“Here will you understand there is no pain. This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.” (ACIM, W-190)
This Workbook lesson from A Course in Miracles emphasizes the central place of joy in our lives when we are following the pathway back to God. It makes clear that true reality is joy. When we are feeling pain for any reason, it is assurance that we are still trapped in illusion. Of course, all of us are trapped in illusion to one extent or another, even those who have Awakened. The gifted in Awakening do accept what is rather than try to rail against it. And they are peaceful and contented, regardless of what surrounds them. But as long as we live on the earth plane, we are subject to emotions other than joy. And pain may be experienced, though we can understand that pain does not have to escalate into suffering.
This Workbook lesson indicates that at Day 190, one can come into the fullness of knowledge. One can walk away from pain in the form of illusion, sleep, deception. And we can replace that pain with joy, awakening, truth, reality. Let us hope that this change will come to all of us, though this assertion from Jesus for this day is on the ideal level of studying ACIM. (There are both ideal and practical levels in ACIM, with the ideal something that not all of us can reach on a daily basis, though we can have glimpses of this level.)
We do not want illusion. And Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, believes that we move from illusion into reality as we walk this pathway. (She was videotaped in a presentation that indicated this.) But we must be patient with the concepts to which we are being exposed. Not all of us are ready for Awakening. God alone makes that decision. Frequently, we do catch glimpses before Awakening is sustained, and in the glimpses do we see what is held out to us for the future. We know what joy there will be in Awakening.