Today’s ACIM lesson, #268, Let all things be exactly as they are, is a lesson in practicing non-judgment. Even though I think of myself as a fairly non-judgmental person, it’s amazing to witness the pull of ego; to see how easily prone I am towards the impulse to rush in with opinions (criticisms of my perception of God’s handiwork). Even when I think I am doing a fairly decent job, I will catch myself and suddenly notice ego’s covert operation. It’s subtle and meant to slip by undetected. It’s not that I have openly condemned what is, but judgment remains stealthily in the background, lurking like some predator waiting for the perfect moment to pounce on dinner. My husband, who has a knack for shutting down unwanted inquiries, inadvertently illustrates to me where my opinions have crept in. His “I don’t want to be bothered” attitude waves like a huge, red arrow pointing at my analysis of what I had mistakenly deemed neutrality. My two cents slipped by when I wasn’t looking, illustrating once more where I have healing work to do. Let all things be exactly as they are. It is a prayer to find my way out of hell and back to God. It is the desire to smooth my jagged edges. It is the observation of where I am without the idea what it should be different than it is. Sigh. From last year’s writing:
Perhaps I’m inching a bit closer to learning to embrace reality. “Reality” in Course in Miracles terms isn’t the same as normal folks think of reality; in fact, it’s denying what mass consensus views as reality. It’s things exactly as they are, but seen through Christ’s vision. In Course terms, “Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.” Only the eternal (God) is real; only love is real, all the rest of the stuff is illusion, the stuff we made up. Nothing needs to change but my ideas about things. The “real world” is already here. The “real world” is Heaven. I can’t see it when I am busy being God’s critic.
“When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. And then everything you made will be forgotten; the good and the bad, the false and the true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge.”
Last night, in our Tuesday night group, we brought up Byron Katie (love!!!) and the four questions as a means of questioning our thoughts. I’ve brought them up before, but I will repeat them because they are useful and even though I “know” them, I forget them at times and well, because we ended up looking them up last night. They are:
- Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
So, if as the Course says, only the love is real, then anything that isn’t love is illusion and any thought we have that excludes love is the ego thought-system and a stab at identifying with that (and hell!) rather than love and Heaven. From Katie’s perspective, the question is really are you choosing to believe things that make you unhappy? Is the thought reality? Who would you be without that thought?
Reality just is. There is no judgment about it, no choice to sort people into the guilty or innocent column. It just is and today’s lesson, Let all things be exactly as they are, is the decision to quit fighting God over what “reality” should or shouldn’t look like and embracing the wisdom of God.
Here’s the thing – all the stories of guilt and condemnation are illusions. God isn’t seduced by them because they aren’t real. God doesn’t punish us for them (or do anything to stop them) because they aren’t real. I loved how Andrea explained it, it would be like a parent refusing to feed his children because they had been throwing an imaginary tea party so “you’ve had enough to eat.”
Last night’s reading said, “10 You do not realize how much you have denied yourself, and how much God, in His Love, would not have it so. Yet He would not interfere with you, because He would not know His Son if he were not free. To interfere with you would be to attack Himself, and God is not insane.”
He doesn’t interfere because it’s not real and He doesn’t trifle Himself with illusions. Do we care how many imaginary cookies our children eat?
Let all things be exactly as they are.
Let me not be Your critic, Lord, today, and judge against You. Let me not attempt to interfere with Your creation, and distort it into sickly forms. Let me be willing to withdraw my wishes from its unity, and thus to let it be as You created it. For thus will I be able, too, to recognize my Self as You created me. In love was I created, and in love will I remain forever. What can frighten me, when I let all things be exactly as they are?
Let not our sight be blasphemous today, nor let our ears attend to lying tongues. Only reality is free of pain. Only reality is free of loss. Only reality is wholly safe. And it is only this we seek today.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
“Let me not be Your critic, Lord.”
I love that! When I am fighting reality, I am thinking it is somehow my role to be God’s critic.
I love how these lessons seem to pair so nicely with where we are with our readings and discussion in class. Last night, we were discussing what the Course considers blasphemy. Now Merriam-Webster defines blasphemy as “great disrespect shown to God or something holy.” But in Course terms it is the failure to recognize who we are; it is an attempt to deny God. Our misperceptions don’t bother God one iota.
“ Blasphemy, then, is self-destructive, not God-destructive. It means that you are willing not to know yourself in order to be sick. This is the offering your god demands because, having made him out of your insanity, he is an insane idea. He has many forms, but although he may seem to be many different things he is but one idea;-the denial of God.”
It is the acceptance of guilt instead of innocence. “12 If God knows His children as wholly sinless, it is blasphemous to perceive them as guilty. If God knows His children as wholly without pain, it is blasphemous to perceive suffering anywhere. If God knows His children to be wholly joyous, it is blasphemous to feel depressed. All of these illusions, and the many other forms that blasphemy may take, are refusals to accept creation as it is. If God created His Son perfect, that is how you must learn to see him to learn of his reality. And as part of the Sonship, that is how you must see yourself to learn of yours.”
So, it is blasphemous to believe the ego thought system. But it’s not as if God is going to punish you for not knowing who you are, but you will suffer because you are believing a lie. “7 Your Father has not denied you. He does not retaliate, but He does call to you to return. When you think He has not answered your call, you have not answered His.”
That again. Sigh.
“Let all things be exactly as they are.”
Let me give up fighting reality. Let me give up thinking I need to control things. Little by little I inch closer to acceptance. It’s easier to let God run the show. It’s less stressful to believe that God has my back. It feels better to believe that game is rigged and I can’t screw it up than it does to think I am on the verge of being punished for my sins.
Let me not be blasphemous – it means, let me remember who I am.
It is blasphemy to think otherwise.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.
- Reality (vsualtyrant.wordpress.com)
- The reality of reality TV (rollingout.com)
- 10 Innovative Applications For Virtual Reality (listverse.com)
- Remember Virtual Reality? We Were Such Dorks Back Then (gizmodo.com.au)
- Incorrect Opinions: Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality (bagogames.com)
- Remember Virtual Reality? We Were Such Dorks Back Then (paleofuture.gizmodo.com)
- The Eightfold Path: Right Thought (jessicadavidson.co.uk)