[acimlessons_list] LESSON 323 - NOVEMBER 19
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Sat Nov 18 11:25:39 EST 2006
LESSON 323 - NOVEMBER 19
"I gladly make the 'sacrifice' of fear."
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 some resentment you are holding about someone.
Because you find it hard to let go of this resentment, there must be some
perceived payoff in it. Perhaps you think it buys you a sense of
righteousness or a sense of entitlement, but if you didn't see some sort of
payoff in it, you'd easily and quickly let it go. Now realize that the real
result of this resentment is fear. That is its real "payoff." As you
consider letting your resentment go, repeat these lines:
I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.
I freely let Your Love come streaming in.
Yesterday's lesson ended with the thought "What loss can I anticipate except
the loss of fear?" and today's lesson picks up on that idea. So I'm going to
lose, but all I will lose is fear? I can live with that! Losing fear is no
sacrifice. I will lose my fear with pleasure.
It may seem as if I am being asked to give up some pleasant and valuable
things. All I am really being asked to give up is "all suffering, all sense
of loss and sadness, all anxiety and doubt" (1:1). Attachment to things in
this world, things that are fragile and that will not last, always brings
with it suffering, loss, and anxiety. I may not realize it but the ego's
secret attraction to all such things is not the pleasure they bring me, but
the pain. When I recognize that ego motivation, surely I will wisely and
sanely let my attachment go.
And when I let go, God's Love comes "streaming in to [my] awareness" (1:1).
Do I want that today? God's Love streaming in to my awareness? Do I perhaps,
this morning, long for such an experience? Then let me gladly sacrifice my
fear. Let me simply give it up. Let me recognize that in clinging to
anything besides the goal of God I am clinging to fear, and let it go. Yes,
my Father: today I am willing to make this "sacrifice." Today I am willing
to stop being afraid of Love.
I feel as though I need to remind myself that in letting go of these things
I am not letting go of anything real. I am not really letting go at all. I
am having an illusion of giving something up, but I never had anything real
in the first place. All I am doing is "letting go of self-deceptions and of
images [I] worshipped falsely" (2:1). This is just "a debt we owe to truth"
(2:1). It is just being honest! And as I acquiesce to truth, truth returns
to me "in wholeness and in joy" (2:1). The deception has ended and Love
returns to my awareness. The fullness of the gift that is eternally
mine-love-resurfaces in my memory. It makes a kind of natural sense that
when I pay my debt to truth, truth returns to me.
When "fear has gone...only love remains" (2:4). "I gladly make the
'sacrifice' of fear."
WHAT IS CREATION?
Part 3: W-pII.11.2:1-3
"God's Thoughts" refers to us, the Thoughts of God. Creation is "the sum of
all God's Thoughts" (1:1), the sum total of all beings of all time.
The Course makes an amazing assertion here: "God's Thoughts are given all
the power that their own Creator has" (2:1). In the Bible it is recorded
that Jesus said, toward the end of his life, "All power is given to me in
heaven and in earth" (Mt 28:18). The Course says all power is given to us as
the Sonship, not just to Jesus. What this is saying is that what God can do,
we can do. We are simply His extensions. Therefore, as He creates, we create
The reason God shares His power with us is that "He would add to Love by its
extension" (2:2). In other words, we have power in order to extend love. One
short definition of creation might be the extension of love. But the form of
love we share in this world is not Love's reality; it is only a reflection
of Heaven's love. Our earthly experience of love is always in the context of
separate beings exchanging love; in Heaven is only the awareness of perfect
oneness. We can only imagine what love is like in that context. We can have
glimpses of it in a holy instant, when the barriers between minds seem to
disappear. In that moment, there is an awareness that the other person is
you and you are the other person. You are the love in "you" extending to
them; you are the love in "the other person" extending towards "you"; and
you are the love in yourself loving yourself. It can be a disorienting
experience because you literally start to lose track of who you are, in the
context of individuals, while simultaneously you become aware of something
much larger and more all-inclusive that is what you really are.
Those experiences are wonderful, and asking for them is not discouraged in
the Course. But the main thing to realize here is that creation, as the
Course talks about it, is not an experience on earth; it is an experience in
Heaven. It is something that is always going on, and our dream of separation
has not interrupted creation at all. Nothing has been lost or stopped by our
illusion of separation. That is why the Course can tell us, as in last
week's topic (the Last Judgment), that the final judgment on this world is:
It is wholly purposeless. Without a cause, and now
without a function in Christ's sight, it merely slips
away to nothingness. (W-pII.10.2:2-3)
If creation in Heaven means the extension of love, what is its parallel in
our earthly experience? The Course says that the parallel to the extension
of love is forgiveness. I think of forgiveness as recognizing creation,
rather than actually creating.
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