In order to know our true nature as given us by God, we need to release the blocks that conceal the truth of who we are. By holding grievances, we have chosen to forget our true nature. How motivated are we in remembering God's love that has never left us? His memory is still in our minds, but as long as we side with the ego, we will hold grievances, which is what the ego bids us do. Its existence depends on our agreement to blame others and see them as responsible for our unhappiness and lack of peace.
We are not who we think we are, but as long as we hold grievances, we won't know our true identity. As was pointed out in the Lesson yesterday,
"Shut off from your Self, which remains aware of Its likeness to Its Creator, your Self seems to sleep, while the part of your mind that weaves illusions in its sleep appears to be awake."
(W.68.2.1) The only way to connect with the Christ Self is
". . . to see past the veil of darkness that keeps it concealed."
(W.69.2.4) The meditation practice offered in this Lesson is to help us experience the light that we are behind the clouds of illusion that keep the light hidden from our awareness.
The practice starts with a mind-set of
"real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else."
(W.69.3.1) We must come to recognize there is no other purpose and no other function here to fulfill. (W.69.3.3) You need to see the
"importance of what you are trying to do for yourselves and the world,"
"Have confidence in your Father today, and be certain that He has heard you and answered you."
(W.69.8.1) There must be a deep and profound sense of the value we give to this activity. He uses the word "try" because he recognizes that we are still practicing something not easy for us.
Jesus knows this is a process for us. Until we experience the light behind the clouds,
"From where you stand, you can see no reason to believe"
it is there. (W.69.5.1) Until we have some experience of the peace, joy, and limitless love, our motivation will not be strong. When we have some experiences of this state of peace, our motivation will be enhanced. Right now, Jesus acknowledges,
"The clouds seem to be the only reality. They seem to be all there is to see."
(W.69.5.2-3) Until we have the experience of going
". . . through them and past them,"
"be really convinced of their lack of substance."
(W.69.5.4) Faith and trust will lead us back to ourselves.
What are these clouds? They are our mistaken thoughts about ourselves and the world, based on the belief that we left our home in God, and now we are guilty. We established our own kingdom and with that decision came uncertainty and fear. We hold others responsible for our condition and expect to be betrayed in turn by them. This is the basis for the grievances we hold against them. We don't realize it all starts in our own minds.
The stories we hold about ourselves and the world make up the clouds, which cover over the truth. The clouds are all illusory. Our minds try to bring order to chaos. We try to bring some explanation as to why we are the way we are, and why our lives look as they do, but it is all make-believe storytelling. We are making it all up. When we have some realization of this, there is a sense of disorientation. The ground we seem to be standing on no longer feels as solid. The beliefs and opinions we once held dear are no longer as important. Doubt has entered our minds. We have begun to see our thoughts have no reality. We are actually making progress. We are vibrating at a higher frequency and everything at a lower frequency starts to fall away. In this process, we may seem to lose what we value until we learn it is valueless. Our friends may fall away, our jobs may no longer be there, our relationships may be over, we may experience financial loss, and other changes may show up that no longer serve us. This can feel painful until we look back and see how everything was perfect for our journey.
Who we think we are as bodies and personalities and what this world is all about, all seem so very convincing, which is why the experience of going past the clouds is such a challenge for us, yet so important.
"After you have thought about the importance of what you are trying to do for yourself and the world, try to settle down in perfect stillness, remembering only how much you want to reach the light in you today---now!"
(W.69.6.1) This world does not actually exist, but it is the world we believe in and is a projection of the thought system we hold in our minds. It is a thought system of sin, guilt, and fear. What we are letting go of are the grievances of the past, the guilt that comes from what we think we have made of ourselves, and the fear of retaliation in the future.
We have a purpose here that Jesus says is
"dearer to us than all else."
(W.69.3.1) We only have one need and that is our salvation. What that really means is our healing. More than anything, there is a part of the mind that wants to feel healed and whole. Yes, there is resistance because there is another part of the mind that has chosen separation and is still invested in being right about what we are and the nature of the world. This part still thinks it knows how to find its own happiness, but ultimately, we are taking this course because we have heard the calling in us for our home. This part of us no longer wants to walk in fear, nor to experience lack and the loneliness of separation with its "gifts" of specialness and individuality
. "You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace."
(T.5.III.10.7) (ACIM OE T.5.V.42)
undertake a journey because you are not at home in this world."
