ACIM Workbook Lesson 257 – for Wednesday, September 14
Affirmation: “Let me remember what my purpose is.”
“Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation. Let us not forget today that we can have no will but Yours. And thus our purpose must be Yours as well, if we would reach the peace You will for us. (WB423)”
Our function on earth is salvation’s pathway of forgiveness, according to A Course in Miracles. Though we truly do not have anything to forgive, because the negative things that happen to us happen from the ego’s dream, we need the discipline of forgiveness because we are not saintly enough to recognize, like God, never to condemn. It is said in ACIM that God doesn’t forgive because He has never condemned. There is no need for God to forgive us; he knows that we are innocent, and that we are exactly, still, as He created us (an ACIM tenet).
We need to forgive for our own mental health and our own sense of felt Oneness with God. If we carry around anger and attack thoughts, our peace of mind will be naught. There is never any need for anger and attack, but as long as we are fallible (which we will be on earth), we are very, very likely to succumb to these emotions–perhaps even after Awakening. The Dalai Lama has admitted to being angry at times, but he said this in a lecture with a kindly demeanor. (He also denies being awakened.)
Forgiveness, then, will give us peace. And peace of mind is our great need, and the great need of the world. So we forgive almost more for ourselves than for our brothers and sisters, though their receipt of our forgiveness heals the holy relationships that we are meant to sustain. We will not walk this world long without making mistakes. We will get angry, and we will attack, feeling “justified” in our wrath when the ego is temporarily in control. The best way to combat our tendency to drop into these emotions may have been identified by Norman Vincent Peale. He tells an anecdote in which a man of 40, besieged by negative emotions, asked God to change him, and believed that He had. His simple belief that a prayer in line with God’s blessing would be honored led him to “fly into a great calm” instead of expressing his temper. His son reported, in this anecdote, that after this great prayer, he never saw his father in an angry outburst again. Surely a miracle, and one that we might all ask to have in our own lives.
I asked about ten days ago to eliminate attack entirely from my cluster of ego-oriented misdeeds, and I have had a placid ten days. Perhaps I have not been tested yet. But perhaps also I am seeing my own small miracle. After all, I live in close proximity with my most significant relationship to a “brother,” and we have lived normally for these ten days.
I would continue my prayer that attack be eliminated for me. I never get angry unless I am stressed, and I never attack unless I am angry. I thank You for these understandings. Help me not to get cocky, for surely then the start of a new record of peaceful interactions will be disrupted.
Be with me today, as always. I cannot keep a resolution myself. I am not strong nor saintly enough. But You can walk the whole pathway with me, giving me (for me) the supernatural grace to walk as You would have me walk. And You would not countenance attack, of that I am sure. Be with me daily as I seek to walk Your way, only Your way.