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.
Loving everyone you see is not about “them.” It is accepting God’s Gift to you!
Healing your body is a process of learning how to love yourself. The body plays no role in who you are, yet while you believe it has some influence on you, loving the self it represents in the moment teaches you that, in truth, love will heal every thought it touches. It does not judge or make distinctions between what you are learning is real and what is but a dream. Love simply Loves. Let love teach
you that It is what you are. It is how you express your Self. And It will bring peace and joy to all that you allow it to embrace. You are not a body, but you are Love’s Presence and when you allow your body to be seen within Love’s Presence it will reflect Loves Purpose and will be healed of all the misperceptions you have placed upon it. No longer will it be separations symbol, but will become yet another way for you to express your Self. Forgive the unloving self you now see. Let Love replace the guilt that your perception would impose upon the self you see. It is not your body that needs to be healed, but your belief there is some part of you that can be held apart from Love.
We find it impossible to even imagine that we make this world when we identify ourselves as the impotent and insignificant character in our story. This character seems cut-off from everything, alone in a place he must struggle to even exist. But imagine for a moment that this character is actually connected to every other character in his world; sharing their thoughts, pursuing the same goals, deeply and irrevocably loving them – yet pretending all the while to be cut-off and in conflict with them. To be able to do such a thing is the stuff mythic gods are made of. But this is just what we do, pretend and play games and try to make real what only exists in a dream. Be it a brother or a mystical god or our loving Creator, nothing exists that is not part of us. The meaning and purpose of everything changes as we recognize this is our truth. When what was divided now becomes one, the reality of Love is remembered. Now the Face of Christ is all that is seen and only God’s Voice can be heard.
I ask: What can I do to help bring us Home? I hear: “BE the Home you and your brothers are seeking. Be the witness to where your Home is. Be the Light that shows the way and the magnet of Love that draws them there. Seek no longer for Home outside yourself. YOU are my creation. You are My Home. Now see this also in your brother. Feel the joining as he recognizes the same in you. This then is where your search ends, for as you join you recognize what “Home” means and realize it is impossible you have ever left it.”
Feel where this takes you: If everyone is part of me then I can never die or be absent from any experience that has ever taken place anywhere in the “history” of Creation. No one has ever felt peace that I didn’t feel. No one has ever been joyful that I didn’t laugh. And no one has loved that was not meant for me. I am always present, though only aware when I claim you as the rest of mySelf. What once looked like hell then clearly is Heaven, for when I am present no one is left out. Love then is remembered; God is complete. This is the meaning of oneness.
When you give anything in pure love, you become one with your gift. You have remembered that you are the Presence of Love.
Fearful thoughts are those we imagine we can think apart from God; those that come from the feeling we are alone and very vulnerable. They come up when we forget it is the Mind of Love we “live” in, where all Creation lives and you cannot be alone. But for now we have forgotten His Will and ours are joined; forgotten we are forever as He created us to be a part of Him. Only when I forgetfully abandon Him and imagine I could be apart from you and all that He created one with me, do I seem to suffer the effects of a hell that arises from my perception that there is something wrong with me, with us. Only in my thought we are alone does it seem possible that love has gone. For Love is the thought that created us like Itself and one with Him Who is It’s Source, and part of everything It Is. Fearful thoughts and thoughts of Love cannot exist together. They have opposing goals. When they seem to control our mind it is because we have abandoned God and one another. So when fear next seems to come, turn inside to our God Self and know it cannot follow. For here you have entered into Love’s World where you are known and cherished and held with joy.
