PART II. SECTION 7. What is the Holy Spirit?
Lesson 284 I Can Elect To Change All Thoughts That Hurt
- Loss is not loss when properly perceived. Pain is impossible. There is no grief with any cause at all. And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream. This is the truth, at first to be but said and then repeated many times, and next to be accepted as but partly true, with many reservations. Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as truth. I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt. And I would go beyond these words today, and past all reservations, and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them.
- Father, what You have given cannot hurt, so grief and pain must be impossible. Let me not fail to trust in You today, accepting but the joyous as Your gifts; accepting but the joyous as the truth.
In Lesson 284, we learn that what we perceive as loss, as sorrow, as causes for grief, weeping, and bitter sadness is nothing but a dream. My life has been about loss from the time I remember. First it was my beloved pets – my furry little felines run over by cars, combines, and taken for “rides” – dropped off at neighboring farms when my mother got tired of them. One little mama cat got caught in the ash bin of our coal furnace and died an agonizing death within minutes from the hot coals that had been raked on her. I spent my early childhood mourning my pets as if they were my best friends, being mocked and teased for the depths of my anguish. And then I learned that losing animals is only the beginning…
Experiencing life in the flesh as the dream it is, lifts us from a state of anxiety, depression, and fatalism to a stable certainty in the reality that lies beyond the dream. On earth, we will dream about hurt and loss, suffering and sorrow until we recognize the truth that lies beyond. In the Kingdom of God there is no pain, there is no suffering, no grief, heartache, or sense of loss. Like the prodigal son – the depression, the shame, the pain wakes us up. We say, “I want to go home! I’ve had enough of this!”
For me, it seemed like I had no choice but to grieve the death of my father, my beloved boy cousins, my brother, my daughter…Who among us is heartless enough to make a choice not to grieve for those who leave us through death, through divorce, estrangement, and mental illness? Jesus is not telling us to throw a party when we suffer a loss of any kind. Jesus is telling us to clear the altars of our mind, to welcome our Holy Self, our Holy Spirit to choose to see that suffering of every kind is nothing but part of the dream of separation. No matter how beloved the fatality or heinous the death; no matter how brutal the betrayal; no matter how absolutely absurd the reason for strife and discord – we are to see it through the eyes of truth. It is part of the dream and we simply choose to see through our holy eyes of Spirit.
Jesus outlines the steps of this election. In our holy habit we practice repeating the lesson idea until it is embedded deep within our consciousness. At first we believe that it may be true in certain circumstances – I can believe that the anxious thoughts I experienced over losing my brand new pewter gray Henley as part of the dream and stop frantically searching the house, but I will never stop grieving the death of my daughter or the estrangement between my sister and me. I have reservations about looking at the rift in our family with anything but sorrow, grief, and a sense of shame for them and for myself. And while I can accept that the losses I experienced decades ago were only part of a dream that means nothing at all now – the things that hurt me last year, last month, last week, and yesterday – the snubs, the mean words, the spite seem all too real to perceive with anything but sadness, anger, and more spite.
But the more I considered the implications of electing to think with the perception of my Holy Spirit, the more the truth became apparent to me. Ongoing grief does nothing but make that which is not real in any ongoing, perpetual way – take the place of truth. When I grieve for my daughter who died 20 years ago, I am not accepting the fact that she is an eternal Holy Being, a Holy Spirit so to speak (if we remember the theme of this section and apply it to each of our lessons). She has been released from the flesh and the ego for which it stands. She accomplished what she came here to do. When I no longer choose to be distracted by false grief and sorrow, I can accept that she abides in me and with me in the unity that can never be achieved in humanity but only in our divinity with Christ. I am one with her, I am one with Christ, we are one with all – she is no longer “my daughter” with all the special obligations, demands, and duties attached to a relationship of that kind, but she is a magnificent creature in Christ, whole and holy. I can choose then to be happy, to release the memory of her as broken and bruised, to a memory of her majesty, her holiness, her invulnerability in Spirit.
This same concept is applicable to any sense of hurt, pain, loss, and suffering. We accept that humanity is all about loss and hurt and suffering and pain. It can be no other way for humanity represents our separateness from God. We do not bring our bodies to Christ; we bring our minds and hearts and give Him the darkness in exchange for the light. In the light of our divinity in Him and with Him we know the truth of the matter. When we elect the mind of Christ to perceive our lives in the dream, we choose joy and only the joyous as the truth.
Join with me in today’s prayer, repeating each word until you know beyond a shadow of doubt the truth of our Father’s love and goodwill toward us, each one:
Father, Today I put all my trust in You. No matter how the ego wants to cloud my perception with hurt feelings, jealousy, sorrow, shame, and pain, let me see it as impossible because I am one with You in spirit and in truth. You only give me gifts of joy, of happiness, of bliss and peace. Today I only accept the joyous as the truth. Everything else is a lie to distract me from the only real thing there can possibly be. In the name of Jesus, with Whom I am one. Amen.
 A Course In Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 284. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 439.
Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com