Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now
LESSON 192 I have a function God would have me fill.
- It is your Father’s holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of Love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its Name, forever one with God and with your Self. Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred, and attack?
- Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms. For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp? Forgiveness represents your function here. It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone. And who would pardon Heaven? Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.
- Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. It has no meaning here. Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth. For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all. Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless. What He makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain.
- Forgiveness gently looks upon all things unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear, and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before. Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone. Forgiveness lets the body be perceived as what it is, a simple teaching aid, to be laid by when learning is complete, but hardly changing him who learns at all.
- The mind without the body cannot make mistakes. It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attacks. Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then? What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear? Only forgiveness can relive the mind of thinking that the body is its home. Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.
- With anger gone, you will indeed perceive that, for Christ’s vision and the gift of sight, no sacrifice was asked, and only pain was lifted from a sick and tortured mind. Is this unwelcome? Is it to be feared? Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted. We are one, and therefore give up nothing. But we have indeed been given everything by God.
- Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so. Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack. Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is, but confusion born of error. We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there.
- Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines? Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone? A jailer is not set free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends him time in keeping watch on him. The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them.
- Therefore, hold no one prisoner. Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free. The way is simple. Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death. And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.
- Be merciful today. The Son of God deserves your mercy. It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now. Deny him not. His Father’s Love for him belongs to you. Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity. He is as God created him. And you are what he is. Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.
Notes and Personal Application: Jesus asks in paragraph eight, who can be born again unless he has forgiven everything. Hold nobody prisoner, our Teacher instructs. What is keeping us trapped in the illusion of time, separation, and a world where we are all at each other’s throats, pointing fingers and holding one another accountable for our rift from God, from Love, from each other is our lack of forgiveness, our mistake in believing that we are flesh and blood bodies, the Sons of man and not the Son of God.
The Son of God deserves our mercy, Jesus says. The Son of God is all of us, is all of creation. Is all of us lost in time, stumbling about in the dark, uncertain, forgetting who we are and how we got here and what we are to do about it. Meaning is lost to us. The Son of God has traded in his eternal spirit for an identity that is trapped in a cycle of death and despair – and yes, He deserves your mercy. We are not to deny Him His true identity. We are to remind Him Who and What He is in Christ.
Our religions in the world teach us that the way to salvation is to be a good person, but Jesus tells us that there is no such thing. Our good deeds, our perfect behaviors, our denying ourselves meat on Friday’s, sex outside of marriage, and that extra slice of cake may indeed get us a pat on the back from our priests, our neighbors, and our health care professionals. Our human goodness will certainly make us better citizens, trustworthy parents, nice friends, and the kind of people who will more than likely succeed in the world, but it will not earn our salvation or get us any closer to God’s Kingdom.
The way to salvation is through forgiveness. We recognize the world for what it is, we recognize humanity for what it is, and we forgive it for deceiving us into thinking it is the Creation of God. Now we know! We hold nobody accountable, for truly they know not what they do. No longer does the thought of death hold us in terror, for we will be only too happy to lay the body aside when we have learned all that the world has to teach us.
We are full of mercy for as we show mercy, mercy is granted to us. We are one. No longer splintered, no longer facing the dark abyss alone and afraid, we know that this is not Creation and that our God is not a madman who would devise perversions, distortions, opposites, and insecurities. We were created in Love, by Love, and for Love. We are extensions of God, extending His Love forever through Creation. We can forgive time, we can forgive the world, we can forgive our lessons learned in darkness for only in separation do we learn to cherish oneness and unity; only in darkness do we learn to devote ourselves to light; only in uncertainty, doubt, and fear can we learn to treasure the certainty of God, and only in the throes of death do we learn to accept everlasting life.
Dear Father, Let our hearts and minds be full of mercy toward our fallen state. Our enchantment for darkness and death has seemed to blind our eyes to the light and love of God. Let us forgive one another and show mercy – for this is the function that You would have us fill. In the name of Jesus Christ, with Whom we are one. Amen.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 192. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
Audio credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com