If everyone now dedicated to finding their truth was willing to see one brother who is not so dedicated, as part of them, literally connected to their “soul,” the idea of separateness would soon fall apart. There would be nothing left in our awareness to give rise to conflict or the many forms of differences that now seem to divide us. With conflict gone, attack would have no meaning and guilt would also pass away. There is no sickness now, no hurricanes or hunger. There is no such thing as death. A fantasy, you say? It isn’t possible that everyone would want to see another as part of them. But what if this oneness idea is really true and separateness is not a real option? What if there is just one Mind, one consciousness we all share? What if your decision to love someone “unlovable” would then motivate someone else to do the same? Are you willing to risk it? To forgive someone of everything you think is wrong with you? If you are, try it. Open your mind to a love within you that doesn’t know where to stop. Lets turn our understanding of oneness into our belief by forgiving our guilty self and seeing our world joined as God created it to be.
As this day passes and another takes its place,
I let my thoughts of sin,
of separation, fear and judgment,
pass with it.
I choose instead to accept my holiness,
along with yours,
and welcome a forgiven world into our mind.
I choose to believe
that endless peace and joy
awaits us in this world
where every thought begins with love
and ends with just the same.
I trust that should I falter in my resolve,
there is a light in us
that you will hold for me while I remember.
I do not make this choice alone,
for we are but parts of one whole Self.
We go to truth joined as one,
or we go there not at all.
So take my hand as I take His,
Remembering that as we do
We once again become
The Presence of a Love that will bring peace
To our forever holy Mind.
Forgive and love the self you now see. Do not be deceived by pursuing a perfect self-image the ego thinks is lovable. There is no such thing as a “perfect self image.” The need for it is driven by the ego, but by its own standards the ego’s goals cannot be met. They are always self-defeating. A loving self will always be “just around the corner” from what the ego will accept. Forgive and love the self you now see because the Self you now are is already perfect, merely waiting to be seen. Only because you now see it thru the misperception of guilt and unworthiness does it seem flawed. Forgive the self you now see and all the imagined stories of how unlovable you have been in the past will disappear. Nor will there be seem to be things to judge yourself for in the present or future. The ego thinks it is meaningless to accept the self you now see because its perception of that self is sinful. It is determined to see a self that it has changed to something hateful. Forgiving and loving the self you now see will remove the blocks in your awareness to Loves Presence. To the ego this makes no sense, but it is the willingness our God Self needs to open our mind to the truth that we have never changed our Self from what God created us to be. Nothing has ever happened to take us from this place. If God is infinite Love, can He be other than the Love I am right now? We can only begin to accept this “forever” truth as we forgive and love the Self we see, right here, right now.
The endless stars and planets, the entire universe of time and space is the playground of my imagination. What will become of them when I have no need to hide from God and you?
While reading the “Epilogue” following ACIM Teachers Manuel, listening to Brother say he is committing us to the care and guidance of the HS to lead us in God’s Plan for our awakening, a thought comes into my mind. It is a thought of the men’s department of the Macy’s store. It seems a silly, meaningless thought and I ignore its intrusion into my peaceful space. It persists and when I go with it I feel a welling up, even an increase of the loving feelings I had been experiencing. I let it grow and hear Brother say: “Learn to associate your presence with where you will your love to be.” As I sit with this the meaning expands and grows and shifts and grows. . . and continues even now. I remember a couple of weeks a ago a question arose: If I am not the character in my story, not in the world, where is the dreamer who seems to be me? “Where” am I? I hear him say again: “Learn to associate your presence with where your love is.” I sit with this and find new meaning in, “I am not a body, I am free. I am as God created me.” I am the living, loving Christ, here to listen to the Voice and be the presence of the GS in the world. As I learn to pay attention to GS Thoughts that appear in my mind I must see that I am not alone; I must recognize there is a Plan for us and as I respond to what is asked of me I become part of that Plan; I recognize I am both receiving what I need and giving what will help others. I see that we are joined in a loving Presence beyond our fear-filled perception. It now seems logical that my will is the Will of God, my voice and the Voice For God are one. I cannot be the character in this story of sin. Nor can you. The “reality” of the world begins to fade. I ask where I should will my love to be.
The only difference between Heaven and earth is our willingness to accept the unreality of our thought of sin.