A Course In Miracles Lesson 64

A Course In Miracles Lesson 64

A Course In Miracles Lesson 64

A Course In Miracles Lesson 64

A Course In Miracles  Lesson 64 states:

Let me not forget my function.

The previous lesson explained that letting go of painful thinking is our only purpose in this world.  To be happy and well is why we are here.  To be the light of the world is our function.  

Today’s lesson is asking us to not forget that we are here to feel good.  We are here to find our way towards well-being.  Well-being is the function we must not forget about as we move through our day.  Tolerance for pain is the act of forgetting our function.  We are not here to be unhappy.  Whatever activity we may engage in, the real and only reason to do anything is to locate more enjoyment.  If we are not able to enjoy an activity what would be the reason to do it?  There is no reason more valuable than the increase of feeling good.  Feeling good is my function.  Navigating conflict in such a way as to release and relax is what I am here to do.  

Having a sense of purpose is the only way to find well-being.  The reason a sense of purpose feels good is because it is the inherent condition of our being.  Our existence is inherently meaningful.  If such a fundamental truth is questioned or forgotten, we experience pain because we are thinking something that is simply not true.  Our value is inherent.  Our existence matters and its value is not in question.  There is no such thing as a meaningless life.  We do not need to labor or produce to prove we have value.  Nor do we need to consider the possibility that we may be meaningless.  It is not possible for a living being to have no value.  Life is the self-defining purpose of Itself because it feels wonderful to exist.  If you are far from relating to such a happy way of being, if you are reading this from a place of deep pain, today’s lesson wants you to remember that you are here to feel better than how you feel now.  You have an energetic purpose to feel peaceful and well.  This purpose can never be taken away.   No circumstance could ever destroy your inherent and eternal state of wellness.  Wellness is what you are.  You are forever and profoundly valued by That Which Created you.  Remembering this helps you to release thoughts and beliefs that are untrue and causing pain.

It is not possible to discuss in a blog such as this all the specifics of how to go about navigating all the challenging scenarios we may encounter in our day.  The activity of tracking through the challenges of your day is your unique life path.  Finding your way through a situation can involve dialoguing with another person or dialoguing with yourself.  But the navigation process will always involve locating a thought that feels better than the thought before it.  Guiding your thoughts towards feeling good is the decision-making process you are designed to perform.  It is your function.  A Course In Miracles Lesson 64 wants us to remember we are not here to suffer. We are here to find our way through this never-ending adventure.  

If you think you are sick and tired of the never-ending nature of life, consider the possibility that you are actually only sick and tired of the pain being caused by misguided beliefs.  It is not possible to grow tired of joyful creative expansion.  Such an event is always and forever exciting and enthralling.  Whenever we feel tired, we can be sure it is a mistaken belief that is causing our exhaustion, not the true nature of life’s ever-expanding reality.  We will never grow tired of wellness.

Remember as often as you can today that you are inherently purposeful and important in this cosmos.  Regardless of your social status in this world, your existence is part of a fabric.  You are needed and wanted as you are.  It does not matter how large your unhappiness may have grown.  From wherever you may be, you can tunnel out of panful thinking and start to build light-filled structures of thought in which to dwell.  You can live in a very happy dream here on earth.  It is your whole purpose and function to do so.  Put down all complex psychology that lobbies for you to feel bad.  Choose what feels good.

Today’s lesson uses the word “temptation” in its original text which could give modern readers pause.  It states, “Let me not wander into temptation” which if left unexamined can leave us with a vague sense of religious fuzzy logic.  The word “temptation” has been steeped in religious philosophies for so long that it is likely to conjure up notions of old-style debauchery and vice.  What does the book mean here?    

 Temptation occurs when we feel like doing something we know we ought not to do.  To be tempted is to follow a course of action against our better judgment because it would feel good in the short term to engage in whatever the activity is.  But in the long run, we know the temptation will later lead to feelings of regret and pain.  So what is the temptation being spoken of here in today’s lesson?  What behavior on our part feels good in the moment but only leads to regret later on?

If you are recovering from a substance dependence or any other type of physical addiction, then the message is probably easier to relate to.  But if you do not have such an overt struggle in your life right now, what message is the book trying to explain?  Physical addictions are more obvious examples of harmful beliefs running our life.  To break a physical addiction requires a complete overhaul of beliefs. How you think is what has to change before any behaviors will change.  The impulse to consume a relieving substance will not stop until the anxieties and anger seeking relief are witnessed and released.  

But there are many people who do not have the overt conversation with substance abuse who also experience the same problematic effects of misguided thinking.  The word temptation is not just about engaging in physical pleasures against our better judgment and A Course In Miracles is not teaching the reader to deny the physical body of its natural desires.  If denying the physical body of its longings worked to achieve true well-being, we would have achieved it by now.  Physical deprivation is not a viable path towards wellness just as physical indulging will also eventually lead to frustration and pain.   

