By Grace I Live. By Grace I Am Released.

By Grace I Live.

Grace is an aspect of the Love of God which is most like the state prevailing in the unity of truth. It is the world’s most lofty aspiration, for it leads beyond the world entirely. It is past learning, yet the goal of learning, for grace cannot come until the mind prepares itself for true acceptance. Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received; an altar clean and holy for the gift.

Today you are asked to accept the grace of God. It is something that is available to you this instant. But before you can accept it, you need to take a look at what the grace of God actually is. A Course In Miracles  is reasonable, it works with your mind, because you are only mind. The thought that is given you for the day, in the workbook, is always something to read, think about, practice, apply to your mind. In this action something happens that is not of you. It is given in the little willingness to keep your mind open so all things can be revealed to you anew.

Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear. By grace alone the hate and fear are gone, for grace presents a state so opposite to everything the world contains, that those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace can not believe the world of fear is real.

Grace is not learned. The final step must go beyond all learning. Grace is not the goal this course aspires to attain. Yet we prepare for grace in that an open mind can hear the Call to waken. It is not shut tight against God’s Voice. It has become aware that there are things it does not know, and thus is ready to accept a state completely different from experience with which it is familiarly at home.

Grace is really a state of mind, an acceptance and not a doing. It’s not an assertion of any kind. It is the willingness to let all things be exactly as they are and to experience a grace that has nothing to do with the world you see. You can see things differently, but the change of mind is not of you. It happens when you least expect it and in a way you can’t imagine. It is a personal experience, between you and God, in the acceptance of total responsibility for the world you see.

Oneness is simply the idea God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things. No mind holds anything but Him. We say “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. It has united with its Source. And like its Source Itself, it merely is.

We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all. It comes to every mind when total recognition that its will is God’s has been completely given and received completely. It returns the mind into the endless present, where the past and future cannot be conceived. It lies beyond salvation; past all thought of time, forgiveness and the holy face of Christ. The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him. The world has never been at all. Eternity remains a constant state.

How can you conceive of what lies beyond salvation, beyond time, forgiveness and the face of Christ? You can’t. But there is one who walks with you, who is eager to give you all things that you have looked for since the beginning of time. In the acceptance of the atonement, you experience yourself as God created you. This is what is offered you. Intellectually you can’t grasp it, no matter how hard you try. And the more you try to hold your world, your life as you conceive of it, together, the more it will fall apart on you. It is meant to. Let it be. This is not a doing, it is an undoing.

This is beyond experience we try to hasten. Yet forgiveness, taught and learned, brings with it the experiences which bear witness that the time the mind itself determined to abandon all but this is now at hand. We do not hasten it, in that what you will offer was concealed from Him Who teaches what forgiveness means.

You finally recognize that there is nothing you can do to bring your experience about, other than the simple instructions Jesus gives you in the workbook. Anything you try to do to hasten it, only slows it down. The more you try to grasp it, the more it slips through your fingers. The more comfortable you get, the more you will be dislodged. It is not for the faint of heart, but this is why you have been chosen. You have the determination and the perseverance, somewhere in you there is a willingness to be wrong about everything, and in the letting go of everything you now believe, you experience the peace and love and grace of God.

There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand. When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood. Now we have work to do, for those in time can speak of things beyond, and listen to words which explain what is to come is past already. Yet what meaning can the words convey to those who count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them?

Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part. The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done. It does not matter. For your part is still what all the rest depends on. As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God.

You have a part to play. Nothing can happen until you step in to your full responsibility as teacher of God, whatever that looks like. You have to give your experience away. This is not about exchange, it is about the recognition that you are giving only to yourself. And as you give that which you can’t speak of, you experience how you receive what you give. And you know this Course to be true.

Our learning goal today does not exceed this prayer. Yet in the world, what could be more than what we ask this day of Him Who gives the grace we ask, as it was given Him?

By grace I live. By grace I am released. 
By grace I give. By grace I will release.

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Review Lesson 81

Lightoftheworld

The review lessons for today are

(61) I am the light of the world.

(62) Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

But do not miss the introduction to these lessons, because what it tells you is spectacular.

Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form such thoughts may take, they have no meaning and no power. Replace them with your determination to succeed. Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through, and carry you beyond them all.

Regard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth and the life. Refuse to be sidetracked into detours, illusions and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilled.

