“To strive for that which has value is what this course is about. It has nothing to do with struggle. You think also that to leave struggle behind, to disengage from the conflict of this world that causes it, is to turn your back on the real world and all that has meaning in it. In this you think correctly. . .This desire to engage in struggle has nothing to do with your sense of responsibility and duty. It is merely your ego’s attempt to involve you in distractions that keep you from your real responsibility. (A Course of Love, 1.14)”
1 – Ego’s Struggles
We all have struggled long and hard for accomplishments in this world. But Jesus would say that, in all likelihood, most of those struggles were instigated by the ego (an interpretation, not state in ACOL). So, having given up the ego (or in the process of doing so), we do not have any reason whatsoever to “struggle” anymore. The suffering entailed won’t buy us anything that we want. So what is the difference between struggling and striving?
2 – Striving
Strive is, bottom line, more compassionate to ourselves. It is also a more positive attitude. A Course of Love does not want our sacrifice of ourselves for the “good” of somebody else (an ACOL tenet). Sacrifice is never called for, according to ACOL.
3 – Guidance
But we will continue to strive to help, and it will not feel like work to do so. We have guidance. We are on the road to Christ-consciousness. We have entered the time of Christ, and we are exiting from the guidance of the Holy Spirit (on which we depended mightily while studying A Course in Miracles).
4 – Christ-Consciousness
Very likely this transition to Christ-consciousness will not happen suddenly, though this sudden transformation is also a possibility. We will see glimpses of Awakening before we sustain Awakening. Let us ask for a glimpse today. Elsewhere in ACOL Jesus encourages us to ask for a miracle, one that would put our minds at rest, one that would provide certainty that we are not alone. Perhaps today is the day for us to ask for a glimpse of Awakening, for we can ask for miracles any day. They are our birthright. If you can conceive of the miracle happening, then indeed it can happen. Do not be foolish about this recommendation, but do look inwardly before you ask. We may all be surprised with what we are guided to request.
May I leave behind the fruitless struggles of this world. But may I remember my brothers and sisters who need my assistance. To disengage from conflict is to drop the ego–nothing more. I would strive when led to do so, but I would not struggle again.
This world is a place of struggle, and joining others in struggle does not help them. We need to realize why this is so, and perhaps the passage for today will guide us in our interpretations.
Help us to have good days always. If there are things that need to change in our lives, may we strive to change them. But otherwise, let us be mindful of the needs of ourselves and others, and seek to answer those needs without struggle. Without the ego.