Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 57 Review of Lessons 31-35
- (31) I am not the victim of the world I see.
How can I be the victim of a world that can be completely undone if I so choose? My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave it simply by walking out. Nothing holds me in this world. Only my wish to stay keeps me a prisoner. I would give up my insane wishes and walk into the sunlight at last.
- (32) I have invented the world I see.
I made up the prison in which I see myself. All I need do is recognize this, and I am free. I have deluded myself into believing it is possible to imprison the Son of God. I was bitterly mistaken in this belief, which I no longer want. The Son of God must be forever free. He is as God created Him, and not what I would make of Him. He is where God would have Him be, and not where I thought to hold Him prisoner.
- (33) There is another way of looking at the world.
Since the purpose of the world is not the one I ascribe to it, there must be another way of looking at it. I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God’s Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where He can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is and see it as a place where the Son of God finds His freedom.
- (34) I could see peace instead of this.
When I see the world as a place of freedom, I will realize that it reflects the laws of God instead of the rules which I made for it to obey. I will understand that peace, not war, abides in it. And I will perceive that peace also abides in the hearts of all who share this place with me.
- (35) My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.
As I share the peace of the world with my brothers, I begin to understand that this peace comes from deep within myself. The world I look upon has taken on the light of my forgiveness and shines forgiveness back at me. In this light, I begin to see what my illusions about myself had kept hidden. I begin to understand the holiness of all living things, including myself, and their oneness with me.
Notes and Personal Application (2019):
Thank you for this review of the ideas in this course. Thank you for reminding me of what I have learned and for taking me one step at a time to the fullness of truth. I want my thoughts to be part of the mind of my Creator and part of creation itself! I desire to only think with Love, to think with the Holy Spirit, to join with my Lord and Savior, Jesus, and take my part in the Sonship of God and the Brotherhood of Christ. In Your Name, Christ Jesus. Amen.
Morning practice: That last one about my mind being part of God’s and that I am very holy really strikes me as trustworthy and kind and pleasant. I love that as I share my peace with others, the peace wells up from deep within me and shines forgiveness back at me. I so love that! In this light, in this choosing to forgive and to love and to make brothers and sisters and not enemies, I start to see who I really am and why God loves me and longs for me. I begin to see the holiness in others and in all living things, including the animal and plant life and how we are all one. It is just an amazing and uplifting experience.
Today while I was about my little chores, standing at the sink, my thoughts alighted on Angela and her troubles. And then it began – the sorry little ego reminding me that I should not offer her loving compassion. “Don’t pray for her – she never liked you. She didn’t invite you to her wedding,” my unforgiving ego accused. “You had to hear about how fun it was from your sister, and don’t you remember how she gloated.”
“And don’t forget,” the accuser said, “At the family reunion that time, she sneered about people your age going back to college to finish a degree.”
“She’s only getting what she deserved to get,” the devilish dirge continued. “She didn’t want your son in her neighborhood, and now she complains about the pedophile who lives in the house he wanted. She sure lived to regret her meddling now!”
While Angela’s smug attitude in her snug marriage, her beautiful home, and her precious boys had always struck me as well-deserved, all along my ego must have been secretly stashing resentment and jealousy. Now it was reminding me how she had not really given me the time of day until my status in the world had risen to a sufficient degree in which to include me in her circle. Cutting comments, superior postures, and mean expressions from the past came back to my consciousness, with the sole intention to turn my warm and tender heart toward my dear cousin cold and hard.
Now when she was going through her troubles, slammed into single motherhood, betrayed by the one she loved and cherished most, trying to find love in the chancy dating world of middle-age, forced to accept charity and government assistance, my stingy, condemning, blaming ego wanted only to offer her it’s unmerciful sense of petty, small-minded, unhelpful justice. “She’s only finding out that she’s not so special after all,” my ego said. “She’s not experiencing anything that you didn’t go through without so much of a nod of compassion or understanding from the rest of the tribe.”
Thankfully today’s lesson review was firmly established in my mind to resist the voice of ego, the insane, hateful call to hold somebody accountable to that which has no reality. So what if she said those things? So what if she came off as superior and egotistical? So what? Haven’t I made fun, pointed fingers, strutted about bloated on my self-importance? I cringe when I think of the times I bragged about my privileges in front of others who didn’t have the same ones. The times I stuck my nose in others’ personal affairs or cast my blighted opinions on the ambitions and dreams of loved ones. How I have lived to regret the condemnations and blind selfishness that I have practiced toward those I love and cherish the most. And now my ego, the one whose dark voice compelled me to practice that which is not love, was building yet another unjustified and callous case against my lovely cousin when she needed my prayers the most.