You are always directed to the power of your mind, to the peace that is available to you as created by God. This peace is not found by knowing the right people, holding on to your possessions and judgments. It is not found in any of the thoughts that you think you think, it is not found in your belief that you are a body. Let it sink in that you are mind, you are pure mind. The peace of God is in you, and as you find it in yourself, you extend it to everyone and everything. It is not a taking, or a getting, it is a giving and receiving.

I am the light of the world.

How holy am I, who have been given the function of lighting up the world! Let me be still before my holiness. In its calm light let all my conflicts disappear. In its peace let me remember Who I am.
Some specific forms for applying this idea when special difficulties seem to arise might be:

Let me not obscure the light of the world in me.
Let the light of the world shine through this appearance.
This shadow will vanish before the light.

In the introduction Jesus asks you to take about fifteen minutes for each review, to begin by thinking about the ideas for the day. It is an assignment. It is your homework for today. You read the comments slowly and then close your eyes and listen. Someone is trying to tell you something.

Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

It is through accepting my function that I will see the light in me. And in this light will my function stand clear and perfectly unambiguous before my sight. My acceptance does not depend on my recognizing what my function is, for I do not yet understand forgiveness. Yet I will trust that, in the light, I will see it as it is.
Specific forms for using this idea might include:

Let this help me learn what forgiveness means.
Let me not separate my function from my will.
I will not use this for an alien purpose.

It is no small thing that you are being offered today. Peace and light and love are in you, and you can experience them. In the application of today’s lesson forget for a moment everything you believe, let go of all the alliances you have forged to establish yourself as a body and as successful. Allow it all to collapse in on you, in your mind, so it can resurrect in truth. You are not a body, you are free. You are as God created you. This is the truth and you can experience it here and now.

Love Holds No Grievances

abstractforgiven

You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget who you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. To hold a grievance is to let the ego rule your mind and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your mind. It seems to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him. It makes you believe that He is like what you think you have become, for no one can conceive of his Creator as unlike himself.

In today’s lesson it speaks very clearly about the power of your mind. Focus on a grievance, and love escapes you. Hold on to a grudge and you forget who you are. And as you see yourself, so will you perceive everything around you, including God. It is astonishing when you realize that you see in God what you see in yourself. Experience yourself as a body, and you will see God as a body. Believe that grievances are real and inescapable, and you will believe that God is a wrathful God. Now you recognize the need for mind training. When you change your mind, you will see things differently.

It is as sure that those who hold grievances will redefine God in their own image, as it is certain that God created them like Himself, and defined them as part of Him. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.

Instead of focusing on your grievance and projecting it onto your Creator. You can step back and remember that you are as God created you, in His likeness. In eternal love there is no grievance, and the way to remember it is through forgiveness. This is really the only reason forgiveness is necessary at all. God does not forgive, because He does not condemn. You, on the other hand, do not even realize how quickly you get lost in a grievance, even when you think you love someone.

Begin today’s extended practice period by searching your mind for those against whom you hold what you regard as major grievances. Some of these will be quite easy to find. Then think of the seemingly minor grievances you hold against those you like and even think you love. It will quickly become apparent that there is no one against whom you do not cherish grievances of some sort. This has left you alone in all the universe in your perception of yourself.

Determine now to see all these people as friends. Say to them all, thinking of each one in turn as you do so:

I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know myself.

It’s a very powerful sentence, and you experience its power as you apply it. No matter who comes to your mind, as soon as you say “I would see you as my friend…”, you feel a shift in your mind. As you continue “… that I may remember you are part of me…”, you experience that minds are joined. You end with “…. and come to know myself”, and it is truly the declaration that you will accept the atonement for yourself. Your brother is not outside of you. Release him and you are free.

Spend the remainder of the practice period trying to think of yourself as completely at peace with everyone and everything, safe in a world that protects you and loves you, and that you love in return. Try to feel safety surrounding you, hovering over you and holding you up. Try to believe, however briefly, that nothing can harm you in any way. At the end of the practice period tell yourself:

Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe.

This is a real offering. You can, in this moment, experience the freedom of not holding on to anything. You can be at peace regardless of where you find yourself, simply by your decision to remember love, to let go of grievances no matter how small. This goes beyond the body, beyond time and space, it is an action of mind. As you remember love hold no grievances, you experience the power of your decision to apply today’s lesson to yourself. And as you stand in the spot that a little willingness offers you, you feel the embrace of God, beyond matter, beyond this world, beyond any idea you have about yourself or your brother. Welcome Home.

