Day 100 - A Course in Miracles
Chapter Nine: The Correction of Error
III. Atonement as a Lesson in Sharing
9 Atonement is for all, because it is the way to undo the belief that anything is for you alone. To forgive is to overlook. Look, then, beyond error, and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds. Accept as true only what your brother is if you would know yourself. Perceive what he is not, and you cannot know what you are because you see him falsely. Remember always that your identity is shared and that sharing is its reality.
10 You have a part to play in the Atonement, but the plan of the Atonement is beyond you. You do not know how to overlook errors, or you would not make them. It would merely be further error to think either that you do not make them or that you can correct them without a Guide to correction. And if you do not follow this Guide, your errors will not be corrected. The plan is not yours because of your limited ideas of what you are. This limitation is where allerrors arise. The way to undo them, therefore, is not of you but for you.
11 The Atonement is a lesson in sharing which is given you because you have forgotten how to do it. The Holy Spirit merely reminds you of what is your natural ability. By reinterpreting the ability to attack, which you did make, into the ability to share, He translates what you have made into what God created. If you would accomplish thisthrough Him, you cannot look on your abilities through the eyes of the ego or you will judge them as it does. All their harmfulness lies in its judgment. All their helpfulness lies in the judgment of the Holy Spirit.
12 The ego, too, has a plan of forgiveness because you are asking for one, though not of the right teacher. The ego's plan, of course, makes no sense and will not work. By following it, you will merely place yourself in an impossible situation to which the ego always leads you. The ego's plan is to have you see error clearly first and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real? By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it.
13 This is where the ego is forced to appeal to "mysteries" and begins to insist that you must accept the meaningless to save yourself. Many have tried to do this in my name, forgetting that my words make perfect sense because they come from God. They are as sensible now as they ever were because they speak of ideas which are eternal. Forgiveness that is learned of me does not use fear to undo fear. Nor does it make real the unreal and then destroy it.
14 Forgiveness through the Holy Spirit lies simply in looking beyond error from the beginning and thus keeping it unreal for you. Do not let any belief in its realness enter your minds at all, or you will also believe that you must undo what you have made in order to be forgiven. What has no effect does not exist, and to the Holy Spirit, the effects of error are totally non-existent. By steadily and consistently canceling out all its effects everywhere and in all respects, He teaches that the ego does not exist and proves it. Follow His teaching in forgiveness then, because forgiveness is His function, and He knows how to fulfill it perfectly. That is what we meant when we once said that miracles are natural, and when they do not occur, something has gone wrong.
15 Miracles are merely the sign of your willingness to follow the Holy Spirit's plan of salvation in recognition of the fact that you do not know what it is. His work is not your function, and unless you accept this, you cannot learn what your function is. The confusion of functions is so typical of the ego that you should be quite familiar with it by now. The ego believes that all functions belong to it, even though it has no idea what they are. This is more than mere confusion. It is a particularly dangerous combination of grandiosity and confusion which makes it likely that the ego will attack anyone and anything for no reason at all. This is exactly what the ego does. It is totally unpredictable in its responses because it has no idea of what it perceives.
16 If one has no idea of what is happening, how appropriately can you expect him to react? You might still ask yourself, regardless of how you can account for the reactions, whether they place the ego in a very sound position as the guide for yours. It seems absurd to have to emphasize repeatedly that the ego's qualifications as a guide are singularly unfortunate and that it is a remarkably poor choice as a teacher of salvation. Yet this question, ridiculous as it seems, is really the crucial issue in the whole separation fantasy. Anyone who elects a totally insane guide must be totally insane himself.
17 It is not true that you do not know the guide is insane. You know it because I know it, and you have judged it by the same standard as I have. The ego literally lives on borrowed time, and its days are numbered. Do not fear the Last Judgment, but welcome it and do not wait, for the ego's time is borrowed from your eternity. This is the Second Coming, which was made for you as the First was created. The Second Coming is merely the return ofsense. Can this possibly be fearful?
