Choose the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is that part of our mind that a) knows our mind is fractured and knows every detail of every illusion made thereby, b) remembers the wholeness of God and c) effectively mediates between the two in order to facilitate healing. We can say that Jesus was a man who made contact with the Holy Spirit, surrendered to its guidance, and was subsequently – inevitably, really – transformed into Christ. That same transformation is available to us, subject only to our willingness to take the Holy Spirit as our teacher.

Say to the Holy Spirit only, “Decide for me,” and it is done. For His decisions are reflections of what God knows about you, and in this light, error of any kind becomes impossible. Why would you struggle so frantically to anticipate all you cannot know, when all knowledge lies behind every decision the Holy Spirit makes for you? (T-14.III.16:1-3)

Our existence is composed of decisions. This is clear to anyone. Every moment of the day presents us with a seeming array of choices – wheat or rye for breakfast toast, the black shirt or the red one, prayer first or walking the dog first. And so on. Infinity appears laid out before us, each little decision spinning off yet more and more. The optimist sees this and cries out “the world is my oyster!” The pessimist just says “I can’t decide” or “all my choices always go wrong.”

But they are both wrong. A Course in Miracles offers a profoundly simple approach to living amidst the apparent abundance of so many options: they’re all illusions, designed to obscure the fact that there is really only one decision we can make. We must choose which of two teachers we’re going to heed: the ego or the Holy Spirit. And as Bob Dylan once sang, “there ain’t no middle ground.”

Each day, each hour and minute, even each second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection; between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego is the choice for guilt; the Holy Spirit the choice for guiltlessness. The power of decision is all that is yours (T-14.III.4:1-3).

To choose guilt is to choose unhappiness. There may be brief moments of joy and peace, but they are brief indeed and they are always attended by the sure knowledge that they are only temporary. Thus, even when we are “happy,” at a deeper level we remain sad and lonely because we know that this happiness is ephemeral.

Yet to choose guiltlessness is to choose happiness. It is to choose a joy and peace that cannot be shaken because it is deeper than time and not subject to the whims of the external world. To be free of guilt is to be truly liberated – from the endless chain of cause and effect, and from the self that is subject to time and matter.

But – and this is important – the time-bound, earth-bound self cannot make that choice. By definition it is bound to the ego and the ego will never choose guiltlessness for it will not – it cannot – choose its own demise. We need the Holy Spirit because without its graceful intervention, we’d be stuck forever on the hamster wheel of guilt and blame.

We make contact with the Holy Spirit in large part by recognizing the futility of our own resources, our own faculties. All we have to do is look at the lives we have wrought and ask ourselves: is this perfect? Does it reflect the love and wholeness of God? To say no is not to establish our helplessness – it is to discredit the efforts of the ego. When at last we give up on the ego’s promises and busy-ness, the Holy Spirit can enter. Its work on our behalf is always beneficial because it is the link between our mind and the Mind of God. It cannot be wrong. We are confused by the phrase “to undo what never was.” But to the Holy Spirit it makes perfect sense. Undoing what never was, in order to restore us to the wholeness of Christ, our perfection in God, is its only function.

Let Him, therefore, be the only Guide that you would follow to salvation. He knows the way, and leads you gladly on it. With Him you will not fail to learn that what God wills for you is your will. Without His guidance you will think you know alone, and will decide against your peace as surely as you decided that salvation lay in you alone. Salvation is of Him to Whom god gave it for you. He has not forgotten it (T-14.III.14:1-6).

Our practice as students of A Course in Miracles centers in large part around this act of surrender: accepting that what we cannot do for ourselves can be done easily and quickly by the Holy Spirit. Don’t sweat the metaphysics: where is the Holy Spirit? What does its voice sound like? It is there in you, patiently waiting for your invitation. It longs only to intercede on behalf of Heaven. Choose it as Jesus did.

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