I can attack but my own sinlessness,
and it is only that which keeps me safe.
Notice how there are so few words now and each Lesson includes a prayer. It is a time of deep reflection, contemplation, reverence, quiet, and communion with God. It is the stillness before the birth of holiness. It is a time to experience gratitude that we are not alone and that we have a Guide to help us out of our nightmares and to help us open to the truth.
We start these next several Lessons by looking at,
"What is a Miracle?"
(W.PII.Q13) Basically, it is like forgiveness in that it is simply a correction. What it corrects are our wrong-minded perceptions based on the belief in sin, guilt, and fear that we hold in the mind. From this belief come all the thoughts that block happiness, peace, and joy.
The miracle does nothing.
"It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false."
(W.PII.Q13.1.3) That is all that is necessary---to recognize that what we are seeing is false, our interpretations are wrong, and our judgments mean nothing. The truth is that we are innocent and there is nothing but love or a call for love expressed in every moment. We do not have to do anything to become innocent because that is what we are. All that is required is to see that the false is false and bring it for Correction to the Holy Spirit.
The miracle helps us recognize that the world we see is a reflection of our internal dream of guilt; and when that is seen and released, we come to the happy dream. It is still a dream because it is still in time, but now we see with true perception through our right minds. The miracle shifts our perception from the wrong mind to the right mind, and now we perceive everything differently. The miracle corrects the thought system of the ego, which is based on our belief in sin, guilt, and fear.
When I react to anyone with anger, judgment, and condemnation, it is because I saw something "out there," I gave it meaning, and it triggered a reaction in me. What we see starts with self-judgment. We push out of awareness what we have condemned in ourselves. Now we project that quality onto others. What we have done is split off our own anger and hatred from awareness, and now we see it in others. When we are willing to take full responsibility for the anger and hatred within, it can be released. We can’t heal what we hide from ourselves. Everything starts in our own minds and is now seen on the screen of this world.
In order to heal, we need to see how we try to justify our anger, attacks, and defenses and recognize the way we are seeing is wrong. This is not a sin, but only a mistake. With willingness, we can now choose to release our misperceptions to the Holy Spirit. We can choose to see love or a call for love from our brothers instead of attacking them for their mistakes. When we are willing to make this choice, we experience the healing of our self-judgments. It is a Correction. It is to accept the Atonement for ourselves. The error of our thinking has been undone by the Holy Spirit, which is the function of the miracle.
The ego will never undo itself, meaning we must not try to fix ourselves or change ourselves. We need help from outside of the closed loop of the matrix, which is why we need to turn to the Holy Spirit. We need help to step outside of the dream so we can look upon the devastation of the world and recognize that what we are seeing is not the truth. When we look at the movie of our life from above the battleground, we recognize that we are the dreamer of this dream and not the character in the dream. Each time we are willing to look gently at our thoughts and take responsibility for them as ours, rather than putting responsibility for them outside of our own mind, we can see that there is always another way of seeing. Thus, the miracle
"paves the way for the return of timelessness and love's awakening, for fear must slip away under the gentle remedy it brings."
Each miracle that we experience builds a strong chain of healed perception until we no longer need time. Time was only made for the purpose of healing. Until we realize this, we waste time in distractions, pursuing idols that do not bring peace and happiness, but only bring more pain and suffering.
"A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one."
(W.PII.Q13.2.1) In letting go of my false perception of my brother, I receive the same gift for myself. We are One.
"And thus it illustrates the law of truth the world does not obey, because it fails entirely to understand its ways."
(W.PII.Q13.2.2) The law of truth is that the Source of everything is God's Love, whereas our thinking is reversed. We think the source of suffering is outside our mind. We see ourselves as the effect of events outside of us that we believe cause us to feel as we do. Our experience is that problems and issues seem to be coming at us from the world. Thus, we have come to believe the world determines our reactions. In other words, we have reversed cause and effect.
In every situation, we either choose the ego or the Holy Spirit as our guide to perception, and which one we choose will determine how we see everything that seems to happen to us. No wonder Jesus says that when we start on this path, everything is turned upside down.
