Section IV. Entering the Ark
1. Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so. Yet you give power as the laws of this world interpret giving as you give you lose. It is not up to you to give power at all. Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit, Who knows that as you give you gain. He gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor to its results as this world sees them, – sickness and death and misery and pain. These things have not occurred because the Holy Spirit sees them not and gives no power to their seeming source. Thus, would He keep you free of them. Being without illusion of what you are, the Holy Spirit merely gives everything to God, Who has already given and received all that is true. The untrue He has neither received nor given.
2. Sin has no place in Heaven, where its results are alien and can no more enter than can their source. And therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. In him is Heaven. See sin in him instead and Heaven is lost to you. But see him as he is, and what is yours shines from him to you. Your savior gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you. It lies in him to overlook all your mistakes and therein lies his own salvation. And so, it is with yours. Salvation is a lesson in giving, as the Holy Spirit interprets it. It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws and given them power to enforce what God created not.
3. Your insane laws are made to guarantee that you would make mistakes and give them power over you by accepting their results as your just due. What could this be but madness? And is it this that you would see within your savior from insanity? He is as free from this as you are, and in the freedom that you see in him you see your own. For this you share. What God has given follows His laws, and His alone. Nor is it possible for those who follow them to suffer the results of any other source.
4. Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. Their power is of God, and they will give it only to what God has given, to share with them. Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. And thus, their freedom is established and maintained. It is upheld through all temptation to imprison and to be imprisoned. It is of them who learn of freedom that you should ask what freedom is. Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars, for those with little wings have not accepted for themselves the power to share with you.
5. The sinless give as they received. See, then, the power of sinlessness within your brother and share with him the power of the release from sin you offered him. To each who walks this earth in seeming solitude is a savior given, whose special function here is to release him, and so to free himself. In the world of separation each is appointed separately, though they are all the same. Yet those who know that they are all the same need not salvation. And each one finds his savior when he is ready to look upon the face of Christ and see Him sinless.
6. The plan is not of you, nor need you be concerned with anything except the part that has been given you to learn. For He Who knows the rest will see to it without your help. But think not that He does not need your part to help Him with the rest. For in your part lies all of it, without which is no part complete, nor is the whole completed without your part. The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of another world goes with them. Each holy relationship must enter here, to learn its special function in the Holy Spirit’s plan, now that it shares His purpose. And as this purpose is fulfilled, a new world rises in which sin can enter not, and where the Son of God can enter without fear and where he rests a while, to forget imprisonment and to remember freedom. How can he enter, to rest and to remember, without you? Except you be there, he is not complete. And it is his completion that he remembers there.
7. This is the purpose given you. Think not that your forgiveness of your brother serves but you two alone. For the whole new world rests in the hands of every two who enter here to rest. And as they rest, the face of Christ shines on them and they remember the laws of God, forgetting all the rest and yearning only to have His laws perfectly fulfilled in them and all their brothers. Think you when this has been achieved that you will rest without them? You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you and forget part of myself.
8. You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill. As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. God’s guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. It rests on you. And what can be more certain than a Son of God?
All power is from God. God does no hoard power to Himself and hold it over us, teasing us with it and making us bow and worship, grovel and plead with Him to give us a bit to help us through the hard times we face. God’s power is awakened in us by Holy Spirit – for the law of God is not that what we give we lose, but that what we give we gain. It is very important that we learn, understand, and teach that God gives no power to sin – and therefore it has none. God gives no power to the results of sin and separation such as sickness, death, misery, and pain. These are things that happen in the illusion – they do not happen in God’s Kingdom and God’s Kingdom is the only reality. No reasonable and sane God would get worked up, hold grudges against us, or devise violent punishments for anything that never really happened or that only exists in an hallucination. When we learn this, understand this, teach this and practice this truth in our daily lives, we give everything to God even as Holy Spirit gives all things to God. There is only truth in God and that is all God gives to us – God does not give us illusions. If we have illusions, we have made them up ourselves!
Jesus urges us to see each other as we really are for the Kingdom of God is in us. When we go about focusing on the human faults, frailties, and viciousness in each other, when we fill our conversations with unbecoming, gossipy remarks about others, when we hold grudges in our hearts and build cases against others – Heaven is lost to us. As we learn to see each other as Christ sees us, the light of Heaven shines through us. We find only love when we choose to find only love – it is entirely up to you what you find in me, and it is entirely up to me what I find in you. When you look for love in me, you will overlook all my mistakes, my irksome personality traits, my lack of style, grace, and beauty. You will overlook all of that and find only the Christ that is my true Being and your true Being. The Christ is the Sonship in me and the Sonship in you. When you give this gift to me, you give me salvation even as I return it to you. You begin to practice the laws of God rather than the laws of the perceptual world which would find fault in me, keep me in the low place in your mind where you can control the false little me that you think you know and can control in there, and believe that you have power to enforce these misperceptions and call it “me.” When you choose to see past all my flaws, imperfections, and mistakes from the past – you get to know the real me and together we offer each other salvation for we have found Christ in one another.
