Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 72 Holding Grievances is an Attack on God’s Plan for Salvation
- While we have recognized that the ego’s plan for salvation is the opposite of God’s, we have not yet emphasized that it is an active attack on His plan, and a deliberate attempt to destroy it. In the attack, God is assigned the attributes which are actually associated with the ego, while the ego appears to take on the attributes of God.
- The ego’s fundamental wish is to replace God. In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of that wish. For it is that wish that seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body that was made to imprison it. The limit on communication cannot be the best means to expand communication. Yet the ego would have you believe that it is.
- Although the attempt to keep the limitations that a body would impose is obvious here, it is perhaps not so apparent why holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. But let us consider the kinds of things you are apt to hold grievances for. Are they not associated with something a body does? A person says something you do not like. He does something that displeases you. He “betrays” his hostile thoughts in his behavior.
- You are not dealing here with what the person is. On the contrary, you are exclusively concerned with what he does in a body. You are doing more than failing to help in freeing him from the body’s limitation. You are actively trying to hold him to it by confusing it with him and judging them as one. Herein is God attacked, for if His Son is only a body, so must He be as well. A creator wholly unlike his creation is inconceivable.
- If God is a body, what must His plan for salvation be? What could it be but death? In trying to present Himself as the Author of life and not of death, He is liar and a deceiver, full of false promises and offering illusions in place of truth. The body’s apparent reality makes this view of God quite convincing. In fact, if the body were real, it would be difficult indeed to escape this conclusion. And every grievance that you hold insists that the body is real. It overlooks entirely what your brother is. It reinforces your belief that he is a body and condemns him for it. And it asserts that his salvation must be death, projecting this attack upon God, and holding Him responsible for it.
- To this carefully planned arena, where angry animals seek for prey and mercy cannot enter, the ego comes to save you. God made you a body. Very well. Let us accept this and be glad. As a body, do not let yourself be deprived of what the body offers. Take the little you can get. God gave you nothing. The body is your only savior. It is the death of God and your salvation.
- This is the universal belief of the world you see. Some hate the body and try to hurt and humiliate it. Others love the body and try to glorify and exalt it. But while the body stands at the center of your concept of yourself, you are attacking God’s plan for salvation, and holding your grievances against Him and His creation, that you may not hear the Voice of truth and welcome It as your Friend. Your chosen savior takes His place instead. It is your friend; He is your enemy.
- We will try today to stop these senseless attacks on salvation. We will try to welcome it instead. Your upside-down perception has been ruinous to your peace of mind. You have seen yourself in a body and the truth outside you, locked away from your awareness by the body’s limitations. Now we are going to try to see this differently.
- The light of truth is in us, where it was placed by God. It is the body that is outside us and is not our concern. To be without a body is to be in our natural state. To recognize the light of truth in us is to recognize ourselves as we are. To see our Self as separate from the body is to end the attack on God’s plan for salvation and to accept it instead. And wherever His plan is accepted, it is accomplished already.
- Our goal in the longer practice periods today is to become aware that God’s plan for salvation has already been accomplished in us. To achieve this goal, we must replace attack with acceptance. As long as we attack it, we cannot understand what God’s plan for us is. We are therefore attacking what we do not recognize. Now we are going to try to lay judgment aside and ask what God’s plan for us is: “What is salvation, Father? I do not know. Tell me, that I may understand.” Then we will wait in quiet for His answer. We have attacked God’s plan for salvation without waiting to hear what it is. We have shouted our grievances so loudly that we have not listened to His Voice. We have used our grievances to close our eyes and stop our ears.
- Now we would see and hear and learn. “What is salvation, Father?” Ask and you will be answered. Seek and you will find. We are no longer asking the ego what salvation is and where to find it. We are asking it of truth. Be certain, then, that the answer will be true because of Whom you ask.
- Whenever you feel your confidence wane and your hope of success flicker and go out, repeat your question and your request, remembering that you are asking of the infinite Creator of infinity, Who created you like Himself: “What is salvation, Father? I do not know. Tell me, that I may understand.” He will answer. Be determined to hear.
- One or perhaps two shorter practice periods an hour will be enough for today since they will be somewhat longer than usual. These exercises should begin with this: “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. Let me accept it instead. What is salvation, Father?” Then wait a minute or so in silence, preferably with your eyes closed, and listen for His answer.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): My two practice periods will be in the morning upon waking up and in the evening before going to bed. The practice periods will be at least 10-15 minutes long. I will stick as closely to the recommendations of the Course lessons as possible.
I ask God: “What is salvation, Father? I do not know. Tell me, that I may understand.” I listen to what the Lord speaks to me and will record as best as my ability it in my lesson journal. Following is my best attempt to share what God told me about salvation:
Salvation is being saved from the body and the ego, Eckie. You are not a body; you are spirit, and you are created like Me, to be infinite, loving, and forever. Being a body is your separation from me. It is fear’s attempt to create you in his image. It is the fear’s attempt to keep you separated and in a hellish, delusional realm. The course is right. Your body is not your real concern. It seems to be, but it is not. The death of the body is nothing to you and should be nothing to you. Holding grudges toward others and recalling their sins against you is one of the main ways to trap you in hell. It means nothing at all what bodies do to other bodies. You are all in the hellish and loveless dream because you have forgotten how to love and cherish and befriend, which separated ones, which the course calls egos, are unable to do. Egos may call it love when they watch out for each other, but it is not love. It is more like allies, it is more like survival, it is more like keeping the separation going by begetting more bodies to take the place of the body’s that are sacrificed, murdered, diseased, age, wither, and die. Do not cherish the body but cherish the Love and the Light within each body. Teach others to do the same. This is Salvation.
