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Will the time period in which we hold on to guilt get shorter as we practice?
We are so used to carrying guilt and fear. Will that time period of carrying the load get shorter as we practice?
Yes, let's address this carefully, the idea of holding on to guilt, clinging to it very closely. The mind that believes in the ego is attracted to guilt, because the ego is guilt. There are aspects of the mind that the ego does not want to come into awareness, or the game will be over. That is why I encourage so many questions. The ego does not want certain questions to even be raised, for the answer will be apparent as soon as the question is asked. Asking questions was my path to God. I did not have a lot of support for it in the world, but Jesus says to learn this Course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden, or it will obscure your learning. So let's look at an example of this. God is pure oneness. The ego is the belief in opposites. The ego believes that there is an opposite to love. That is why this is a world of duality and opposites. The world reflects the ego belief. The ego teaches the sleeping mind that there is a difference between pleasure and pain, and everyone who walks this world believes they can tell the difference between pleasure and pain.
Further, this mind believes that pleasure is to be pursued, and pain is to be avoided. It spends great effort and energy at pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. All education of this world is in some way based on this premise. Now you see the convincing job that the Holy Spirit has, to convince your mind that pleasure and pain are the same. On the surface, this seems crazy, but Jesus gives us the reason why they are the same: What serves a common purpose is the same. Pleasure and pain both reinforce the reality of the body and are a denial of the spirit. This is an example of an idea the ego never wants to reach awareness because once you see it for what it is, you will see that all real pleasure, which I will call joy, comes from doing God's will. It is really very simple. As you experience more miracles, the joy of your heart bubbles up. It attracts you, it draws you to experience more miracles! The joy is coming from within your own heart. It is not coming from getting the job that you want. It is not coming from getting the soul-mate that you want. It is not coming from moving to the tropical islands, and many, many more illusions. The joy comes from your purpose. That is your direct connection with God. By listening to the Holy Spirit, you will experience joy. And the possibility of pain and pleasure fades away from your consciousness.
Perception is selective. Just as you can choose to listen to someone at a party, or listen to a favorite song being played by the band, or focus on how humid the room is, you can choose to aim your mind to the Holy Spirit. This is where the joy comes. There is no sacrifice!
The pleasures of this world are fleeting, transitory. If you look at this honestly, you will see that this is so. The pleasure of a delicious food, a pleasant scene, the pleasure of sexual orgasm, all have time limits. They start and they stop. They do not offer lasting joy. They are not really gifts, because they are offerings of the ego, and the ego wants you dead, which means remaining in amnesia about your Christ Self. So this relates to your question about why we hold onto things. The judgments of the world make some images attractive and the mind believes that they are valuable and does not want to let them go. It is still convinced that they are real, and therefore values outcomes that will bring about the things it still wants. They are like "fool's gold". They look very beautiful, but when you touch them or embrace them, they dissolve away, because they do not last.