Lesson 72

Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.

While we have recognized that the ego’s plan for salvation is the opposite of God’s, we have not yet emphasized that it is an active attack on His plan, and a deliberate attempt to destroy it. In the attack, God is assigned the attributes which are actually associated with the ego, while the ego appears to take on the attributes of God.

The ego’s fundamental wish is to replace God. In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of that wish. For it is that wish that seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body that was made to imprison it. The limit on communication cannot be the best means to expand communication. Yet the ego would have you believe that it is.

Although the attempt to keep the limitations that a body would impose is obvious here, it is perhaps not so apparent why holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. But let us consider the kinds of things you are apt to hold grievances for. Are they not always associated with something a body does? A person says something you do not like. He does something that displeases you. He “betrays” his hostile thoughts in his behavior.

You are not dealing here with what the person is. On the contrary, you are exclusively concerned with what he does in a body. You are doing more than failing to help in freeing him from the body’s limitations. You are actively trying to hold him to it by confusing it with him, and judging them as one. Herein is God attacked, for if His Son is only a body, so must He be as well. A creator wholly unlike his creation is inconceivable.

If God is a body, what must His plan for salvation be? What could it be but death? In trying to present Himself as the Author of life and not of death, He is a liar and a deceiver, full of false promises and offering illusions in place of truth. The body’s apparent reality makes this view of God quite convincing. In fact, if the body were real, it would be difficult indeed to escape this conclusion. And every grievance that you hold insists that the body is real. It overlooks entirely what your brother is. It reinforces your belief that he is a body, and condemns him for it. And it asserts that his salvation must be death, projecting this attack onto God, and holding Him responsible for it.

To this carefully prepared arena, where angry animals seek for prey and mercy cannot enter, the ego comes to save you. God made you a body. Very well. Let us accept this and be glad. As a body, do not let yourself be deprived of what the body offers. Take the little you can get. God gave you nothing. The body is your only savior. It is the death of God and your salvation.

This is the universal belief of the world you see. Some hate the body, and try to hurt and humiliate it. Others love the body, and try to glorify and exalt it. But while the body stands at the center of your concept of yourself, you are attacking God’s plan for salvation, and holding your grievances against Him and His creation, that you may not hear the Voice of truth and welcome It as Friend. Your chosen savior takes His place instead. It is your friend; He is your enemy.

We will try today to stop these senseless attacks on salvation. We will try to welcome it instead. Your upside-down perception has been ruinous to your peace of mind. You have seen yourself in a body and the truth outside you, locked away from your awareness by the body’s limitations. Now we are going to try to see this differently.

The light of truth is in us, where it was placed by God. It is the body that is outside us, and is not our concern. To be without a body is to be in our natural state. To recognize the light of truth in us is to recognize ourselves as we are. To see our Self as separate from the body is to end the attack on God’s plan for salvation, and to accept it instead. And wherever His plan is accepted, it is accomplished already.

Our goal in the longer practice periods today is to become aware that God’s plan for salvation has already been accomplished in us. To achieve this goal, we must replace attack with acceptance. As long as we attack it, we cannot understand what God’s plan for us is. We are therefore attacking what we do not recognize. Now we are going to try to lay judgment aside, and ask what God’s plan for us is:

What is salvation, Father? I do not know.
Tell me, that I may understand.

Then we will wait in quiet for His answer. We have attacked God’s plan for salvation without waiting to hear what it is. We have shouted our grievances so loudly that we have not listened to His Voice. We have used our grievances to close our eyes and stop our ears.

Now we would see and hear and learn. “What is salvation, Father?” Ask and you will be answered. Seek and you will find. We are no longer asking the ego what salvation is and where to find it. We are asking it of truth. Be certain, then, that the answer will be true because of Whom you ask.

Whenever you feel your confidence wane and your hope of success flicker and go out, repeat your question and your request, remembering that you are asking of the infinite Creator of infinity, Who created you like Himself:

What is salvation, Father? I do not know.
Tell me, that I may understand.

He will answer. Be determined to hear.

One or perhaps two shorter practice periods an hour will be enough for today, since they will be somewhat longer than usual. These exercises should begin with this:

Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.
Let me accept it instead. What is salvation, Father?

