Your Life is a Classroom, But You Can't Fail the Final
Until you wanted Peace, you were always listening to the ego. It was teaching you (by your choice) that the world is real, the things in it are real, you are real, and the guilt/fear/pain/suffering/deprivation etc holding the whole sand castle together is real, too.
But the day has come, and you've decided you want Peace, and now your life -- and everything that seems to happen, every relationship (casual or life-long) -- is a classroom. That leads us to the question of "tests," which can be a real ego trap. Many of us get stuck thinking Jesus or the Holy Spirit is now sending us challenges, as in "Jesus is testing me....that's why this horrible thing is happening."
This can be a very scary feeling, when we think the Holy Spirit mucks around down here at the level of the dream. Deep down we can't help but believe that God/Jesus/H.S. has sent me the rapist, or the job lay off, or the car trouble in the middle of nowhere. Not only that, the reverse must be true, too, as in some private hidden belief like,"here I am drowning, and the Holy Spirit must not think I'm worthy enough yet to send me a dingy to save me."
How loving would Jesus be if He did this? Not Loving at all. Not by God's Perfect Standards, and that's what we're going for. So we really need to drop this belief if we're to make substantial progress, because until we do, God/H.S. is still the "enemy" at a deep level.
And who do you think would want us to think that? If you said "ego," you get a biscuit. :)
The not-so funny thing is that the ego studies A Course In Miracles (or whatever spiritual practice we're drawn to) right along with us, as you may have already noticed. The ego loves to "help" us in our spirituality, and it especially likes to make spirituality fearful in some way, or make it an eternal struggle/competition/marathon. The ego doesn't actually mind if you talk about Oneness and God and Peace etc. etc. etc. as long as it can keep you deeply afraid of it.
To keep this insane "fear of Love" in place, it also must make sure that you aren't truly even aware of this fear. It keeps this fear of God hidden from you under rationalizations and well-thought out arguments, the busyness of your spiritual path "out there," and the "pink paint" (as some of my Dear Friends like to say) that you liberally apply over your fear through the use of happy words, etc. Someone once coined this mask (that we all can put on from time to time) as the "blissninny."
So if Jesus/Holy Spirit doesn't send us these "tests" in our life as part of our curriculum/Purpose, what is happening, you ask? It's like this:
The script -- i.e. the dream you are experiencing as real and time-bound -- was written and done with long ago. It was a tiny blip in eternity. There was a thought of separation that included what we think of as the Big Bang but in all time dimensions. Remember that from the ego's twisted purpose, lots of separation and complexity makes a good hiding place from God. At that same moment, a Thought From God provided the Answer to the separation (i.e. Holy Spirit/Joining), and that was that.
Period. It's over. In the can. The fat lady has sung her song.
However, You who are so Powerful as the "Son of God" had tremendous guilt (until you started undoing it), which made you want your separate life because you thought it kept you safe (and let's be honest..because you thought that it was "better".) So you've stayed asleep and you've dreamed your dream lives. All the events are like pre-recorded virtual reality DVDs with gazillions of alternative forks in the plot, and different endings. The Chooser in your mind has been watching them and deciding what voice -- the ego's or the Holy Spirit's -- to listen to. They are like the Roger and Ebert in your head...one has been telling you lies about what how real it all is, and the Other is helping you undo your beliefs in the ego lessons so you can Know/Experience Truth and wake the heck up.
I know it sounds crazy. It's all so deep in the unconscious, we can't really relate to this concept, but that's ok. We get undeniable whiffs of it through the experiences we have once we want them. We start being prompted to make new choices. We begin to watch our minds and notice we are able to catch ourselves choosing judgment, fear, victimization, anger, etc. Sometimes we have outrageous spiritual "aha!" experiences. Once these things start happening, we can't unring the bell. It's done been rung within us.
As students, we often say, "Help me see this another way" when we're feeling a lot of dis-ease in some form, which is always the ego's calling card. That plea for new vision is the door in our mind opening a crack to let some Light in. That's the drawbridge coming down to let the Holy Spirit cross the moat that we've built around our fortress to keep Him out.
So back to the subject at hand -- let's say we're studying ACIM and "bad things" still happen "to us." That's the experience we all have at the beginning...and the "beginning" can seem to last a very long time. Is the Holy Spirit sending us bad things now, just because we've asked to wake up? Is He trying to toughen us up? Is He trying to deliberately show us how crappy bad things feel so we can choose Peace?
In short, no way, Jose. The Holy Spirit is in your mind, not in your dream. He's not really sending you good parking places to reward you for being such a Good Student, but the flip side is, he's not sending you parking tickets to test you either.
The ego loves for us to believe the old adage, "No pain, no gain!" It wants us to blithely assume that we must suffer in our search for Truth. It, in fact, was one of the main authors of the Bible, and the primary influence behind all the suffering that went on that day on the cross. In truth, there was no suffering, because "a guiltless mind cannot suffer."
But despite the ego's lies, what's really happening is a whole lot of nothing. The script was written/done, and besides that, there is no world. Knowing that doesn't help, but wanting Peace and deciding to watch the dream life with the Holy Spirit -- who will now whisper new, helpful ways to think about the dream experiences -- does help, indeed. This will slowly but surely undo your belief in the ego's thought system.
Yes, there are lessons that you are still learning, and until you've learned them all, you are gonna hit speed bumps that look like "bad things happening to me." But don't blame Holy Spirit because a) that displaces the responsibility (which is yours, as The Chooser) and displacement doesn't help you Free you Self, and b) it's just not true, which means you really can/should let the Holy Spirit off the hook. He can go back to being your Holy Buddy.
Realize that all He ever wants is abundance, healing, wholeness and perfect Peace for you. But all those crazy script events the ego wrote for you -- the ones you haven't looked at sufficiently yet to give up the old fearful meaning the ego/you gave them -- He watches with you and will help you re-interpret them so you can finally clear your mind to do one thing: Accept. Accept the Truth of the All Good Stuff He knows for you. You are the only one in this equation that doesn't think you are worthy of All Goodness.
Eventually, you get off the damn "so-called life/so-called death" conveyor belt entirely. Along the way, the seriously delicious and vastly underrated perk of being a good, willing student is that, as you accept His lesson in each "bad" event instead of the ego's, you will feel so much better. You live in a Tranquil Mind. You can be in a traffic jam and not mind one bit.
And when you really nail it, you collapse time, as we've discussed.
In fact, you feel so much Peace at some point, you wouldn't know a bad thing if it happened to you. And that's because it couldn't. You have changed Cause...the meaning you give everything will never lead you into Suffering again.