Here we are approaching another review and 110 days into the year! Amazing! As we think about the days and years and the changes we are going through in our lives, we think that this is our reality. We believe in change. We believe in time. We believe in death. We believe our problems are real and the problems of the world are equally real and must somehow be solved. Yet this Lesson says there is nothing we can do or have done to change our eternal reality. We have not changed what God has created. We are pure. We are innocent. We are love. We are beautiful, divine beings. We are whole and complete and lacking in nothing. We are the Son of God, and thus we have all of the attributes of God. There is no separation between ourselves and God.
How is it that we often sink into fear, misery, judgment, and attack? We believe time will ultimately ravage our bodies and turn them into dust. And indeed it will, but we are not these bodies. Our consciousness continues. Jesus asks,
"Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end?"
(Manual for Teachers.27.1.2) Yet this is exactly how we think of our lives. This Lesson assures us, again, that there is no death. The purpose of our lives is to use every situation, every event, and every relationship to help us wake up from this dream. In the dream, we believe we have separated from Love. "
I am as God created me
" (W.110) means that I am eternal. God did not create what dies and decays. If He did, it would be impossible to think of Him as loving.
"The 'reality' of death is firmly rooted in the belief that God's Son is a body. And if God created bodies, death would indeed be real
(M.27.5.1-2) Instead, we must realize that we are guiltless now and forever.
"For this one thought would be enough to save you and the world, if you believed that it is true
(W.110.1.2) What this means is that we have not changed ourselves, and indeed our bodies are not what we are. (W.110.1.3) They are only illusory projections of the guilt in our minds. The mind is not in the body. The body is a projection of the mind. If this is so, healing the guilt in our minds would have the effect of changing the reality of our bodily experience, since the body is just a puppet of the mind and has no volition of its own.
"If you remain as God created you fear has no meaning, evil is not real, and misery and death do not exist."
We feel we have corrupted ourselves by our sins. We believe we have changed our reality. Our individual existence seems to be a witness to a reality based on our identity as a body and personality. By seemingly to live in this world, we have accumulated even more guilt.
"You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin
(W.93.1.1) Yes, we have made many mistakes, and as a result, we feel terrible and even sinful. The mistakes we have made and the sins we believe we have committed assume the reality of time. As a result, we now think we need time to heal our guilt. In other words, we believe we must atone for our many sins.
Jesus says, No! We are exactly as God created us. This is enough to heal the past, let the present be, and free the future. Just accepting this fact will release us from it all. There is nothing to atone for and no debt to pay. We only need to accept the thought that we cannot and have not changed what God created as pure and holy. Our purity and holiness are in our minds. It was placed there at the moment of separation. At that moment, the separation was undone. The memory of God is in our right minds, and each forgiveness Lesson teaches us how to access that memory; but first, we have to get in touch with the unconscious guilt in the mind. This is what needs to be released.
The Christ Self remains unchanged. It is still what we are. This Lesson is about getting in touch with this truth about ourselves. It is about giving up our belief that we must use time to atone for our sins while we keep racking them up with all our attacks. Give up the idea that you have to make yourself better and that there is something in you to be fixed. The you that believes that it needs to be fixed is the false self. What you take yourself to be cannot get beyond itself. We want to feel important, and for us, this means we want to improve what we think is wrong with us. We think we can do this ourselves through our spiritual journey, but we can’t. We need to recognize that we are not who we think we are. It is in realizing what we are not that what we are is revealed.
The image I think I am, my self-concept, the me I think of as Sarah, is the self I think I made. I believe this self was and is shaped by people in my life. I believe this image has replaced my Divine Self. In fact, it is an idol and not at all the perfection created by God. The idol seems to have taken the place of God. I now hold the belief that I have corrupted the Divine Self that I am, screwed it up, and destroyed its innocence. This is what maintains the guilt. We think of ourselves as sometimes kind, sometimes attacking, sometimes loving, sometimes judging, sometimes smart, sometimes clever, sometimes stupid, and sometimes capable, in addition to many, many beliefs and attributes, some of which we like and some of which we dislike. These are attributes of the self-image. . .the idol. None of them define what God created.
This is the graven image we hold dear and even worship.
"Let graven images you made to be the Son of God instead of what he is be worshipped not today."
(W.110.9.3) Who I really am is in my mind and has never left my mind. It is what is unchanged and unchangeable. Releasing the false attributes that constitute my self-concept and accepting the truth is what this Lesson is about. The problem is that we can't release what we don't see, don't acknowledge and have denied in ourselves. Fortunately, the world and all our relationships reflect what we believe, which gives us an opportunity to see the false self in our projections. They mirror back to us what we are holding as true about ourselves by seeing it in others.
