“It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give. What can the sacrifice of nothing mean? It cannot mean that you have less because of it. There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body. Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice. Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the ‘hero’ to whom all these things belong? Could they mean anything except to a body? (M-13.2)”
Affirmation: “I need sacrifice nothing.”
1 – The World Has Nothing to Offer
Most of us do not really yet believe that the world has nothing to offer. We are still that much caught up in the ego. As long as we are egocentric, we will seek for power, fame, physical pleasure. But when the ego has withered, at least a little, we will instead seek the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, calm, quiet. And we can be happy in this world, so long as we are not chasing rainbows of materialism. God wants our material needs satisfied also, but if we devote ourselves only to the material, we lose out on so much more.
2 – Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings
And we do find in this world the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook). The reason for the happy dreams is that we would be too terrified by the sudden appearance of Awakening. A gentler dream needs to precede Awakening. And so we are prepared carefully for the great blessing of Awakening.
3 – Patience
It does take great learning to accept these ideas. And it takes patience to assimilate them. Teachers must repeat their lessons until they are learned, and Jesus himself has set the precedent for this in the Text, when he said that nothing that we do or make, etc., creates our worth. Our worth is given us by God.
4 – Heaven on Earth
So do we write off the world and escape into some otherworldly heaven? I think not. We can experience heaven on earth, but we have to meet the conditions, which involve an egoless experience. So long as we are fueled by the ego, we will know vicissitudes of joy and sorrow in an alternating fashion. And the guilt that the ego would drive us to would be hell indeed. (Elsewhere the Text affirms that guilt is hell.)
5 – Values Will Change
We seek to enjoy God’s intangibles and to love our brothers and sisters (as well as ourselves, which is necessary for all love to proceed from us). We do not need to sacrifice anything that is truly good. Our values will change as we walk farther along the pathway to God. And we will not seek the inferior values that all too often are present in this world.
I am extremely grateful that, after studying A Course in Miracles for a long time, I can honestly say to You that the pleasures of this world do not mean as much to me as they once did. I am not above wanting pleasures of this world, but it is more important to me to know Your peace, joy, harmony, and calm. Thank You for walking with me far enough along the pathway to You that I have made this shift in my values.
May I be understanding if others do not share this concept. It takes a long while to understand that this world does not really offer anything that is lasting, and only the lasting is the eternity that we all seek, whether we know it or not. May my walk into eternity today include my brothers and sisters, and may I not make demands upon them that they are not yet ready to accommodate.