The temptation A Course In Miracles is referring to here is a temptation in thinking a certain way.  It is a belief system that is tempting us throughout the day and that belief system identifies and defines the physical world as more real than the energetic one.  This belief is tempting to believe in because it feels comforting in the short term but when the frustration is not resolved (because our conclusion about its source was inaccurate) we find ourselves in the same frustrations as before, often even deeper in.

It is tempting to think that the source of a problem is due to an external reason like the rain or heavy traffic or the impossible behavior of another person.  Thinking that the cause of our problem is due to a factor outside of our control is a vice just as much as reaching for a drink to relax.  The fact is, we are responsible for how we experience this world.  Whatever adversity comes our way, we are the ones who draw conclusions about what has happened which either leads towards letting the frustration go or holding onto it.  We can not prevent adversities from rising up.  But we can decide to not allow our thoughts to be consumed by them.  It is very possible for a physical person to overpower our physical body but it is never ever possible for a person’s mind to overpower our own mind.  All minds are equal in power, regardless of I.Q.  If I am stuck in frustration about a person it is not because that person is overpowering me mentally.  It is because I am letting that person’s priorities take precedence over my own.  Today’s lesson asks, Let me not forget to put my own happiness before all else.  My happiness is a help and a healing to the whole world.  When I let myself feel empowered and good, I help the whole world grow a little more peaceful and empowered.  

Negative thinking, blaming others, and maintaining anger and revenge are temptations we must refrain from indulging in.  It brings quick relief to blame others but we soon discover that our painful condition still persists.  We’ve not gotten to the heart of the matter from the perceptions of victimhood.  Our sustained unhappiness is our own decision every time.  The important word in that last sentence is “sustained.”  We can not avoid feeling pain.  People let us down.  People lie and betray and fall short of all the values we hope for them to uphold.  And this hurts.  But there is a difference between pain and agony.  Pain is a learning process that guides us towards a more accurate understanding of the nature of this world.  Agony is a deliberate stubbornness to maintain beliefs that are in error.  Let us recognize our stubbornness and remember that no one has the power to destroy our own well-being unless we let them.  Fixating on how we have been wronged by another is a temptation that releases us from the real work of taking responsibility for our own decisions.  The outside world does not exist separate from our thoughts.  Our thoughts shape our world.  Your environment is a reflection of the quality of your thoughts.  Taking action to change your environment is the same as taking action to change your beliefs.  Take action, physically or mentally, and cultivate the belief that you are here to feel good.  

Feeling bad is not our purpose.  We are not in hell.  There is no such thing as hell.  There is only a thought system that believes there is.  Guilt-tripping ourselves or others for mistakes we or they have made is a temptation, a vice, which will only lead to more unhappiness.  Do not guilt trip others and do not tolerate any guilt trip suggestions made by anyone who is unhappy with how you are.  You are where you are and can only offer what you are capable of offering.  Your desire to learn how to offer more to the ones you love is the pathway that leads to being able to offer more.  All change starts with a willingness to do so.  

A Course In Miracles Lesson 64 asks us to remember we are here to find well-being.  This does not mean you are being asked to quickly dismiss sadness and anger because intellectually you know you should be happy.  Settle for nothing less than sincere well-being.  Follow any sorrow or anger to its true resolution.  Do not be tempted to shove it aside or bypass it, pretending to an audience of one (yourself) that you are happy if you do not feel happy.  Be where you are and really figure out what will improve your experience.  That may mean crying, raging, or avoiding some dreaded obligation.  When we hold space for the misguided beliefs that are so strong within us, we can guide those beliefs like young children towards better feeling thoughts.  But only if we hold space for the source of the problem.  Take time to parent your developing mind, it is a child in need of guidance.  Remind the young parts of your mind that the Creative Field of energy we come from is more real than any physical thing I might attach myself to.  Energy is ever-lasting.  Physical objects are temporary. 

Today’s lesson asks that we sit once today for ten or fifteen minutes with our eyes closed to consider the day’s idea.  This is the beginning of cultivating the ability to sit quietly in a state of peace.  To not need activities to bring comfort to us.  Even as I write this blog post, I still need to take the time to do this exercise for ten to fifteen minutes.  Writing about these concepts is not the same as actually engaging the exercises.  Will I remember to do the exercise?  Or will I get on with the next project on my day’s agenda?

As we go about our daily activities, let us not forget why we do anything at all. We do what we do to experience enjoyment.  Today’s lesson also asks us to bring the lesson to mind as often as we can remember because not forgetting is the aim for the day!  But be sure to make note of the added detail of closing your eyes briefly as you recall the day’s lesson.  When you think of the lesson in the midst of an activity, see if you can also add a brief closing of the eyes to deepen your communion with the concept of the non-physical world.  This is a practical activity to deepen a spiritual practice.  Closing your eyes will help make a separation from the physical world and connect you with the non-physical.  And when you open your eyes, the lesson asks you to look around at all the objects without any discrimination between them and to say to yourself, “This is the world it is my function to feel good in.”  This environment around me right now is where I am meant to find peace.  That is my life’s purpose.

Jessica Hagan Los Angeles

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jess.  This blog is an ongoing discussion and practice of A Course In Miracles. All content is based on and cited from the original publication.  Learn more about Jess…