Lesson 253 My Self Is Ruler Of The Universe

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 253 My Self is Ruler of the Universe

  1. It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself.  Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny.  What happens is what I desire.  What does not occur is what I do not want to happen.  This must I accept.  For thus am I led past this world to my creations, children of my will, in Heaven where my holy Self abides with them, and Him Who has created me.
  2. You are the Self Whom You created Son, creating like Yourself and one with You.  My Self, Which rules the universe, is but Your Will in perfect union with my own, which can but offer glad assent to Yours, that it may be extended to Itself.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  In today’s lesson Jesus teaches that when we accept our Sonship with Him, we rule the Universe.  Nothing can hurt us.  Even while we are still cloaked in flesh and blood, we rule what comes to us by what we invite into our lives.  By joining our consciousness with Christ’s, we go past our role as humans trapped in time, doomed to die, to return to dust, and accept our role as rulers of the universe. 

In today’s lesson Jesus teaches us that we are to assume responsibility for all things pertaining to our personal destiny not only in this realm but also the universe beyond.  We are here to correct our mistake, move past it, and return to the Kingdom that belongs not only to God, but to us as His Sons.  There in the real creation, all that was created is our own, for we are one with God.  We are not created as inferior beings to serve a God who demands worship, praise, and eternal adoration because of some very ungodly ego needs that we would foist upon our Creator.  We are created to be one with Him.  To join His consciousness, to rule the consciousness of the universe with standards of love, peace, and joy forever.

This is a lesson in getting past victimization.  We no longer think of others as having wronged us, even childhood abuses are not excuses to lick our wounds and blame upon our unhealthy, unwise choices.  Last year I wrote about how difficult I was finding it to agree with the concept that I chose my childhood:  losing my father at a tender age, dragged about the world on seeming goose chases for Jesus with my missionary mother, living with a strange assortment of charlatans, the deranged, and unwholesome.  Thinking of the struggle to find honesty, friendship, safety, and love in all that chaos still fills me with a sense of that old dread.  And yet Jesus states that this is what we chose when we separated from God.  We chose to come to a realm that would make us forget our identity, would tempt us to think of ourselves as helpless, powerless, and vulnerable.  We chose danger over security – doing things our way instead of God’s way excited our imaginations, presented itself as attractive, enticing, and fun.  And it is – at first!  Until it breaks our hearts.  Until it tears us to pieces.  Until the separation is exposed for exactly what it is – that which keeps us from the love of God and our Creation. 

In our prayer today we expand our minds to accept our oneness with God and with all of Creation.  We accept our power, our roles as rulers with Him.  We have changed our concept of God from a false deity who would create beings to worship and fear Him to a loving Father who created Sons to be like Him and be one with Him.  We stand with Him through Christ who woke us from our false identity in flesh and restored to us our identity as Sons. 

Lord of the everlasting universe – Who rules in love, order, benevolence, and goodwill – is our Father, Creator, and Friend.  We are one with Him, ruling in happy communion.  His creations are our creations.  Today we give our glad assent to wake from the stupor of humanity and accept our destiny in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 253. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 252 The Son Of God Is My Identity

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 252 The Son of God Is My Identity

  1. My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive.  Its shimmering and perfect purity is far more brilliant than is any light that I have ever looked upon.  Its love is limitless with an intensity that holds all things within it, in the calm of quiet certainty.  Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself.  How far beyond this world my Self must be, and yet how near to me and close to God!
  2. Father, You know my true Identity.  Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me.[1] 
Photo credit: http://www.guideposts.org

Notes and Personal Application Our Father knows us as He created us.  When we return to Him, we return to our true identity as His Son.  We do not recognize ourselves at first.  Gone are all thoughts of sin and shame, sorrow and grief, disenchantment and depression.  We are no longer defined by our mistakes, our failures, or our fumbling awkwardness and unease in the world of egos.  We are His, like Him – restored to our heavenly home. 

On a daily basis, I do not feel particularly holy.  I tend to be grumpy in the morning before I have my coffee.  While I know better than to harbor mean thoughts toward others, revisit old grudges, or build cases against others in my mind, there are times when I still identify more with the ego than the holy Son of God. 

