1. How willing are you to forgive your brother? How much do you desire peace instead of endless strife and misery and pain? These questions are the same, in different form. Forgiveness is your peace, for herein lies the end of separation and the dream of danger and destruction, sin and death, of madness and murder, grief and loss. This is the “sacrifice” salvation asks, and gladly offers peace instead of this.
2. Swear not to die, you holy Son of God! You make a bargain that you cannot keep. The Son of Life cannot be killed. He is immortal as his Father. What he is cannot be changed. He is the only thing in all the universe that must be one. What seems eternal all will have an end. The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade will not return. Where time has set an end is not where the eternal is. God’s Son can never change by what men made of him. He will be as he was and as he is, for time appointed not his destiny, nor set the hour of his birth and death. Forgiveness will not change him. Yet time waits upon forgiveness that the things of time may disappear because they have no use.
3. Nothing survives its purpose. If it be conceived to die, then die it must unless it does not take this purpose as its own. Change is the only thing that can be made a blessing here, where purpose is not fixed, however changeless it appear to be. Think not that you can set a goal unlike God’s purpose for you and establish it as changeless and eternal. You can give yourself a purpose that you do not have. But you can not remove the power to change your mind and see another purpose there.
4. Change is the greatest gift God gave to all that you would make eternal, to ensure that only Heaven would not pass away. You were not born to die. You cannot change because your function has been fixed by God. All other goals are set in time and change that time might be preserved, excepting one. Forgiveness does not aim at keeping time, but at its ending, when it has no use. Its purpose ended; it is gone. And where it once held seeming sway is now restored the function God established for His Son in full awareness. Time can set no end to its fulfillment nor its changelessness. There is no death because the living share the function their Creator gave to them. Life’s function cannot be to die. It must be life’s extension, that it be as one forever and forever, without end.
5. This world will bind your feet and tie your hands and kill your body only if you think that it was made to crucify God’s Son. For even though it was a dream of death, you need not let it stand for this to you. Let this be changed and nothing in the world but must be changed as well. For nothing here but is defined as what you see it for.
6. How lovely is the world whose purpose is forgiveness of God’s Son! How free from fear, how filled with blessing and with happiness! And what a joyous thing it is to dwell a little while in such a happy place! Nor can it be forgot, in such a world, it is a little while till timelessness comes quietly to take the place of time.
When we seek to awaken we come to our devotional practice with a heart and mind dedicated to see past the world’s history of suffering, loneliness, and death. We are tired of the bloody saga of our world. We are tired of entertaining ourselves with public hangings, whipping posts, and other humiliations and hungers that only serve to whet our appetites for more of the same. We are weary of the trite and meaningless sacrifices, sad tales, and overrated, overpriced notions and potions that promise to save us from sickness and despair.
Today Jesus informs us of the simple equation of awakening: Forgiveness = peace; unforgiveness = ongoing strife, misery, and pain. When we hold on to grudges, resentments, and conflict, when we take mean-spirited delight in the sin and suffering of others, we pledge ourselves to death, but this is a promise we cannot keep. The Son of Life lives on as immortal as God Who created us. We cannot change Who and What we are. We are One with God, and yet we sleep. When we awaken, our flesh senses disappear; all that we think that we understand about time and space, the beginning and ending, love, peace, hatred, and conflict dissipates. Time did not give us life and it cannot kill us. While our forgiveness of each other will not change our reality, forgiveness does awaken us from the dreams of time.
To seek purpose and meaning in the dreams we dream, we find a world enchanted with perceptual idols. Thousands of different dreams and then thousands more glorify the opposites and opposition of time’s realm. The quarrel between right and wrong, the good and evil, the innocent and the guilty! We are the good guys trying to accomplish great things in the world against all the greedy, jealous, lustful, evil, blood thirsty, low-down and dirty bad guys. It is the formula for a seemingly endless supply of drama and trauma. Round and round we go, where it stops nobody knows!
We fall into idolatry when we seek for gratification and satisfaction outside the Being within. We remain enchanted by dreams of blame and shame. I cannot latch on to you and call you my bestie without making you accountable for my happiness and my unhappiness. And when you fail me, I will build a case against you in my mind for not being there when I needed you most. I will not forgive you for liking him as well as me! I may smile and pretend all is cool between us but each time you fail to meet my expectations I will harbor resentment and ill will toward you. And until I forgive you for my idolatry, I cannot forgive myself for it, because I will not see it, I will not perceive it as my wrongdoing. I will have other players in the dream take my side and agree with me that you are the bad guy in this scenario, and I am the good one! This conflict carries through, no matter how many different forms I may take over the course of time, I cannot take this pettiness, this secret dream and desire for specialness and besties to God’s Kingdom. I must work this out in and through time until I learn the equation – forgiveness = peace; unforgiveness = ongoing cycles of unhappiness and estrangement.
To awaken to the peace of God, we must forgive the dreams of death. The God within us completes us. No single thing from the dream takes His place for God is the All in all. To have this settle upon our awareness, we let go of the meaningless, chaotic collage of separateness and specialness that defines “life” in this realm.
We do not have to cluck over the sins of the past nor point fingers of judgment and condemnation. We must leave it where it is for to not forgive it, is to drag it all out and replay its tired, wearing, wearying scenes again and again. Such things sicken us by darkening our minds. And while sickness can often serve as a call to awaken, it is much happier and saner to awaken by letting the wrongs of the past stay in the past. To dig about in it, recalling the inconsiderate and unkind only serves to keep regurgitating different forms of death.
Today commit to your devotional practice by practicing forgiveness. Anything or anybody that crops up in your mind and attempts to dim the loveliness of Creation and your fearlessness in Sonship lightly brush away by reaching for forgiveness, by learning and understanding how our quiet inward practice of forgiveness is our return to the peace and timelessness of God.
A Course in Miracles. Chapter 29 The awakening vi forgiveness and the end of time. 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