You have surely noticed an emphasis throughout our recent lessons on the connection between fulfilling your function and achieving happiness. This is because you do not really see the connection. Yet there is more than just a connection between them; they are the same. Their forms are different, but their content is completely one.
The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. So does it do constant battle with the Holy Spirit about what your happiness is. It is not a two-way battle. The ego attacks and the Holy Spirit does not respond. He knows what your function is. He knows that it is your happiness.
Today we will try to go past this wholly meaningless battle and arrive at the truth about your function. We will not engage in senseless arguments about what it is. We will not become hopelessly involved in defining happiness and determining the means for achieving it. We will not indulge the ego by listening to its attacks on truth. We will merely be glad that we can find out what truth is.
When Jesus mentions the ego in A Course In Miracles, he is really referring to your limited idea about yourself. The ego is you, as you see yourself separate from God and from everything. Every time you turn to your meaningless thoughts and give them value, you are basically saying ‘I am an ego’. And what you believe about yourself, you make true for you.
The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the “will” that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied. The ego is the “proof” that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.
Today you are asked not to indulge the ego. You do not have to listen to its attacks on truth and its focus on illusions. This is why it is a mind training. The thoughts of which you are aware, are not your real thoughts at all. You can go past them, beyond them lie the thoughts you think with God.
Our longer practice period today has as its purpose your acceptance of the fact that not only is there a very real connection between the function God gave you and your happiness, but that they are actually identical. God gives you only happiness. Therefore, the function He gave you must be happiness, even if it appears to be different. Today’s exercises are an attempt to go beyond these differences in appearance, and recognize a common content where it exists in truth.
Now you focus your attention on the truth. You activate your mind as you are reading this lesson, by letting it work in you, by letting related thoughts come to you. You are asked to look at the thoughts you are given, to really look at them and see how reasonable they are.
Begin the ten-to-fifteen-minute practice period by reviewing these thoughts:
God gives me only happiness.
He has given my function to me.
Therefore my function must be happiness.
Try to see the logic in this sequence, even if you do not yet accept the conclusion. It is only if the first two thoughts are wrong that the conclusion could be false. Let us, then, think about the premises for a while, as we are practicing.
When you are willing to look at these thoughts, when you allow them to enter your mind and work in you, there is an experience available that goes beyond the words altogether. This has nothing to do with study or homework as you remember it from a past experience, it really has only to do with a little willingness to let the words be true. There is no effort in this. The experience is given when you do the little that is asked of you.
The first premise is that God gives you only happiness. This could be false, of course, but in order to be false it is necessary to define God as something He is not. Love cannot give evil, and what is not happiness is evil. God cannot give what He does not have, and He cannot have what He is not. Unless God gives you only happiness, He must be evil. And it is this definition of Him you are believing if you do not accept the first premise.
The second premise is that God has given you your function. We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides. There are no other guides but these to choose between, and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice but the fear that the ego always engenders, and the love that the Holy Spirit always offers to replace it.
Thus, it must be that your function is established by God through His Voice, or is made by the ego which you have made to replace Him. Which is true? Unless God gave your function to you, it must be the gift of the ego. Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?
Look at the reasonableness of this offering. It is not hard to grasp. It has nothing to do with intellect or intelligence as you see it. Let the meaning of these words be revealed to you. All you have to do is ask. Read the words, take your time with them, this is the most important thing you will do all day. It’s worth your while. The gift is eternal and true.
You will listen to madness or hear the truth. Try to make this choice as you think about the premises on which our conclusion rests. We can share in this conclusion, but in no other. For God Himself shares it with us. Today’s idea is another giant stride in the perception of the same as the same, and the different as different. On one side stand all illusions. All truth stands on the other. Let us try today to realize that only the truth is true.
A giant stride indeed, and with all the help in the universe you come to the only logical conclusion you can make. God gives only happiness. You are created by God. Happiness is your inheritance. What a great thing to remember. Beyond the body, beyond this world, lies an experience that is your natural state. Go there often today. And from there extend what you have been given. It will give you the rest and the happiness you seek.
My happiness and function are one, because God has given me both.