I will accept Atonement for myself.
The Lesson yesterday spoke of the thousand choices we seem to have in the world of illusion, with many conflicting goals in front of us. Yet Jesus also reminded us that there really is only one choice to make and even that choice is already made. We are learning that the many forms we seem to choose among conceal the fact that there is only one choice---the choice for Heaven and truth. When we made the choice for the ego, we also made a choice for the false self, which is why the Atonement is needed. The Atonement is a correction that we can apply every time we choose wrongly. This does not make us wrong, but we have simply made a mistake that can be corrected when we turn to the Holy Spirit.
Time has been given us to use for the purpose of correcting our mistaken choice for the separation and our individuality. When we use time for learning, it is because we really do want to know again our Eternal One Self. When time is used for healing, it is being well used to accept the Atonement for ourselves. We are not responsible for the error, but we are responsible for accepting the Correction. As long as the illusion seems to offer us what we deem as satisfaction, we will continue to choose its offerings until we recognize it offers us nothing but pain and suffering. Today's Lesson says that when we decide to accept the Atonement, it marks the end of choice and the acceptance of ourselves as God created us. Until we come to total acceptance of our reality, we keep questioning, seeking, doubting, denying, and keeping ourselves small. We keep wondering: "What am I?" "Why am I here?" "What is the purpose and meaning of my life?"
Why would we ask these questions if God has already answered them? Why do we stay in this confusion about our identity? He says,
"Uncertainty about what you must be is self-deception on a scale so vast, its magnitude can hardly be conceived."
(W.139.3.1) We are living in denial of the truth about ourselves that we must learn to stop.
"The task of the miracle worker thus becomes
to deny the denial of truth
(T.12.II.1.5) (ACIM OE T.11.III.14) Our minds are split into a part that knows the truth about ourselves (the right mind) and another part that does not know; and we hold beliefs and concepts about ourselves that are not true.
Our journey of awakening is not supported by the world. It can’t be otherwise because
"It is a place whose purpose is to be a home where those who claim they do not know themselves can come to question what it is they are."
(W.139.7.2) It is an insane world based on an insane thought system.
"The ego made the world as it perceives it, but the Holy Spirit, the reinterpreter of what the ego made, sees the world as a teaching device for bringing you home."
(T.5.III.11.1) (ACIM OE T.5.V.42) All our past learning, when used for the purpose of awakening, can now become a classroom for its undoing with the help of our inner Teacher.
Apparently, we will keep coming here until we give up all these questions and all our doubt thoughts and accept the truth about ourselves. This is what acceptance of the Atonement is all about. It is the correction of our mistaken perceptions. It is a correction of our wrong-minded beliefs. To accept the Atonement is to come to accept that we are not bodies, living in this world. To accept the Atonement is to heal the mind of all its misconceptions, all its self-concepts, and all the values and beliefs it holds. It is a process of undoing everything that we have come to accept as true about ourselves and the world until we come to the place where we no longer question who we are. We are no longer deceived about our true Identity as the Christ.
We come to the place where we know ourselves as eternal, rather than bodies living a life that ends in death.
"To be alive and not to know yourself is to believe that you are really dead."
(W.139.3.2) The truth is that we have never left God and are still one with Him. It is only in the insanity of the illusion that we believe life consists of our experience in the body and the world. Life can only be truly known when we know what we are as the Christ. We did not destroy this life when we remembered not to laugh at the tiny mad idea that we could actually separate from God and the Love we are. Not one note in Heaven’s song was missed. We are still One with our Father.
"Who is the doubter? What is it he doubts? Whom does he question? Who can answer him?"
(W.139.3.4-7) I love these questions that show the part of the mind that asks and the part that does not know. When I say, "
I ask myself
," who is the "I" that asks the "self?" This internal dialogue goes on between what seem to be the different parts of the mind. The questioner is the part that has chosen the ego. What he doubts is what he is. Whom he questions is himself. Who can answer him is only the Holy Spirit in the right mind.
"For it asks of one who knows the answer."
(W.139.5.10) We won't hear the answer as long as we listen to the ego. The Self is in the right mind, but it seems to be a separate part of what we are. The one who is questioning is not what we are.
"Were it part of you, then certainty would be impossible."
(W.139.5.11) We are not two parts in conflict. There is only One Self. The doubter is the one who has chosen to identify with the wrong mind. Again, it is the choice made for our individuality that brought about all our doubt thoughts. We now doubt what we are as the One Self at One with God. Yet the answer is within, in the right mind. If we do not hear, it is because we are listening to the part that does not know.
This Lesson helps us to see how we can end the uncertainty of this constant questioning of ourselves. Sanity is in our minds at this very moment. It is the Answer within us to every question about ourselves.
"We have not lost the knowledge that God gave us when He created us like Him."
(W.139.11.4) If we don't hear the answer, it is because we don't want to be what we are. We are actively resisting the truth, believing there will be a high cost to us in the acceptance of the truth within. The Holy Spirit is the symbol of the memory of everlasting life. He is our assurance that we cannot die. Yet because we have
". . . judged against it
[the truth of our being]
and denied its worth,"
(W.139.4.4) we think we don't know what we are; and this is the source of all our uncertainty. Just because we have denied the truth of our reality does not change what we are.
