[acimlessons_list] Lesson 321 - November 17
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Thu Nov 16 06:04:15 EST 2006
LESSON 321 - NOVEMBER 17
"Father, my freedom is in You alone."
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.
This lesson, like many in this last part of the Workbook, is written from
the perspective of a person who is entering the last stages of the journey
home. Here is the song of one whose uncertainty has ended, whose decision
for the Kingdom of God is strong and clear. In the words of "Development of
Trust" in the Manual for Teachers:
The teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at
which he sees in it his whole way out. "Give up what you
do not want, and keep what you do." How simple is the obvious!
And how easy to do! (M-4(A).6:5-8)
These are the words of someone who has realized that the peace of God is all
that he wants.
"I did not understand what made me free, nor what my freedom was" (1:1). Our
freedom is in God alone. At the start we believed the opposite. Being free
seems to mean being independent. How could freedom be found in acceptance of
God's Will? Isn't that enslavement? Only as we realize that our will is
God's Will, that our will and His are one and the same, can we realize that
to do the Will of God is perfect freedom because it is what we truly want,
and what we were created for. "Father, it is my will that I return" (1:9).
Not knowing what freedom was we have looked for it where it could not be
found: in the exercise of our independent will in this world. Until we hear
the Voice for God directing us, and respond, we cannot find freedom. "Now I
would guide myself no more" (1:3). Our freedom is found in accepting a new
Guide. It is found in resigning as our own teacher (see T-12.V.8:3) and
accepting another Teacher. It is found in letting go of our independent
goals and accepting the one goal we all share together.
Freedom is the liberty to be all that I am. Freedom is the liberty to
express my nature without any hindrance. My nature is love; my nature is the
holiness of God Himself. My only freedom is in being that which I am because
God created me. To attempt to be something else is to enslave myself, to
constrict my soul into a shape not its own. Freedom is to teach and offer
only love, because that is what I am.
Let me, then, today, gladly surrender my opinions about what I am, and
accept what God tells me I am. Let me readily relinquish the false and
illusory freedom I have thought to pursue, and accept the only freedom that
is real, in glad capitulation to my own nature. There is no surrender but to
my Self. There is no sacrifice but of illusion. When I have reached the
point of being willing to hear only the Voice for God, I will be able to
The way to You is opening and clear to me at last. (1:7)
WHAT IS CREATION?
Part 1: W-pII.11.1:1-2
The question itself is one that often comes up for Course students. The
Course speaks often of "your creations," and yet never seems to clearly say
exactly what those creations are. It tells us that our creation process
continues unabated despite our unawareness of our creations, and that they
are all saved for us by the Holy Spirit. There is an image of us entering
Heaven and being greeted by all our creations, as if they were living
We have a fundamental misconception that makes it difficult for us to
understand what creations are. For instance, we think God created this
world. When we think of creation, therefore, we think of something physical
and material. We think our creations must be something in this world. Yet
the Course clearly tells us this entire world is an illusion, a miscreation
of our mind. How could our creations be here?
My creations, then, cannot be something like a book I write, a relationship
I form, a family, or a business. My creations are not objects at all. They
must be thoughts.
Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number
infinite, and everywhere without all limit. (1:1)
"Thoughts" is capitalized, so we know this refers to God's Son. The Christ.
Again, we are not used to equating thoughts and living beings. We do not
think of thoughts as beings who are alive; we do not think of living beings
as "only" thoughts. The Course teaches us that we are only Thoughts in God's
Mind. We automatically assume some kind of material existence when we think
of a living being. The Course, all through, is trying to teach us that
living beings are indeed thoughts, or spirits, and not material at all. "You
are not a body" (W-pI.91.5:2), means more than just an admonition not to be
limited by our body; it means that we are something wholly other than
material. The essential part of us is not material at all. We are spirit. We
Only Love creates, and only like itself. (1:2)
>From just this much it should be clear that "creations" are "thoughts of
love." If only Love creates, creations must be the effects of Love. If
creations are thoughts, then they must be thoughts of love.
"Only Love creates, and only like itself." Love always creates more love.
Creation, it seems to me, is a circular thing, like a self-sustaining energy
field, each part of which is upholding the other part, an endless cycle of
The Text teaches us that God, being Love, has no need except to extend
Himself. Since we are extensions of His Being, we have a similar unique
need: "With love in you, you have no need except to extend it"
Like your Father, you are an idea. And like Him,
you can give yourself completely, wholly without
loss and only with gain. (T-15.VI.4:5-6)
This is what we learn through the experience of a holy instant. We are
Thoughts of Love, with no need except to extend love. In our relationships,
we are learning to let go of our imagined "personal" needs, and to dedicate
our relationships to "the only need the Sons of God share equally"
(T-15.VI.6:10)-the extension of love. Through this reflection of love here
on earth, we learn to take our place again in the eternal creation of
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