ACIM Workbook Lesson 181 – for Thursday, June 30, 2011
Affirmation: “I trust my brothers, who are one with me.”
“Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness. This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins. For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you. And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond. (WB337)”
This passage identifies the “overlooking” that the Text asks us to do. If we make our brother or sister’s “sins” real to ourselves by focusing on them, we will find it almost impossible to overlook them. And by not overlooking, we make it even harder to forgive, which is necessary (a Text tenet). How can we overlook what we have made real by dwelling on it? Certainly our frame of mind will be calmer, and we will be more serene, if we don’t dwell on the shortcomings of others. Our own shortcomings likewise need to be forgiven, but here there is a difference. We must understand what we have done, and not just suppress it as of no importance because all is illusion anyway. In this world, we do not recognize the misdeeds as illusions, often. We (mistakenly) see these misdeeds as real, and what we have made real becomes real to ourselves. We need to make amends when we have been the guilty party. Even though guilt is described in the Text as hell, we will experience guilt when we have made mistakes, especially when those mistakes are serious. We would do better, and if we commune with God, we will know how to right the wrongs that we have observed in ourselves.
Actually the sinlessness in ourselves and others is legitimate. All is illusion, except the intangibles born of love. We do not fully understand this. But we are still as God created us. The illusory detour into insanity of the ego has not actually changed anything about us. Let us dwell on this important fact, and trust that sinlessness is actually our natural state.
Sinlessness is also the state of our brothers and sisters. They have made mistakes, some of which have affected us, but they too are as God created them. When we truly believe this truth, we will know peace in a way that we never have heretofore.
It is so reassuring to read that I have made mistakes (of course), but that “sin” as a concept is something best turned aside. For reasons that I do not understand, a “sin” in enticing, and we want to repeat the “sin,” even when we suffer. This is insanity, and I thank You for the words in ACIM that explain it to me.
Be with me today, as I go about my little world. Help me to keep my temper in check with my brothers and sisters, and help me to avoid the suffering that comes when I do not turn everything about myself over to You. I would belong to You completely today.