And yet today Jesus reminds us of our holiness in Him.  He shares His Identity with each one of us.  Full of light and love beyond our ability to imagine, we are as constant and certain as God.  We are beyond the world and yet still of the world.  Our human experience is literally transformed by simply accepting our identity in Christ.  We accept Jesus to stand with Him and to be like Him, to be Him – for we are one.  

This is the message that saves the world.  This is the message that is as certain and constant as God.  It resolves every wrong; it forgives every mistake; it overlooks all crime, injustice, and ill-gotten gains.  We are God’s Son.  We have squandered our identity on that which brings decay, disease, and death, and yet God takes our humanity and restores our divinity because His love for us has no end. 

Today we thank Him.  We thank Him for not abandoning us to our own devices.  We thank Him for waking us from the nightmare of sin and restoring us to our heavenly home.  Today we praise Him for we are reminded of our ancient love for Him, Who deserves our devotion even as He is devoted to us.   

Join with me today in thanking God for our salvation from the pit of humanity and restoring us to who and what we really are in Him. 

Dear Lord, Let us never forget who we are in Christ who came for us, who suffered humanity, humiliation, and death in order to set us free.  Let us know Him, let us love Him, let us stand with Him and do our part in salvation’s plan.   In the name of Jesus with whom we are one.  Amen.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 252. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 251 I Am In Need Of Nothing But The Truth

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PART II.  SECTION 4: WHAT IS SIN?

Lesson 251 I Am In Need Of Nothing But The Truth

  1. I sought for many things and found despair.  Now do I seek but one, for in that one is all I need, and only what I need.  All that I sought before I needed not and did not even want.  My only need I did not recognize.  But now I see that I need only truth.  In that all needs are satisfied, all cravings end, all hopes are finally fulfilled, and dreams are gone.  Now have I everything that I could need.  Now have I everything that I could want.  And now at last I find myself at peace.
  2. And for that peace, our Father, we give thanks.  What we denied ourselves You have restored, and only that is what we really want.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  In the introduction to Section Four Jesus reminds us that as long as we are in the body we strive, we seek, we have eyes and ears and senses because we believe in sin rather than in the truth.  In the lies and illusion which we made up when we separated from the oneness of God, we made for ourselves flesh and blood bodies, we evolved into something apart from the rest of Creation, we set ourselves upon Creation to devour, deconstruct, and destroy it rather than to appreciate our oneness with it and God.  We sought God in forms that made sense to the ego – bloodthirsty gods of anger, wrath, jealousy, and ill will towards any who would fail to grovel before them. 

With truth, we have no more use for the false gods of the ego; our body’s senses are obsolete.  When we know who and what we really are – we no longer cling to our meager humanity because only in God do we find meaning, our divinity, the unity in which we denied ourselves.   

When these ideas dawn upon our consciousness we experience peace, our constant striving is over, we relax into the everlasting Arms of God.  We give thanks, not as a sacrifice, but as a natural bubbling up of deep gratitude for the tranquility of our minds.  We offer our humanity to God to use for His Service, not as a sacrifice, but as the only thing we can do with it. 

Today let your heart be gladdened and your mind full of the peace of God.  All the happiness we have denied ourselves is now restored.  All the ways in which we felt alone and adrift in a mean universe is ended.  We have the truth of God’s Love.  We are Sons of God restored to our senses, as one with Christ who set us free. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 251. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Part II: Section 4. What is Sin?

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PART II.  SECTION 4:  WHAT IS SIN

