I do not want to dwell on Matthew 6:33 unduly, but for some reason it is a theme lately.
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
A friend said to me last week that he didn’t even need the second half of the sentence – everything he needed was right there in the first few words. “Seek first his kingdom.” And it’s true! When we are present to that level of seeking, the “things” tend to fall to the side. It has a way of aligning our attention that is curative in and of itself. Reliance on the externals diminishes considerably.
In A Course in Miracles, we learn that we are to bring the Holy Spirit’s guidance into every situation (T-17.VI.1:6-7). It is a sort of lens through which we view our experience in these bodies, a way of “seeking first” the kingdom of God. And it is very important that we do it at the beginning. The Holy Spirit is not so helpful when we want to analyze the past! That is the ego’s special knack. It reviews experience retroactively and decides what parts it liked and what parts it didn’t and stitches together a narrative based on that judgment. It’s not reality. It’s not even a very good story when you get down to it.
No, we invoke the Holy Spirit at the beginning because doing so clarifies our objective. It becomes the lens through which we actually have the experience. Our attention is directed in a fixed way and seeks that which supports and buttresses the overarching goal. So if our goal is, say, peace, then by donning a pair of Holy Spirit glasses (as it were), we are going to perceive experience as a means of experiencing peace. We will find that which serves peace and discard what does not.
This is the opposite of the ego which makes hash of the present by focusing solely on what has already gone by. With the Holy Spirit, we are forever in a state of a gentle but intense awareness. And that state constantly brings us into contact with that which is loving, that which is nurturing, that which is buttressing.
But we have to establish this clarity at the outset – in prayer when we wake up, in a few moments of meditation before entering the office or classroom. What do we want? Not in a material sort of way – that’s very shallow and even at its most fulfilling is largely unsatisfactory – but in a deeper way. It’s important to be able to say that we want to be happy, we want to be at peace, we want to be aware of God’s loving presence. When we do – when we say it and mean it – then we are joined with the Holy Spirit. Our experience will mirror that.
It is quite noticeable that this approach has brought you closer to the Holy Spirit’s sorting out of truth and falsity. The true becomes what can be used to meet the goal. The false becomes useless from this point of view. The situation now has meaning, but only because the goal has made it meaningful (T-17.VI.4:3-6).
It is important to not to over think this! Remember that your egoic mind delights in effort. It is happy to try and set goals with the Holy Spirit so long as that contact is never made in a helpful way. A little trust and faith is in order. Do the best you can to set meaningful goals – peace, love, trust, God, the Kingdom of Heaven – and then be attentive to their realization. Remember that they are already there – you already contain the very thing you seek. It is merely a question of seeing this. And sooner or later, you will.