Tag Archives: competition

Do the Things that Are of Christ

“Remember that you often seek to know, not out of love for wisdom, but simply to feel more powerful than your brothers and sisters, or not to feel inferior.  None of that is of Christ.”  COL bk.2, 20:IV

This quotation is a good description of our competitive culture.  We want to achieve more, not out of a desire to learn, but in order not to let others outdo us.

This attitude does not win us any friends.  Competitive spirits are a turnoff in what should be a cooperative work environment.  Cooperation always comes out ahead of competition.

If we want to know for the sake of wisdom, greater wisdom, we are OK.  If we want to know because we are seeking to be better than our peers, we are sunk in the competitive spirit.  It is not true that the only thing that has made us a great culture, world-wide, is competition.

Contemplate what a difference a loving and cooperative attitude would make.  It is not a copout to give up the bent to be better than another.

It is good sense.

We Need Each Other

You have to forgive this reality for being different than you have always imagined it to be. You have to forgive yourself for not being able to make it on your own, because you have realized the impossibility of doing so. You have to forgive yourself for being what you are, a being who exists only in relationship. (ACOL, C:6.2)

We are beings meant to live in relationship to each other. A holy relationship that features love as its predominant feature.

We have tried, and failed, to be independent, autonomous, needing nobody and nothing. When we failed at that, we reached for a special someone who would answer all of our needs. And we failed at that, too.

Now forgiveness is in store, for ourselves and our God. Our ego got it wrong, believing that autonomy was the way to go. We are made for each other, interdependently. If we stop and think, we realize this even on a secular level.

Our society thrives on competition, but this competition, bottom line, means that there is somebody else who is very, very important to us. The few among us who recognize that cooperation gets us farther in the long run are surely coming to see that we need each other. And not only for love. We need each other simply to exist side-by-side in our crowded world.

Specialness vs. True Self

“While you desire specialness for yourself, your true Self will remain hidden and unknown, and since this is a Course that seeks to reveal your true identity, specialness must be seen for what it is so that you will desire it no longer.  You can have specialness or your true Self, but never both.  (A Course of Love, 15.3)”

Still Life with Bottle and Lemons on a Plate - van goghAffirmation:  “I would deny specialness in favor of my true Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Egocentric Specialness

Specialness is an egocentric desire to be better than other people (or, occasionally, the reverse–worse than others).  For whatever reason, we think that if we are different, rather than the same, we will merit more in this life.  We think that being special means that we have more than others–always “more.”  But this reasoning is fallacious.

2 – Specialness in Other People

We need to recognize that nobody welcomes specialness in another person–except as that specialness seems to give to the other something that he/she wants.  We look for certain special things in our chosen life partner, but we often find that this specialness is a mirage, and then we may drift away, only to seek again a specialness that will never last.

3 – Competition

In our peer relationships, we do not want another to excel in the competition.  We want to be better.  But does that make us more loved?  I think not.  Cooperation in a common goal means that all peers are equals, and equals we are indeed in God’s eyes.  All of us have been given everything, ultimately.  But on this earth, this is not so, and so we often find ourselves envious of the goods of another.  We do not love in such a state of mind, and love is the great need of all of us (as always).

4 – Self/Christ

We need the true Self, which is the Christ within.  When we really consider these words, how could we desire anything other?  We do not receive knowledge of the Self when the go reigns.  Everything sought by the ego ultimately turns to ashes and dust in our hands.  All of the ego’s playthings are temporary.  But when we turn from the desire to be better than our brother/sister, we are primed to know the Self that we all share, for we are all One.  Then we know that true boons of this world, as well as the world beyond.  We have indeed found our way home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would drop specialness today for all time.  Competition just wore me out, when I tried it, and try it I did for years.  Finally, in the last 20 years or so, my desire for cooperative living has won out over specialness.  Thank You for this insight and the willingess and ease with which I have been able to accomplish it.  Only You did that.

Thank You for the understanding that cooperation works much better than competition.  There is no way that competition, over the long haul, can bring anything but misery.

Help me to resist specialness in all its forms.  I would choose a right sort of humility, and I would choose to avoid arrogance.  I can do what You lead me to do, when You help me.  Only then, when You help.

Amen.

The World of the Body

“A desire to know everything but only through its [the body’s] own effort, a desire to see everything but only through its own eyes, a desire to be known but only through what it would choose to share.  Alongside these desires it is easy to see how a world such as that of the body developed.  (A Course of Love, 9.7)”

Affirmation:  “I choose amiss when I choose the way of the body.”

Reflections:

1 – Made the World

We made amiss when we made the world.  Note that I did not say “create.”  Only God creates, and it is the theology of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that God did not create the world of the body, the physical illusion of the body, and indeed all illusions of the dream in which we find ourselves.  Do not let theology delay you; if this idea is foreign to your thinking, then just set it aside until such time as you wish to consider the idea again.  Jesus does not want for theology to delay us, nor to be a dividing factor between ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

2 – God’s Children

We can understand the thinking of this passage, because we so wish to be independent, even when we know that being God’s children is the only sane response.  Our wish to be independent is akin to an adolescent’s desire to separate from his/her parents.  And it is also akin to our perchance toward competition.

3 – Cooperation

We may know intellectually (or we may not) that cooperation gets us farther, even in this dream or illusion of a world, than competition ever could.  But our ego thrives on conflict, and competition always brings jealousy (of one person to another), hard feelings, envy (of one’s possessions to those of another).  Do we really want to live like this?

4 – Demanding Proof

We also want to “prove” everything in this physical world through our own eyes.  This is why science has been such a boon to those who sought secular wisdom of the world, the need to understand where we are apart from what our religious traditions have told us.  And this is not wrong, for our science has taught us much that religion would have discounted.  And the new physics is bringing us home to a concept of God that mystics have long found true and compelling.

5 – Share Selectively

We also want to share, about ourselves, only those things that we “want” to share.  Yet psychology, even secular, says that a willingness to self-reveal is the quickest and easiest route to acceptance from others.  Otherwise, our brothers and sisters do not trust us, because they don’t feel that they know where we are coming from.

6 – The Time of Return

So the world of the body, the physical world, arose before our eyes.  And we lived in it for eons.  Now is the time of return, though the time may take millions of years, just as the separation extended over millions of years (an ACIM tenet).  Let us know that, even as we seek, we will find, and the sooner we find, the more help we can be to ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  We will not live in misery for the millions of years ahead, before everyone is home in God.  We will be joyous, knowing that the outcome is sure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I do what I can today to begin, immediately, to live in the world that You would have us see and experience.  This world that You want for us is not the world of the body, but the direct opposite.  May I assist my brothers and sisters who are coming to the same conclusion–that this world does not work, because its premises are wrong.

May I cooperate with the universe and You today.  May I listen to my intuition, the guidance/signal system given me by You.  May the signs that I note be genuine and sure.  Let nothing today interfere with my desire to be One with You.

Amen.