Last year’s writing about today’s lesson: to give is to receive. It’s an important one!
Sufficiency is something I think about with some frequency. Within the ego thought system of separation, to give is to then not-have what you have given. Form is a world of limitation. It is a seeing-is-believing realm. Today’s A Course in Miracles lesson is a step towards demonstrating that this belief in limitation is not serving us. Vision depends on understanding that “to give and to receive are one in truth.” This is logically true once it is understood that separation is impossible. If there is only one than whatever is done to a part (of the one) affects the whole; what is given is also received because they are not separate actions but the same. It is why what each of us does matters. One person poisoning the planet affects everyone.
The good news it takes but one for salvation: “One thought, completely unified, will serve to unify all thought. This is the same as saying one correction will suffice for all correction, or that to forgive one brother wholly is enough to bring salvation to all minds.”
Once we let go of wanting to point fingers and lay blame on someone (rooted in the belief that “others” are seen as separate beings), we get to the point of knowing, “what is the same is seen as one, while what is not the same remains unnoticed, for it is not there.” It is not there. (Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists.) Sinlessness washes away all of the need to blame. Forgiveness does not worry about extracting payment or assigning guilt; it merely gets on with the business of healing.
This lesson is to demonstrate that what is shared is received. To give is to receive. To give and to receive are one in truth. There is no difference. We are asked to practice having this experience by giving peace to everyone we come in contact with. “Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone, and see how quickly peace returns to us.”
The lovely thing about this is by having the experience of giving and receiving being the same, it opens up our hearts and minds to extend the idea to other realms. “Our very simple lesson for today will teach you much. Effect and cause will be far better understood from this time on, and we will make much faster progress now.”
Today’s lesson in its entirety:
To give and to receive are one in truth.
Vision depends upon today’s idea. The light is in it, for it reconciles all seeming opposites. And what is light except the resolution, born of peace, of all your conflicts and mistaken thoughts into one concept which is wholly true? Even that one will disappear, because the Thought behind it will appear instead to take its place. And now you are at peace forever, for the dream is over then.
True light that makes true vision possible is not the light the body’s eyes behold. It is a state of mind that has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all. And thus what is the same is seen as one, while what is not the same remains unnoticed, for it is not there.
This is the light that shows no opposites, and vision, being healed, has power to heal. This is the light that brings your peace of mind to other minds, to share it and be glad that they are one with you and with themselves. This is the light that heals because it brings single perception, based upon one frame of reference, from which one meaning comes.
Here are both giving and receiving seen as different aspects of one Thought whose truth does not depend on which is seen as first, nor which appears to be in second place. Here it is understood that both occur together, that the Thought remain complete. And in this understanding is the base on which all opposites are reconciled, because they are perceived from the same frame of reference which unifies this Thought.
One thought, completely unified, will serve to unify all thought. This is the same as saying one correction will suffice for all correction, or that to forgive one brother wholly is enough to bring salvation to all minds. For these are but some special cases of one law which holds for every kind of learning, if it be directed by the One Who knows the truth.
To learn that giving and receiving are the same has special usefulness, because it can be tried so easily and seen as true. And when this special case has proved it always works, in every circumstance where it is tried, the thought behind it can be generalized to other areas of doubt and double vision. And from there it will extend, and finally arrive at the one Thought which underlies them all.
Today we practice with the special case of giving and receiving. We will use this simple lesson in the obvious because it has results we cannot miss. To give is to receive. Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone, and see how quickly peace returns to us. Light is tranquility, and in that peace is vision given us, and we can see.
So we begin the practice periods with the instruction for today, and say:
To give and to receive are one in truth.
I will receive what I am giving now.
Then close your eyes, and for five minutes think of what you would hold out to everyone, to have it yours. You might, for instance, say:
To everyone I offer quietness.
To everyone I offer peace of mind.
To everyone I offer gentleness.
Say each one slowly and then pause a while, expecting to receive the gift you gave. And it will come to you in the amount in which you gave it. You will find you have exact return, for that is what you asked. It might be helpful, too, to think of one to whom to give your gifts. He represents the others, and through him you give to all.
Our very simple lesson for today will teach you much. Effect and cause will be far better understood from this time on, and we will make much faster progress now. Think of the exercises for today as quick advances in your learning, made still faster and more sure each time you say, “To give and to receive are one in truth.”
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It’s good practice, I think, to allow ourselves this experience of giving and receiving being the same. It is such a radical departure from the ego‘s perspective of separation. In the ego thought system, we are always trying to hedge our bets, to make sure that we get more than we give, so that we come out on the “winning” side of the equation. This is the world of opposites; we have zero sum games, where one person’s gains equal another person’s losses. But when it is understood that there is no separation that “to give and to receive are one in truth,” then the whole experience of cause and effect is turned on its ear. Instead of seeing that effect is separate from cause, with someone else to blame, it is understood to be the same.
What I see “out there” is a reflection of who I am inside. I see the world not as it is but as I am.
What I give, I receive. To give is to receive. To give and receive are one in truth.
The wonderful news about this is that it gives the responsibility of experience back to the experiencer.
There is no “other.” What you give, you receive. It is why salvation is one. “The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.”
It’s weird; I know this stuff logically. I’ve studied it for enough years and I have had enough experience to believe in the truth of it. Yet, the interesting part is how entrenched I remain in the ego’s perspective at times. I witness the ways in which part of me (ego) still tries to deny this truth. Yet it is always my ego that arouses guilt. It is always my ego that blocks me from experiencing all the goodness God is offering me. Beauty is always present. Abundance is always here. Love, Peace, Joy, Harmony – all of the amazing and wonderful qualities of God are ubiquitous, yet sometimes I miss out. Sometimes, I listen to my ego and allow their presence to be blocked from my experience.
Clearly, in those moments, I am forgetting that to give is to receive.
As ye sow so shall ye reap.
Yeah, it’s a trust thing. It is actually helpful to think of it in terms of karma. When I am trying to hedge my bets it is always because I’ve forgotten to trust God and my ego is attempting to run the show. I think I am in a zero sum game and that if I don’t make sure I come out ahead, I will surely be on the losing side of the equation.
Which is why this lesson is important. It is important to have the experience of giving and receiving being the same so that I trust it, so that I become more practiced in trusting this truth.
It’s a trippy thing. The only solution is surrender; to give up making sure that it seems safe to trust before I actually do. “To give and to receive are one in truth.” To try to hedge my bets is to make sure I lose. Ouch.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.