Questions & Answers
[as it appeared in the January 2010 Newsletter]
There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course. And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. Here is another of my favorite ones:
Question: Does life have to be a struggle?
Answer: Everyone knows what it’s like to “be in the flow” (and loves it). The strain in our existence comes from trying to solve or fix what is before us on our own (intellectually). The ego finds that methodology very rewarding (and the adrenalin rushes can be addicting 😉 because it LOVES to “win” (i.e., look good to other egos). LOL
Plus, the idea that we’re meant to struggle is a message the world holds dear so it supports it by rewarding those who do so if with nothing more than a pat on the back for having “tried”.
Before the Course, my whole identity was tied up to being “Miss Fix It” – the go-to-girl in dramatic circumstances – and so my ego was highly insulted by the idea in ACIM that my “little part” was just to ASK for Help. (I remember feeling very threatened by the very suggestion. ;-)… See More
But I also had to own the fact that most (if not all) of my “fabulous” solutions, while they might have fixed the obvious problem, created multiple NEW complications that would have been impossible to foresee (science calls this very familiar human phenomenon the Law of Unintended Consequences). lol
The Course says that everything we do when we are out of our natural environment (i.e., connecting with God) becomes a strain (and I’m assuming that that is what you mean when you use the word, struggle, here). Jesus even made a joke out of this in the urtext when he made a pun using the idea “that the only inevitable things are death and taxes” in one of the miracle principles, making sure that Helen and Bill knew that one of he meanings of “tax” was “strain”.
The fact that giving up the “need” for strain and stress in life on earth gives rise to so much resistance in us comes from nothing more, I think, than what the Course, itself, says. And that is that we have chosen to make our lives complicated and stressful IN ORDER TO avoid the simple truth that’s all around us (and within us).
The struggle is an avoidance mechanism – a delaying tactic of the ego – a way to keep our minds so completely preoccupied with trivia that we have an excuse to overlook what really matters: seeing the extension of God/love that is our brothers and ourselves.
Competition and struggle are very deeply ingrained in the modern psyche (in no small measure due to the unquestioning acceptance of the Darwinian ideal of “survival of the fittest”). Everyone is trained to “prove” themselves – to prove their value and right to live. And then along comes the Course and throws a monkey wrench into that sense of value. lol
Does life have to be a struggle? More importantly, SHOULD it? No. By connecting with the One Mind – the “field of infinite information” if you’re a hyperdimensional physicist – makes life into a constant flow – easy, spontaneous, unconflicted, i.e., joyful.
Am I there all the time? No. But this former full-time drama queen is now only a part-time princess.
Because I love the results I get from being in te flow so much more than I live the adrenalin rushes. And because my ego is much smaller now that it isn’t what I turn to first. And sometimes – when I’m feeling bored with how simple living here can be – I take a jog down memory lane and play the struggle game (just for fun ;-).
I didn’t mean to write a thesis here, Kim, but your topic is HUGELY important (so please forgive my running on – it just flowed lol).
* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994. She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and is scheduled to present again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/