Day 221 - A Course in Miracles
Chapter Twenty: The Promise of the Resurrection
III. Thorns and Lilies
5 Look upon all the trinkets made to hang upon the body or to cover it or for its use. See all the useless things made for its eyes to see. Think on the many offerings made for its pleasure and remember all these were made to make seem lovely what you hate. Would you employ this hated thing to draw your brother to you and to attract his body's eyes? Learn you but offer him a crown of thorns, not recognizing it for what it is and trying to justify your own interpretation of its value by his acceptance. Yet still the gift proclaims his worthlessness to you, as his acceptance and delight acknowledges the lack of value he places on himself.
6 Gifts are not made through bodies if they be truly given and received. For bodies can neither offer nor accept; hold out nor take. Only the mind can value, and only the mind decides on what it would receive and give. And every gift it offers depends on what it wants. It will adorn its chosen home most carefully, making it ready to receive the gifts it wants by offering them to those who come unto its chosen home or those it would attract to it. And there they will exchange their gifts, offering and receiving what their minds judge to be worthy of them.
7 Each gift is an evaluation of the receiver and the giver. No one but sees in his chosen home an altar to himself. No one but seeks to draw to it the worshippers of what he placed upon it, making it worthy of their devotion. And each has set a light upon his altar, that they may see what he has placed upon it and take it for their own. Here is the value that you lay upon your brother and on yourself. Here is your gift to both; your judgment on the Son of God for what he is. Forget not that it is your savior to whom the gift is offered. Offer him thorns and you are crucified. Offer him lilies and it is yourself you free.
8 I have great need for lilies, for the Son of God has not forgiven me. And can I offer him forgiveness when he offers thorns to me? For he who offers thorns to anyone is against me still, and who is whole without him? Be you his friend for me that I may be forgiven and you may look upon the Son of God as whole. But look you first upon the altar in your chosen home and see what you have laid upon it to offer me. If it be thorns whose points gleam sharply in a blood-red light, the body is your chosen home, and it is separation that you offer me. And yet the thorns are gone. Look you still closer at them now, and you will see your altar is no longer what it was.
9 You look still with the body's eyes, and they can see but thorns. Yet you have asked for and received another sight. Those who accept the Holy Spirit's purpose as their own share also His vision. And what enables Him to see His purpose shine forth from every altar now is yours as well as His. He sees no strangers, only dearly loved and loving friends. He sees no thorns, but only lilies, gleaming in the gentle glow of peace that shines on everything He looks upon and loves.
10 This Easter look with different eyes upon each other. You have forgiven me. And yet I cannot use your gift of lilies while you see them not. Nor can you use what I have given unless you share it. The Holy Spirit's vision is no idle gift, no plaything to be tossed about a while and laid aside. Listen and hear this carefully, nor think it but a dream—a careless thought to play with or a toy you would pick up from time to time and then put by. For if you do, so will it be to you.
11 You have the vision now to look past all illusions. It has been given you to see no thorns, no strangers, and no obstacles to peace. The fear of God is nothing to you now. Who is afraid to look upon illusions, knowing his savior stands beside him? With him, your vision has become the greatest power for the undoing of illusion that God Himself could give. For what God gave the Holy Spirit, you have received. The Son of God looks unto you for his release. For you have asked for and been given the strength to look upon this final obstacle and see no thorns nor nails to crucify the Son of God and crown him king of death. Your chosen home is on the other side, beyond the veil. It has been carefully prepared for you, and it is ready to receive you now. You will not see it with the body's eyes. Yet all you need you have.
12 Your home has called to you since time began, nor have you ever failed entirely to hear. You heard but knew not how to look nor where. And now you know. In you the knowledge lies, ready to be unveiled and freed from all the terror that kept it hidden. There is no fear in love. The song of Easter is the glad refrain the Son of God wasnever crucified. Let us lift up our eyes together, not in fear, but faith. And there will be no fear in us, for in our vision will be no illusions—only a pathway to the open door of Heaven, the home we share in quietness, and where we live in gentleness and peace as one together.
13 Would you not have your holy brother lead you there? His innocence will light your way, offering you its guiding light and sure protection, and shining from the holy altar within him where you laid the lilies of forgiveness. Let him be to you the savior from illusions, and look on him with the new vision that looks upon the lilies and brings you joy. We go beyond the veil of fear, lighting each other's way. The holiness that leads us is within us, as is our home. So will we find what we were meant to find by Him Who leads us.
14 This is the way to Heaven and to the peace of Easter, in which we join in glad awareness that the Son of God is risen from the past and has awakened to the present. Now is he free, unlimited in his communion with all that is within him. Now are the lilies of his innocence untouched by guilt and perfectly protected from the cold chill of fear and withering blight of sin alike. Your gift has saved him from the thorns and nails, and his strong arm is free to guide you safely through them and beyond. Walk with him now rejoicing, for the savior from illusions has come to greet you and lead you home with him.
