Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Sweetness of Love

“We contemplate our sleeping brothers and sisters with the sweetness of love and treat them always with tenderness, understanding that their acts are nothing other than the movements of those terrified by nightmares.”  COL bk.2, 18:II

A quotation that encourages us to forgive, and to forgive each and every time—knowing that sleeping brothers and sisters are terrified by nightmares.  What a poignant image!  May we remember it now that times seem so tough for us.  May we remember this image often.

Some of us reading this have still not awakened fully, and so we too sleep part of the time, at least.  When we do sleep in waking life, we need to be forgiving of ourselves, too.  We lapse into fears that overwhelm us.  We lapse into anger and attack, twin negatives that are caused by our unconscious fear.  Treat ourselves with the “sweetness of love,” and we will hasten full Awakening into Christ-consciousness.  The oscillations are sometimes great, from fear to love and back again.  But remember that we have mighty companions accompanying us. 

The “movements of those terrified by nightmares” need not cause us to fear.  As bad as things get, still we have our heavenly Father with us.  It is true that He does not intervene in human matters by robbing us of our free will.  Consequently, some in this world get into real trouble.

But there will come a glorious day when all, simply all, are in the presence of God, home in Him. 

Our faith and trust in God will bring that day closer in time.

Love

“You can never be inside my heart enough.  That is the same as saying you can never love too much or be too loved.”  COL bk.2, 16:I

The panacea for what ails us is always and ever the same:  love.  I fear that we hear this ode to love so often that we tune out, not seeing the wonderful implications.  It is true that hearts can be hardened to love, and love then does not transform negative actions.  But we never know when this is really true.  The offer of love may take root in a hardened heart at any time, softening it and turning it to the positive.

This is another quotation from Mary.  Her channeled writings always are filled to the brim with her love.  We often see her as the “mother,” and mother love is known to be all-inclusive, all-forgiving.  So we are “inside” Mary’s heart, and she would have us be there forever.  This is a particularly wonderful way of saying that Love means everything to our well-being.

Love does not mean that we accept abuse.  We have a concept called “tough love,” that is effective in some cases when faced with a particularly obstinate person.  But we must be careful that tough love does not hide a refusal to forgive, because forgiveness is the greatest message of A Course in Miracles.  The right overture from a heart filled with love will transform the most awful situation.  We just have to give love a chance.

When faced with a hard decision, ask, “What would God’s love do now?”  This is the same as the oft-repeated injunction to ask, “What would Jesus do now?” or “What would Mary do now?”

Contemplating this question will do much to see that our heart remains in the right place.

Tenderness

“Tenderness counteracts anger.  No war can stand against it.  Purity appeases and banishes the evil intentions that sometimes creep into the heart of the child of God.”  COL bk.2, 15:III

If we ever face anger in our relationships, here is the antidote:  tenderness.  Here we read that no war, even, can stand against tenderness.  When we are tender, we are expressing a purity that is lost to us when we give in to anger.

A Course in Miracles says that anger is never justified.  But that does not mean that we will never experience anger.  We are still living in this world with feet of clay, and as long as we are finite creatures, I believe that there will be misunderstandings that cause hard feelings.  ACIM also says that forgiveness is the Answer.  And when we forgive, we must not leave ourselves out of the equation.

So here we have it, from two sources combined:  Tenderness and forgiveness will lead us aright.  Tenderness and forgiveness will right the negative pattern that might creep into our relationships.

Sometimes we will need this reminder, because we are still in need of God’s help as we walk this world.  Anger will come, but anger will also go.  And here we have the message from Choose Only Love that will heal our overwrought feelings.  Negativity cannot stand when we listen to God’s solution.

Always & Only Love

“This message invites you to remember that your function is to bring love to the world.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:I)

Life would be so much simpler if we just realized most of the time that we are meant to bring love to the world.  A single, all-embracing purpose such as this also gives meaning to our lives.

Unfortunately, we have heard “love” mentioned so often in this context that we zone out because it seems like the same concept, over and over.  If we had taken this concept to heart, this might be understandable.  But the problem is that we have not taken this concept to heart.  We “play” at love, often special love, an inferior rendering to love that has plenty of drama, including low points.  Our holy love, one to another, will save us now.  It is the only thing that will save us.

I have found that if I focus on just giving my husband love in this time of isolation, I am walking a green earth.  We are happy in the midst of quarantine.  May we take this knowledge with us, out into the world, when the quarantine is over.

A Course in Miracles says variously that forgiveness and happiness are functions for us.  But Choose Only Love makes it simpler for us.  If we focus on love, the forgiveness and happiness will happen all of its own accord.

What more could we ask?

Know that Love Is without Condemnation

“Blessed soul, you are ready to accept that . . . all the damage you think you have caused. . .is past. . . It is only necessary to recognize that it is past, and be willing to put it in the hands of forgiveness. . . .”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 8:I)

All of us have fallen short, been angry and hurt people, shouted out when we were hurt.  All of this matters not, now.  The only thing needful is that we forgive ourselves and let the Christ spirit forgive us.

It would be arrogance to believe that we are beyond forgiveness, that what we have done is so bad as to be unforgivable.  This is simply untrue.  We can express remorse, vow to do better in the future, and know that God Himself smiles on us.  We were simply little children, his creations, who didn’t know any better at the time.

To walk forward in confidence, it is necessary to come to terms with the past, to put it to rest.  We were acting on only partial knowledge.  A part of us didn’t know how to act any better, and that little part swayed all the rest.

Every time we err, we just need to pick ourselves up and try again.  There is no punishment outside our own remorse that will ever touch us.  Our own judgment is the only condemnation that we will ever know, for God never condemns.  This new knowledge is different from what we were taught in the past, in the Old Testament, but Jesus, in the New, brought a gospel of love.

Let us accept that love today.

Acting “As If”

            Is it not true that a child learns best when one expects good in her?  Act “as if” a child will respond positively, treat her as you would want a good child to be treated, and the tantrums will fade away.  On the other hand, to focus on the tantrums is to make them stronger.  It is the same with our brother.  Expect the best, let him know that you are seeing the best, and his motivation will fall in line, making our brother a better person.  We must never show that we fear negatives from him; that would be a reinforcement of the possibility of those negatives.  Instead, accentuate the positive in all prayers and all interactions.  Let him know that we love the real Self, and that real Self will blossom before our eyes.  It is indeed very dangerous to act in any other way.  We are all potentially capable of great wrong, and it behooves to turn aside this potentiality, in ourselves and in our brothers, at every opportunity.

            Given this scenario, if we play our part right, our brother will cease so much to see “sin” in himself, and he will adopt our own attitude toward him.  He will begin to act out of the real Self, which is good, because his self-image has changed for the better.  And is this not what we would hope for all people?

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Forgive by Overlooking “Faults” in Our Brothers & Sisters

            Our brother sees “sin” in himself.  If we see sin in him also, we but reinforce an untruth, not only in him but in ourselves.  Surely it is that we see in others what we have first seen in ourselves; that is the law of projection, and, if we can believe the A Course in Miracles, projection makes perception.

            Does that mean we must deny the evidence of our eyes, and proclaim good where there seems to be only wrong?  No!  That would be a further deception, and it is the truth that we seek. We must acknowledge the wrong that we see, but recognize that, like all sights our physical eyes show us, we are seeing something unreal–a dream, if you will.  However badly our brother seems to treat us, this still is true.  It is our dream, showing us something that we don’t want to see, but only so that we can learn from it.  We are bade not to dwell on this unreality, thereby making it seem real to us, and making it harder simply to overlook and thereby forgive. (T-9.IV.4:4-5)

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Special Becomes Holy

            We seek this Oneness because the call for it was placed in our souls by God.  Jesus even tells us that Heaven is the awareness of perfect Oneness, “nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.” (T-18.VI.1:6) Because we are learning through the A Course in Miracles, we find this Oneness first through our relationships, in particular the chosen learning partner(s) who offer us unlimited ways to learn of love.  These are the ones for whom we are ready, the ones to whom we remain connected lifelong.  And these relationships generally are few. (M-3.5:3) The Course says that we may not even recognize the perfect matching that has occurred in these relationships.  But the perfect lesson, the lesson of genuine love of ourselves, others, and God, is there for us if we do not break off the relationship prematurely.  This then is the special relationship that can become holy, indeed that is meant to become holy.

