1. YOU DID NOT CREATE YOURSELF.
There is a Source, a First Cause Which appears to be outside of you that created you. We call this Creator, GOD. We understand that GOD is TRUTH. Truth does not move, It simply IS. However, when It puts Itself in motion It becomes LOVE. The property of Love is that it must extend Itself to meet Its Own description. So God extended Himself by taking part of the Love that He is, and created His Son, The Christ, Which is all living things. We, along with all our brothers, are part of that Christ. Jesus is part, and we are part ---- all of us.
2. YOU HAVE NEVER LEFT THE MIND OF CHRIST.
You simply fell asleep and are dreaming a dream in which you think you separated from your SELF in the Heaven of God's Mind. It is only There that you have your LIFE and your BEING. Any thought or experience outside of That, is not real, doesn't exist and is a form of DEATH. God realized you are dreaming, took another Part of His Love, called it The Holy Spirit and placed It in your sleeping mind to go with you always, to remind you who you are and guide you back Home when you ASK Him. He will not interfere as long as your choice is to remain in your dream.
3. YOU THINK YOU REALLY SEPARATED FROM YOURSELF AND NOW HAVE TWO MINDS - SPIRIT (as God created you) AND EGO (which you have made up).
4. YOU NOW THINK YOUR EGO IS REAL and that most of the time, it is the only real part of you. Your ego then proceeds to make up illusions including your universes, galaxies, world, body and beliefs. Your dream then became more and more complex and fragmented to defend the illusions you made until your true SELF, asleep in Heaven, is almost forgotten. Fortunately, Holy Spirit is still with you and can guide you back Home to your Self when you ASK Him. But to truly ASK you must not hold onto any of the false ego thoughts you have made. During the time of your asking, be sure none of them intrude upon your time with Holy Spirit.
5. YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE WHAT YOU ARE NOT.
In your creation, God gave you all the Power of Heaven. You were also given free choice, which you used to MIS-CREATE your dream, as well as to also extend Creation as God Willed. When we are creating, we are witnessing to God's Love for Himself and performing our Heavenly function as His Extension. This function requires us to be totally in our Spirit mind without any interference from our ego mind. When we are in our ego mind, we have simply chosen wrongly and made a mistake, which can be corrected by CHOOSING ONCE AGAIN. We have not condemned ourself to an existence outside of Heaven forever, but simply wasted that time. Since we invented time as well as space and form, nothing has really been lost except in our own ego perception of it.
6. YOU ARE A THOUGHT IN THE MIND OF GOD.
Without God's Idea of us, we would not be. Some say there is no God outside of you, when really there is no you outside of God! Wake up to your Reality! Be Home where you never left! For
"Ideas leave not their source." A thought never leaves the mind that thinks it. Since we are a Thought in the Mind of God, That is where we live and have our BEING.
A tiny, insignificant part of you thinks it has separated from your SELF and is drifting in a dream of special separateness. It is not so, It is time to wake up and be back to the grandeur, joy and eternity of your Self. The alarm clock has sounded. It is time to arise and leave your little world before it returns to dust.
7. YOU HAVE REVERSED THE IDEAS OF LIFE AND DEATH.
It is essential to understand what you have done. This is the KEY to understanding GOD, your SELF and Heaven. Your LIFE is in Heaven. When you chose to leave It, you died unto your SELF. The existence you made which you call life is really DEATH, and is the choice you make each time you feel sorrow, loss, anxiety, suffering, pain or even a little sigh of weariness, a slight discomfort or the merest frown, all of which acknowledge the death you have chosen and thus deny you live as Christ. ACIM© says that the world is a place where those who do not know what they are have come to die. Refuse to die, you holy Son of God and accept your true Reality in Him.
8. ONE PROBLEM - ONE ANSWER -
You think you have many and varied problems. In fact your personal problems seem greater and different than your brother's. This is but another ego thought that helps to keep you separate. So you go around trying to make your illusion better and solve your problems. It is an impossible task and can not be done. They are all parts of the same illusion of separation. They are all part of the ONE PROBLEM - YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT YOU ARE. To this one problem there is but ONE ANSWER - to AWAKEN from your dream of special separateness and separation and be back to your SELF as the created Son of God. You do this through the selective remembering of forgiveness in which you forgive yourself for what you thought were your problems (which appear to be often "caused" by your brothers) and realize they were simply the projection of the guilt and fear you felt within yourself and which you did not want to face there. Any Child of God who realized fully and completely What He was could never have a problem.
9. GOD'S LOVE IS IN CONSTANT FLOW -
God's Love and all His gifts of Peace, Truth, Oneness, Completeness, Perfection, Happiness, Innocence and Eternal Life are in continual flow from Him to us. They have always been there since before time was, still are and always will be. They are ours whenever we decide to claim them. God does not ever shut off His flow to us. This is Revelation, and is available all the time. But we often shut off our tap and think the flow has stopped. We can turn the tap on again by removing all the blocks we have erected. This is done as a desire and intent to move out of our ego mind and thought and be only in our spirit mind. We then become aware of the bridge to the Real World of the Holy Spirit, cross over it and rest upon the lawns of heaven, ready for God's last step. The goal of A Course In Miracles© is to bring us to that place, just short of Heaven, but ready for It.
