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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 39 My holiness is my salvation.

  1. If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?  Like the text for which this workbook was written, the ideas used for the exercises are very simple, very clear and totally unambiguous.  We are not concerned with intellectual feats nor logical toys.  We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.
  2. If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?  This is not difficult, surely.  The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question.  But do you believe that guilt is hell?  If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a workbook at all.  No one needs practice to gain what is already his. 
  3. We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world.  What about your own salvation?  You cannot give what you do not have.  A savior must be saved.  How else can he teach salvation?  Today’s exercises will apply to you, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world.  As you apply the exercise to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.
  4. Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future.  Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell.  Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own.  How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it?  God does not know unholiness.  Can it be He does not know His Son?
  5. A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today, and longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged.  If you want to exceed the minimum requirements, more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are suggested.
  6. Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today’s idea to yourself.  Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear:  uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity, and so on.  Whatever form they take; they are unloving and therefore fearful.  And so, it is from them that you need to be saved. 
  7. Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises.  It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently.  And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.
  8. Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation.  Apply the idea for today to each of them in this way: My unloving thoughts about _________ are keeping me in hell.  My holiness is my salvation. 
  9. You may find these practice periods easier if you intersperse them with several short periods during which you merely repeat today’s idea to yourself slowly a few times.  You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything.  Sustained concentration is very difficult at first.  It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractable. 
  10. Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into the exercise periods in whatever form appeals to you.  Do not, however, change the idea itself as you vary the method of applying it.  However, you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning is the fact that your holiness is your salvation.  End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding: If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?
  11. In the shorter applications, which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today’s idea, and preferably both.  If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:  My holiness is my salvation from this.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application (2020):  During our devotional practice, we decided ahead of time when we would do the four five-minute exercises outlined in our lesson, as well as remind one another to practice the concepts throughout the rest of our hours for the day. 

Application 1:  7:30-7:35 a.m.

Application 2:  10:30-10:35 a.m.

Application 3:  5:45-5:50 p.m.

Application 4:  9:00-9:05 p.m.

James set a five-minute timer for our first session of our first five-minute session and we began.  I went first since I am more familiar with the lesson and how to practice them.  With eyes closed, I said, “My holiness is my salvation.”  Then I searched my mind for an unloving thought, any kind of depression, anxiety, attack, insecurity…anything at all that was or could disturb my peace or cause me fear.  This is what we need to be saved from – this is what keeps us from identifying with our holiness.  I know that my salvation depends upon my willingness to let all unloving thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors go, to see them as impediments and not my friends or defenses.  It is my blessing upon all personalities, events, or situations that would otherwise cause me grief that saves me and gives me the vision of Christ. 

I said, “My resentment about people who do not respect my right to have boundaries is keeping me in hell.  My holiness is my salvation.”

James proceeded to take his turn.  “My unloving thoughts toward people with turned up noses, is keeping me in hell.  My holiness is my salvation.”

I said…well, you get the drift.  I went through a number of people who still appear in my mind as a cause for grief of one kind or another.  I named situations that fill me with fear – the dark, being in deep water, my fear of heights, my fear of trying new things, my fear of shining or being outstanding in any way, my fear of being judged and condemned.  My own judgment and condemnation.  My fear of aging, my fear of disorganized personalities.

James, in turn, named his fears, his dislikes and hatreds, his resentments, and so forth.  Over the course of five minutes we covered quite a bit. 

We ended the session by saying aloud: “My holiness is my salvation.  If guilt is hell, what it its opposite?”

Afterwards James expressed surprise at some of my fears and old resentments, things I have been working through – he evidently thought that the miracle was finished in my life simply because I do not dwell or ruminate upon all my old resentments and causes for bitterness or elaborate upon my fears.  “It’s a process,” I snapped, and then we both laughed.

On our way back from Sam’s Club we had our second application.  Following the same procedure, we started out with the lesson idea and then took turns saying the lesson idea and naming our unloving thoughts as keeping us in hell, reminding ourselves with each statement that our holiness is our salvation.  Before we got to the five-minute mark, James had uncovered all his unloving thoughts.  He refused to go any further.  “I am finished,” he said.  “I don’t have anymore.”  Well, I knew better than that! I told him to dig deeper, sounding just like a certain lady that was quite bossy when it came to other people’s spiritual walks.  When he refused to do that, I was about to remind him of some of the more glaring unloving thoughts and behaviors that he had, when Holy Spirit reminded me that James is in charge of his own process, and I am in charge of mine.  So instead of acting the gatekeeper, I took another turn, and said, “My holiness is my salvation.  My unloving thoughts about pointing out all the unloving thoughts that James could be sharing is keeping me in hell.  My holiness is my salvation.”  Another good laugh, and yet laughing about it makes it no less meaningful.

We wrapped up our second session the same as the first.  We plan on doing two more exercises together and doing many of the shorter exercises on our own.  Whether you have a study-buddy or not, I urge you to do the exercises, even if they seem silly and you do not understand them.  By keeping it fun and light-hearted, we are letting the ego know that the temptation to practice unloving behavior and harbor unloving thoughts is something we can shake out like a dusty rug. Or, at least that is our aim, though it does seem like I keep shaking out the same old dusty rug.  When I complained about this to Holy Spirit, I was assured that the rug would need shaking as long as it needs shaking – I am not to give up. 

Our holiness is our salvation! 

If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students Lesson 39 My holiness is…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (2017). pp 60-61.