            And forgiveness points the way.

Again, Forgiveness

            Another problem we create for ourselves is that we see an interval of time between forgiveness and its rewards.  This represents the degree to which we would still keep our brother separate from ourselves.  Once this faulty decision is undone, the time interval collapses, and we see the results of forgiveness come quickly on the heels of the forgiveness itself.

            Part of the reason for a time lag between forgiveness and its results is a “space” problem.  We still would see some distance between our brother and ourselves; we are not yet ready for the collapse of boundaries between us.  This is an error, part of the time-space continuum that is fundamentally illusion.  Will a true joining, a true collapse of boundaries, and it is ours.  What do

we fear?  It is love itself, for love of our brother results in true joining.  Just so long as there are spaces in our togetherness, that distance between will be a problem and an exemplification of the love that we fear to make our own.

            We fear for our safety as we join with our brother, for we do not trust him completely.  His mistakes may be profound, but the Christ in him is innocent still.  It is only his insanity which we fear, and we are never asked to join with that.  Indeed, we would make our own mistake if we attempted to do so.  In fact, this is the essential problem with “special” relationships.  But we must look at the purity within our brother’s heart, and joining with that in spirit only, we reinforce it in our brother, to the betterment of us all.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Choosing Life through Forgiveness

We can choose, metaphorically, whether we will experience life or death.  In every miracle is life, and in every impulse to hurt a brother is death.  Surely we choose the latter far more often then we think.  Even the tiny, “inconsequential” hurts are painful–to us if not to our brother.  And so they call for forgiveness.  The answer to any attack, in fact, is forgiveness.

            How may we right the wrong when we have chosen “death” over “life”?  There are no easy answers.  We can and should ask the Holy Spirit for His answer, and it will always mean that forgiveness is called for.  It is not just forgiveness of our brother, but also of ourselves for having made this mistake, having hurt one who is a Son or Daughter of God.  Sometimes forgiving ourselves is much harder than forgiving our brother, because we always attack ourselves first, and once we withdraw blame from others, we have a strong tendency to harbor it within ourselves.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

We Need Others

            That for which we do forgive our brother is really what we are ready to forgive in ourselves.  We always accuse ourselves first; what we see as unforgivable in another is what we are holding against ourselves.  The “sin” may not be in the same form, but it can be metaphorically described so that it is seen to be the same.  Often others can see the connections more easily than can one person alone.  We should talk with our friends and family as we seek to practice the A Course in Miracles.  We are not in this all alone; we are in this together.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Forgiveness Is Complete when We Realize that There Is Truly Nothing to Forgive

            Many of us who are attracted to A Course in Miracles are also attracted to reflection and meditation, but these contemplative practices are not the most important means by which the psychology of the Course takes root.  This psychology takes root in all the relationships now seen as our brothers and sisters, with whom we engage in real, God-inspired, interaction.  Certainly the workbook of the Course stresses contemplation, but it does so more toward its ending than its beginning.  This therefore is only at the final stages of having come to understand the psychology itself.  Only then are we seen as ready for meditation and reflection, after all.  Our quiet times are prepared by God to bring us close to Him as well as closer to the brothers and sisters surrounding us in real relationships.

            The Course cautions us to forgive our brothers, recognizing that their misdeeds had no real effects, being done in illusion.  A second reason for forgiveness is the fact that they were insane when they so acted.  So our forgiveness is grounded in a premise that, while it may sound farfetched upon first hearing it, is actually internally consistent throughout the Course.  These ideas allow us to forgive in truth, even as we recognize that there is truly nothing to forgive, because the real Self has not been affected by evil or “sin” at all.  Recognizing that there is really nothing to forgive is the last step, and there is not one of us who has not had this experience with a loved one at some point in time.  It is only for us to extend these tiny points in time to encompass the whole.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Join Hands with Our Brothers

            In forgiving mistakes, in ourselves as well as others, we no longer need to feel that we must hold ourselves “above” another (more special than she).  We are all in this together.  As I forgive my brother of the illusory evil that he does, miraculously I find that I am more tolerant of my own mistakes.  Everything is not a matter of life and death, purest glory or blackest sin.  If I can overlook my brother’s misdeeds, forgiving them before I study them sufficiently to make them seem real to me, then I am well on the way to handling my own problems with the same benign feeling.  Judgment always reverts back to the one who judges.  That is the truth of “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and the A Course in Miracles has given us the explanation of why this is true.

            The desire for specialness simply dissipates.  One wishes instead to be part of the great mass of humankind with a kind of mystical love that leaves one at peace.  The guilt engendered by the false pursuit of specialness and separateness from one’s brother dissipates as well.  On some level, we all intuit that holding oneself apart, with a little sense of superiority, is actually self-deception and evidence of a shabby self-perception, not an exalted one. (M-21.5:5) Walk with Jesus as together we seek to join hands with all of our brothers, enemies in specialness no more.

Cloud of Holiness

            We must honor the brothers who have been given us as special learning partners.  Knowing that they have indeed been chosen by God and left in our care for a little while puts a cloud of holiness around each one.  Surely we owe our gratitude to God and to our brothers given unto our charge.  Never forget that it is these brothers who light our pathway Home.

A Course in Miracles says, “Forgiveness is the end of specialness.” (T-24.III.1:1) Can this be?  I pray frequently, “Help me to forgive others and help me to forgive myself.”  This seems such a “right” prayer, I think, because of the Course’s contention that projection makes perception.  We see in others what we have not yet recognized in ourselves.  When we feel ourselves to be special, we are holding something still against our brother; we are “better” than he, he who does not merit forgiveness for black “sins” that we would not do.  But this is all illusion.  We too could make these same mistakes, and we too must forgive such tendencies within ourselves, even as we forgive the perpetrator of the “evil” of which we now recognize, on some level, we are capable.  We are all One, and that is the understanding that, as has been frequently said, “We are all brothers under the skin.”

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Light in Our Brother

            We find a peaceful joy in forgiveness.  As we absolve our brother of “sin,” we are ourselves absolved.  The gift we long to give to our brother has at long last been given to us.  We idolized our brother, and thereby made of him a god, but in doing so we dreamed that we were special.  When we see our brother aright, an idol no longer but a true equal brother worthy of love, our sense of guilt dissolves and we are placed in our proper relationship to God and to each other.  Such is the miracle that the A Course in Miracles promises.

            The Course can be said to be based in part upon the biblical injunction, “You are your brother’s keeper,” because it is through our relationship one to another that we find salvation.  It is declared that failing our function of fully forgiving our brother will haunt us until this function is fulfilled, and he and we are risen from the past.  Just as our brother condemned not himself alone, so do we not save ourselves alone.  We are here on this plane, indeed, for one purpose only–the healing of our brother.  That is why, in trying to discover meaning in the world, the interactions of person to person are everything.  Until we see our purpose as healing, we will follow the various elusive goals of the world, be they artistic or merely achievement that we might be “successes,” and we will know the ways of the world only.  Pain and turmoil will dog our paths, and we will learn by cause-and-effect, not Jesus’ way, which is actually by grace.

            And, yet, the lamentations of the earth are all so unnecessary.  Jesus in fact proclaims succinctly that we do not have to learn through pain. (T-21.I.3:1)  Such welcome news, but, oh, so unbelievable in the beginning!  We are enjoined to see our brother as sinless, a person who has committed no unpardonable “sins,” but only an individual making mistakes due to his madness.  Once this evaluation is firmly adopted, the whole earth will appear different, bright and sparkling in the sunlight.  We are warned, though, “not one sin you see in him but keeps you both in hell.” (T-24.VI.5:4) One must see holiness in a brother in spite of his mistakes.  His mistakes can cause delay, but in a miraculous sense, it is given us to overcome his mistakes for him, and at the same time for ourselves as well, for he is the mirror of ourselves. 

