Tag Archives: ACIM and forgiveness

Forgiveness Lets Me Know that Minds Are Joined

ACIM Workbook Lesson 336 – for Friday, December 2, 2011

 

 

Affirmation:  “Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.”

 

 

 

“Forgiveness sweeps away distortions, and opens the hidden altar to the truth.  Its lilies shine into the mind, and call it to return and look within, to find what it has vainly sought without.  For here, and only here, is peace of mind restored, for this the dwelling place of God Himself.  (WB470)”

Reflections:

1 – Peace of Mind Comes with Complete Forgiveness

These final passages in the Workbook choose to make firm the decision for forgiveness that is the central thesis of A Course in Miracles.  These passages would firm up our decision for the peace of mind, something that can only come when we forgive completely.  “Forgiveness sweeps away distortions,” and by this we can led to see that we have been looking with a distorted eye upon the mistakes of our brothers and sisters.

2 – Lilies Within

The theme of lilies is again found.  There are many lyrical passages in ACIM, and the passages in the Text on lilies are particularly beautiful.  We need to find the lilies within, to find within what we have vainly sought without.  We have even sought without in sickness, because sickness is described in the Text as a form of external searching.  We can be well, if not physically, then within our spirit.  And often spiritual healing carries a physical component.  When we rest in God’s peace, much that seems awry in our world gets corrected, and this passage gives the overview of how that miracle happens.  Forgiveness reaches into the mind and heals it; we no longer look without for healing.

3 – This Illusory World

Our peace of mind is a true experience of reaching the “dwelling place of God Himself.”
This way of speaking emphasizes that God is within and that we project our world from without.  The Text says that there is nothing outside of ourselves.  While this may seem like a metaphysical tenet that we cannot comprehend, it is the easy way of teaching ourselves how to forgive  If we are in a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), then we realize that the projected world is illusory; it is that mass hallucination.

4 – Very Little on Blind Faith

We are still as God created us.  This is an oft-repeated sentence from the Workbook.  Until and unless we believe this, we will not be in a good position to forgive fully.  We will still harbor a secret thought that we have been hurt in some real way by the misdeeds of others.  But this secret thought is healed, and we know that we too are forgiven, when we reach out with love from our hearts and forgiveness in both our hearts and the intellect of our minds.  A Course in Miracles requires that we accept very little on blind faith.  Belief in the absolute right of our brothers and sisters to our forgiveness may be as close as we come to needing to accept ACIM on faith.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for allowing me to understand that You answer our questions without asking us to rely on a faith that is focused on mysteries.  We need to forgive, and while we may not see that this one act will solve our problems, we can come to see this as we act it out.  Help me to forgive today.  Help me to refrain from both anger and attack, however tempting these negative emotions may sometimes appear.  Your counsel is always the peaceful way.  Never do we need to dwell on the negative.

May I see your lilies today.  I would walk freely and easily in this world, and You are the instigator of my peace, the peace that allows me to walk freely and easily.  Be with me throughout the day.  Keep me focused on the positive, regardless of how many things may happen today that test my patience.

Bless my brothers and sisters.  My relationship to them enables the means by which salvation comes–through special-turned-holy relationships.

Amen.

I Forgive Mistakes – Not “Sins”

ACIM Workbook Lesson 247 – for Sunday, September 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “Without forgiveness I will still be blind.”

“Sin is the symbol of attack.  Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer.  For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me.  Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely.

”So would I look on everyone today.  My brothers are Your Sons.  Your Fatherhood created them, and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well.  Today I honor You through them, and thus I hope this day to recognize my Self.  (WB417)”

Reflections:

1 – Mistakes–Not “Sins”

We must realize that our brothers and sisters make only mistakes; they do not “sin.”  And with mistake, we are prone to forgive more readily.  Contrariwise, we are not so quick to forgive what we see as sin.  In the case of misdeeds called sin, we would sometimes magnanimously grant forgiveness, but at the cost of feeling superior to our brother/sister.  And this is an unacceptable cost, because we are equals.  We are separate only in the degree of understanding that we may have at any given moment.  Eventually all will come back home to God, with those in our circle helped by us.

2 – We Suffer when We Withhold Forgiveness

We also suffer, as the passage says, when we behold sin and withhold forgiveness.  At base we withhold our own forgiveness of ourselves, completely comparable to the degree that we withhold forgiveness from our brother/sister.  We are One.  That simple truth cuts through a lot of the seeming complexity of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Out Self Includes Others

Our brothers and sisters are part of our Self.  This is a truth that is not often discussed  in ACIM and is easy to overlook, but this passage (above) makes it clear.  This Self is the Christ Self that we all share, the Christ Self that Jesus came to embody (an interpretation, not stated precisely in ACIM).  When we honor our brothers and sisters, we come closer to recognizing our Self.  And this leads inexorably toward Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is so reassuring to know that I must forgive mistakes, but that “sins” are simply illusory; they did not really happen as I sometimes think.  I do not want to be attracted to my own misdeeds, and so help me to remember to label them “mistakes,” and there will not be the attracting feature that forbidden “sin” seems to hold out to all of us.

