From Brother on letting go of the body ID and the fear of dying:
“As you learn to have more appreciation for the reality of your innocent and loving nature, you will correspondingly find less need to value your separateness. This, in turn, decreases the very purpose your body serves. It is true you fear the possibility of losing your identity without the body, but the reason it seems important to maintain your individual identity is to separate you from those you would try to make more guilty than you. Accepting the truth that sin is not real both releases your guilt and the need to judge your brother as well. With the need for separation fading you will find the things that previously made the body necessary now are losing importance. Without your guilt your attraction to God returns. Without the need for separateness this world will give way to Heaven. And without the fear of God there is no need to identify yourself different or apart from Him.”
Jesus tells us that as we let go our belief in sin and our need to be separate we will feel ourselves “disappearing into God.” This is very frightening to the ego whose existence depends on its separate identity. But to those who embraces Spirit as their reality, disappearing into God must occur when the thought of separation is gone and the true nature of our Oneness with Him is remembered. We then realize that having God’s Love is not something for us to achieve or deserve. Having it is a gift we have already received. And keeping It only seems an option when we think our stories of sin and separation are actually real and true. Let us together take a moment and reaffirm that what we seek is already ours. Now give this gift to two others, requesting they do the same. As we “disappear” into God together we will find the Love that separately has escaped us and know that our journey is done.
When I am gripped by a thought of fear and feel a sense of unreasonable panic, it is because it is my belief there is something real to fear. The source of all fear is the belief in sin. It does not come from the threat of war or starvation, losing someone you love, global warming or a thousand other threats. These are all effects arising from the belief there is something wrong with me – the idea of sin. Sin, in fact, is the single thought that stands between truth and illusion. This, then, makes forgiveness the means to becoming fearless. Forgiveness is the most powerful tool we have to change our mind and our world, but it is virtually useless if there is one perception of separateness, one thing you fear or value in the world that you insist must be real. Forgive yourself and discover what a force for loving you really are.
When we try to correct the dream of sin and separation we have made it real and all the stories of separation in the world will then seem to be true. But the stories about sin and the loss of love cannot be real because there is no sin or lack of love in God. Separation could not happen. The will of God has not been overturned. We can forgive every thought and act that we thought has happened in our dreams of fear. They have not changed or had any effects at all on who or what we are or any part of what is created by an infinitely loving God. What was created from Love, irreversibly as One to forever extend love, has not been affected. Nothing has separated God from His Creation. Nothing real has happened in the dreams that have unfolded from the illusion that sin is real. We are innocent and free, regardless of how we may see ourselves.
August 21, 2014. (from Linda)
For over twenty-seven years I have studied ACIM almost daily, trying to understand how to experience the application of what is taught in those many inspiring pages. This particular morning, I stopped reading, put the book down, and sat there, simply letting myself feel so much love and gratitude for its Author. As I was immersed in that wonderful feeling, I mentally received this instruction: “Now extend that love.”
I was willing to do so. To my amazement, I then began to experience an awareness of that Loving feeling expanding like an omnipresent wave, spreading Love like an exquisite blanket of light moving over and replacing all the many forms of separation that I normally might define as the “world”. It was a Vision of such beautiful, indefinable Love my words cannot adequately define it. In that moment, I first felt, and then realized, what all the teachings of non-duality have been trying to tell us: There absolutely is a unity without form and far more beautiful than words of anything my ego’s focus can imagine. Definitions aren’t needed here for I was aware that there was nothing separate, no forms of anything; just the flow of Love in which all of Creation, including “me”, exists. It is Perfection of Unity beyond my imagination.
While I have not been able to have this kind of experience through my many years of trying to understand ACIM, I suspect it is significant that I did experience it within a minute or two of opening my heart to a deep feeling of Love and gratitude that I can always easily feel for our beloved Teacher. I suspect that you too can use that loving feeling for “him” as a similar means to expand into a greater awareness of Love’s reality. You won’t be alone.
When you have doubt about who you are, check the label imprinted on your soul: MADE IN HEAVEN.
Awakening is about learning to recognize Love where it now is and always has been. ACIM tells us it is a course in learning how to “see differently,” to tell the difference between truth and illusion. That doesn’t mean being able to look on pain and suffering and see it differently. It means finding the Presence of Love within you that does not see the story of pain and suffering because, in truth, in God’s Creation, it is not there. Do not be tempted to reconcile truth with illusion. They are irreconcilable. To forgive sin is to recognize it cannot co-exist with love and therefore cannot exist at all. Ask to see only what love sees and allow a world of holiness to take the place of a world of fear. This is the miracle of real forgiveness. This is how you exercise your role as a Creator and extender of Truth.
When you don’t feel good about yourself it must be because you have accepted the ego’s evaluation. Don’t be frustrated because you expect it to be accepting; and don’t try to teach it how to love. That is not the role the ego plays. Ask instead to be shown the Face of Christ. There is no confusion there that you are loved.
You are not the “person” who is in pain; not the one who has fearful thoughts and quickly judges guilt. Nor are you the one who forgives to find the peace and joy, forgiveness brings. You are not the one within the dream, within the world that sin makes real. This person is a character in a story needed to support a “tiny mad idea,” that God’s Creation could become something else; that what is forever loving and filled with joy could be reduced to hate and suffering. You are the one who sleeps and dreams the dream of guilt and pain that has the need of forgiveness. One of these “beings” is the real, God created You. The other only an image in your mind. Trying to heal what is not real only reinforces the illusion of the dreamer and his dream. Ask the Holy Spirit on your behalf to forgive your belief that sin is real, then ask to see the face of Christ instead.
