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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 161 Give Me Your Blessing, Holy Son of God.

  1. Today we practice differently, and take a stand against our anger, that our fears may disappear and offer room to love. Here is Salvation in the simple words in which we practice with today’s idea. Here is the answer to temptation which can never fail to welcome in the Christ where fear and anger had prevailed before. Here is atonement made complete, the world passed safely by in Heaven now restored. Here is the answer of the Voice for God.
  2. Complete abstraction is the natural condition of the mind.  But part of it is now unnatural.  It does not look on everything as one.  It sees instead but fragments of the whole, for only thus could it invent the partial world you see.  The purpose of all seeing is to show you what you wish to see.  All hearing but brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear.
  3. Thus were specifics made.  And now it is specifics we must use in practicing.  We give them to the Holy Spirit, that He may employ them for a purpose which is different from the one we gave to them.  Yet He can use but what we made, to teach us from a different point of view, so we can see a different use in everything. 
  4. One brother is all brothers.  Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one.  Such is the truth.  Yet do these thoughts make clear the meaning of creation?  Do these words bring perfect clarity with them to you?  What can they seem to be but empty sounds; pretty, perhaps, correct in sentiment, yet fundamentally not understood nor understandable.  The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing.  We need to see a little, that we learn a lot.
  5. It seems to be the body that we feel limits our freedom, makes us suffer, and at last puts out our life.  Yet bodies are but symbols for a concrete form of fear.  Fear without symbols calls for no response, for symbols can stand for the meaningless.  Love needs no symbols, being true.  But fear attaches to specifics, being false.
  6. Bodies attack, but minds do not.  This thought is surely reminiscent of our text, where it is often emphasized.  This is the reason bodies easily become fear’s symbols.  You have many times been urged to look beyond the body, for its sight presents the symbol of love’s “enemy” Christ’s vision does not see.  The body is the target for attack, for no one thinks he hates a mind.  Yet what but mind directs the body to attack?  What else could be the seat of fear except what thinks of fear?
  7. Hate is specific.  There must be a thing to be attacked.  An enemy must be perceived in such a form he can be touched and seen and heard, and ultimately killed.  When hatred rests upon a thing, it calls for death as surely as God’s Voice proclaims there is no death.  Fear is insatiable, consuming everything its eyes behold, seeing itself in everything, compelled to turn upon itself and to destroy.
  8. Who sees a brother as a body sees him as fear’s symbol.  And he will attack, because what he beholds is his own fear external to himself, poised to attack, and howling to unite with him again.  Mistake not the intensity of rage projected fear must spawn.  It shrieks in wrath and claws the air in frantic hope it can reach to its maker and devour him.
  9. This do the body’s eyes behold in one whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love, and God created perfect.  This is his reality.  And in Christ’s vision is his loveliness reflected in a form so holy and so beautiful that you could scarce refrain from kneeling at his feet.  Yet you will take his hand instead, for you are like him in the sight that sees him thus.  Attack on him is enemy to you, for you will not perceive that in his hands is your salvation.  Ask him but for this, and he will give it to you.  Ask him not to symbolize your fear.  Would you request that love destroy itself?  Or would you have it be revealed to you and set you free?
  10. Today we practice in a form we have attempted earlier.  Your readiness is closer now, and you will come today nearer Christ’s vision.  If you are intent on reaching it, you will succeed today.  And once you have succeeded, you will not be willing to accept the witnesses your body’s eyes call forth.  What you will see will sing to you of ancient melodies you will remember.  You are not forgot in Heaven.  Would you not remember it?
  11. Select one brother, symbol of the rest, and ask salvation of him.  See him first as clearly as you can, in that same form to which you are accustomed.  See his face, his hands and feet, his clothing.  Watch him smile and see familiar gestures which he makes so frequently.  Then think of this:  What you are seeing now conceals from you the sight of one who can forgive you all your sins; whose sacred hands can take away the nails which pierce your own, and lift the crown of thorns which you have placed upon your bleeding head.  Ask this of him, that he may set you free: Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.  I would behold you with the eyes of Christ and see my perfect sinlessness in you.
  12. And He will answer Whom you called upon.  For He will hear the Voice for God in you, and answer in your own.  Behold him now, whom you have seen as merely flesh and bone, and recognize that Christ has come to you.  Today’s idea is your safe escape from anger and from fear.  Be sure you use it instantly, should you be tempted to attack a brother and perceive in him the symbol of your fear.  And you will see him suddenly transformed from enemy to savior, from the devil into Christ.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  Today Jesus outlines how complete abstraction is natural to our created minds.  It is only in the separated dream world that we see in specifics, in parts, and not as the whole.  Seeing in parts, we judge one another and ourselves by our processes through time.  We carry hatred and judgment, spite and vengeance which keep us trapped in a dream of time, a nightmare of ego battles, a dicey universe where there is no certainty but death and taxes.  Seeing in part, we are in a state of near constant temptation to attack one another and see in each other symbols of fear.  The separated world teaches us that we can be either victims or victimizers, that if we do not attack first, others are out to get us, to use and abuse us, to steal our stuff, to mock our efforts, to greedily glut themselves on our generosity and warmth. 

These are the lessons that the dream of separation teaches us.  It does not make us evil – but rather stupefies us, keeping us trapped in a false universe of pain, of fear, of all that is not love.  The heavy armor we carry about in our minds, weighs it down, torments it, making it sick with a sense of heavy-heartedness and world weariness.  It is a seemingly inescapable nightmare of uncertainty, because once the blinders come off about the nature of this world, we know that nothing here can protect us – not our wealth, our ancestry, our good genes, our intelligence, good looks, or optimistic personality, or positive self-talk.  We survive today to die another – time keeps chewing up its own tail, turning itself inside out and outside in, spewing forth its same old, twisted formulas to keep us blinded to our true Selves.    

Today Jesus says to stop letting it get to us.  Let us use the ploys of separation for holiness. Let us take a stand against the anger and the fear we feel toward others and use it to bless us, to save us, to snap us out of the trance of hostility and vengeance that fuels the separation and keeps us trapped in time.  We will take one brother from the pack; we will pick him out of the crowded crevices of our mind where those who deserve our spite replay all their cheap and crummy deeds. This enemy who hurt us, who stole our peace and joy, who tried to push us around and belittle us, who spoke ill of us to others and repeated confidences, this one will stand for the rest of the killjoys who rob us of a sense of safety and security, of love and blessing in a world where no truth can be found. 

This one person, this one brother is standing in the way of Christ, who can forgive all of our love for darkness, for spite, for vengeance, and grudge keeping.  When we refuse to forgive and see our brother as ourselves we refuse the holy hands which take away the nails we pierce ourselves with, we crown ourselves with thorns and thistles which we press upon our bleeding heads. 

It is when we see our brother as ourselves, when we offer him the forgiveness and love we seek for ourselves, when we bless and ask him for his blessing, seeing him with the eyes of Christ, seeing him as Christ, that we get a glimpse of our own perfect, spotless Self.  We are as God created us; flesh and bone do not define us; nor mistakes we make in darkness change our Sonship with God.  We are set free when we set our brothers free.  We are saved, when all are saved.  We return to God, when we all return to our everlasting joy walking hand-in-hand, heart-to-heart, as one. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 161. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com