"My happiness and my function are one."
Purpose: To accept that your happiness and function are not only connected, but are the same thing, regardless of appearing different. A giant stride in accepting what is the same and what is different.
Longer: 1 for 10-15 minutes.
Review these thoughts: "God gives me only happiness. He has given my function to me. Therefore my function must be happiness." Try to see the logic in the sequence. Think about the first two premises. The first must be true unless God is evil. As for the second, your function must have been given by either God or the ego, and the ego does not really give gifts. It is an illusion that offers illusions of gifts. Think about the various illusions of your function it has given. Did they make you happy? Ask this in great honesty. Try to make the choice between madness and truth and realize only truth is true.
Shorter: 2 per hour for a minute or less.
Repeat slowly and think about these words: "My happiness and my function are one, because God has given me both."
I find this lesson interesting in the way it makes use of ordinary logic, applied to extraordinary ideas. The longer practice period is supposed to be spent in thinking about the premises in the syllogism given in paragraph 5 (5:7, 9:1). In other words, the lesson asks us to test out the logic of its proposal with our minds. Quite evidently the Course sees a good deal of value in thinking and reasoning; it is not a Course in mindlessness, as some people seem to believe. Nor is it only a course in experience. It is solidly laced with reasoning, and expects us to know how to use that faculty of our minds. I find that a good aid in this kind of practice is writing down the ideas that come to me as I do it.
The central idea today is one we've seen before: happiness and our function are, at the core, the same thing. The two premises are fairly simple, especially the first: God gives me only happiness. If God is a God worthy of our allegiance, a God of love, this must be so. Why follow a god who makes you unhappy? If God gives unhappiness, He must be evil (6:5). And if God is evil we may as well quit now; we'll never find happiness living in the clutches of a sadistic god, who gives his creations unhappiness.
Second, God has given my function to me. This is a little less obvious. "Function" could be understood as meaning "nature." In simple terms, God created me, and in so doing, defined what I am. What I am defines what I do. What alternative is there? If God did not define me, what did? The only alternative is the ego (8:3). Or, we might say, we made ourselves (which is really the same thing). But how can anything create itself? What created its power to create? Is it really possible that the ego made me, or I defined myself? No. Therefore this second premise must also be true: God has given my function to me.
Now if God gives me only happiness, and God gave me my function, what is the logical conclusion? My function must be happiness. My reason for being is to be happy. Fulfilling my function is what brings me happiness.
If we think about all the ways we've tried to find happiness following our egos--as we are instructed to think, here in the lesson--we must admit, if we are perfectly honest, that none of them have worked.
The lesson is trying to bring us to the point where we make a choice, the choice between madness and truth, between listening to the ego or to the Holy Spirit. It is asking us to realize that everything the ego tells us is a lie, and that only the truth is true; only what God has given us has reality.
This lesson is the second one called a "giant stride." The first was Lesson 61. We'll see the term again in Lessons 94, 130, 135, and 194. Lesson 61 told us, "I am the light of the world," which is "a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth," "...a giant stride toward taking your rightful place in salvation." We are light-bearers, designed by God to beam His light to the universe; that is our function. Accepting that is a giant step, a strong beginning. Now, we are told, "My happiness and my function are one." Bringing light to the world is what happiness is; being the light of the world is fulfilling our function, and fulfilling our function is happiness.
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