[acimlessons_list] Lesson 322 - November 18
suelegal at gmail.com
Fri Nov 17 06:07:17 EST 2006
LESSON 322 - NOVEMBER 18
"I can give up but what was never real."
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.
* Spend a moment imagining that you give your life, whole and complete, to
God today, holding nothing back.
* As you imagine this, ask yourself what you fear you will have to give up,
either outer or inner.
* With each thing, ask yourself, "Is this truly real?"
* Then repeat the idea.
I cannot give up anything real: "As You created me, I can give up nothing
You gave me" (2:3). The whole idea of sacrifice is alien to God and to the
thought system of the Course. Oh, we are asked to give up things! The Course
even asks us to give up the entire world-but "not to sacrifice"
(T-30.V.9:5). The whole point of this lesson is quite simple. It is that
nothing that I can give up was ever real in the first place. "I sacrifice
illusions; nothing more" (1:1).
I remember once in a relationship in which I wanted marriage, and the lady
in question did not, that I felt as if I were losing and sacrificing
something by letting go of my dream. Then I realized that I was only giving
up something I never had in the first place. It brought home with vivid
force the familiar "wall plaque" saying that runs something like this: "If
you love something, let it go. If it returns to you then it was truly yours,
and if it does not, it was never yours at all." In that circumstance I was
able to give up the illusion, and in so doing, retain the reality of a
profoundly loving relationship that was not meant to end in marriage, a
relationship that lasted for years and brought me more true satisfaction
than any marriage relationship I ever saw among my friends.
The illusions we hold on to are hiding the true gifts of God. The idea that
we can find our happiness in a romantic relationship, for instance, is one
of the ego's substitutes for the reality of our relationship with God and
with all living things. A close, loving relationship is a wonderful thing,
but it can be an obstacle to our peace if we make an idol of it, expecting
it to give us everything, or insisting that we know the form it must take to
"And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me
in shining welcome, and in readiness to give God's ancient messages to me"
(1:2). We not only lose nothing in giving up illusions; we actually gain the
reality of what the illusions were substituting for. This is a win-win
The fear of sacrifice and loss is one of the greatest obstacles to our
spiritual progress. And as long as we think we are losing something real, we
will drag our feet.
If this [relinquishment] is interpreted as giving up the
desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. Few teachers
of God escape this distress entirely. (M-4.I(A).5:2-3)
The idea of sacrifice makes it impossible for us to make sensible judgments
about what we do and do not want. That is why it is so important for us to
refer all our decisions to the Holy Spirit. And when we do, often it will
seem to us as if we are being asked to sacrifice something we value. What we
do not realize is that the Holy Spirit is only teaching us that we do not
really want what we think we want; He is only clarifying the intentions of
our own right mind, which already knows there is no value in what we have
been holding on to.
"And every dream serves only to conceal the Self Which is God's only Son"
(1:4). The gift behind every dream is the memory of Who I really am.
Attachment to the ego's "gifts" only serves to diminish my awareness of that
Self. I am asking, not for too much, but for far too little. These gifts are
not worthy of my Self. What God did not give has no reality (2:4). And so,
today, let us give up every thought that anticipates any kind of loss, and
recognize that, as God's Sons, we cannot lose.
What loss can I anticipate except the loss of fear,
and the return of love into my mind? (2:5)
WHAT IS CREATION?
Part 2: W-pII.11.1:3-5
There was no time when all that [love] created was not
there. Nor will there be a time when anything that It
created suffers any loss. (1:3-4)
It is very difficult, if not impossible, for our minds to comprehend
something that is <outside of time>. We can conceive of the idea, but to
actually conceptualize it or to feel it is beyond minds that think solely in
terms of time. The creations of Love are beyond time; they have always been,
and they always will be. There is no before or after with Love and Its
creations; it is an eternal <now>.
We think of creation as bringing into existence something that never was.
But the Course's conception of creation is something that is always
complete, and that always exists <now>. All of creation has always been
there, and always will be, and yet creation is continuous. Creation is a
constant upsurge of beingness, never less, never more, never old, and always
fresh. "Forever and forever are God's Thoughts exactly as they were and as
they are, unchanged through time and after time is done" (1:5).
God's creations are unaffected by time. Time is part of our illusion, a way
of making lack seem real by having things be "in the future," and not now;
or to make loss real by seeing them as "past." When the lesson speaks of
"God's Thoughts" it is speaking of us. "We are creation; we the Sons of God"
(4:1). It is saying, in other words, "I am as God created me" (Lessons 94,
110, 162). You and I are those creations, "unchanged through time and after
time is done." We are not beings under construction, with our reality still
in the future, nor are we beings of corruption, with our purity past and
gone. What we are is now, was before time, and will be when time is done.
What changes is not me. To see ourselves as God's creations is thus to free
ourselves from the tyranny of time.
Father, I seek the peace You gave as mine in my creation. What was given
then must be here now, for my creation was apart from time, and still
remains beyond all change. The peace in which Your Son was born into Your
Mind is shining there unchanged. I am as You created me.
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