God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.
Today we will continue with the theme of happiness. This is a key idea in understanding what salvation means. You still believe it asks for suffering as penance for your “sins.” This is not so. Yet you must think it so while you believe that sin is real, and that God’s Son can sin.
If sin is real, then punishment is just and cannot be escaped. Salvation thus cannot be purchased but through suffering. If sin is real, then happiness must be illusion, for they cannot both be true. The sinful warrant only death and pain, and it is this they ask for. For they know it waits for them, and it will seek them out and find them somewhere, sometime, in some form that evens the account they owe to God. They would escape Him in their fear. And yet He will pursue, and they can not escape.
If sin is real, salvation must be pain. Pain is the cost of sin, and suffering can never be escaped, if sin is real. Salvation must be feared, for it will kill, but slowly, taking everything away before it grants the welcome boon of death to victims who are little more than bones before salvation is appeased. Its wrath is boundless, merciless, but wholly just.
Who would seek out such savage punishment? Who would not flee salvation, and attempt in every way he can to drown the Voice which offers it to him? Why would he try to listen and accept Its offering? If sin is real, its offering is death, and meted out in cruel form to match the vicious wishes in which sin is born. If sin is real, salvation has become your bitter enemy, the curse of God upon you who have crucified His Son.
You need the practice periods today. The exercises teach sin is not real, and all that you believe must come from sin will never happen, for it has no cause. Accept Atonement with an open mind, which cherishes no lingering belief that you have made a devil of God’s Son. There is no sin. We practice with this thought as often as we can today, because it is the basis for today’s idea.
God’s Will for you is perfect happiness because there is no sin, and suffering is causeless. Joy is just, and pain is but the sign you have misunderstood yourself. Fear not the Will of God. But turn to it in confidence that it will set you free from all the consequences sin has wrought in feverish imagination. Say:
God’s Will for me is perfect happiness. There is no sin; it has no consequence.
So should you start your practice periods, and then attempt again to find the joy these thoughts will introduce into your mind.
Give these five minutes gladly, to remove the heavy load you lay upon yourself with the insane belief that sin is real. Today escape from madness. You are set on freedom’s road, and now today’s idea brings wings to speed you on, and hope to go still faster to the waiting goal of peace. There is no sin. Remember this today, and tell yourself as often as you can:
God’s Will for me is perfect happiness. This is the truth, because there is no sin.
This first part is an original posting in my journal. I keep it because it expresses what we all go through on our journey to healing, and because I love that reading it now reminds me that I have done so much healing. It can be easy to focus on what has yet to be done and forget how much has been done.
To understand that God’s will for me is happiness, I must first understand that I don’t believe this. I think I separated from God and this destroyed His wholeness, which means I destroyed Him. So, of course, I think I am very guilty and this makes me afraid. I think I sinned against God and that I deserve and will receive punishment. My very existence as a separate individual proves my sin, and my punishment will be my destruction as a separate self. As long as I believe I am separate it will seem that salvation equals annihilation. I cannot love a God who is out to get me. I will not long for a salvation that seems to be my destruction.
This belief is played out in my life in many ways. For instance, just as I think God wants sacrifice from me, my relationships are built on the idea of sacrifice. Love itself (as I understand it from the ego point of view) demands sacrifice. As a mother, I saw it as my place to sacrifice my own needs for my kids, and when I failed to do that I felt guilty and expected the punishment I surely deserved.
The way out of this is to realize there is no sin, and this lesson is about practicing that idea. The way to practice it is to see where I am holding anyone guilty and that includes myself. As Jesus has said, I need to just look with Him at my false thoughts and let Him correct them. I will do this today as I am aware of making anyone guilty. I will use these specific instances to practice forgiveness and thus to begin to undo the ego thought system of sin and punishment.
An example came to me right away. One morning I woke up in a motel room and saw that it was time to get up. I still felt sleepy and wanted to stay in bed, but got up anyway. Eventually, I realized the clock was set an hour early and was angry about that. I blamed someone, the hotel staff I guess, for not changing the clock. Then I thought that I should have checked it myself so I have now made myself guilty. It is all the same. We are one so if they are guilty or I am guilty it is the same guilt.
This is just an instant replay of the original error in which I think I killed God so that I could exist and am now being punished for my sin. It has just taken on a different form. My day is filled with guilt and punishment, some seeming to be small like this one and others seem to be serious, but they are all really the same. They are the same because they all seem to prove that I am a guilty sinner deserving of punishment and that I had better hide out here in this body so God can’t get to me.
So what I have just done is looked at this with Jesus and seen that my anger was not caused by the clock error. It was caused by my belief in sin and punishment. I am willing now to see this differently. I am willing to see there is no sin and God is not out to get me. I cannot make myself believe this, but that’s ok because that is not my job. My job is to notice and be willing. The Holy Spirit does the rest.
My message from Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit: You are indeed innocent because there is no sin. All aspects of yourself are innocent. It is not what you do that causes you grief; but that you perceive what you do as sinful that is the cause. But there is no sin.
Me: Holy Spirit, why do I have such a hard time releasing certain “sins”? You would think I would be glad to let that go.
Holy Spirit: You seem to be forgiving a thing that happened in the world, but that thing is just a symbol of the original error. In forgiving the mistake you made in the illusion, you are symbolically forgiving the separation. It looks like your problem is that you made this error and it has real effects of which you are ashamed. But the real problem is that you think you separated from God and that this was a sin and has real effects.
The part of your mind that still believes that salvation lies in being separate from God is very afraid of forgiveness. As you continue to forgive you bring your mind closer and closer to accepting the truth and this means the ego separation thought will cease to exist. That is the source of your fear. This lesson and all of the lessons are helping you to accept that God does love you and wants only your happiness. You are only afraid of releasing your guilt because you think that it has value to you in that it is protecting you from the wrath of God. The lessons are helping you to realize that there is no value in pain and sin and that God only loves you and wants only your happiness.
Things are Different Now
When something seems to go wrong these days I hardly ever get mad about it or think someone is guilty because of it. If a thought like that goes through my mind, it doesn’t stop. I just automatically know that it is an ego belief and not my belief anymore. It is really good to see that change. It was hard living with all that anger and guilt.
Now that guilt is being undone in my mind and now that I am diligent in turning over to the Holy Spirit all attack thoughts and that I refuse to keep grievances, the ego has gone from suspicious to vicious. It shows up in different ways and is especially fond of sending me disturbing thoughts and images at night while I trying to go to sleep and now early in the morning. This morning I woke up to discouraging thoughts that were hard to pin down. Basically, it was the idea that the truth is not true and even if it is, I am never going to reach it.
I tried to refute those thoughts with true thoughts, but it wasn’t working. So I listened to a meditation of this mornings lesson and during the first part of it, the ego mind was insistent that sin was, indeed, real, and kept pointing out many of these sins both personal and impersonal. I seemed to be losing the fight but realized my error. I had been trying to correct myself. I stopped doing that and I just handed it all over to the Holy Spirit. The miracle of healing occurred in that moment and I just lay there in relief as peace washed over me.
It is so weird when these ego attacks occur. They seem to just come out of nowhere and stranger yet, I can temporarily get entangled in them and forget the most basic lesson in the Course. We cannot heal ourselves. If we could, there would have been no need for the creation of the Holy Spirit. I can even forget for a moment how to surrender, and that is just funny. There is no how to surrender, you just do it. This morning, when I realized my error, I just asked Holy Spirit to help me. I said that I turn this all over to you. It was as simple as pushing away a dish of food I have discovered that I don’t like and letting the waiter take it away for me.