"The healing power of today's idea is limitless. It is the birthplace of all miracles, the restorer of the truth to the awareness of the world
(W.110.5.1-2) Today, we affirm that we really can't suffer because we are God's Son. Affirmations, in and of themselves, will not heal the guilt. By bringing guilt to light, we experience the miracle. The miracle offers us the evidence that there is another way of seeing. Our way of trying to fix things in the world just doesn't work. With every attack comes fear and counterattack. Look at the world. Every day, we witness the fact that peace will never come through war, whether in our relationships or on the world stage. Whenever we take sides in attacking those we see as wrong or align with them, we contribute to the problem. Peace is not something that happens to you but
you. To point fingers and believe anyone or anything is the problem is to miss a very important opportunity.
Each one of us needs to be the
of the solution, not the effect. By embracing today's idea with gratitude, we enhance our motivation to take responsibility for our projections. All sorrows end with the realization of the truth of what we are. Practicing the idea is always about giving over our own false perceptions by being willing to look at them and bring them to the truth, so the miracle can shine forth. It means giving over our thoughts of worry, anger, fear, and concerns, and bringing our focus to the place within, where we can experience the unchangeable nature of our Being. The ego is always calling our attention to painful memories and hurts, but these thoughts can never define us. They are not what we are. When we hang onto them, we are actively choosing not to know what we are. The one making this choice is the false self, invested in its own thoughts.
The birthplace of vision is the recognition that we are as God created us, and with vision, we see the Christ in each brother. No matter how things look today and no matter what problems seem to be coming at us, the Answer is within us at every moment. The Answer is in the right mind where truth resides. The ego is the image maker, the imposter, and the stranger that has entered our pristine home and fooled us into thinking that we are this imposter, appearing as a body and personality. The task now is to go into the place in us where the quiet center resides, where truth resides, and where the Holy Child awaits us. By refusing to attend to the thoughts that bubble and boil on the surface of our minds and by seeing that these thoughts do not define us and are not who we are, we sink into this place where miracles are given birth. Yes, it does take some discipline and effort.
The ego puts up a lot of resistance and is suspicious about what we are up to as we focus on our healing. Regardless of its attempts at distraction and resistance to the truth, what the ego can't do is replace the truth already in our minds. It can only keep us unaware when we identify with it, and this is our choice. We can choose not to listen to the voice of the ego and choose instead to bring our attention to the Voice of Truth in our minds. The Holy Spirit will give us another interpretation to the one given by the ego for any situation we encounter. This Voice will never shout down the ego. Its quiet truth will never argue with the ego. We have free will, and we will choose, when we are ready, to turn to the Spirit for help.
Whatever we fear has not occurred. It is all part of the dream of this world. There are things here that need our attention, but we can choose to address them from a place of peace. The ego is raucous and demanding and insistent. It does not love us. In any situation where we are confronted, the ego says, "Turn to me. I will help you solve the problem." Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit quietly listens, watches, and is still, awaiting our call. In every situation, we make a choice of which voice we will listen to.
Some time ago when we were traveling and returning from Germany, our flight information was all screwed up, and we were left wondering if we would be able to return home. There was such a temptation to become angry and distressed, yet it was another situation that provided an opportunity to look at the chatter in the mind and choose not to listen to it. In every circumstance that we encounter, there is another invitation to remember that we are still love and any difficulty is not the truth. Be still and know that I am God. We are as God created us. We are His Son and can suffer nothing.
"Deep in your mind the holy Christ in you is waiting your acknowledgment as you
(W.110.9.4) Until we do, we will stay lost, and the Self we are, as created by God, will not be known to us.
We remind ourselves frequently today,
"I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I am His Son
(W.110.6.2-4) When the belief in our bodily identity is released by releasing the unconscious guilt in our minds and with it all the concepts and beliefs we hold, truth will dawn on our minds. This is what accepting Atonement for ourselves is all about. It is a choice in our minds that we can make when this is what we truly want. When we choose to see our brother as guiltless and keep asking for help from Jesus, rather than the ego, we step through the doorway from our belief in guilt to the truth of what we are.
"Let us declare this truth as often as we can."
(W.110.11.5) Why would we not want to when it is the key that opens the gate of Heaven and sets us free? (W.110.11.6-7)
Love and blessings, Sarah