Light And Joy And Peace Abide In Me

lightjoypeace

You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake. You think if what is true about you were revealed to you, you would be struck with horror so intense that you would rush to death by your own hand, living on after seeing this being impossible.

These are beliefs so firmly fixed that it is difficult to help you see that they are based on nothing. That you have made mistakes is obvious. That you have sought salvation in strange ways; have been deceived, deceiving and afraid of foolish fantasies and savage dreams; and have bowed down to idols made of dust,–all this is true by what you now believe.

Reading the first sentences in today’s lesson, it may strike you how visual it really is. Jesus, in the New Testament, uses parables, stories and symbols you can relate to. Today he uses the visual ‘recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake’. Look at it for a moment, see it as it is expressed. This is what you believe will happen when you express the truth of who you are. Not only that, you will be ‘struck with horror so intense’, all very negative connotations, and all equally meaningless.

Now Jesus leads you gently into this belief system that you value so dearly and he shows you what it offers you: the belief that you have made mistakes, that you are strange, deceived, deceiving and afraid, that you have let yourself be misled by idols. Looking around in this circle of littleness within your own mind, you may well ask yourself how you can get out if this belief system. You are not alone in this. Jesus is with you.

Today we question this, not from the point of view of what you think, but from a very different reference point, from which such idle thoughts are meaningless. These thoughts are not according to God’s Will. These weird beliefs He does not share with you. This is enough to prove that they are wrong, but you do not perceive that this is so.

Why would you not be overjoyed to be assured that all the evil that you think you did was never done, that all your sins are nothing, that you are as pure and holy as you were created, and that light and joy and peace abide in you Your image of yourself cannot withstand the Will of God. You think that this is death, but it is life. You think you are destroyed, but you are saved.

You are brought to zero, to the place where you let it all go. There is no belief, no judgment, no idea to hold on to. The image you hold of yourself, your identity, is not who you truly are. It is being erased, undone. You think it is death, but it is life. And the amazing thing of it is, that in this undoing, as you come to life, you realize you’re still you. This can’t be explained. You remember who you truly are, beyond this world, beyond any limited self-identity.

The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that. It does not battle with the Son of God. It does not hurt him, nor attack his peace. It has not changed creation, nor reduced eternal sinlessness to sin, and love to hate. What power can this self you made possess, when it would contradict the Will of God?

 Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Over and over this must be repeated, until it is accepted. It is true. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Nothing can touch it, or change what God created as eternal. The self you made, evil and full of sin, is meaningless. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God, and light and joy and peace abide in you.

As you read this lesson, and apply it to your mind, you start to feel the light and joy and peace it offers you. The words express the truth of you. You feel all your old ideas fall away, and new ones instantly take their place. You recognize them immediately, they are new and yet ancient. You remember them well. All this lesson offers is an undoing of your old thought system, so that the Thought of God can take its place.

Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought;–you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself.  Whatever evil you may think you did, you are as God created you. Whatever mistakes you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. You are and will forever be exactly as you were created. Light and joy and peace abide in you because God put them there.

In our longer exercise periods today, which would be most profitable if done for the first five minutes of every waking hour, begin by stating the truth about your creation:

Light and joy and peace abide in me.
My sinlessness is guaranteed by God.

Then put away your foolish self-images, and spend the rest of the practice period in trying to experience what God has given you, in place of what you have decreed for yourself.

As you practice these words, let the experience be formless. Don’t try to figure out what the words mean, or what it is that you are being led to. It will reveal itself to you effortlessly if you simply step back. Say the words and let them work in you. Let them reveal their truth to you. As Jesus says in A Course In Miracles ‘resign now as your own teacher’. Be willing not to know. In that instant all knowledge can be revealed to you.

You are what God created or what you made. One Self is true; the other is not there. Try to experience the unity of your one Self. Try to appreciate Its Holiness and the love from which It was created. Try not to interfere with the Self which God created as you, by hiding Its majesty behind the tiny idols of evil and sinfulness you have made to replace It. Let It come into Its Own. Here you are; This is You. And light and joy and peace abide in you because this is so.

