[acimlessons_list] Lesson 230 - August 18
sue at circleofa.org
Thu Aug 19 06:03:41 EDT 2010
Lesson 230 - August 18
"Now will I seek and find the peace of God."
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.
"In peace I was created. And in peace do I remain" (1:1-2). Jesus, in his
Course, never tires of reminding us that we remain as God created us. He
repeats it often because we so obviously do not believe it. We may believe
that God created us in peace. How, indeed, could we believe otherwise? Would
a God of Love have created us in pain and agony, in turmoil and confusion,
in conflict and strife? So the first sentence isn't really a problem to us;
we can accept that God created us in peace.
The problem arises, in our minds, with the second sentence: "In peace do I
remain." Quite simply we don't believe it. In fact, we are firmly convinced
that we know otherwise. Perhaps this morning I am distraught by something
that happened yesterday, or worried about what may happen today, or next
week. I can look back on a lifetime that, in my experience, has had very
little, if any, peace. Some days it seems as though life is conspiring
against me to rob me of peace. It seems as though, in most of my busy days,
I rarely have a moment of peace. So how can I accept this statement: "In
peace do I remain"?
It seems incredible to us, unbelievable, when the Course insists that since
God created me in peace, I must still be in peace. God's creation of me took
place, the lesson says, "apart from time, and still remains beyond all
change" (2:2). It tells me, "It is not given me to change my Self" (1:3). My
experience of life in this world tells me otherwise.
The question is, which one will I believe? God's Voice, or my experience?
One of them must be false. And it is earth-shattering, mind-blowing, even to
consider that my entire experience of this world has been a lie, a mistake,
and a hallucination. Yet what is the alternative? Shall I believe, instead,
that God is a liar? Shall I believe that His creation was flawed, and
capable of corruption? Shall I believe that what He willed for me was
overcome by my own independent will? Yet this is what I <must> be believing
if I insist that I am not at peace, in this very moment.
If God is not a liar and His creation is not flawed, then what must be true
is that my own mind has deceived me and has manufactured an entire lifetime
of false experience. If I am willing to listen, this is not as far-fetched
as it sounds at first. In fact, if I simply watch my mind, I can catch it in
the act of doing that very thing. I can watch and observe how I see what I
expect to see. I can notice how different people perceive the same events
quite differently. I can remember times when I was quite sure I understood
things clearly, only to have the whole situation turned on its head by some
new fact that I had been unaware of. I need only watch the sun rise, move
across the sky, and set, to realize that my perception is faulty. It is not
the sun that moves; it is me, as the earth turns. When night comes and the
sun is "gone" in my perception, the sun shines on; it is my world that has
turned its face from the light.
What if my apparent lack of peace does not mean what I think it means? What
if the peace of God has never left me, but shines on, while I have turned my
face from it? In the holy instant I can find that this is the truth. Simply
by turning my mind away from its mad belief in unrest, I can discover the
peace of God shining in me now.
WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?
PART 10: W-PII.1.5:3
There is another part to forgiveness. Since the Holy Spirit has already
forgiven me, carrying out His only function, I now "must...share His
function, and forgive whom He has saved" (5:3).
Consider what we have said about the way the Holy Spirit interacts with us,
how we can come to Him with our darkest thoughts and find them absorbed and
dissipated in His Love. The utter lack of judgment. His gentleness with us,
His acceptance of us, His knowledge of our sinlessness, His honoring us as
the Son of God, unchanged by our foolish thoughts of sin. Now, we are to
share His function in relation to the world. Now, we are to be His
representatives, His manifestation in the lives of those around us. To them,
we offer this same gentle kindness, this same conviction of the inner
holiness of each one we deal with, this same quiet disregard for thoughts of
self-condemnation in everyone we see, or speak to, or think about. "It is
the privilege of the forgiven to forgive" (T-1.I.27:2).
What we reflect to the world is what we believe in for ourselves. When we
judge, condemn, and lay guilt on those around us, we are reflecting the way
we believe God is towards us. When we experience the sweet forgiveness in
the loving Presence of the Holy Spirit, we reflect that same thing to the
world. Let me, then, enter into His Presence, allowing Him to look upon me,
to find Him quietly doing nothing, but simply looking, and waiting, and
judging me not. Let me hear Him tell me of His confidence in my ultimate
success. And then, let me turn and share this blessing with the world,
giving what I have received. Only as I share it will I know, for sure, that
it is mine.
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