Day 126 - A Course in Miracles
Salvation and God’s Will
God’s Will is your salvation. Would He not have given you the means to find it? If He wills you to HAVE it, He MUST have made it possible, and very easy to obtain it.
Your brothers are everywhere. You do not have to seek far for salvation. Every minute and every second gives you a chance to save YOURSELF. Do not lose these chances, NOT because they will not return, but because delay of joy is needless. God wills you perfect happiness NOW. Is it possible that this is not also YOUR will? And is it possible that this is not ALSO the will of your brothers? Consider, then, that in this joint will, you ARE all united, and IN THIS ONLY. There WILL be disagreement on anything ELSE, but NOT in this. This, then, is where peace ABIDES. And YOU abide in peace, when you so decide.
But you cannot abide in peace unless you accept the Atonement, because the Atonement IS the way to peace. The reason is very simple, and so obvious that it is often overlooked. That is because the ego is AFRAID of the obvious, since obviousness is the essential characteristic of reality. You CANNOT overlook it, unless you are NOT LOOKING. It is PERFECTLY obvious that if the Holy Spirit looks with love on all He perceives, He looks with love on YOU. His EVALUATION of you is based on His knowledge of what you ARE, and so He evaluates you truly. And this evaluation MUST be in your mind, because HE is.
The ego is also in your mind, because you have ACCEPTED it there. ITS evaluation of you, however, is the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit’s, because the ego does NOT love you. It is unaware of what you are, and wholly mistrustful of EVERYTHING it perceives, because its own perceptions are so shifting. The ego is therefore capable of suspiciousness at best, and viciousness at worst. That is its range. It cannot exceed it, because of its uncertainty. And it can never go BEYOND it, because it can never BE certain.
You, then, have two conflicting evaluations of yourself in your minds, and they CANNOT BOTH BE TRUE. You do not yet realize how COMPLETELY different these evaluations are, because you do not understand how lofty the Holy Spirit’s perception of you really is. He is not deceived by ANYTHING you do, because He NEVER forgets what you are. The ego is deceived by EVERYTHING you do, even when you respond to the Holy Spirit, because at such times ITS CONFUSION INCREASES. The ego is, therefore, particularly likely to attack you when you react lovingly, because it has evaluated you AS UNLOVING, and you are going AGAINST ITS JUDGMENT.
The ego will begin to ATTACK your motives as soon as they become clearly out of accord with its perceptions of you. This is when it will shift abruptly from suspiciousness to viciousness, because its uncertainty is INCREASED. But it is surely pointless to attack back. What can this mean, except that you are AGREEING with the ego’s evaluation of what you are? If you are willing to see yourself as unloving, YOU WILL NOT BE HAPPY. You are condemning yourself, and MUST therefore regard yourself as inadequate.
Would you look to the ego to help you escape from a sense of inadequacy it has PRODUCED, and must MAINTAIN for its own existence? Can you ESCAPE from its evaluation of you, by using its methods for keeping this picture INTACT? You cannot evaluate an insane belief system from WITHIN it. Its own range precludes this. You can only GO BEYOND it, and look back from a point where SANITY exists, and SEE THE CONTRAST. Only BY this contrast, can insanity be judged as insane.
With the grandeur of God in you, you have chosen to be little, and lament your littleness. Within the system which DICTATED this choice, the lament IS inevitable. Your littleness is TAKEN FOR GRANTED there, and you do NOT ask who granted it. The question is meaningless WITHIN the ego’s thought-system, because it OPENS THE WHOLE THOUGHT-SYSTEM TO QUESTION. We said before that the ego does not know what a real question is. Lack of knowledge of ANY kind is ALWAYS associated with UNWILLINGNESS to know, and produces a TOTAL lack of knowledge, simply because KNOWLEDGE is total. NOT to question your littleness is therefore to deny ALL knowledge, and keep the ego’s WHOLE thought-system intact.
You cannot retain PART of a thought-system, because it can BE questioned only at its foundation. And this MUST be questioned from beyond it, because WITHIN it, its foundation DOES stand. The Holy Spirit judges against the reality of the ego’s thought-system merely because He knows its FOUNDATION is not true. Therefore, nothing that arises from it MEANS anything. The Holy Spirit judges every belief you hold in terms of where it comes from. If it comes from God, He knows it to be true. If it does not, He knows it is meaningless.
Whenever you question your value, say, “God Himself is incomplete without me.” Remember this when the ego speaks, and you will not hear it. The truth about YOU is so lofty that nothing that is unworthy of God is worthy of you. Choose, then, what you want in these terms, and accept nothing that you would not offer to God as wholly fitting for HIM, for YOU do not want anything else. Return your part of Him, and He will give you all of Himself, in exchange for your return returning what belongs to Him, and renders Him complete.
