Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
- The light has come. You are healed, and you can heal. The light has come. You are saved, and you can save. You are at peace, and you bring peace wherever you go. Darkness and turmoil and death have disappeared. The light has come.
- Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster. There are no dark dreams now. The light has come. Today the time of light begins for you and everyone. It is a new era, in which a new world is born. The old one has left no trace upon it in its passing. Today we see a different world, because the light has come.
- Our exercises for today will be happy ones, in which we offer thanks for the passing of the old and the beginning of the new. No shadows from the past remain to darken our sight and hide the world forgiveness offers us. Today we will accept the new world as what we want to see. We will be given what we desire. We will to see the light; the light has come.
- Our longer practice periods will be devoted to looking at the world that our forgiveness shows us. This is what we want to see, and only this. Our single purpose makes our goal inevitable. Today the real world rises before us in gladness, to be seen at last. Sight is given us, now that the light has come. We do not want to see the ego’s shadow on the world today. We see the light, and in it we see Heaven’s reflection lie across the world.
- Begin the longer practice periods by telling yourself the glad tidings of your release: “The light has come. I have forgiven the world.” Dwell not upon the past today. Keep a completely open mind, washed of all past ideas and clean of every concept you have made. You have forgiven the world today. You can look upon it now as if you never saw it before. You do not know yet what it looks like. You merely wait to have it shown to you.
- While you wait, repeat several times, slowly and in complete patience: “The light has come. I have forgiven the world.” Realize that your forgiveness entitles you to vision. Understand that the Holy Spirit never fails to give the gift of sight to the forgiving. Believe He will not fail you now. You have forgiven the world. He will be with you as you watch and wait. He will show you what true vision sees. It is His Will, and you have joined with Him. Wait patiently for Him. He will be there. The light has come. You have forgiven the world.
- Tell Him you know you cannot fail because you trust in Him. And tell yourself you wait in certainty to look upon the world He promised you. From this time forth you will see differently. Today the light has come. And you will see the world that has been promised you since time began, and in which is the end of time made sure.
- The shorter practice periods, too, will be joyful reminders of your release. Remind yourself every quarter of an hour or so that today is a time for special celebration. Give thanks for mercy and the Love of God. Rejoice in the power of forgiveness to heal your sight completely. Be confident that on this day there is a new beginning. Without the darkness of the past upon your eyes, you cannot fail to see today. And what you see will be so welcome that you will gladly extend today forever. Say then: “The light has come. I have forgiven you.”
- Should you be tempted, say to anyone who seems to pull you back to darkness: “The light has come. I have forgiven you.”
- We dedicate this today to the serenity in which God would have you be. Keep it in your awareness of yourself and see it everywhere today, as we celebrate the beginning of your vision and the sight of the real world, which has come to replace the unforgiven world you thought was real.
Notes and Personal Application (2019): The light has come. I have forgiven the world. Early this morning, before I looked at today’s lesson, I was writing a journal entry for yesterday. I finished and saved and then started a new document. I began what I call soul writing, writing from my deepest imagination and soul, the hurt and pain I have always keenly experienced at thought of being exiled here, away from those I love and those who cherish me, and put here in this place as some kind of punishment, as some kind of penitence, these people – they are okay and not as cruel as some of the parents and families that others get, but still, it wasn’t just the family I remember, the people here seemed to be cruel, distorted caricatures of the ones I remembered from the place I came.
Here I felt so unloved and tainted, insecure, and vulnerable in this world of bloodshed, cruelty, and meanness. I remember feeling so sad and sorrowful as a little girl. The wickedness and unfairness that was going on around me, made it such a fright to be here. I railed in my soul writing about my mom and dad, why did they have to have me? Wasn’t it sign enough when they lost two babies after having Beckie that they were not meant to have other children? Why couldn’t they focus on the ones they had, I wrote. Why couldn’t they be happy with Donald, Jimmy, and Beckie? Why oh why did they have to bring me into this world? I was so indignant in my writing railing against them from my heart. I loved them but mostly for the sake of survival, and they loved me but did they? It never felt like love here. Not ever. I have never liked it here and feel as if this is what squashes me and makes me love my food too much and my comforts and ease because where I came from was secure, good, abundant, and there were no worries. I didn’t have to prove myself or be subjected to unkindness or death, decay and bloodshed. I so loved our animals, and the thought of butchering them, eating them, or killing them for sport tormented me. I remembered a different kind of place where the animals were like us, and we would not dream of treating them any differently than our most beloved friend. That is where I came from. And I missed it terribly. But I didn’t know who I was or why I was here or who these people were and why they were the way they were – they seemed undependable and insane, they were vulnerable, temperamental, one minute they said they loved me and the next they were punching me in the nose or shaming me for my private parts! The only sanity I found were in fictional characters, and while the fictional characters helped me somewhat to find a saner world, it was still not the world in which I remembered. I railed in my soul writing, not worrying about what a whiner I sounded like. I poured out my heart and all the grudges I have had about this world and being a baby, a little one here at the mercy of homo sapiens and all that they wittingly and unwittingly inflict upon us. Only after I had poured out all that darkness, that woe, that deep despair, did the Lord speak to my heart. The Voice for God spoke to me and corrected my perception and gave me a bit of a revelation and caused my heart to zing with joy and peace. I was bold enough to share it with James. And he did seem to understand. But the message was:
I wasn’t sent here as a punishment. I volunteered. They tried to talk me out of it. They didn’t want me to come, but I volunteered, and I insisted. And so I was sent here. And they made it as easy as they could for me, and I am to do my work and not be a baby about it.