What is salvation, Father? I really need to know. Tell me, that I may understand.
Salvation is love and light, Eckie. Salvation is being like Jesus and knowing that the body is nothing. There is no sacrifice required of Me from you. None. I have you in a safe place where you can dream the separation without being eternally damned by it. Eternal damnation is a fiction of the devil, a lie, a big nothing. But as long as you believe in it, it will be real for you and thus keep you from the everlasting Kingdom. Fear has given me the attributes of itself and has seduced my Son into believing that I am to be feared. I am Love. There is nothing in Me or about Me to be feared! Believe in Me; believe in Love. Become Me; become Love. Let Love become you; let Me become you, for We are One.
Let all the things I have told you from the time you were a child enlighten you. Fear tried its best to knock My words from your mind, from your memory. The world would teach you a different lesson, speak different words, and send you down multiple, sorrowful paths. Let those lessons go! Refuse to hold grievances and be thankful – for the ego was exposed to you through what was meant to keep salvation from you. Let My lessons of love be refreshed to you, baptize you, and save you.
Shine your Inner Light and be Love. This is your salvation and the salvation of the world. Give the Brotherhood of Christ to all. Teach that the body is part of the delusion. I would never create something that smells unpleasant without constant grooming, is prone to sickness and disease, is not self-sustaining, and is driven by unholy, unloving desires that never satisfy. I did not create the body; I created Spirit, which is everlasting, loving, and free.
The body is the symbol of separation, the fall of the Sons of God, and the nightmare in what you call time is the result. Be not afraid. You are forever safe with me. I would never expel creation from my Kingdom; nor would I hold anybody against their will.
You chose to go. You thought it would be more exciting to hate instead of love; to compete instead of cooperate, to earn instead of inherit, to sacrifice and worship your gods instead of love and communicate with Me freely as equals. In other words, you wanted what I cannot give. You wanted to go your own way; what you have experienced here, what you have witnessed, the harsh “realities” in which you have engaged – all of this is the result.
I will never keep you trapped here, but your beliefs about Me will keep you trapped in the bad dream of time where even your religions are ruled by the prince of fear, the ego, the image of darkness who uses every ploy to pervert but not extinguish your Godhood.
Prayer: I thank Jesus my Savior for teaching me that my only function is the one that God gave me. Love created me to be Love. And that is what I choose to be. Therefore, I have relinquished my grievances against all and choose to love others instead of holding grudges toward them. I ask that every grievance be revealed to me and that I no longer hold any resentment toward God or anyone or anything, and that the light of the world shines through me, and in me, and of me. My Salvation comes from within me. Only God’s plan of salvation works. All other plans do not work. I will no longer attack God’s plan of salvation by holding resentments toward my brothers. I will not mistake my brothers for the working of the ego in their lives. I will honor the process of my brothers and not hold it against them and thus attack God’s plan of salvation. In Jesus name. Amen.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): Today we did not have our devotional until late afternoon. The morning had been filled with appointments and running errands and by the time we settled into our devotional over half the day was spent. James said that today’s lesson revealed to him in a very striking way exactly why we must not hold grievances toward another. It is not simply a matter of being a good person and forgiving others when they have failed us; God’s plan of salvation for each one of us is that we forgive and know what we are forgiving. We are forgiving ourselves and one another for choosing separation over the Oneness of God; we are forgiving each other for thinking of ourselves as bodies rather than spirits. And when we forgive each other for this we are setting ourselves free of the ego’s claim upon us. When we are tempted to attack others, instead of forgiving them for their ignorance, we are attacking God’s plan because we are making what happens in the nightmare our reality instead of choosing the reality of God.
This year, James is doing each day’s lesson with me because he enjoyed hearing about them secondhand last year, and he also witnessed the peace, love, and joy that began to shine through the unrest, sorrow, and longstanding resentments that had blighted my life and darkened my path. I urged him today and I am urging you to do the next step and to take each lesson and follow the recommended mind training prescription.
Yes, it is time consuming; yes, it requires more from you than a quick ten-minute prayer and reading a scripture or two each morning. When we realize the extent of the corruption that our minds are subjects to by identifying with our bodies and the egos that they represent, we will not mind the amount of time and devotion that is required to set us free! In fact, it will become our only function, because it is the only function that God has for us in this devilish alternative to His Kingdom!
James and I have so enjoyed National Geographic’s series called The Story of God hosted by Morgan Freeman. In each episode that we have had the privilege to view it has been so apparent that the ego’s fundamental wish is to replace God by attributing to God its own characteristics and obscuring the truth of God’s love behind meaningless rites, rituals, religious rivalries, and self-abasements. When we confuse the body’s of our brothers with their true identity and require them to hold their bodies accountable to us, we are actively attacking God, because if His Son is only a body, so then is He. And God cannot be a body, He cannot crave the things that bodies crave, for He is spirit, and in His Love and in His devotion, He made us like Him, in that we are also spirit.
Let us then walk and live in the spirit. To do this we must confess our utter confusion and lay all our own judgments aside. We must be willing to go past all that of the substitutes we have practiced in place of true salvation. We must say from the deepest yearning of our hearts and the barest, baldest honesty of our minds, “I am not finding my salvation in the writings of historical figures who portrayed God as holding grudges, commanding genocide, and demanding blood and meat sacrifices. I am not finding salvation in the teachings of my denomination. I am not finding salvation in my tabernacle, in mass, in my confessions. I am not finding my answers in the traditions of my family, or in my efforts to be a good person.” When we get past all the alternatives that the ego would offer us for our salvation, when we clear our minds and humble our hearts, we can ask, “What is salvation, Father? I do not know. Tell me, that I may understand.” And God will tell you the truth.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 71 Only God’s Plan…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 121-123.