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Audio Credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com Lesson 96

Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 96 Salvation Comes From My One Self.

  1. Although you are one Self, you experience yourself as two: as both good and evil, loving and hating, mind and body.  This sense of being split into opposites induces feelings of acute and constant conflict and leads to frantic attempts to reconcile the contradictory aspects of this self-perception.  You have sought many such solution, and none of them has worked.  The opposites you see in you will never be compatible.  But one exists. 
  2. The fact that truth and illusion cannot be reconciled, no matter how you try, what means you use and where you see the problem, must be accepted if you would be saved.  Until you have accepted this, you will attempt an endless list of goals you cannot reach; a senseless series of expenditures of time and effort, hopefulness and doubt, each one as futile as the one before, and failing as the next one surely will.
  3. Problems that have no meaning cannot be resolved within the framework they are set.  Two selves in conflict could not be resolved, and good and evil have no meeting place.  The self you made can never be your Self, nor can your Self be split in two, and still be what It is and must forever be.  A mind and body cannot both exist.  Make no attempt to reconcile the two, for one denies the other can be real.  If you are physical, your mind is gone from your self-concept, for it has no place in which it could be really part of you. If you are spirit, then the body must be meaningless to your reality.
  4. Spirit makes use of mind as means to find its Self expression.  And the mind which serves the spirits is at peace and filled with joy.  Its power comes from spirit, and it is fulfilling happily its function here.  Yet mind can also see itself divorced from spirit and perceive itself within a body it confuses with itself.  Without its function then it has no peace, and happiness is alien to its thoughts.
  5. Yet mind apart from spirit cannot think.  It has denied its Source of strength, and sees itself as helpless, limited, and weak.  Dissociated from its function now, it thinks it is alone and separate, attacked by armies massed against itself and hiding in the body’s frail support. Now must it reconcile unlike with like, for this is what it thinks that it is for.
  6. Waste no more time on this.  Who can resolve the senseless conflicts which a dream presents?  What could the resolution mean in truth?  What purpose could it serve?  What is it for?  Salvation cannot make illusions real, nor solve a problem that does not exist.  Perhaps you hope it can.  Yet would you have God’s plan for the release of His dear Son bring pain to him and fail to set him free?
  7. Your Self retains its thoughts, and they remain within your mind and in the Mind of God.  The Holy Spirit holds salvation in your mind and offers it the way to peace.  Salvation is a thought you share with God, because His Voice accepted it for you and answered in your name that it was done.  Thus is salvation kept among the thoughts your Self holds dear and cherishes for you.
  8. We will attempt today to find this thought, whose presence in your mind is guaranteed by Him Who speaks to you from your one Self.  Our hourly five-minute practicing will be a search for Him within your mind.  Salvation comes from this one Self through Him Who is the bridge between your mind and It.  Wait patiently, and let Him speak to you about your Self, and what your mind can do, restored to It and free to serves Its will.
  9. Begin with saying this: Salvation comes from my one Self.  Its thoughts are mine to use. Then seek Its thoughts and claim them as your own.  These are your own real thoughts you have denied, and let your mind go wandering in a world of dreams, to find illusions in their place.  Here are your thoughts, the only ones you have.  Salvation is among them; find it there.
  10. If you succeed, the thoughts that come to you will tell your you are saved, and that your mind has found the function that it sought to lose. Your Self will welcome it and give it peace.  Restored in strength, it will again flow out from spirit to the spirit in all things created by the Spirit as Itself. Your mind will bless all things.  Confusion done, you are restored, for you have found your Self.
  11. Your Self knows that you cannot fail today.  Perhaps your mind remains uncertain yet a little while.  Be not dismayed by this.  The joy your Self experiences It will save for you, and it will yet be yours in full awareness.  Every time you spend five minutes of the hour seeking Him Who joins your mind and Self, you offer Him another treasure to be kept for you.
  12.  Each time today you tell your frantic mind salvation comes from your one Self, you lay another treasure in your growing store.  And all of it is given everyone who asks for it and will accept the gift.  Think, then, how much is given unto you to give this day, that it be given you![1]
Photo credit: http://www.redeemerwv.org

Notes and Personal Application: Beautiful spring day in central Pennsylvania.  This morning was the first devotional that we enjoyed outdoors, sitting on our old wire patio chairs, looking out over the pond and the white ducks paddling and dipping bottoms-up in the water.  The air smelled sweet and the sun shone warm.  I read our lesson, not necessarily in a hurry, but not at our usual leisurely pace – it was long, and James was itching to get to work.  His work-from-home can be a real challenge. It requires a level of discipline to hear the call of his household and property projects, while being cooped up in his home office working on spreadsheets and scheduling deadlines. 

When the lesson ended, Holy Spirit instructed me to be quiet, and this time I listened.  Earlier, I had not.  Something James said had not set well with me and though Holy Spirit directed me to let it pass, I became argumentative and even got on the internet to prove my point.  It may have been meaningless, but there was a ripple of unease at the Friar Patch.  Something was dropped, glass shattered all over the floor.  Even after we cleaned up the mess, kind words were spoken, there in the morning sun, we both felt cool and a bit distant from each other. 

James said, Is that all?  And I nodded.  I remembered last year when I finally got this lesson.  I was doing the exercises; I was saying the words: Salvation comes from my one Self.  Its thoughts are mine to use.  I was doing my best to reach that place inside that Jesus was asking me to reach, to seek the thoughts of my Self with the capital “S!” To find my salvation, to find my unity with creation, to find the Mind of God.   It had all felt a bit silly and new age.  Jesus knows I am no flower child.  I have no time for mantras, tiptoeing through the tulips, and the “name-it-and-claim-it bunch.

Nevertheless, I set aside the first five minutes of every hour, reminding myself with the alarm on my iPhone and giving exactly five minutes to every meditation.  It felt contrived at first, but I did it anyway.  Laying aside my distrust in the practice, I did my best to reach for that one Self inside.  And then the awareness of the one Self dawned upon me.  The real me – the one Self and not the split self.  The real me is not split between body and spirit.  No opposites conflict It because It stands united with Christ; it has no concerns because it serves God as a spirit and is filled with peace and joy.  My one Self has not confused Itself with my body, and all the concerns, issues, and distresses that come from being one.  The body, as part of the illusion, can only serve to teach me separation and darkness.  My real Self will bless all things, no longer confused about the issue, restoring me to reality.  When I give five minutes of every waking hour to seeking Christ who joins my mind with its reality in Him, I offer Him another treasure to be kept for me.  I really got it.

“It’s hard to put into words,” I told James.  “But I will tell you about it, if you want to hear it.” He did.  And so I talked to him about what had happened earlier, how this is what we can expect from our egos, arguments about nothing, tensions over things that do not matter, shattered glass and splintered relationships.  A cringing, crying shame of a game!

However, when we take the time required to find our real Self, we find peace, calm, forgiveness, love. We become one with Christ.   Without Him, we have only scattered goals and conflicting desires.  We chase flavors, sensations, locations, special relationships, wealth, power.  We glut ourselves on what never brings us lasting happiness.  We create factions with those we love in our desire to be right, and prove others wrong. We devour creation rather than becoming one with it.  Separate and splintered we are nothing.  In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells his followers, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.  This is where salvation comes from – our true and holy Self, created in God’s likeness, not the form of man. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 96 Salvation comes from…Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). pp. 169-171.