God in His mercy wills that I be saved.
"God in His mercy wills that I be saved."
(W.235) The question arises, "Saved from what?" and Jesus tells us it is to be saved from
"all things that seem to hurt me."
(W.235.1.1) What hurts me are my own thoughts, my opinions, my interpretations, and my judgments. How willing am I to be saved from my perception that I can be hurt? If
s Will for me is only happiness,"
(W.235.1.2) then the way I am seeing a situation that seems to cause me distress must be a decision I have made, which clearly conflicts with God's Will for me.
We cannot mar our own perfection, as given us by God in our creation as His Son. The prayer is just another way of talking about this, as we affirm again that Love is what created us and made us sinless forever, always perfect, and eternally safe.
"Father, Your holiness is mine. Your Love created me, and made my sinlessness forever part of You. I have no guilt nor sin in me, for there is none in You."
(W.235.2.1-3) Clearly, we do not feel this way much of the time. The reason for this is because the ego always speaks first. In other words, the ego gives us its interpretation of everything first. It tells us to blame, to judge, and to value our thoughts and opinions, which all support differences and specialness. However, we are not guilty of these errors. We need only accept the Correction, be willing to see our judgments, and not hold onto them.
So often I hear someone making a judgment and immediately telling themselves that they should not judge. In other words, there is an immediate judgment of oneself. All this is an attempt to hold onto an image of oneself as a spiritual ego beyond such errors. It is more helpful to see the judgment without judging oneself.
We think our reality is a body and personality relating to "others" as separate entities. As a result, we are in competition with each other, trying to achieve our happiness at their expense. What if we are wrong about ourselves? Jesus assures us that we are. He says that while we think our separate will is the source of our happiness and our freedom, it is actually the source of our pain, misery, and bondage. Because we are confused about what we are, we do not know what we are doing, where we are going, what our best interests are, or how to meet our real needs.
Give over the picture you hold of yourself for a moment. Open yourself to question your perception of who you are. Jesus tells us,
"God's will is all there is."
(Clarification of Terms.3.6.1) Therefore, the separate-will we think is ours does not even exist. This thought can terrify us. We want our existence, which is why we are here. The call to know ourselves as pure, innocent, and joyful beings of peace and love is also very strong. If God is all there is, we must be One with Him.
In Chapter 31,
"The Simplicity of Salvation
"How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible
[separation from God]
has not occurred, and can have no effects. And that is all. Can this be hard to learn by anyone who wants it to be true?"
(T.31.I.1.1-5) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1) On the level of where we think we are, are we willing to consider how wrong we have been about ourselves?
"Only unwillingness to learn it could make such an easy lesson difficult."
(T.31.I.1.6) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1) Our unwillingness points us to the authority problem. We think we have made another will, and we give power to that will by our belief. If all we believe is not true now, we can deny the power of anything to hurt us.
Salvation, as taught in this Course, is about healing our perception that we are separate, deficient victims of the world. None of this is real, but it is not helpful just to be told it is all unreal or all an illusion. Why? This is because right now we believe in the reality of what we see, feel, and experience. We believe our body is who we are, and we cling to this self that we believe we have made. Denying what we believe would not be helpful to us. Yes, it is all unreal. None of it has any meaning, but while we are still believing in the reality of our bodies and the world, it is not helpful to deny what we are holding as true. What is helpful is to look at our beliefs, our concepts, our values, our feelings, and our perceptions, and be willing to question them. When we see that we are wrong in how we see everything, we are then more willing to ask the Holy Spirit for His interpretation. We become more willing to step aside from our perspectives and look to the truth within.
In Lesson 70, we are told that guilt and salvation are in our mind and nowhere else.
"When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. In understanding this you are saved."
(W.70.1.5-6) Yet what we have done is to put the responsibility for the source of our pain outside of our minds. We make people, events, and circumstances, outside of ourselves, responsible for how we feel. We make them the guilty ones, instead of looking at the guilt in our own minds that we have projected onto them. It makes us feel like helpless victims.
If indeed salvation comes from me, and it is of my choosing, I am able, at any time, to choose to know the truth about myself. No one can save me but me. No workshop leader, no guru, no course, no psychotherapist, and not even Jesus can save me. It is all about my choice, and that choice is reflected in my willingness to look at my thoughts, take responsibility for them, recognize everything I see is a projection of my own guilt mirrored back to me, and be willing to release it. I am not saying that there are not teachers that help us in pointing us to the truth, inspiring and motivating us, but only that the deep inner work must be done by us.