15 Here is your savior and your friend, released from crucifixion through your vision and free to lead you now where he would be. He will not leave you nor forsake the savior from his pain. And gladly will you walk the way of innocence together, singing as you behold the open door of Heaven, and recognize the home that called to you. Give joyously to one another the freedom and the strength to lead you there. And come before each other's holy altar where the strength and freedom wait, to offer and receive the bright awareness that leads you home. The lamp is lit in both of you for one another. And by the hands that gave it to each other shall both of you be led past fear to love.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES - WORKBOOK - PART 2
IP2:1 Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons which remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set and find the end toward which our practicing was geared.
2 Now we attempt to let the exercise be merely a beginning. For we wait in quiet expectation for our God and Father. He has promised He will take the final step Himself. And we are sure His promises are kept. We have come far along the road, and now we wait for Him. We will continue spending time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy. We will not consider time a matter of duration now. We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire. Nor will we forget our hourly remembrance in between, calling to God when we have need of Him as we are tempted to forget our goal.
3 We will continue with a central thought for all the days to come. And we will use that thought to introduce our times of rest and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not content ourselves with simple practicing in the remaining holy instants which conclude the year that we have given God. We say some simple words of welcome and expect our Father to reveal Himself as He has promised. We have called on Him, and He has promised that His Son will not remain unanswered when he calls His Name.
4 Now do we come to Him with but His Word upon our minds and hearts. And wait for Him to take the step to us that He has told us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take when we invited Him. He has not left His Son in all his madness nor betrayed His trust in him. Has not His faithfulness earned Him the invitation that He seeks to make us happy? We will offer it, and it will be accepted. So our times with Him will now be spent. We say the words of invitation that His Voice suggests, and then we wait for Him to come to us.
5 Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept. No step remains for time to separate from its accomplishment. For now we cannot fail. Sit silently and wait upon your Father. He has willed to come to you when you have recognized it is your will He do so. And you could have never come this far unless you saw, however dimly, that it is your will.
6 I am so close to you we cannot fail. Father, we give these holy times to You in gratitude to Him Who taught us how to leave the world of sorrow in exchange for its replacement given us by You. We look not backward now. We look ahead and fix our eyes upon the journey's end. Accept these little gifts of thanks from us, as through Christ's vision we behold a world beyond the one we made and take that world to be the full replacement of our own.
7 And now we wait in silence, unafraid and certain of Your coming. We have sought to find our way by following the Guide You sent to us. We did not know the way, but You did not forget us. And we know that You will not forget us now. We ask but that Your ancient promises be kept which are Your Will to keep. We will with You in asking this. The Father and the Son, Whose holy Will created all that is, can fail in nothing. In this certainty, we undertake these last few steps to You and rest in confidence upon Your Love, Which will not fail the Son who calls to You.
8 And so we start upon the final part of this one holy year which we have spent together in the search for truth and God, Who is its one Creator. We have found the way He chose for us and made the choice to follow it as He would have us go. His hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit the darkness of our minds. His Love has called to us unceasingly since time began.
9 We had a wish that God would fail to have the Son whom He created for Himself. We wanted God to change Himself and be what we would make of Him. And we believed that our insane desires were the truth. Now we are glad that this is all undone, and we no longer think illusions true. The memory of God is shimmering across the wide horizons of our minds. A moment more, and it will rise again. A moment more, and we who are God's Sons are safely home, where He would have us be.
10 Now is the need for practice almost done. For in this final section we will come to understand that we need only call to God and all temptations disappear. Instead of words, we need but feel His Love. Instead of prayer, we need but call His Name. Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed. We will accept the way God's plan will end, as we received the way it started. Now it is complete. This year has brought us to eternity.
11 One further use for words we still retain. From time to time, instructions on a theme of special relevance will intersperse our daily lessons and the periods of wordless, deep experience which should come afterwards. These special thoughts should be reviewed each day, each one of them to be continued till the next is given you. They should be slowly read and thought about a little while, preceding one of the holy and blessed instants in the day. We give the first of these instructions now.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
What is forgiveness?
1 Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in this view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin except a false idea about God's Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.
2 An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgment that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure, less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason. What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its needed goal?
3 An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action, it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.
4 Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality nor seeks to twist it to appearance that it likes. It merely looks and waits and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.
5 Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show you what to do through Him Who is your Guide, your Savior and Defender, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success. He has forgiven you already, for such is His function given Him by God. Now must you share His function and forgive whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees, and whom He honors as the Son of God.
WORKBOOK - L e s s o n 221
Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.
1 Father, I come to You today to seek the peace that You alone can give. I come in silence. In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice. My Father, speak to me today. I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.
2 Now do we wait in quiet. God is here because we wait together. I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear. Accept my confidence, for it is yours. Our minds are joined. We wait with one intent—to hear our Father's answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.
365 Days Through A Course in Miracles
A Daily Miracle Lesson
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