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Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

REVIEW VI

I am not a body.  I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Lesson 210

  1. (190)  I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

Pain is my own idea.  It is not a Thought of God, but one I thought apart from Him and from His Will.  His Will is joy, and only joy for His beloved Son.  And that I choose, instead of what I made.

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.[1]

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Morning and Evening Meditation

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

We open our devotional practice with the theme for Review VI.  We let these sentences rest on our quiet minds, our altars free of the demands of the world, of our families, our houses, our jobs, our worldly interests and calls.  When we realize we are free of the body, the world recedes from our minds and our minds are cleared for the Truth of God, the Reality for which we have been yearning for our whole lives but did not know how to put into words, did not know how to put into practice, did not trust in our Selves but rather trusted in the lies of the outside world. 

Now we know!  Being free of our bodies, we can choose joy instead of pain, we can be happy instead of sorrowful and afraid.  Pain – experienced in any form, Jesus tells us, is not true, it is not real, it is a lie.  When we experience pain we experience God as cruel.  There He is in His sweet Heaven, above and not beneath, inflicting pain upon His subjects like a cruel landowner who sits in his mansion while his peasants eke a bare subsistence living from his fields.  This is the world’s portrayal of god – this is the god we would learn about in most of our churches and synagogues and temples.  A god who is all-powerful but who is quite willing to see us suffer physically, psychically, and mentally, a god who wants us to kill each other, to seek vengeance upon our so-called enemies because they worship a different way from us or do not have the same values, or have done us wrong or worse yet, our ancestors have wronged their ancestors. 

But God is not cruel, Jesus informs us in Lesson 190.  Pain is only a sign that illusions reign in place of truth.  Pain is a denial of the reality of our Loving Father.  If He is real, pain is not.  If pain is real, He is not.  Our Father wills that none of us suffer so much as a stubbed toe for would we not rush to protect our little ones from such a fate if it be in our power? 

Our thoughts that are not aligned with the Will of God, the Love of God, the Peace of God, are what causes our pain.  Jesus tells us that nothing outside of our own minds can hurt us or injure us in any way.  Nothing from the outside world can oppress us.  Nobody but ourselves can affect us.  It is our thoughts about such matters that bring the pain.  We have the power within us to influence all things simply by remembering who we are. 

You may not believe this.  It may seem too far out there.  You may think that you are being hoodwinked and that it is unbelievable that your thoughts about things have brought you so much trauma, pain, and disease in your life and in the lives of those you love.  But Jesus tells us in this lesson that as we perceive the harmlessness in all that has brought us such grief and torment, we will see differently and that our sorrows, our grief, our illnesses, will become a source of purity, a source of holiness, even. 

When we begin to see that the world is only a representation of our thoughts about it, we will have much more incentive to change our mind about it.  When we give up our addiction and our false delight in pain and pity, mayhem and melodrama, sacrifice and suffering, sorrow and grief and choose the joy of God – the world changes to reflect what we want to see. 

When we turn off the media, put down the newspaper, refuse to engage in conversations that revolve around rumors, intrigue, and ill will, when we no longer give room in our minds and thoughts to conspiracies, suspicions, and doomsday prophecies – we are clearing our altars for the Joy of the Lord.  When we no longer chase after special relationships instead of trusting in God, God will give us the desires of our hearts, the desires that align with truth and righteousness, peace and love. 

No matter how much we want to blame others for causing us pain, others have absolutely no power to hurt us.  When we are hurt, it is the result of our idle wishes, strange desires, thoughts of death.  When we engage in sour thoughts toward our family members, our coworkers, our friends, the president, other races, cultures, religions, and community groups, we are asking for pain.  We are asking for discord.  We are asking for sorrow.  When we bring up past sins and point our fingers in blame and shame, we are going to see this projected on the screen of our lives.  When we rant and riot, spew forth venom, cast aspersions on the names of others, take up causes, fight for our rights, and give other people the power to steal our joy and cause us to suffer, we are not choosing the joy of the Lord.  No cause on earth, no matter how seemingly righteous, worthy, or critical will bring us joy or give us anything but pain.

 Jesus teaches that we must lay down our arms and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last.  Let thoughts of danger and of fear be exchanged for thoughts of God’s love and devotion to us.  Refuse to allow thoughts of attack into our minds.  Put down the cruel sword of judgment, He says. Stop hiding our holiness behind the withering assaults we take upon others. 

This is when the joy of the Lord belong to us.  This is salvation’s power.  We know that pain is only an illusion – Joy is reality.  Pain is a lie; joy is the truth.  We choose the truth – no matter how the world tempts us to believe there is a cause to worry, to fret, to get sick, to depress ourselves upon its calls to take up arms and defend ourselves against the evil hordes or rampaging pestilence – we know God.  Our minds are fixed upon Him.  We love Him who gives us peace when the world would offer us conflict.  We devote our minds to Him who gives us Life and Light when the world would fill our mind with death and darkness.   

We are not a body.  We are free.  We are still as God created us.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 210. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] Audio credit: The Friar Patch at http://www.eckiefriar.com