  1. Sin is insanity.  It is the means by which the mind is driven mad and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth.  And being mad, it sees illusions where the truth should be, and where it really is.  Sin gave the body eyes, for what is there the sinless would behold?  What need have they of sights or sounds or touch?  What would they hear or reach or grasp?  What would they sense at all?  To sense is not to know.  And truth can be but filled with knowledge, and with nothing else.
  2. The body is the instrument the mind made in its efforts to deceive itself.  Its purpose is to strive.  Yet can the goal of striving change.  And now the body serves a different aim for striving.  What is seeks for now is chosen by the aim the mind has taken as replacement for the goal of self-deception.  Truth can be its aim as well as lies.  The senses then will seek instead for witnesses to what is true.
  3. Sin is the home of all illusions, which but stand for things imagined, issuing from thoughts that are untrue.  They are the “proof” that what has no reality is real.  Sin “proves” God’s Son is evil; timelessness must have an end; eternal life must die.  And God Himself has lost the Son He loves, with but corruption to complete Himself, His Will forever overcome by death, love slain by hate, and peace to be no more.
  4. A madman’s dreams are frightening, and sin appears indeed to terrify.  And yet what sin perceives is but a childish game.  The Son of God may play he has become a body, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death.  But all the while his Father shines on him and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all.
  5. How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin?  Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children’s toys?  How soon will you be ready to come home?  Perhaps today?  There is no sin.  Creation is unchanged.  Would you still hold return to Heaven back?  How long, O holy Son of God, how long?[1]
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Notes and Personal Meditation How does God get his point across to the common Joe who is willing to remain in sin, cherishes his body as his reality, and has no thought for the holy consciousness of God?  He simply allows time to tell the story, to get the point across, to bring His prodigal home to His everlasting love and life, joy and peace.  Sooner or later, it makes little difference to God, Joe comes home.  Tired of the exhausting, futile game of separation, bodies, faulty perceptions, lying tongues, and dashed hopes, Joe lays down separation, thoughts of sin, and fear of God, and returns to the holy Mind of God. 

There must be a better way, Helen Schucman exclaimed back in the 1960s, and Jesus came and showed her the better way.  That’s not how it is, we said as little ones, hearing the perverted gospel of sin and shame and sorrow, the angry vengeful God, the tiptoeing around His bad temper and unholy rages, the condemnation and curse.  We remembered Him then as our Father, loving and kind, and now we return to Him.  Our mistakes corrected, our minds turned from wrong, our hearts full of gratitude and devotion – we put down our thoughts of sin and disgrace and come to Him, our minds renewed in Christ, made one again.  His Son.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part Two Section Four. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 250 Let Me Not See Myself As Limited

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 250 Let Me Not See Myself As Limited

  1. Let me behold the Son of God today, and witness to his glory.  Let me not try to obscure the holy light in him, and see his strength diminished and reduced to frailty; nor perceive the lacks in him with which I would attack his sovereignty.
  2. He is Your Son, my Father.  And today I would behold his gentleness instead of my illusions.  He is what I am, and as I see him, so I see myself.  Today I would see truly that this day I may at last identify with him.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application We all have characters in our lives who cause us to worry and give rise to concern.  While every single person we meet has their own particular set of virtues and vices, it is the foibles of our family members and close friends which bombard our peace and cause us the most consternation.  When those we hold dearest exhibit personality disorders, greed and selfishness, lack of direction, a tendency towards careless relationships, and bad manners it is difficult, if not impossible, for us to bear witness to their glory. 

Especially in the case of our children and grandchildren, it is all too easy to fall prey to our egos and expect them to be extensions of ourselves.  We interfere in their lives, we demand their allegiance to our traditions, we expect them to like our friends and despise our enemies.  Often we stand between them and learning the necessary lessons that they need not only to survive and thrive in this world, but the spiritual truths that Holy Spirit teaches throughout the natural unfolding of their development.  We demand they adopt our values, take over the family business, raise their children in the same religious dogma, and never bring shame or infamy on the family name.  We make it very clear that their joy fills us with happiness, their achievements and glory brighten our lives, while their heartaches give us pain, their dishonor and shame brings us sorrow, their unhappy mental states give us cause for alarm.  Many times our egos trick us into believing that we are to blame for every wrong choice they make, every heartache they experience, every setback or attack they endure.  We make the mistake of thinking of ourselves as God in their lives instead of brothers. 

Today we are to look past the specialness in the relationships we have in our lives.  We see them not as extensions of our ego. We put aside all our desires and wishes for them in the world, and we recognize them as brothers, as part of the Sonship in all its glory.  We will not interfere with their glory!  We will not focus upon their needs or their limitations.  We will not focus upon the ways in which we failed them, or they failed us.  Jesus tells us today to recognize His sovereignty and their sovereignty.  In other words, when we quiet our minds and hearts, put aside our human wants and desires for those who are special to us, we can recognize our oneness with Christ.  We can stop worrying and fretting.  We can stop blaming ourselves or wondering what we can do to alleviate their burdens or make up for past wrongs.  We can stop pressuring them to do things our way, to make the choices we think they should make, to avoid the pitfalls we made.  We can happily stand aside and allow them to lead their own lives, learn their own lessons, come to God their own way.  We do not have to preach at them, lecture them, or worry over them.  We trust in God; we trust in them. 