Advertisements

My Happiness And My Function Are One

Happiness and function

You have surely noticed an emphasis throughout our recent lessons on the connection between fulfilling your function and achieving happiness. This is because you do not really see the connection. Yet there is more than just a connection between them; they are the same. Their forms are different, but their content is completely one.

The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. So does it do constant battle with the Holy Spirit about what your happiness is. It is not a two-way battle. The ego attacks and the Holy Spirit does not respond. He knows what your function is. He knows that it is your happiness.

Today we will try to go past this wholly meaningless battle and arrive at the truth about your function. We will not engage in senseless arguments about what it is. We will not become hopelessly involved in defining happiness and determining the means for achieving it. We will not indulge the ego by listening to its attacks on truth. We will merely be glad that we can find out what truth is.

When Jesus mentions the ego in A Course In Miracles, he is really referring to your limited idea about yourself. The ego is you, as you see yourself separate from God and from everything. Every time you turn to your meaningless thoughts and give them value, you are basically saying ‘I am an ego’. And what you believe about yourself, you make true for you.

The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death.  It is the “will” that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied. The ego is the “proof” that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.

Today you are asked not to indulge the ego. You do not have to listen to its attacks on truth and its focus on illusions. This is why it is a mind training. The thoughts of which you are aware, are not your real thoughts at all. You can go past them, beyond them lie the thoughts you think with God.

Our longer practice period today has as its purpose your acceptance of the fact that not only is there a very real connection between the function God gave you and your happiness, but that they are actually identical. God gives you only happiness. Therefore, the function He gave you must be happiness, even if it appears to be different. Today’s exercises are an attempt to go beyond these differences in appearance, and recognize a common content where it exists in truth.

Now you focus your attention on the truth. You activate your mind as you are reading this lesson, by letting it work in you, by letting related thoughts come to you. You are asked to look at the thoughts you are given, to really look at them and see how reasonable they are.

Begin the ten-to-fifteen-minute practice period by reviewing these thoughts:

God gives me only happiness.
He has given my function to me.
Therefore my function must be happiness.

Try to see the logic in this sequence, even if you do not yet accept the conclusion. It is only if the first two thoughts are wrong that the conclusion could be false. Let us, then, think about the premises for a while, as we are practicing.

When you are willing to look at these thoughts, when you allow them to enter your mind and work in you, there is an experience available that goes beyond the words altogether. This has nothing to do with study or homework as you remember it from a past experience, it really has only to do with a little willingness to let the words be true. There is no effort in this. The experience is given when you do the little that is asked of you.

The first premise is that God gives you only happiness. This could be false, of course, but in order to be false it is necessary to define God as something He is not. Love cannot give evil, and what is not happiness is evil. God cannot give what He does not have, and He cannot have what He is not. Unless God gives you only happiness, He must be evil. And it is this definition of Him you are believing if you do not accept the first premise.

The second premise is that God has given you your function. We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides. There are no other guides but these to choose between, and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice but the fear that the ego always engenders, and the love that the Holy Spirit always offers to replace it.

Thus, it must be that your function is established by God through His Voice, or is made by the ego which you have made to replace Him. Which is true? Unless God gave your function to you, it must be the gift of the ego. Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?

Look at the reasonableness of this offering. It is not hard to grasp. It has nothing to do with intellect or intelligence as you see it. Let the meaning of these words be revealed to you. All you have to do is ask. Read the words, take your time with them, this is the most important thing you will do all day. It’s worth your while. The gift is eternal and true.

You will listen to madness or hear the truth. Try to make this choice as you think about the premises on which our conclusion rests. We can share in this conclusion, but in no other. For God Himself shares it with us. Today’s idea is another giant stride in the perception of the same as the same, and the different as different. On one side stand all illusions. All truth stands on the other. Let us try today to realize that only the truth is true.

