It is good to rest on these lessons that let me off the hook for all the stories I have made up about how I am undeserving. I mean, it’s not like I go around constantly berating myself, but those niggling thoughts persist about how I “should” have done… fill in the blank. Each time I feel as if I didn’t have the time and/or energy to spend part of my morning writing about A Course in Miracles, I feel as if I have cheated myself and thus anyone else who may enjoy my ramblings. So, I love today’s lesson, God is the Love in which I forgive, for it is filled with release from these stories. They are stories! I made them up. “Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them,” Today’s lesson is the reminder to release illusions. It’s time to quit believing in them.
On Tuesday, in our ACIM group, we started our reading at III. The Borderland, which begins with the proclamation: Complexity is not of God. To my mind, complexity and confusion often go hand in hand, and although I often remember that confusion is not of God, I just as often seem to miss the complexity connection. When life seems excessively complex, then chances are really good that ego has entered the equation and complicated things unnecessarily.
It’s time to release illusions. Time to quit harboring fears.
The Course in simple. It says, “The reason this course is simple is that truth is simple. Complexity is of the ego, and is nothing more than the ego’s attempt to obscure the obvious.” Ultimately, it comes down to recognizing the difference between love and fear, Truth and illusions, the Holy Spirit and ego. Actually, in Oneness, where there is no confusion, these differences don’t even exist. The seeming opposites are really just the obscuring of vision. There are the places (illusions) where light seems to be absent. Darkness is the absence of light, not an opposing power. There is NO opposing power.
This is why God does not forgive. If there was something to forgive, it would mean that it was real. As today’s lesson reminds us, “Fear condemns and love forgives. Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God. For this reason, forgiveness can truly be called salvation. It is the means by which illusions disappear.”
All over the news this morning there is yet another high school shooting and it seems insane, well, because it is insane. Those of us enmeshed in this dream we call life are rarely comforted by being told that it is illusion. People’s children are dead. How many more babies have to die before life is more sacred than preserving the illusion of freedom by means of bearing arms?
Here is the thing that people seem to overlook – if you think you need a gun for protection, you do. It is the fear that makes the protection necessary. Fear is an ego gambit. It is the false argument that perpetuates the illusion. To release illusions, you have to stop believing in them. You have to want to find another way.
“Sickness is a way of demonstrating that you can be hurt.” (Anything that demonstrates the impermanence of the body is essentially the same thing. So being shot falls into this same category.)“It is a witness to your frailty, your vulnerability, and your extreme need to depend on external guidance. The ego uses this as its best argument for your need for its guidance. It dictates endless prescriptions for avoiding catastrophic outcomes. The Holy Spirit, perfectly aware of the same situation, does not bother to analyze it at all. If data are meaningless there is no point in analyzing them. The function of truth is to collect information that is true. Any way you handle error results in nothing. The more complicated the results become the harder it may be to recognize their nothingness, but it is not necessary to examine all possible outcomes to which premises give rise in order to judge them truly.”
The Course asks this question: “You might well ask how the voice of something that does not exist can be so insistent. Have you thought about the distorting power of something you want, even if it is not real? There are many instances of how what you want distorts perception. No one can doubt the ego’s skill in building up false cases. Nor can anyone doubt your willingness to listen until you choose not to accept anything except truth. When you lay the ego aside, it will be gone. The Holy Spirit’s Voice is as loud as your willingness to listen. It cannot be louder without violating your freedom of choice, which the Holy Spirit seeks to restore, never to undermine.”
We are attached to our fear of illusions. This was a large part of our discussion Tuesday night (before yesterday’s Florida shooting). And I get that it is challenging to lean on the Course when 17 people are dead. But nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Yes, I believe that gun control would be a good thing. But in a weird way, Trump isn’t totally off the mark by saying there were “so many signs.” This kid had been calling for help. Are we all so totally self-absorbed that we don’t notice calls for love?
I’m not trying to take a political stance here. The game is rigged. We can’t screw it up. All we can do is keep ourselves from Heaven. We can save time, or not. Free will continues and God is not going to intervene in illusions because that would mean they werereal.
“God does not forgive because He has never condemned. And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary. Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions.”
“God is the Love in which I forgive.” When we allow ourselves to judge, we are giving in to ego. (“You cannot judge. You merely can believe the ego’s judgments, all of which are false.”) As the Manual for Teachers says, “God’s teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. How, then, could you not have been deceived in yourself? Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bedrock of the teacher of God’s whole thought system. Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.”
It is time to release illusions.
“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest.”
When a tragedy happens, it is hard to forgive. But the anger that it arouses is a call for healing and we cannot heal ourselves alone. It can seem a daunting task to heal the world, but our part is merely to do our part. To listen to what God would have us do. There is only one lesson to teach and that lesson is love. When we teach it, we don’t need guns because we know we are safe.
“If you are to be conflict-free yourself, you must learn only from the Holy Spirit and teach only by Him. You are only love, but when you deny this, you make what you are something you must learn to remember. I said before that the message of the crucifixion was, “Teach only love, for that is what you are.” This is the one lesson that is perfectly unified, because it is the only lesson that is one. Only by teaching it can you learn it. “As you teach so will you learn.” If that is true, and it is true indeed, do not forget that what you teach is teaching you. And what you project or extend you believe.”
“The only safety lies in extending the Holy Spirit, because as you see His gentleness in others your own mind perceives itself as totally harmless. Once it can accept this fully, it sees no need to protect itself. The protection of God then dawns upon it, assuring it that it is perfectly safe forever. The perfectly safe are wholly benign. They bless because they know that they are blessed. Without anxiety the mind is wholly kind, and because it extends beneficence it is beneficent. Safety is the complete relinquishment of attack. No compromise is possible in this. Teach attack in any form and you have learned it, and it will hurt you.”
When enough of us know who we are, when enough of us see the pain of our brothers as calls for love that we answer with compassion instead of vengeance, then the healing will occur. All minds are connected and so the more of us who learn that we are here to teach love, the quicker the healing will occur.
The outcome is assured for in truth it is already done. But we can save time and heartache if we choose to allow illusions to be released. All we have to do is choose it.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.