"I just can't do relationships!"

Have you ever felt there were times when you were sabotaging yourself in a relationship, maybe even going so far in despairing moments as to think the above thought?

Don't feel bad. Everyone has the same experience. Because relationships are created for the purpose of difficulty.

"Explanation, please!"

Yes ... although it seems you are a separate being living in a separate body in a separate space, what happens if this idea of separateness is examined in the light of modern quantum physics' holographic universe? Oh, my gosh! Separateness disappears. In reality we are all one, and can be said to be of one essence. Ancient seers called this one essence "spirit." They taught, "you are a spiritual being." When God was asked His name in the biblical book of Genesis, the answer was not "I am (this and that)," but simply oneness: "I AM that I AM."

Yet in our earth experience if we are asked who we are, we do not answer, "I AM." Rather we answer, "I am this, and you are that." In other words, we falsely identify ourselves as separate beings. The name modern psychology has given to this false self-identification is "ego." A relationship is two or more separate beings, egos.

Our true nature as total oneness would be experienced as total love, total joy, total peace. But ego wants to maintain itself, which is to say maintain the false sense of separation. So ego cannot allow total. A lesser experience of love, joy, or peace can be allowed, but never total. Total must be sabotaged. And in its role as saboteur, the ego has a million and one tricks to draw upon each moment.

Since a relationship is two or more egos, sabotage is always either in the process of happening on the surface, or in the process of slowly being set up under the surface. Ego forbid we experience total love, total joy, or total peace!

Ancients called ego "Satan" or the "Devil." Pope Francis was correct when he recently said of Satan (ego): "He presents things as if they were good, but his intention is destruction."

Okay, so now what? How do we short-circuit ego ploys?

Simple! We give ourselves permission to experience oneness. We practice allowing what might be thought of as "joining in spirit." With everyone, we say in our mind something like: "Right now, instead of experiencing this person as separate, I will join in spirit and feel oneness." With everything, we might ask: "What if instead of perceiving this as something separate from me, I let myself join in spirit and recognize oneness."

Joining in spirit is usually easier with a fellow human being or a pet than with a rock or fire hydrant. But when oneness is experienced for moments at a time, there are moments of total peace, total love, and total joy. And like learning any skill, practice makes perfect, right? The lessons of this course are meant to be an aid in making such practice much more efficient.

One practice which really helps is constantly saying in your mind: "I love you!" It doesn't matter whether your ego thinks you love the person (or object). Just say it constantly. Thinking love thoughts opens your heart so you can join. Others will feel your heart opening, start to feel safe, begin to let down their barriers, and join with you.

Finally, it helps to retrain one's mind from using language like, "in my relationship with so and so." Instead, as often as can be remembered, substitute language like, "in my moments of oneness with so and so." The more we think oneness and imagine oneness, the more we enter into the experience of oneness where "relationship" disappears and is replaced by joy and love and peace. Logical?

As always ... have fun!

Also available free of charge online:
Course in Political Miracles

"Relationships are served not by self-sacrifice, but by spiritual Self-interest"

The idea of sacrificing oneself or one's values for the good of others has been aggressively promoted under the name "altruism." But in reality, altruism is impossible and makes no logical sense whatsoever because we are all one ... all in this together. What is truly good for one is good for all. What is truly good for all is good for one.

If we tried to sacrifice ourselves or our true interests, everyone would suffer the effects. For a deeper and more complete understanding of the insanity of the idea of altruism, click here: Just say "No!" to altruism

Another alternative which does not serve relationships is pursuing one's ego-vested interests (or the ego-vested interests of any number of people such as in a democracy). As this course repeatedly points out, the ego's ultimate interests are pain, sickness, suffering, and death.

That leaves the final alternative: non-ego (spiritual, enlightened) self-interest.

People who are experiencing an expanding awareness of their spirit (meaning less and less reliance on intellectualizing) would say one's real or spiritual Self (with a capital "S") is already enlightened and has an interest in mind that is not related to the ego-vested interests of one's earthly persona.

Those who still feel heavily drawn to intellectualizing might use the term "rational self-interest" and might say something like: "I'm not as sure about being in-touch with my spirit ... but I definitely want to stay rigidly loyal to science and reason."

These are differences in approaches to viewing, but no difference in the object being viewed. Whether one considers oneself to be "spiritual" or "rational" or somewhere in between, the recognition that one's own non-ego self-interest is indeed also everyone else's best interest (the highest good for everyone) is of key importance.

Using the magnifying power of a fictional story to clearly define and highlight the end result of enlightened people acting in their own self-interest vs. the end result of unenlightened people acting on altruistic or ego interests, Ayn Rand in her novel "Atlas Shrugged" illustrates the issue with uncanny clarity.

Since this lesson is taught almost nowhere else in our culture, Ayn Rand significantly serves mankind, as much as any great inventor or innovator. Her work offers a fundamental breakthrough in learning possibilities. Since thorough understanding of this issue is so crucial to the joyous success of our relationships, as well as to the creation of world peace, reading "Atlas Shrugged" is an assignment of this relationships course.

As you read "Atlas Shrugged" keep in mind the three alternatives mentioned above ... self-sacrifice, pursuing ego-vested interests, or acting in enlightened or spiritual self-interest ... and ask yourself which of the characters in the story promote self-sacrifice and living for others, who in the story is unconsciously pursuing his or her destructive ego-vested interests, and who is in reality being guided by his or her spirit of the joyous fullness of life.

Also as you read "Atlas Shrugged" stay bright and happy even though the world you will be reading about in the story is becoming a progressively darker and more unhappy place, eerily reminiscent of the world we see in the news media. Your job is to keep in mind that you are reading fiction. In fact, if some events in modern life seem very close in principle to events in the novel, you can stay in a happy spiritual frame of mind by asking yourself with a laugh: "What if everything the way I see things is fiction anyway?"

Finally, to train your mind to right thinking and right seeing you can say to yourself many times a day until it becomes second nature:

"I love my life and do not sacrifice myself to others ... or to my ego. My spiritual Self-interest is my guide."

Also available free of charge online:
Course in Political Miracles