To Be In the World but Not of It

“In just this way, unenlightenment can be put away as though it were a toy that you have outgrown—by merely looking at all of the effects of unenlightenment , and then asking the question, ‘Is this what I wish to have continue as my experience? Or am I willing to put the doll on the windowsill, and pick up a book instead?’ A book that speaks of Life, a book that is filled with wisdom, a book that teaches you how to step lightly in the world, to be in the world but not of it.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 125)

Jesus speaks in The Way of Mastery as though enlightenment were a decision of ours. But when we realize that we have God in our depths, that all, everywhere, is “God-stuff,” then the assertion makes more sense.

We cannot just “decide” for enlightenment, though. We need to heal the depths of our unconscious by forgiving each part of our psyche that has judged another. Forgive and be healed. It is just that simple.

Jesus was the only major religious figure to stress forgiveness. He knows something that can make quite a difference in our lives.

Let him speak to us today.

Expand Our Heart to the Fullest

“The only difference has been that I learned to train myself, hour by hour, to drop only unlimited pebbles, that send out vibrations of unconditional acceptance and Love, forgiveness, unconditional and unbridled vision and revelation, while you have selected to do that only a few times.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 103)

The metaphor here is of pebbles being dropped into a pool that is our very being. If we drop unconditional acceptance, of ourselves and others; Love; forgiveness, etc., then we will walk a green earth. If we are stingy with our “pebbles” being dropped in our pool, we will know dissatisfaction and all the ills that this world can visit upon us.

Our vision will show us the way; it is revelation from God. Make a decision today to expand our heart to the fullest, to drop unlimited pebbles into our pool. Jesus has shown the way, and he would have us do so, also. If we train ourselves to experience with our heart, we will be well on the way to a new heaven and new earth.

Our heart does not need proof of God’s existence. Our heart just knows. And we will know when we listen to what our heart tells us. We will know unconditional acceptance, Love, forgiveness, and all the rest mentioned in this quotation.

We will be walking straight back to the heart of God. Let’s walk a smooth pathway, sure of our steps, focused on our aim.

Forgiveness

“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)

It is a good question to wonder how we can change from love to fear in our thinking. And the answer is one word: forgiveness. Forgiveness will overcome judgment, and above all we need to overcome judgment of ourselves and our brothers and sisters

We don’t really have anything to forgive, for we are looking out on a world of illusions. Nothing has actually happened at all. We are living a stage play that has no repercussions on our inner essence. Only those things that come from love are real, for God is Love, and His reality is the only true reality.

In the ethos of A Course of Love, we let our hearts find the forgiveness that our minds might deny. Spend a while today in your heart, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in how the day is viewed. We will, if we let our hearts make the decision, find forgiveness of ourselves and others, and thus look out on a forgiven world.

There is no better way to live. Just recognize, when someone attacks you, that they are being insane, that their reaction is pure insanity. And one would not blame a certifiably insane person for the strange reactions that that person exhibits. We would know that the person is not fully responsible for words and deeds, and we would forgive easily.

Our brother or sister who is certifiably sane is due the same response. In the opinion of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the attacking brother or sister is not actually sane at all, but mad in a mad world. And so forgiveness becomes easier for us.

Conflict

“Many of you believe you are on a spiritual path. You will know if that is true by your willingness to feel and experience wholly exactly what is in front of you, moment to moment. So if you have a conflict with another and you sit in your chair and decide to pray or meditate in order to change the feeling state within yourself, and you arise later and say, ‘There, I’m feeling much better now,’ but the issue has not been solved with another, nothing has changed.

“Go, therefore, to the other. Open your heart, share, and resolve. If you have offended another, ask them their forgiveness. If you have judged another, admit it. Ask for their forgiveness. It is only in such a way that you can truly heal the place of conflict within.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 80)

When we have a misunderstanding with one of our brothers and sisters, we probably don’t want to hear Jesus tell us that we ought to resolve the issue by going to that person and clearing up the conflict. But this is biblical advice also. We need to find within ourselves the wherewithal to confront, in Love, and thereby turn the experience into Love for both of us. There is no other way for full resolution. There is no other way that our meditation and prayers can truly sink into our minds and hearts.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit often ask us to do something that seems unwise to us. We are afraid of how we will be received. We are going to be embarrassed. But Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that this perception comes from a shabby self-image, and we would be done with that.

If there is somebody you feel that you have wronged, meditate and pray to know how to approach that person. Being in our closet with prayer can help tell us what to say, how to act. Prayer and meditation can determine our resolve.

Only if approaching the other is now impossible do we seek redress in our thoughts, our deep thoughts. Psychically the other will know our intentions, will know that we are seeking forgiveness on another level.

Don’t confuse ourselves about this. There may be times that we say the confrontation, the reconciliation, is impossible, when actually it is very possible indeed.

Discern the difference.

Living in Love

As of this date on your calendar, there have only been a handful of beings who have truly lived life upon this lane, a very small handful. There are many of us that would just absolutely be thrilled if you would join the club!

I will let you in on a little secret: Until you do, you do not get to graduate. You will never leave this plane, filled with conflict and suffering, as it seems to be, until you have lived the experience of walking this Earth wholly as the thought of Love in form, with no other allegiances, but to Love. You will never leave this plane. You will never take up your cross and follow me. You will spin around again and again and again, only to be confronted by the same need to decide wholly for Love. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 79 – 80)

Jesus is here telling it like it is. We don’t “get to graduate” until we know how to live. We will stay on this plane, this earth, going around and around, often in misery and suffering, if we don’t learn to live in Love. On this plane forgiveness is all. Forgiveness will show us how to love. Only forgiveness.

Nobody else has done it to us. We have done it to ourselves, for we are manifesting our illusions, illusions that keep us tied to an existence that is not worthy of us.

Life is meant to be full of great joy, great blessings. Our only reason for being here is salvation, making the choice for Love.

Decide that real life is what we want. Decide today. Real life means that we remove the blocks to the awareness of Love, and a prime way to do that is to forgive.

We will “graduate” when our purpose here has been fulfilled. That may be a long way off, but if we live in Love here, we can enjoy heaven on earth. Truly. Completely.

There is no better way to live a life.

Forgive and Be Free

Until you fully decide to come into life as the presence of Christ, as the presence of Love, and to own each moment of your experience as wholly self-created, for no other reason than that you have chosen it from the perfect and infinite freedom of your unlimited being, life has not yet begun. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 79)

Have we truly been living? Or have we merely been existing? This is not an unimportant point. We have been creating our reality, and we haven’t known how to do that very well. We have often seen ourselves as victims of others, as victims of our experience in life.

This attitude is not accurate. We have been making the decisions that brought our experiences in life to us. We have been doing the manifesting. Just because we didn’t know how to do this very well is no reason to blame anybody else, to blame others. It has all been our fault.

Now Jesus is showing us the way to manifest, to truly own each self-created moment. He is teaching us how to live. We will not truly live until we know what we are about. Until we stop blaming others for our plight in life.

We are the instigators, the manifesting entities. We need to look with fresh eyes upon our experiences, knowing that in forgiveness of others lies our reward. They have not done anything, for they have acted in innocence, in illusion. True reality has not been affected. The harmony, joy, peace, mellowness are still here for us to dwell in. But to get to that height of passion, we need to recognize that our brothers and sisters have done nothing to us, in reality; they have just been pawns in a larger game.

Forgive our experiences and the people who seemed to perpetrate them. Forgive and thereby be free.

Forgiveness

People who are particularly fearful of sin (though they may not call it that) will be particularly prone to find a victim in an attempt to ease their consciences at their own “unforgivable” wrongdoing. Their attacks upon another will be very pronounced, reducing her to an object deemed unworthy of esteem, but very worthy of damnation for “sins.” This is projection! The one who feels guilty, who cannot accept those mistakes of hers that seem black enough to be sins, will thrust her poor self-image onto another–the scapegoat. Know that this is simple insanity, and try no longer to make sense of it. Forgive the indiscretion, and this understanding will dawn upon an overwrought mind. Know that if we are the victims today, in other times we have been the perpetrators. Leave this insanity behind for all time. It is a replay of the mistaken message that we have long viewed by looking at the old, rugged cross.

