Monthly Archives: February 2011

Forgiveness. . .the Way to See Our Innocence

ACIM Workbook Lesson 60 – for Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is the love in which I forgive.”

Selected Passage:

“. . .[F]orgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence.  It is the reflection of God’s Love on earth.  (WB100)”

Reflections:

We do not need to be justified in the sight of God; He has already forgiven us.  But, frequently, we do need to be justified in our own sight, because we have not forgiven ourselves.  When we forgive another, we also recognize that we ourselves are worthy of forgiveness.  It is the gift of God, but it is one that we all too often withhold from ourselves.  And when we withhold it from ourselves, we also withhold forgiveness from others.  This is the way of “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (a biblical tenet).

When we forgive, we recognize that we too are innocent.  We have not changed or altered in any way the Self that is truly us, the Self that is beyond the little self in this world.  We have not “sinned,” because sin, however irrationally, will continue to be attracting to us if we believe that we are committing sin.  But call the error just a “mistake,” and we will want to correct it (a Text tenet).  Then we are free to recognize that we are always as God created us; we have not altered our real identity at all (a Workbook tenet).

Our innocence reflects God’s love on earth.  When we forgive, we help ourselves and others to see that love, that all-embracing love.  God wants to communicate with us, and when we don’t pray to him, He is lonely (a Text tenet).  The Text also calls this prayer, at its highest, “communion.”  When we commune with God, we are at our best.  May we commune (i.e., pray) often today.

Affirmation:  “God is the strength in which I trust.”

Selected Passage:

“. . .I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but Which has not forgotten me.  (WB100)”

Reflections:

God never forgets His own, and all of us are His own.  And we need to remember that He loves us with an totally committed, totally unconditional, love at all times.

Affirmation:  “There is nothing to fear.”

Selected Passage:

“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.  (WB100)”

Reflections:

Safety, being safe, is a big issue for many of us.  We may have been reared in an atmosphere of fear, a sense that if we did not have our parents to protect us from the fearful world where bad things happen, we would be lost.

This childhood memory is not really true, and it is unlikely that we believe it consciously now.  But the subconscious speaks strongly sometimes.  May we see the world as safe today.  The Workbook says elsewhere, “When I have let all my grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe.”  May we have this assurance today.

Affirmation:  “God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.”

Selected Passage:

“There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions and lead my feet.  (WB101)”

Reflections:

This passage, in my estimation, is a very important one.  We are guided, moment by moment, by the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Normally, there is no “voice” as such, but instead what may be called simply intuition, or a “knowing” of what we should do next.  A Manual tenet is that it is not wise to become preoccupied with each step of the way.  The right mind slant, on the other hand, adopted early in the day, and followed as possible, will set us on the right pathway.  If we listen, though, the moment-by-moment guidance is there.  The only caveat is if  one is emotionally disturbed; then the “guidance” may be awry, and we need to test out the rightness of what we perceive to be our guidance.

Affirmation:  “I am sustained by the Love of God.”

Selected Passage:

“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.  (WB101)”

Reflections:

This passage highlights the wonderful benefit of following God’s guidance.  Our days are brighter and better; we live in grace.  Do focus on the words of this affirmation and the passage.  Little more needs to be said.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we forgive, we will feel better about ourselves.  We might even feel that we are worthy of seeing ourselves as innocent.  This interpretation is not the full truth, but thank You for letting me see how forgiveness might pave the way for my own understanding of my innate innocence.

Help me to listen to guidance today.  Even when I have lived a number of days, consistently following guidance, I am still tempted to turn aside from this quiet inner Voice.  My feelings become suspect to scrutiny, and then I find myself doing what the ego wants–not what You want.  Help me to do what You want today.

Amen.

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God Is My Source

ACIM Workbook Lesson 59 – for Monday, February 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “God goes with me wherever I go.”

“How can I be alone when God always goes with me?  How can I be doubtful and unsure of myself when perfect certainty abides in Him?  (WB98)”

Reflections:

We are so buoyed by language such as this:  We are never alone.  If we just remember that God is always near, we also will not fear.  If we knew who walked with us, we would never fear (a Text tenet).