In Part Two, Section Three – What is the world, we learned that the world and all that is in it is God’s Son, making up a story of separation, seemingly trapped in an illusion of despair and death, in desperate need of salvation.  Today, let us awaken in Christ.  Today, let His holy light be our holy light; His strength be our strength; His sovereignty be our sovereignty.  Let us trade in our special relationships for holy relationships and see others as we see ourselves, as holy Sons of God, equipped with all we need to find our way to Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 250. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 249 Forgiveness Ends All Suffering And Loss

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 249  Forgiveness Ends All Suffering and Loss

  1. Forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss becomes impossible and anger makes no sense.  Attack is gone and madness has an end.  What suffering is now conceivable?  What loss can be sustained?  The world becomes a place of joy, abundance, charity, and endless giving.  It is now so like to Heaven that it quickly is transformed into the light that it reflects.  And so the journey which the Son of God began has ended in the light from which he came.
  2. Father, we would return our minds to You.  We have betrayed them, held them in a vise of bitterness, and frightened them with thoughts of violence and death.  Now would we rest again in You, as You created us.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  In my first year through the lessons, I had no words for this lesson.  I had no real understanding of it.  I knew that forgiveness was critical to my return to God and I was willing and able to forgive myself and others as the Son of God, and yet I didn’t understand how the simple act of forgiving would end the world’s suffering, how it would bring back the dear ones in which death and estrangement had snatched away, how the madness of the world would stop.  Though my individual experiences with forgiveness gave me a deepened sense of peace, joy, and understanding, the hurts still lurked between times. I still missed our daughter, our parents, our friends and family members who had bit the dust in one way or the other.  There were moments, even days, that the sense of pain and misery would send me into a spiral of self-condemnation, depressing thoughts, and a flopping about feeling as if I had no where in which to put the gloomy shadows that darkened my mind.  Growing old with this miserable sense of loneliness and despair, depleted my life of all meaning. It did not seem a bad thing to die, to let my life be essentially over.  Temptation came at such times in the form of making lifestyle choices that would hasten my own death, such as overeating, becoming lethargic, developing a penchant for watching TV shows, reading novels, and shutting myself off from others in order to stop spreading the affliction that seemed to infect everything I touched.  Forgiveness did not seem to be working for me. 

Yet forgiveness is the key to end all suffering and loss.  Sticking with our Course and letting each day’s lesson teach us more, get through the willful resistance in our minds, taking down our defenses against the truth, letting the world teach us its falsity and lies all works together to bring this truth home to our minds.  When we develop the heightened sense of forgiveness, when it completely takes over our mind, we see the world for what it is.  We see ourselves for who we are in the flesh and we are filled with pity.  We are filled with tenderness.  We are filled with mercy. 

We are not called to deny that good and evil exist on this level of existence, we are called to deny that this level exists at all!  We are not called to despise our flesh and punish ourselves forever for choosing a realm of opposites, we are called to see the realm of opposites for what it really is – not a place of punishment, sin, and shame, but a virtual reality placed in time that teaches us the most important thing we will ever learn – we are nothing without the Everything of God. 

Forgiveness is the key because as long as we believe that death and estrangement, divorce and betrayals, murder, war, rape, cynicism, disease, decay, and death define our reality, we are in a state of constant offense or defense against that which is only a made-up story.  We are here to play our parts – parts that must be forgiven because we all took part in making up this story.  We all had a hand in making up the story of separating from God and from each other.  No matter how small or how large our role is in this story, no matter how seemingly insignificant – Jesus teaches us that those who are born here chose to take God’s Creation and put their own twist on it.

For those of us who are fond of blaming Satan on everything evil in the world, the Course teaches that the devil is our own egos.  There is no outside force involved.  The story of the world is the story we make up about it.  It is the lies we have believed about Creation that make our perceptions of the world seem real.  When we forget our Sonship, when we put aside our Brotherhood, we are floundering about lost and lonely in a world of shards, fragments, and pieces searching for a way to put it back together again in a place that harbors opposites and division, rather than wholeness, unity, and love.  The best we can hope for here is the special relationship, a tricky alliance complete with rules, expectations, and obligations that foster neediness, stress, and an ongoing sense of sin, shame, and fear. 