We do not need the cross as expiation of sins. We do need the wholly benign lesson of the resurrection, and Jesus in A Course in Miracles bids us look to the resurrection rather than the crucifixion. A Course in Miracles affirms that all sickness is an illusion caused by our belief in unforgivable sin and brought into being by our guilt (over the “sin”) that asks for punishment. The Course does not really believe that sin, if true at all, is forgivable. And it implies that we do not believe sin, if true, is forgivable either.

The Course’s way out of this impasse is to say that the wrong that we do is really illusion, and that Reality has not be affected at all. So sin is not “real,” and only in illusion have we made errors that cry out for correction.

Calling an error a “sin” seems to make it “real,” and to call for punishment. And because belief makes an illusion, we will experience the punishment that we have asked for. We can seem to make error “real” by concentrating upon it, thereby elevating its status. What we need to do is overlook the error, perhaps offering simultaneously our forgiveness of it. But certain it is that we will make it “real” to ourselves if we focus on it, analyzing it as the ego is always prone to do. If we forgive first, we will then come to understand. We ought not to seek to understand before forgiving because that is a certain way to engage the ego and ensure that we will find it harder and harder to forgive, having made real to ourselves the deeds that we need to overlook.

Self Unharmed

Why does karma exist? It is the old law of cause and effect, an immutable law of the universe from which a loving God does not exclude us. This law is largely the reason that God is seen as cruel. We make mistakes, and suffer the (bad) consequences, and then we blame God for not saving us from ourselves! Yet how else could the universe operate? If we are ever to lift ourselves out of madness, we must learn what works and what doesn’t. Only by learning this well can we ever hope to be co-creators with God. If He were to alter magically the illusions in which we have encased ourselves, we would never find our way out of the mists.

It is true, according to the Course, that what we do is illusion. It is a game a child might play, a playing of pretend that will one day, when we have left our madness far behind, be the instigator of real effects. At this point we will have learned fully the “causes” that bring destruction upon us.

We must be firmly convinced that it is ourselves who are living in madness, not God. And even in this world God’s higher laws prevail. The principal higher law is activated by forgiveness, a forgiveness in which we acknowledge that our illusions of whatever nature, of whatever violence, have harmed no one. What has caused nothing can hardly need forgiveness, but as long as we think it does, we need the exercise of forgiveness. Attack is not a real cause, and therefore only illusory effects can result. One is always either expressing love, or calling for love, for Love is our identity, an identity in which we forgive our brother for what he has not done to us. As long as he thinks he has harmed us, though, we must show him that the perceived attack is of no consequence. The blood is but bottled catsup on a stage in which pain only seems real. Our Real Self has continued unabated and unharmed throughout the whole tumult.

Forgiveness

One always attacks one’s self first. And when we add to this truth the fact that our brother and ourselves are really one, we are doubly attacked. As we progress on the way of A Course in Miracles, attacks of whatever nature will become increasingly untenable to us. What might earlier have merited only a passing tinge of guilt will now cause emotional turmoil that may seem all out of proportion to the error. This is because we have become increasingly dependent upon the Holy Spirit for our direction, and he withdraws from us in attack and its ensuing aftermath of guilt. And never forget that the blame, once withdrawn from our brother, is harbored within. What is our way out of the maze?

We must remember that real power cannot oppose. In our opposition to our brother, we have weakened ourselves, and we feel rudderless as a result. The only way that we can become strong again is to ask forgiveness of self and of our brother. Once this action has been taken, let the past go. The Holy Spirit always grants forgiveness, and we should not masochistically hold the misdeed to our breasts.

Call for Love

We do not have to “decide” whether or not this or that “sin” is “worthy” of forgiveness; we know all reprehensible deeds are done from a mind slant of insanity, and done as well in a world of illusions, so our forgiveness rests on solid foundation. Not only has our brother acted out of insanity, but he has also done nothing real, nothing that will have any effect except in the world of illusions, and, without effects, it is easily forgotten even as it is forgiven. He has called for love, in whatever misguided way he might do so. Because we are One, and his need is our own, we rush to his side with that love. And so we are both saved from the illusions of our presence in a mad world made by us to keep God out. We open our consciousness to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and we are on the pathway Home.

Dream Better Dreams

The Course states, “The state of sinlessness is merely this: The whole desire to attack is gone, and so there is no reason to perceive the Son of God as other than He is. The need for guilt is gone because it has no purpose, and is meaningless without the goal of sin.” (T-25.V.1:1-2)

What does this mean? When we perceive another as deserving attack, we are making real his errors. We believe that he does not “deserve” forgiveness because of the reprehensible nature of his crimes (against us). But the truth is that we are One with him, and if he does not deserve forgiveness, neither do we. Also: We feel guilty for retaliating, because our real Self knows that we have attacked one who, in reality, is the Son (or Daughter) of God. We therefore feel that we have done him an injustice, and we feel guilty about it. The truth is that we have done our brother an injustice, because in his depths he is pure; it is only in his illusions that he makes mad actions that hurt others, including ourselves. If we can see the truth of our brother’s real Self, we will not attack because we will perceive that he is lost in insanity.

We may feel threatened by the recognized mental illnesses in our midst, and we may get angry at the illness, but we normally do not blame the individual to any great extent, because we recognize that he is not in his real mind. The Course says that we are living a dream—and that the world we see because of our perceived dream is not real. Many of us are living a dream of attack that we do not recognize as unreal because we do not realize how much happier, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, we could really be.

Forgiveness

There is another reason to forgive quickly and to forgive for all time. It is the experience of suffering (frequently mental suffering) that comes from inner turmoil when relationships are going poorly. Why does suffering sometimes come in the immediate future, following a distasteful altercation, even suffering that later may lead to God? This is one of those thorny issues, but Jesus has an answer for us. He sees time and space as a continuum of illusion, all of one piece.

So the delay in time for the good is caused by the separation that we would yet see between our brother and ourselves. Jesus sees this separation as “little space that lies between you, unforgiven still.” (T-26.VIII.8:3) And he concludes, “Be not content with future happiness.” (T-26.VIII.9:1) In a word, if our forgiveness of our brother is complete now, our rewards of happiness now will be met. The Holy Spirit, being outside time and space, gives consequence and cause as one. But, we are told, “The working out of all correction takes no time at all. Yet the acceptance of the working out can seem to take forever.” (T-26.VIII.6:1-2)

We are pulled back to realize that it is the little “space” between ourselves and our brother, disguised as time, that is the culprit here. And that little space has been primed by attack.

Attack, Continued

Not until I started writing about the Course did I realize how significant attack has been in my life. I was writing over time, and it was only in retrospect, once I had written a good bit and was reading back over it, that I realized that I commented often on “attack” passages in the Course. I am one of those, prior to the Course, who would feel justified in lashing back if I had been first attacked. Jesus characterized this attitude as a “face of innocence” of the self. (T-31.V.2:6) I had difficulty forgiving because I thought that my attacker didn’t “deserve” it. After all, she had attacked me, and I wasn’t guilty! I didn’t deserve this! The Course says, “. . .every day a hundred little things make small assaults upon its [the concept of the self’s] innocence, provoking it to irritation, and at last to open insult and abuse.” (T-31.V.3:4) The latter was when I lost my temper! Yes, these were words with which I could identify as being part of my past, a big part.

But what an egocentric mess! Highly neurotic, my words (“I didn’t deserve this!) actually said little or nothing about true reality. None of us deserve this! And yet we hear the attacks because we need to hear them in order to progress. What this dynamic was saying was that as surely as I did not forgive another for his attack, just that often was I saying that I too did not deserve forgiveness.

Forgiveness

We may reasonably substitute the word “pardon” for “forgiveness,” if the word “forgiveness” seems difficult to wrap one’s mind around. The Course uses both terms. In a similar fashion, Jesus asks that we substitute “mistake” or “error” for “sin,” thereby removing sin’s mad attraction for us. The word “forgiveness” may raise similar problems within our minds, conflict that the word “pardon” does not raise.

It is possible that the same sort of dynamic as is played out with the word “sin” is also present with “forgiveness.” We may scream, “He does not deserve forgiveness!” and in so believing, we deny it for ourselves. But we may feel more kindly toward “pardon,” which acknowledges that a wrong, however illusory, has happened. But we choose to wipe the slate clean, to allow our brother to start anew. St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” St. Francis’ words present the same relationship between forgiving others and forgiving ourselves.

