Historically, since the beginning of time, almost no one has recognized the single underlying cause of the collapse of all failed relationships. This is why they suffer from such high risk of continued failure in the world today. Without identifying the single underlying cause of collapse, the remedy will not be recognized nor implemented.

The bedrock of all our seeming conflict with others is that we each value what we believe is our “private mind,” with a separate body, all with highly personal thoughts and independent agendas. These private minds seem to value differing goals and so they clash. The ego’s self-serving goals are designed to divide and separate. And conflict and loss of varying degrees follow.

Nearly all relationships in the world, personal and business, are based on this mistaken investment in separate agendas. These include romantic, family, friend and business relationships. They are predicated on “specialness” – as personal, self-seeking aims. There may even appear to be a holistic common goal, but if those involved do not agree to unite in one truly common purpose then the relationship will eventually fail.

In this world we can join with others in what, at first glance, appears to be a common purpose. For instance, romance, marriage, sex, having children, making money, saving the planet, etc. To historically ascertain how successful the ego’s model of a “common purpose” has been, we need only to look at the  multitude of marriages and business partnerships that were initiated in good faith, but which ended up in disaster, loss and separation.

How can it be that people can come together with the best of intentions initially, perhaps even to serve an altruistic cause, yet eventually their distinctly personal – special – agendas collide, and they separate?

When people attempt to unite under the umbrella of a common purpose, yet each one values their own private, self-seeking agenda, then the common purpose along with the relationship, business or project, is often shattered. Separation as self-seeking agendas, is the goal of specialness.

What is it that distinguishes an ego centric “common purpose” from an inspired, “truly common purpose?”

The underlying agenda for joining with others in an ego common purpose – romantic relationships, friends, business ventures, saving the planet, etc. – is that they always join for what each person can get separately. They unite in temporary allegiance for what each one can gain individually from the collaboration. Their priority for personal gain over the unified goodness for all is a divided allegiance. The sum of a relationship’s parts must collapse if its members divide themselves through their pursuit of self-seeking agendas. This is the real reason why so many relationships, business ventures and global empires have collapsed.

We see the repeated fragmentation and destruction of the ego’s relationships in all walks of life. Strength is always weakened when it is not shared with all. Love has become fearful because the individual is possessive of this “love.” Their agenda, at least on some level, was to gain something for them self. Had there been a truly common purpose as the foundation of the relationship, the power of that true Love could not have been shaken.

“Egos do join together in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get [separately.] The Holy Spirit communicates only what each one can give to all.” A Course in Miracles, T-6.V.A.5:9-10

A Universal Law – To Transcend Self-Interests

In contrast, the outstanding hallmark of a “truly common purpose” is that it must transcend self-interest in order to be genuinely shared. It must be an idea that is mutually beneficial and can be shared with everyone involved; one that is in the best interests of all participants in a relationship. Anything less than this mutual blessing of “transcending self-interest” will eventually succumb to disintegration.

Only a truly common purpose can be shared. This is a universal law. The ego’s version of a common purpose is volatile and temporary. Because those involved still value what each person can get for themselves separately, the relationship or business venture is simply not sustainable. No joint ventures are sustainable unless we genuinely value other’s best interests as not separate from our own.

A truly common purpose is indestructible. But for this to be so, it must transcend the self-interests of all involved. Only by doing this can it be meaningfully shared.

When we step out from our own personal, self-seeking agendas and genuinely desire to see and help others flourish, we will revel joyfully in a massive realization. Beyond the illusion of private minds with separate agendas, all conflicting with each other, is just One Mind. And that Mind is eternally conflict free because it’s the true nature of every being on Earth.

When we choose to see, to reach and to join with that part of everyone’s Mind, then not only will we be healed together, but the entire world must follow.

Our True Purpose

Our true purpose involves serving the good of the whole. As our higher purpose, it consistently transcends separate self-interests. And happily, it always involves doing what we love to do. There is no sacrifice involved. This is God’s Will which we eventually learn to accept with joy as we undo the false body-self’s fear and desire for specialness – along with the crushing unworthiness that comes with it.

