My Shockingly Surprising Birthday Party

By Anthony Gold

The elevator doors opened onto an eerily silent large room. The lights were dimmed, but I could see there were a lot of people standing there. All staring at me.

“What is going on?” was the only semi-cogent thought I could contemplate in my confused state.

“Surprise!” everyone yelled out.

The lights were raised, and now I could make out many of the faces amongst the sea of party decorations.

It was my birthday, and this was a surprise party. I was thoroughly shocked.

But at least my confused state had given way to wonder, awe, and appreciation for the touchingly generous recognition.

Which is exactly why we shout “Surprise!” at celebrations like this. The celebrant is locked into a certain way of seeing, and that shout jolts us into another realm. “Ohh, this is a party. Wow, this is for me!”

Life is like a continuous surprise birthday party entrance, except very rarely do we hear the “Surprise!” exclamation.

We plod along with blinders striving toward personal goals, convinced that joy and sorrow greet us along the way as fate or luck would dictate.

All without realizing we’ve deluded ourselves into believing this is reality.

“Surprise!” exclaims any thought system like A Course in Miracles that challenges the very worldview upon which our entrenched beliefs rest.

We think this world is the source of our happiness or lack thereof. If things go the way I’d like – people are kind, the weather is good, my boss is pleased, my bank account is up, my body is healthy, my relationships are fulfilling – then we say “life is good”. But if events conspire against us – the market plummets, people are mean, I get fired, my body is sick, my relationships sour – then we bemoan our situation: “life sucks”.

And this is exactly how we set it all up. We actually believe the source of joy and pain come from the world (and our body). This is the ego thought system made manifest.

Never do we step back and question if this is really true. Surprise! It isn’t true.

You do not seem to doubt the world you see. You do not really question what is shown you through the body’s eyes. Nor do you ask why you believe it, even though you learned a long while since your senses do deceive. (W-pI.151.2)

There is another way of looking at the world. I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. (W-pI.57.3)

There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly. (W-pI.132.5)

The world you see does nothing. It has no effects at all. It merely represents your thoughts. And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind. (W-pI.190.6.)

When we are jolted from our overly reinforced, habituated way of thinking from the wrong-minded perspective of the ego thought system, at that point we realize there is another way. When the blinders are removed, we see that the true source of joy and pain has nothing to do with the world, other people, or our body. Rather, the source is the choice we make in the mind – either for the ego thought system of separation, guilt, and fear, or the thought system of oneness.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll hear the joyous shout of “Surprise!” and learn how we can choose that thought system which leads to indescribable joy. I look forward to seeing you then.

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