Remember that the wrongs we perceive, whatever we call the process of overlooking them, are always illusory. As we always fight illusions, so do we pardon (or forgive) illusions as well. God’s Reality is very different from the chaotic world that we behold when we are filled with fear.

Finding Heaven

We know that we have chosen Heaven when we feel peace. And we can make this choice at any instant. When we invite the Holy Spirit to join us, we are once again attuned with God.

A Course in Miracles says that we are all One. Indeed, this is the definition of Heaven: “. . .not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.” (T-18.VI.1:5-6) If this be true, we are all part of each other and of God. We cannot attack a separate being, because no separate being exists. The most that we, or an illusion of Self, can attack is an illusion of another. And then conflict ensues, creating fear for ourselves. This is one of the dynamics of the ego, and sometimes it seems that the more we study such meaninglessness, the more powerful it becomes. That is because the very process of studying the ego affirms its importance and makes it real to ourselves.

We can make much, but what results is still only illusion, and can never be truly experienced as real, though we can imagine it to be real.

To live an illusion is madness, a madness that the remembrance of God can shine away. In quiet and in peace can we be led to accept God instead, and we thereby leave conflict, and the fear that it brings, far behind. In forgiveness of ourselves and others do we find that quiet and peace.

There is no other way.

We Need Each Other

You have to forgive this reality for being different than you have always imagined it to be. You have to forgive yourself for not being able to make it on your own, because you have realized the impossibility of doing so. You have to forgive yourself for being what you are, a being who exists only in relationship. (ACOL, C:6.2)

We are beings meant to live in relationship to each other. A holy relationship that features love as its predominant feature.

We have tried, and failed, to be independent, autonomous, needing nobody and nothing. When we failed at that, we reached for a special someone who would answer all of our needs. And we failed at that, too.

Now forgiveness is in store, for ourselves and our God. Our ego got it wrong, believing that autonomy was the way to go. We are made for each other, interdependently. If we stop and think, we realize this even on a secular level.

Our society thrives on competition, but this competition, bottom line, means that there is somebody else who is very, very important to us. The few among us who recognize that cooperation gets us farther in the long run are surely coming to see that we need each other. And not only for love. We need each other simply to exist side-by-side in our crowded world.

Telepathy Is Real

“All minds are joined. It means that where you extend forgiveness within the consciousness, within your emotional field to another—whether they be physically present or not—you are extending to them exactly what you could extend to them if they were physically in front of you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 35)

There is an energy that pervades the All. This means that forgiveness only offered in thought has the ability to be present in the thoughts of others, including the one to whom we are offering forgiveness. We can express internally our forgiveness, and then the next time that we meet the offender, that person will be more amenable to change. They have looked into our heart, even if they were not aware of what they were doing. And in the looking, there has been some measure of healing.

This does not mean that one can by-pass the “saying,” the words, of forgiveness. We still need to ask for forgiveness, if that is what God has placed upon our heart. But the way is first paved by telepathy.

Choose someone that you haven’t forgiven. Think deeply and well. Internally verbalize what moments of forgiveness you wish to offer. Remember what you have said.

The next time that you see this person, it is very likely, very likely, that the way will have been smoothed.

We live in an open universe, in which thoughts are not separate and alone. And now, in forgiveness, we reap the rewards of this open universe.

Forgiveness & Projection

“For to forgive means to choose to release another from the perceptions you have been projecting you have been projecting upon them. It is, therefore, an act of forgiving one’s self of one’s projections. As you begin to forgive—even seventy times seven times—each time you forgive, you take yourself deeper into the purity of your own consciousness. You begin to see how profoundly you have been coloring and, therefore, affecting all of your relationships, through the simple act of not being aware of the power of projection.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 25)

This is the first time that I recall reading in Jesus’ new channeled messages that projection is intimately tied to forgiveness. We have perceptions of another whom we think has wronged us. But it is OUR perception. When we realize that we have been projecting from within, making our perceptions, often with egoic coloring, we are primed to change our minds and hearts. We really that forgiveness begins with us, with changing our perceptions. As soon as we realize that all are doing the best they can, we realize their innocence, however damaging their actions or words have seemed to have been.

Projection, as Jesus cautions us here, is very, very powerful. We see in others what we are hesitant to acknowledge in ourselves. The fact that we can perceive damage at all means that in ourselves we have at least the potential to treat another just as we have been treated. If we didn’t have this inner sense, the outer action or word would wash right over us.

Know that we are home free actually when we forgive ourselves for our projections. And, with this, forgiveness becomes something that is much, much easier.

Forgiving Our Parents

“Why should anyone accord an obvious misperception so much power? There cannot be any real justification for it, because even you yourself recognize the real problem when you say, ‘How could they do this to me?’ The answer is they didn’t.

“You have a very serious question to ask yourself in this connection. We said before that the purpose of the resurrection was to demonstrate that no amount of misperception has any influence at all on a Son of God. This demonstration exonerates those who misperceive, by establishing beyond doubt that they have not hurt anyone. Your question, which you must ask yourself very honestly, is whether you are willing to demonstrate that your parents have not hurt you. Unless you are willing to do this, you have not forgiven them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.9:1-3 and 10:1-5)

Blaming our parents has become perhaps even more common than was the case in the sixties and early seventies, when A Course in Miracles was channeled. We have to get into the theology of ACIM in order to understand that blaming is counterproductive. On one level, everyone does the best that he/she can, given his level of understanding. And so, forgiveness is due one’s parents in this regard.

In the larger dimension, we are all innocent children of God, living in illusion, not actually doing anything at all that is true reality. So, on this more ethereal level, our parents deserve forgiveness. They have really done anything at all to us, for illusion means nothing.

It is true that we perceive illusion as real. It certainly seems like the things that happened to us when we were growing up were real enough. But let our minds play with the idea of living in illusion. Our parents dealt with us from a place of madness, or insanity, for all of us are lost in insanity until we Awaken. Madness is forgiven when it is not made real in our minds. If we focus on the bad deeds, we will attempt to make illusion real, and then we will find forgiveness harder to allow.

Know that we choose the things that happen to us, on some level, from our soul. This is not to blame the victim, because the personality doesn’t do this. But our soul knows better what we need than we do. And emanating from the God within, our soul doesn’t make mistakes. It is only the personality that makes mistakes.

So: On many levels, our attitude toward our parents needs to change, change, that is, if we are still blaming them for not giving us a perfect upbringing. We did have the perfect upbringing for what we wanted to accomplish in life.

And on this we ought to stand.

We Are Ideas in the Mind of God

“ ‘God created man in His Own image and likeness’ is correct in meaning, but the words are open to considerable misinterpretation. This is avoided, however, if ‘image’ is understood to mean ‘thought,’ and ‘likeness’ is taken as ‘of a like quality.’ God did create the Son in His Own thought and of a quality like to His Own. There is nothing else.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.11:4-7)

We are ideas in the Mind of God, another word, “ideas,” substituted for “thought.” This interpretation reveals George Berkeley’s Idealism, from the Nineteenth Century, an interpretation that resonated with me years ago in my first class in philosophy.

There is nothing in the universes at any vibration that is not “God-stuff.” God created us out of Himself, and even now lives through us, occupying our mind, heart, body to live in the world. Our mind, though, is finite, though it can draw on the Higher Power that possesses us, and thereby reach beyond ourselves to find answers to our problems, answers that are guidance in the highest degree.

“There is nothing else.” No, there is not. When we realize that we too are “God-stuff,” then we realize that we have the potential to be very holy. Holiness is born of the innocence that is our birthright. Our mistakes are wiped away when we understand the forgiveness is a type of love that has effected this.

Let us forgive ourselves today for what we only imagine are great wrongs. Let us forgive others who are in our shadow. Everyone does the best that he/she can, given his/her degree of understanding. And we have simply been mad, made mad by the ego. As we give up the ego, our false persona, we will walk into a new and glorious land, creating this world anew.

Forgiveness and Need

“If, when you have been forgiven, you have everything else, and you have been forgiven, then, you have everything else.