“Gotcha,” I said to the liar. And instead of offering Angela that toxic soup of unforgiveness and pettiness, harshness, and shame, I remembered who I am in God. My mind is part of God’s! I am very holy. I practice holiness by sharing peace with others. The light of my forgiveness shines back on me. The ego can no longer hide my true identity from me because I have begun to understand the holiness of all creation, and that includes me.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): I rode along to work with James this morning in our shared devotion through radiofrequency radiation, or in plain speak, while we talked on our phones. A Course in Miracles speaks much of the communion of the minds and how this is clear communication – while what we call communication in the world of separateness is only a poor substitute. It is in the purity of our holy minds, where accurate and everlasting communion takes place. This offers us so much power – to comfort, guide, and direct us. Will there come a day when our minds are so pure, the ego put down never to be taken back up again – so that no distance, no time, no space will separate us? Jesus promises that this is so!
Some of us have experienced that this is so in our day-to-day lives. While the communion of our minds is natural and spontaneous and does not require radiofrequency radiation or wires or physical transmitters and receivers of any form, we have labeled this God-given communion “supernatural.” Assigning its practice to mystics and the occult, we end up afraid to experience what can only bring us comfort and great joy.
When we realize that our mind is part of God’s, when we recognize our own holiness, we recognize our inheritance in God as our rights, which have been hidden from us by these blasted egos of ours! Our right to holy and instant communion with our loved ones, whether they be on this side of separation or the other in particular.
Yesterday, Lindsey and I had such a wonderful conversation along these lines, and we shared our experiences with the communion we have with those who are no longer with us in the flesh yet remain with us in the spirit. It is always such a joy to learn when others have rediscovered their rights to recognizing their holiness in the mind of God, their privileges, the constant companionship and guidance of Holy Spirit, and the calm and certain knowledge that there is nothing we can do to shake off God’s Love because He will never abandon us.
Today when I reviewed last year’s devotional with James, I realized how far I have come in recognizing the mean-spirited voice of the ego in myself and in others. I realized that we must offer each other safe spaces in which to bring the ego out in the open, to expose the shadow, to identify this false image, and know that it is an illusion and is not who and what we really are.
Years ago, when my light began to glow, my sister told me in no uncertain terms that she was never going to let me forget who and what I really am and where I came from and all the bad things I ever did. I remember looking at her and realizing that she did not know me! She believed that I was the promiscuous, poverty-stricken, lost, and clueless path in which I had traveled. While she was comfortable with me being a charity case, someone to tell stories about and mock and “rescue,” ridicule and speak spitefully of – she did not know what to do with the real me. There was no place in her life for who and what I really am. As sad as that made me feel, I also realized that I only knew her by the path she had traveled. We had no clue as to who and what we really are in the reality of Christ. What turned out to be an estrangement has been a necessary and enlightening reprieve from what the Course calls the special relationship. Without her shadow to continually remind me of my own shadow, I could break forth and accomplish that which I had always been drawn to do. If I had chosen to let her influence me about my identity, chances are slim to none that I would have had the courage, the will, and the confidence to fulfill my function.
Special relationships are not nearly as special as they pretend to be. They trap us into the ego’s illusion of who and what we are and blind us to our mutual holiness. Because it has taken me so long to learn this, I am anxious to openly and honestly share it with you. Understanding this process will make it much less painful for you to give up your special relationships, the ones which would trap you into thinking you are the path in which you travel. You will realize that what your ego experiences as loss, is not a loss at all, because you gain what can never be destroyed. Jesus promises us that our special relationships can and will be changed into holy ones, as we practice love and forgiveness. And so I know that I have not lost my sister; I have only lost the ego’s version of her that has blighted the reality and everlasting holiness of her in my mind.
Just as we clean our homes, wash our dishes, mop the dirt and grime from our bodies, and shampoo our hair, we must keep our minds clean and holy. We must exercise vigilance in keeping the pestilence and plague from occupying the spaces which belong to the mind of God and obscure our holiness. When I am tempted to think of my sister in terms of her process; when I am enticed to hold grudges against a dear cousin because of things in the past; I can sweep them from my mind because my mind is part of God’s. God loves us. He has forgiven us – not despite our path, but because of our path to Him.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 57…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 94-95.