ACIM Daily Lesson 161 Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.
Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.
ACIM Lesson 161
Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.
1. Today we practice differently, and take a stand against our anger, that our fears may disappear and offer room to love. ²Here is salvation in the simple words in which we practice with today’s idea. ³Here is the answer to temptation which can never fail to welcome in the Christ where fear and anger had prevailed before. ⁴Here is Atonement made complete, the world passed safely by and Heaven now restored. ⁵Here is the answer of the Voice for God.
Here is Atonement made complete… Jesus wants us to sit up and take notice. He says that he is about to tell us something that is the answer to temptation can never fail.
2. Complete abstraction is the natural condition of the mind. ²But part of it is now unnatural. ³It does not look on everything as one. ⁴It sees instead but fragments of the whole, for only thus could it invent the partial world you see. ⁵The purpose of all seeing is to show you what you wish to see. ⁶All hearing but brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear.
When in our natural state, the mind is abstract. I looked up the word abstract to be sure I understood this. This is what it said. Existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence; “abstract concepts such as love or beauty.” I see that this is a perfect word to describe us as we were created. We are a Thought in the Mind of God. We are not physical.
And, we are not fragmented into separate beings. How could we be when we are not physical, not concrete. I think this is why Jesus uses the word ‘light” sometimes in speaking of us, not different or separate lights, just light. We are told that the reason for this fragmentation was so that we could have this experience that allows us to see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear. It can be hard to imagine that some of these sights are what we wanted and still want.
What I See Is What I Want
“The purpose of all seeing is to show you what you wish to see. All hearing but brings to your mind the sounds it wants to hear.”
This sentence is key to understanding and to changing my mind. Whatever I see, however I see it, it is showing me what I want. From there, I can decide if my desire fulfilled is bringing me peace and happiness. If not, then I can make a different choice.
If I have trouble letting go of the belief that is being manifest as this experience, I can ask for another way of seeing and my Inner Guide will help. To see differently, I must desire a different interpretation, and be willing to be wrong about the present interpretation. I must be open and receptive to something I do not currently believe. Doing this frequently has taught me to trust a guide, not my little self which has led me astray too often.
Thus Were Specifics Made
3. Thus were specifics made. ²And now it is specifics we must use in practicing. ³We give them to the Holy Spirit, that He may employ them for a purpose which is different from the one we gave to them. ⁴Yet He can use but what we made, to teach us from a different point of view, so we can see a different use in everything.
I wonder if we envisioned that so much suffering would come of our curiosity? No matter. There is a way that we can stop all suffering. We made all these specifics and we must use them in our practice. This is why we cannot just say, “Holy Spirit, heal my mind of everything that is not true” and let it go at that. We need to really look at a specific effect of separation, and feel the effect. We then see the consequences and then will know that we don’t want to keep the beliefs that caused it. Only then can we honestly say that we are ready to undo it.
One Brother Is All Brothers
4. One brother is all brothers. ²Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one. ³Such is the truth. ⁴Yet do these thoughts make clear the meaning of creation? ⁵Do these words bring perfect clarity with them to you? ⁶What can they seem to be but empty sounds; pretty, perhaps, correct in sentiment, yet fundamentally not understood nor understandable. ⁷The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing. ⁸We need to see a little, that we learn a lot.
We are mind and we are every mind. If you have studied other non-dual paths, you will have noticed that words are used differently. For instance, they may say that we are not mind. Remember that these are just words. It is only what they stand for that matters, so don’t let the words throw you off the meaning.
See a Little to Learn a Lot
If you don’t really feel like one with all, that’s OK. Jesus knows that we cannot, with our concrete minds fathom all-encompassing abstraction even if we understand the concept. This is why he says we need to see a little, that we learn a lot. We will look at the little bits of our “individual” stories in order to learn that they are all the same idea simply given different forms.