18 What can be fearful but fantasy, and no one turns to fantasy unless he despairs of finding satisfaction in reality. Yet it is certain that he will never find satisfaction in fantasy, so that his only hope is to change his mind about reality. Only if the decision that reality is fearful is wrong can God be right. And I assure you that God is right. Be glad, then, that you have been wrong, but this was only because you did not know who you were. Had you remembered, you could no more have been wrong than God can. The impossible can happen only in fantasy. When you search for reality in fantasies, you will not find it. The symbols of fantasy are of the ego, and of these you will find many. But do not look for meaning in them. They have no more meaning than the fantasies into which they are woven.
19 Fairy tales can be pleasant or fearful, pretty or ugly, but no one calls them true. Children may believe them, and so for a while the tales are true for them. Yet when reality dawns, the fantasies are gone. Reality has not gone in the meanwhile. The Second Coming is the awareness of reality, not its return. Behold, my children, reality is here. It belongs to you and me and God and is perfectly satisfying to all of us. Only this awareness heals because it is the awareness of truth.
WORKBOOK - L e s s o n 100
My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.
1 Just as God's Son completes his Father, so your part in it completes your Father's plan. Salvation must reverse the mad belief in separate thoughts and separate bodies which lead separate lives and go their separate ways. One function shared by separate minds unites them in one purpose, for each one is equally essential to them all.
2 God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will? The part that He has saved for you to take in working out His plan is given you that you might be restored to what He wills. This part is as essential to His plan as to your happiness. Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you. They will see their function in your shining face and hear God calling to them in your happy laugh.
3 You are indeed essential to God's plan. Without your joy, His joy is incomplete. Without your smile, the world cannot be saved. While you are sad, the light which God Himself appointed as the means to save the world is dim and lusterless. And no one laughs, because all laughter can but echo yours.
4 You are indeed essential to God's plan. Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go and take their place beside you in God's plan. God's messengers are joyous, and their joy heals sorrow and despair. They are the proof that God wills perfect happiness for all who will accept their Father's gifts as theirs.
5 We will not let ourselves be sad today. For if we do, we fail to take the part that is essential to God's plan as well as to our vision. Sadness is the sign that you would play another part instead of what has been assigned to you by God. Thus do you fail to show the world how great the happiness He wills for you. And so you do not recognize that it is yours.
6 Today we will attempt to understand joy is our function here. If you are sad, your part is unfulfilled and all the world is thus deprived of joy along with you. God asks that you be happy so the world can see how much He loves His Son and wills no sorrow rises to abate his joy; no fear besets him to disturb his peace.
7 You are God's messenger today. You bring His happiness to all you look upon, His peace to everyone who looks on you and sees His message in your happy face. We will prepare ourselves for this today in our five minute practice periods by feeling happiness arise in us according to our Father's Will and ours.
8 Begin the exercises with the thought today's idea contains. Then realize your part is to be happy. Only this is asked of you or anyone who wants to take his place among God's messengers. Think what this means. You have indeed been wrong in your belief that sacrifice is asked. You but receive according to God's plan and never lose or sacrifice or die.
9 Now let us try to find that joy which proves to us and all the world God's Will for us. It is your function that you find it here and that you find it now. For this you came. Let this one be the day that you succeed! Look deep within you, undismayed by all the little thoughts and foolish goals you pass as you ascend to meet the Christ in you.
10 He will be there. And you can reach Him now. What could you rather look upon in place of Him Who waits that you may look on Him? What little thought has power to hold you back? What foolish goal can keep you from success when He Who calls to you is God Himself? He will be there. You are essential to His plan. You are His messenger today. And you must find what He would have you give.
11 Do not forget the idea for today between your longer practice periods. It is your Self Who calls to you today. And it is Him you answer every time you tell yourself you are essential to God's plan for the salvation of the world.