Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
Lesson 93 Light and Joy and Peace Abide in Me
- You think you are the home of evil, darkness, and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake. You think if what is true about you were revealed to you, you would be struck with horror so intense that you would rush to death by your own hand, living on after seeing this being impossible.
- These are beliefs so firmly fixed that it is difficult to help you see that they are based on nothing. That you have made mistakes is obvious. That you have sought salvation in strange ways; have been deceived, deceiving and afraid of foolish fantasies and savage dreams; and have bowed down to idols made of dust, – all this is true by what you now believe.
- Today we question this, not from the point of view of what you think, but from a very different reference point, from which such idle thoughts are meaningless. These thoughts are not according to God’s will. These weird beliefs He does not share with you. This is enough to prove that they are wrong, but you do not perceive that this is so.
- Why would you not be overjoyed to be assured that all the evil that you think you did was never done, that all your sins are nothing, that you are as pure and holy as you were created, and that light and joy and peace abide in you? Your image of yourself cannot withstand God. You think that this is death, but it is life. You think you are destroyed, but you are saved.
- The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that. It does not battle with the Son of God. It does not hurt him, nor attack his peace. It has not changed creation, nor reduced eternal sinlessness to sin, and love to hate. What power can this self you made possess, when it would contradict the Will of God?
- Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Over and over this must be repeated, until it is accepted. It is true. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Nothing can touch it or change what God created as eternal. The self you made, evil and full of sin is meaningless. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God, and light and joy and peace abide in you.
- Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought; – you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself. Whatever evil you may think you did; you are as God created you. Whatever mistake you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. You are and will forever be exactly as you were created. Light and joy peace abide in you because God put them there.
- Our longer exercise periods today, which would be most profitable if done for the first five minutes of every waking hour, begin by stating the truth about your creation: Light and joy and peace abide in me. My sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Then put away your foolish self images and spend the rest of the practice period in trying to experience what God has given you in place of what you have decreed for yourself.
- You are what God created or what you made. One Self is true; the other is not there. Try to experience the unity of your one Self. Try to appreciate Its holiness and the Love from Which It was created. Try not to interfere with the Self which God created as you, by hiding Its majesty behind idols of evil and sinfulness you have made to replace It. Let It come into Its own. Here you are – This is You. And light and joy and peace abide in you because this is so.
- You may not be willing or even able to use the first five minutes of each hour for these exercises. Try, however, to do so when you can. At least remember to repeat these thoughts each hour: Light and joy and peace abide in me. My sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Then try to devote at least a minute or so to closing your eyes and realizing that this is a statement of the truth about you.
- If a situation arises that seems to be disturbing, quickly dispel the illusion of fear by repeating these thoughts again. Should you be tempted to become angry with someone, tell him silently: Light and joy and peace abide in you. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. You can do much for the world’s salvation today. You can do much today to bring you closer to the part in salvation that God has assigned to you. And you can do much today to bring the conviction to your mind that the idea for the day is true indeed.
Notes and Personal Application: Light and joy and peace abide in us! Our sinlessness is guaranteed by God! If God created us, then of course this is true. This morning during our devotional we were both a bit astounded, even though this is my second year into the Course, even though I have been sharing this message during this time. James was raised Southern Baptist; I was raised Pentecostal and the message of our inherent sinful, evil, and dark natures that we were invariably stuck with unless we accepted both Christ as our personal savior and lived a holy life was programmed deep into our consciousness. But here Jesus says we must never think such things about ourselves! Jesus says that such teachings are based upon nothing. Sure we have made mistakes, but do we really think that God would create such rubbish and then hold us accountable for our trashiness forever unless we appeased Him with blood and suffering?
Jesus says that all the evil we think we did are as nothing. We are free of it. It was a false idol which we served when we mistakenly took upon an identity which was made separate from God, and therefore cannot exist. The only place such thoughts exist are in our minds, as dreams, as illusions, as nightmares and delusions. We cannot separate ourselves from who we are – no idolatrous image we have made to substitute for our reality can withstand the Will of God!
James told me about a scientific study that he recently read that showed how our very DNA is affected by our words. Our minds as the Sons of God are so powerful that even in the illusion of time, what we say about ourselves influences what we experience, how our mortal bodies react, overrides inherited traits, and preserves from as well as reverses telomere degradation. Imagine the effect on our temporal life alone in loosing ourselves from the belief in our evil, sinful natures and thinking instead of the light, joy, and peace that abide in us.
When we are ready to turn our back upon the false idol we made and recognize our real Selves, we understand how meaningless our guilt, despair, shame, and sorrow are in the light of truth. We begin to realize how trite and unholy our grudges toward our brothers, our condemnations about their shortcomings and mistakes, our fear and hatred for those who would attack us. This is our salvation – Accepting the thought that we are as God created us. Jesus came to show us that we are more than bodies, we are as God created us. He resurrected from the dead to demonstrate who and what we really are! Putting down what we have made here in separation becomes the only thing we want to do. It is the only smart thing – for it all passes away anyway. Who would not want to give up death, decay, and destruction?
Today we take the first five minutes of every hour to train our minds to accept the truth. We have lived on lies long enough! We have lived for our bodies. We have been deceived by our false idols. We have projected our evil to others and held them accountable for our despair too long. We have found no satisfaction in our special relationships, political leaders, magic potions, medical professionals, or our multitude of teachers, counselors, and gurus. Today we spend as many five-minute periods as we can to train our mind to accept the happy news of salvation. We are as God created us. We are one with God who created us. We are the Mind of Christ, the Spirit of God. Nothing we could ever do or say will change that – for it is an unalterable truth.
There is only one purpose then for us in time. We are here to learn and teach salvation and to perform acts of love, healing, and restoration. Nobody is saved unless all are saved. God will never forsake us or hold our mistakes against us. Today we join with Christ, as we abide in Him, light and joy and peace abide in us. Our sinlessness is guaranteed by God who created us like Himself.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 93 Light and peace and joy…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 161-162.