Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 155 I Will Step Back and Let Him Lead the Way.
- There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before.
- The world is an illusion. Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions and avoid their own reality. Yet when they find their own reality is even here, then they step back and let it lead the way. What other choice is really theirs to make? To let illusions walk ahead of truth is madness. But to let illusion sink behind the truth and let the truth stand forth as what it is, is merely sanity.
- This is the simple choice we make today. The mad illusion will remain awhile in evidence, for those to look upon who chose to come, and have not yet rejoiced to find they were mistaken in their choice. They cannot learn directly from the truth because they have denied that it is so. And so they need a Teacher Who perceives their madness, but Who still can look beyond illusion to the simple truth in them.
- If truth demanded they give up the world, it would appear to them as if it asked the sacrifice of something that is real. Many have chosen to renounce the world while still believing in its reality. And they have suffered from a sense of loss and have not been released accordingly. Others have chosen nothing but the world, and they have suffered from a sense of loss still deeper, which they did not understand.
- Between these paths there is another road that leads away from loss of every kind, for sacrifice and deprivation both are quickly left behind. This is the way appointed for you now. You walk this path as others walk, nor do you seem to be distinct from them, although you are indeed. Thus can you serve them while you serve yourself and set their footsteps on the way that God has opened up to you, and them through you.
- Illusion still appears to cling to you, that you may reach them. Yet it has stepped back. And it is not illusion that they hear you speak of, nor illusion that you bring their eyes to look on and their minds to grasp. Nor can the truth, which walks ahead of you, speak to them through illusions, for the road leads past illusion now, while on the way you call to them, that they may follow you.
- All roads will lead to this one in the end. For sacrifice and deprivation are paths that lead nowhere, choices for defeat, and aims that will remain impossible. All this steps back as truth comes forth in you, to lead your brothers from the ways of death, and set them on the way to happiness. Their suffering is but illusion. Yet they need a guide to lead them out of it, for they mistake illusion for the truth.
- Such is salvation’s call, and nothing more. It asks that you accept the truth, and let it go before you, lighting up the path of ransom from illusion. It is not a ransom with a price. There is no cost, but only gain. Illusion can but seem to hold in chains the holy Son of God. It is but from illusions he is saved. As they step back, he finds himself again.
- Walk safely now, yet carefully, because this path is new to you. And you may find that you are tempted still to walk ahead of truth, and let illusions be your guide. Your holy brothers have been given you, to follow in your footsteps as you walk with certainty of purpose to the truth. It goes before you now, that they may see something with which they can identify; something they understand to lead the way.
- Yet at the journey’s ending there will be no gap, no distance between the truth and you. And all illusions walking in the way you travelled will be gone from you as well, with nothing left to keep the truth apart from God’s completion, holy as Himself. Step back in faith and let the truth lead the way. You know not where you go. But One Who knows goes with you. Let Him lead you with the rest.
- When dreams are over, time has closed the door on all the things that pass and miracles are purposeless, the holy Son of God will make no journeys. There will be no wish to be illusion rather than the truth. And we step forth toward this, as we progress along the way that truth points out to us. This is our final journey, which we make for everyone. We must not lose our way. For as truth goes before us, so it goes before our brothers who will follow us.
- We walk to God. Pause and reflect on this. Could any way be holier, or more deserving of your effort, of your love and of your full intent? What way could give you more than everything, or offer less and still content the holy Son of God? We walk to God. The truth that walks before us now is one with Him and leads us to where He has always been. What way but this could be a path that you would choose instead?
- Your feet are safely set upon the road that leads the world to God. Look not to ways that seem to lead you elsewhere. Dreams are not a worthy guide for you who are God’s Son. Forget not He has placed His Hand in yours and given you your brothers in His Trust that you are worthy of His Trust in you. He cannot be deceived. His Trust has made your pathway certain and your goal secure. You will not fail your brothers nor your Self.
- And now He asks but that you think of Him a while each day, that He may speak to you and tell you of His Love, reminding you how great His Trust, how limitless His Love. In your name and His Own, which are the same, we practice gladly with this thought today: I will step back and let Him lead the way. For I would walk along the road to Him.
Notes and Personal Application: When we step back and let God lead the way, we are accepting our reality. We are being our honest selves. Jesus teaches us in the Course that the world is for those who have chosen to be an illusion. We come to the world to escape reality only to find that even illusion offers us no real escape from who and what we really are.
No matter how hard we try to renounce the world, as long as we think it is real, we will view our rejection of it as a sacrifice. When we dream the ego’s dream, we are enslaved by its enchantment, intrigued by its devices, complications, and rites. We fall prey to its magic, potions, prescriptions, and therapies. We are swept into its currents by unnatural drives for money, sex, status, and power. We hold dear our specialness and distinctions, our history, our accumulations. We find satisfaction in worldly pursuits and pleasures. To give up the world then is suffered as a loss. We chant mantras and sing hymns calling forth our common battle against the world. We raise defenses, imagine battles, tribulations, apocalypses from our imaginary enemy which we make real by our beliefs. As long as we think the world is real, our salvation is based upon fear, sacrifice, and an all-powerful God who rains vengeance upon His imperfect creation.
Today we are called to let truth be our guide – to recognize the world as a deluded dream, an upside-down version of reality in which the Sons of God and God Himself are no longer one. When our mind is firmly fixed upon this truth, the world can no longer lead us about by the nose. It can no longer tempt us to exchange our love and devotion for God and each other for fear and blame. When we realize the truth, we are no longer willing to fight the world’s imaginary battles between right and wrong, to wave its banners, or join its causes, to cheer its exploits or be astonished at its technologies.
We walk to God. The world gives only to snatch it away; God gives us everything and we get to keep it forever. We cannot be His and ever be content with less that Him. There is no other path we would choose instead. The world will hold on to us as long as we believe in its reality; Jesus is calling to us today to not put our trust in dreams – our pathway is certain and our goal secure.
When the world tempts us to get caught up in its pleasures, its demands, its chaos and confusion, this thought will gently bring our minds to the truth of Christ: I will step back and let Him lead the way. For I would walk along the road to Him.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 155. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com