I find it helpful to think of the Sonship as holographic, which is just a way to visualize what Jesus tells us in this sentence. I have read this expressed in many ways all through the Course and really didn’t get the full implications. As Jesus says, “not understood nor understandable.” It’s funny to me now because once the idea is grasped, it seems so clear. How could I have been confused before? I didn’t get smarter, my IQ higher, I simply became willing to know this. I don’t think that I understand it as it is in Reality, but I grasp the idea now so that it is as close to understanding.
Getting Caught in a Story
This sense of separation is most apparent when we get caught in a story of victimhood and feeling unfairly treated. Seeing separation is the only way to support these feelings. I love that this almost never happens for me anymore. When it does, I can snap out of it now. I am delighted that it is easy to do so. While it used to be hard to turn from these thoughts, now I cannot imagine believing them. This is what practice of the Course accomplishes. Eventually, as all false ideas are seen as what they are, this practice will lead me Home.
Bodies Are Symbols of Fear
5. It seems to be the body that we feel limits our freedom, makes us suffer, and at last puts out our life. ²Yet bodies are but symbols for a concrete form of fear. ³Fear without symbols calls for no response, for symbols can stand for the meaningless. ⁴Love needs no symbols, being true. ⁵But fear attaches to specifics, being false.
6. Bodies attack, but minds do not. ²This thought is surely reminiscent of our text, where it is often emphasized. ³This is the reason bodies easily become fear’s symbols. ⁴You have many times been urged to look beyond the body, for its sight presents the symbol of love’s “enemy” Christ’s vision does not see. ⁵The body is the target for attack, for no one thinks he hates a mind. ⁶Yet what but mind directs the body to attack? ⁷What else could be the seat of fear except what thinks of fear?
Ah, so here it is, the cause of our suffering, fear. We tend to think that bodies are the cause of fear, but as usual, we have it backward. Fear is the cause of bodies. In our guilt for separating from God, we were afraid and we needed someplace to project that guilt. We can’t hate a mind or attack a mind. Mind is abstract, and so are fear and guilt. Thus, we made bodies to be the targets of our fear, something to blame, somewhere for all that fear and guilt to go.
Hate Is Specific
7. Hate is specific. ²There must be a thing to be attacked. ³An enemy must be perceived in such a form he can be touched and seen and heard, and ultimately killed. ⁴When hatred rests upon a thing, it calls for death as surely as God’s Voice proclaims there is no death. ⁵Fear is insatiable, consuming everything its eyes behold, seeing itself in everything, compelled to turn upon itself and to destroy.
8. Who sees a brother as a body sees him as fear’s symbol. ²And he will attack, because what he beholds is his own fear external to himself, poised to attack, and howling to unite with him again. ³Mistake not the intensity of rage projected fear must spawn. ⁴It shrieks in wrath, and claws the air in frantic hope it can reach to its maker and devour him.
Intensity of Rage
Have you ever felt hatred for another person? Maybe you called it dislike or annoyance. Remember this from the Text? You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury. (ACIM, W-21.2:5) Maybe you felt hatred during the past years when you thought of the political situation. Maybe you felt so much fear and hatred that you didn’t think you could let it go.
Did you think at times that your very happiness depended on the other person being wrong? Maybe even dying or at least somehow disappearing from the scene. And maybe you spent the last few years justifying your failure to forgive. Feeling this way because your fear made your hatred so strong it seemed that you couldn’t do anything else. I know that I spent some time in this dark place.
³Mistake not the intensity of rage projected fear must spawn.
Whom Heaven Cherishes
9. This do the body’s eyes behold in one whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love and God created perfect. ²This is his reality. ³And in Christ’s vision is his loveliness reflected in a form so holy and so beautiful that you could scarce refrain from kneeling at his feet. ⁴Yet you will take his hand instead, for you are like him in the sight that sees him thus. ⁵Attack on him is enemy to you, for you will not perceive that in his hands is your salvation. ⁶Ask him but for this, and he will give it to you. ⁷Ask him not to symbolize your fear. ⁸Would you request that love destroy itself? ⁹Or would you have it be revealed to you and set you free?