Once we see the world for what it is, we can forgive it.  We free ourselves from special relationships and seek only holy relationships, which focus on love, forgiveness, freedom, mutuality, and oneness with God.  We stop holding grudges toward this one or that one for failing us.  We stop holding ourselves accountable to the obligations and tiresome expectations that others would demand from us.  We forgive the past and all that it holds because we understand it is only a story, a chapter in our lives that is over, that we revisit only for purposeful exercises in understanding, illustration, and wisdom. 

This is how forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss is impossible, and anger makes absolutely no sense.  We see it as the inglorious story of man, not the story of God.  God’s Kingdom has never and will never go to war because there is nothing to fight against.  A Kingdom with all power, glory, and honor cannot and will not seek more power, glory, and honor.  God’s kingdom is love, joy, and peace because it is Everything.  God’s Kingdom has no interest in this false kingdom except to bring His prodigals home.  Leave his-story, God says, and come back to My Story, which is your story, which is Our Story, which is the One Story that ever was, which ever is, which ever will be. 

Today forgiveness leads us to return our minds to God.  In holy humility, we admit to ourselves and to our Father how we have betrayed our holy minds.  We have filled them with bitterness.  We have cherished soured and perverted thoughts against Creation.  We have preyed upon and gorged upon that which was meant to be loved and cherished, held in reverence and awe.    We have infested our minds with thoughts of bloodshed, cruelty, derision, and death.  Forgiveness frees us of our blame and shame.  Our minds return to God – no longer riddled characters in the story of man – but beloved, everlasting Sons as God created us to be. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 249. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 248 Whatever Suffers Is Not Part Of Me

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

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] 
Photo credit: http://www.bestlifeonline.com

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).

Audio credit:  the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 247 Without Forgiveness I Will Still Be Blind

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 247 Without Forgiveness I Will Still Be Blind

  1. Sin is the symbol of attack.  Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer.  For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me.  Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely.  Brother, come and let me look on you.  Your loveliness reflects my own.  Your sinlessness is mine.  You stand forgiven, and I stand with you.
  2. So would I look on everyone today.  My brothers are Your Sons.  Your Fatherhood created them and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well.  Today I honor You through them, and thus hope this day to recognize my Self.[1]
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Notes and Personal Application:  We blind ourselves to the truth of God when we continue to hold condemnation and unforgiveness in our hearts toward others.  When we look upon the world and the people, circumstances, and events as sinful, evil, and out to get us, to persecute us, to take away our sunshine, to steal Christmas, to deny us our pleasures and treasures, we are blind.  We still do not get what salvation is all about.  No matter how much we talk about Jesus, we do not know Him.  No matter how many people we drag to church, no matter how much we read our bibles, no matter how much we cry out to God, as long as we fail to see others as ourselves, as long as we are content that we get to go to heaven while others burn in hell, as long as we see God as the unloving father who prepares dungeons of torment for His prodigals, we have missed the point.

In today’s lesson Jesus urges us to see that the idea of “sin” stands for attack.  If I can call my coworker sinful and think of myself as holy, I am attacking my coworker.  I am not recognizing our oneness.  I am seeing myself as separate from him and therefore separate from the Lord. 

Years ago I was having such a struggle with a coworker.  I kept complaining about her in my prayers.  I cited her wrongdoing: the lies she told, the ways in which she cheated, stole, and used people to get what she wanted.  Sharing an office, I was privy to the personal phone conversations she took on company time.  I sat, dumb and seething, as she turned family members against each other; played favorites; lied to her husband in a soft, crooning voice, cajoled officials, wormed her way in to high places.  Our office was full of her secret purchases, boxes and files of bills and letters from creditors crammed our file cabinets, bookcases, and work closet.  Day after day I was regaled with the boring, trite ongoing drama of her out-of-control personal life. 

And yet everyone seemed to prefer her over me!  She was tall and thin and bleached her hair.  She was showy, sporting the latest fashions and trends.  I despised this woman but every time I went to God in prayer, God told me how much He loved her.  He would turn a deaf ear to all of her wrongdoing.  He did not want to hear the bad report.  His still quiet voice inside would ask me to forgive her, to love her, to learn what she was teaching me. 

