[acimlessons_list] LESSON 351 - DECEMBER 17
sue at circleofa.org
Thu Dec 16 06:07:26 EST 2010
LESSON 351 - DECEMBER 17
"My sinless brother is my guide to peace.
My sinful brother is my guide to pain.
And which I choose to see I will behold."
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: Here is a longer, more specific form of today's idea.
Choose someone to focus on and then repeat:
My sinless brother [name] is my guide to peace,
He shows me that I am sinless,
that my Comforter and Friend walks beside me,
that I walk home along a way that is secure and clear.
My sinful brother [name] is my guide to pain.
He proclaims that I am a sinner,
that I am alone and friendless,
that I wander in danger in a fearful world.
Which I choose to see determines my whole journey.
Father, choose for me which I will see.
I once read an article by Jon Mundy in On Course magazine about Bill
Thetford (the man who transcribed the Course from Helen's Schucman's
shorthand notes). Bill once said that the entire Course could be summed up
in a single sentence: Are you willing to see your brother sinless? Jon
relates the following story:
Judy Skutch Whitson tells an interesting story about
Bill. There was one occasion on which Judy experienced
a monumental ego attack which was focused on her
friend, Dr. Gerry Jampolsky. In an effort to find some
peace of mind she called Bill Thetford and proceeded to
describe for him all of what she perceived to be Gerry's
faults. Bill listened till Judy ran out of breath and then
he said quietly, "You know, Judy, the Course can be summed
up in just eight words. Are you willing to see your brother
"No!" Judy screamed. "Well, dear," he replied, "when
you are, you will feel much better." And he hung up.
The perception of my brother as sinful is a choice I am making. It is not
based on fact. It is not caused by something in my brother; it is purely my
chosen perception. Choosing to see my brother as sinful will always lead to
inner pain. And truly, when we are willing to see our brother, or sister, as
sinless, we really will feel much better. The power of the question Bill
asked (and which the Course asks us all) lies in the fact that it reveals
the often hidden fact that we are choosing this perception, and that we are
not willing to let it go. Until we are, there is nothing the Holy Spirit can
do for us. He will not oppose our will. Love does not oppose. We can stay in
the pain of unforgiveness as long as we wish.
But when we are willing, when we have recognized that we are choosing how to
see our brother, when we have realized that we do not like how we feel when
we are choosing to see his sin, and we are willing, at least, to change that
perception, then we can pray:
Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice.
For He alone gives judgment in Your Name. (1:6-7)
WHAT AM I?
Part 1: W-pII.14.1:1-3
This section is one of the most powerful statements in the Course of its
vision of our true nature, of how it can be realized within this world of
time and space, and of the function that follows naturally from the fact of
what we are. The opening paragraph is an extremely potent declaration, in
the first person, of our real Identity. Often I find that reading something
like this aloud, by myself, helps me to focus on it and to feel what it is
saying. An interesting side effect is that making these statements firmly,
saying them as if I truly believed them (even if I do not yet), arouses
opposing thoughts in my mind. Noting those opposing thoughts and writing
them down can be a very useful exercise in uncovering the hidden beliefs of
the ego that have lodged in my mind, so that I can recognize their presence
and decide that I do not want them.
For instance, in the first sentence we read, "I am.complete and healed and
whole." I find opposing thoughts that arise, such as: "I am far from
complete; I have a long way to go." "I am fragmented, not whole." "I wish I
were healed but I'm not." These are lessons the ego has taught me, and they
are not true. I can recognize that these thoughts are blocking my acceptance
of the Course's message, and I can choose against them. For example, I might
say, "I feel incomplete and I believe in my incompleteness, but in reality I
am already complete. I want to know my own completion."
I am God's Son&shining in the reflection of His
The light in me is the reflection of God's Light and God's Love. I shine,
but my glory is a reflected glory, as the moon's light is completely
dependent on that of the sun. It is something that emanates from God and
radiates <through> me but not <from> me, and unless I acknowledge my
connection with my Creator, I mask that shining.
In me is His creation sanctified and guaranteed eternal
This sounds like something that, in traditional Christianity, Jesus might
say, similar to "I am the way, the truth, and the life." And indeed, Jesus
might say this. But so can we! We are all what he was and is; that is what
he is telling us in this Course. Creation is "sanctified" (made holy) in me.
What I am, my very being, is what makes creation holy. I do not need to be
made holy or to become holy; I am the source (a reflected source, but still
a source) of holiness. And what I am guarantees eternal life for all
creation, because all creation is what I am. I am <God's Son>, the radiance
of His Love which has shined out and become me; that is also what all
creation is, the extension of His Love. The fact that I am God's Son, an
emanation of His Being, like a sunbeam to the sun, guarantees eternal life
because what God is, is eternal, and if I am simply an effect of God, Who is
eternal, then I, too, must be eternal, "forever and forever" His effect.
In me is love perfected, fear impossible, and joy
established without opposite. (1:3)
We find it very difficult to believe that perfect love is in us. "You have
so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact
that perfect love is in you" (T-15.VI.2:1). So it isn't really that
believing this is <difficult>; it is that we are unwilling to accept it! Our
ego identity depends on its not being true. If perfect love from God is in
us, then what we are derives from God and not from ourselves alone, which is
what the ego wants to believe. We would rather be fear than be love, because
we made fear. The truth is still the truth; perfect love is in us, whether
or not we believe it, whether or not we think we want it. What we believe
cannot change God's creation.
Fear is impossible in me. Now that generates a lot of negative feedback,
doesn't it? "If fear is impossible, then what the hell is this thing I am
feeling?" What is it? The Course would reply that what we feel is an
illusion, a nonexistent nothing, a figment of our imagination. What it is is
meaningless. What if, when I felt afraid, I told myself, "I think I am
feeling fear, but fear in me is impossible"? What if I realized that what I
think I am feeling <is not in me>, but in a delusional concept of myself I
have mistaken for myself?
"And joy established without opposite." That is my reality. I don't
experience it that way now, probably. Even when I do feel joy, there is
always an opposite lurking in the shadows. But that opposite, that fear,
that dark presence, is unreal. It is nothing to be afraid of and does not,
in reality, exist.
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