"Your denial made no change in what you are."
(W.139.5.3) Part of us knows the truth about ourselves, and the other part keeps denying this truth. This is the split mind.
The ego is nothing but a doubt thought we hold about ourselves. It is madness. It has occupied the mind which now doubts itself and has become unsure of what it is.
"Atonement remedies the strange idea that it is possible to doubt yourself, and be unsure of what you really are."
(W.139.6.1) Thus, Atonement is the acceptance of the truth about ourselves. It releases the question from our minds of what we are. It is the acceptance of the Answer. It is the recognition,
"I will accept Atonement for myself, for I remain as God created me
(W.139.11.3) The truth is already in our minds. (W.139.8.2) It is not something we have to seek. We can choose to
"not allow our holy minds to occupy themselves with senseless musings."
"We have not lost the knowledge that God gave to us when He created us like Him."
(W.139.11.4) That knowledge is still in our minds to be accessed there.
What is stopping us? The only thing stopping us is our own fear and our distractions from our holy aim. All the things of this world that distract us are the
". . . foolish cobwebs which the world would weave around the Holy Son of God."
(W.139.12.2) They have no substance but only appear to be a complex web that cannot hold us back.
"And learn the fragile nature of the chains that seem to keep the knowledge of yourself apart from your awareness. . ."
(W.139.12.3) They cannot hold back the awareness of the truth about ourselves if we don't let them. When we let them hold us back, they do indeed feel powerful and strong to us. In this dream, they seem to have a very strong hold only because we give them power.
We have an important assignment given to us by Jesus today. The assignment is to remind ourselves hourly that we remain as God created us. It will never be affirmed by what the world values and what we value in the world. Whenever we experience doubt, confusion, or distress of any kind, we can look at our thoughts with the Holy Spirit and without judgment. We need to tell ourselves the truth often---we were created perfect, whole, and totally innocent. Everything we think we have done to destroy the truth about ourselves is simply a dream. While we may acknowledge that this is the case, the only way we can experience it is to be vigilant of our thoughts. Our thoughts are blocking the truth. These are the thoughts of anger, despair, worry, fears, demands, expectations, specialness, judgment, arrogance, and more. Jesus can't change our thoughts for us. We must do the work ourselves because we are the ones who gave power to these senseless thoughts. He tells us that since we made them, we must be the ones to bring them to the light.
When we release the blocks to love by accepting the Atonement for ourselves, we do it for the whole Sonship, as there is only One Mind. Every brother is a part of the One Mind. We will know our magnificence when we see it everywhere and in everyone. In this endless love, available to us in every moment, we will rejoice as we join with our brothers and sisters in Oneness. So let us look with kindness on everyone, extend blessings to those who cross our path today, and refrain from analyzing the motives of others or correcting our brothers. Our acceptance of our own joy and peace is the gift we give and thus receive for ourselves, as we do this in gratitude and joy.
He asks us to lay aside all thoughts that would distract us from our holy aim. Today, anytime you witness your unhappiness, pain, distress, or even happiness as coming from something outside you, realize that you deny the truth of who you are and thus deny the healing. By taking responsibility for our judgments and our attacks perceived to be coming from within ourselves or from the world, we take the first step in healing. We need to spend the day being vigilant with regard to mind watching. All our doubts, confusion, and uncertainties are opportunities to question their validity. They are not the truth.
"For several minutes let your mind be cleared of all the foolish cobwebs which the world would weave around the holy Son of God. And learn the fragile nature of the chains that seem to keep the knowledge of yourself apart from your awareness, as you say:
"I will accept Atonement for myself, for I remain as God created me.
These fragile chains are the ego's thought system of sin, guilt, fear, suffering, and death. To us, they do not seem fragile at all when we give them power. Today, I set my kitchen on fire and was giving power to my thoughts that I was guilty and had sinned. These are the fragile chains that can readily be brought to the truth so that regardless of what is happening in our lives, we can choose peace instead. Yes, feelings arise and must be acknowledged, felt, and released, but that comes more and more easily as we do the work and remind ourselves of the only thing that is true in this world---I am still as God created me.
We can only recognize the nothingness of these illusions when we question them and bring them to the light of truth. It is the process of forgiveness as described in the Course. It is a process of looking without judgment at the ego thought system, which can only be done when we look with the Holy Spirit.
Bring forth the memory of how dear your brothers are in truth and how much a part of you is every mind, how faithful they have been to you, and how your Father's love contains them all. Bring them all into the circle of light and love, leaving no one outside of your loving embrace. Notice whenever you try to separate from your brothers with your judgments or by seeing differences and making comparisons. Any thoughts we hold that separate us from any of our brothers is how we deny our Identity. We make judgments all the time, so do not judge yourself for making them. Just be willing to release them once they are seen.
"The necessary condition of the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep."
(T.15.IV.9.1) (ACIM OE T.15.V.43)
Love and Blessings, Sarah