Let Me Not Forget My Function

L63

Today’s idea is merely another way of saying “Let me not wander into temptation.” The purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness, and provide you with a justification for forgetting it. It is the temptation to abandon God and His Son by taking on a physical appearance. It is this the body’s eyes look upon.

Doing the workbook lesson as you start your day, you begin to recognize how perfectly each lesson applies to your thoughts. It does take some awareness, some honesty, to not let thoughts slip by unnoticed. There is a certain pattern in your thinking, a way you use your thoughts specifically to bind yourself to worry, doubt and fear. Each lesson in the workbook offers you a way out of your sequential thinking, if you let it.

Nothing the body’s eyes seem to see can be anything but a form of temptation, since this was the purpose of the body itself. Yet we have learned that the Holy Spirit has another use for all the illusions you have made, and therefore He sees another purpose in them. To the Holy Spirit, the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation.

The power of your mind is such, that when you focus on a problem or a situation or a person, it becomes your whole world. Literally. You zero in on it, trying to find a solution, never recognizing that your intense focus is what the problem is. You never see the whole picture, unless you are willing to step back and let a new vision come in, a new purpose, a function.

To review our last few lessons, your function here is to be the light of the world, a function given you by God. It is only the arrogance of the ego that leads you to question this, and only the fear of the ego that induces you to regard yourself as unworthy of the task assigned to you by God Himself. The world’s salvation awaits your forgiveness, because through it does the Son of God escape from all illusions, and thus from all temptation. The Son of God is you.

Only by fulfilling the function given you by God will you be happy. That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable. There is no other way. Therefore, every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether or not to be happy.

The world’s salvation awaits your forgiveness. So every grievance you have, binds you and the world you see. Now you become aware of the action of your mind, and you realize you need to remember your function quite often, because you tend to forget. And now you see that the choice whether to fulfill your function or not, is really the choice whether to be happy or not. It does deserve your attention.

Let us remember this today. Let us remind ourselves of it in the morning and again at night, and all through the day as well. Prepare yourself in advance for all the decisions you will make today by remembering they are all really very simple. Each one will lead to happiness or unhappiness. Can such a simple decision really be difficult to make? Let not the form of the decision deceive you. Complexity of form does not imply complexity of content. It is impossible that any decision on earth can have a content different from just this one simple choice. That is the only choice the Holy Spirit sees. Therefore it is the only choice there is.

Salvation is simple. Jesus says this often in A Course In Miracles. But it does need some preparation on your part, since you have made your thinking so complicated. Now you see that you only choose for happiness or unhappiness. The choice is yours, there is no one to blame for how you feel. This is where your freedom lies.

Let me not forget my function.

Let me not try to substitute mine for God’s.

Let me forgive and be happy.

Remind yourself often today of the simplicity of salvation. You decide whether to remember or not. And if you forget, try again. Don’t bind yourself to the past, be in the moment and decide to be happy, decide to fulfill your function as the light of the world. It is a mind training, it is a discipline, but once applied, it is the easiest thing there is.

The Light Of The World Brings Peace To Every Mind Through My Forgiveness

lightangel

Today’s lesson is very interesting. Look at the wording of the title. It is the perfect circle of Atonement.

The light of the world is you.
You bring peace to every mind.
It is through your forgiveness that peace is extended.

No sentence in A Course In Miracles is by chance. Every word has a complete purpose.

How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind! How blessed are you who can learn to recognize the means for letting this be done through you! What purpose could you have that would bring you greater happiness?

You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you. Accept no trivial purpose or meaningless desire in its place, or you will forget your function and leave the Son of God in hell. This is no idle request that is being asked of you. You are being asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give.

This is no idle request that is being asked of you.

Idle:
lacking worth or basis, vain.
Not occupied or employed.
Shiftless, lazy.
Having no evident lawful means of support.

This is an active request, it requires action on your part. And you are fully supported in this, with all the help in the universe. It is completely valuable, since all you give, you give to yourself. And it is your function. Look at all that is said in one simple sentence and you feel grateful and completely taken care of. Accept salvation that it may be yours to give.

Recognizing the importance of this function, we will be happy to remember it very often today. We will begin the day by acknowledging it, and close the day with the thought of it in our awareness. And throughout the day we will repeat this as often as we can:

The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness. I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world.

