The temptation of the world

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 1352 words 6 mins 0 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

"Nothing the body's eyes seem to see can be anything but a form of temptation, since this was the purpose of the body itself."

What are you being tempted to do? You're being tempted to identify yourself with the ego and with the body, to become blinded by illusions of form, to make hell real, and to move away from God. The temptation to deny the mind, forget heaven, lose yourself, reject God, buy into the ego's offerings, and gain the world of sin. To anchor you to the body and to death.

"Temptation has ONE lesson it would teach, in ALL its forms, WHEREVER it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel. It sets the limits on what he can do; its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach."

We might think of temptation like a kind of magnetism, attraction, or some kind of lying deceit, which in its evil ways seems to cast some kind of magical spell to draw you deeper into nightmares of hell and further from yourself and God.

When an illusion is recognized for what it is, it has no power at all to tempt you. But if you fail to recognize it, it begins to take on seeming reality and truth, it seems to have the power to assert itself or to fight against God's truth. And now it appears to incite further errors, to increase confusion, to deceive and distract, and to make it harder for you to stay above the battlefield.

"The body's eyes are therefore not the means by which the real world can be seen, for the illusions that they look upon must lead to more illusions of reality. And so they do. For everything they see not only will not last, but lends itself to thoughts of sin and guilt."

Since how you see ties into what you believe you are, as you move into guilt and ego you also move into body identification. Your perception narrows to focus on the bodies of others, and you fail to forgive ie overlook illusions. The world and its problems seem to become a living nightmare, filled with impossibilities and horrors and terrible dangers.

The whole world was made to tempt yourself away from God. To try to give you some kind of value or meaning, something you want, something other than God that you might be attracted to. You can only be attracted to hell when you are confused, believing that hell is heaven. Or when you are repulsed, believing that heaven is actually a hell that you do not want.

If you are falling into hell, you are falling into temptation. You're buying into it. You're becoming more and more deceived, and deceiving. You're choosing wrongly and making an error, which is why you're not at peace. And the body is right there to serve the un-repurposed function of making every problem seem real and frightening.

"Today's idea is merely another way of saying, "Let me not wander into temptation." The purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness, and provide you with a justification for forgetting it. It is the temptation to abandon God and His Son, taking on a physical appearance. It is this which the body's eyes look upon."

Since "all the world's roads lead to death", they are all like pointers pointing away from God and away from life. So if you listen to it, or fall for it, or are too confused and lost to stay out of it, you're going to head towards the physical, towards suffering and the illusion of death. The body was made to focus on this and to give it reality. So then by becoming bodily identified, you will fall for all manner of temptations, particularly leading to temptations of sex and drugs and other addictions as ways to make the body and its pain real.

"Nothing the body's eyes seem to see can be anything but a form of temptation, since this was the purpose of the body itself. Yet we have learned that the Holy Spirit has another use for all the illusions you have made, and therefore He sees another purpose in them. To the Holy Spirit, the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation."

Becoming tempted is really a way of saying that you are shifting your sense of identity to the ego and the body, are therefore seeing the world's problems as real, and now you are under attack with a threat of mortality. You can't escape the fear that mortality will strike, without escaping identification with the body. Believe you are a body and you will become imprisoned in its hell, and its narrow vision will show you only proof of sin everywhere.

"And if we hear temptation call to us to stay and linger in a dream, we turn aside and ask ourselves if we, the Sons of God, could be content with dreams, when Heaven can be chosen just as easily as hell, and love will happily replace all fear."

"What you behold as sickness and as pain, as weakness and as suffering and loss, is but temptation to perceive YOURSELF defenseless and in hell."

"What is temptation but a wish to make illusions real?"

"Temptation, then, is nothing more than this; - a prayer the miracle touch not some dreams, but KEEP their unreality obscure, and GIVE to them reality instead."

"Let us not let littleness lead God's Son into temptation."

"What is temptation but the WISH to stay in hell and misery? And what could this give rise to BUT an image of yourself that CAN be miserable, and remain in hell and torment?"

"Whatever form temptation seems to take, it ALWAYS but reflects a wish to be a self that you are not. And FROM that wish a concept rises, teaching you you ARE the thing you wish to be."

"Be vigilant against temptation, then, remembering that it is but a wish, insane and meaningless, to make yourself a thing which you are not."

"All temptation is nothing more than some form of the basic temptation not to believe the idea for today." (my salvation comes from me)

"The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God's."

"Yet each temptation to accept magic as true must be abandoned through his recognition not that it is fearful, not that it is sinful, not that it is dangerous, but merely that it is meaningless."

"Let nothing which relates to body thoughts delay your progress to salvation, nor permit temptation to believe the world has anything you want to hold you back."

"When the temptation to attack rises to make your mind darkened and murderous, remember you CAN see the battle from above."

"There is, however, a temptation to respond to magic in a way that reinforces it. Nor is this always obvious. It can, in fact, be easily concealed beneath a wish to help. It is this double wish that makes the help of little value, and must lead to undesired outcomes."

"What is temptation but a wish to make the wrong decision on what you would learn, and have an outcome which you do not want?"

"Remember ALL temptation is but this; a mad belief that God's insanity would make YOU sane, and GIVE you what you want. That either God OR you must LOSE to madness, because your aims can NOT be reconciled."

"Lead us not into temptation" means "guide us out of our own errors."

"Lead us not into Temptation" means "Do not let us deceive ourselves into believing that we can relate in peace to God or our brothers with ANYTHING external."

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