As I am studying the lesson for today (#58) I have a strange inner flash of recognition I can only describe as “oneness.” I ask Brother for clarification. I hear: “I do not exist without you, as you do not exist without Linda. Yet because God’s Thought of Himself is complete there is no part of His Thought that does not contain the whole Thought. The whole is the same as each part. This is why separation has no meaning. Nothing exists outside of what is whole. Nothing can be outside of what is complete. You can only imagine “breading up” what is whole, but there are infinite ways to express it. Love is the one feeling that frees the mind to comprehend this awareness. Therefore nothing in truth exists outside of Love. You are the Presence of Love, as am I. Nothing exists outside of this thought and everything within it is you, and me and Linda and John and Mary, and God.” As I think about this is I am reminded of Rumi’s “field” where we all meet to recognize we have never left our one Self.
ACIM tells us that the primary function of a Teacher of God (everybody) is to accept the “atonement” for their self. What is a simple way for me to think of what atonement means, I ask? He answers, “See yourself as God’s eternally happy and loving creation, held forever safely in His Hands.
The fundamental difference between perception and Vision is that perception is the attempt to separate yourself from what you see; making a world “out there” to shroud our thoughts in different forms and prove they have a different source. Vision is the recognition there is no “out there;” that everything you see must be a thought of yours. Perception is born of a need to reject the self it sees, putting it in a body frail and weak, destined to turn to dust and disappear. Vision sees a Light it recognizes and wants to be a part of; a self it wants to claim and share; to feel a love that joyfully returns with every giving. This is the only self that’s real and one even now present in our mind. But which self that we perceive or know depends on “Who” we let make the choice. If it is our ego that we trust, then fear will have its way and our thoughts will still seem to attack us with love kept hidden and weak. But if it is God we turn to the dream of fear will soon be gone. There is nothing more that needs to be done. The Truth is always with us, waiting only this choice to be made. The Light has always beckoned, but has been obscured by the thought of sin. You do not need to see the Light to choose it; you know that it is there. So choose your God Self over the ego. Open your mind and reach out to the Light that your peaceful and loving Self may find you.
I recently asked Brother why it seemed so difficult to hold on to the focus of my loving thoughts. He suggested, “Why don’t you think of yourself as a hitchhiker on the highway to Loving. Sometimes you get picked up by a loving thought and sometimes it may seem like something else. But you are always on the highway to Loving.”
The ego’s goal is to bring peace to all its fearful thoughts while still nurturing its belief in sin and separation and the world of attack they have made. It would change the shadows on the wall while preserving the images that made them. There is one thought, however, that entirely unravels the ego’s perception: “God is here. You are completely loved.” When this one thought is wholly accepted as true, all fear-filled dreams are gone forever. Take a chance that this is true. Forgiver everything in the world you see. Everything. Consider what it is that you may lose.
The true effect of Love remains unknown until you have extended Love to another. This must be true because it is Love’s purpose to connect, to express the oneness, the wholeness of all that lives. Nothing exists that does not share this life force we know as “Love.” Yet when we judge the one who doesn’t seem to give love, when we withhold our Love from them, we deny ourselves all of It’s effects and suffer instead the effects of feeling we are separate and alone. No one who feels the Love of God hesitates the briefest instant to gladly, joyously, embrace everyone within It, for we are not alone. We are loved and choose now to demonstrate that this is true. So when next there is a judgment thought, clearly see it as the choice to feel loved or to feel alone. Call upon the Presence of your God Self and let the judgment go. It never was a part of who you are. You have chosen instead not to be alone, and in that choice you have made it possible for love to find you
Only what is in alignment with the Thoughts of God is real. I wonder what the Thoughts and beliefs of God are. I hear Brother say: “They begin with Love and end in Peace. And they never, ever vary.”
There is a moment set in time, yet not controlled by time, when what is real and true emerges from the cloud of dreams. It is a moment when all of consciousness sets aside whatever form of sin it thinks is real and allows the Light that is the Love of God to once again consume it. When this moment comes there will be no other thought in all of consciousness. Nothing will exist to deter or to distract us from this Truth: “God is but Love and therefore so am I.” The Mind that is one within its Self now sees Itself as It really Is. There will be no sense of differences or “levels” of awareness left to separate us. In this moment the unity of our holiness is clearly seen and all our dreams are forgiven and recognized for what they are. Regardless of the world’s appearances right now, this moment is upon us, awaiting only our acceptance. We call this moment the “second coming” to remind us we have been here before. We now remember it is our holiness that binds us all as one; and it is our willingness to love without exception that keeps our bond secure. Come Home. It is time.
Forgiveness is the tool that denies the reality of differences and separateness. Our natural desire to love is lost when we consider even the possibility of hate. To deal with this dilemma while we seem to value both love and fear requires that we decide which it is we really want; which one reflects our real will. The world we now see arises from thoughts of differences and fear. But when we choose to honor our desire and our will to love above all else, our fearful perceptions must give way to Truth. Then our ego’s need to be separate surrenders to our natural desire to join and our world changes. Forgive the character in our story of sin because neither sin nor the character exist out-side our dream. Delete the idea that you can’t be loved and free your mind to hear God assure you that you are the very Presence and Purpose of His Love.
