[acimlessons_list] Lesson 337 - December 3
Sue Carrier Roth
suelegal at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 06:12:20 EST 2005
LESSON 337 * DECEMBER 3
"My sinlessness protects me from all harm."
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 Mind
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
Practice suggestion: Think of your day yesterday, and in relation to each
thing you did, ask yourself, "Was there an element of 'If I do this thing
right, I'll redeem myself'?"
Then, with each "yes" you get, ask yourself,
"What was I trying to redeem myself for?"
Then focus on simply accepting the awareness from God that you are sinless,
that you need do nothing to be redeemed, because "God has already done all
things that need be done" (1:5).
This is a lesson about simply accepting the Atonement and nothing more. It
states that there are really only two steps to the full knowledge of
complete happiness (1:4-6):
1. Realize that I need do nothing of myself.
2. Accept what God has already done.
All of the turmoil and discomfort we experience as we begin a spiritual path
comes from thinking that we lack something (which is not seeing step 2) and
therefore we have to do something to get it (which is not seeing step 1).
We feel unhappy, and therefore we think we lack happiness and set out to
seek it. Unhappiness is not a condition of lack. It is a condition of
denial. We are actively negating happiness, which is our natural state. We
are blocking out the awareness of love's presence. We are covering over the
joy of our created nature, of simply being, with a filthy patina of
unfulfillment. We think the solution is to do something; actually the
solution is to stop doing something, to put an end to the activity that is
obscuring our happiness.
That is one of the values of meditation. When we deliberately bring a stop
to our mental activity we often suddenly feel happy. That is because we are
always happy, but we are constantly generating unhappiness by our thoughts.
Stop the thoughts and the happiness shines through. Clear away the clouds
and the sun is always there.
We have taught ourselves that we are this constant mental activity. Letting
go of that activity is an extreme threat to the ego. If we let it go nothing
is left, or so we fear; so the ego tells us. The ego lies!
All we need to do is to stop doing. What we are, without any activity at
all, is enough to support perfect, constant happiness.
WHAT IS THE EGO?
Part 7: W-pII.12.4:1
To know reality is not to see the ego and its thoughts,
its works, its acts, its laws and its beliefs, its dreams,
its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost
belief in it entails.
Knowing reality consists simply of not seeing illusions. Without illusions
to conceal it, reality is self-evident. That is why we "need do nothing." We
don't have to make reality. We don't have to make ourselves sinless, or
happy, or peaceful. We simply have to stop seeing the thing that obscures
reality from our sight: the ego, and everything to do with it.
The list of all the aspects of the ego that we are "not to see" is needful
for us, because if the lesson simply said that "to know reality is not to
see the ego" we would not be sure what was meant. By listing all the things
related to the ego-thoughts, works, acts, laws, beliefs, dreams, hopes,
plans for salvation, and the cost it demands of us-we are more likely to
understand the full import of what not seeing the ego means. Not just the
acts of the ego need to be banished from our sight, but all the things that
drive those acts.
I am especially struck with "its plans for salvation." The ego has many
plans for getting us out of the mess we think we are in. But we aren't
really in a mess; we have simply covered over reality with illusions, and
the reality is still there. We don't have to do anything to find it. We
don't need to make plans for our salvation. Indeed, making plans for our
salvation just digs the ego rut deeper. We need, as Lesson 337 points out,
to understand that "I need do nothing of myself, for I need but accept my
Self, my sinlessness, created for me, now already mine, to feel God's Love
protecting me from harm" (W-pII.337.1:6).
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