Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 131 No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.
- Failure is all about you while you seek for goals that cannot be achieved. You look for permanence in the impermanent, for love where there is none, for safety in the midst of danger, immortality within the darkness of the dream of death. Who could succeed where contradiction is the setting of his searching, and the place to which he comes to find stability?
- Goals that are meaningless are not attained. There is no way to reach them, for the means by which you strive for them are meaningless as they are. Who can use such senseless means, and hope through them to gain in anything? Where can they lead? And what could they achieve that offers any hope of being real? Pursuit of the imagined leads to death because it is the search for nothingness, and while you seek for life you ask for death. You look for safety and security, while in your heart you pray for danger and protection for the little dream you made.
- Yet searching is inevitable here. For this you came, and you will surely do the thing you came for. But the world cannot dictate the goal for which you search unless you give it power to do so. Otherwise, you still are free to choose a goal that lies beyond the world and every worldly thought, and one that comes to you from an idea relinquished yet remembered, old yet new; an echo of a heritage forgot yet holding everything you really want.
- Be glad that search you must. Be glad as well to learn you search for Heaven and must find the goal you really want. No one can fail to want this goal and reach it in the end. God’s Son cannot seek vainly, though he try to force delay, deceive himself, and think that it is hell he seeks. When he is wrong, he finds correction. When he wanders off, he is led back to his appointed task.
- No one remains in hell, for no one can abandon his Creator, nor affect His perfect, timeless, and unchanging Love. You will find Heaven. Everything you seek but this will fall away. Yet not because it has been taken from you. It will go because you do not want it. You will reach the goal you really want as certainly as God created you in sinlessness.
- Why wait for Heaven? It is here today. Time is the great illusion it is past or in the future. Yet this cannot be if it is where God wills His Son to be. How could the Will of God be in the past, or yet to happen? What He wills is now, without a past and wholly futureless. It is as far removed from time as is a tiny candle from a distant star, or what you chose from what you really want.
- Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made in all its ways – it’s shifting patterns and uncertain goals, its painful pleasures, and its tragic joys. God made no contradictions. What denies its own existence and attacks itself is not of Him. He did not make two minds, with Heaven as the glad effects of one, and earth the other’s sorry outcome which is Heaven’s opposite in every way.
- God does not suffer conflict. Nor is His creation split in two. How could it be His Son could be in hell, when God Himself established him in heaven. Could he lose what the Eternal Will has given him to be his home forever? Let us not try longer to impose an alien will upon God’s single purpose. He is here because He wills to be, and what He wills is present now, beyond the reach of time.
- Today we will not choose a paradox in place of truth. How could the Son of God make time to take away the Will of God? He thus denies himself and contradicts what has no opposite. He thinks he made a hell opposing Heaven and believes that he abides in what does not exist, while Heaven is the place he cannot find.
- Leave foolish thoughts like these behind today. And turn your mind to true ideas instead. No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth, and it is truth we seek to reach today. We will devote ten minutes to this goal three times today, and we will ask to see the rising of the real world to replace the foolish images that we hold dear, with true ideas arising in the place of thoughts that have no meaning, no effect, and neither source nor substance in the truth.
- This we acknowledge as we start upon our practice periods. Begin with this: I ask to see a different world and think a different kind of thought from those I made. The world I seek I did not make alone, the thoughts I want to think are not my own. For several minutes watch your mind and see, although your eyes are closed, the senseless world you think is real. Review the thoughts as well which are compatible with such a world, and which you think are true. Then let them go and sink below them to the holy place where they can enter not. There is a door beneath them in your mind, which you could not completely lock to hide what lies beyond.
- Seek for that door and find it. But before you try to open it, remind yourself no one can fail who seeks to reach the truth. And it is this request you make today. Nothing but this has any meaning now; no other goal is valued now or sought, nothing before this door you really want, and only what lies past it do you seek.
- Put out your hand and see how easily the door swings open with your one intent to go beyond it. Angels light the way, so that all darkness vanishes, and you are standing in a light so bright and clear that you can understand all things you see. A tiny moment of surprise, perhaps, will make you pause before you realize the world you see before you in the light reflects the truth you knew, and did not quite forget in wandering away in dreams.
- You cannot fail today. There walks with you the Spirit Heaven sent you, that you might approach this door someday, and through His aide slip effortlessly past it, to the light. Today that day has come. Today God keeps His ancient promise to His holy Son, as does His Son remember his to Him. This is a day of gladness, for we come to the appointed time and place where you will find the goal of all your searching here, and all the seeking of the world, which end together as you pass beyond the door.
- Remember often that today should be a time of special gladness, and refrain from dismal thoughts and meaningless laments. Salvation’s time has come. Today is set by Heaven itself to be a time of grace for you and for the world. If you forget this happy fact, remind yourself with this: Today I seek and find all that I want. My single purpose offers it to me. No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth. 
Notes and Personal Application: This lesson lifts us above our struggles, our despair, our fear of vain striving. We cannot fail when we search for truth! We are going to reach it. If we ask, He will lead us.
