II. SECTION 11. What is Creation?
Lesson 322 I can give up but what was never real.
- I sacrifice but illusions; nothing more. And as illusions go, I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome and in readiness to give God’s ancient messages to me. His memory abides in every gift that I receive of Him. And every dream serves only to conceal the Self, Which is God’s Only Son, the likeness of Himself, the Holy One Who still abides in Him forever, as He still abides in me.
- Father, to You all sacrifice remains forever inconceivable. And so I cannot sacrifice except in dreams. As You created me, I can give up nothing You gave me. What You did not give has no reality. What loss can I anticipate except the loss of fear and the return of love into my mind?
Today’s lesson on Creation teaches us that sacrifice is inconceivable to God and therefore impossible in reality. Anything that we would forfeit to our Father from the physical world absolutely holds no appeal to Him. He cannot be moved by the smell of roasting meat. He cannot be stirred by bloodshed. Riches, jewels, and claims to fame do not bribe God to grant our salvation, win His favor, or answer our prayers. Jesus teaches us throughout the Course that it is impossible to both fear and love God. When we fear God instead of love Him, we fear each other instead of love each other. When we conceive of a God Who cherishes our suffering, our shame, our sacrifices; we cherish suffering, shame, and sacrifices in ourselves and others. Today we pray a prayer that recognizes that this ludicrous concept has no place in Creation.
When we “sacrifice” our fear of God and one another, we cannot call it a sacrifice, because we have lost nothing! It is simply removing our belief in a false idea that has been proven insane. To lose the fear of God is to reclaim our treasured spot in Creation – we come to know God’s love and devotion toward us. We come to accept the grace that has been extended to us. Our minds are cleansed and restored to their original purity, innocence, and holiness. Restored to oneness with God, we are restored with oneness with all of Creation. Creation is whole again. The dream of separation and all that it held is forgiven, it is over. We are awakened to the happiness, joy, and love that always was and forever will be. Our minds are set free of all lies and delusions.
In the day-to-day application of this concept, it can very much look like a reconciliation between brothers who were estranged. When one is no longer afraid of the other – of their rolling eyes, wagging tongues, gripes and snipes – love is all that remains. They can look beyond the things of the past, the ways in which their egos sought to hurt one another instead of support and encourage one another. Forgiveness allows them to clearly see the how and why and what that obscured their mutual love. Forgiveness allows them to see the smudges on the lens of their perception, you could say. When they choose to forgive each others dishonesty, they remember their honesty. When they forgive that which was harsh between them, tenderness is remembered. When they forgive one another’s apathy, laziness, and manipulations, their joint contribution, industry, and innocence is remembered. When all which the ego would hold up as a smokescreen to shield them from love is forgiven, the smokescreen fades away. It had no everlasting value. It did not affect their reality as beloved and treasured Sons of God. Forgiveness simply washes away the meaningless smudges that obscured their love. One could hardly call it sacrifice; Jesus points out.
In fact if one brother believes he has sacrificed, there is no true reconciliation. If one brother demands a sacrifice from the other, there is no reconciliation. In love the very idea of taking something away from the other, of being better than or more than, is unimaginable. Those who have everything and everyone in their corner, demand nothing because in truth we give each other that which is freely given and with the mutuality born in the holiness and purity of oneness. In the eternal flow of getting to give and giving to get, there is no room for sacrifice, only love.
Today let us be reminded that the only thing that must be left behind is our fear of God and of one another. Once that is out of the way, we can clearly see the joyful, blessed Creation in which we are made one.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 322. Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). p. 462.
Audio credit: the friar patch @ www.eckiefriar.com