“You have formerly been capable of representing who you are only within illusion for this was the abode in which you resided. Illusion has been to you like a house with many doors. You have chosen many doors to the same house and but thought them to offer different things, only to find that the house you entered was still the same house, the house of illu¬sion. You took yourself into these many rooms and in some you were even capable of representing your true Self. This representation of the true Self within the house of illusion was like an explosion happening there. For a moment, the floorboards shook, the walls quaked, the lights dimmed. All those within the house became aware of something happening there. All attention turned toward the explosion but its source could not be found.
“In the aftermath of the explosion, the representation of the true Self settled like dust, and all the attention fell upon it. A great scrambling ensued as the recognition dawned on those who looked, that treasures were to be found there. One found art and another religion, one found poetry and another music, one seized upon a single thought and through its extrapola¬tion founded one science or another. In all of the excitement the matter of the source of the explosion was dismissed.
“Thus has been the best of what you call life within the illusion.” (ACOL, T3:7.6 – 7.8)
A beautiful passage from A Course of Love, this quotation for today lets us know that the best features of our culture developed from representations of the true Self, though those representations—art, music, poetry, religion, science—may have developed out of a persona wracked by violence. The process of evolution has indeed caused for human beings a violent rebirth. If we are still allowing ourselves to remain in illusion, we are still wracked by the “explosions” that Jesus says are happening there. This best of all possible worlds, in illusion, for us, does represent the best of our culture—the art, music, and the like.
But is this the way that we want to proceed as time continues to unfold? Aren’t we tired of picking ourselves up off the floor and striving for perfection in our achievements in art, music, science, etc.? Jesus says that life in the “House of Truth” is effortless and means an end to struggle. Would we not all want this? Climbing a new mountain of achievement, never being satisfied with what we have accomplished—at least for very long—means that the ego has been front and center in our motivation. When we accomplish in the House of Truth, we still strive but we do not struggle. Accomplishment is not a personal achievement any longer. We have tried and failed to get satisfaction from personal achievements. Now we try something new and different. Achievement in true reality, which means that we are One with our brothers and sisters, with our Self, and with God. To be that different surely means that we have made many footfalls upon our path back to God.
Have we not cringed, often, from thinking that something more is asked of us, some new achievement that will give us satisfaction in life at last? We shrank from the reality of this, for it was not true reality, but an illusion. Our egoic satisfactions lasted only until the gold wore off. And our accomplishments were not solid gold. They wore, leaving base metal showing. We have had enough of this.
Be glad that in the treasures that fell to the floor we found a glimmering of greater value. Now we can develop these treasures without struggle or pain. We can accomplish, not as a personal achievement, but through the guidance that we receive from the Self Whom we all are. The Self is One, as God is One. And we don’t take personal glorification from what comes beyond us. Not in art, music, poetry, science—you name it.
And we recognize the difference.
I often strove for accomplishments in the past, but I am through with that now. Jesus has told me that, like others who are following him, I have accomplished now, and struggle is meant to be no more. What a glorious thought this indeed is! If only we could all believe it! If only we could be at home in the ease of accomplishments that are won for all people. No longer egoic for self, but magnanimous for all.
Be with me today as I seek to walk Your way once again. If I have to pick myself up again, let me know that You are lifting my hand to help me steady. Your way is the only way worth pursuing, and I walk in Your glory when I don’t make any attempt to achieve for myself only. These hollow victories are left behind in the dust.