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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 217

  1. (197) It can be but my gratitude I earn.

Who should give thanks for my salvation but myself? And how but through salvation can I find the Self to Whom my thanks are due?

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:

This morning we sit in quietness and stillness. We go to the inner altar of our minds and bow our humanity before it.  This is what we made, O Father, to take Your place and here we offer the multitude, the diverse, the different to Your Holy Spirit to restore to us the one Self of Christ, Your Son.  Our true and everlasting Self.  The One which never left us since You breathed life and love and laughter into Your image of You, extending God forever.  We are not bodies; we are free.  We are still as You created us. 

Find the words, the phrases, the images that Holy Spirit gives to each of us to complete the wholeness and holiness of God to understand our refrain for Review VI.  Wait before Him who created us until you know in your heart who and what you really are – past your body, past your ego, past all the calls and causes of our shared humanity to that true Self, the Son of God. 

This is the Self that we give our gratitude to for restoring us to oneness in Christ.  This is the Self who has been calling to us, the wayward splinters who have found themselves trapped in time, in a body, in an ego – lonely, desperate, not knowing how to live in a world seemingly separated by time and space, sin and shame, fear and disaster, darkness and death from our Loving Father.  We offer gratitude to our Self for remembering who and what we are in Christ.  Sons of God.  The whole and magnificent, the powerful and holy “we” instead of the timorous, tiny, terror-ridden shard of a “me.” 

No more do we believe the ego’s lies of our Father.  He is not vengeful.  He has no spite toward us.  He yearns for us as much as we yearn for Him.  He will never forsake His Creation although His Creation seems to have forsaken Him.  He has prepared a feast to celebrate our return, to rejoice in our salvation from a hallucination of adrift and alone, of castoff and forsaken.  As we choose our true identity in Him, we have only our truth, our Self in Christ, the Son of God to give our gratitude. 

This is not a hard concept to get our mind around once we accept Christ as our Savior and realize that the parable of the prodigal son in our own life that stands as a symbol for all of Creation.  We left our Father’s Kingdom where we were one in Sonship to make our own way in a world that promised adventure, independence, satisfaction, and fulfillment.  Jesus tells us in our Course that those of us who ended up in this world are the ones who wanted to take Creation and make something else of it, to do it our own way, to separate from the “we” of God’s Sonship and become a “me.”  We were wooed away from the Everything of God to the nothingness of the world in which we would make up lies to take the place of truth.  We would live out the lies, we would make them so real in our minds that we would be caught in this web of fiction with no apparent escape. 

And yet there was and is and always has been an escape.  God has never left us.  Our salvation resides within each of us because we belong to Him, He will never leave us, His Kingdom resides in us in all its glory.  It is there where it has always been – it is our true and only Self, yearning for His oneness, homesick for His Kingdom, knowing that this world, this body, this substitute for all we are will never take His place. 

When the prodigal left his father’s house, his father did not preach at him, quote scripture at him, shout dire warnings to him as he tramped down the road to get away.  His father gave him his inheritance.  His father knew that the world would take from his son everything and give him nothing in return, and yet the father did not lock him up, the father did not strip him of his wealth, or take away his family name. The father did not try to get his son the right kind of friends or get him involved with sports or bible camps or other forms of healthy alternatives to the call of the wild.  The father knew that for this son, the only thing that would do was for him to experience for himself, the world.  To be stripped bare, to experience the emptiness, the nothingness, the false friends, hopes, and promises that separateness assures.  And then when he came back – there were no whips and chains.  There were no lectures.  There was no “I told you so.”  There was a feast, a robe, a ring, a resounding and loving welcome.  The son who had separated himself into a lonely, lost, and lustful “me,” had come home to take his place in the “we” of family, friendship, and fidelity.

He came back because he remembered who he was.  He remembered the truth about himself.  He belonged to his father and nothing that he had done could ever take that away.  He got up and out of that pigsty.  He found his way home.  He had only himself to thank – his father had not left; his father had not changed; everything was there where it always was, but the son had to make his way back, his son had to make the plan, he had to put one foot in front of the other.  It was not magic.  His father did not come and pick him up and bring him home.  He had to find his own way.  And he had only himself to thank for remembering who he was and where he belonged. 

Today our lesson reminds us “it can be but my gratitude I earn.”  When we hark back to the original lesson we are reminded that the world is not pitted against us, it is our own thoughts about the world that we transfer to God that trap us in the pigsty of sin, shame, and that deep sense of unworthiness.  Like the prodigal, let us remember today who we really are!  Sons of God.  Let us make our way back to Him, putting off our fear of God and embracing Him with the assurance of His Son, as we forgive the world and all who are in it for not being able to keep its promises, to show its gratitude, to be pure and righteous and holy.  Now we know.  Without Him it is a ruse; it is a freak show; it is a battleground; it is death.  With Him we are saved and the world with us.  Let us thank ourselves for making our way back to our Father’s love.  We are not bodies, we are free.  For we are still as God created us.[2] 

[1]A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 217. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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