In addition, as we awaken from separation, each one of us is given a special function to fulfill. The essence of this function never changes although the specific “forms” in which it is expressed may be numerous. The content of this function is shared by everyone who willingly embraces this divine mission. The content, the intent is always the underlying message which we extend to others. And that is that they are always as God created them – sinless and innocent.

How this plays out practically in our life will eventually be known to us. This assigned function involves implementing our special gifts, skills and abilities, not exclusively for self-gain but for divine extension with others. To serve the good of all.

For example, when I began the Course in 1990, I had no idea what my function was. I had been embedded in a long career as a make-up artist. But over the years, as I truly applied the principles of forgiveness within all my relationships, it became obvious that my passion was to share these life-changing teachings. As my trust in Spirit strengthened, I didn’t have to worry about how to make a living. I was serving God’s Plan. As a result, I eventually followed guidance to write and teach exclusively. This has become my abounding joy.

I learned that my number one priority was to serve His Plan’s purpose, which always involves the undoing of special relating via forgiveness. Then I began to experience Holy Spirit providing the means to achieve His purpose and taking care of my earthly needs. Jesus says that once we wholly commit to His purpose then both the purpose and the means by which we accomplish it are given. This divine providence also includes perfect health and abundance.

“The means and purpose both belong to Him. You have accepted one; the other (the means) will be provided.” T-18.V.3:6-7

“You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill.” T-20.IV.8:1-8

The ego’s version of love and caring, which is really fear in disguise, comes with a stockpile of distorted beliefs. One of these loaded beliefs is that to give or to help another demands that we sacrifice something of our self. It could be time, money or effort, etc. It could demand that we suffer some form of loss or pain in order to help someone else. This is the insanity of the ego.

God’s Love is whole. It is the very nature of our one continuous and unified Self, as the one Mind of God. Love cannot suffer. It cannot lose. And it cannot by any means “sacrifice” anything real. God’s Love is completely alien to the ego thought system where we lose what we give away, and the one we gave it to appears to gain what we lost.

In a radical reversal of the ego’s belief, the only way we can truly keep something is if we give it away. We’re talking here about the intent behind the giving. That intent, if pure and unencumbered by self-interests, must be returned to us perfected and amplified. What we give we always give to our self. Giving is indeed receiving when it has zero strings attached.

Giving is receiving. This is a universal law; and it is the principle behind both the projection of fear, and the extension of Love. The ego projects fear and the Holy Self extends Love. Whatever we still hoard in our subconscious, especially grievances and un-forgiven memories, the ego will project – give away – and superimpose upon people and circumstances. In projecting its judgments externally, it amasses guilt (self-attack) for itself. Hence the ego’s endemic legacy is a world full of broken relationships and sick bodies.

Whatever the mind shares with or projects toward others must also be strengthened in our own mind and experience. Because there is just one mind not many, if we judge someone and condemn them, if we try to cheat someone or bargain them down, then we our self must accumulate this projected attack. Giving is receiving. The question is, “Are we extending what we desire to keep and nurture, such as Love, forgiveness, innocence, abundance, etc.? Or are we projecting fear, blame, guilt, scarcity, etc.?” By extending or projecting, one thing is for sure – we get to keep everything that we give.

“The second error is the idea that you can get rid of something you do not want by giving it away. Giving it is how you [keep] it. The belief that by seeing it outside you have excluded it from within is a complete distortion of the power of extension. That is why those who project are vigilant for their own safety. They are afraid that their projections will return and hurt them. Believing they have blotted their projections from their own minds, they also believe their projections are trying to creep back in. Since the projections have not left their minds, they are forced to engage in constant activity in order not to recognize this.” T-7.VIII.3:6-12

Giving is receiving! Whatever we share or give unconditionally must also be received, although it may come in a different form. The intent to share, to extend without a self-seeking agenda, is the extension of the Mind of God. Our True Self is known only by sharing its joyous wellspring as Love, as innocence.

“God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship.  In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own.” M-2.5:1-9

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