One of the biggest confusions that the ego throws into every situation is its determination of what the “cause” is and what the “effect” is. We are all familiar with the terms, “cause” is what makes something happen and “effect” is what happens. There seems to be no control over the effect. It appears to automatically follow the cause. According to the ego’s picture of the world, you also have no control over the cause. Therefore, you have no control whatsoever. To the ego mind, the cause is always out there in the world. Perhaps because some person did something, it causes you to have something happen in your life. Maybe it is because the government infringes on your rights, because the doctor messes up, because the weather ruins your plans, and on and on, that negative effects come into your life. In that view of reality the cause is always out there in the world and you are a helpless victim with no control whatsoever over what happens. Shit happens. The universe is random or there is a spiteful god. Anything could happen to you at any time. You feel nothing but terror when you consider the future, not to speak of the immediate present. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it all. It is simply a chaotic universe. If that is the case you truly better live for today, for there is no guarantee for anything but the moment, and it may not last long. Anything might just fall out of the sky, ending life as you know it.
We are just having fun with you here. I want to remind you that the cause is never out there. It is always in here, in your mind. Please don’t take this scrap of information and rush off and blame yourself for everything in the world. That is another trick of the ego. It wants to know why, if you are the creator of all of this, you are doing such a lousy job. It does you no good whatsoever if you replace responsibility with blame. Responsibility is the acknowledgement that it could be no other way. The world is your creation, not God’s. You did this by making the choice to separate from God, create this universe, and disappear into it. Having said that, you are unconscious of the part of you that made these choices – as you are unconscious of your divinity. You are absolutely unaware that you are in heaven with God right now and this world is just a dream. If you were conscious of all of this you would wake up and leave the dream. The taking of responsibility is the third step of the five-step process.
Perhaps it is best now to turn to the five-step process, because it clearly shows the relationship of cause and effect. An event (or multiple events) is going on in your world. You react to it with fear and helplessness, believing it is something outside of yourself and that you are victim to it. Perhaps your brain-mind, your conscious thinking mind, assigns blame. Maybe you are not aware of what is causing your fear, but you clearly feel the discomfort in your body. It might register as a pain, a discomfort or an illness. This is the first step of the process, identifying the problem (effect). In the second step, you face the fear or the discomfort. You go right into it. Eventually the fear will transform. Because it is not real, your steady focus upon the fear allows it to transform to love. Then you are ready and able to move to the third step, as previously mentioned, and claim your divinity by taking responsibility. You acknowledge that you, not the world, are the cause, and that it could be no other way because of your divine nature. You could never be the victim. Remember there is no blame here. What transpires in the world is not real. None of it ever happened. There can be no fault, only confusion in your perception. The third step is to help clarify your perception. As A Course in Miracles (ACIM) teaches, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles”. No step in this process is any more important than any other. They all need to take place. In the fourth step, in the state of peace that you have found, you go inside and listen to the guidance. You go to true cause.
While you are in the illusion, while seeming to be in a physical body, you are always in duality. Even when you have moved into the third and fourth steps of the process and are experiencing peace, you are still in duality. If the experience remains of being in the world, of being in a body, you are in duality. Even though you may have the awareness that none of it is real, you are still fully in the experience of the illusion. If I were to say to you at that juncture to let go of the body and the world, you might ask, “But how?” You feel yourself stuck in duality. What the fourth step is really about is turning your life over to the only force that can lead you home, and that is Spirit. Listen to and follow what Spirit has to say. No matter how supportive anything in the world may be for you – whether it be ACIM, these messages from me, other pure non-dualistic texts, guidance from any spiritual teachers or leaders, support from spiritual practice such as meditation or yoga – it has the sole purpose to train you to listen to and follow Spirit instead of the ego. The only thing that will take you home is a total surrender to the voice of Spirit within you. Everything else is still a part of the illusion because it recognizes the duality of Spirit and the ego. The ego will continue to throw its tantrums, but your job is to return over and over to the voice of Spirit until that is all that remains.
Once you have realized that everything is created in your mind, there is always a choice of what you instruct your mind to listen to. Ever since you have been in a body – lifetime after lifetime – you have chosen to listen to ego. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. You would be aware only of your divine home. There would be no choice of voices to listen to. There would be only one, only Spirit, only God, only divinity. In duality this will always appear as a choice, do you choose Spirit or do you choose ego? There are steps that you can take toward realizing your divinity. The first step is to realize that you do have a choice. You can choose between listening to Spirit and listening to ego. The second step is to be aware of which voice you are listening to. Ego will always tell you that the cause is in the world. There are no limits to where the ego will assert itself. It will tell you that you are hungry because you haven’t eaten for four hours, that you are tired because you didn’t sleep well last night. The cause will always be out there in the world according to the ego. It never is. This is not to say you should pretend that the world doesn’t exist. While you are in a body you will have to have food and sleep. Otherwise you will die and come back to try it in another way. What is not true is that your discomfort comes from not eating or sleeping. The cause of discomfort comes from your mind, from your fear and separation from God, from your guilt. So, you create pain in your life. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired, sleep. Don’t pretend that that has solved the situation. It won’t be long before hunger and sleepiness return. So it is with every other “problem” in your life. The situation is never healed. Eat and sleep, but remember that the truth lies within you. Remind yourself that the only end to hunger and tiredness comes through listening to Spirit. Eat and sleep, but give your discomfort to Spirit.
We have been down this road together several times. I wish to remind you that Spirit is always bringing to you exactly the perfect thing in each moment to guide you home. I want to remind you that, as ego is your creation and as the world is your creation, so is the existence of Spirit being there to guide you home also your creation. In your oneness with God, you have co-created your way to wake up. However, you are the sole creator of the dream. This is not God’s dream. Nobody else can wake you up, but yourself. Nobody else is dreaming this but you. Spirit can grab you by the shoulder and gently shake you and whisper to wake up, but you can pull the cover over your face and continue to sleep for as long as you want. Or…you can choose to wake up. For most people, if it comfortable enough to stay in the dream, they will stay. It is familiar; it is known; it feels relatively safe. Waking up is an absolute unknown to the unconscious mind. Letting go of the world is terrifying. As we mentioned last month, trying to create heaven on earth seems like a safer bet. You, however, have made the choice to try to listen to Spirit rather than the ego. Spirit is going to bring situations to you that feel uncomfortable in order to help you wake up. If you see these events as the cause of your suffering, you will stay asleep. As you accept them as the gifts that they are from your own true mind, you begin to awaken.
Spirit will never give you more than you have asked for. Spirit will help you see where you have given power to the illusion, where you have become a victim to fear. This requires that you face these fears head on. It is not easy, but it is doable. Eventually, you will do it. The world is never the cause. When you fully realize this, the world can cause you no pain or suffering. There will be nothing to fear. You will know that the cause is in you and you will choose to go home. That is what Spirit is teaching you. When things come into your life that feel painful, this is not a failing on your part. It is not a weakness. If anything, it is a strength. It is a sign of spiritual maturity, a sign that you are now ready for this test. You are ready to give this to Spirit, to take responsibility, to let go of having the earth be your cause. If the earth were at cause there would be only despair. Knowing you are at cause, that it is all from Spirit, from divinity – there is nothing to despair of. Everything is perfect; all is aligned.
The thought for today is that the cause is always within you. Everything in the world is the effect from your mind’s cause, and you have caused it for only one reason. You have done this to help yourself wake up. If it is your deep desire to awaken, feel nothing but gratitude for whatever the world seems to bring to you. So simple. So pure. So beautiful. Just accept it with thankfulness.
God Blesses You