Then wait a minute or so in silence, preferably with your eyes closed, and listen for His answer.



Before this lesson I had never considered that choosing the ego’s plan for salvation was actually an attack on God. Reading what Jesus has to say about it, I can see that it is. Looking at grievances, and watching for the subtle grievances, has shown me that I did think defense and attack were my salvation.

First I seemed to have shattered God’s Son into pieces and then imprisoned each separate piece in a body. Without my constant efforts to keep reality at bay, these pieces would return to wholeness. I am reminded of a time as a child when I broke a mercury thermometer and played with the mercury. I was fascinated to see that no matter how many times I broke up the mercury, if I left it alone it would come back together. This is how I think of us.

If I don’t keep us apart with my grievances, we will come back together and be whole again because that is our natural state. How useful the body is for the purpose of keeping us apart. As Jesus says, it is always the body that we use for our grievances. In my unforgiveness of the behavior of some body, I seem to condemn that body and keep it forever separate.

These last few days I have noticed these efforts to keep separation in place. I have chosen differently as I asked for my Father’s plan instead. I have not argued with myself or tried to justify my grievance, or made myself guilty for them. I haven’t tried to figure out a different plan that was more spiritual, or one that satisfied forgiveness, but also satisfied the ego need to be right (forgiveness to destroy). I have simply asked for salvation.

Sometimes I have rested in God a moment with my heart open to true forgiveness, waiting for salvation to cleanse me. Sometimes I have used the prayer from The End of Death by Nouk Sanchez.

“Holy Spirit, please help me to forgive myself for using this person to attack myself and to separate from Your Love as my Holy Self.”

Whatever words I use, my intent is to allow salvation, rather than to block it, or to try to use my ego will for this.

Clearly, salvation is not about saving the body, but understanding that I am not the body. My mind is not in this body; this body image is merely a thought projected outward. It is so easy to forget this and start to believe that the reality is that I am flesh and blood, and that the mind is ephemeral. Projecting pain, sickness, pleasure, death, and grievances onto the body image is the way I keep the idea of the body real and important.

Jesus says this:

“It is the body that is outside us, and is not our concern. To be without a body is to be in our natural state.”

I have had the thought that it is impossible to ignore the body or to deny it and I am right about that. Jesus says as much in the Course. However, he also says that if I will give him my body and my ego, he will take care of it for me so I could see its unimportance. This is something I can do, but I have to remind myself constantly that this is what I want.

The body serves as a way to create an undeniable sense of separation, and when I don’t give the body to Jesus’ care, it requires so much attention. I have to think about it all the time. Is it comfortable? Is it the right weight and size? Have I combed its hair, decorated it sufficiently to be seen in public? Have I protected it from disease, and fortified its health with supplements?

Have I moved it from one place to another at the right time? How do I get it from here to there? The body is a full time job. What a clever plan to keep me focused on the separation device rather than on what I really am. Much of my effort is aimed at keeping me in the body for as long as possible. And yet, as Jesus says, being in the body is not my natural state. I am confused that I think staying in the body is my salvation.

Today, I am going to continue my practice of noticing grievances and asking for salvation. I am not going to return to my old habit of telling the Holy Spirit how to save me. I am not going to try to save myself. If I slip back into those habits, I am going to forgive myself and release those false thoughts to the Holy Spirit. I love the way I feel when I do this. I have not had a day perfectly free of grievances, but I nearly always dismiss grievances easily and readily and I feel so free when I do. I am strongly motivated to continue this practice.

1 Comment

rosemarie tropf · March 12, 2016 at 8:24 am

I love what you said Myron. The body serves as a way to create an undeniable sense of separation.” That is the difficulty. Trying to not live like that is what some Buddhist somewhere called the “Razors Edge.” It’s the razors edge of the truth that is true when we are not in our body. The truth that every so often I glimpse. Thank God for Holy Spirit who pulls us up by the hand as we slip off the edge every time. I also love that prayer by Nouk:

“Holy Spirit, please help me to forgive myself for using this person to attack myself and to separate from Your Love as my Holy Self.” This is a prayer to use daily or hourly for sure. Thank you for your share Myron.

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