Give up all the pleasures of the world

Friday, Jun 23, 2023 856 words 3 mins 48 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2023 Paul West

We are asked to be willing to give up "the pleasures of the world." The reason is that, if we see ourselves as at the effect of anything in the world, we're saying it has power over us to cause us. That makes us a victim.

It doesn't actually matter whether the world is doing something positive to you, or something negative. If you are affected and changed by it in any way, you are powerless and a victim. The world is not supposed to alter what God created to be changeless.

That includes being affected by sunsets and puppies, by beautiful landscapes and lovely colors. It includes physical sensations of pleasure as well as your favorite toys and objects, clothing, your home decor, etc.

You don't necessarily have to physically give it up, which would be a sacrifice if you value it, but you do have to learn to not depend on it for your happiness or peace. If you are trying to surround yourself with things that "make you" happy, this is in direct denial of the fact that GOD is the one who makes you happy.

Your happiness and contentment are given to you by God and are gifts from him, placed in you at your creation. They are permanently a part of you. You cannot get them from the world because the world if not God or a part of God. When you try to seek externally for these things in the world, you go into mental illness, because you are denying where these things really are while pretending to seek them (seek and do not find).

All happiness comes from God, not from the world. The world cannot make you happy, or take your happiness away, unless you give it the power to do so. To give it that power is to make yourself a powerless victim. Even if you're getting stuff that you think you like, being bestowed tons of money and gifts and pleasures and sights and sounds and adventures, whatever, if you're using them to "make you happy" you are in denial of real happiness. It means you've become a "consumer" and "devourer".

This doesn't mean either that you have to live in squalor or deny your body food or wear rags or not bother cleaning etc. It simply means your mind is not supposed to be believing that anything in the world can substitute for, match up to, replace or add anything to, the power and the glory that can ONLY come from God within you.

We therefore have to learn to be willing to wean off the world, wean off the lifestyle of NEEDING an external scenario of an illusion of peace in order to be happy, or to get a lot of things, or to have events go a certain way. We have to become immune to the world and unaffected by it, unchanged by it.

We can remain in our love and light and inner happiness and look out onto the world and be happy, but not BECAUSE OF it. We GIVE it happiness from God through us, we don't TAKE happiness from the external. You may feel joyful and "enjoy" doing certain things, because you GIVE it joy and be IN joy while you do it, which is an internal decision, but not because of the thing you do. Not caused by it. You can interpret that to mean "taking pleasure in" (doing God's will) doing things, but not because of what the thing does TO you.

You don't really want the world. You don't really want to want the world. You want to want God. And you don't need the world for that. The world has never added even a slight enhancement to what God created, and it cannot save you from itself.

"God's teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children's toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the Face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house? No-one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation. Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice which its values would demand of him."

"The world can ADD nothing to the power and the glory of God and His Holy Sons, but it CAN blind the Sons to the Father if they behold it. You cannot behold the world and know God. Only one is true." "We said before that ALL real pleasure comes from doing God's will. Whenever it is NOT done an experience of lack results. This is because NOT doing the will of God IS a lack of self."

"What loss can be for you in choosing not to value nothingness? This world holds nothing that you really want, but what you choose instead you want indeed! Let it be given you today. It waits but for your choosing it to take the place of all the things you seek but do not want."

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