If you close your eyes, you will probably find it easier to let the related thoughts come to you in the minute or two that you should devote to considering this. Do not, however, wait for such an opportunity. No chance should be lost for reinforcing today’s idea. Remember that God’s Son looks to you for his salvation. And Who but your Self must be His Son?

And Who But your Self must be His Son? It is again a full circle of Atonement. A Course In Miracles is a complete offering of salvation. All that is asked of you is to read the lesson and to apply it. You don’t have to understand it, you may not recognize the value of it, but it is the application that offers the experience. If you do not know, ask. All help is given you. Let the answer sink in. It has already been given, it is simply waiting for your acceptance.

Review Lesson 60

L60

Reading the workbook lesson today, you experience how inspired you are by it. Every word feeds you, and you can truly say that the practice of the lesson is your daily bread. This goes beyond nice ideas, it is the recognition of a necessity for the truth, a recognition for the necessity of the undoing of your thought system and the belief in limitation.

(46) God is the Love in which I forgive.
God does not forgive because He has never condemned. The blameless cannot blame, and those who have accepted their innocence see nothing to forgive. Yet forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence. It is the reflection of God’s Love on earth. It will bring me near enough to Heaven that the Love of God can reach down to me and raise me up to Him.

There word ‘forgiveness’ is used 377 times in A Course In Miracles and it is used throughout the book: in the Text, in the Workbook and in the Manual For Teachers. And as you look at your mind honestly, at how you are using it, you see how prone you are to have a grievance. It happens in the blink of an eye, and Jesus mentions in the Course that you do not even consciously realize how quickly you choose for a grievance and the outcome that it offers you. The beauty of the lesson today is that it directs you to forgiveness, and immediately shows you that the only way you can forgive is through the strength of God.

(47) God is the strength in which I trust.
It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive. As I begin to see, I recognize His reflection on earth. I forgive all things because I feel the stirring of His strength in me. And I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but which has not forgotten me.

Reading this review you start to recognize that somewhere, somehow, you have to surrender. You are led to a place in your own mind where you no longer want to assert yourself, but you want to remember your Self. There are beautiful lines that come to mind, words that have been given you throughout time that are now revived in you, like ‘Let go and let God’ and ‘Father, into Thy Hands I command my Spirit’. It’s a real experience, and you feel the peace that comes with this act of complete surrender and trust.

(48) There is nothing to fear.
How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest Friend. What could there be to fear in a world that I have forgiven, and that has forgiven me?

Now you look at the world anew, because you have changed your mind. It is no longer a place to sustain grievances, it is now used to remember the Love of God. How does this happen? It’s a miracle. But is does depend on your decision. You have to want to see things differently. You have to be willing to be shown. You have to be willing to be undone, to no longer settle for limitation but ask for the experience of magnitude, which is your natural inheritance.

(49) God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.
There is not a moment in which God’s Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me. There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions and lead my feet. I am walking steadily on toward truth. There is nowhere else I can go, because God’s Voice is the only Voice and the only Guide that has been given to His Son.

(50) I am sustained by the Love of God.
As I listen to God’s Voice, I am sustained by His Love. As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see. As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son.

As your surrender, as you trust, you experience that you are taken care of. It is not in any specifics, just a great certainty. It is all you can truly depend on. This experience is between you and God, you know your Father and He knows you. And from this experience you extend what you have been given. Peace and love and joy abide in you and they increase as you give them away.

Forgetting And Remembering

Let me forget my brother’s past today.

This is the thought that leads the way to You, and brings me to my goal. I cannot come to You without my brother. And to know my Source, I first must recognize what You created one with me. My brother’s is the hand that leads me on the way to You. His sins are in the past along with mine, and I am saved because the past is gone. Let me not cherish it within my heart, or I will lose the way to walk to You. My brother is my savior. Let me not attack the savior You have given me. But let me honor him who bears Your Name, and so remember that It is my own.

Forgive me, then, today. And you will know you have forgiven me if you behold your brother in the light of holiness. He cannot be less holy than can I, and you can not be holier than he.

A Course In Miracles directs you to open-mindedness. This is not about any limited idea about it, Jesus is very specific in the Manual for Teachers about this characteristic of a Teacher of God and he links it directly with forgiveness.

