[acimlessons_list] Lesson 228--August 16
allen at circleofa.org
Mon Aug 15 05:55:08 EDT 2005
+ COMMENTARIES ON LESSONS FROM THE WORKBOOK OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES
+ by Allen Watson, with Practice Summaries by Robert Perry,
+ of The Circle of Atonement
+ Visit our website at <http://www.circleofa.org/index.php>
Lesson 228 * August 16
"God has condemned me not. No more do I."
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: While repeating today's idea, realize it is a
subtle reference to the story of the woman caught in adultery. As the
crowd is about to stone her for her sin, Jesus utters the famous line,
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." The crowd, of
course, leaves one by one, and then Jesus says (to paraphrase), "They
have condemned you not. No more do I." In other words, since literally
no one condemns her, she is truly forgiven. Now, in this lesson, <you>
are the woman caught in adultery. You unconsciously see yourself
ringed about by God's vengeance, in the form of all those hands
poised to chuck rocks at you. You see the death penalty staring at
you--the payment for your sins. Yet that is all your own projection.
God has condemned you not. And now you, your fiercest critic, decide
to stop condemning yourself. No one condemns you, and so you are
truly free. While repeating the idea today, you might want to think
of all this, maybe even picturing yourself as the woman caught in
adultery. Try to feel the sense of unexpected liberation that she
must have felt.
In the commentary paragraph, try to sincerely ask yourself the series
of questions that make up the bulk of that paragraph. Such questions
can be powerful tools of mind change.
With the prayer, notice how it builds to a statement of intention in
the last two sentences. There, you state your intention to let go of
your mistaken idea that you are sinful and then stand ready to
receive from God the awareness of Who you really are. Try to really
mean these closing sentences. And realize that "I stand ready" means
"I wait in silent expectancy." This prayer, then, is meant to
introduce your period of Open Mind Meditation.
It takes great courage to let go of our self-condemnation. We are so
afraid that if we stop condemning ourselves we will go berserk, the
evil in us will be unchecked and will break out in some terrible
disaster. But what if there is no evil in us? What if God is right?
Is it so very likely that He is wrong and we are right? What God
knows, the lesson says, makes sin in us impossible. "Shall I deny His
The lesson is asking us, quite simply, to "take His Word for what I
am" (1:4). Who knows what something or someone is better than its
Creator? And what does God know about me? "My Father knows my
holiness" (1:1). Every time I read such statements I watch my mind
struggle to oppose the idea, cringing in a pseudo-humility that cries
out, "Oh, no, I can't accept that about myself." If I dare to ask
myself, "Why not?" my mind immediately comes up with a whole list of
reasons: my flaws, my lack of total dedication to the truth, my
addiction to this or that pleasure of the world. Yet every one of
those things, brought into the light of the Holy Spirit, can be seen
as nothing more than a misdirected prayer, a cry for help, a veiled
longing for God and for Home.
"I was mistaken in myself" (2:1). That is all that has happened. I
forgot my Source, and what I must be, coming from that Source. My
Source is God, and not my dark illusions. My mistake about myself is
not a sin to be judged but a mistake to be corrected; it needs not
<condemnation>, but the healing of love. "My mistakes about myself
are dreams" (2:4), that is all, and I can let these dreams go. I am
not the dream; I am the dreamer, still holy, still a part of God.
Today, as I still my mind in God's Presence, I open myself to receive
His Word concerning what I am. I brush aside the dreams, I recognize
them for what they are, and let them go. I open my heart to Love.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
PART 8: W-PII.1.4:4-5
In the last two sentences of this paragraph, notice that a contrast
is made between judging and welcoming the truth exactly as it is. The
opposite of judgment is the truth. Judgment, then, must always be a
distortion of the truth. This section has already pointed out that
unforgiveness has distortion as its purpose. If I do not want to
forgive, I must distort the truth; I must judge. Judgment here
clearly carries the meaning of condemnation, of seeing sin, of making
something wrong. Forgiveness does not do that; forgiveness makes right
instead of wrong, because "right" is the truth about all of us.
None of us is guilty. That is the truth. God does not condemn us. If
I do so, I am distorting the truth. Judgment is always a distortion
of the truth of our innocence before God. When I judge another, I do
so because I am trying to justify my unwillingness to forgive. I have
gotten very good at it. I always seem to find some reason that
justifies my unforgiveness. But what I do not realize is that every
such judgment twists the truth, hides it, obscures it. It "makes
real" something that is not real.
Furthermore, in obscuring the truth about my brother or sister, I am
hiding the truth about myself. I am substantiating the basis of my
own self-condemnation. That is why the last sentence of the paragraph
switches from my unforgiveness of another to the forgiveness of
myself: "He who would forgive himself" (4:5). If I want to learn to
forgive myself, I must abandon my judging of others. If their sin is
real, so is mine. Instead I must learn to "welcome truth exactly as
it is" (4:5). Only if I welcome the truth about my brother or sister
can I see it for myself. We stand or fall together. "In him you will
find yourself or lose yourself" (T-8.III.4:5).
To a mind habituated to seeing itself as a separate ego, abandoning
all judgment is frightening. It feels like the rug is being swept out
from under our feet; we don't know where to stand. How can we live in
the world without it? We literally do not know how. Judgment is how
we have ordered our lives; without it, we fear chaos. The Course
assures us this will not happen:
You are afraid of this because you believe that without the ego, all
would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be
When we let go of judgment, when we are willing to welcome the truth
exactly as it is, love rushes in to fill the vacuum left by the
absence of judgment. It has been there all along, but we have blocked
it. We don't know how this happens, but it happens because love is the
reality, love is the truth we are welcoming. Love will show us exactly
what to do when our judgment is gone.
COMMENTARIES ON LESSONS FROM THE WORKBOOK OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES
by Allen Watson, with Practice Summaries by Robert Perry
The Circle of Atonement--Visit our website at <http://www.circleofa.com>
+ Commentary by Allen Watson
+ Practice Summary: Robert Perry
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