Affirmation:  “God is my strength.  Vision is His gift.”

“Christ’s vision is His gift, and He has given it to me.  Let me call upon this gift today so that this day may help me to understand eternity.  (WB98)”

Reflections:

We do not fully understand what is meant by “vision,” but we do know that it is not what we see with the sight of the eyes.  True vision is an internal attribute of the real meaning of what is true about the world–not what we project from dreams or illusions.  We need vision, and may we ask for it today.

Affirmation:  “God is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.”

“Beyond His Will lie only illusions.  It is these I choose when I think I can see apart from Him.  (WB98)”

Reflections:

We do not want illusions; even if our fantasies start out pleasantly (and many do), they will turn dark, because they are of the ego.  The ego is constantly being undone, and we are constantly moving closer to Awakening.  We cannot name the time; only God can do that.  But we can save time, sometimes a thousand years (a Text tenet) by our faithfulness to God’s Will.  May we be privileged to know God’s Will today.  As we are learning, His Will is our real will.  We are never coerced.

Affirmation:  “God is the light in which I see.”

“Now it is given me to understand that God is the light in which I see.  Let me welcome vision and the happy world it will show me.  (WB99)”

Reflections:

When we turn to God, we do have true vision.  He will show us a better way, as He did Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, the co-scribes of ACIM.   Helen never assimilated all of what she scribed by bringing peace into her life, but Bill did, ultimately.  May we follow in the footsteps of Bill Thetford.  (Both Helen and Bill are now deceased.)

Affirmation:  “God is the Mind with which I think.”

“I have no thoughts apart from Him, because I have no mind apart from His.  As part of His Mind, my thoughts are His and His Thoughts are mine.  (WB99)”

Reflections:

This passage is another way of saying that God’s Will is mine, and that my will is coming ever closer to that ideal.  We are part of God; He is in us.  There is nothing outside ourselves (a Text tenet); we may not understand this, but the image of a hologram may help.  Each part contains the whole, just as the whole is made of each part.  We are like that with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I am studying the many ways in which God is One with me.  You are my Source, the Mind that we share, the light in which I see.  With so many ways to come to know You, how can I fail, if my intentions are pure.  You will for me to know You.  I join my little will to Yours today for the same purpose.

Be with me today as I reflect on the affirmations for today.  May I realize that to know You is a manifold, multifaceted knowing, and I will live ever better as I accept all that knowledge of You holds out to me.

Amen.

My Holiness = the Truth

ACIM Workbook Lesson 58 – for Sunday, February 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “My holiness envelops everything I see.”

“Seen through understanding eyes, the holiness of the world is all I see, for I can picture only the thoughts I hold about myself.  (WB96)”

Reflections:

May we hold loving thoughts toward ourselves.  Most of us are self-centered, but that is an egoistic trait, and truly loving thoughts toward ourselves are relatively rare.  But we are meant to love our neighbor as ourselves (a biblical tenet).  “As ourselves,” and if we cannot love ourselves, then we are in a bind when we try to love others.  May our neurosis wither away at the same time that we invite the ego to wither away.

Affirmation:  “My holiness blesses the world.”

“As I recognize my holiness, so does the holiness of the world shine forth for everyone to see.  (WB96)”

Reflections:

May we recognize that we too are holy, that we too have only made mistakes that can be corrected.  The Self that we are has not “sinned,” not has this Self changed in any way since our creation by God.  We are innocent, as is our brother or sister, and as soon as we come to accept our innocence, we are freed of neurosis.

Affirmation:  “There is nothing my holiness cannot do.”

“What is there to be saved from except illusions?  And what are all illusions except false ideas about myself? (WB96)”

Reflections:

May we leave illusions behind today.  We have these false ideas, and the ego is one of them.  The ego is a part of our belief about ourselves (a Text tenet).  May we leave all illusions about ourselves by the wayside, and walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

Affirmation:  “My holiness is my salvation.”

