Tag Archives: striving

Disengage from Meaningless Conflict

“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)”


Affirmation:  “May I strive to do Your Will today.”

Reflections:

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.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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.

Amen.

Striving Can Hurt You

“Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so.  Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. (T553)”

Affirmation:  “We live in illusion and would not make it real.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Striving = of the Ego?

This passage is very close to saying that our striving is nearly always of the ego, which will inevitably hurt us.  A Course in Miracles is very clear that the world that we know is an illusion, but we do not usually recognize this, and so we make it real to ourselves.  If we stare at a misdeed, we cannot overlook it, because we have made it real by the fact of thinking about it seriously.

2 – Avoid Meaningless Striving

ACIM would not say that no deeds are worthy.  Our function of salvation is worthy indeed, to name the central function that we have.  But we ought never to engage in meaningless striving from the standpoint of the ego.  The ego always lets us down.  The world is set up that way, and Jesus in ACIM makes this point repeatedly.  The ego is constantly being undone, and as long as our investment is there, we will be hurt when the ego is undone.

3 – Salvation = Effortless Way of Living

Living in the way that forwards salvation is meant to be an effortless way of living.  Of course, in this world we are not often ready to accept this.  We think that there is more that we have to do.  But ACIM notes that the contribution of the Holy Spirit is much greater than our own.  We need to display only a “little willingness,” and we will be on the pathway home–for ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would appreciate this passage today, in that it reminds that much of the striving that I have done, much that has weighted me down, was actually of the ego and not a fit way for Your child to function.  Help me to let the ego wither away, doing nothing to reinforce it today.  May I, instead, seek to know how to live Your way, which gets things accomplished effortlessly.  To my personal self, this seems to be a paradoxical way to live, but I know that You do not mislead us, and so it is a true way to live.

Be with me today as I seek to carry out the tasks for the day.  I know that the tasks change each day, for we get a new start.  May I lean upon Your Guide as my leader in what to say and do.  May I come ever closer to the Self that You would have me be.

Thank You for the direction that You provide almost constantly to me.  Help me not to be mislead into thinking that I always choose the right, but help me to discern when my still present ego is falsifying all my dealings.  I would walk Your way today and every day.

Amen.