10. YOU NEVER LEFT HEAVEN.
Only you think you left Heaven, separated from your SELF as the CHRIST, made a world and a body and live in it. God knows it never happened, so He is not the least bit concerned. God stayed in Heaven so you would always have a place to "go back" to. Aren't you glad? Why then ask God to come into your dream and "fix" your problems. Forget the dream you made and go back to Him. Change your mind and go back to LIFE. Remember, Heaven is not a place or a condition, It is simply an all-encompassing Thought of Oneness within the Mind of God. There we have our BEING in perfect Completeness, Perfection, Innocence, Joy and Eternal Life.
How do we accomplish all this changing of our mind and return
to our Innocence, our natural condition, in Heaven? We do it by changing
the DIRECTION of our thought. It is impossible to see the
forest when you are standing among the trees. You must lift up
above the trees to see the whole forest below you. Similarly, it
is impossible to see our worldly condition while we are in the middle of
it. We must change our perception from the horizontal to the
vertical. Horizontal perception is linear, showing us the
past, the present and the future. To see truly we must come back
to the present "NOW," and rise up so that we can look down on our situation
with the vision of Christ. How does He see us when He looks "down"
on us from His vantage point in Heaven? All our illusions and their
many forms become perfectly clear and He knows we have but ONE PROBLEM
- WE HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT WE ARE. We now believe we are that insane
ego rushing madly about in our world trying to "fix" ourself. ACIM
says, how absurdly quaint!
We do not have to do this SHIFT all by ourself. Our Holy Spirit is always with us, and we can ASK His help in what seems to be a very difficult or insurmountable task to us. But before He can help us, we have to have the willingness to let all our special ego stuff go so that our mind is open and clear for His Guidance. While we place value in anything outside of the Heaven of God's Mind, we are holding on to our own ego judgements, which ARE our blocks to the awareness of Love's presence.
This change in the direction of our thought IS THE SHIFT
that ACIM© says will happen to us as we complete its lessons
of love. We have the choice to look back to the past, ahead to the
future, or UP to Heaven. As we let go of all our judgements
and grievances, we realize that everything in our world is all O.K.
just as it is. Whether we understand it or not, everything that happens
to us or around us was supposed to happen and are all lessons for us to
learn our forgiveness from. We realize that everything is being guided
perfectly by Holy Spirit for everyone's highest good. This is very
difficult to realize sometimes as "bad" things certainly seem to be happening.
Once the Vision of Christ is attained in our mind, the Peace and Understanding
flow in and we can smile in the Awareness of our Divine Purpose.
That Purpose is for us to be aware of the meaning of our lessons, accept
the Atonement for ourself and follow the Guidance of Holy Spirit back to
the Heaven of our Holy Mind.
To be in a series of holy instants so continuous that they seem one, is to be in a State of Grace. We actually experience the Reflection of Heaven and totally know it is What we Are. It is quite possible to be in this State and still remain in our world, although we will never value it the same. We may realize we have a mission to complete, either for our own salvation or for our brother's. Many have passed this point but have "volunteered" to remain to bring the message of God's Love to others. We saw this in the life of our elder brother, Jesus, and the extreme lessons He taught to show us the Totality of God's Love.
A State of Grace is our natural condition as is our Innocence in Heaven. It is for this we yearn, for this we came, and for this we will return. And we will return for God has Willed it so, and whatever God Wills will be done. There IS nothing else.
We have the power to keep the Son of God from re-joining with his Father. We were given all power by God in our creation. We can choose to delay our homecoming as long as we want. It is a mistaken thought from an insane mind. Do we really know what the words of the popular song mean as we hear "I'll be home for Christmas?" At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus into our world as the symbol of Love and Forgiveness. He says, "The only gift I can accept of you is the gift I gave to you." As we release our ego darkness and value in our world, we release Him from His need to be Teacher to the world. He has come and walked among men. He has written His Book, "A Course In Miracles© ," He has inspired minds all down through time all as part of His mission to remind us of the Love that we Are. When will we get the message and release Him and ourself from our bondage?
Jesus has said, "Some bitter idols have been made of me who only meant to bring love into the world." We could not understand His message then, and have been crucifying Him ever since by crucifying our brothers. What an ego can't understand it must kill, because it fears it. We saw it 2000 years ago, and we still see it today.
The ego sees its body as its reality. Most of its time is spent feeding, clothing, protecting, flattering itself and looking for another body to join with so it can have its needs filled and be complete. As long as we perceive our body as our reality, we will feel lonely and deprived. We will think of ourself as a victim of sacrifice and feel justified in taking from our brother what he obviously must have taken from us. This sacrifice will engender guilt as surely as love will bring us peace.
