One of the benefits of doing these daily lessons is that it is helping to heal the guilt of ego. Ego smears everything with guilt and it makes it difficult to enjoy being in the moment. Today ACIM lesson, #336, Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined, is a call to allow the truth of who we are – the sinless children of God – to come in and replace perception (which is of the ego) with knowledge (which is of God). Knowledge can’t be guilty from a Course perspective because knowledge is Truth, Pure, Loving and Joyous. The Changeless contains no guilt for there is no ego in it. This lesson begins by telling us, “Forgiveness is the means appointed for perception’s ending. Knowledge is restored after perception first is changed, and then gives way entirely to what remains forever past its highest reach.” The challenge, from a human standpoint, is that the means for attaining forgiveness is the letting go of judgment and what we “think” happened.
While reviewing the lesson today, what came to me is that it’s hard to do this while being actively fearful about the state of the world. Fears of global warming, nuclear annihilation, poisoned air and water press on us and tell us that it is not safe. If we believe that, we are supporting a world in which ego appears to be winning the battle. It can’t (the game is rigged), but we can certainly suffer while we believe that it can.
“Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived without it means anything. And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.”
This is the core of what the Course is trying to teach us – we must change our minds about the world in order to regain our peace. As long as we believe that God is out to get us, peace will elude us. “If this were the real world, God would be cruel. For no Father could subject His children to this as the price of salvation and be loving. Love does not kill to save. If it did, attack would be salvation, and this is the ego’s interpretation, not God’s.”
God loves us, deeply, unabashedly. ”A loving father does not let his child harm himself, or choose his own destruction. He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still. And how much more than this does your Father love His Son? Remember you are His completion and His Love.”
The Manual for Teachers reassures us, “Forget your foolish images, your sense of frailty and your fear of harm, your dreams of danger and selected ‘wrongs.’ God knows but His Son, and as he was created so he is.”
Relax. Have faith. Forgive.
From last year’s writing:
If you pay attention, you will know that minds are connected. You think about someone and they call. You and your sweetie have the same thought at the same time (or did one of you think it and the other pick up on it?). Without so much as a word, you know whether or not someone likes you. We feel it. We know it without really knowing how or why. It’s just there. Sometimes I think about that and wonder why anyone thinks that secrets can be kept. Yet it is human nature to squirrel away things that we fear – things are aroused shame or guilt; you know ego stuff.
I am not immune. I’d like to say that I am; that I am beyond all that, but I notice that I hesitate to share some things openly. If I suspected I will provoke judgment from the other person, I keep quiet. I am fairly close-mouthed about my political beliefs because I don’t enjoy arguing about perspective, especially since I know it’s perceptive: rooted in ego ideas of right and wrong. A friend of mine once referred to me as a “good God-fearing woman” and I didn’t bother to correct him (I don’t fear God) because I wasn’t about to go down that road. I openly broadcast my spiritual/religious beliefs and I ask NO ONE to agree with me. Isn’t that part of what America is all about? Freedom of religion and speech. We don’t have to agree to get along.
We just need to make Love our highest priority.
Today’s lesson states, “Forgiveness is the means appointed for perception’s ending. Knowledge is restored after perception first is changed, and then gives way entirely to what remains forever past its highest reach.” Beyond the small ability of egos and bodies to perceive, there lies something much more glorious; something holy; something pure. It is the dwelling place of God Himself, where Love is the only rule; where Peace is the only emotion. “Forgiveness sweeps away distortions.” I personally need my distortions swept away in today’s political environment, for little is likely to arouse ego’s determination about the “correctness” of its beliefs than talk of politics and how things should be done.
Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.
Forgiveness is the means appointed for perception’s ending. Knowledge is restored after perception first is changed, and then gives way entirely to what remains forever past its highest reach. For sights and sounds, at best, can serve but to recall the memory that lies beyond them all. Forgiveness sweeps away distortions, and opens the hidden altar to the truth. Its lilies shine into the mind, and call it to return and look within, to find what it has vainly sought without. For here, and only here, is peace of mind restored, for this the dwelling place of God Himself.
In quiet may forgiveness wipe away my dreams of separation and of sin. Then let me, Father, look within, and find Your promise of my sinlessness is kept; Your Word remains unchanged within my mind, Your Love is still abiding in my heart.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
Knowing that minds are joined, that there is nothing that can happen to sever the connection that God Himself placed within us, I find I have little choice but to reach for forgiveness. I find I have to see past my ideas of sinners and saints and see sinlessness in everyone.
This is what soothes me. At our core, we really all want the same thing. As Sting wrote eleven years ago, “I hope the Russians love their children too.”
Frustration bubbles to the surface when I think about what I can do to change “other people” before it’s too late. (Again, generally aroused by thoughts of politics.) Such thinking speaks to a lack of trust in God; it says that I think “I” (separated little ego-me) must do something because God (who pays no attention to our illusions and therefore isn’t alarmed) isn’t doing anything. WTF, God! DO something!
But the Course teaches that, “The sole responsibility of the miracles worker is to accept the Atonement for himself.” So I don’t have to worry about anyone else. My job is to worry about me. As long as I remember that minds are connected and that forgiveness is the answer, I am doing the part God assigned to me. The part of my mind that wants to fall into fear (ego) and shout that we need to step off the railroad tracks because the train is headed towards us does not like that answer. But it doesn’t mean that I stand on the tracks and wait for the train. It means I ask:
It means I trust that God knows what God is doing. It means I remember, “ God will do His part if you will do yours, and His return in exchange for yours is the exchange of knowledge for perception.” God has already done His part. The game is rigged.
There is nothing to be afraid of except illusion. “Forgiveness is the means appointed for perception’s ending.” Once perception (the ego’s filter) ends, the dream of separation and sin ends, and Heaven takes its place. The path of being love is clear to be fully expressed.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.