Short and ever so sweet lesson today, I read today and there’s something about reading and/or being read to that so works for me. Join us on the daily lesson call if you’re so inspired. Mari and I have done it now for years, lost count, and Ryan and others have participated over time as well. Just love it every morning, a centering, grounding and joining process in communion for moi!
Paragraph four of this lesson, first sentence reads: “Nothing is required of you to reach this goal except to lay all idols and self-images aide; go past the list of attributes, both good and bad, you have ascribed to yourself; and wait in silent expectancy for the truth.”
Reminds me of lesson 189 coming up to which Rev. Deb referred in her post yesterday. You’ll see.
From Ken’s take on this sentence and I love this:
“This succinctly describes the process of forgiveness: in order to remember God we have to let go the ego. Our task, therefore, is not to affirm the truth we are as God created us, but to deny the ego’s denial. (He then referenced this passage from the text, “The task of the miracle worker thus becomes to deny the denial of truth”, T-12.II.1:5).
In order to reach this goal of remembering our Self, we have “to lay all idols and self-images aside.” The key obstacle is the belief we are our self-image, the core of which is our specialness. We seek to protect this image by denying responsibility and making a world in which the sin of existence is seen in everyone except ourselves. Thus our self-image is not only that of a special individual, but a special, innocent individual. This means someone else is guilty.
The ego’s defensive system makes forgiveness virtually impossible: In order for us to reach God and remember Who we are as Christ, we have to let go of all images. As Jesus reminds us, these images include not only the bad, but the good. We have already seen that if we talk about a positive self-image, we imply there is a negative one too. This results in a dualistic world of opposites, a statement impossible in Heaven. In the end, therefore, we need to transcend even the wrong-mind right-mind duality. However, we first must bring our illusions of hate to the correction of forgiveness, the darkness of separation to the light of Atonement. Only then can we complete the journey and find our One-minded Self.”
I thought a lot about duality yesterday as I was talking to my husband about seeing challenges or problems in a “black” or “white” manner. When he and I are frozen in fear about our company’s profitability, we are stuck in duality, believing we deserve to be punished for having made poor financial decisions, poor hiring choices, etc. However, when we release our attachment to guilt and truly dialogue about possible solutions to the debt we have amassed, ah, the floodgates open and the “gray”, if you will, appears.
What I mean by that is we have released our attachment to the problem and are allowing Spirit to come forth and transform this albatross of guilt into liberation, freedom from deserving to be punished which is all self-punishment, of course, which leads to more poor decisions. It’s just the way of the ego, this vicious cycle of sin, guilt and fear, isn’t it?
This getting into the “gray” means to me that we are now able to get above the battleground of our minds, staying mired in duality and into the mind of Christ where the problems become “no things”, “nothing”, nothing at all. B. is not into ACIM, but I am learning that this has never mattered. We can talk about true freedom from fear without my even mentioning my studying the Course.
Then we are open to hearing/receiving a solution, not that the debt will vanish, it won’t, ah, but peace comes and solutions abound that will work.
To close, I want to share Ken’s perspective on the last paragraph, sentences eight and nine:
“Jesus reminds us this is a curriculum in which we are the student and he is the teacher, and we want to learn from him because it will make us happy. Our teacher is gentle and patient (the fourth and eight characteristics of God’s advance teacher, M-4.IV, VIII), and takes each small yet giant step of forgiveness with us. He asks only our little willingness, which his magnitude converts into our own, for each holy instant is a window that opens to the Magnitude of eternity.”
And to this, I say, AMEN!
Have a lovely day!
Love to all,