Will start with thoughts from Ken.
“The constancy of happiness is ours when we look directly at the ego’s negation of God’s eternal constancy, and say, “I no longer want this.” At that point, to quote from one of Jesus’ personal messages to Helen: “…the help of God and all his angels will respond.” (Absence from Felicity, page 318). Our simple yet unequivocal decision against the ego – the meaning of forgiveness – allows the quiet gentleness of happiness to return to our awareness. Thus do we rest in peace and comfort.
Students of ACIM are continually asked to see the connection between cause and effect: our unhappiness and guilt over choosing the ego instead of the Holy Spirit. We are learning that if we want to change the effect – misery and pain to happiness and joy – we need to change the cause. Forgiveness is the name given to the process by which this occurs, changing our minds by changing our teacher.
If we are truly serious about wanting to return home, awakening from this dream of pain, we must also be serious about changing the cause of the unhappiness by saying no to the ego’s negation of God’s Yes. This means that when we are upset, we understand that it is not for any of the reasons we think, but because we stubbornly say we are better off with the ego as our teacher. We still maintain that holding grievances offers everything we want as do sickness, suffering, and pain. We must believe this because we still choose it: we remain angry and judgmental at petty things; we yearn for fulfillment of that one glorious special relationship. This is why we are not at peace.
Despite our asking for help, it is never help we really want. If it were, we would not be in pain, for we would have gone within to ask the Holy Spirit for help and shifted our perception. Without doing that, all our requests are without meaning, for the only meaningful request is for forgiveness, which is also the only meaningful answer. What could be simpler? (See T.-3.V.6:1-5 where at its end Jesus states, “The prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that you may be able to recognize what you already have.”)
We will not realize our dreams are nothing until we look at them. That is why forgiveness can be defined most simply as looking at the ego without judgment, which is impossible if we look by ourselves; thus the emphasis in ACIM on choosing a different teacher. The ego would have us believe that even if we did deserve salvation, its gifts remain in the future, thereby making linear time and its source – sin, guilt and fear – real as well. Jesus teachers us rather that salvation is immediate – the sinful past that has caused the future has never been:
“The one remaining problem that you have is that you see an interval between the time when you forgive, and will receive the benefits of trusting in your brother…Salvation is immediate. Unless you so perceive it, you will be afraid of it…Salvation would wipe out the space you see between you still, and let you instantly become as one. And it is here you fear the loss would lie…Future loss is not your fear. But present joining is your dread. Who can feel desolation except now? A future cause as yet has no effects. And therefore must it be that if you fear, there is a present cause. And it is this that needs correction, not a future state…Be not content with future happiness. It has no meaning, and is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now…Look not to time, but to the little space between you still, to be delivered from…The Holy Spirit’s purpose now is yours. Should not His happiness by yours as well? (T-26.VIII.1:1, 3:1-2,4-5; 4:3-8; 9:1-3, 7, 9-10).
Forgiveness brings us this truth, releasing us to happiness as it release us from the fear of losing our time-bound identity. We can therefore accept salvation now – not next week, next year, the afterlife, or the next lifetime, but right now. God’s gifts are “redeemed” in the holy instant, ours when we choose to join with it. These lessons hasten that happy day.”
I watched a little bit of our Attorney General’s being questioned by a number of Senators regarding the Mueller report and his, the AG’s, summary.
I found myself tense.
I found myself judgmental.
I found myself “appalled” about the lack of bi-partisanship among Senators in our country.
I shuddered to think what our country will be like if the current person in power is reelected.
All criticism and condemnation of views that are diametrically opposed to mine.
Ah, how slippery the ego can be.
I turned the TV off.
I realize I had gone down that ever so slippery slope again over the political arena.
I am now willing to forgive it all, forgive my focusing on appearances, believing they’re all real, forgive me lack of forgiveness, asking for help to do so.
I apparently enjoy getting hooked by what’s happening on a daily basis on a political basis. I convince myself I want to be informed.
I like the drama.
Ah, but what I want today is to see the “changeless in the heart of change; the light of truth behind appearances.”
Guess I will practice.
Have a lovely day!