(T.12.IV.5.1) (ACIM OE T.11.V.40)
"Think of your mind as a vast circle, surrounded by a layer of heavy, dark clouds."
(W.69.4.2) These clouds surround our minds to conceal the memory of God's love. All we see in this place are the clouds because we are in the clouds.
"You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the circle and quite apart from it."
(W.69.4.3) Looking from where we think we are, we do seem to be outside of the circle of light and quite separate from it. This circle of light is all around us, yet we don't see it because our eyes were made not to see. All we see, instead, are the heavy and dark clouds, which are the ego's clouds of guilt, fear, anxiety, and depression.
As we do the work of forgiveness by bringing awareness to how we are invested in our specialness, space is made in our minds for the light of our Being to come through. We release our brothers with us because we are all One, and thus we
". . . see the tears of God's Son disappear in the sunlight,"
(W.69.2.5) which is a metaphor for the beauty that comes with recognition of our innocence and that of our brothers.
We have come to think of the ego identity as our reality. We think the idols of this world (money, special relationships, bodies, things of the world) will make us happy. The ego tries to convince us that this is our reality, and there is nothing else. The ego resists having us remember who we are because if we really knew our holiness, we would have no more investment in the ego. It is of significant threat to the ego, but it would end our ancient search.
As we do the practice, remember the clouds are not external. They are our thoughts about our experiences in this world and the grievances we hold. They are all illusions, but it is important to see they have no power, which is why we can go past them. In order to enhance our motivation, it is important to recognize that judgments and grievances always bring us pain. Trying to solve problems by rearranging the clouds does nothing. It will not bring us to the light. Yet this is where we put most of our attention by trying to fix things in the world of form.
I have always been a very responsible person who has taken care of people in my life. This role reflects a need to make things better for people in my life by sacrificing for them. In this role, I give to others, yet I do not readily receive. I have worked with this vigilantly for many years and have given up much of the people-pleasing behaviors that have not served me. As I do so, my relationships become more authentic and wholesome. I recognize the root of this conspiracy against myself has been self-betrayal. It is about betraying my authentic Self and leaving my true essence. I clearly remember a childhood of innocent awareness, knowing I was not meant for the role I had taken on. As I become aware of what I am doing that does not serve me and how I am hurting myself, my motivation for healing the mind is enhanced. I am more willing to forgive myself for my misperceptions. Only as I recognize the equality in everyone can I heal my feelings of self-betrayal. This opportunity has been given to me in my caregiving of my elderly mother whom I was never close to. She is in my life to help me to see my past roles and to give over the expectations I place on myself. She is a wonderful mirror for me of what needs healing in my own mind.
"Very quietly now, with your eyes closed, try to let go of all the content that generally occupies your consciousness."
(W.69.4.1) This takes practice. It takes a level of concentration, discipline, and attentiveness that we are not used to. Thus, this meditation practice as introduced in Lesson 41 and continued here is not one of dissociation, nor allowing our mind to become lazy. This Lesson is about focus and attentiveness. It takes
"real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else."
(W.69.3.1) Let us be determined today in our practice by recognizing we are investing in our happiness through this practice. Our happiness lies beyond the clouds and is in what we are in truth.
Let us not be tempted to hold anything against anyone today. This is not about trying to feel loving to everyone but about honestly looking at our thoughts, grievances, opinions we hold, stories we tell about ourselves and others, needing to be right, relying on ourselves to figure things out, and trying to go past all of that. It is recognizing I don't know anything. This is the veil of darkness we are trying to see past. This is what conceals the truth of who we are.
Make a commitment to yourself that you will use this day as a classroom for your awakening to the truth of who you are. Every person and every situation are in your classroom today to help you do just that. We have no other purpose or function here. We are here for no other reason. Reaching this place of light and peace in us is our only goal. It is the only way you can
"Then let the power of God work in you and through you, that His Will and yours be done."
All the power of the universe is available to help you with this.
"Your little effort and small determination call on the power of the universe to help you, and God Himself will raise you from darkness into light."
(W.69.7.2) His power is behind every effort we make. We are assured that we can have confidence in our ability to experience the light in us. As you enter this practice, hold this confidence in mind. We are joining our will with God's. Thus, we are certain to succeed. Will we immediately achieve success? It is possible, but for most of us, it will probably be more of a process of undoing, and yet with every effort we make, we move closer to our goal.
Love and blessings, Sarah