A giant stride indeed, and with all the help in the universe you come to the only logical conclusion you can make. God gives only happiness. You are created by God. Happiness is your inheritance. What a great thing to remember. Beyond the body, beyond this world, lies an experience that is your natural state. Go there often today. And from there extend what you have been given. It will give you the rest and the happiness you seek.

My happiness and function are one, because God has given me both.

Physical Resurrection

This is your Easter time and you remember in love and gratitude the resurrection of Jesus and yours. It is an awareness of something that happened 2000 years ago and that is happening in you now. In that is the collapse of time. There is only right here and right now. The resurrection is happening in you now or it is not happening at all. This is the message that Jesus is giving you.

My body disappeared because I had no illusion about it. The last one had gone. It was laid in the tomb, but there was nothing left to bury. It did not disintegrate because the unreal cannot die. It merely became what it always was. And that is what “rolling the stone away” means. The body disappears, and no longer hides what lies beyond. It merely ceases to interfere with vision. To roll the stone away is to see beyond the tomb, beyond death, and to understand the body’s nothingness. What is understood as nothing must disappear.

I did assume a human form with human attributes afterwards, to speak to those who were to prove the body’s worthlessness to the world. This has been much misunderstood. I came to tell them that death is illusion, and the mind that made the body can make another since form itself is an illusion. They did not understand. But now I talk to you and give you the same message. The death of an illusion means nothing. It disappears when you awaken and decide to dream no more. And you still do have the power to make this decision as I did.

God holds out His hand to His Son to help him rise and return to Him. I can help because the world is illusion, and I have overcome the world. Look past the tomb, the body, the illusion. Have faith in nothing but the spirit and the guidance God gives you. He could not have created the body because it is a limit. He must have created the spirit because it is immortal. Can those who are created like Him be limited? The body is the symbol of the world. Leave it behind. It cannot enter Heaven. But I can take you there any time that you choose. Together we can watch the world disappear and its symbol vanish as it does so. And then, and then — I cannot speak of that.

A body can not stay without illusion and the last one to be overcome is death. This is the message of the crucifixion; There is no order of difficulties in miracles. This is the message of the resurrection: Illusions are illusions. Truth is true. Illusions vanish. Only truth remains.

These lessons needed to be taught but once, for when the stone of death is rolled away, what can be seen but an empty tomb? And that is what you see who follow me into the sunlight and away from death, past all illusions, on to Heaven’s gate, where God will come Himself to take you home.

Be in this awareness today, stand in the resurrection, your resurrection, along with your savior Jesus Christ. You have been given everything to awaken from your strange nightmare of sin, disaster, pain and death. Jesus is risen, He tells you this. Stand with Him and experience your own resurrection right here and right now.

Light and Joy and Peace abide in me

Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought; – you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself Whatever evil you may think you did, you are as God created you. Whatever mistakes you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. You are and will forever be exactly as you were created. Light and joy and peace abide in you because God put them there.

God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance.

God is my strength.
Vision is His gift.

It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.

It is amazing when you really read what A Course In Miracles says. Really read it. You take a moment and let every word, every sentence, sink in. The message is not of this world, it is completely from out of time. The words take you out in the universe, where you truly belong. They lift you out of very trial and tribulation, out of depression or anger, out of sickness and pain. Let it sink into your mind today: God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.

God’s gifts are truly given, each and every moment, right here and right now. It has nothing to do with place, it has nothing to do with time, nothing to do with seeming things outside of you, it’s all happening in you. You are given everything you need right now. That should make you indescribably happy. Read today’s lesson and joyous thoughts come to mind, joyous thoughts of God.

Vision must be possible. God gives truly.
God’s gifts to me must be mine, because He gave them to me.

Remember this lesson often today. As Jesus tells you, it is the reminder that the goal of this course is important to you. That you haven’t forgotten it. It is a statement of your determination, your perseverance, your gratitude.

God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

There is nothing my holiness cannot do

The lesson for today states the infinite possibilities of your holiness. You are unlimited, free in God, unbound by anyone or anything.

Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Son of God, at one with the Mind of his Creator.