Another thing was this: I don’t know if it was in words or not, but the message was this: I really can be there and be here at the same time. In fact it is all the same. It all has to do with the eyes in which I am choose to see. In the end, I choose to continue seeing with the eyes I have chosen. It is a simple matter of choice.
And another: It felt inside as if I were beyond any reproach. That nothing could ever be held against me. I wasn’t responsible for the “sins” of the world nor my own “sins.” That it was ridiculous to even think like that or waste a lot of time worrying over that kind of thing. The Lord reminded me that I do not belong to myself and therefore everything that happened to me was for a reason and that I did not bring any of it onto myself. He told me to enjoy my life and that I should have no part in trying to sort anything out – I am a creature, not God. I am a created one, not the Creator. God is truth. He is love. His will is for me to be happy.
Shorter Practice Periods: The light has come. Even though I only read my lesson later in the day and did not “practice,” as prescribed throughout the day, I experienced “the light has come,” after the Lord revealed to me that I was not being punished. The Voice for God told me in clear, certain words that God doesn’t punish anybody for any reason at all. That this is an intentional false teaching of religions to keep humanity subservient with guilt, shame, and sorrow. This false teaching generates fear of God rather than love for God and this is exactly what the ego intends because it can only thrive in fear. When I learned that I chose to come here, that I insisted on coming and that it has been made as easy as they can make it for me, I was given a new understanding of what my life means and the family of torment turned to a family that meant me no harm. They were doing the best they could in their own tormented, separate, lonely ways. To know that I am loved in this, to understand that I chose this, to know that God did not drive me out of heaven for unexplained impurity and send me to hell to mingle with bloodletters and molesters, to know and understand that nobody meant me harm – I can then truly understand and forgive the separated world. I can forgive it because this is not a punishment, this is a journey that I chose.
Notes and Personal Application (2020): One of the only ways in which I have found to forgive the world is to realize that it is simply not real. It seems real enough, and as long as we are in bodies, we tend to forget the things of God and focus on the things of the flesh. We worry about what we are going to eat, what we are going to wear, how much we weigh, our health, aging, social security, taxes, our safety and the safety of those we love.
We were shocked the other day when we went to Sam’s Club and saw the empty shelves and refrigerated cases where the toilet paper, paper towels, milk, and chicken usually were. The place was packed with people loading their carts preparing for a quarantine that may or may not happen. Our son and his family are on vacation in Jamaica and before I remembered who and what we really are, I texted him and suggested that they cut their vacation short and come home because as nice as it may be at their ocean resort for a week, to be stuck there for an indefinite period could be taxing on us all.
But we can forgive the world and the separated state when we realize that we are on a journey through darkness that we chose to travel. Nobody is here against their will. God did not send us here because He hates us and wanted to put distance between us. Instead He gave us His light and He tucked it inside of our beings so that nothing will ever be able to extinguish it. It is our call to Love. It is our Internal Guiding System. When the ego has taught us everything we need to know about darkness, our God-placed inner light calls us home to Him. We can forgive all because we were walking about in the dark and could not see what we were doing. We were all doing the best we could.
Throughout last year’s study I found myself getting a little tired of all the lessons on forgiveness. But when I realized it is the key to my salvation, I could understand why I was having such a difficult time practicing it and remembering my lessons from day to day, from month to month, from year to year. My salvation means death to the ego; the lies of the ego are no longer driving my thoughts, filling my mind and obscuring my true identity when I learn why I must forgive and how to forgive. To arrive at an understanding of forgiving the whole deception is to tear down the strongholds that fear has captivated the entire world with from the beginning of time.
When I realize who and what I really am, I realize who and what you really are. When I relate to myself and you as Sons of God instead of bodies and egos, we are both transported into another realm of being. We are relating to God and to each other in spirit and in truth. Gone is the fear.
Throughout my whole life I was taught that God’s Will and my will are diametrically opposed. God would snatch away the things in my life that made me happy and force His Will upon me in order for me to be “saved.” God would smash all my idols and be jealous of anybody or anything that brought me pleasure or put a smile upon my face. I was to walk in fear of Him Who made me and plead with Him to show me His Will. I remember my sister Beckie would actually pray that God would send her to Africa to be a missionary in hopes that because she wanted to go, God would send her somewhere else! Because she had no desire to live in a hut, pee in the bush, and learn a foreign language, she was sure that this is exactly what God would make her to do to break her will. Later, of course, we would laugh together over this retarded concept of God, but you get the idea. We were taught to fear God and His Will for our lives.
But the light has come! We learn that our will and God’s Will are one. God will never force His Will upon us, because there is no other will. The ego does its best to keep us in the dark concerning God’s love and wish for happiness for us. The ego devises lies that frighten us so we run and hide from the truth of God’s Love and devotion toward us. But the ego has no will. It is just a false idea built upon nothing but fear and fiction! We can only forgive the world when we understand this simple truth. God has nothing to do with our suffering, sorrow, and shame. He is for us and not against us. He is waiting with welcome arms for us to forgive the lies in which we were corrupted and come home to Him.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 75..The light has come. Circle of Atonement. Complete and Annotated Edition (2017). pp. 1077-1078 (footnotes below are included with text.)
 Isaiah 60:1-5 (RSV): “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” The next verses (2-5) continue with themes relevant to this lesson. Because the Light of God has shined upon you, it is now your light. This light banishes darkness and ushers in a new world.
 Luke a:19 (KJV): “And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God, and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.”
 This seemed like such a revelation to me at the time, however, a friend from childhood who later came to study the Course and form our ACIM study group, informed me that I was teaching her this concept when we were children to help her through the difficulties and abuse she was facing as a child. I cannot remember having known this before, and yet when I read my journals, there are intimations throughout my “soul writing” that have suggested this concept throughout the life span, and I simply kept “forgetting.”