I have come to realize that we were one – that her problems were my problems; that her mistakes were my mistakes.  While I thought of myself as more honest, smarter, and spiritual, I was blind to the truth of our oneness.  Her mistakes may have taken a different form than my own, but that did not absolve me from the attack and condemnation that I chose to perceive rather than her loveliness, her purity, her innocence, and goodness.  I was so caught up in my jealousy and superiority toward her that I was blinded to her divinity, and therefore to my own.  I could have offered her forgiveness, but instead I cherished the thought of her as a narcissist, a sociopath, a raving egomaniac.  If she was all that, then I mistakenly thought that I could be something else. 

But it does not work that way, Jesus tells us.  We suffer as long as we refuse the simple truth of His Vision.  Refuse the Vision of Christ for anybody and we deny it to ourselves.  We remain trapped in a dark pit along with all we see as different from ourselves.  What we see in our outer world is there to teach us lessons in separation and darkness.  I learned so much about myself from my coworker.  Perhaps her wrongdoings seemed more blatant than my own, but they brought to light my own tendency to be sneaky, to tell fibs, to exaggerate my own worth, to compete and push myself to the forefront, to rely on my charm and winsomeness, to nose in the affairs of others, to get ahead in a game that goes nowhere. 

As long as we are engaged in pointing fingers and blaming others for their godlessness, telling their stories of shame, and broadcasting their mistakes, we are causing our own suffering.  We are not healed, and we cannot offer salvation and healing to others.  We can invite people to our tabernacles and offer them a social “gospel,” a pleasant place to come and make friends with other nice people who try not to tell lies, cheat on their taxes, or covet their neighbor’s ass, but we are not recognizing our true function in Christ.  We are not standing with Him.  We are not accepting our role in the plan of salvation. 

We honor Christ every time we refuse to give place in our minds to sin in any form.  We honor Christ each time we deny the power of sin and shame to defeat us, to frighten us, or cause us to cower.  We honor Christ when we can look upon the world with forbearance and forgiveness because we recognize it as the farce it is. 

Today look on everyone through the eyes of the Father sure of His Sons’ return.  He created all of us, we are one with Christ, His beloved and truest, trusted Son.  We honor God when we honor one another and hold each other in our minds and hearts, not with our fallen, perverted natures, but our true natures in God.  Today we come before God not as the accusers, but as the forgivers.  We tell Him of how dear our brothers are to us, how worthy of our affection and love, how grateful we are to them for being part of us, our created being, our story incomplete without them. 

Today we honor God through His Creation and it is through His Creation that we come to know our true and everlasting Selves. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 247. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 244 To Love My Father Is To Love His Son

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 246  To Love My Father is to Love His Son.

  1. Let me not think that I can find the way to God, if I have hatred in my heart.  Let me not try to hurt God’s Son and think that I can know his Father or my Self.  Let me not fail to recognize myself, and still believe that my awareness can contain my Father, or my mind conceive of all the love my Father has for me and all the love which I return to Him.
  2. I will accept the way You choose for me to come to You, my Father.  For in that will I succeed because it is Your Will.  And I would recognize that what You will is what I will as well, and only that.  And so I choose to love Your Son.  Amen.[1]
Photo by Matheus Bertelli on Pexels.com

Notes and Personal Application  Until we are willing to lay down our hatred, grudges, spite, and resentments toward others, until we see others as the Son of God, we cannot find our way back to our Father.  Until we see our family, our friends, our enemies, our romantic and political rivals, our abusers, stalkers, murderers, and rapists as the Son of God, we cannot find our way to God.  For we are one with them.  No matter the special circumstances, we are one with all; they are one with us.  If one sins, we all sin.  If one is condemned, we all are condemned.  This is the message of Christ. 

Beyond all the modern posturing of Christianity, all the political leanings and self-righteousness stances, the weaponizing and defense, the pointing of fingers and sending to hell that goes on in the name of Christianity – this is the message of Christ.  It is inclusive, it is embracing, it is salvation.  It is offered to all.  It is guaranteed to all.  It has no enemies.  It is the truth and only the truth stands. 

When we see others in the light of Christ, we can offer only forgiveness.  Fear is gone because we see to the heart of the matter.  Fear is gone because the flesh is not who we are or what we are about.  Fear is gone because the love of God and the love of Creation has come to take its place. Although it feels like surrender to lay down our useless weapons, this is no sacrifice!  Although our egos will feel abased, there is no defeat involved.  We are Sons of God, not sons of man.  We give God our humanity – which is death; and we take on our true identity which is Life. 