“Once I have accepted my holiness, nothing can make me afraid.  And because I am unafraid, everyone must share in my understanding, which is the gift of God to me and to the world.  (WB97)”

Reflections:

When we view ourselves rightly, we will be unafraid.  Indeed this promise is powerful motivation.  When we see ourselves as holy, we are ready.  May we become ready today.

Affirmation:  “I am blessed as a Son of God.”

“My Father supports me, protects me, and directs me in all things.  (WB97)”

Reflections:

God is our Father/Mother, and He is always here for us.  May we not forget this today.  If we really believed that we were watched over by Divinity, we would be unafraid, and we would especially be grateful for the many blessings that Divinity is granting us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I get angry, or when I fuss about something, or when I neglect to do a kindness, then it is hard for me to realize that I am innocent, that I am truly holy.  But my real Self is holy.  You have said so.  And these times that I fall down are only mistakes, not sins.  May I accept Your truth about me today.  It is an almost unbelievable truth, but help me to accept it as correct, because You have said it.

Be with me today so that my little self is not afraid and therefore primed to attack or to feel anger.  These are emotions of fear, and I would leave fear behind.  Help me to do so today and every day, beginning now.

Amen.

I Could See Peace Instead of This

ACIM Workbook Lesson 57 – for Saturday, February 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not the victim of the world I see.”

“How can I be the victim of a world that can be completely undone if I so choose?. . .I would give up my insane wishes and walk into the sunlight at last.  (WB94)”

Reflections:

Walking in to the sunlight is a great boon.  What a blessing to know that the door is open, and that we do not have to stay in a prison made by the part of ourselves that is insane–the ego.  May we choose anew to let the ego wither away, and may we reaffirm this desire often today.

Affirmation:  “I have invented the world I see.”

“I made up the prison in which I see myself.  All I need do is recognize this and I am free.  (WB94)”

Reflections:

We would leave this prison that we made up.  When we know that it is we ourselves that “did this” to ourselves, then we are well on our way to undoing it.

Affirmation:  “There is another way of looking at the world.”

“I see the world as a prison for God’s Son.  It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free.  (WB94)”

Reflections:

This is a favorite quotation from the Workbook.  Yes, this world is a place where we can be set free.  Why?  Most of what we see, everything outside the real world, is the exact opposite of what is true.  And this world is easily dismissed when we recognize that the loving world, the real world, is what we want.

Affirmation:  “I could see peace instead of this.”

“. . .I will perceive that peace also abides in the hearts of all who share this place with me.  (WB95)”

Reflections:

Peace is in the hearts of others, too.  We perhaps do not recognize this when they are attacking us.  But they do so out of ignorance.  And they do so as a call for help.  Let us recognize that peace is actually under all the hostility, and let our own denunciations cease.  May forgiveness of our innocent brothers and sisters return.

Affirmation:  “My mind is part of God’s.  I am very holy.”

“The world I look upon has taken on the light of my forgiveness, and shines forgiveness back at me.  (WB95)”

Reflections:

This affirmation is a very reassuring one.  We are holy, though we do not believe this of ourselves.  When we feel forgiveness, we probably feel more justified in the sight of God, and we may feel more holy.  But we are always holy, because we are as God created us (a Workbook tenet).  Our real Self has not changed because we chose to believe a little self that was consumed by a part of our belief, the part called “ego.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am not a victim, though often in this world all of us try to see ourselves as victims.  Help me to recognize that seeing peace in this world is a choice.  Not everything seems perfect; in fact, many things seem very wrong.  But the things that happen to me are choices of my Higher Self, and I can choose how I will react to them.  Indeed, I must choose how I will react to what happens to me in this world.

Thank You for reassuring me that my mind is holy because it is part of Yours.  This is a welcome idea, not always something that I have known, and even now I have trouble understanding all that this promise holds out to me.  May I come closer to understanding this blessing today.

Amen.

Security and Fulfillment = My Inheritance

ACIM Workbook Lesson 56 – for Friday, February 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “My attack thoughts arae attacking my invulnerability.”

Selected Passage:

“[P]erfect security and complete fulfillment are my inheritance.  I have tried to give my inheritance away in exchange for the world I see.  But God has kept my inheritance safe for me.  My own real thoughts will teach me what it is.  (WB92)”

Reflections:

We can depend on real thoughts to arise from within our minds.  The God within will see to that.  We would have our inheritance of peace and joy rest with us.  God has kept these lovely Thoughts just for us.

