PART II. SECTION 7. What is the Holy Spirit?
Lesson 288 Let Me Forget My Brother’s Past Today.
- This is the thought that leads to You and brings me to my goal. I cannot come to You without my brother. And to know my Source, I first must recognize what You created one with me. My brother’s is the hand that leads me on the way to You. His sins are in the past along with mine, and I am saved because the past is gone. Let me not cherish it within my heart, or I will lose the way to walk to You. My brother is my savior. Let me not attack the savior You have given me. But let me honor him who bears Your Name, and so remember that It is my own.
- Forgive me, then, today. And you will know you have forgiven me if you behold your brother in the light of holiness. He cannot be less holy than can I, and you can not be holier than he.
This lesson is one that would give us all pause if our efforts to seek God would put us on a higher plane than our brothers! For they are our saviors – each and every one of them teach us, perfect us, test us, and prove our love for God and for our Selves.
Our brothers do not seem to be our friends, let alone our saviors, Lord! They abandon us in our hour of greatest need, fail to understand us when we simply need a bit of alone time; deny our right to setting boundaries, and mock and make fun of our efforts to grow and become all we can be.
It is much easier to relate to the historical Jesus who was always kind and good, healed the sick, cleansed the leper, and cast out devils. There He is tucked neatly away in history – we did not know Him personally; time and distance has removed any grating traits or unpleasant personality quirks from our awareness. This Jesus makes a good Savior.
Certainly our brothers have their virtues, but Lord! They are infuriating. Certainly you cannot be speaking of the people I know. This one constantly talks about herself and her grandchild to the point of making me want to gag. Could she be my savior? This one has done his best to manipulate me through silent treatments, snubs, and cutting remarks for years. How could he possibly be my savior? And those people in that organization, Lord! How could those bloated-with-their-own-sense-of-self-importance brothers possibly be my saviors? So and so called me for years in the middle of the night blathering to me about people I didn’t even know, and I am supposed to call him my savior? And those rude people who came to my house, ate my food, and sprawled on my couch, and then just pack up and leave without saying good-bye – are they really my savior, Lord? The ex-boyfriend who cheated on me; the ex-husband who didn’t pay child support or send his children birthday cards; the preachers who tried to molest me when I was a kid – how can they possibly be my savior?
Yet the lesson idea for today is the thought that leads the way to God and brings us to our Father. We cannot come without them. To have God, we must recognize that we are one with our brothers. It is their hand that leads us on the way to God. We must see our brothers’ wrongdoing even as we wish to see our own – gone, washed away with the past, never to be thought about, spoken about, or brought up again. We must not cherish their cruel jealousies, their lies, hypocrisies, meanness, unfairness, ridiculous self-posturing, sexual escapades, or infidelities within our minds. We must stop building cases against them and encouraging others to despise them. We must put down our weapons and see past their egos, asking Holy Spirit to open our eyes to their holiness and purity. Otherwise, we lose our way to God.
Our brothers are our saviors. We are not saved without them. We will forget and forgive their pasts and honor them who bear the name and likeness of God, for when we forgive and forget their pasts, we are forgetting and forgiving our own acts of ego and separation.
Astonishingly, in today’s lesson Jesus throws Himself right into the mix. He asks us to forgive Him! You will know, Jesus says, that you have forgiven me, when you behold your brother in the light of holiness. Jesus says that our brothers cannot be less holy than He is, and that we cannot be holier than our brothers. Meaning that we are in no position to preach at them, condemn them, or call them infidels. We are called to see them and us as a whole, and as one in Christ. As long as we see our brothers as separate, we are separate.
What did Jesus do that I must forgive him? He did not come into my heart like I was told He would and chase away all the darkness and make me pure and holy with no real effort on my own part. He pointed the way to my salvation, but He did not deliver me from the process nor spare me the saviors I chose to teach me the hard lessons that brought me back to the path to God. He stands by me through time but does not liberate me from my ego or the egos of my saviors. I want my way back to God to be a cool breeze, while Jesus has made it more like a brisk wind! I have to face my own darkness; I have to forgive those I do not want to forgive in order to be forgiven. And in doing so I have to forgive Him.
The thought of not forgiving Jesus tears at my heart. How could I not forgive Him whom I love and cherish and adore? And yet He insists that as long as I see my brothers in less than a holy light, I have not forgiven Him, nor have I forgiven myself.
I pray then for such forgiveness!
 A Course In Miracles, Workbook for Students, 288. Let me forget my…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 441