Be Vigilant Only for God and His Kingdom

This post is part of a series entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. We are currently reviewing Chapter 6, The lessons of Love. This is the third Lesson of the Holy Spirit.

Spirit is evaluative not judgmental. He must evaluate our thoughts to sort out what is truth and what is false.  Evaluation is different from judgment because evaluation it does not discern between good or bad; only true or false.  Only light (Truth) is retained and impure thoughts are purified.

For example, my ego holds the idea that I am overweight and fat is bad or wrong. I allow myself to feel all kinds of guilt about what I eat and my lack of exercise. I can wallow in my guilt over my weight for days. While the ego-mind entertains this thought, even giving it fuel to sustain the belief that I am flawed in some way because my body has a few extra pounds. Spirit however, knows that the body is nothing more than a learning lab and playground for the soul. Spirit understands that it is perfect and will not allow such an impure thought to cultivate inside it. This is the way in which spirit purifies these false thoughts. When spirit knows something to be untrue, but ego does holds on to it, we experience conflict.

It is for this reason we are asked to be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom. We are to watch out thoughts for ego-ideas.  Psychologists often call this reframing; we take a negative thought and we reframe it. I am not bad because I am overweight. While overweight is a fact, bad is a judgment and judging my own body as bad is a rejection of myself. But, in learning to understand that spirit is perfect and eternal, I recognize the weight for what it is, just more weight. The weight is a fact, the judgment is not. It truly is all about perspective and in reframing our perspective, spirit only allows truth to be maintained.

If we are in conflict, it is only because we are trying to hold on to opposing ideas. Spirit does not teach us to judge, but to be vigilant in finding those erroneous thoughts. The sooner we can stop the wandering, negative mind of the ego, the sooner we find relief from the discomfort it causes us, to hold two opposing views. The only purpose in being watchful for these negative thoughts and judgments is to unify the mind. When we hold opposing views, we will always have discomfort.

In Toltec philosophy, this is called stalking the body. Pay attention to the thoughts that cross your mind, do they seek to unite or to divide. Do they seek to include or exclude. Are they judgmental? Do they seek to categorize something as good or bad? It is important to be vigilant because when you do, this is the first step.  This is a major step towards fundamental change.

The first step, giving in order to have may cause us mental strife as it feels almost insane to believe you can “get” from giving. Remember, this is a function of the ego. The second step, teaching peace in order to learn it may also maintain a little mental strife as we try try to teach peace, while we learn. The third step, however, is intended to relieve this mental strife, by clearing out thoughts that are untrue.

This step is truly a critical juncture, it is the choice of a path. It is a choosing of the road less travelled. Here we learn to let go of untruths the ego asks us to believe. Here we choose to be vigilant for thoughts of spirit or thoughts of ego. There can only be once choice. A choice to maintain any semblance of both, causes mental discomfort. Not only is it possible to be vigilant of these thoughts, it is entirely necessary.

Integration of these three first steps is necessary in order to experience peace. Peace is the opposite of discomfort and the opposite of chaos. While we are free always to choose, only one way leads to comfort and relief and peace.  We must be consistent in the vigilance of our thoughts in order to stay in peace, because chaos and consistency cannot coexist, we can only choose one.

Ironically, we cannot choose to eliminate the wisdom of spirit. Because it is truth, you cannot obliterate it, it is of God. In this way, the true choice is simply to choose Truth alone or to live in discomfort. Again, truth and ego cannot coexist in the same space.


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