Heaven is the awareness that all wills are joined with the soul purpose and single function to love.
Love is What God Is and so must be the most natural and abundant of all the feelings we have. It must be profusely everywhere, for all of Creation mirrors the Presence of It’s Creator, making all of Creation an experience of Loving. Only in the ego’s perception of sin and lack does it seem to be scarce and special. Yet, in the world we have made, love seems to be the rarest and most elusive of our feelings. But when we forget what love is, there is a “place” we can go be reminded. The thought of sin and separation are not there so sickness and attack are unknown. Fear is also unknown for the Love that is here does not know of darkness or of lack. This is a place both known and unknown to us as our mind dances between Truth and illusion, skipping randomly from ego to God Self. This “place” we can go is a thought of forgiveness. It is where we join with a brother, bridging the gap our belief in sin has imposed. And here in this place of our oneness, with all of our reasons for separateness now gone, we recognize the end of our seeking. For here in our joining Love has found us and we see we have never left home.
If I would have a meaningful answer, can I ask, “Who am I?” without also asking, “What is God?”
Happiness is knowing that only love is real.
Do I believe that sin is real because of what I see in the world? Or do I see it in the world because of my belief? Is the world the cause of my belief, or its effect? This is the central question we must answer if we are to find the truth of who we are. If the world I see is the cause of my belief, I must forever be it’s victim. Only if it is the effect is there hope that I can change it and find my real Self. Only then can I justify my trust in the Love of God; can I believe that His Will for me is perfect happiness. Now must I also ask, “Is there more than just my belief in fear that makes fear real?” And, can I know the reality of love while I judge my brother’s sinfulness? Or love one brother while hating another? Perception is consistent. It will either look for love or give way to fear. Do not confuse your brother’s behavior with who he is, or his mistakes will become your “sins.” But choose to see the Face of Christ everywhere and let the world be transformed into Heaven.
We resist thinking of ourselves as formless “spirit” because of all the functions the body performs that we believe are an influence on our experience. In Lesson 92, but throughout ACIM, Jesus reminds us that the body, including the brain, plays no role in causing any experience. It is merely responding to our mind’s belief. He tells us, “The body’s brain does not think, Its eyes do not see, and of itself it feels neither pain or joy.” It performs almost none of the functions we assume that it does. Accepting that this is true now, in the physical world, will help us see that the body is only significant to our experience of separateness. Understanding this we can then focus more clearly on forgiving the one thing that will truly set us free: Sin is not real: separateness is not possible. Nothing exists that is apart from Love. Period. What was hell becomes Heaven when we drop the story of sin. Our “journey without distance” is now over. We already are at Home.
Sometimes it seems the “reality” of the world is too much to overlook. It is so easy to get lost in the need to overcome it; so enticing to think I can see what is “wrong” and know how to fix it. I ask: “Father, when we feel lost in this world we have made what would be the most helpful thing for us to know?” I hear: “Remember this above all else, in spite of every fear-filled dream that has ever been dreamed, there has never been a moment I have not been with you or that you have been left without my Love. Remember just this and your dreaming is done.”
Are you the presence of love or fear? Which you believe determines what you perceive your world to be.
Is “loving yourself” too much a stretch or maybe feels too awkward? Perhaps it would feel better to simply acknowledge your appreciation and gratitude for the wonder and holiness of God’s Creation, which, of course, is you.
When there seems to be resistance to forgiving others, it is likely because we recognize on an unconscious level that by forgiving them we would then have to accept responsibility for the guilt our self-judgment was meant to project onto them in the first place. It is helpful to be reminded that every judgment is a projection of our self-condemnation; that our healing is to forgive and change the way we see ourselves.
Recognizing “wholeness” means recognizing that all Thoughts in God’s Mind are in our mind as well, for It is the same Mind. Yet how difficult it is to accept that we are, right now, the wholly loving, perfectly peaceful Presence of God. The story we tell seems so compelling that just the opposite is true. The presence of strife and conflict in our world makes it easy to proclaim there is a “devil” or an ego that is responsible for what seems so opposite of what we think we want. But would God create a presence opposite to Himself? Does Love need hate to know what It is? Or is this the ego trying to justify hates existence? But whether we name it devil or ego it is a thought in our mind and we can change it. Jesus tells us that learning depends on recognizing what is real and what is not. He explains that what is real expresses the will and intention of Love which is wholly unified with all God’s Thoughts that are expressing Him, and with those Thoughts then endlessly doing the same. What does not express that unified Will is unknown to “Truth” and literally does not exist within It. “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.” We seem confronted now with two “realities,” one unfolding within the ego consciousness of the belief in sin and separation, the other surfacing in our awareness as we learn to trust more in the reality of our God Self and recognize the Truth we find there. In every moment we admit that it is Love we really want we remember the Will we share with God and do not question what is real.