There Is No Sin

ACIM Workbook Lesson 259 – for Friday, September 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me remember that there is no sin.”

“What else but sin engenders our attacks?  What else but sin could be the source of guilt, demanding punishment and suffering?  And what but sin could be the source of fear, obscuring God’s creation; giving love the attributes of fear and of attack?

“Father, I would not be insane today.  I would not be afraid of love, nor seek for refuge in its opposite.  For love can have no opposite.  You are the Source of everything there is.  And everything that is remains with You, and You with it.  (WB424)”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Be Attracted to “Sin”

A Course in Miracles says unequivocally that there is no sin, that there are only mistakes.  Furthermore, ACIM says that believing that we have sinned actually encourages the repetition of that “sin,” because we are perversely attracted to sin (a paraphrase from the Text).  ACIM says that as soon as we characterize something simply as a “mistake,” we will want to change; we will not want to repeat the mistake.  There is no attracting feature to a thought or action that is simply recognized to be a mistake.

2 – Let’s Understand What Forgiveness Actually Means

The passage above tells us that the attacks, guilt, punishment, suffering, fear that we experience are the result of our perceived “sin.”  This both supports the Bible and differs from it.  The Bible would have us forgive sins, but we do not learn enough to realize that our pardon of sins does not really erase them.  ACIM goes a step farther in instruction by saying that actually we are living in illusion, and that the bad things that we say and do have not happened in reality.  Hence the sense that forgiveness is on solid ground, because we are still as God created us.  Our innocence becomes hard to see only when we fail to adopt ACIM exactly as the books say.  Our guilt is keeping us from seeing innocence, and ACIM says that guilt is hell.  We would not be in hell today, and so it behooves us to commune sufficiently with God that we can see the innocence in ourselves and others.  Abraham Lincoln said that he tried to do the very best he could, the very best that he knew how.  The same might be said about all of us.  But we wander through this world with mistaken ideas that the part of us called “ego” has led us to accept as part of our being.  It is not really so.  The ego is illusory also.  Without the ego, we would recognize that our real Self is as God created it.  The ego is that “tiny, mad idea” (from the Text) about which we forgot to laugh, and all the insanity of this world has arisen as a result.

3 – Love =Our Source = God

Love does not have the opposite of hate (or indifference, as is sometimes said in our world).  Love is our Source, and our Source is God.  It is not weak to depend on God’s mercy in everyday life; it is the sanest sense.  It is the evidence that we are leaving insanity behind.  We are coming home at last, and as a result we will find the happiness that has mostly eluded us when we lived under the shadow of egoic thinking.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not live today under the egoic thinking that countenances sin.  I would leave “sin” behind, and, if You will help me, I will also leave mistakes behind.  I realize that I am human and prone to make errors, but with Your help the number of those errors can and will diminish.

Help me to avoid attack, anger–prime reasons that I wonder if I can be, as You say, “innocent,” and still as You created me.  I would relax in Your gentle love today, and when I relax and am quiet, I feel the stillness that gives me the comfort of Your presence.  Thank You for being there always.

Amen.

Anger II

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found?  Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return.  (M51)”

Affirmation:  “Returning anger will drop the heavy curtain that keeps peace from me.”

Reflections:

The main point that this passage makes is best understood if we realize that elsewhere we learn that all is either help or a call for help.  We get angry when we think that we have not been appreciated, or someone has done us wrong, or a million varieties of these two examples.  If we reinterpret this attack from another brother or sister as a call for help, then we can see that they are innocent, and we truly have nothing to be angry about.

It is important to note that this passage says “returning anger, in whatever form”–a pertinent point.  We often feel upset without fully realizing that what we are feeling is anger.  Suppressing or repressing the anger is not helpful, and this is a mistake that many Course students make.  Our right and proper reaction is forgiveness of the attack, because our brothers and sisters are as innocent as are we.  We have made mistakes, and they have also, but we are not “sinners.”  Calling an attack a “sin” only reinforces it in our minds.  We need to overlook the attack, not make it real by dwelling on it (a Course tenet).

Peace can be with us all the time, but this achievement (and it is an achievement, but not of the ego) may not come to any of us soon.  More and more time can be spent in peace, though, if we keep the tenets of the Course in mind.  The above paragraph summarizes a good bit of the basic psychology of the Course about attack and anger.  For us to be peaceful, we have to have a peaceful psychology, and A Course in Miracles offers this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I retain peace in my life.  I know that I cannot retain peace if I allow anger to return to me over and over.  I must forgive the mistakes that I make and those that my brothers and sisters make.  Then I may retain peace.

Please help me to go about a peaceful day today.  I know that Your help is at my right hand always.

Amen.