Jesus tells us, if God in His mercy wills that I be saved, it is already done. As he reminds us,
"Love, which created me, is what I am."
"Now need I seek no more. Love has prevailed."
(W.229.1.2-3) He has kept my Identity untouched and sinless. Nothing we can do can ever mar our perfection. So why do we need salvation? We are reminded in Chapter 11,
"As God's creation It
is yours, and belonging to you It is His. Your Self does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is. You are not saved
anything, but you are saved
glory. Glory is your inheritance, given you by your Creator that you might extend it. Yet if you hate part of your Self
[another brother or sister]
all your understanding is lost, because you are looking on what God created as yourself without love."
(T.11.IV.1.2-6) (ACIM OE T.10.V.31)
In other words, any hatred, dislike, or anger we have toward any of our brothers and sisters is what keeps us from knowing that we are already saved. Such thoughts hide the truth of who we are from our minds.
"Therefore, look only to the power that God gave to save you, remembering that it is yours
it is His, and join with your brothers in His peace."
(T.11.IV.2.5) (ACIM OE T.10.V.32)
The ego also developed a plan for our salvation. Its plan is to hold grievances against others so the guilt in our minds would be seen to rest on them, rather than on ourselves. We play the game of blaming everyone else for our circumstances. Yet the solution given us by the ego to get rid of our guilt by projecting it actually maintains it because what the ego's proposed solution does is keep the guilt alive in our minds, rather than undoing it. While blaming others seems to save us from the guilt, it only maintains it.
"Ideas leave not their source."
(W.167.3.6) This is such good news because it solidifies the fact that we are not the victims of the world we see.
The ego's guidance is to do everything on our own. Part of the ego's seductiveness is that it tries to persuade us to continue to believe that if we simply select the right combination of options from all available ones, we can be happy. The right option might be the right relationship, the right career, the right place to live, the right investment, the right numbers on the lottery tickets, the right job, or any combination of the above. But what the ego keeps hidden from us is the underlying content of these choices, which is sin, guilt, and fear and a belief in separate interests.
"The dreams you think you like would hold you back as much as those in which the fear is seen. For every dream is but a dream of fear, no matter what the form it seems to take. The fear is seen within, without, or both. Or it can be disguised in pleasant form. But never is it absent from the dream, for fear is the material of dreams, from which they all are made."
(T. 29.IV.2.1-5) (ACIM OE T.29.V.28)
Now we turn to another Guide---the Holy Spirit, which is the memory of God's Love for us in our right minds. When we turn to His truth in our minds, we can make another choice. In this world, all of our self-determined choices lead us nowhere. Jesus shows us that the only really meaningful choice we can make is to allow the Holy Spirit's purpose to guide us whenever we make a decision. Instead of looking for the perfect ego dream as we see it, we are learning to release our own judgments on how everything should be. When we release outcomes and expectations, we are learning to live in the flow of God's grace. What this requires is that we learn to recognize that we do not know our own best interests. We cannot even identify what is a gain and what is a loss.
The Lesson offers us a beautiful opportunity today to use it as a practice when we are tempted to get upset. If I see something disturbing to my mind, I can immediately respond with,
"God wills that I be saved from this."
(W.335.1.1) We can choose to look at the situation from outside of the dream---from above the battleground. From this perspective, we can see the unreality of it all. None of it has any meaning. When we no longer choose to support illusions of attack and malice, they go down to dust, and we see the beauty of our brother's innocence and thus our own.
Today, we join fully in confidence that God is on the side of our happiness. I need but look upon all things that seem to hurt me and with perfect certainty and conviction say,
"God wills that I be saved from this."
(W.335.1.1) Anything causing you pain and unhappiness is grist for application of this Lesson. Tell yourself with assurance that God would not have you suffer. God only wants your happiness. This means that if our experience is anything but happiness, we can step back and realize that we must be perceiving incorrectly. God's Will for us is perfect happiness. Feel His protection and safety all through the day. Look at what you are projecting onto others. Realize that nothing in the world can affect you unless you give it the power to do so. Bring anything that seems hurtful to you to the Holy Spirit for Correction. Look without guilt or fear at everything upsetting you today, and watch it disappear. Remind yourself again and again about His kindness and love for you. Let His Love be felt surrounding you, reminding you of your innocence, which is not of your making but has been given in your creation.
"And I am saved because God in His mercy wills it so."
Love and blessings, Sarah