This Lesson is about our function, which is to bring peace to every mind through forgiveness. We have that kind of power, though not of our own accord as the character in the dream but as a result of who we are as God's Son.
"How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind!"
(W.63.1.1) The bringer of peace is therefore not the self that I, Sarah, identify with as a body and personality in this world, but it is the mind that can make a decision for peace, which is extended to every mind. It does not mean everybody in our lives is ready to accept peace, but when the mind is ready, it will receive it. We are all united as one Son, and there is just one Mind. Our choice for peace calls to other minds to make the same choice we have made.
Much of our attack is directed at those who are not meeting the requirements, demands, and expectations we have set for them. When we have grievances about the way we want things and the way they should be, we are not accepting what is. Thus, through our non-acceptance, we have relinquished the peace and joy constantly available to us. We are actually making an active choice to throw our peace away with the demand, "I want it thus!" We need to look at our expectations, of what we want to happen and not happen. Look at the demands and requirements you have of others. It is all about serving our specialness.
"When you are angry, is it not because someone has failed to fill the function you allotted him? And does not this become the 'reason' your attack is justified? The dreams you think you like are those in which the function you have given has been filled; the needs which you ascribe to you are met."
(T.29.IV.4.1-3) (ACIM OE T.29 .V.28) It is these demands and expectations that block our peace and joy. Yet when we forgive our mistaken perceptions by bringing them for healing, we experience our holiness and the blessing shining in us always. Why would we not want to forgive? Why would we want to keep ourselves in hell by holding onto thoughts that don't serve our best interests? I watch my mind as a grievance shows up and see how stubbornly I hold onto my pain and anger. Sometimes, I am able to watch it with amusement, and when I do, I can laugh at the silliness of the ego that prefers its story of mistreatment. The joy is always available when there is a willingness to be wrong about the way we see things, and we are always wrong when we hold a grievance.
We so much want to be right about our way of seeing. Our perceptions become our truth and we stubbornly defend them. Stepping back from our thoughts helps us see we are not our thoughts. We can let them go, and as we do, space is made for the miracle, which stands waiting behind every grievance. Forgiveness is our function here. That is the source of our joy and our connection.
"Let him no more be lonely, for the lonely ones are those who see no function in the world for them to fill; no place where they are needed, and no aim which only they can perfectly fulfill."
(T.25.VI.3.6) (ACIM OE T.25.VII.45) We have an important function, and in this Lesson, Jesus is asking us emphatically to take it seriously. This is because, while our function remains unfulfilled, we stay in hell and our brothers with us. Jesus is trying to help us see how unhappy we are and to show us where our real happiness lies. Deliverance from hell is our responsibility. It is what our lives here are about. Jesus is appealing to our self-interest, which is to be happy. Happiness as we define it, based on our individual pursuits, is always temporary. Happiness as Jesus defines it is consistent and available when we stop resisting it and throwing it away for unjustified reasons we manufacture.
When I was at a workshop a few years ago, there was a fellow there who was wanting to exit from this earth plane. When he was helped to realize how many brothers would be left in hell if he were to depart, he saw the function that would be left unfulfilled by his leaving. It was a very deep and poignant experience for us all and really drove home the point that we are all necessary for the salvation of the world.
"In this depressing state the Holy Spirit reminds you gently that you are sad because you are not fulfilling your function as co-creator with God, and are therefore depriving yourself of joy."
(T.7.VI.13.1) (ACIM OE T.7.VII.68)
"Unless you take your place in It and fulfill your function as part of It, the Holy Trinity is as bereft as you are."
(T.8.IV.8.12) (ACIM OE T.8.V.35)
We are called to make a difference. We are important and are urged to take this call seriously.
"You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you."
"To you to whom it has been given to save the Son of God from crucifixion and from hell and death, all glory be forever."
(T.26.VII.17.4) (ACIM OE T.26.VIII.64)
"Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there."
(T.31.VIII.1.5) (ACIM OE T.31.VIII.84)
When we choose to forgive, we experience the fulfillment and blessing that Jesus assures us can only be experienced through this choice. While we undertake our trivial purposes, and try to address our meaningless desires in place of our function, we
". . . leave the Son of God in hell."
(W.63.2.4) In other words, we leave ourselves in hell together with our brothers. What trivial activity could be more important? I look at my life and see a lot of things that seem to have priority, but a Lesson like this helps get my attention, especially when Jesus assures us he is not making some idle request.
"You are being asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give."
