ACIM Workbook Lesson 332 – for Monday, November 28, 2011
Affirmation: “Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free.”
“Without forgiveness is the mind in chains, believing in its own futility. Yet with forgiveness does the light shine through the dream of darkness, offering it hope, and giving it the means to realize the freedom that is its inheritance. (WB468)”
1 – “Imprisoned Will”
This passage refers to the “imprisoned will” (from the Text) that is ours in our separated state until we realize that salvation is all that we want, and that we want to realize the truth that God’ Will and our will are identical. Our imprisoned will inevitably brings on pain and suffering, but not because God gives these difficulties to us; instead, we are seeing the inexorable law of cause and effect in action. The law of cause and effect also means that Jesus cannot save us from ourselves. We cannot ask him, for example, to free us from fear directly; we should ask instead that the conditions that brought the fear about be rectified (paraphrasing from the Text). Then we will be asking rightly.
2 – Jesus and Fear
Jesus says that to ask him to take away our fear would be tampering with the most basic law of cause and effect, and he indicates that he would never do this. To do so would take away a primary way in which God has granted his gifts to us; the law of cause and effect is really meant for our edification. There is a lengthy passage in the Text that elaborates upon the truth of cause and effect.
3 – Freedom = Our Inheritance
But our freedom is our inheritance, and when we forgive, we receive this inheritance. We are only free when we are directly in God’s Will, not trying vainly to substitute our own inferior, ego-inspired, will in Its place. Inheritance usually has a most positive slant in our minds, but sometimes we are using the ego to feel this positive slant. We think of an inheritance as being monetary or material, and this is exactly what our misguided ego hopes that we will think, hopes that we will get caught up in, so that its reign can continue. When we realize that the monetary and the material are positive but non-essential to our true worth in the world, we will be in a better position to let ego-inspired notions of inheritance fall away.
4 – A Life Filled with Hope
With forgiveness, we live a life filled with hope. Our days grow brighter, for we are living life God’s Way. That is all that He really wants for us–blessings of His goodness and hope for a better present and future. Forgiveness offers a serene brow on our faces. Forgiveness offers the peace of mind that we have craved.
5 – Forgiveness Is Always Justified
Forgiveness is always justified, as is made clear in other ACIM passages, as the attack, anger, and grievances that others have felt toward us are mere illusion. We make the reality that we wish to experience, and when we have moved past the first tentative steps, we can ultimately become co-creators with God (an interpretation from ACIM).
I would extend forgiveness today, and in the doing of it I will find peace. I would not ask Jesus to remove my fear, but for help in the conditions that bring fear into being. When we are unduly anxious, we need to stop and commune with You. Help me to remember this easy solution today. I would not live in fear or anxiety today.
Be with us as we walk through this day. Your way is smooth, when we meet Your conditions. May I study diligently, so that I know and implement Your conditions. Your way is easy, but it must be understood for the simple means that are asked.
Thank You for giving me the peace that Your felt presence always brings.