We don’t live in the world. We live in our thoughts about the world. And the truth is, most of those thoughts are not even our own. They are opinions and ideas stolen or cribbed from others – our parents, our favorite writers, an eloquent priest, the news. We glom onto this data because one way or the other, it reinforces our victimhood. It ensures we don’t question the fundamental assumption: that we are at the mercy of a cruel world created and ruled by a harsh omnipotent judge.
Questions undo this. Or at least they expose the seams, the cracks in the foundation. They start the process of undoing. A Course in Miracles is nothing is not a prod that aims to shake loose the victim/victimizer trains of thought. It is even helpful just to ask from time to time: who is asking the questions? Who are the questions asked of?
One characteristic of egoic thought is that it tends to be circular. It doesn’t go anywhere, thus testifying to the ego’s maxim: “seek but do not find (W-pI.71.4:2).” When we are mulling a seeming problem and it only gets worse or spins off countless other problematic threads, it’s a good sign that we’ve fallen prey to the ego. The ego will never undo itself and it will never solve a problem it created. To do so would be its death knell and it is ever bent on survival.
Questioning with God on our side ends the problem. This is the promise of Christ! “Seek and ye shall find.” This mode of enquiry works in one of two ways. First, when we make contact with God – even dimly, even briefly – we remember that we don’t really have problems. We just think we have problems. That is itself remedial.
Second, there is a clarity to thought when it is undertaken with divine assistance. A few weeks ago I was in a huff. I said some things I shouldn’t have to somebody and I couldn’t figure out what to do. The ego was delighted with the problem, cheerfully willing to dive into analysis. It pointed out how that person pushes my buttons the same way certain family members once did. It reminded me how tired I had been. The ego always justifies. It is very clever at insinuating or stating outright that “my” problem is always somebody else’s fault.
The thing is, that doesn’t bring any peace! It just exacerbates the angst. So eventually I get around to prayer. Here’s the situation, Jesus. It’s all yours. And it took Jesus all of about three seconds to point out the solution: apologize. Say you’re sorry and move on.
So we have to be attentive. We have to be responsible for our mind’s content. We have to be sure that we are questioning in alignment with the Holy Spirit, with Jesus, and with God. That questioning is helpful and salvational. Ego-based enquiries only perpetuates the problem. Discernment is required. It takes time to learn this but it’s a good lesson, a helpful one.
Don’t accept suffering. Don’t accept confusion. Don’t accept the same old same old. Question it. Align your thinking with that which is eternal and unconditionally loving and let it rip. If specific answers are needed, you’ll get them. If solace is needed, you’ll get that, too. As a result, your trust will deepen. Your steps out of the nightmare will lighten. What other result could we need?