“It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more. The spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion, freedom or slavery—it is all the same. For you can never choose except between God and the ego.” (ACIM, T-17.III.9)
This quotation from A Course in Miracles succinctly explains much about the nature of true reality. Jesus herein pens a variety of contrasting words, and we know that on the one side is true reality, and on the other, the abyss of nothingness. It is basically the difference between truth and illusion, and the truth is seen as the real, the real world, or reality, and illusion is seen as perception of an unreal world that is governed by fear. This unreal world is imagined in all its details by the ego. And the ego does not mean us well.
We want to join with truth. All of us, reading this far, do. How do we do so? We cease to identify with the ego, and the easiest way to do this is to decide, categorically, that we will not reinforce that ego by contemplating egotistical goals. The “ego,” of course, is not exactly synonymous with “egotistical,” but there is a very, very close connection. It is impossible to identify with the ego and not do egotistical things, not think of egotistical goals. And we must put a stop to this in whatever way we can.
We want freedom, and as long as we are apart from God (in illusion), we will be living with an imprisoned will. God set the limits on our power to miscreate. He had to hold the universe(s) together, and he realized that pain, to which the ego always leads, would encourage us to choose again. As Helen and Bill, co-scribes of ACIM, decided, “There must be another way.” And A Course in Miracles outlined one other way, a way back to God. This in spite of the fact that Helen was a proclaimed atheist.
So let us decide for the function that God has given us—salvation, happiness. The two are one and the same. We do not seek happiness as we sought egoic goals, though. We rest in surrender to God and His way, knowing that His Will and ours are actually identical. We want what He wants for us, but we just don’t recognize this. At least not in the beginning of our “journey without distance” (from ACIM).