Lesson 24 — I do not perceive my own best interests.
I’ve been studying A Course in Miracles (ACIM) for many years. The idea behind ACIM is that it will instill one with a kind of spiritual mastery, that, at a minimum, always one to be able to always access a state of inner peace.
In my studies of the course, I have found that to be true. If inner peace is what you desire, the course can definitely help you to attain that. But in getting there, you will have to experience these lessons, that, in all honesty, seem down right bizarre, at times. Lesson 24 is one of those lessons.
Lesson 24 is: I do not perceive my own best interests. The first time I read this, initially, I thought it was ridiculous. Of course I know my own best interests! Everyone knows — if they know nothing else — their own best interests!
But actually, what I knew was what I wanted. I knew what I wanted at the time. And what we want changes over time, because even if we get exactly what we want, at a certain time — a month, two months, a year later, we find that it’s not what we wanted. That really didn’t make us happy, or bring us any peace; and then having gotten exactly what we wanted…and having found that it did not bring us the joy, the peace, the contentment that we expected, we become disillusioned…and disappointed.
I can’t convey the number of times that this has happened to me. I’ve gotten exactly what I wanted at a certain time, only to find, minutes, hours, days, at some time later — it’s just not all it’s cracked up to be! It’s not really what I wanted at all. It’s not making me happy the way I thought it would.
And so, maybe it’s true. Maybe I don’t perceive my own best interest. Now, I have actually accepted this. When you get to this point in your spiritual journey, the next step is surrendering.
Is surrendering easy? I guess it should be. It hasn’t ben easy for me. I keep reverting back to my ego, and whatever it thinks that it wants. If you come from a highly developed egoic state (and most of us in the western world clearly do) — giving up on the egoic visions of the self and pursuite of life, is about the hardest thing you’ll ever do. First off, you have to admit to yourself, that you don’t perceive your own best interest.
And then, you will try to surrender to a force that does. God. Your higher self. The universe. Something greater than you, that has that understanding of your own best interest. It’s not easy, because even when you think you are surrendering, the ego is constantly devising plans and ways for you to pursue what you think you want. Surrendering is a totally alien idea to our Ego — that always, always, always seems to think that it KNOWS quite clearly — what it wants.
But the ego doesn’t know, anymore than you do. Think about it this way…the egos wants are infinite, and if you follow them, you will be chasing those wants endlessly.
But if you surrender to a force greater, wiser, more knowledgeable than your ego could ever be, you won’t just be chasing your wants, but something infinitely more fulfilling.