(W.63.2.6) I am determined to see the importance of this Lesson by seeing how I hurt myself when I continue to hold onto my dark thoughts, grievances, judgments, and attacks on my brothers.
In every pursuit, we are called to remember to ask---What is it for? What is my life really about? How can I take my place to really make a difference? Doesn't it seem to you that each day we commit to our awakening, we are indeed doing that which we came here to do? Our function is to forgive, which brings peace.
The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.
(W.63.3.4) Each moment gives us another opportunity for this. Will I choose murder or the miracle? When we look outside ourselves for our happiness, we give our power away, but when we heal our minds, which reflect the Holy Spirit's purpose, we bring peace to every mind.
When I have been the recipient of true forgiveness by someone who has let me off the hook for my indiscretions, faults, judgments, and so on, I feel such gratitude. It is like being released from the prison of my own self-condemnation. It is freeing and empowering in the most beautiful way. It brings a sense of intimacy and peace, and that is what we are here to do. That is our function. We are releasing our brothers from their self-made prisons by declaring they are innocent. Their guilt has been relieved. Our joining with each other has been deepened.
What are some of the trivial purposes and meaningless desires we substitute for this mighty function? Do we make being right more important? Do we make pride, reputation, and stubbornness more important? Do we make our distractions more important? Is our specialness our idol?
"Accept only the function of healing in time, because that is what time is for."
(T.9.III.8.3) (ACIM OE T.9.II.8) No matter how much the ego wants us never to let anyone off the hook for anything, the Holy Spirit is calling us to see that the only way out of our prison is by releasing others. We are told,
"This is no idle request that is being asked of you."
(W.63.2.5) This is what we need to dedicate our lives to, and what we get in return is peace.
I had a situation today where a financial/tax advisor gave me advice that would have been potentially, financially problematic if not disastrous. He failed to advise me of this and was pushing ahead to have me implement his advice. When I spoke with my lawyer due to a sense of unease that I was feeling with the situation, he made it very clear I should not proceed with the recommended direction as there were potentially dire consequences for me. This led me to feel very frustrated with the advice from the accountant and very angry he had not been more forthcoming yet was going to give me a big invoice for his time. However, as I looked at the situation, I saw my own split mind---I was ready to judge him while feeling extremely grateful for the lawyer. In my reflection, I noticed I was crucifying my brother, who had simply reflected my own self-attack thoughts. I found myself telling the story of how badly I was treated. I was succumbing to the temptation to see myself unfairly treated and was looking for those who would agree with me. Yet in my meditation time, I saw that I had set this up for my healing. It was my perfect classroom.
"Faith is the acknowledgment of union. It is the gracious acknowledgment of everyone as a Son of your most loving Father, loved by Him like you, and therefore loved by you as yourself."
(T.19.I.10.2-3) (ACIM OE T.19.II.11) It is all my mind bringing me the perfect lesson in each situation. There is no separation. I looked at my grievances and became willing to let them go and felt the peace of that decision. I paid the bill I received with no more rancor in my mind, remembering I was blessing myself.
Whatever situation is in front of you today, remember the statement,
I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world.
(W.63.3.5) What a noble function it is to forgive the world for what it has not done to us. Look at your thoughts to determine why you might want to refuse this function. What are you allowing to stand in the way of it? What are the personal issues and desires that are more important to you? What would you rather not let go of in order to stay in hell? Isn't it like cutting off the nose to spite the face? Yet I know how I have often hurt myself just to make a point! What foolishness it is to choose pain when we can open the door to a mighty kingdom and know the truth about ourselves.
"Remember that God's Son looks to you for his salvation. And Who but your Self must be His Son?"
(W.63.4.4-5) This is an important note on which to end because that Self is the Christ Child that longs to go home. We have lost awareness of that Self. Through our function of forgiveness, our awareness is restored to the Self we are. Thus, forgiveness always offers a gift to our own minds. Yes, it is in relationships where our grievances and issues arise, but what needs to be forgiven are our own misperceptions. We are always wrong when we rely on our own perceptions of a situation.
We start with the Lesson in the morning and conclude our day with it, and do it as often as possible throughout the day, letting related thoughts come. It is helpful to close our eyes as we do the Lesson, but he asks us not to wait for such an opportunity if we can't close our eyes.
"No chance should be lost for reinforcing today's idea."
(W.63.4.3) In other words, the Lesson is very important in taking us out of hell. We must not lose any opportunity to release ourselves from our guilt.
Throughout the day, repeat as often as you can,
The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness. I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world.
Love and blessings, Sarah