One of the biggest obstacles on the spiritual path is to mistake awakening (=the awareness of Truth) for pleasure.
The ego only knows worldly pleasures and tries to avoid pain, therefore it can only associate the absence of pain with pleasure. It’s normal.
You may not even be aware of it. There are people who associate enlightenment/awakening with some state of excitement, bliss or happiness that will last forever. Others may think of awakening as the presence of peace and love, but still think of them in a worldly frame.
All this is some kind of pleasure, the ego seeks in the „achievement“ of enlightenment. It makes enlightenment its goal, like others seeking money, fame, power or sex.
Peace and Love may be effects of realizing Truth, but they are not Truth itself. Truth is the only thing, an ego can not find, because in Truth, there is no separate ego – therefore there is no individual pleasure associated with Truth. It’s not an achievement and will not result in any never ending state of pleasure.
When I sat down to write this article, I „accidentally“ stumbled over a blog post of one of my favorite fellow ACIM teachers Liz Cronkhite and in her latest
Instead, I leave you with one of my most favorite parts in A Course in Miracles, that puts in poetic words the realization of Truth, that is totally unaffected by the world and its pains and pleasures:
Beyond all idols is the Thought God holds of you. Completely unaffected by the turmoil and the terror of the world, the dreams of birth and death that here are dreamed, the myriad of forms that fear can take; quite undisturbed, the Thought God holds of you remains exactly as it always was. Surrounded by a stillness so complete no sound of battle comes remotely near, it rests in certainty and perfect peace. Here is your one reality kept safe, completely unaware of all the world that worships idols, and that knows not God. In perfect sureness of its changelessness and of its rest in its eternal home, the Thought God holds of you has never left the Mind of its Creator Whom it knows, as its Creator knows that it is there.
Ideas don’t leave their source. This principle holds true on any level of perception – in projection and extension. This is the central lesson of the course.
Love and Blessings,