A Course In Miracles Lesson 99
A Course In Miracles lesson 99 states: Ending pain is all I am here to do.
In lesson 65 we learned that to find true purpose and meaning in our life activities, we want to understand that there is one real motivation to engage in any activity and that motivation is to seek higher purpose and meaning beyond the simple task itself. Why bake a cake? Why run a marathon? The reason we do all that we do is not only for the activity but also to connect to the larger meaning, significance, and source of energy beyond that activity that the activity brings to us in a unique way. Everything we do is a metaphor we experience guiding us to a higher connection and a deeper meaning.
The world itself does not have inherent meaning. As we know from the very first lessons in ACIM, we bring all the meaning there is to all the things in our life. The world itself does not need another book or another cake. You need those things within you. You need the energy they bring you. That energy engagement with yourself and with others is the meaning. The cake is not inherently meaningful. The books meaning to you may fade. The energy of activity is where we find a greater purpose.
Today clarifies exactly what that purpose is.
Everything we choose to do in life is done with a motivation to end pain. We take action because we hope and believe it will bring relief and connection to a greater and longer-lasting source of meaning to our lives. The reason we are often not successful in having our actions and efforts achieve that greater connection is because we are not fully clear about what it is we are really after in our pursuits. The ego seeks pain. Ego logic makes decisions based on what will hurt. We are seduced by ego logic because it has convinced us that suffering is somehow useful. Today it is made clear that our natural being is always seeking an end to pain. Ending pain is our only purpose in this world. It is our only function.
If we approach today’s agenda with this awareness we will be able to determine if our activities are in line with our deepest desire- peace. Before stepping into any activity, no matter how important or seemingly insignificant it may seem, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this activity? What do I seek to gain from it? And why? If I gain that, what would that mean? Will I be happy?”
Self improvement is not measured in stuff. Self improvement is measured in how comfortable we feel with our own company. Being at peace with one’s self is a state of acceptance that is exactly the same state of acceptance the Source of our being feels towards us. We were created by That Which loves us. How we are is not just accepted or tolerated, it is treasured. Know that whatever you do today, you are doing it in an effort to end the pain in your life. You are hoping that the task at hand will lead to a sense of relief, wholeness, and peace. But very often we will experience quite the opposite results from our efforts. Many of our activities bring more tension or confusion. Why is this? There are several previous lessons that provide this answer. We may remember from our earlier studies of this course that:
I do not perceive my own best interests.
I do not know what anything is for.
A Course In Miracles Lesson 99 is the beginning of learning what our activities in life are really for and how to sort out activities that do not serve us. All our daily activities are an attempt to find peace. If we do not achieve that, we discover that how we understand our situation is in some way inaccurate. But every activity and every relationship we engage in is a pathway toward peace. Some pathways are longer and more winding than others. Some pathways do not go through to the Source and we have to retrace our steps back to a different choice.
Sometimes we even actively pursue pain as a teacher because we believe the pain will bring us to peace. But we slowly learn that pain only leads to more pain. When we encounter pain, the only way to sort that out is to walk away from it. Analyzing it, explaining the injustice of it, and allowing it to rule our experience will never resolve it. Walking away from the whole field of energy is the pathway toward relief. We may need a witness to what we have gone through and we may need someone to help us understand what really happened. But the only way to end pain is to put it down. To recognize that there is no sorting it through. It will ache forever if we let it. Choose joy. We are not alive to suffer. Feeling joy is why you are alive.
Make the adjustment a thousand different times today. Move in the direction that brings more relaxation. Sit for five minutes at the top of every hour and locate where your breath is in your body. Do not force your breath to breathe deeply. Just let it do what it wants. Maybe it will flutter up high in the chest. Do not think that is wrong and that you should be breathing deeper. Your body knows what it needs. Follow the movement of your breath and let your whole self relax.
Peace, wellness, inspiration, and joy are your natural, eternal states of being. You are only ever good. This is a fact, a truth, a law. Forever. The process of releasing pain is the process of sorting truth from illusion. In this world truth and illusion appear to be equal. This is because this is a place where the impossible can be experienced. Since the impossible is impossible, it can not ever really happen. But in this world, you can experience illusions as if they were real. Having such experiences will never lead to the impossible being real or true. The truth is always true. And the truth is, you are joy, light, and boundless love always.
What is real never hurts. The love between you and another is real and indestructible regardless of whatever world circumstances may be obscuring the truth. Joy once felt with anyone is joy eternal between you. Place your attention upon that which feels good because feeling good is your only function in this world.
Do not fret with or for this world. It is all upside down and illusory. Whatever happens here in this world you can know, you are not that. Your childhood is over. The mistakes you made are long gone. Think nothing more about them today and turn towards feeling better. Who in this world has the authority to tell you when you are free to be forgiven of the mistakes you made or released from the harm you have suffered? Who decides when it is possible to feel good? Only you. End your prison sentence by realizing that the activities you have chosen to do today are seeking a connection with feeling good. Follow what feels good.
The way out of pain was established in the same instant that the conflict arose. The conflict is the pathway out of the conflict. And that pathway is in your mind. To find solutions and relief, turn inward into your way of thinking, and remember- everyone is seeking a way out of pain just like you. What is outside will only ever help you when you have connected your understanding of it to a larger meaning beyond the physical object (or person). The external world is symbolic and metaphorical. Everything is always pointing to a deeper energetic reality. Metaphysical means beyond physical. And that is where all meaning resides.
Be joyful today. That is your only purpose. In the midst of confusion remember that being well today is what you are here to do. That is your function.
Set an alarm at the top of every hour and recall today’s lesson. See if you can sit for five minutes just thinking of this new concept: Ending pain is all I am here to do.