Will jump right into Ken’s thoughts.
“This is another important lesson, one of the few places in ACIM where Jesus talks about forgiveness-to-destroy, the term from The Song of Prayer. There are three places where he does this: here in Lesson 126, again in Lesson 134, “Let me perceive forgiveness as it is; and in “The Justification for Forgiveness” in Chapter 30, Section VI. In these three places Jesus discusses – without using the terms – false forgiveness and forgiveness-to-destroy, which the ego uses to trap us still further in its own specialness.
The key theme of this current lesson is twofold: giving is of the mind, and the mind of God’s Son is one. That is why giving and receiving are the same. All that I give is given to myself because there is no one outside me. My brother and I are one. If I give love to him, I am extending it to myself; if I attack him, I am doing it to myself as well. Giving and receiving occur only in the mind, and since the mind of God’s Son is one, they are one. Forgiveness-to-destroy reflects the ego’s belief that we are not one, but two, and so its thought system of separation is reinforced, not to mention its justification for attack.”
“It is an intrinsic part of the ego’s plan for our (read: its) salvation that we practice forgiveness-to-destroy, its weapon par excellence to prove that difference are reality, and sameness, the illusion.”
“In other words, if I think you deserve it, I will forgive you; otherwise I won’t. But I am the one who determines it, a decision based on satisfying my own interests.” (Ken was speaking to paragraph four, first sentence, 4:1).
“Within the Catholic Church, the priest has the power to forgive or not forgive sins, unless the sin is a mortal one, which can never be forgiven. Again, it is the ego’s changeable God Who is the source of this non-inclusive forgiveness, reserving unto Himself the right to judge, whether fairly or unfairly. Needless to say, this false God has been made in our own image and likeness, for He mimics the practice of forgiveness-to-destroy.” (Ken writes this in response to 5:2-3).
“The perfect Oneness of the true God’s Love is what forgives, because it expresses the truth that nothing happened. Therefore, when I forgive you, I realize what I held against you was a projection of my own sin, and both your sin and mine were defenses against our inherent unity”.”
“The way I remember God’s gift of His Love – unchanged despite my insane dreams – is realizing what I am seeing in you is made up. I do not know I made it up until I first recognize my projected perceptions. I must therefore become aware of my judgments, the sins of which I accuse you. Jesus helps me by showing me that what I perceive in you is what I secretly perceive in me, which I can now change.”
Where Jesus states, “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”, Ken writes:
“in other words, what is extended through me to you, heals me, because the you I think is outside is a split-off part of myself. By changing my perception of you, I change my perception of me. Moreover, what I give to you I give myself – the gift of salvation.” (7:4-6).
“The key point is asking the Holy Spirit for help. We will not do so unless we think we have a problem. Therefore, Jesus’ burden as out teacher lies in teaching that whenever we perceive external problems that call for solution, we need recognize it is our problem. Allowing our peace and love to be affected by anything external is a projection of our own sin.”
“Magic thoughts – ego reactions on any level – happily serve as the mirror shining back to us our concealed belief in magic and sin: the power of the ego to supply our need for love and sustenance. This awareness of sin motivates us to have faith in the Holy Spirit’s help: for ourselves. Since perception is interpretation, it is not what my eyes perceive that is the problem, but my interpretation of what I see – some version of believing there is a problem that is serious enough to take God’s peace from me. Again, I need help to learn that my problem is within, where my Help is as well.”
“As you go through the day, our priority should not be to accomplish the things we “need” to do, but to learn forgiveness. This means learning that separation from our brother is never justified. However, we do not yet have to accept the oneness of our shared reality, but only that our perceptions of separation have been wrong, especially when they entailed giving power to something outside us to rob us of our peace.”
You can easily see how much I enjoyed reading Ken’s response to every paragraph in this lesson. I found his sharing to be indescribably helpful. Because we are currently studying The Song of Prayer in our Thursday program, well, sections of it, this lesson has reinforced all that I have learned about forgiveness-to-heal versus the ego’s version which is forgiveness-to-destroy.
I readily admit I have practiced the latter, all versions of it as described in TSOP. I am not ashamed of it either as I am learning how loving and gentle Jesus is, how patient and kind, and I need not fear His retribution. After all, He only asks we/I be honest with Him.
I get I have to be willing to be taught and that means I accept/admit that I am wrong in my perceptions. Do I want to be right or happy, bottom-line, right?
Peace is still, quiet, calm, consistent, unchanging, it never ebbs nor does it flow.
What do I want? Do I want my hate-filled thoughts and frantic fantasies?
I don’t understand what forgiveness is, true forgiveness, but I am willing to learn.
And yes, I will make learning forgiveness my priority, nothing else matters today.
Have a lovely day!