We cannot do this on our own.  We cannot put freeing ourselves from hatred and unforgiveness on our daily to-do list and get anywhere with it.  Hatred is sneaky – we will think it is gone and it will creep back in – our past holds on to it for dear life.  Yesterday my friend and I were giggling together over a longstanding grudge that a brother has toward his elementary school teacher for paddling him in front of the whole class.  We are in our sixties and while his grudge seemed so infantile and amusing for us, when we examined our own minds we found much more trite and childish memories which we cherish and love to recall for one another.  The past lives on in such stunted memories.  They are instilled in our brains.  They come to haunt us, to remind us, to wake us up at night, to keep us distracted from the path to God.  No matter to what extent we are abused as children, teenagers, or adults, a one-time humiliation or an ongoing offense, our false selves, our humanity, our egos will cling to it, pet its little head, caress its cheeks, feed it gumdrops and bloat it on French fries all in an attempt to obstruct us from seeking God.  We will rehash it to our family and friends.  We may hold them tight and cherish them in the dark corridors of our mind until they turn on us and make us ill. We may turn to the medical professions.  We can take pills to drive those memories from us or drown them in substance abuse – but none of this will lead us to God. 

The only way we can rid ourselves of our hatred, our thoughts of vengeance and spite, our hugging and petting and making much over what keeps us from God is to recognize our oneness in Christ.  We must be willing to abstract ourselves.  We must be willing to lay down our personal story and realize we are all part of a much larger story of separation, despair, and death.  Chances are very good that if we were in the same position as our elementary school teachers we would have done far worse than paddle some undeserving little backsides.  We can all reflect upon the times in our lives in which we were not kind, we were not patient, we struck out in anger, retaliation, and blind assumptions of guilt and condemnation.  We must put ourselves as one with all of those who hurt us, robbed us, made light of our worth, were jealous of our achievements, begrudged our little triumphs, and gloated over our misfortunes.  We are all in the same rocky boat.  We are all the same story.  Flesh and blood attempting to make a separate kingdom.    

Today ask the Lord to release you from all that would obstruct your way to Him.  Lay down those burdens of hatred you may carry toward your sister, your brother, your parents, your former friends, and lovers.  Recognize how powerless you are to get over your past and present afflictions, sorrows, and blame.  When we see others as God’s Son, we have no desire to hurt them, get even with them, or teach them lessons.  When we see others as ourselves, we want only good things for them.  The things that they may have said or done, the lies that have told about us, the misunderstandings, the ways in which they betrayed our trust, damaged our bodies, stunted our development, and seemed to waste our time can be a thing in the past and no part of our present moment.  We can let it go when we are willing to take our “little me” out of the picture and embrace the majesty of our identity in God.  Jesus is calling to us to be saviors of the world with Him.  He is not calling us to stay in our humanity and lick our wounds and tell stories about our victimization, all the while keeping ourselves and our brothers in hell.  This is not the place to seek justice, to be recompensed, to demand reparation.  It is impossible to heal the wounds of the past.  Jesus says that the past is the land of Never Was, just as the present moment is already over and joins the Never Was from the eyes of eternity.  We are called to stand with Him.  Today.  In this present moment.    

Join with me in today’s prayer.  Put it into your words and speak it from the depths of your heart and mind.  Give it your full attention.

Dear Heavenly Father:  I will accept the way You choose for me to come to You.  I see my past for what it really is – a hallucination, a holographic personalized lesson in separation.  I forgive all the players who taught me the hard lessons of the hellish realm.  I choose Your Will for my life because Your Will is my will.  I am Your Son.  I stand with Christ.  Love reigns in my heart and mind.  I do not allow dislike for this one and that one to hinder my path to You.  I love Your Creation, Your Son as You love Your Son – with no specialness or favor.  I apply my mind to learn Your ways and teach my heart to will with You and Your Son.  In the name of Jesus, with Whom I am one.  Amen.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 246 To love my father is to love his son. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com

Lesson 243 Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

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PART II.  SECTION 3:  WHAT IS THE WORLD

Lesson 243 Today I Will Judge Nothing That Occurs

  1. I will be honest with myself today. I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp. I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see. Today I recognize that this is so. And so I am relieved of judgments that I cannot make. Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us.
  2. Father, today I leave creation free to be itself. I honor all its parts, in which I am included. We are one because each part contains Your memory, and truth must shine in all of us as one.[1]
Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com (Lisa C.)

