PART II. SECTION 3: WHAT IS THE WORLD
Lesson 247 Without Forgiveness I Will Still Be Blind.
- Sin is the symbol of attack. Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer. For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me. Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely. Brother, come and let me look on you. Your loveliness reflects my own. Your sinlessness is mine. You stand forgiven, and I stand with you.
- So would I look on everyone today. My brothers are Your Sons. Your Fatherhood created them and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well. Today I honor You through them and thus hope this day to recognize my Self.
There are some lessons in the Course that give me pause. I have to stop and carefully consider what Jesus could possibly mean. When I behold sin anywhere, Jesus says, I will suffer. Forgiveness is how Christ’s vision comes to me. When I accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, I am healed completely.
Personally, my rounds with forgiveness have been ongoing – I forgive, I follow the three steps of forgiveness, I recall all those hard feelings, resentment, regrets and give it all to Holy Spirit and leave it there. Or so it seems until the old memories of injustice, cowardice, betrayal, and plain meanness come back and nip at me, destroying my peace of mind and draining me of joy and peace and love.
I wanted to know more about this process. Is it not a once-and-for-all event? Am I still unwittingly harboring secret unforgiveness in my mind? I asked for light, for understanding. The Holy Spirit’s answer – Forgive and keep forgiving. Yesterday and all the days before that I needed food, bathing, exercise, work, and a sense of accomplishment to have a good day. And yet today, I do it again, and tomorrow I will do the same and the day after that. So it is with forgiveness. No need for discouragement. We are living in time, and learning forgiveness is not a waste of time, but rather excellent use of time.
So today I practice forgiveness, and tomorrow and the next day, I practice forgiveness. It is my willingness to go through this process, to relinquish the ego which would much rather see me nurse grudges, cherish sorrows, and despair over the sins of the world, that gives me Christ’s vision and leads me out of the ego nightmare of separation.
Happy for the illumination, I still asked, “But what is the simple truth of Christ’s vision?” I knew that I was still missing a critical part of understanding forgiveness. In Chapter 27:8:10-11 of the Course text, Jesus tells us:
“The secret of salvation is but this: That you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you would not react at all to figures in a dream, you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.
This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him; He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, “I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.”
From Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, one of the foremost students and teachers of A Course in Miracles, I found this helpful insight at https://facim.org/online-learning-aids/excerpt-series/the-meaning-of-judgment/the-meaning-of-judgment-part-i/:
Forgiveness . . . is still and quietly does nothing. It merely looks and waits, and judges not” (W-pII.1.4:1,3). Jesus’ repeatedly urges us to take His hand and to look with Him on the ego’s darkness. It does not deny the ego thoughts that we express in the world—all thoughts of violence, viciousness, and murder. We come to realize that our thoughts ultimately can have no effect on our inner peace. That allows us then to look out on the world and truly see that everyone here is either expressing love or calling for it.” Whether you are asking me for love or expressing love to me, as your brother in Christ, I will extend love to you. I will no longer see any differences. The superficial differences will not matter to me. All that will matter is that you are either calling for love or expressing love.
Let me look upon my fellows and see no sin. Let me see their bitterness, blame, and bad manners as a call for love rather than disgust and hatred. Let me look upon myself and my dislike for this one and that one, my grudges and pet peeves with this simple truth: I have done this to myself, and it is this I would undo.
I will look at everyone today as the Sons of God. God created them and gave them all to me as part of Himself and my own Self as well. Today I honor God through my brothers, and so today I hope to recognize my true and only Self.