Goals and A Course in Miracles

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.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Maureen August 17, 2012, 9:17 am

    Thank you Sean

    I’ve only just been given your website details and so far really like how you write about the course in miracles.

    I was given your link by Sally who is a member at Miracle_E_Pals_UK@yahoogroups.com and I am very grateful to her for this.

    I found John Denver’s song “Looking for Space” very apt in my own journey, I certainly identify with the ups and downs of life but I find it is the “downs” that are guiding me to work more with the course, looking for a way out I suppose.

    Anyway Sean, many many thanks for your wonderful message. I watched the video of your son, I assume he is your son, and it struck me that he really knows who he is and is fully in his power. Fantastic.

    I am writing a book for children and I keep getting stuck, because there are distractions in life and I like to blame them. Funnily enough the book is about taking responsibility so as I work on the book I learn I must first practice what I preach. I hope to watch your video about writing the first page of a book. I tried to watch earlier but couldn’t get it to play but I won’t give up.

    Have a great day Sean and know that your contribution in the world is very much appreciated by me.

    Lots of love

    Maureen x

    • Sean Reagan August 17, 2012, 10:56 am

      Hi Maureen,

      Thank you so much for the kind words – and for reading. I agree with that idea that it’s the “downs” that prompt us to try and figure out a solution. It makes me happy sometimes just knowing that on some level I want to be happy and at peace. Even if I struggle to experience that, at least I am pointed in that direction. The course has been very helpful to me in terms of connecting me with Jesus in a real and productive way. It’s not easy necessarily but it does seem to work.

      Yeah – writing is hard – and the distractions are always there. I hear that. It took me a long time to reach a space where I could just put my head down and work. It’s hard to make space and time for those things that are so valuable – it is like we put ourselves down and say we don’t deserve to be taken seriously. One of the things that became very helpful to me was when I realized that writing was a sort of spiritual practice for me and so I had to do it the same way I had to pray or study ACIM or whatever. Then, even if it was only a handful of sentences, I would get to it daily. And my commitment and discipline grew from there.

      Thanks again!

  • Maureen August 17, 2012, 9:44 am

    Hi Again Sean

    Looks like I submitted last comment twice. Not sure what I am doing as I don’t often post comments to anybody.

    I got to listen to your video about writing and it was like I was hearing myself speak, except the message was being reinforced. Thank you. I loved it.


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