II. SECTION 14. What am I?
Lesson 352 Judgment and love are opposites. From one come all the sorrows of the world. But from the other comes the peace of God Himself.
- Forgiveness looks on sinlessness alone and judges not. Through this, I come to You. Judgment will bind my eyes and make me blind. Yet love, reflected in forgiveness here, reminds me You have given me a way to find Your peace again. I am redeemed when I elect to follow in this way. You have not left me comfortless. I have within me both the memory of You and One Who leads me to it. Father, I would hear Your Voice and find Your peace today. For I would love my own Identity and find in It the memory of You.
What are we? What am I? What are you? Today Jesus tells us clearly that in order to find ourselves, our true Identity, we must be redeemed from our false identity, the worthless fake “me,” that has usurped our Identity and seemed to separate us from the whole.
How are we freed from all that is insignificant, valueless, and ends in despair and death? We accept our sinlessness, we refuse to judge, to condemn. This is the way to God; this is the way to our true Identity. Judgment blinds us to our reality as one, as whole, as interdependent and interlocking pieces of Creation. When I can look at you as something different from myself, more or less worthy, more or less value, more or less good, kind, tender, and pure – I am using judgment not forgiveness. Because as long as I see you as different from me in all the ways that really matter, I am not forgiving, I am comparing. I am judging – you against me and me against you.
But oh the joy when I “forgive” the differences that blind me to our oneness! When I overlook all that the ego would set up as a roadblock to deny our oneness, our equality, our lack of specialness one above the other – I recognize your true worth and when I recognize your true worth, Sweet Jesus, I recognize my own. And it is only when I recognize our joint worth that I find my true Identity in God. Before that I thought I knew who I was and yet who was I but a passing little blip on the screen of time, sucking up resources, insecure, chasing after that which has no lasting value, forming alliances that provide no abiding love. For what I called love was a dog from hell. While it seemed to promise warmth, comfort, fidelity; often times love seemed to bite me in the ass and leave me destitute, lonely, and in despair!
Yesterday I looked forward all day to having a little shopping spree with my grandson, Zachary. Everyone in the family suspects that Zachary is my favorite grandson because we really click. We enjoy each other’s company; we understand each other. I can say that he is not my favorite, because love is not a respecter of persons, but I can say that Zachary is the one that responds to my calls. So there was Grandpa shoveling out the Jeep and clearing a path for me to leave the house so I could go pick him up right after school. I pictured us lingering over items, discussing them for each member of the family – would his dad like this? Would his brothers enjoy this? What would mom think of this? We would probably grab a bite to eat and one of those flavored, overly sweet coffees that he loves. How fun it would be to load up the trunk with our treasures and bring them all back to the house and take them up to the spare bedroom to be wrapped. That was my picture.
So when I picked him up and we were on our way to the mall, and his dad called and said something about being home by 4:00 to go see some friends, I gave him a sharp look. And he quickly told his dad to go along without him, and I thought that was settled. But then while we were shopping and barely had our second cart half full, he worriedly mentioned that he had promised his mother that he would be home by 5:00. This barely gave us time to checkout of the store and make the trip back to his place.
“Well, it would have been nice to know that before we got here,” I sputtered angrily. I felt so aggrieved with him for ruining my picture of our happy time together, that I could barely look at him. In fact, I did not look at him. I ripped through the store, grabbing one more thing or two from the shelves, before checking out. Wheeling the cart through the slippery parking lot, throwing the stuff I bought into the back of the Jeep, I felt justified in being hurt, resentful, and spun up about our aborted Christmas shopping spree. No matter how many times he told me that he was sorry, I remained huffy and silent.
There was that mean little part of me that wanted him to feel bad because I was choosing to feel bad. Of course, I did forgive him only to learn there was nothing to forgive. He had pictured a quick trip made expressly to pick out a special chair that he wanted under the Christmas tree. We had made a mistake; we had not communicated properly. From now on we will, we promised. Nobody has to be hurt or angry, nobody has to say they are sorry and plead forgiveness. Instead of an atmosphere of bitterness and hostility on my part, and a feeling of bewildered distress on his, we corrected and blessed and remained joyful all the way home. We even took the time to drop off some cheer to a dear friend who is not feeling well. How thankful he was that instead of holding a grudge toward him, forgiving Grammy took control over the rancorous imposer Grammy. In forgiving Grammy is where I find my true Self. This is where I find the peace of God. This is where I find love for my own Identity and find in Me the memory of God.
The practice of the concept behind this homely, everyday application, redeems and saves us from separateness and thoughts of sin. We discover who we really are when we refuse to judge another. Judging is measuring a situation or another against ourselves or what we think of as our know-it-all power to judge a situation, to surmise the whole picture and decide which parts are good and necessary and which parts can be discarded, disregarded, and disrespected. Judging is not our function because in separation we can never know the whole picture! Forgiveness is our function. When we forgive, we realize that there is nothing to forgive – but first we must practice forgiveness because the act of forgiveness melts our resistance to oneness.
Today ask God to reveal to you the instances in your own life which illustrate how judgment leads to all the sorrows of the world, while love leads to the everlasting peace of God.
 A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 352. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992). P. 480.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com