Affirmation:  “Above all else I want to see.”

Selected Passage:

“The world I see attests to the fearful nature of the self-image I have made. . . .If I would remember who I am, it is essential that I let this image of myself go.  (WB92)”

Reflections:

We have, from the ego, made a fearful self-image.  We can easily relinquish this self-image for the truth about ourselves.  We must, indeed, let this image go if we are to have peace.

Affirmation:  “Above all else I want to see differently.”

Selected Passage:

“I would let the door behind this world be opened for me, that I may look past it to the world that reflects the Love of God.  (WB92)”

Reflections:

We can see the real world, and this real world reflects the Love of God.  May we recognize this great blessing today.

Affirmation:  “God is in everything I see.”

Selected Passage:

“God is still everywhere and in everything forever.  And we who are part of Him will yet look past all appearances, and recognize the truth beyond them all.  (WB93)”

Reflections:

God is everywhere and in everything, for God is the All.  This is not little individual gods, as believed in pantheism, but a single God, a One.  So this means that all of our brothers and sisters, and ourselves, are One as well.  Great joy we will recognize when the truth of this statement dawns upon us!

Affirmation:  “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.”

Selected Passage:

“I have not lost the knowledge of Who I am because I have forgotten it.  It has been kept for me in the Mind of God, Who has not left His Thoughts.  (WB93)”

Reflections:

We are a Thought of God.  He has not left us bereft in a dangerous world; that is all egoistic thinking.  We need to remember Who we are, the Self that we are.  Then our lives will smooth out, and peace with its blessing will descend upon us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I want to see clearly today.  I have not seen clearly far too often in the past because the ego has clouded my vision.  Give me real vision today.  Help me to see differently from the past.  May I see the real world that Your vision, in me, gives.

Thank You for Your many blessings.  I thank You for these explanations of difficult concepts.  Give me the grace to understand them sooner rather than later.

Amen.

I Can Escape from This World by Giving Up Attack Thoughts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 55 – for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am determined to see things differently.”

Selected Passage:

“I am determined to see the witnesses to the truth in me, rather than those which show me an illusion of myself.  (WB90)”

Reflections:

We see illusions in ourselves, others, and this world, until we give up the illusions.  There is no other way.  How do we give up illusions?  We make a determination that we will ask to see the real world, and then we wait patiently until the world changes.  And we will not have long to wait.  Jesus is in charge of time (a Text tenet).

Affirmation:  “What I see is a form of vengeance.”

Selected Passage:

“The world I see is hardly the representation of loving thoughts.  It is a picture of attack on everything by everything. . .It is my own attack thoughts that give rise to this picture.  My loving thoughts will save me from this perception of the world, and give me the peace God intended me to have.  (WB90)”

Reflections:

This passage reflects a summary of all that has recently gone before.  We need to make a decision to give up attack, once and for all.  We need to choose love, and then our perception of the world will change (because our projections have changed), and we will have peace.

Affirmation:  “I can escape from this world by giving up attack thoughts.”

Selected Passage:

“As forgiveness allow love to return to my awareness, I will see a world of peace and safety and joy.  (WB90)”

Reflections:

Forgiveness is our only function in this world.  And we forgive only what has actually never happened in reality.  Our brothers and sisters, and we ourselves, have only made mistakes, and these can be corrected.  A mistake is a call for help and a call for love (ACIM says this for attack).  May we allow forgiveness to overcome us today, and may we live peacefully.

Affirmation:  “I do not perceive my own best interests.”

Selected Passage:

“I am willing to follow the Guide God has given me to find out what my own best interests are, recognizing that I cannot perceive them by myself.  (WB91)”

Reflections:

The Guide is the Holy Spirit, a frequent emphasis in ACIM.  When we let the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration (a Text term), speak to us, then we will know our best interests.  And peace will overtake us.  This may not happen all at once, because the ego still may be strong in us, but it will happen sufficiently for us to see the truth of the passage quoted above.

