[acimlessons_list] Lesson 252 - September 9
sue at circleofa.org
Mon Sep 8 05:50:41 EDT 2008
Lesson 252 - September 9
"The Son of God is my Identity."
See complete Part II practice instructions.
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.
We don't know Who we are.
"My Self" is so much greater and higher than I can even imagine. The first
paragraph extols the holiness, the purity, the love, and the strength of my
Self. I am reminded of something I heard in an "est" weekend many years ago.
It spoke of becoming aware of the self I present to the world, my "mask"
(the Course calls it "the face of innocence" [T-31.V.2:6]); then,
discovering the self I am <afraid> that I am (the ego); and finally,
discovering who I really am, "which is magnificent" (the Son of God). Think
about that, my soul; let yourself hear it with acceptance: "I am
I am aware today that, no matter how high my thoughts go, I have only
scratched the surface of What and Who I really am. "My Self is holy beyond
all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive" (1:1). Let me sit and
dream thoughts of holiness, let me stretch my mind to its limits to
understand what holiness is; the reality of my holiness is "beyond all the
thoughts" I can conceive of. The Course says that if we could realize how
holy our brothers and sisters are, we could "scarce refrain from kneeling at
[their] feet" (W-pI.161.9:3). Yet we will take their hand instead, because
we are their equals. "They are all the same; all beautiful and equal in
their holiness" (T-13.VIII.6:1).
To realize that I am the holy Son of God entails the parallel realization
that you are the same. You are so beautiful, my friends; so ineffably holy!
You are the expression of God, the outshining of His Being, the glory of His
creation. How can I do anything but love you?
My Self, and yours, has a "shimmering and perfect purity" that is "far more
brilliant than any light that I have ever looked upon" (1:2). Have you ever
seen that in another being? Have you ever seen it <in yourself>? Ah, that is
what we all are seeking! It is what we are praying for: "Reveal It now to me
who am Your Son" (2:2). Imagine seeing and knowing such perfect purity in
your Self. Imagine it, and ask to have it revealed, for such you are.
And the <love> of this Self! It "is limitless, with an intensity that holds
all things within it, in the calm of quiet certainty" (1:3). Oh, to know
that this love is my Self! Oh, to know that this is what I am, forever and
forever! Can I, dare I, believe this about myself? My love, holding the
whole world, floating like a bubble in the ocean of my love. My love,
without limits of any kind. My love, the very Love of God Itself. Let me
dwell on it, let me consider it, let me give expression to it now, sending
my love to the whole world, to every being who longs for it. How intense it
is, this love! How perfect, how unquestioning, how overpowering!
The <strength> of my Self "comes not from burning impulses which move the
world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself" (1:4). What I am is this
Love, God's own Love. It is not a "burning" thing, a violence, an anger; it
is a quiet, calm, certain Love. It knows the reality of what It beholds. It
has perfect faith in every child of God, because of what they are. It
uplifts, it encourages, it believes in all that it beholds. Vast is Its
mercy; infinite Its understanding. Softly It embraces, gently It comforts,
Its power coming from the calm sureness of the inevitability of Love Itself.
How far beyond this world my Self must be, and yet how near to me and close
to God! (1:5)
Father, You know that this is Who I am, for You created me to be It. I long
to know this reality of my Self. I feel so much less than this, so unloving
at times. Reveal my Self to me. Show me that this is Who I am. Help me to
know my Self as Love. To know my Self as Love is Heaven; to know my Self as
Love is peace.
What is Sin?
Part 2: W-pII.4.1:4-9
Our very eyes are the product of sin: "Sin gave the body eyes" (1:4). Or as
the next paragraph says, "The body is the instrument the mind made in its
efforts to deceive itself" (2:1). Perception itself is the result of sin,
"for what is there the sinless would behold?" (1:4). Our true Self is beyond
perception entirely. Perception is inherently dualistic; "I" over here
perceive some object over there. It implies a separation. The sinless,
evidently, would have no desire for anything to perceive because nothing
would be separate. The desire to separate, to be apart and "objective" to
something else, is part and parcel of the concept of sin and guilt. The
sinless being, in the Course's view, would experience all things as part of
itself. It would "know" them rather than "perceive" them.
The sinless would have no need of sight or sound or touch because everything
would be part of itself; known, but not perceived. Perception is so limited.
So incomplete and imperfect. The sinless Self has no need of sense at all,
for everything is known to it. "To sense is not to know" (1:8). The purpose
of perception is <not to know>. Or better yet, the purpose of perception is
<to not know>. Perception is a separating, a standing off, a being apart
from. The consciousness of sin is what causes that withdrawal, that
contracting inward, away from unity.
Truth, by contrast, "can be but filled with knowledge, and with nothing
else" (1:9). Truth does not sense things; truth <knows> things. It knows
them by being one with them. I do not know you through perception.
Perception deceives me; that is its intent. Perception prevents me from
knowing you. I can only know you as I experience that I <am> you. This is
what happens in the holy instant, for the holy instant is an experience of
minds as one. Such an experience can be truly disorienting for a mind
habituated to its aloneness; the seeming identity we have grown used to for
all of our lives is suddenly gone, I am no longer certain whether I am me or
you. I realize for a moment that the "me" I thought I was may not, in fact,
truly exist. As it does not, in fact.
The consciousness of sin and guilt is what stands in the way of this joining
of minds. I hold myself apart from you in fear. I constrict my love, I doubt
yours. The Course is bringing us to the point where that fear dissolves, and
union, always there, is once again known for what it is.
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