“The next two lessons, Lessons 158 and 159, share a similar theme: giving and receiving are the same, a principle equated with vision. You may recall that Lesson 108, “To give and to receive are one in truth,” also spoke of the parallel between giving-receiving and vision. An important theme in ACIM, to which Jesus repeatedly refers is that giving equals receiving because of the oneness of love. Since the basis of truth is the non-dualistic reality of Heaven’s Oneness, anything the Father gives, the Son must receive; anything the Son gives, he also receives: love is One.
In this world, oneness is reflected as: if I want to know I am forgiven, I must forgive. Likewise if I give guilt to someone, the guilt in my own mind is reinforced. Therefore, giving and receiving are one, not only for the Holy Spirit – reflecting Heaven’s Oneness – but also for the ego. The mind of God’s Son is one, and the external world and body are simply shadows of the thought of guilt. Thus, when we speak of giving and receiving, we mean that we give only to ourselves because there is no one else.”
“We are not taught what we remember – the Love of God – but how to remember – forgiveness.”
“We experience time as linear, wherein there is a past, present, and future in which we move along what we believe to be a spiritual path that will take us home. This passage, 3:5-7, is telling us – as so many others do – that this journey is already over. In fact, there is no journey. Again, however, as long as we have the illusion of being here, we have the illusion that time and space are real, as are sin and guilt. Thus every once in a while Jesus needs to remind us this is all unreal.”
Referring to T-13.I.3:5-7 where Jesus states, “Time seems to go in one direction, but when you reach its end it will roll up like a long carpet spread along the past behind you, and will disappear. As long as you believe the Son of God is guilty you will walk along this carpet, believing that it leads to death. And the journey will seem long and cruel and senseless, for so it is”, Ken writes:
“We all walk this carpet of time, not realizing our lives are illusory: going from nowhere, through nowhere, to nowhere. How could the journey not be “long and cruel and senseless”?
“All we can do is remind people that the choice we made in that holy instant is the choice they can make as well. This is the meaning of vision, which we give through forgiveness. Once the ego thought system of separation is undone through this all-inclusive vision of forgiveness, we are restored to the innate awareness of our Self, the Love God gave in our creation.”
“I am thus not asked to experience you as one with me, but to begin learning that you and I share the same need, purpose and goal. Vision teaches that you and I are not different in any way but the superficial. The seeming differences that keep us separate from each other exist only on the level of form, part of the ego’s plan to convince us that separation is reality and unity is illusion. The purpose of ACIM, therefore, is to teach us we all share the need to learn forgiveness. If reality is the unity of God and Christ, perception of differences must be part of the ego’s illusion. Anything that helps us realize we are one in purpose reflects the non-dualistic truth of our oneness in Heaven.”
“We return to the lesson’s theme: “I learn to give as I receive.” If you want to learn the lesson of forgiveness, you need to demonstrate it. Whenever you hold grievances, become upset, or think salvation comes from outside, you but state you do not want to learn, for you do not want to experience the lesson’s implications. To learn forgiveness means to understand that your specialness and individuality are not only not what you thought; they are not anything at all. This you would teach by example, and the equality of teaching and learning is a major theme.”
“It is important to know that your thoughts of specialness are not the real problem, which rests with the mind’s decision not to learn Jesus’ lessons – to be right and he wrong. You prove this by judging the world to be a terrible place in which terrible things happen, or a wonderful place in which wonderful things happen. However, these are but opposite sides of the same ego coin, as we saw in Lesson 155.”
“Jesus says to us: “Instead of the truth, focus on the world you made to keep love out. Now it is your classroom of forgiveness, in which you learn to accept the immortal love that is God’s gift to you.”
Feeling better today, putting life, seeming life in perspective. Reading Ken’s thoughts yesterday on time and timelessness were very helpful to me. How attached I am to seeming time? Being ever so watchful of the clock wherever I may be, even in the car, having allocated a certain amount of time for each task, etc., and then as the day goes by, feeling anxious that not all on my list were tackled.
But I am learning to just focus on tranquility, calmness, serenity and peace, wishing this for all. To everyone, I offer….quietness, silence, freedom from the ego’s voice shrieking to pay attention to it.
Realizing I need not value anything that is valueless.
And just trusting the process.
With faith that the belief that underlies my fears will be corrected by the Holy Spirit.
Also, I remember today that whatever I think about another or a circumstance, if critical or judgmental, is an indictment of myself.
Ken talks about our being in a movie theater and when we’re really into a movie, we actually get so immersed in the drama, we feel as though we’re a part of the film. Until it’s over, and we see we are not. Our lives are like movies, we are just so engrossed in our self-identity that we all too often forget to ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit to help us detach long enough to luxuriate in the holy instant. To detach, to observe. Ah, and then Ken says, we end up being observer of the movie and not active participants in the ego’s drama, that is, chaos, confusion, despair, misery and pain. We are in the theater, above the battleground, with them, allowing them to correct our misperceptions, our mistakes.
I have heard this many times over the years, but Ken mentioned this in his book as it applies to this rich and profound lesson, Lesson 158.
Bottom line, do I wish to see my brother sinless? If I am willing to ask for help so I may do so in my mind, well then, I shall experience myself as sinless as well.
Have a very blessed day!