Read this and feel the peace of God in you. You are safe, you are taken care of. This has nothing to do with your identity in the world, nothing to do with your body. You are mind and pure mind, you are one with God. You can travel out into the universe right now, because you are unlimited.

Through your holiness the power of God is made manifest. Through your holiness the power of God is made available.  And there is nothing the power of God cannot do. Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems. It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else. It is equal in its power to help anyone because it is equal in its power to save anyone.

Today is a day of stillness, the quiet recognition of the power of God in you. This is your holiness. This is what you are. You are unlimited, complete and healed and whole, and everything is healed through your recognition of your holiness. It is not limited by time and space, your holiness affects you and everyone you meet or even think of.

If you are holy, so is everything God created.  You are holy because all things He created are holy. And all things He created are holy because you are. In today’s exercises, we will apply the power of your holiness to all problems, difficulties or suffering in any form that you happen to think of, in yourself or in someone else. We will make no distinctions because there are no distinctions.

Practice today’s idea because your salvation lies in it. This is simply the recognition of the power of your mind, which has been so long underestimated by you. Fortunately time is not real and there is only here and now. In this moment you can recognize your holiness, in this moment you can remember that there is nothing that your holiness cannot do. Apply today’s lesson and watch things shift in you and around you. They are all connected. Nothing is static, unless you keep it static in your own mind. Every problem will simply disappear in the nothingness that it is, every thought of pain is effortlessly replaced with a thought of joy. You are as God created you, you are unlimited, and today you recognize this.

There is nothing my holiness cannot do.

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing

In practicing and applying the lessons that you are given in the workbook, you suddenly stand smack-dab in the middle of the actual experience that there is nothing outside of you. Minds are joined. This is something that Jesus tells you over and over in A Course In Miracles and you like it as a concept, but the fact of the matter is that you are not alone in experiencing the effects of your seeing.

The idea for today is another step in learning that the thoughts which give rise to what you see are never neutral or unimportant. It also emphasizes the idea that minds are joined, which will be given increasing stress later on.

It really is an amazing and revelatory moment when you recognize that everything changes constantly through the change of your mind. It is the quiet recognition, between you and God only, that everything changes all the time because you take full responsibility and are allowing your mind be undone. Transformation is not a doing, it is an undoing.

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see ___.

I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.

How you see something or someone affects everyone and everything. There is nothing outside of you. It’s all happening in your mind: joy, sadness, pain, worry or whatever emotion. Because the cause is in you, it is there that the change needs to happen, if you are to awaken from your dream of sadness and depression, from your belief in sin and guilt, from your determination that sickness and death are real. Today’s lesson offers you everything you need, if you will only apply it. It is in the application and the trust, in the simple willingness to do as you are asked, that you experience that this course really works. Because it is working in you.

I do not understand anything I see

No truer words were ever spoken. You do not understand anything you see in this room, on this street, from this window, in this place. What a relief that you don’t have to understand it. It is enough to know that it is not understandable. You don’t have to figure it out, you can’t judge it, you simply hand it over to God. And the peace that comes with that is not of this world.

The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them.

There comes a point in your awakening, and it is right now, that you feel the joy of not knowing. There is a bigger plan, there is One Who Knows, and He is one with you. In your not knowing, in you as a body identity admitting that you have absolutely no idea about anything, knowledge can be revealed to you. It comes to an open mind, unclouded by judgments of any kind. It is revealed in the heart of God.

It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment.

And that is all. You are not asked to make any decision other than to do the lesson for today and to apply it indiscriminately to what you see. It is all that is required. How simple it is, you only have to step back and let things be revealed to you as they truly are. There is nothing you can add to this lesson, nothing you think you know that makes this lesson more valuable. It is in the letting go of all ideas, the letting go of all you think you know, that you remember who you truly are. There is a certain humility in that, an honesty in which you recognize how small you have made yourself. You can’t be separate from God and that is an experience. It is offered you today. Let it be a joyous experience that you do not understand anything you see.

