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“Heaven is the decision I must make.”
Choosing Heaven means letting the truth return to my awareness. It means letting our eternal oneness in God come back to my awareness. If I am focusing on separation, on differences, on bodies, I am choosing to focus on hell. I am choosing to focus on nothing. I am not choosing Heaven. If I want to be happy, Heaven is the decision I must make.
At first it takes determined effort because my habit has been to make separation real. But as I continue to let my awareness of Heaven, of our oneness in God, come in more and more, that old habit of focusing on separation falls away more and more. It is really up to me how fast I return my awareness to the truth. At any moment I am either choosing Heaven or hell. There is no in between.
Remembering hourly that Heaven is the decision I must make jars my mind loose from old habits of making separation real. Behind every body, behind every personality, is the Light of God. In every situation, I am either focusing on the Light of God in the person or on perceiving that the person is separate from me.
Today’s lesson helps me make the choice for happiness, the choice for Heaven. At this stage it takes consistent repeated practice. It takes bringing my mind around again and again and again to the truth.
It’s just like playing the piano. It starts with practicing the scales and gradually leads towards effortless musical expression. Today I choose to practice opening to the “music” of Heaven’s oneness, Heaven’s Love, Heaven’s peace. Heaven is really all I want. Remembering our one true Identity is all I really want. Reflecting Heaven here is all I want. This treasure, my true inheritance, is received as I am willing to practice hour by hour, day by day, opening to the truth of Heaven. Heaven is really the only choice there is to make. Today I practice choosing Heaven.
The only reason I must choose Heaven now is because I have chosen against Heaven. The body and the world I see through the body’s eyes were made to make it appear that the choice against Heaven had real affect, that there really is something other than Heaven. The ego could be described as the choice to deny Heaven.
Because the ego’s “existence” depends on the perception of a real alternative to Heaven, the ego has developed many defenses and mechanisms to help make hell, this world, maintain its semblance of reality. One of its most effective mechanisms is the unconscious mind. By keeping decisions unconscious, we hide from ourselves the fact that our whole world experience, everything we see and feel, is by our own choice.
No one in their right mind consciously chooses pain, isolation, fear and guilt. By making those decisions unconscious, the world of separation is held in place and seems to be entirely out of our control. We appear to be subject to its whims. Pollen floats through the air and irritates our sinuses. We step in a hole and twist our ankle. In countless ways all through the day, all through our lives, seemingly external events and circumstances toss us one way and then another. It seems we can only do our best to ride the waves and stay upright with hopes of getting through the storm for a bit of rest and quiet time while preparing to defend against the next storm, which will surely come.
All this is the effect of making our decision unconscious. It was a simple decision that led to what seems to be an all encompassing dream of hell. It was the decision to reject God’s gift of all His Love, wanting more than everything.
Today’s lesson tells us that we must learn to recognize our unconscious decisions, all of which stem from that one core decision. We cannot choose for Heaven when we are confused about what Heaven is. That confusion comes from the unconscious beliefs about what we want to be real. If we want specialness more than we want God’s Love, then we deny ourselves Heaven.
I am grateful for the Course, which is gently and consistently helping me to bring to conscious awareness my decisions against Heaven. I am especially grateful that the lesson tells me that these are simply foolish, trivial choices. They are not cause for regret or guilt. They need only be laid aside. Recognized for what they are, they no longer attract me and the inevitable attraction of Heaven, my Home, will draw me back to Where I belong.
There is no effort to returning Home. It is the most natural “place” for me to be. But because of long established habits of choosing illusion, it does require diligence to practice hour by hour, day by day, reminding myself that Heaven is the decision I must make.
I used Sunday as practice in resisting the urge to play dumb. My car started giving me trouble. It started smelling like something was burning and there was even a small amount of smoke. My first reaction was panic. I had just spent all my money paying bills and they were at the post office. Too late to take them back in case this turned out to be an expensive problem.
I had to go out of town starting Monday afternoon and go to a different town every day this week. I’m teaching classes and there is no one to take my place if I can’t go. So at first I was upset.
I decided to use these circumstances to practice deciding for Heaven. Every time I would find myself thinking of possibilities having to do with my car, I would say “I choose not to make plans against uncertainties.”
I had to do it a number of times, but I didn’t give in to fear and anxiety and so I think I used my time well. I wasn’t nearly as upset as I might have been if I had just sat around worrying about my car and I felt good about the idea I was using the circumstances to bring myself closer to Heaven.
Today I brought it in and the dealership said there didn’t seem to be anything wrong and probably I just picked up a plastic bag which was burning on my exhaust pipe. I wish I had not wasted a moment of my life planning against that uncertainty. But at least I did give each moment of worry or panic to Holy Spirit and so it wasn’t completely wasted time.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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