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6.1 Can you give up your desire for reward? To give up your desire for reward is to give up a childish desire that has become like unto a plague among you. While many of you see it not, everything you do is based upon desire for reward. This is your desire to be given to in return for what you give. This stems from your idea of yourself as a “child” of God, and a notion that would seem to suggest that the child is less than the parent. Although you see yourself as the child of your mother and father, this notion of yourself as child has not made you cling to a childish image of yourself as less than what your parents are. While you may still desire recognition and affirmation from them, this is not the same as the “rewards” you seek—some of you from God, some from life, some from fate. No matter who it is you think is in charge of rewarding you, the attitude that causes you to desire reward is what must be done without.
6.2 This may seem a step back from the lofty heights we have just traveled, discussing the reign of God and the meaning of life and death. But this is one of the key ideas that will keep you from yourself and has much to do with your former notions of God and your own self. It is an idea that has been transferred to all of life, much as the idea of an unlovable self was transferred into all areas of life without your realization.
6.3 Reward is intricately tied to your notions of being good, performing deeds of merit, and taking care of, or surviving, the many details that seem to make it possible for you to live within your world. The idea of reward transfers to ideas related to comparison as well, as lack of reward in one instance and reward given in another, is the cause of much of the bitterness that exists within your hearts.
6.4 While many of you who have read this far and learned this much may not be those whose bitterness is mighty and held tightly to themselves, bitterness must still be discussed. While bitterness remains, vengeance will remain. You have been shown that God is not a God of vengeance but that you are still in the process of learning that your Self is not vengeful. The ego has given you many reasons to be distrustful of your Self, beginning with the idea of your abandonment here. Since the ego is a chosen self and a learned self, there has always been just enough room within the ego’s thought system to keep within you the idea of a self the ego is not. Thus has the ego had a self to blame for everything, including your very existence. This blame is as old as time itself and the cause of bitterness being able to exist, even within your hearts.
6.5 While the untrue cannot exist with the true, what I am calling here bitterness is all that you have forced, through sheer strength of will, to pierce the holiness of your hearts. Bitterness and the idea of vengeance go hand-in-hand. This is the idea of “an eye for an eye” or the exact opposite of the idea of “turning the other cheek.” While this may seem like the very idea of evil which I have denied the existence of, it is not evil but bitterness. You may believe that bitterness is just another word, another label for the evil you have always been convinced existed in the hearts of some, but even being that it is just another word, it is one chosen to introduce an idea of such fallacy that it rivals only the ego in its destructive potential. Bitterness is to your heart what the ego has been to your mind. It is the one false idea that has entered this holiest of places, this abode of Christ, this bridge between the human and the divine. It exists not in some but in all, as the ego has existed not in some but in all. Like the ego, it has not caused you to be unlovable or unrecognizable. But it has become, like the ego, so much a part of your reality that it must, like the ego, be consciously left behind.
6.6 Bitterness, as the word implies, is something taken into the self, much as the bitter herbs of scripture illustrated. Many rites and rituals exist for the purification of the unclean but I assure you that you are not unclean and that none can cleanse bitterness from the heart without your choice. The time of tenderness began your release of bitterness and made you ready for this choice. Choose now to leave your desire for reward, as well as all of your reasons for bitterness, and bitterness itself behind. Bring bitterness no longer to the dwelling place of Christ and we will seal the place of its entrance with the sweetness of love so that bitterness will be no more.
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