“This happens to be the simplest of propositions:

“If P then Q

“P

“Therefore Q.

“Your real question is, is P true? If you will review the evidence, I think you will find this inescapable. I went on very personal record to this effect, and I am the only completely true witness for God. You have every right to examine my credentials. In fact, I urge you to do so. It may have been years since you have read the Bible.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.26.4.2-5)

When we have been forgiven, Jesus is saying, we have everything that we need. And he is also saying that we have been forgiven.
He humorously asks Helen and Bill to go the Bible to examine his credentials. Certainly we can go to the Bible also.

Do we really believe Jesus here? Do we think that we have everything that we need? Our needs are met at the point that they are recognized, and this means that because solution is with the problem, we literally have no real “needs.” Of course, this is hard for us to accept. We make everything difficult for ourselves, for we surely are our own worst enemy.

Spend a while recognizing that God answers need at the point that the need is recognized. And go to the Bible, as Jesus asks Helen and Bill, and by extension, us, to do.

Forgiveness from the Compassion of Our Heart

“Forgiveness, which replaces judgment, must come from your heart. To forgive based on the logic of your mind rather than the compassion of your heart is to only give thought to forgiveness. This many of you will give, even to deciding to forgive despite your better judgment. See you not how little sense this makes, how insincere this even sounds?” (ACOL, C:17.16)

We are told in A Course of Love that to reach Christ-consciousness, we must give up fear and judgment, for these are incompatible with God. This quotation for today tells us how to give up judgment. Replace judgment with forgiveness! And be sure to forgive from the heart, or the heart is a place that doesn’t have to have “good” reasons to forgive. The heart knows that love is the only answer. Our mind, especially when still influenced by the ego, will try to incorporate judgment into forgiveness. It is this last attempt at incorporation of judgment into forgiveness that decides to “forgive despite your better judgment.” And it is clear that Jesus takes a dim view of such mental shenanigans.

We do want to make sense; we do want to be sincere. And the mixing of judgment and forgiveness is an ego’s dream, unlikely to achieve the desired result. Turn to our heart when we are confronted by analysis of the mind that thinks in such a convoluted way. Our heart will not lie to us. Our heart will show us the way home.

And forgiveness is the antidote to judgment. They are polar opposites, as we can tell by simply defining the two. All of us want Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment or Awakening, and we want it sooner rather than later. Our glimpses of Christ-consciousness (which usually come first) will show us what attitude of thought is necessary to maintain, and ultimately, sustain this new state. Our glimpses let us know that a mellow spirit, a thankful heart, and a receptive spirit all invite a glimpse.

Let us invite glimpses of Christ-consciousness today. And if any judgment seeks to intervene between us and our greatest desire, let us banish that judgment forthwith—with forgiveness.

A Forgiven World Eliminates Judgment & Overcomes Fear with Love

“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)

This quotation, once again in A Course of Love, emphasizes the heart and its primacy in our decision-making. Our heart will lead us to overcome judgment by forgiveness—and judgment is one of the two main impediments to a speedy Awakening (the other impediment is fear). Heretofore we have not known how to overcome judgment; we may have felt stymied in wishing to get over judgment, but not knowing how.

Now we do know. We can practice forgiveness of ourselves, others, God Himself, and with this gesture of goodwill, we will know peace. This peace is a way that we move from fear to love. Nobody who is peaceful experiences abject fear. And we would be loving, without fear, at all times—if that is humanly possible. And Jesus is telling us that this change is possible, even probable.

The foundation of the world can change from fear to love; this is what a forgiven world constitutes.

So here we see two ways that we can move closer to Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We can forgive, and this will eliminate judgment; and when we have forgiven, we will automatically move from a world dominated by fear to one embraced by love.

This passage is very important, for the primary impetus behind the curriculum of A Course of Love is to move us to the elevated Self of form in this world, physical manifestation in this world while living enlightenment (Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Our physical Selves, we are told, are actually One with each other and with God. And we can live perfectly satisfactory lives on this earth if we embody the principles that Jesus is encouraging. We will move into Christ-consciousness soon. We will not have to wait long. And once this state is maintained, and then sustained, we will be seeing things differently. Our inner vision will change everything.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this information, from Jesus, about how to move beyond judgment. By forgiveness. May I forgive any and every one whom I encounter today, even if I am not aware, at the time, that I am judging them.

And may I look on a forgiven world with fear gone, only love remaining.

This information is vital to my well-being. Thank You again.

All of us need to know specifically how to move into the state of mind and heart that You want for us, and this is the elevated Self of form who is experiencing Christ-consciousness. I ask for this movement to occur within me sooner rather than later.

And I ask this for all my readers as well.

Amen.

A Warm Heart Is a Gift of Grace

“As long as you do not want to be forgiven you will not feel the gentle touch of forgiveness upon you and your world. While there is no need in truth for this forgiveness, as there is no truth to this big change that you believe you have undergone, your desire to be forgiven is a first step away from your belief that you can fix things by yourself and in so doing earn your way back into your Father’s home. Being willing to be forgiven is the precursor of atonement, the state in which you allow your errors to be corrected for you.” (ACOL, C:9.35)

Forgiveness is said in this passage actually to be unnecessary. While we believe that it is necessary, however, we will not take steps toward receiving the atonement until we have opened ourselves to this forgiveness. And we do want the atonement, which is the undoing of all that has gone before, including especially egoic consciousness. Jesus has led the way to the atonement. Would we not be foolish to refuse the forgiveness that will make every pathway toward the atonement smooth and easy?

We cannot correct our own errors. This may seem a radical statement, but if we recall how many times we have tried to correct errors, only to have the same mistake crop up again and again, we will see the validity of what Jesus is telling us. We will be gently and easily led to remove a mistake-prone inclination. But we would be egoic indeed if we thought that we were making ourselves better all the while. And we are trying to diminish the ego in ourselves, not build it up.

We cannot fix things ourselves and thereby win back the Father’s home, heaven. But we can open ourselves to change and thereby become the recipients of our inheritance, which includes heaven. Our inheritance has been waiting for us for eons. And now we are on a smooth pathway, heading for what we have wanted most in all the world. We must not jinx the matter now. We must not try to take things in our own hands, for we would surely foul it up.

Jesus will guide us gently and in an encouraging manner. He is doing just this in A Course of Love, a course that doesn’t demand a studious attitude, for its words are entering our heart. Call upon him now, today, this moment. See if a warmth doesn’t overtake you.

This warmth is the gift of grace to which we have all been heading since time began. We simply didn’t recognize it until now.

Learn What Our Heart Would Have Us Learn

“All this forgiveness can do for you. Forgiveness of the original error—the choice to believe that you are separate despite the fact that this is not so and cannot ever be. What loving creator would create a universe in which such a thing could be? A thing alone would be a thing created without love, for love creates like itself and is forever one with everything that has been created. This simple realization will start you on the path to learning what your heart would have you learn.” (C:6.6)

We already know that we need to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and even God Himself. But now we hear that we have to forgive the original error of supposed “separation,” that we once thought that we could ever be separate from one another and from God Himself. Love creates like itself, and love is forever one. This is enough for us to listen to today. This is enough for many days.

Our heart wants us to learn many things, but love is the principal thing that the heart would have us learn. And forgiveness of our misconceptions is a long way on the road to love.

Why would we ever want to be separate? We would just want to experience this, to see what it would be like to try to make a universe separate from our Creator. Just to do it. And God Himself joins in this endeavor, for we are part of God, and to do so without His cooperation would have been impossible.

We need today to put such foolishness aside forever. We don’t really want to retain a philosophy of living that is contrary to what is sane and rational, and being “separate” is not sane and rational. Why would we choose such agony for ourselves, for agony it is. The choice to be alone in all the universe is not a choice that can make any sense.

Our special relationships have taught us that we don’t really want to be alone. But they have their drama, the highs and lows of acceptance and rejection, and we don’t want that either. We must transform these inferior loves into holy relationships of joining one to the other in forgiveness and genuine love, not to get something, but to give. And in the giving we receive as well.

