Lesson 248 Whatever Suffers Is Not Part of Me

  1. I have disowned the truth.  Now let me be as faithful in disowning falsity.  Whatever suffers is not part of me.  What grieves is not myself.  What is in pain is but illusion in my mind.  What dies was never living in reality and did but mock the truth about myself.  Now I disown self-concepts and deceits and lies about the holy Son of God.  Now am I ready to accept him back as God created him, and as he is.
  2. Father, my ancient love for You returns, and lets me love Your Son again as well.  Father, I am as You created me.  Now is Your Love remembered, and my own.  Now do I understand that they are one.[1] 
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Notes and Personal Application:  This morning, as I do every day, I ask the Lord to bring the lesson home to me, to give me personal application, to make the ideas, the concepts, the prayers and meditations real to me.  It is one thing to have a theoretical understanding of a concept, but to really get something and to experience it as truth, we must have something to pin it upon.

In today’s lesson, Jesus is reminding us that those who live in the flesh have disowned the truth.  In other words, we seem to exist and have our being in an alternative, temporal time warp outside the endlessness of eternity.  In this alternative dimension, truth does not seem to stand alone.  All that is true and lovely and of good report has an opposite.  There is the yin and the yang.  There is male and female.  There is light and darkness.  There is right and wrong.  In this world we are assured one thing and yet get quite another.  Everything that is true is tinged with untruth.  The promise of youth is answered with the inevitability of age, decay, and death.  In this hellish realm, we embrace that which abhors affection; we seek logic and reason where there is none; we glorify that which eats us alive.  Jesus tells us today, to stop cherishing this realm of falsity and deny its hold and power over us. 

This morning in our devotional discussion, James and I both went down a path that could have led to pain, suffering, shame, and unease.  We were talking about our past in the light of who we are now.  Memories of our former lovers, spouses, and romantic encounters, seen in the light of falsity fill us with sorrow that we had not been together, that we did not share those years, that we had been so foolish as to have tried to find love with anybody but each other. 

Through the physical eyes, through the condemning eyes of the world, our former relationships are a source of regret at best, shame, contempt, and spite at worst.  There is a much-rehearsed litany of all the reasons that this one and that one failed us, disappointed us, betrayed us, or in some way, shape, or form did not measure up to assuage our loneliness, gratify our desires, or respect our boundaries.  There is a less-rehearsed litany of all the ways in which we had failed ourselves, had gladly hopped into the sack with someone before we so much as knew their middle name or their favorite color, not to mention the nuances of their particular character.  While all our good sense was screaming silently at us to run, we obligated ourselves further to those who would only take advantage.  No wonder we wince at the memories!

Yet today Jesus is telling us that none of this suffering is real.  God has no use for pain or suffering.  It simply was not created by Him and it is not part of His Will or Nature to see us suffer, deservedly or otherwise.  When we see our past through the eyes of Christ, we can revisit it with love, with deepened understanding and forgiveness, with gratitude of all the lessons we learned.  When we take responsibility for our failed romances, marriages, and relationships, we no longer feel victimized by them or our former selves.  We can bless ourselves and the people with whom we shared that time frame.  We can remember the fun and excitement, the kindness and generosity, the ups and the downs in the light of God’s love.  Our story would not be complete without them in it!  Their story would not be complete without us.  It is simply that – a story about separation, a story about making something other than God’s Will. 

Once we recognize this key truth of the world, we can be free of it.  It is only a story, a dream, an illusion.  It is an illusion of the prodigal mind which has seemed to separate from its Source.  We save ourselves and the world from grief, pain, and suffering by recognizing what it is and what it is for – a story of separation, the story of us, finding our way back to God and our oneness with Him. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 248. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

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