As humans we are designed to guarantee failure, we are designed to hurt one another, we are designed to be manipulated through our drives for food, sex, warmth, and a yearning for connection and belonging. We learn to accept our frailty and vulnerability, our lack of perfection, our pain and suffering, our grief and sorrow as part of life, as the inevitable cost of life – but Jesus tells us that this is insanity. We can be free of all that the laws of this world would burden us with for what God gives follows His laws and His alone. God did not create this illusionary world of sin, darkness, hunger, isolation, and poverty. Nor did God create the results of sin, darkness, hunger, isolation, and poverty. When we follow the laws of God, we follow the laws of Love and choose to perceive the love and perfection of Christ in each other we will never suffer the results of any other laws.
Choose freedom from the perceptual world, we will only experience the results of freedom. The only power there is comes from Love Which is God, and when we give Love, we give what God has given, and when we give and what we give we receive in return. This power is perpetual power which never fades, bottoms out, or runs short, establishing our freedom and maintaining it through eternity. Whenever we would be tempted to imprison others in our lower minds and hold them captive there, whenever we are tempted to be drawn into the low opinions of others or about others, whenever we are tempted to judge others by the perceptual delusion, we remember our beautiful freedom and how it is maintained.
Jesus tells us at the bottom of paragraph four not to ask sparrows how eagles soar, and when I read this, I thought of all the years I sought for answers from self-help books, psychology, therapists, friends, and religious leaders. I remember how puzzled people would be by my call to freedom – one preacher laughed and told me that I had the world by the tail and just to enjoy it. He went on to say that he would love to have me for a second wife to take to parties, to dance and show off with, to make love to, and then return to his first wife who may not be as young or pretty but could bake and sew and keep house! I was so taken aback by his flippant response to my spiritual longing that I held a grudge toward him for years, but now of course I can see that he was a sparrow and how was he to know? He shared with me what he had accepted for himself to share, and he only meant to flatter me, not hurt me or cause me grief.
In paragraph five Jesus tells us that we are to release each other with this power of sinlessness. We are not sent here alone to find salvation on our own, but we find it through one another. For years we were taught that simply by professing Christ as our Savior we are saved and all who do not profess Christ would die in their sin and burn in hell forever. While some of us may be content with this perception of gospel, it is cruel and unjust and puts an undue burden on the followers of Christ to go out into the world and try to cram the belief in Christ down each other’s throats in order to save them from hellfire and eternal torture. It teaches of a God that must be feared instead of loved; it promotes the ego’s idea of God in that sin must be punished instead of mistakes must be corrected.
Jesus tells us that we find Christ in each other. When I recognize Christ in you, I recognize Christ in me. When I am ready to find Christ, I am ready to see you as sinless. I am ready to look past all the glaring mistakes you have made, all the times you let me down, all the mean things you said and did and only see the Son of God in you.
This is all we must learn and do. We don’t have to choose the “right” doctrine or set of religious beliefs, rites, and rituals. All we must do is see past our humanity to the Christ within us and thus we enter into the ark of peace – two by two – to the end of our bondage to a world that would set us against one another, a world of haves and have-nots, a world of opposites and opposition.
When we see Christ in each other, our relationship is blessed; it is made holy. We join in the purpose of Holy Spirit to heal and to help. We bring in a new world which sin cannot enter and where there is no fear, no pain, no sorrow, but only the freedom and liberty of Spirit. I cannot go without you, and you cannot go without me. And why would we want to go without each other?
In paragraph seven, Jesus makes it very clear that we do not have to go out into the world and bring masses of people to Jesus. We are not compelled to leave our homes, our families, our jobs and responsibilities and take up evangelism as our call. Simply practice forgiveness of your brother and this will suffice. The face of Christ shines on the two by two who enter into the rest from the trauma and drama of the perceptual world. We experience this in our daily practice; we experience this in our weekly Course studies; we experience the beautiful rest right here and right now as we learn that the perceptual world is a lie, a sham, a ruse. As we remember the laws of God all we want is to have them perfectly fulfilled in us and in everyone. We would not want to keep anybody away; we would not want anybody to miss out; we would not dream of letting anybody behind. And if we cannot dream of this, how could God turn His back upon His beloved?
In your personal devotions today meditate upon paragraph eight. When we accept God’s plan of salvation, Holy Spirit goes before us making straight our path, clearing the way of every obstacle and every mean thing. When our lower mind tries to make up scenarios of pain and discomfort, our certain trust and love for God melts them away for we know that we will always have everything we need, that God does not make our way hard, that we have nothing at all to fear. God loves His Son and in Christ His Son is you and His Son is me.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 20 The vision of holiness. IV Entering the ark. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.
Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com