We do get tired of hearing that we have to forgive. But this is the basis of A Course in Miracles, and, as such, the starting point for A Course of Love. Let us proceed on this pathway a little longer, and then we will ultimately realize that we don’t have anything to forgive at all. It has all been an illusion, a dream, and we are willing to give it up in exchange for true reality—a dream no longer.

Recognizing Love Will End Our Madness

“The insanity of your thought process and the world you perceive must be made known to you before you are willing to give it up. You do know this, and yet you constantly forget. This forgetting is the work of your ego. Your true Self does not want to forget, and cannot for even the tiniest fraction of a second. It is precisely the inability of your true Self to forget that gives you hope of learning to recognize love, and, with that recognition, of ending the insanity you now perceive.” (ACOL, C:2.9)

When we are enthralled by love, we remember our real Self, and we forget the ego. At least for the moment. We are going to be leaving the ego behind as we read A Course of Love. Why not do so now? Why not decide that we will do nothing for egotistical reasons, that we will follow guidance as we understand it to be, that we will welcome the Self into our lives. This Self is the Christ whom we all share, the Oneness of an Entity Who knows us intimately and adjusts life to give us what we really need—as long as our free will doesn’t step in to mess things up.

We have been living in insanity. This is a cardinal point of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. When someone mistreats us (as we perceive it), we can get over the hurt by saying, “It is just insanity.” And I would have no more of it. So I forgive, something that I can do.

And life will get better. Forgiveness ousts insanity from our experience.

We do know that we have been living in insanity, but, as Jesus says, we constantly forget. This is because the illusion that insanity weaves is so convincing. We had to enter into the whole insane experience to reap the rewards of living a life on earth.

But there comes a time when a transformation is needed. The time for a transformation is here and now. Don’t drag our feet about this. We need to be patient with ourselves, but not so patient that we countenance insanity.

Insanity. What a ridiculous notion! How did we ever, ever, get caught up in this?

We don’t have all the answers. A Course in Miracles says that we were hoodwinked by a “tiny, mad idea” about which the Son of God forgot to laugh. But we can laugh today. We can recognize that this tiny, mad idea has done its worst, and we are still here. We are ready and willing to get over the insanity that this tiny idea fostered in us. May we reach out and touch the love in Creation that will make us ready for the transformation that we all need so very desperately.

All True Feeling Is Love

“Every living being has a heart. Let us define heart as the center of being, that place from which all feeling arises. All true feeling is love. All love praises God. All love is recognition of the glory of God and all God created. Love is the only pure response of the created for the Creator, the only response of the Creator to the created. Your recognition of what love is will return you to God and your Self.” (ACOL, C:1.1)

These definitions of what love is can take us far. We know that Christ-consciousness arises only in one who is willing to make all relationships right, through forgiveness, and who feels love for all within his/her world. These are bottom-line requirements. And we gain a lot when we realize that very little is asked of us. But how do we bring that very little into view?

We ask through prayer for not only Christ-consciousness, but its precursors, forgiveness of others (and ourselves) and love of others (and ourselves). Jesus contributed the idea of forgiveness to world religions. In the well-acclaimed Encyclopedia of Religion, edited by Mircea Eliade, we learn from the index that forgiveness occurs only in the context of Jesus’s teachings. So Jesus originated this important requirement for enlightenment. Many others as well, in contrast, have trumpeted the value of love. But Jesus may have said it best, in that we are to love God, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

We want to be returned to our Self, and our Self is the Self whom we know in Christ-consciousness. Let us decide today that this is what we want, all that we want. There must be a decision on our part to pursue this dimension of being, Christ-consciousness. Then, when we are made ready (and this is a mysterious process), we will find that God Himself answers us with the blessing of enlightenment.

Time of Tenderness Accomplishes Atonement: the Culmination

“The time of tenderness is the time of your approach to unity. The atonement that is accomplished here is the means of opening the gate to your approach. No one has closed this gate to you, but you by your own hand pulled it shut as you departed your heavenly home, and you do not remember that your own hand can open it once again.” (ACOL, C:29.9)

The time of tenderness is an especially heart-wrenching period for those of us who are reading A Course of Love. Jesus has brought us to a point in which we see ourselves as particularly sensitive in our reactions. This sensitive point will render us able to recognize the indwelling of the Christ Self. It will tenderize our relationships to God, other people, and also ourselves. We will be ready for something more, an embodiment, a full embodiment, of the Christ in physical form. We do not have to rue this embodiment in physical form, for it has been elevated to a place very high in Jesus’s scheme of things. And forgiveness has helped to bring us to this point, the forgiveness championed so much in A Course in Miracles.

And we go on, at this point, to see where forgiveness fits:

“We speak not of forgiveness or even atonement here, for these have been thoroughly discussed earlier. You have all been through the time of tenderness, the time that preceded your giving and receiving of forgiveness, your request for and granting of atonement, your re-viewing and unlearning of the perceived lessons of your life.” (ACOL, D:Day 2.14)

“Unity” means the time that God and the self are once again One. We are no longer dependent upon the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit, to take command of our lives, through guidance that takes us home. We are home. We have a more direct approach to God than at anytime during the separation. We are living the Christ Self, a concept that is welcomed as we become the elevated Self of form.

At this point the theology becomes unified, something that we would expect when Jesus calls this time the “approach to unity.” We are a part of God, and we have welcomed Him once again, for we are not longer asleep. He does not have to think that His children sleep and need to be awakened. When we come into Christ-consciousness, we are awakened. The Unconscious is available to us. We see the merging of ourselves with the inner Christ Self in this time of the second coming of Christ.

In reading A Course of Love, we did go through a time of tenderness, and this time opened our hearts to greater understanding, full knowledge of what God would once again mean to us. We were actually “tender” during part of the reading of ACOL, and this stirring of the heart accomplished great things in us.
Now we can realize that atonement continues throughout time, until it is finally relinquished as a done deal. We do not try to hasten its ending, though sometimes we feel impatient. We rest in God’s timing.

It is enough. Once begun, the ending is sure.

And we welcome the ending, whenever God feels that we are ready for the Christ-consciousness, the elevated Self of form, that He wishes for us.

A Comparison of Forgiveness and Atonement

“Resign as your own teacher. . . .

“Looked at in another way, this process has much in common with forgiveness. The action associated with it raises it to a level similar to that of atonement. It is an undoing accompanied by a new means of doing. In the process of unlearning, both forgiveness and atonement occur.” (ACOL, C:23.27 – 28)

We learn to forgive gradually. If we followed A Course in Miracles, the theme was forgiveness. It was the means of salvation, the means of the dislodging of the ego. Now we find that atonement and forgiveness have much in common. We now have a new means of doing, a means without the ego that has dragged us down for eons. We have indeed come a long way.

The way is not complete until in atonement all false means of thinking are relinquished. Right-thinking is where we are heading, but to undo insanity, as I have pointed out earlier in this blog, is not easily overcome. Miracles help, but progress is also made slowly, undoing one habit of mind, and then turning to another—and sometimes retracing our steps when we have, once again, taken up a false way of thinking.

When we forgive, we have unlearned the idea that attack and anger are justified. We have realized that we get what we have defended against, that defense solidifies the false thinking and false behavior (from ACIM).

The ideas in this paragraph are new in A Course of Love. Jesus does not equate forgiveness and atonement in A Course in Miracles, though he does stress both as necessary to getting us out of the mess that we are in. We give up the egoic thought system, and then we move forward to replace that thought system with a new one. We move into Christ-consciousness, which gives us new revelations on a constant basis. We may be very surprised at the insights that come to us when we catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness. This miracle of glimpses prepares us, eventually, for sustainability of Christ-consciousness. We leave behind the old, we have reframed our minds (with help from the Christ Self, inwardly, and the Holy Spirit, who is also within us).

Forgiveness Makes for Happiness

“The happy learners of the Atonement become the teachers of the innocence that is the right of all that God created. (T-14.V.3)”

We are these “happy learners.” And we are innocent, something that we don’t naturally think about as a trait of ourselves. We are so used to thinking of ourselves as guilty, but elsewhere Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we are guiltless. That we have made mistakes is clear, but only in illusion, and only in a mad state of mind (listening to the ego).

