Who Has My Best Interests At Heart?

When I read Step 41 of Steps to Knowledge (“I am not afraid of the power of God.”), I recall various sections of A Course in Miracles.  I think this step recapitulates significant chunks.  In order to get Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent had to make the suggestion, unsupported by any of Eve’s experience, that God didn’t really have her best interests at heart.  Someone, somewhere, suggested to the Prodigal Son that his father didn’t have his best interests at heart.  Here’s how the step describes it;

“It is painful to be separated from that which you love beyond all things, and the only way to maintain this separation is to malign that which you love, to give it an evil intent and then to engender guilt within yourself.”

People tend to get invested in their choices.  Fearing their choices are weak, they engage in various activities and relationships to fortify their choices.  Even when people are persuaded that a previous choice was an error, it takes a certain amount of time and effort to divest one’s self of the series of investments and fortifications related to that choice.  The price for separation is living in a twisted, confused, upside-down world.  Eve had to curse all the happy moments in the garden.  The Prodigal Son had to malign the kindnesses of his father.

It’s going to take some work to walk this back.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Why Can’t I Justify My Wrong Decisions?

The attempt to justify error is a vain quest, a philosophical dead end, an exercise in self-deception.  But why do so many people try to do it then?  Why do people attempt to make the claim “A decision I made which caused pain and suffering to myself and others was really right and/or reasonable?”

People would rather not admit that they couldn’t keep from scratching the itches of the animal soul.  People would like to believe they’re more than animals, even if they sometimes act like one.  People would rather not confront what Carl Jung called the “shadow.”

People wish to anesthetize themselves from the pain their mistakes have caused themselves and others.  While there may have been some value obtained from the poor choice, an effort is being made to assert the non-existence of the suffering involved, or to minimize the heartache.  In any case, the effort to redact one’s experience is a project of dishonesty, a construction of a false self which is apart from life.

Some people might say, “Well, I learned something from my errors that I might not have learned any other way.”  I pondered on this for a while.  In the story of the Prodigal Son, there was a wise, obedient son who learned of his father’s goodness without having to go through the tribulations of his foolish brother.  Could that be the reason the older brother was in the story?  To show that it’s possible to learn some other way than the hard way?

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

“Ye Shall Be As Gods”

For reasons I don’t understand, the Bible decided not to elaborate on the thought processes of Eve, between the serpent’s temptation in Genesis 3, and the time Eve and Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

For reasons I don’t understand, the Bible decided not to elaborate on the thought processes of the Prodigal Son, between the time he first heard there was even such a place as the far country, and the time he said “Father, give me my share of the estate.” (Luke 15:12, New International Version).

I believe Eve entertained the thought, “If I ate the fruit, I’d be different than any creature in the garden.  Different from any plant, different from any animal, even different from Adam. I would be something that never before existed in the universe.  I would be special.”  I believe the Prodigal Son entertained the thought, “No one in my family ever been to the far country, not my father, not my older brother.  I’d be different from everyone in my family if I traveled to the far country.  I would be special.”

A Course in Miracles describes the human condition as having separated ourselves from God in pursuit of an experience of being special. Furthermore, because this experience of being special is an unreal illusion, we go to great lengths to defend the value of this experience, engaging in relationships (“special relationships,” either special love relationships or special hate relationships) for the purpose of reinforcing the idea of being special.

Step 13 of Steps to Knowledge, “I want to be separate to be unique,” recaps a good bit of the material in A Course in Miracles in a remarkably few words, in my opinion.  I consider the word “unique” to be but a synonym for “special.”

While being special has a certain buzz to it, our choice of it has had much greater costs than the benefits.  Eve must have thought “Maybe I should have asked God to elaborate when he said ‘Ye shall surely die.'”  The Prodigal Son recognized this as he was doling out the husks to the swine. I’ve been told that if I realize my motivation for separation, I will know that I want to come home, just like the Prodigal Son did.  Let this comment on Step 13 from a fellow student supply the exclamation point:

OK OK! I admit it. The whole thing of wanting to be God in my own life didn’t work out so well. I’m sorry for throwing that temper tantrum and storming out like that. It was brash and childish. Thank you for letting me experiment until I made a fool of myself and was forced to face the inevitable. I was sufficiently distracted for a few billion years and tried to pretend that I could manage on my own but I’m over it now. A better plan for Creation has failed to present itself to me. I have a hard enough time with the shopping list.

Can I come Home now? I miss my bed.

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Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.