[acimlessons_list] Lesson 223--August 11
allen at circleofa.org
Wed Aug 10 05:55:04 EDT 2005
Lesson 223 * August 11
"God is my life. I have no life but His."
See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:
* Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
* Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
* Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore
* Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the
Practice comments: In praying this particular prayer, I find it
helpful to convert it to first person singular: <"My Father, let me
see the face of Christ instead of my mistakes,"> etc.
Our only mistake is thinking that we have some sort of life apart
from God. We do not. God <is> Life. He is Being. He is Existence. He
created all that there is, and there is nothing apart from Him.
"Nothing can be apart from Him and live" (W-pI.156.2:9). "I do not
exist apart from Him" (1:2).
Most of my time here on earth I have spent thinking of myself as
someone or something apart from God. Most of my spiritual seeking has
been a striving to "get back to God," as if He were unimaginably
distant from me. He is not distant. He is not Something separate from
my Self. "I have no life but His." There is a blessing often used in
Unity churches which ends with the words "Wherever I am, God is."
Yes. My life is God's Life. My thoughts are God's Thoughts. There is
nowhere to go. There is nothing to do to find Him; He is here. He is
with me. He is my life. If I live, I am participating in God.
There is a blessed relief that washes over us when we realize our
unity with God. All the bitter struggle, all the fruitless longing,
all the aching sense of being on the outside looking in--all of it
ends. A thought of pure joy fills our minds. At times it bubbles over
into laughter, a certain compassionate amusement at the ludicrous idea
we have tormented ourselves with, that we could ever, in any remote or
tiny way, be separated from Him. Can the sunbeam be separate from the
sun? Can an idea be separate from the mind that thinks it?
And so we turn again to the quiet place within, where all this is
already known. We ask to "see the face of Christ instead of our
mistakes" (2:1). We affirm that we no longer want to be lost in
forgetfulness. We state clearly that we want to leave our loneliness
and find ourselves, as we have always been, at home. And in the
quiet, God speaks to us, and tells us we are His Son.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
Part 3: W-pII.1.2:1-2
The second paragraph is all about <un>forgiveness. The distinguishing
characteristic of an unforgiving thought is that it "makes a judgment
that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true" (2:1). The
distinguishing characteristic of a forgiving mind, then, is that this
mind <will> be willing to cast doubt on its own judgments! The
unforgiving mind is saying, "My mind is already made up; don't
confuse me with facts." The forgiving mind is saying, "Perhaps there
is another way to look at this."
In the section discussing the ten characteristics of <advanced>
teachers of God (Section 4 of the Manual for Teachers), the final
characteristic is "open-mindedness." It says:
As judgment shuts the mind against God's Teacher, so open-mindedness
invites Him to come in. As condemnation judges the Son of God as
evil, so open-mindedness permits him to be judged by the Voice for
God on His behalf. (M-4.X.1:3-4)
The willingness to let go of our own judgments and hear the judgment
of the Holy Spirit is what makes forgiveness possible. An unforgiving
mind "is closed, and will not be released" (2:2). The forgiving mind
is open. Over and over the Course asks us simply to be <willing> to
see things differently, simply to be willing to question what we
think we know, simply to "do this":
Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is;
all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold
about yourself. (W-pI.189.7:1)
With judgment set aside, "What then is free to take its place is now
the Will of God" (1:7).
COMMENTARIES ON LESSONS FROM THE WORKBOOK OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES
by Allen Watson, with Practice Summaries by Robert Perry
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