When we follow the way of Atonement, we see innocence everywhere. When we are attacked, we see a brother calling for help, asking for love. And we overlook the hurtful way in which he is speaking. We don’t get hurt, because we recognize, on some level, that he is not responsible for what he is saying. It is madness speaking. Just insanity. And then we offer forgiveness, for what other way is there to help, what other way to love?

All of us have a right to see ourselves as innocent. Only when we can contemplate that this must be true are we in league with the Holy Spirit. Before that, seeing ourselves as guilty, we are cut off from our Source in God. Accepting the Atonement, accepting the correction in our thought processes that is necessary, we fulfill the requirements for salvation. We are saved. We are at home in God. And He will act quickly to raise us up to a new type of consciousness, a type that will surprise us and make us ever-joyous: Awakening.

Atonement Solves ALL Problems

“The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. (M-22.1)”

We know that Jesus in A Course in Miracles often talks of our function, and he uses different labels: forgiveness, salvation, happiness. Here he says that our function is accepting Atonement. Jesus is equating all these terms, and may he not do so with impunity? We know that we cannot do little for this world or for God when we are lost in mistakes, following an egoic pathway to nowhere. The only thing left for us to take our place among the saviors of the world is to accept correction, and this is what Atonement is all about.

Are all of us really “saviors”? We don’t think of ourselves this way, mainly because to do so sounds so very egotistical. Yet Jesus would say that we all have a place in salvation, that we all have something to do—once we have gotten on our own pathway and are trying to live a good life in religious terms.

I don’t see myself as a “savior,” because it does seem too egotistical. A word like savior is reserved for Jesus, to my mind. Yet he welcomes us to do what we can, and if we can save another, that too is very, very good.

We need to realize that sometimes what we think is egotism is actually the ego telling us that we are being egotistical, thinking that it [the ego] will reel us in.

We don’t want to be reeled in. We want to following the footsteps of Jesus, helping others to the best of our abilities. We want to live good lives, following the highest and best that we know.

Let us seek to understand what our function really is today. It may be forgiveness, salvation, happiness, accepting Atonement. All are one in Jesus’s eyes, for he melds all of our life here on earth into something that can save us. And we reach out to others, trying to encourage their good sense to rise up and follow the ways of Jesus as well.

The day holds promise, if we practice the functions that Jesus has given to us in these words of A Course in Miracles. Let us ask that this day will hold promise for us. Let us thrust aside tiredness and jadedness, and walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

Living by the Laws of Love, by Ivor Sowton

Remain who you are and continue to live by the laws of love in every circumstance, and you bring love to every circumstance. (Jesus in the Third Treatise of A Course of Love (T2:17))

If forgiveness is the default response to all circumstances recommended in A Course in Miracles, living by the laws of love is the updated automatic response to all circumstances Jesus is now recommending to us all in A Course of Love. This is very helpful because love is usually in the positive because of our associations to the very real love we have received and have given to others in the past, whereas forgiveness is often associated with “I need to do this but I don’t want to.”

So we are urged to remember love now at all times and in all places. We are just to do our part here by trying to bring love into our present experience of life as much as we can. Some others may be very much helped by us if we can do that, but Jesus tells us that some will not respond to our love–but he assures us that timing is the only issue here because “none will be forever lost to his or her own Self”(T2:17).

I just had a funny thing happen as an example of trying to live by this new recommendation of trying to always bring love. The scene was just before an important meeting I needed to help host at our home. The tension was rising and I was starting to sweat. That is just when our cat started yowling loudly. I assumed that she was just needing attention and tried to ignore her. She just kept upping the volume! I started getting angry at her. I assumed that she was picking up my own up-tightness, but now was not the time! I was about to raise my voice at her when finally I remembered to try and bring love to every circumstance. I quickly went and found our cat, and lo and behold she was standing in front of her cat door, which had become jammed shut. She had been trying to tell me she was about to have an accident inside! I was petting her as she made a purr-ful exit.

Now in the past I’m almost sure I would have blown this one; maybe I would have grabbed the cat and thrown her outside, scaring her and hurting the trust in our relationship. She would have had to forgive me, and I would have to forgive myself! What a bunch of extra work!
This example is also illustrative of another very helpful recommendation Jesus makes to us–that is to practice on the small stuff. We have several friends who like to just “drop in” without calling first, which has always been challenging to my equanimity when I’m busy. If it had been one of those friends suddenly showing up right then I would have had a much harder time remembering to love! So practice, practice, practice while the stakes are small; then the love habit will be forming to help you with the bigger things that come along!

In psychology there is a useful distinction made between content and process. The factual content of any situation (e.g. my cat is yowling) is completely different from my inner process around that event (she shouldn’t be doing that and I’m angry about that!) Jesus is telling us in ACOL that our inner process is everything, really, for it doesn’t matter at all what I’m outwardly doing or not doing; what people will feel and be affected by is my energy, my intent–that is, they will feel my love or lack of love for them. Jesus says in T20:16: “These calls go out from love to love. It is not the words of your mouth that will be heard, or the language of your mind that will be responded to. It is the love within your heart that will sound the call. . .All you need do is open the door through which love can enter.”

So our spiritual practice is to bring love.

There is only one distinction that need be made: what comes of love and what comes of fear. All expressions of love are of maximal benefit to everyone. (Jesus in T19.8).

Forgive Your Brother and the Atonement Is Mutual

“He [your brother, everyone] can do nothing that can hurt you, and by refusing to allow him to think he can, you tell him that the Atonement, which you have accepted for yourself, is also his. There is nothing to forgive. No one can hurt the Son of God. His guilt is wholly without cause, and being without cause, cannot exist. (T-14.III.7)”

Our true reality has not been affected by hurts, pain, suffering inflicted on us in this illusory world. Our brother has not really hurt us in any actually “true” way. It is all madness.

It sometimes helps, when a brother is attacking us, to think, “This is insanity. He is just being insane.” This is the absolute truth, and saying this type of understanding, silently, touches our hearts with the truth, and we can overlook what is happening. Because nothing has actually happened, in truth, there is nothing to forgive. But forgiveness is the one illusion that doesn’t build on others. Our forgiveness in this illusory world paves the way for the true reality, the real world. And our forgiveness softens our heart toward our brother.

In this quotation, Jesus is speaking on the level that to forgive is not even required, because nothing real has happened. Sometimes, in A Course in Miracles, Jesus speaks on another level, when he encourages us to forgive as the pathway to salvation. On this other level, forgiveness is seen as our function in this illusory, ruled by the ego of both ourselves and that of our brother.

Atonement Is the Correction of Perception

“This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. It is concerned only with the Atonement, or the correction of perception. The means of the Atonement is forgiveness. (C-in.1)”

This quotation explains why there are differing definitions for Atonement in A Course in Miracles. Jesus is not concerned with specifics, carefully equating similar terms whenever he can.

Here Jesus’s definition for Atonement is the “correction of perception.” We know that perception is what we use in this world to find our way about. It is not knowledge, which comes from God. This perception is made by projection from within each individual.

Since the ego still rules very many of us, it is the ego that projects the perceptions that we make. And it is this perception that needs correction.

The means of correction of perception is forgiveness. In particular, we reach out to our significant others, our brother, and in the forgiveness that we extend, we find love.

What better formula could there be for a new world to be seen by corrected perception?

Forgiveness = Salvation = Atonement = True Perception

“Forgiveness, salvation, Atonement, true perception, all are one. (C-4.3)”

This single sentence is an example of how Jesus combines ideas to form a whole—a unified whole. If we can see that forgiveness = salvation = Atonement = true perception, then we will be well on our way to accepting the Atonement that Jesus prepared for us 2,000 years ago in his resurrection. He would see us with healed minds, walking this world by holding his hand (in our imagination).

Forgiveness is our way home, forgiveness of our brother. This is the path pointed out by A Course in Miracles.

Salvation is granted us by request. We may not see outstanding miracles; it may be a quiet time for us. But salvation is ours for the asking.

Our true perception prepares the way for knowledge, which comes only from God. When our eyes see truly, we don’t focus on what the physical eyes have seen. We focus on the things of God. And we will not be disappointed by this affirmation to see differently.
Atonement is our study now. And when we see that forgiveness, salvation, true perception all point the way, we will know God’s truth.