itself effortless. There is no strain when we follow in God’s way.
4 – Perfect Calm and Quiet
We are just beginning to understand the art of thought. It is totally alien to the ego-mind, and so there will be some difficulty in understanding. But the difficulty will soon melt away. And only perfect calm and quiet will remain.
Jesus has promised me that to think with my heart is a way that the art of thought manifests in my life. I would have this new way of thinking encompass my living day to day. Help me to understand enough to at least begin on this new way of living. I would miss much in life, the full life that you want for me, if I still insist on listening to the ego-mind.
Help me to reach out to others in a way that is understandable. We need each other in this world. Let us reach forth our hands and join them in silent communion one to the other. May we keep in mind that we first commune with You, and then we commune with the others whom we encounter.