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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 46 God is the Love in which I forgive.

  1. God does not forgive because He has never condemned. And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary. Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them.  As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.
  2. Yet although God does not forgive, his love is nevertheless the basis of forgiveness. Fear condemns and love forgives.  Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God.  For this reason, forgiveness can truly be called salvation.  It is a means by which illusions disappear.
  3. Today’s exercises require at least three full five-minute practice periods, and as many shorter ones as possible. Begin the longer practice periods by repeating today’s idea to yourself, as usual.  Close your eyes as you do so and spend a minute or two in searching your mind for those who you have not forgiven.  It does not matter “how much” you have not forgiven them.  You have forgiven them entirely or not at all.
  4.  If you are doing the exercises well you should have no difficulty in finding a number of people you have not forgiven. It is a safe rule that anyone you do not like is a suitable subject. Mention each one by name and say: “God is the light in which I forgive you, __________.”
  5. The purpose of the first phase of today’s practice periods is to put you in a position to forgive yourself.  After you have applied the idea to all those who have come to mind, tell yourself: “God is the love in which I forgive myself.” Then devote the remainder of the practice to adding related ideas such as: “God is the love with which I love myself.” “God is the love in which I am blessed.”  The form of the application may vary considerably, but the central idea should not be lost sight of.  You might say, for example: “I cannot be guilty because I am a son of God.” “I have already been forgiven.” “No fear is possible in a mind beloved of God.” “There is no need to attack because love has forgiven me.” The practice period should end, however, with a repetition of today’s idea as originally stated.
  6. The shorter practice periods may consist either of a repetition of the idea for today in the original or in a related form, as you prefer.  Be sure, however, to make more specific applications if they are needed. they will be needed at anytime during the day when you become aware of any kind of negative reaction to any one, present or not. in that event, tell him silently: “God is the love in which I forgive you.” [1]
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Notes and Personal Application (2019):  Exercise one:  God is the Love in which I forgive.  God is the Love in which I forgive you, Mother.  God is the Love in which I forgive you, sister.  God is the Love in which I forgive you, James.  God is the Love in which I forgive myself.  God is the Love in which I love myself.  God is the Love in which I am blessed.   I cannot be guilty because I am a Son of God.  I have already been forgiven.  No fear is possible in a mind beloved of God.  There is no need for attack because Love has forgiven me.  God is the Love in which I forgive you and myself. 

Notes and Personal Application (2020):  Here we are, sipping our French roast and having our morning devotions.  Outside the sun is shining, it is bitter cold, about 13° Fahrenheit.  Inside we are warm as toast, snug in our cozy pajamas.  Our prayer this morning is one of thankfulness for all we have learned so far on our path to God.  I read the lesson and then go back to the first paragraph and read it aloud three times because this lesson is the one that freed my perception last year of believing God’s condemnation.  God has not condemned us; we have condemned ourselves, and therefore we need to forgive ourselves for creating a world without Him in it.  When we forgive, Jesus says, we are releasing ourselves from the illusion; when we fail to forgive we are binding ourselves to the illusion.  When I hold things against others, I am actually holding them against myself.  This is the core teaching of the course, and I remember last year at this time, this concept finally started to sink in and impact my worldview. 

This week, Jesus has been talking to me.  At the grocery store, in my car, when I am going downstairs, when I am coming up the steps.  Standing at the kitchen sink – wherever I am and whatever I am doing, Jesus has been talking to me.  How do I know the voice of Jesus?  Holy Spirit talks to me in a quiet, remindful voice; Jesus talks to me like an older brother who cares for me very deeply.  Jesus speaks to me with authority; not necessarily in a bossy voice, but certainly in a way that commands my attention. 

This week, Jesus told me to call an old friend, and so I did.  I didn’t think about it too long – I just made the call and left a message on her answering machine.  She did not call me back, and I was tempted to shrug it off.  She was a friend from years ago; we have lost touch; what does it matter if she calls me back or not?  I don’t need her, I told myself.  And anyway, I told Jesus, she was not that great of a friend.  Jesus told me that indeed she was a wonderful friend and that he loves her very much.  He showed me some things about the friendship that indicated that it was not necessarily just my friend who had done wrong.  A good friend loves at all times, Jesus said, and I admitted that although there were a lot of things I did love and admire about her, she largely got on my last nerve.  I began to make a mental list of exactly why I wasn’t especially keen to hang out with her.  And then it dawned on me that every single thing that I was accusing her of saying, doing, being – were behaviors which I have been all too willing to overlook and make excuses for in myself.  It was an unpleasant realization. 

I had thought I was farther along than this.  I didn’t think I did this kind of thing anymore.  I thought once you gave your heart and soul to Jesus, He would just clean me up and make me new and I would not have to work so hard at it!  How can other people find it so easy to forgive and to love and I am still struggling, Lord?  Am I particularly evil?  Am I particularly hard-headed, stubborn, and unforgiving?  Why can’t I forgive and forget and be done with it?  Why do I have to keep going back and doing it all over again?   Why can’t I just love people without all these hard feelings and justifications to not like them or want much to do with them? 

It is always such a blessing to be spoken to by Jesus!  Jesus cares about me.  Jesus cares about my friend.  Jesus wants to show me something important and He is using this particular friend to show me what is lurking within both of us.  “Do not be deceived,” Jesus said to me.  “Do not think this falling out is all on you; do not think it is all on her.  Never be deceived by appearances – even when she is smiling and seems to have the world by the tail; she is plagued with the same affliction.  She is identifying with the false self and not the real and holy Self just as you are when you are distressed over the loss of your friendship.  You know this; she knows this.  My goal is for you both to know this together and recognize you are one.”    

This week, Jesus told me that this Course is not a course about walking in sunshine and being a good human.  This course is about recognizing the areas in my life where I have been deceiving myself as an ego instead of an eternal spirit of God.  Good humans/bad humans, they are all the same in the eyes of God.  Humans are symbols of the ego; they are full of light and darkness, right and wrong, ups and downs, they are mere shadows of our reality in God.  The goodness of a human is based upon a false premise because it is based upon the ego and not on God.  The badness of a human is based upon a false premise as well, because there can be no evil.  Evil, if it truly existed, would devour everything, including itself, and be no more.  Badness is a condemnation that the ego made up to keep humans in a fluctuating state of shame and guilt.  Telling lies, spreading rumors, backstabbing, sidestepping, home-wrecking, and tearing down instead of building up is in the same boat as the inverse, as contrary as that may seem.  There is no right way for a human to be because if there was a way for humans to be right, it would end time; the world of shadows, opposites, light and dark, would enter eternity where it could never survive.  For that we can be thankful! 

There is only one way in which I can truly love my friend and in which she can truly love me – and that is within a holy relationship.  If God is not in the relationship, it is not holy.  It cannot be healed.  It would be fraught with the same dishonesty and egoism as it was before.  God is the Love in which we forgive.  God is the Love in which we are forgiven.  God is the Love in which we love. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 46 God is the Love…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 73-74.