When you feel sick or fearful it seems natural to want to find what will heal the sickness or relieve the fear. Most of the time we find a solution hard to achieve. The reason for this is because the “self” we are trying to heal is an image we have made of a guilty self that we secretly think should be sick. In truth, the “you” who holds the image of the “sick” you, is the perfectly created Child of God Who cannot be sick. Healing, then, must be directed to changing the misperception that would make sickness seem to serve some purpose to one who cannot really be sick. Choose to see the Face of Christ on one you have judged deserving to be sick or fearful. Release yourself from the sentence you imposed on the image you made of him and free yourself from the fear of God’s Judgment and the need to be sick.
When someone seems to have attacked you, realize instead how unloved they feel. Instead of mounting a defense, ask what you can do to help them. Choosing a loving solution which allows joining to occur is healing for everyone.
I fear death because I think my happiness and those that I love are in the world that I will leave. Neither is true. This is simply the culmination of our belief in separation; that what sustains us is “outside of who and what we are. Only the recognition of our eternal Oneness will reassure me I am forever surrounded by the loving presence of all that God created one with, and as an essential part of me. There is, in truth, no “place” to go where we can be separate from our Self. It is only our misperceived guilt and its need to be separate that keeps this awareness from us. Ask to be shown the face of Christ in those you might previously have judged. Practice using “eyes” that can see and discover a “world” of Love where no one has a need to leave.
Accepting the reality of God’s Creation in place of the world that arises from our ego’s belief in sin is needed to recognize our brother’s holiness. Seeing his holiness beyond this world’s hatreds is what will change our resistance to joining with him into a profound appreciation for our eternal Oneness. We are given the means to let this truth return to our awareness: Refuse to accept that sin is real! On every occasion that fear paints blame and hate on the face of a brother call upon the Presence of Love to show you the face of Christ instead. Which we choose to see becomes our reality. Choose Love and you will find what makes us One.
If you are having difficulty forgiving yourself it is likely because you are trying to get there thru the ego’s perception of whether of not you deserve it. You can save yourself a lot of pain and frustration when you realize that is simply not going to happen. It is only because of the ego’s perception you feel guilty in the first place. Self-forgiveness can only occur outside of your perception. It is, in fact, the beginning of the end of the ego entirely. Self-forgiveness is the perfect opportunity to allow the Voice for God to replace the ego’s perception in all our decision-making. Ask Love to take you to the Presence that knows your innocence is real. Find the relief that comes with knowing you cannot change what God created Part of All He Is.
Who we are is wholly spirit, joined in a single Mind, sharing a common purpose. Everything we give or withhold from anyone is given or withheld from everyone, including ourselves. Forgiveness of everyone is needed to forgive anyone. Condemning the one you hate condemns the one you love. You cannot have something for yourself without sharing it. Choose fear and you offer the experience of hell to everyone. Choose love and you bring all Creation to Heaven’s Gate.
If you look at the world and see all the pain and suffering, the hatred and attack that seems to be there and come to the conclusion that forgiveness of the whole world is too much a stretch for you, remind yourself that everything you see “out there” is a mirror for how you see yourself. Changing the world is not about changing the world, it is about changing what you see there. The world is literally a state of mind, with its events and experiences being the effect, the instant “replay” in form of the thoughts in consciousness that are their cause. And should you wonder, there is no real distinction to be made between upset with a neighbor’s noise and a war that rages over religious disagreement. With their outcome being the demand that fear is more important than love, all forms of attack are the same. So change the world by forgiving what you once have judged. Bring a loving thought to our consciousness that peace may be seen in the world.
How strange it is to realize that my perception of myself is not even about me. It’s about a character I imagine, playing a role to validate my belief that there is something wrong with me. Its even stranger to realize that to get to know myself I also need to know you, not just because we’re alike, but because we are actually a part of one another. In fact, Self-inquiry must fail if you anticipate discovering an “enlightened” version of the individual self you now see. Open your mind to finding your real self by forgiving and accepting the one in your experience you would think least likely to be your “savior.” Extending love to the character he is playing is the perfect way to discover the Presence of Love in the real you.
Don’t ever feel you have to pursue your awakening or face your challenges alone. If you can’t find the Presence of your God Self, call upon a friend for help. God is present everywhere so any friend will do.
The ego will not learn to heal itself. Its thought of sickness exists to prove that sin and separation is real. Healing is brought to us with the awareness that God’s Son cannot be sick because God cannot be sick and His Son cannot be different or apart from What created him, whole and as a part of Its One Self. Accept the God Self as a witness to your innocence then become your brother’s witness to what is true for everyone.
We are too familiar with the voice in our mind that tells us of all we have done wrong and of our many shortcomings. It seems to speak from a “place” outside of us as, as though coming from someone else. Yet I know in truth this cannot be. This “other” voice is me, the part of me that cannot wholly allow me to forgive and love myself. This is where the healing of my belief in separation must begin. This is where I must first declare the belief in sin is not real. Until I will allow my mind to be at peace within itself the world will seem in conflict with me. If there is a part of me I cannot love then hate and fear, pain and suffering seems justified in everything I see. To love your brother or know God’s Love for you, ask to remember the self you knew before the world began, the happy one who used to play with God.