Urtext – Manual for Teachers
(How do God’s Teachers deal with Their Students’ Thoughts of Magic? cont.,)
But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but reawaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, “You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten.” Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. For in that thought has guilt already raised madness to the throne of God Himself. And now there is no hope. Except to kill. Here is salvation now. An angry Father pursues His guilty Son. Kill or be killed, for here alone is choice. Beyond this there is none, for what was done cannot be done without. The stain of blood can never be removed, and anyone who bears this stain on him must meet with death.
Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God Himself. There is a Way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. Given that, the lesson’s manifest simplicity stands out like an intense white light against a black horizon, for such it is. If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the Way is open. Now it is possible to take the next step. The interpretation can be changed at last. Magic thoughts need not lead to condemnation, for they do not really have the power to give rise to guilt. And so they can be overlooked, and thus forgiven in the truest sense.
L e s s o n 126
All that I give is given to myself.
1 Today's idea, completely alien to the ego and the thinking of the world, is crucial to the thought reversal which this course will bring about. If you believed this statement, there would be no problem in complete forgiveness, certainty of goal, and sure direction. You would understand the means by which salvation comes to you and would not hesitate to use it now.
2 Let us consider what you do believe in place of this idea. It seems to you that other people are apart from you and able to behave in ways which have no bearing on your thoughts, nor theirs on yours. Therefore your attitudes have no effect on them, and their appeals for help are not in any way related to your own. You further think that they can sin without affecting your perception of yourself, while you can judge their sin and yet remain apart from condemnation and at peace.
3 When you "forgive" a sin there is no gain to you directly. You give charity to one unworthy merely to point out that you are better, on a higher plane than he whom you forgive. He has not earned your charitable tolerance, which you bestow on one unworthy of the gift because his sins have lowered him beneath a true equality with you. He has no claim on your forgiveness. It holds out a gift to him but hardly to yourself.
4 Thus is forgiveness basically unsound—a charitable whim, benevolent yet undeserved; a gift bestowed at times, at other times withheld. Unmerited, withholding it is just, nor is it fair that you should suffer when it is withheld. The sin which you forgive is not your own. Someone apart from you committed it. And if you then are gracious unto him by giving him what he does not deserve, your gift is no more yours than was his sin.
5 If this be true, forgiveness has no grounds on which to rest dependably and sure. It is an eccentricity in which you sometimes choose to give indulgently an undeserved reprieve. Yet it remains your right to let the sinner not escape the justified repayment for his sin. Think you the Lord of Heaven would allow the world's salvation to depend on this? Would not His care for you be small indeed if your salvation rested on a whim?
6 You do not understand forgiveness. As you see it, it is but a check upon overt attack, without requiring correction in your mind. It cannot give you peace as you perceive it. It is not a means for your release from what you see in someone other than yourself. It has no power to restore your unity with him to your awareness. It is not what God intended it to be for you.
7 Not having given Him the gift He asks of you, you cannot recognize His gifts and think He has not given them to you. Yet would He ask you for a gift unless it was for you? Could He be satisfied with empty gestures and evaluate such petty gifts as worthy of His Son? Salvation is a better gift than this, and true forgiveness, as the means by which it is attained, must heal the mind that gives, for giving is receiving. What remains as unreceived has not been given, but what has been given must have been received.
8 Today we try to understand the truth that giver and receiver are the same. You will need help to make this meaningful because it is so alien to the thoughts to which you are accustomed. But the Help you need is there. Give Him your faith today and ask Him that He share your practicing in truth today. And if you only catch a tiny glimpse of the release which lies in the idea we practice for today, this is a day of glory for the world.
9 Give 15 minutes twice today to the attempt to understand today's idea. It is the thought by which forgiveness takes its proper place in your priorities. It is the thought that will release your mind from every bar to what forgiveness means and let you realize its worth to you.
10 In silence close your eyes upon the world which does not understand forgiveness and seek sanctuary in the quiet place where thoughts are changed and false beliefs laid by. Repeat today's idea, and ask for help in understanding what it really means. Be willing to be taught. Be glad to hear the Voice of truth and healing speak to you, and you will understand the words He speaks and recognize He speaks your words to you.
11 As often as you can, remind yourself you have a goal today—an aim which makes this day of special value to yourself and all your brothers. Do not let your mind forget this goal for long, but tell yourself:
12 All that I give is given to myself.
The Help I need to learn that this is true
Is with me now. And I will trust in Him.
13 Then spend a quiet moment, opening your mind to His correction and His Love. And what you hear of Him you will believe, for what He gives will be received by you.
365 Days Through A Course in Miracles
A Daily Miracle Lesson
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