[acimlessons_list] Lesson 314 - November 10
suelegal at gmail.com
Thu Nov 9 05:56:31 EST 2006
LESSON 314 - NOVEMBER 10
"I seek a future different from the past."
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 a past mistake, especially a major one such as
long-term lovelessness in a relationship. Then repeat the following lines to
God, trying to mean them as much as you can:
I leave this past mistake behind.
I leave the future in Your Hands.
I trust Your present promises to guide my future in their holy light.
Try to feel the freedom from past and future contained in these words. Let
your sense of care drop away.
In the ego's perception, the future is only the result of the past; it is
little more than the past itself extended beyond the present. To the ego,
the past determines the future. In the perception of the Holy Spirit, "The
future now is recognized as but extension of the present" (1:2). What we
choose to perceive and to believe in the now determines what the future will
be like; the future is not determined by the past. "Past mistakes can cast
no shadows on it, so that fear has lost its idols and its images, and being
formless, it has no effects" (1:3).
By letting go of the past and realizing that it cannot touch me now, I bring
into being a future different from the past. My present choice for
salvation, my present willingness to accept the Atonement for myself,
deprives the past of all its fear. The "idols and images" (1:3) of fear are
things such as all the guilt of the past and all the false perceptions of
the past. They are no longer available to fear when I have released the past
into God's Hands and have accepted forgiveness for myself. I am beginning
from this present moment with a clean slate. Without the forms of past idols
and images, fear can have no effects.
Based on the guilt of the past my future was certain death. But with the
past released from "sin," and life now my present goal, death has no claim
on me (1:4). My physical body will still "die" most likely (barring some
rare miracle of being caught up into heaven in a whirlwind, like Elijah in
the Bible, II Kings 2), although the body does not truly die because it
never lives; but since I am not my body, I will not die, and I will not fear
death. "All the needed means are happily provided" (1:4). When my mind is
straightened out and my goal is life, everything I need to reach my goal is
provided by the Holy Spirit. "When the present has been freed" from all
guilt and all fear, that present will simply extend "its security and peace
into a quiet future filled with joy" (1:5).
The key is in allowing my mind to be freed from guilt and fear right now. I
can practice doing this in the holy instant. I can take a moment and allow
the peace and security this lesson speaks of to flood my mind. I can bring
my guilt and hurt and pain and anger to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to
heal my mind. As I do this more and more the peace will extend itself
outward into my day. Perhaps the most common testimony of people who have
been studying the Course for some time is, "I am much more peaceful than I
ever was before." It works. And as that peace grows in the present, as more
and more of our present moments are spent in that peace of mind, the future
will more and more be filled with joy.
Let me, then, "choose to use the present to be free" (2:1). How many of my
present moments are spent grieving or sorrowing about the past, lamenting
things lost? How many present moments are spent in fear of something future?
Let me choose to use the present differently. Let me choose, every time I am
aware of the present, to use that moment for peace and for nothing else. To
do so is the way out of hell. Leave the future in God's Hands. Leave past
mistakes behind (2:2). Let me lay my life in God's Hands, "sure that You
will keep Your present promises, and guide the future in their holy light"
WHAT IS THE LAST JUDGMENT?
Part 4: W-pII.10.2:3-6
When all of creation, every mind, has at last accepted the new perception of
the world as without sin and without purpose, the world will end. "Without a
cause" (2:3), I think, refers to the world's being seen without sin, for sin
and its companion, guilt, in the Course's view, caused the world. "Without a
function" (2:3) then would mean the same thing as "purposeless" (2:2). To
the ego, the purpose of the world is destruction, or punishment. Once the
cause and the function of the world have been removed from all minds, the
world "merely slips away to nothingness" (2:3).
As the Manual for Teachers puts it, "The world will end when its thought
system has been completely reversed" (M-14.4:1). (You may want to read this
entire beautiful section, entitled "How Will the World End?"-particularly
its moving final paragraph.) In the vision of the Course, the end of the
world is not a cataclysm, nor is it some great triumph by heavenly hosts,
but a quiet melting away, merely the disappearance of an illusion whose
apparent necessity has ended.
"There [in nothingness] it was born, and there it ends as well" (2:4). In
other words, the world was made up out of nothing, and nothing will be left
when it disappears. Only the thoughts of love expressed are real and
eternal. Everything else goes, including "the figures in the dream" (2:5),
that is, our bodies, which-with sin gone as cause and death gone as their
purpose-will simply "fade away" (2:6). As we have read often before, in
earlier "What Is" sections and in the Text, the body was made by the ego for
its purposes. The Holy Spirit can, and does, co-opt the body for His
purposes as long as we are in the dream. He is leading us to realize that
"what is false is false, and what is true has never changed" (1:1), and once
that purpose has been achieved by us all, the body no longer has any
purpose. It simply fades away.
One last phrase is added: "because the Son of God is limitless" (2:6). The
body fades away because the Son is limitless, and the body is a limit. When
our minds have been returned to Christ, fully, we will no longer have any
need of limitation. What we are is limitless, and a limited body would be
useless to us.
This is the "end of all things" as the Course sees it. How, then, should we
live now, still within the dream, but knowing this is its ending? We "need
merely learn how to approach it [the ending]; to be willing to go in its
direction" (M-14.4:5). We cooperate with the Holy Spirit, today and every
day, in learning to look upon the world without condemnation, to see it as
totally forgiven. We allow Him to teach us that there is no purpose in the
world, and to gradually wean us of our attachment to it. We open ourselves
more and more to the vision, growing within us, of the limitless Son of God.
More information about the Acimlessons_list