We came here to search – it is inevitable for us to search, Jesus reminds us. The world was designed for us to seek – we were made to look for and to keep looking. Routes have been established all over the world for the trading of special flavors, magical herbs and remedies, specific colors that please our eyes, metals that we deem valuable. Adventures are to be had. Lost treasures are to be found; new ways to toss our bodies through the air are developed, cheap and renewable sources of energy and transportation are to be discovered – all to keep us busy living for our finite bodies in a world designed to keep us searching for the elixir of everlasting youth, vitality, and pleasure. In other words, twisted heaven on earth! If we could somehow manage to find it here, we could continue the cycles of death and despair of the ego, take the power-hungry, lust-driven, bloodsucking ego into the hell that our religions have designed for us. One that lasts forever, one in which the torments of the flesh never cease. Seeking that potion here keeps us distracted from who and what we really are and where we truly belong.
During our devotional discussion, James shared that as a boy he mowed the pastor’s lawn. He thought a lot of Pastor Tiller – he gave lively sermons with illustrations that applied to daily life; he was a good guy who genuinely liked kids, who took time to talk to them in respectful tones and was not above an impromptu joke or boyish observation. On one particularly hot August afternoon, dehydrated with thirst, sweating from exertion, James asked him for water. The pastor gave him a drink, but not before reminding him of how the unsaved must feel in hell, begging for a drink where no water can quench their thirst. He remembers feeling baffled by the proposition. He did not believe it, he said. It made no sense, but this nice man whom he enjoyed and respected, was proposing that it was true. James was just a kid. To him it did not matter if someone wrote it down thousands of years ago and said God said it was so, it did not matter that the systems of the world were established on such notions. He simply did not believe it. He drank his water, finished mowing the lawn, and blithely tucked it away as another needless scare tactic adults used to make him behave. Today was the first he had thought of it in years.
Such is the message of this world. Do not look too closely and recognize this realm as hell – Be a good boy, sacrifice your time, money, and effort in exchange for your salvation, we will reserve your spot on the glory train. You will be safe from the everlasting torment that God prepared for sinners.
Today we learn that nobody will remain forever in the hellish realm of seeking and not finding, thirsting for that which does not slake, hungering after that which only starves us in the end. Nobody can abandon the Creator; nothing we do here can change His deep love and tender Fatherhood toward us. Every lie we fall for, we will find valueless. There is no need for God to stamp His feet and send plagues to punish us for our failure to keep the Sabbath or coveting our neighbor’s cute ass. Why would He give a toss about such things that could only pertain to a madman?
God is Spirit, He cares nothing for the flesh which withers and dies and is no more. He abides within each of us – and outside the boundaries of time, He knows we come to our senses, we awaken from our stupor, we return to who and what we really are.
When we reunite with God, we find our Self, we find the timelessness of eternity. We can see the world we made for what it is, and it ceases to hold us under its spell anymore. We see how fake it is, how meaningless, how weak, and trite and stupid.
The meditations outlined in our lesson today are a wonderful practice that brings this lesson home to our minds. When we ask to see a different world and hold different thoughts than the ones we made, we are saying, “I am tired of this Godless realm that I am in. I am tired of my godless thoughts. I want You, God. I want Your world, not this sorry egomaniac that I call my self. I want to think Your thoughts, not these self-serving, pity-seeking, judgmental, condemning, and projecting thoughts of the ego.”
When we take the time to unmask the senselessness of our religious dogma and practices, our fear of God, our stubborn insistence on specialness, separateness, and sin we are more than willing to let them go. We are willing to get past them to the holy place of love where such thoughts cannot enter. Jesus says that there is a door in our minds, past all the thoughts of fear, and sin, and shame – past all the thoughts of condemnation, arrogance, and wrongdoing, that remains unlocked no matter what we have done to block this door from our consciousness.
He asks us to walk through that door, to enter into the light that mirrors the truth about Him that we always knew, that we never forgot no matter how far we strayed in the lies, the illusion, the dreams.
This is our happy day. We are assured of our goal. We are assured that nobody will be left behind. We do not have to fear the Rapture, the Tribulation, or the Last Judgment. We have no concerns about our loved ones, for behind that door which has never been locked, we experience the reality of God, the One in which the books of the world have kept hidden from us, the One in which our very religions loathe for us to encounter.
For there is no worldly gains to be had from this God. There is no tithe, offering, or sacrifice that could increase His treasures, His glory, His majesty. There are no needs for religious cults, denominations, and sects and all the goofy rituals and dread practices that are devised from such – for beyond that door is Truth.
Today’s lesson fills us with joy and love and gratitude. One tiny little peek through the smallest crack of that door, lights up our minds and draws us toward our goal. There we are – together, forever, free of our need-driven bodies, our self-centered egos, our longstanding grudges, our sappy hurt feelings, our oozing wounds, and seeping sorrows. We have no more need of gloomy, grieving thoughts. Free of the nightmare of abandonment, death, and taxes, we awaken to God, our Blessed Father, our Creator and Friend. He never left us; He never chased out, He never locked the door to our return and never will.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 131 No one can fail who seeks…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 239-241.
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com