"A miracle inverts perception which was upside down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest."
(W.PII.Q13.2.3) With this shift, everything is given a different interpretation. It can seem quite disorienting for a time. The mind becomes confused and nothing is as it was before. All that has happened is that the mind has been made ready for the truth because there has been a recognition that we have been wrong about everything.
"Now is perception open to the truth."
Forgiveness is what makes miracles possible. What was made to curse can now become a blessing because it serves a different purpose. I find that watching movies where there is a tendency to judge characters as right and wrong, good and bad, is helpful in mind-watching. Recently, I watched the movie,
, which illustrated this very well. It was a movie based on real events surrounding the Iraqi war. Watching this movie from above the battleground with Holy Spirit helped me to look at the characters from a different perspective. It is all being played out on the screen for us so we can look at our judgments in the safety of the theater. What character do we identify with? What brings up fear and judgment in us? It can all be used for healing.
"The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand."
(W.PII.Q13.4.1) Jesus makes it clear that it all starts with faith, where we are willing to look at the possibility that what he tells us is true and how we perceive from the wrong mind is false. Our minds are so conditioned to believe in the reality of the world and that we are victims of events outside of ourselves that we can't possibly understand the power of this reversal until we experience it. We still don't understand the possibilities that he holds out to us. By helping us to see where our wrong-minded thought system has taken us and how the ego has set it all up, we can choose against it. And as we do, our perception is shifted.
The most important thing for us to recognize is that our happiness need not rest on anything outside of our own minds. It does not matter what the external circumstances are. The foundation on which we stand is now firmer ground because we no longer see ourselves entirely as the dream figures in the drama of our lives. We are learning to bring every perceived problem back into the mind where the power is. This is the only way real change can come about. Do we want a day of miracles, trust, joy, holy encounters, deep and abiding peace, silence, acceptance, and love? If so, such a day is available when our mind is changed through the power of the miracle.
"Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from what you thought was there."
"Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. Now they have water. Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up, to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality."
(W.PII.Q13.5.1-4) Jesus is talking to us about this world. This is a world of death rather than immortal life. It will all end, but we do not. Yes, the body will go, but our reality is not a body. Miracles take us back to where we never left. We come to the realization that we are the Christ.
The prayer in this Lesson reminds us of who we are outside of this dream.
"You are wholly lovely. A perfect shaft of pure light. Before your loveliness the stars stand transfixed, and bow to the power of your will."
"What your Father wills of you can never change. The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself."
(T.31.VI.7.3-4) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.67)
Jesus invites us to let go of our unconscious guilt that results in self-hatred. With it comes a feeling that we have done something wrong and, in fact, that we are wrong in who we are. This is expressed in self-attack, whereby we bring punishment into our lives and feel very vulnerable and insecure. When we are willing to bring all our blocks to the feet of Truth, we can become a spotless mirror of God's Love. Now the world reflects back to us what is in our mind. This reminds me of the Peace Pilgrim, who knew that wherever she went, she was safe. She no longer identified with her body and expected to be safe and supported in every situation. Her innocence drew to her a reflection of that innocence in everyone.
God promises us redemption, and we thank Him for that. His promise is certain because we are already redeemed. The truth is in us. We are no longer stuck in the world of illusion. We have a way out and a Guide to help us on every step of the way. There is no reason to be discouraged. Time is being used for its intended purpose. I know I am on the wrong track when I am impatient, worried, judgmental, or angry at someone. Instead of condemning myself, I ultimately come to see that there is a lesson here that God would have me learn. The lesson is to forgive so I can see the situation differently. When I am willing to see how wrong I am and step back and let Him show me another way of seeing, I recognize that this situation was perfect for the undoing of my wrong perception. It was there to show me how I feel when I judge and how freeing it is to let it all go. Our relationships become powerful teachers. Yes, they can be difficult until we learn the lesson that the relationship offers us. The miracle shows me that truth can always look on devastation and see that there is nothing real about it, and for that, I am grateful.
Love and blessings, Sarah