May I be quick to forgive today and everyday.  Your Word is true, and forgiveness is the overarching principle of A Course in Miracles.  Jesus knows what he is talking about, and I have explicit faith in him.  Thank You for the inspiration that led him in the writing of ACIM.

Amen.

What Would God Have Me Do?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 212 – for Sunday, July 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I have a function God would have me fill.  (WB393)”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles usually identifies “forgiveness” as our function, but ACIM also lists other functions that work in conjunction with forgiveness:  happiness (which may seem not to be a lofty-enough goal, but it is) and salvation.  In the sense of the passage above, I think that the word “function” is meant to be an all-encompassing sense of what we are to do in this world.  Our role in the world is left unfilled until we fill it.  There is a place for each of us, and nobody can do what we can.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

We are not left adrift to fulfill our function in this world.  We have guidance, whether it is the Holy Spirit (as given in ACIM) or the inner direction of Christ-consciousness (as given in A Course of Love, viewed by some to be a sequel to ACIM).  If we turn inward in whatever way seems appropriate to us at whatever stage we presently occupy, we will find our way home, and we will say and do for our brothers and sisters what we are meant to fulfill.

The repetition of the affirmation, over several days, is unique in ACIM, and perhaps this repetition is meant to impress upon us that we are free individuals in spirit, still as we have eternally been.  The separation from God has been an illusion.  What joy to realize this!  And to know that we are never alone; God, the All, shadows us from within and without at every moment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would fulfill Your function for me today.  I realize that this means that forgiveness must be paramount.  This world demands it, though it is an illusory need.  In this world illusions reign, and we must live in the illusion but not be thrown by it.  May happiness and salvation–also said by Jesus to be our function–follow me as I seek to do Your will today.

I would feel Your presence today.  I would walk peacefully among my brothers and sisters, and I would seek to fulfill the day in the best way possible.  Help me to do this.  Be there to guide me.  Keep me flexible enough to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit through whatever events happen.

Amen.

Forgiveness = Key to Happiness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 141 – for Saturday, May 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “My mind holds only what I think with God.”

Selected Passage:

“Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
“Forgiveness offers everything I want.  (WB275)”

Reflections:

The major drawback which ACIM students and teachers may still face is the troubling idea (a falsehood) that there are some “sins” that are beyond forgiveness.  We may have been so hurt by the words or actions of another that we feel that these brothers and sisters do not deserve forgiveness.  But take a moment to reflect on what this thinking really means.  We are actually saying that we have said or done things that were so bad that we do not deserve forgiveness, because what we say of another is always what we have first said about ourselves.  When we point a finger at another, three fingers are pointed back at us.

But maya, or illusion, assures us that these “sins” (actually mistakes) never happened in reality.  We ourselves are innocent of sin; we have just made mistakes, which we may ask forgiveness for, and then we are healed.  We can make amends if we feel prompted to do so (and if it is still feasible).  We can commune with God, Who always listens.  He will forgive us, regardless of the depth of the mistakes we have made.  Let us do the same for our brothers and sisters, lost in insanity.

It may help to realize that this is a mad world.  We are all lost in insanity to one degree or another.  Even the Awakened are said not to be “perfect,” at least not until Jesus corrects the mistakes that we ourselves did not have the power to correct.  If we believe that the difficult actions of our brothers and sisters, the ones that have impacted us negatively, are the result of insanity, we will be much more willing to forgive.  We ourselves need this forgiveness as well, and if we withhold it from them, we withhold it from ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

May I forgive everyone in my world today for anything that may ever have hurt me.  May I keep on forgiving as any new hurts emerge.  This is my way to happiness, my key to salvation and to Awakening.  Thank You for leading me to know this.

Be with my brothers and sisters, as well as myself, as we walk together through this day.  We walk together, hand-in-hand, and when we realize this fully we are well on the way to home.

Amen.

Pardon = Recognizes Illusions

ACIM Workbook Lesson 134 – for Saturday, May 14, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.”

Selected Passage:

“The strength of pardon is its honesty, which is so uncorrupted that it sees illusions as illusions, not as truth.  It is because of this that it becomes the undeceiver in the face of lies; the great restorer of the simple truth.  By its ability to overlook what is not there, it opens up the way to truth, which has been blocked by dreams of guilt.  Now are you free to follow in the way your true forgiveness opens up to you.  For if one brother has received this gift of you, the door is open to yourself.   (WB249)”

Reflections:

Often in this blog I have discussed the ease with which forgiveness or pardon can be offered if we realize that what we are seeing that is painful is actually illusion.  We have in our Self not been hurt at all.  We are invulnerable in our real essence.  And if we recognize that the attack or anger that is coming toward us is the result of insanity on the part of others (and ourselves), we will go still farther toward understanding the absolute necessity of forgiveness.  It keeps our rights protected.  It is the only sane response to distress based on error (a Text tenet).

