[acimlessons_list] Lesson 332 - November 28
sue at circleofa.org
sue at circleofa.org
Mon Nov 27 06:23:51 EST 2006
LESSON 332 - NOVEMBER 28
"Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free."
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: Choose a situation in which you are experiencing fear.
My fears about [person, situation, or event] bind [people
My forgiveness of [people doing the screwing up] will set
[people involved] free,
And will set me free, too.
Fear and unforgiveness are very closely related. Our fear, in the Course's
understanding, is rooted in our guilt. Our primal fear is of punishment for
what we believe we have done wrong. Our belief in our sin produces guilt,
and that guilt produces fear. The fear "binds" us. It is a restrictive
emotion. Forgiveness, which undoes guilt, thus sets us free.
The belief in sin is the ego's foundational illusion. All that the ego makes
is illusion (1:1), and not reality. Truth, by its mere presence, evaporates
the illusions of the ego (1:2-5). If there is an illusion of a wall in front
of us, knowing the truth (in this case, there is no wall) enables us to
"walk through" the wall. There is no need to attack the wall to tear it
down; we just shine it away with the truth.
The truth about us is that we are guiltless. Forgiveness does not attack sin
and guilt. It doesn't have to. It just shines them away. Forgiveness invites
truth to enter the mind "and take its rightful place within the mind" (1:6).
"Without forgiveness is the mind in chains, believing in its own futility"
(1:7). When I am entrenched in my own guilt my mind seems impotent, unable
to accomplish anything at all. I cannot believe in my own power because I am
believing in my own weakness. The power of God, given to me in creation,
seems non-existent. I seem to be frail, blown about by circumstances beyond
my control. But when I am forgiven, I once again realize the power of my own
mind. By owning my guilt and taking responsibility for it (realizing that I
made the illusion of guilt and sin), I reawaken to the inherent power of my
mind to choose, and I realize that I can choose again. And choose
differently, if I wish.
When I <exercise> forgiveness, the realization of my mind's freedom and
power comes even more quickly. When I realize that the picture of sin I am
seeing in my brother is of my own making, and that I can choose to see him
differently-that this is entirely within my power, and not at all dependent
on anything outside of me-I am reclaiming my inheritance as God's Son. By my
forgiveness I release the world from guilt. I have the power to forgive
sins! I have the power to free the world from its chains, and that power is
the power of forgiveness.
WHAT IS THE EGO?
Part 2: W-pII.12.1:3
The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak and love is
fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God
alone is true.
To find its illusory independence, the ego simply negates God and everything
about God. The strength of innocence, gentleness, and love is seen as "weak"
and is shunned. Attack is seen instead as strong. "Standing on your own
feet" and being "independent" is seen as maturity and strength, and union
with others and dependence on God is seen as weakness. The ultimate image of
a mighty ego is a lone individual screaming defiance at the entire universe.
The ego cannot see nor understand that this lone, limited, and separated
self is the very symbol of weakness.
In speaking of this choice we have made to become egos (a choice we can
realize only in dreams, never in reality), the Course says:
Here does the Son of God ask not too much, but far too
little. He would sacrifice his own identity with
everything, to find a little treasure of his own.
To learn to listen to the Voice for God instead of the ego means far more
than just listening to the little angel on our right shoulder instead of the
devil on our left. That concept of things leaves the "me" who listens
unchanged, still the same identity, a separated self. To listen to God
instead of the ego means letting go entirely of that "little treasure of
[my] own," which is my entire conception of what I am as something apart
from God, and instead affirming my "identity with everything"
I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God,
a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached,
and housed within a body. Now I know my life is God's,
I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him.
He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have
none but those which are of Him. (W-pII.223.1:1-3)
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