II. SECTION 12. What is the Ego?
Lesson 336 Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.
- Forgiveness is the means appointed for perception’s ending. Knowledge is restored after perception first is changed, and then gives way entirely to what remains forever past its highest reach. For sights and sounds, at best, can serve but to recall the memory that lies beyond them all. Forgiveness sweeps away distortions and opens the hidden altar to the truth. Its lilies shine into the mind and call it to return and look within, to find what it has vainly sought without. For here, and only here, is peace of mind restored, for this the dwelling place of God Himself.
- In quiet, may forgiveness wipe away my dreams of separation and of sin. Then let me, Father, look within, and find Your promise of my sinlessness is kept; Your Word remains unchanged within my mind, Your Love is still abiding in my heart.
Choosing forgiveness is the means that our Father appointed for bringing the ego’s perceptions to an end. Truth can only be given to us; knowledge can only be restored to us after our perception changes and then is brought to a complete end. Everything our eyes and ears brings to us in time is only at best, a memory of what had already occurred. These memories are distortions of what took place – we live in a realm of time, shadow, and illusion, which forgiveness sweeps away! Forgiveness is the first step in our return to truth because it illuminates our minds, calls it to return to God and look within and not without because that is where we will find what we have vainly been looking for through other people and other things. When we go within is where we find our purpose, truth, and peace, for this is where God dwells!
So often, we mistake the promises of God for promises of ego satisfaction and body gratification. We read our bibles, study the course, perform certain rites and traditions, and mistake these practices for devotion and a relationship with God. But it is in the quiet recesses of our mind where forgiveness washes away all thoughts of separation and sin. This is where we find our sinlessness and where we look upon the sinlessness of our brothers. This is where we find our true Godliness, our brotherhood, the Word of God, and the Love of God – within our minds and hearts – in our innermost, invisible, eternal Being. This is where the questions that have plagued us are finally answered; our yearnings fulfilled; our loneliness dispelled. It is forgiveness that lets us know our minds are joined and that we are one.
We will never get to this through another means. We cannot bring our egos and our bodies or the bodies of our brothers to this path. When we attempt to do this, we lengthen time and suffering. There is no need to waste your time praying for the salvation of this one or that one. They are already saved; they belong to God, and God will not allow His Son to be lost. We must let people to their process, to their lessons, to learn what they need to learn and forgive them each step of the way, even as we accept this gift for our process in time. People are not here on earth to meet our needs or fit our picture of who and what they are and what purpose they are to fulfill. This is between them and God! We can only forgive and stand out of the way, doing no harm – offering only love and forgiveness, which is our only function.
Let us know Your Love, Father, which always abides in our hearts by forgiving Your Son – our brothers as ourselves. Let us demand nothing from them, expect nothing from them, hindering not our return to God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 336 Forgiveness lets me know…Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition, p. 470.