As we enter a profound holy instant the condition of love is met as our total joining is one from spirit mind to mind without any realization of body, time or place. We are lifted out of our little self and are looking right into a window on heaven. The Prince of Peace was born to show how love can be re-established through communication with our Christ Mind, our Highest Self, even though the body be destroyed. The lesson He taught was that sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere. This was the lesson of the crucifixion and the resurrection.
Jesus came into the world to bring us the Love that God had given Him to give to us. All He asks is that same Love in return. It is His, given to us without condition. Shall we not return it to Him this Christmas as our gift to Him?
In this Time of Christ, communication is restored and He joins
us in the celebration of His Son's creation.
"Here is the answer to your search for peace. Here is the key to meaning in a world that seems to make no sense. Here is the way to safety in apparent dangers that appear to threaten you at every turn, and bring uncertainty to all your hopes of ever finding quietness and peace. Here are all questions answered; here the end of all uncertainty ensured at last." (W-I-121-1)
The next four paragraphs go on to tell us that an unforgiving mind is full of fear, sadness, misery, doubt, sin, despair, hopelessness, isolation, hatred and death. Not a pretty picture. One or more of these descriptions tell of the self-perceived image that all of us have made of ourself.
We understand that our forgiveness is always for ourself. We must forgive ourself for what we thought of a situation or occurrence. Remove our ego-based perception and judgement. WE do not know what is really going on. If a situation is present before us, it was supposed to be there and we were supposed to be a part of it. In it are lessons for all concerned. It is inappropriate to judge it and then try to "fix" it. Know that Holy Spirit has it all well in hand and is directing the outcome for everyone's highest good, if we will only remove our judgement and give it over to Him. While we maintain an unforgiving mind full of our own judgement, Holy Spirit can not enter the situation and do His work. We must invite Him in by giving Him our darkness, judgement and grievances.
The Lesson then gives us an exercise to do. We are to imagine a brother we think of as an "enemy". Within our black judgement of him, we are to see a tiny flicker of light, a spark of the divine. Then let this tiny light grow and cover him entirely. Next, transfer this light to also cover one whom we call a "friend". See the light now extend from both of them to also cover us. Now have we forgiven ourself. Now we truly see that both our former "friend" and "enemy" are our saviours who have come to bless us and set us free. This is a wonderful description of forgiveness in action. As we feel the weight of judgement lifted from us we say;-
ACIM© goes on to tell us that forgiveness is the expression of love in this world. It tells us to ask not for forgiveness, for that has already been given (in our creation); but ask rather how to forgive. Forgiveness is like love, we have to give it to have it. In this way we can understand that "everything I give, I give to myself" and therefore giving and receiving are the same.
At this Christmas time, this Time of Christ, let us give our forgiveness of ourself to our brothers as our gift to them so that we no longer need condemn ourself to death outside of our True Life in Heaven. We smile and say, to our brother:-
Forgiveness is a miracle of love. Love for ourself and for our brother. Before we forgive it is as if we are carrying around our bucket full of fear, judgement and grievance, which sometimes gets very heavy. We see our Holy Spirit standing there with His bucket of love and forgiveness. However, He cannot fill our bucket until it is empty. So we can make a trade. We can exchange our "gifts" of darkness for His gifts of love and peace. But He cannot bring His gifts to us until we take ours to Him first. Therefore, we take our darkness to His light so the darkness may be shone away by God's Love. Such is our exchange of gifts at this holy Time of Christ. When all darkness everywhere has been given up, the world simply disappears back into the light from which it came with no trace in which to hide fear anywhere. At this point, God has come to claim His Own, with the love of Jesus reborn in the world.
Lesson 122 explains to us how FORGIVENESS is THE GIFT OF GOD. Through it He teaches us the lesson we came to this world to learn. That lesson is that we are the Son He created, and nothing else. The teaching takes many forms over what seems endless time. Our world is very old and very tired. It is up to us to finally see the truth of what we are so that conflict may end and the world may rest in peace. This is a blessing for the living, not the dead, and comes to us at this Christmas Season in our wishes of peace, love and happiness to our brothers.
Forgiveness is God's Plan for our salvation. It is His Perfect
Answer! Seek not for other answers that cannot be found and will
not work. ONLY forgiveness will remove the darkness and death
of our world! To look for other answers is to repeat our original
separation, over and over again.
Lesson 121 and 122 in the Workbook of ACIM© are the center around which the whole Course revolves. Each paragraph, each world, should be carefully read and re-read until they are fully understood. No words that could be written here could be more beautiful, plain or explanatory than in Lesson 121 and 122. They are the story of Christmas, the story of Life and a perfect description of us and our process. They are God's gifts to us. Lesson 122 closes with:-