Forgiveness, it is not often noted, will help us to feel better, even euphoric–once we see the advantages that accrue.  Others will see that we are not retaliating, and it is quite possible that those others will actually apologize for their words or deeds.  The fact that forgiveness, offered freely, will help us to feel better in not mentioned in A Course in Miracles, but a little experimentation will show us that it is a very practical consequence of the right word or deed.  We feel worse when we retaliate with words or deeds.  While there may be a momentary high (as Kenneth Wapnick, scholar of ACIM, notes) due to the false belief that we have gotten rid of the anger, we have not actually gotten rid of anything.  We are only venting, and venting is pain that will not be allow relief from bad feelings.  Learning through pain, Jesus says, is only temporary.  Learning through rewards is lasting.  (These are Text tenets.)

It is important that we not stare too long at the perceived harm.  If we make it real to ourselves, how can we overlook it (a Text tenet)?  Overlook from the beginning, if possible, and if it is already too late to do that, then ask for a new beginning for the day (a Text tenet).  Then our perception of illusions will fade away, and we will know that, while we have felt bad, this sort of feeling does not have to last.  Indeed, this bad feeling will subside momentarily–and for the rest of the day, if we do not recall to mind the harm that we thought we perceived and that we fought, internally, against.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

Help me today to recognize that this world is all illusion, and that regardless of what to me or others in my circle, actually the real Self has not been damaged in any way.  Help me to realize and not make real any attack or anger that is directed at me.  Help me to overlook.

I would live a pleasant day in Your eyes today.  I would give You, within me, a good day.  Help me to do this as I follow the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Special Relationships

“I have said repeatedly that the Holy Spirit would not deprive you of your special relationships, but would transform them.  (ACIM, T358)”

Affirmation:  “transform my special relationships”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles makes much of our way toward Awakening:  forgiveness, expressed through the changing of our special relationships into holy relationships.  Many of us look to our significant others when we think of the many passages in ACIM which discuss special/holy relationships.

Many students of ACIM read the “I” as Jesus, and, indeed, this is what Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman, the co-scribes, believed (though they were hesitant to say so in public presentations, the few that they had).  The transformation of special relationships, we learn as we read farther on, is into holy relationships.  We have forgiven our brothers and sisters for the wrongs that we, and perhaps they, believe that they have done.  ACIM sees forgiveness as the way Home.

What is “Home”?  We can perhaps see that this is heaven on earth.  This theme runs through A Course of Love also.  We can experience a better world in this world; we do not have to wait for life after death.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I indeed experience the heaven on earth that I read about, as I forgive my brothers and sisters unconditionally.  May my special relationships transform into holy ones.  May You lead me to this transformation.

Thank You for listening to my prayers.  I want to keep my channel to You open at all times.  I want to feel You near me and within me.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 138:

Heaven is the decision I must make.

Forgiveness = A Happy Fiction

“Forgiveness might be called a kind of happy fiction; a way in which the unknowing can bridge the gap between their perception and the truth.  They cannot go directly from perception to knowledge because they do not think it is their will to do so.  (M83)”

Affirmation:  “Forgiveness = a kind of happy fiction”

Reflections:

Forgiveness is “happy fiction” because there is actually nothing that we need to forgive.  But in this world, this is not entirely true.  We need the practice of forgiveness until we reach the point that we realize that everyone is actually innocent, and what our brothers and sisters have done to us is not real.  Forgiveness thus becomes our way out.

Forgiveness is a central point of the Course.  Until we master forgiveness, we will remain lost in a world of ego-oriented thinking and living.

Our perception needs to move closer to the truth, which is knowledge given by God.  We do not make this transition ourselves because we do not fully understand, and we cannot fully understand, because knowledge is the providence of God.  He will reach down and lift us up when we are ready.  And that is all we really need to know.  That is the great promise held out to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I practice forgiveness today for my brothers and sisters, and for myself.  It is comforting to read that it is just a happy fiction–that we are all actually innocent, and that we have not, in reality, changed ourselves since our creation.  We have been lost in illusion.

Thank you for prompting Jesus to give us these ideas.  They are internally consistent ideas, and from them we will eventually come to the knowledge that only You can impart.

Amen.

Workbook Lesson for Day 85:

Today’s review will cover these ideas:

My grievances hide the light of the world in me.

My salvation comes from me.