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.