Affirmation:  “I do not know what anything is for.”

Selected Passage:

“The purpose I have given the world has led to a frightening picture of it.  Let me open my mind to the world’s real purpose by withdrawing the one I have given it, and learning the truth about it.  (WB91)”

Reflections:

May we not let our own thoughts frighten us.  We are quite capable of doing so; in fact, this is why we are so frequently frightened.  May, instead, we extend loving thoughts, and then our own fear will recede.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am going to try to go through this day without any attack thoughts toward myself or others.  If I vow to give up illusions of myself and others, and to see only the loving in myself and others, I will have a better chance of having this peaceful day that I want.  Be with me throughout the day as I seek to make good on my promise.

Help us to give up illusions of ourselves, the illusions that are borne of egoistic thinking.  May my view of myself change to a more benign concept, leading eventually to the truth that I do not truly understand myself at all.  Only You can give me the understanding that I will need to carry out my function of forgiveness in Your world.

Amen.

May the Real World Rise before My Eyes

ACIM Workbook Lesson 54 – for Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “I have no neutral thoughts.”

Selected Passage:

“As the world I see arises from my thinking errors, so will the real world rise before my eyes as I let my errors be corrected.  (WB88)”

Reflections:

Many times we know the best thing to do, but we are fallible, and still tied to the ego, and we don’t follow our own best instincts.  These best instincts are instilled in us by the Holy Spirit, and we will make ourselves a Heaven on earth, even, when we let the real world rise before our eyes.  This means that we pray for guidance, and we pray for the will to follow that guidance.  Then all is well.

Affirmation:  “I see no neutral things.”

Selected Passage:

“Let me look on the world I see as the representation of my own state of mind.  I know that my state of mind can change.  And so I also know the world I see can change as well.  (WB88)”

Reflections:

We would have the world as we see it actually change.  We would accord illusions the tiny interest that they merit, but we would recognize that we are projecting.  We would not let our state of mind go negative, or the world that we see will go negative as well.

Affirmation:  “I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.”

Selected Passage:

“I can. . .call upon my real thoughts, which share everything with everyone.  As my thoughts of separation call to the separation thoughts of others, so my real thoughts awaken the real thoughts in them.  And the world my real thoughts show me will dawn on their sight as well as mine.  (WB88)”

Reflections:

This passage calls us to make a difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters.  We would make a difference today.  Help us to call upon our real thoughts–the loving ones–to help lead everyone to a better world, the real world.

Affirmation:  “I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.”

Selected Passage:

“I am alone in nothing.  Everything I think or say or do teaches all the universe.  A Son of God cannot think or speak or act in vain.  He cannot be alone in anything.  It is therefore in my power to change every mind along with mine, for mine is the power of God.  (WB89)”

Reflections:

We do not have private thoughts, however much we might think that we do or hope that we do.  Our thoughts reach outward to others, even when we do not say anything that will tip our hand.

Affirmation:  “I am determined to see.”

Selected Passage:

“I would look upon the real world, and let it teach me that my will and the Will of God are one.  (WB89)”

Reflections:

May we see the real world, the loving world, today.  It is a great blessing to know that our real will and the Will of God are identical–not similar, but identical.  He is within us, and we would learn much from turning to God whenever any question arises in our minds.  We need simply to ask the question, internally, and then words of answer will pour into our minds.  Of course, we cannot be sure of our infallibility in such cases, but if the Answer is benign, we can be assured that it is quite likely that we are receiving guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the real world rise before my eyes today.  I am not awakened on a sustained basis, because the ego has not given  up the fight for control of my mind and heart.  But the ego is weakened in me; I no longer accord its temper tantrums much effect, and so I thank You that some of Your teaching is showing me the real world.  May I see a loving, peaceful expanse of this world unfold before my eyes today.  May I be at Home in You.

Thank You, dear God, for Your manifold blessings to me.  Even when I think times are tough, I know that it has been said that at those times You are “carrying” me.  May I enjoy Your company today.  May I be aware of Your presence throughout the day.  And may the real world come into view.

Amen.