[acimlessons_list] Lesson 313 - November 9
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Tue Nov 7 05:36:00 EST 2006
LESSON 313 - NOVEMBER 9
"Now let a new perception come to me."
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: I find that this lesson is more effective if you make
"Now let a new perception of this person (or situation, or event) come
The vision of Christ "beholds all things as sinless" (1:1). This is a new
perception that <comes> to me. I don't go after it; I receive it. I open to
it, and it is given to me: "This vision is Your gift" (1:3). To see all
things as sinless is not something that I must strive to do; it is a gift,
given to me by God. When I perceive sin, what I can learn to do is to ask
for a different perception: "Now let a new perception come to me." I can
want this new perception, and wanting is all that is required. The rest is
given. "Love will come wherever it is asked" (1:2).
Christ-Who is my true Self, eternal, changeless-already "sees no sin in
anything He looks upon" (1:5). This is not a vision that my Self has to
achieve; it is mine already, in Christ. All I need to do is to allow that
new perception to come to me. As I do, as I look out upon the world and see
it as forgiven, I will "waken from the dream of sin and look within upon my
sinlessness" (1:6). There is the message of the Course in a nutshell: See
your own innocence by seeing the world's innocence. Find your forgiveness
through forgiving others.
Like vision, which has always been a part of my Christ Self, so too
sinlessness: it has been kept by God, "completely undefiled upon the altar
to Your holy Son, the Self with which I would identify" (1:6). That is all
we are doing: identifying with the Christ, with something that already is.
"Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all" (W-pI.188.1:4).
There is nothing to achieve, nowhere to go; we are already there, and all
that is required is the recognition of what is already so, the
identification with what has existed forever. We let the new perception come
to us, that is all.
So, my brothers and sisters,
Let us today behold each other in the sight of Christ. How beautiful we
WHAT IS THE LAST JUDGMENT?
Part 3: W-pII.10.2:1-2
The final judgment on the world contains no condemnation. (2:1)
No condemnation! It seems to be very hard for us to get beyond the idea of
condemnation. We've been taught for generations that in the Last Judgment,
God will separate the "sheep" from the "goats," the "wheat" from the
"tares," the good guys from the bad guys, and will send the bad guys into
everlasting punishment. We rather like the idea of vengeance; it seems like
justice to us. We go to movies and we cheer when the bad guys finally get
blown away. Of course, when it comes to picturing ourselves standing before
God's Final Judgment, we get a little nervous-very nervous, in fact. Because
we know we aren't perfect.
How can there be no condemnation in the Final Judgment? There can only be
one explanation. There is no condemnation because "it sees the world as
totally forgiven, without sin and wholly purposeless" (2:2). The only way
there can be no condemnation is if there is no sin. <Everything> and
<everyone> is forgiven, totally. And that bugs us. "You mean the bad guys
<don't> get blown away at the end of the story?" It doesn't seem fair to us,
because we believe that sin is real, and deserves punishment.
The old-time evangelists of the eighteenth century, like Jonathan Edwards
(the author of the famous sermon "Sinners in the hands of an angry God"),
had some things right. They taught that sin is sin. There is no order of
sin-every sin is infinitely sinful and demands eternal punishment because
<any> sin is an attack on an infinite God. As C. S. Lewis put it, the idea
of a "little" sin is like a "little" pregnancy. Edwards had people so
terrified when he delivered his sermon that people in church were holding on
to the pillars of the church in fear that the ground would open and swallow
them up into hell. If sin were real at all, he was right. All of us would be
infinitely guilty, and all of us would deserve eternal punishment. In this
picture, there <are> no "good guys."
Therefore, if sin is real at all, and vengeance on <anyone> is justified,
then vengeance is justified on all of us. If the bad guys get blown away at
the end of the story, we <all> get blown away. In holding on to the idea of
condemnation and punishment, we are condemning ourselves to hell. And
somewhere inside we know it-that's why we feel so nervous!
The only alternative is <no> condemnation. Total forgiveness. No sin in
anyone. And that is the message of the Course: "God's Son is guiltless"
(T-14.V.2:1). That will be God's Final Judgment, and that will be <our>
judgment when we reach the end of our journey.
For it sees the world as totally forgiven, without sin and wholly
The final judgment sees the world, not only as without sin, but without a
purpose. This notion cannot be squared with the idea that God created the
world; would God create anything without a purpose? The purposelessness of
the world, though, goes quite well with the idea that our ego minds have
made the world up.
Have you ever looked at the world and suspected that it was basically
without any purpose or meaning? That the endless progression of birth and
death doesn't seem to be going anywhere? We all grow up (some with more
difficulty than others, some with more success than others), we struggle
through life, we attain what we can, and then-so it seems-it all comes to an
end, and everything we have accomplished, and everything we have become, is
lost (see T-13.In.2). What is the point? Many, particularly among the
younger people today, have accepted this point of view, and have succumbed
to despair and apathy.
And yet, there is validity to this point of view. In fact, the final
judgment will ultimately confirm it! The world <has> no purpose. It is the
misbegotten offspring of a mind made mad by guilt (see T-13.In.2:2). The
realization, however, need not lead to despair; it can become the
springboard to eternal joy. Seen as without purpose, we can at last let it
go, and remember that our true home is in God.
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