1 – Avoidance of Magic = Avoidance of Temptation
“The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. (M42)”
2 – God’s Will = Our Real Will
Elsewhere in the Course we learn that God’s will is actually the same as ours. It is the same as ours if we only knew ourselves better. Studying the Course will open up ways to know ourselves better. And much study will convince us that we are not like Job of the Old Testament, unwilling recipients of guidance, but instead willing recipients of guidance because we know that what we “hear” is legitimate and will bring us closer Home.
3 – Ego
“Magic” thoughts are those inspired by the ego (an interpretation of the Course, but not stated directly therein). Often magic ideas are superstitious ideas that have become a part of us through long years of following the ego.
4 – God’s Way
If we set our will each morning to following God’s way, we will be well on our way to avoiding temptation. We will know that what God wants for us is what we too desire. Anything less is magic.
5 – Pathetic
“These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. (M42)”
6 – Heaven Restored
“Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness. (M42)”
7 – Irrationality
Magic, as defined by Jesus, is irrationality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And the magic, the irrationality, is rooted in the belief in sacrifice and in the separation from God. Sacrifice and the separation are both the “detour into fear” (from ACIM) which happened when the ego arose in our thought processes. But we don’t really have anything worth having when we have the ego.
8 – Heaven
When we give up the error that is the ego, Heaven is restored to our awareness. Can we believe this? Can we willingly give up egoic and egoistical strivings? If we can assess carefully, we will acknowledge that the puffed-up ego does not mean much in the final analysis. When we are on our death bed, we won’t put much store in anything that the ego had us striving to do; we will know that it was all vanity. Why not reach that conclusion while most of us have many years left of life? Why not enjoy Heaven on earth, the promise that is here held out to us by Jesus himself?
9 – Helen and Bill
The truth of these statements is found in the living out of them—nothing more. Reflect on where you have been and where you hope to go. See if ego is still managing your pathway. And just wonder, just wonder, if there might not (and Helen and Bill found, co-scribes of ACIM) be another way?
I am still not flexible enough to turn aside from my own self’s wishes to follow the guidance that I am perceiving from the Holy Spirit–at least not always. Please help me toward this willingness. I know that it is the very best thing for me.
Please be with me throughout this day, as I perceive, through my intuition, the will of the Holy Spirit. This may be my greatest need. Please help me to perfect following guidance as I go about my normal life.