Part II.1 What is Forgiveness?
- Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons that remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set and find the end toward which our practicing was always geared.
- Now we attempt to let the exercise be merely a beginning. For we wait in quiet expectation for our God and Father. He has promised He will take the final step Himself. And we are sure His promises are kept. We have come far along the road, and now we wait for Him. We will continue spending time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy. We will not consider time a matter of duration now. We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire. Nor will we forget our hourly remembrance in between calling to God when we have need of Him as we are tempted to forget our goal.
- We will continue with a central thought for all the days to come, and we will use that thought to introduce our times of rest and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not content ourselves with simple practicing in the remaining holy instants which conclude the year that we have as He has promised. We have called on Him, and He has promised that His son will not remain unanswered when he calls His Name.
- Now do we come to Him with but his word upon our minds and hearts and wait for Him to take the step to us that He has told us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take when we invited Him. He has not left His son and all his madness, nor betrayed his trust in Him. Has not His faithfulness earned Him the invitation that He seeks to make us happy? We will offer it, and it will be accepted. So our times with Him will now be spent. We say the words of invitation that His Voice suggests, and then we wait for Him to come to us.
- Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept. No step remains for time to separate from its accomplishment. For now we cannot fail. Sit silently and wait upon your Father. He has willed to come to you when you have recognized it is your will He do so. And you could have never come this far unless you saw, however dimly, that it is your will.
- I am so close to you we cannot fail. Father, we give these holy times to you, in gratitude to Him who taught us how to leave the world of sorrow in exchange for its replacement, given us by you. We look not backward now. We look ahead and fix our eyes upon the journey’s end. Accept these little gifts of thanks from us, as through Christ’s vision we behold a world beyond the one we made and take that world to be the full replacement of our own.
- And now we wait in silence, unafraid and certain of Your coming. We have sought to find our way by following the Guide you sent to us. We did not know the way, but You did not forget us. And we know that You will not forget us now. We asked but that Your ancient promises be kept which are Your Will to keep. We will with you in asking this. The Father and the Son, Whole holy will created all that is, can fail in nothing. In this certainty, we undertake these last few steps to You, and rest in confidence upon Your Love, which will not fail the Son who calls to You.
- And so we start upon the final part of this one holy year which we have spent together in the search for truth and God, who is its one creator. We have found the way He chose for us and made the choice to follow it as He would have us go. His Hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit the darkness of our minds. His Love has called to us unceasingly since time began.
- We had a wish that God would fail to have the Son whom He created for Himself. We wanted God to change Himself and be what we would make of Him. And we believed that our insane desires were the truth. Now are we glad that this is all undone and we no longer think illusions true. The memory of God is shimmering across the wide horizons of our minds. A moment more, and it will rise again. A moment more, and we who are God’s Sons are safely home, where He would have us be.
- Now is the need for practice almost done. For in this final section, we will come to understand that we need only call to God, and all temptation disappears. Instead of words, we need but feel His Love. Instead of prayers, we need but call His Name. Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed. We will accept the way God’s plan will end, as we received the way it started. Now it is complete. This year has brought us to eternity.
- One further use for words we still retain. From time to time, instructions on a theme of special relevance will intersperse our daily lessons and the periods of wordless, deep experience which should come afterwards. These special thoughts should be reviewed each day, each one of them to be continued till the next is given you. They should be slowly read and thought about a little while, preceding one of the holy and blessed instants in the day. We give the first of these instructions now.
1. What is Forgiveness?
- Forgiveness recognizes what you saw your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. Is sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin except a false idea about God’s Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.
- An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgment that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains, so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure; less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason. What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its wanted goal?
- An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.
- Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.
- Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show you what to do through Him who is your Guide, your Savior and Protector, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success. He has forgiven you already, for such as His function, given Him by God. Now must you share His function, and forgive whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees, and whom He honors as Son of God.
Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.
- Father, I come to you today to seek the peace that You alone can give. I come in silence. In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice. My Father speak to me today. I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.
- Now do we wait in quiet. God is here, because we wait together. I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear. Accept my confidence, for it is yours. Our minds are joined. We wait with one intent, to hear our Father’s answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.
We are home! There we were sitting up in our bed, sipping our good French roast coffee, for starters. No rushing off to work for James. It was a sunny pleasant day and I spent the morning catching up on my blog and lessons, or at least the one from Thursday. And then other things were calling to me and I spent the day in the kitchen making good things to eat and cleaning and enjoying our place.
However, later in the afternoon when I went outside to garden and do some yard work, my mind felt as if it were under attack. There was an ongoing review of all the ways in which people have wronged me – it started with a beloved, but estranged family member. The insinuating voice began as defense – how yes, you did something wrong, but you were sorry, and they never even said sorry for all the mean and nasty things they did. They are projecting their negativity on you. Those things that they were saying all along, instigating, and blaming you for saying them because you aren’t there to defend yourself. You had no reason to protect them all those years. You fell right into their trap, and now you are the one that has to suffer.
Then the “you” changed to “I.” It went on to someone fresh – how the kid never said thank you and then to his parents, how they never taught him manners. And then the voice went to an old co-worker and reminded me of all the things that he got away with at work. It went from one person to the next, and I was reminded me of a circling pack of wild dogs, yapping and yipping and closing in on their victim.
It started to make me feel sorry for myself for not getting to go to the beach this year like everyone else. I never have any real fun anymore, the voice in my head was telling me. But here’s the thing, my whole life is fun. I spent the whole morning doing what I love to do. If I really wanted to go to the beach, Lover would not hesitate to go with me or wave me off to go with a friend.
Still, it seemed as if I could not get my mind off the crazy negative loop it was on – bringing up past hurts and fears. I could feel myself growing bitter and angry all over again. Let me tell you one thing, Holy Spirit, I said. I forgive it all, but they better not project their shit on me and try to make me look like the bad guy. Just because I tell the truth, they have another think coming if they think I am going to be sorry for things I never did or said. Then I realized that this was the Holy Spirit I was sassing in response to the insane victim thoughts trespassing in my otherwise happy mind.
The ego whose goal is not forgiveness and peace, but something entirely opposite, is not my friend and does not tell the truth. I chose and continue to choose forgiveness for it all – imagined or otherwise! I have long since moved past the pain of old hurts, betrayals, and disappointments. And so I mocked the victim thoughts. Oh you poor little thing, I told them. All these people are out to get you. Oh you poor little thing, you never have any fun. Go get your bikini and get your ass to the beach – screw working in the yard and cooking and writing. You deserve a break! Oh you poor little thing all those special relationship that you just can’t live without are making your life miserable and stealing your joy. Oh you poor little thing.
Well, it may sound crazy but evidently the ego does not enjoy ridicule. Attack and defense let my mind and I was able to sink into my outside chores and enjoy them to the utmost. It was a lovely dusk in central Pennsylvania. The sky cast a golden pink glow over the earth. It was quiet and still.
Peace to my mind and yours.