Notes and Personal Application Lately I have been have a D.H. Lawrence fest.  It started with rediscovering the book Sons and Lovers that my friend Janet had given me for my birthday years ago when we were living in Shanghai.  I reread the book and ever since have been reading everything I can get my hands on from the author.  What he has to say about the reduction to absurdity found in idealism struck me as I was reading over today’s lesson.  We want the universe to be something else and not what it is.  We think we understand the way it should be from our little bits of knowledge, our extremely limited perception, and from our stunted viewpoints of reality.  We think the cat is cruel for playing games of death with the mice, and yet we do not want the pests pooping in our silverware drawers and nibbling holes in our tableware.  In the House that Jack Built, as Lawrence refers to the world, people should have been different than they are, everybody should have been somebody else and not himself![2]

Today I was processing a lot of veggies from our garden.  I made a big jar of refrigerator dill pickles from our excess of cucumbers.  The okra was soaked in vinegar solution, dried, and set aside for a future fry.  The ripe tomatoes were made into an Instant Pot full of ketchup ingredients for James who does not like all the corn syrup in Heinz.  The eggplants were put up.  It was a lot of work, but I enjoy doing things like this.  While I was working my mind dwelled upon our grandson Jonathan who left for Air Force basic training yesterday.  I was trying my best not to feel bereaved.  It seems as if not only our own children, but now our grandchildren have grown up and left the nest before I am ready. 

Only yesterday he was our little blonde, blue-eyed cherub who toddled about and tramped through mud puddles with me.  I thought of our candy picnics, our rides to Hershey to see his cousin, Halie, the times he traveled with us to Chattanooga to see our Friar clan.  How the grandsons used to quarrel amongst themselves about who got to sit next to Grammy when we sat down to eat, who got to sit in the front seat with me when we went for a drive, who got to carry my luggage or help bring the groceries in.  And then he hit puberty and adolescence and he was gone even before he went off to the Air Force, always up to something with his friends, with sports, with other interests.  My heart cried for him – not because I am not proud of his accomplishments, his courage, his stalwartness, and bright plans, but because he felt gone from me.  Grammy is not a big figure in his life anymore.  I feel put on a shelf along with all the other things from his childhood.  He has his own life to start now and because he chose to go away, it will be months before we get to see him again. 

When I opened up about my thoughts to James, he was experiencing much the same thing.  The distance between us and our bootcamp grandson looms large and worrisome in our minds, yes, but there is also the feeling of time having slipped past us way too fast.  Jonathan’s childhood is over and with it the vital role that we played in his life.

Last weekend we hosted a send-off dinner for him and then a brunch before he left, but it just did not feel like enough.  We were at a loss for words to express to him our love, our deep affection, our hopes, and high regard.  And so we left the good food, laughs, and memories suffice.     

But when we are honest with ourselves, we understand that time and people are not meant for us to hold on to.  We are in no position to make judgments, to put our own needs and desires to be important, necessary, and made mindful of on others.  It does not matter that we have collected bits of hard-won wisdom over the decades of our lives, our grandchildren must learn their own way, enjoy their own adventures, accomplish their own dreams.  All we can see, and experience is that our grandson grew up way too fast and now he is off on his own preparing to serve his country, with dreams of manning great flying machines.  It is not for him to stick around making sure that grammy and grandpa know where he is and who he is with and what he is doing, assuring them of his safety, comfort, and companionship. 

We free ourselves when we give up these concerns and go with trust in God.  Worries, concerns, and a sense of neediness, despair, and grief are gone when we accept the peace of God.  How we honor our grandson is how we honor all of creation – we leave him free of our own ego demands and desires.  We recognize our oneness, our certainty in God, and the truth that shines in all of us the world over, no matter where we are, whom we are with, and what role we choose to learn our way back to God. 

Today walk in this freedom.  Refuse to judge no matter what occurs.  Do not put a right or wrong on it.  All roads lead back to God – here in the house that Jack built.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 243. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] D.H. Lawrence, The Complete Novels…Kindle Edition.

Audio credit: the friar patch @ http://www.eckiefriar.com