Thanksgiving

Praying to Christ in anyone is true prayer because it is a gift of thanks to His Father. To ask that Christ be but Himself is not an entreaty. It is a song of thanksgiving for what you are. Herein lies the power of prayer. It asks nothing and receives everything. This prayer can be shared because it receives for everyone. To pray with one who knows that this is true is to be answered. Perhaps the specific form of resolution for a specific problem will occur to either of you; it does not matter which. Perhaps it will reach both, if you are genuinely attuned to one another. It will come because you have realized that Christ is in both of you. That is its only truth.

Today is Thanksgiving, a time you spend with family and friends. It is a good moment to look around you and be grateful for all that you have been given, it is also a good moment to go inward and remember your purpose. As you look around the room, around the dinner table, it is your decision to recognize the Christ in you and those you meet. As you recognize the Christ in whomever is sitting next to you, you recognize the Christ in yourself. What a gift. The beauty is in its simplicity. Salvation is not hard. Awakening is the simple recognition that there is nothing outside of you, nothing that can distract you from the knowledge that you are as God created you. Stand in this knowledge today, in the awareness of your Holiness, and give yourself away. There is no greater gift to give this Thanksgiving day.

I will not hurt myself again today.

Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept God’s gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self Which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.

Father, Your Son can not be hurt And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.

The Song of Prayer

Prayer is the greatest gift with which God blessed His Son at his creation. It was then what it is to become; the single voice Creator and creation share; the song the Son sings to the Father, Who returns the thanks it offers Him unto the Son. Endless the harmony, and endless, too, the joyous concord of the Love They give forever to Each Other. And in this, creation is extended. God gives thanks to His extension in His Son. His Son gives thanks for his creation, in the song of his creating in his Father’s Name. The Love They share is what all prayer will be throughout eternity, when time is done. For such it was before time seemed to be.

To you who are in time a little while, prayer takes the form that best will suit your need. You have but one. What God created one must recognize its oneness, and rejoice that what illusions seemed to separate is one forever in the Mind of God. Prayer now must be the means by which God’s Son leaves separate goals and separate interests by, and turns in holy gladness to the truth of union in his Father and himself.

Lay down your dreams, you holy Son of God, and rising up as God created you, dispense with idols and remember Him. Prayer will sustain you now, and bless you as you lift your heart to Him in rising song that reaches higher and then higher still, until both high and low have disappeared. Faith in your goal will grow and hold you up as you ascend the shining stairway to the lawns of Heaven and the gate of peace. For this is prayer, and here salvation is. This is the way. It is God’s gift to you.

This is the introduction of ‘The Song of Prayer’, a beautiful part of the Course that is not printed in the book. It’s an incredible read, it resonates to everything in you that is true. Prayer is in fact your natural communication with your Father. You should be in prayer every moment. This doesn’t mean that you have to be in church, on your knees, with folded hands, doing penance. Prayer is active, it happens right here and right now. Every moment you turn your thoughts to God, you are praying. You can do this first thing in the morning, as you open your eyes, as you take your shower, when you drive in your car to work, during work and on and on. Every moment suffices, it only takes an instant to drop every thought, every concern, every idea about pain or suffering or sickness and to think: ‘God’. You will feel an immediate release, joy washes over you, a sense of safety that is not of this world, and a deep knowing that love and light is what you are.

The lessons right now are beautiful prayers and they do direct your thoughts to God instantly. Use them. Today’s lesson is a beautiful prayer and all of Heaven responds when you decide to lay your thoughts of fear and worry aside and pick up the Course to read the lesson. Practice it, use it. Pray.

I merely follow, for I would not lead.

Father, You are the One Who gave the plan for my salvation to me. You have set the way I am to go, the role to take, and every step in my appointed path. I cannot lose the way. I can but choose to wander off a while, and then return.  Your loving Voice will always call me back, and guide my feet aright. My brothers all can follow in the way I lead them. Yet I merely follow in the way to You, as You direct me and would have me go.

So let us follow One Who knows the way. We need not tarry, and we cannot stray except an instant from His loving Hand. We walk together, for we follow Him. And it is He Who makes the ending sure, and guarantees a safe returning home.