The centrality of open-mindedness, perhaps the last of the attributes the teacher of God acquires, is easily understood when its relation to forgiveness is recognized.  Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment.  As judgment shuts the mind against God’s Teacher, so open-mindedness invites Him to come in.  As condemnation judges the Son of God as evil, so open-mindedness permits him to be judged by the Voice for God on His behalf.  As the projection of guilt upon him would send him to hell, so open-mindedness lets Christ’s image be extended to him.  Only the open-minded can be at peace, for they alone see reason for it.

There is nothing wishy-washy about open-mindedness. There is a certainty in it that is not of this world. You are asked to look at your brother, your neighbor, the one you deem to be a stranger, with no preconceived idea about him. Whenever any idea about him arises, you can simply let it go and remember the lesson for today. Open-mindedness is simple when you recognize that in it lies your salvation. You don’t want to be limited by your ideas about anything anymore. You can be free today, simply by remembering that your neighbor is yourself.

Peace Through Forgiveness

I am now posting every day on a blog for the International Forgiveness Week and Weekend of Perfect Peace, an event that will take place 14 – 23 September, 2012, in Wisconsin Dells, WI. If you want to read my daily postings on A Course In Miracles, please go to http://peacethroughforgiveness.wordpress.com/. You can find more information on this event for forgiveness and peace on Facebook or on the official website. I will return to posting on The Light Has Come after International Forgiveness Week and Weekend of Perfect Peace. I hope you will visit the new blog and that you will consider coming to this international event.

I Choose To See My Brother’s Sinlessness

Forgiveness is a choice. I never see my brother as he is, for that is far beyond perception. What I see in him is merely what I wish to see, because it stands for what I want to be the truth. It is to this alone that I respond, however much I seem to be impelled by outside happenings. I choose to see what I would look upon, and this I see, and only this. My brother’s sinlessness shows me that I would look upon my own. And I will see it, having chosen to behold my brother in its holy light.

Today’s lesson shows you that the body’s eyes do not really see at all. They merely show you what you want to see and this is why the mind training through the workbook lessons is so essential. Simply look at lesson number 1 and 2:

Nothing I see means anything.

I have given what I see all the meaning that it has for me.

Jesus always directs you back to your own mind, His teaching is completely singular. He asks you to look at what you value, what it is you want to see, and then asks you if this is really what you want. If you want a grievance, you will see it, but if you want forgiveness, that will be what you receive. Not by demanding it, but by giving it.

What could restore Your memory to me, except to see my brother’s sinlessness? His holiness reminds me that he was created one with me, and like myself. In him I find my Self, and in Your Son I find the memory of You as well.

Finally you are simply tired of the story. No matter how much you are justified in what you think you see, ultimately you know it won’t make you happy and so you really don’t want it anymore. When you feel your whole world collapse in on you, you realize that you are only making things up in your own mind, and you know that all you have to do is look directly at what it is you are doing and to ask the Holy Spirit to undo it all for you. He is waiting for your request, He is your Guide, your Counselor, your Friend. Ask Him for help today and He will gladly respond. He is your Guide to happiness that is not of this world. And it is this happiness that you deserve and that you really want.

Lesson 60

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all of them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.

-Matthew 21:12

The teaching of Jesus is very disruptive. He disrupts your whole world: everything you see, everything you think you are, everything you believe to be true and holy. He overthrows tables, because your awakening is not about an establishment, not about getting by in the world, it is not about idols, it is only between you and God. It’s extremely personal, always and only about what is happening in you.

God is the Love in which I forgive.
God does not forgive because He has never condemned. The blameless cannot blame, and those who have accepted their innocence see nothing to forgive.

God is the strength in which I trust.
It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive.

There is nothing to fear.
How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now.

This is your awakening. You are called upon to open your mind and in every instant ask before you act. Before you make that phone call, ask Jesus. Before you write that email, ask Jesus. Because only when you ask, can you hear what God is trying to tell you right here and right now. And only when you look at a situation with an open mind can you actually see what is really happening.

God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.
There is not a moment in which God’s Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me.

I am sustained by the Love of God.
As I listen to God’s Voice, I am sustained by His Love. As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see.  As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son.

You can’t find comfort in this world, and you will be disrupted whether you like it or not. You can’t get comfortable, because what you call comfort has in fact nothing to do with God. What you call your friends are the ones that tell you what you want to hear and that support you in what you do. Beyond all that lies the truth of what you are, and it can only be shared in its totality. It goes beyond stories, beyond imagery, and it has everything to do with you having the courage to stand up and say: “Not this.”