Now let’s look at it differently. Maybe you saw the effects of believing that these politicians are their bodies, are their characters, and you knew that this could not be true. Maybe you asked the Holy Spirit for the gift of Christ’s Vision so that you could look past the body, the words, and the actions. This allowed you to see only what was true about them.
It could be that you remembered that if it isn’t love you are seeing, it is a call for love. And you wanted only to give what was needed. And maybe, when you got confused about this, you turned it around and healed it in your own mind. If not, then now is another opportunity to forgive it.
This do the body’s eyes behold in one whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love and God created perfect.
You Are Not Forgot in Heaven
10. Today we practice in a form we have attempted earlier. ²Your readiness is closer now, and you will come today nearer Christ’s vision. ³If you are intent on reaching it, you will succeed today. ⁴And once you have succeeded, you will not be willing to accept the witnesses your body’s eyes call forth. ⁵What you will see will sing to you of ancient melodies you will remember. ⁶You are not forgot in Heaven. ⁷Would you not remember it?
Select One Brother
11. Select one brother, symbol of the rest, and ask salvation of him. ²See him first as clearly as you can, in that same form to which you are accustomed. ³See his face, his hands and feet, his clothing. ⁴Watch him smile, and see familiar gestures which he makes so frequently. ⁵Then think of this: What you are seeing now conceals from you the sight of one who can forgive you all your sins; whose sacred hands can take away the nails which pierce your own, and lift the crown of thorns which you have placed upon your bleeding head. ⁶Ask this of him, that he may set you free:
⁷Give me your blessing, holy Son of God. ⁸I would behold you with the eyes of Christ, and see my perfect sinlessness in you.
I think I have forgiven my beliefs about the politicians, but to be sure, I will picture at least one of them to represent all the rest. I will also ask the Holy Spirit to show me anyone else that I need to forgive. In forgiving any one person, I forgive them all. I remember the first person I sincerely tried to forgive using this process. I did my best with it, but, honestly, it took years for me to release myself from my judgment of that man. But I did it!
Your Safe Escape
12. And He will answer Whom you called upon. ²For He will hear the Voice for God in you, and answer in your own. ³Behold him now, whom you have seen as merely flesh and bone, and recognize that Christ has come to you. ⁴Today’s idea is your safe escape from anger and from fear. ⁵Be sure you use it instantly, should you be tempted to attack a brother and perceive in him the symbol of your fear. ⁶And you will see him suddenly transformed from enemy to savior; from the devil into Christ.
I am going to the rec center to do my daily walk. There is a woman that works there and I can tell that she doesn’t like me much. She can probably tell that I have been judging her. If I see her today, I am going to ask the Holy Spirit to show me the Christ when I look. I want us both to be free. I trust that the Holy Spirit in her will answer the call of the Holy Spirit in me.
PS: The woman I was talking about was at the counter when I got to the Rec. I noticed she looked different and I commented on it. We had a nice talk and we laughed together. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
Here is a bonus for today’s Lesson. I wrote this some years ago. It is the metaphor that first helped me to grasp the idea of oneness.
I was reading a Brian Weiss book and he was describing us in this way. He said to imagine us as ice cubes bobbing along in a sea of water. As it warms up we melt into the water. As ice cubes, we seemed different than the water, but of course, we were not. So, I imagine we are all cubes of love existing in a sea of love. We bob along bumping into each other, thinking we are separate and different from the cube next to us.
Cubes of Love in a Sea of Love
Maybe I will feel infringed upon when you bump into me and will want you to get into your own space and out of mine. This is what happened in the past and still does sometimes, when my daughter uses my stuff and doesn’t put it back, or when a driver pulls out in front of me and then slows down. Maybe I feel attacked when the cube next to me snubs me. Or abandoned when a cube I have become accustomed to floating next to moves on.
All of these reactions are predicated on each cube being its own separate self and different from me. And yet, all are simply cubes of love, love that takes on an appearance of something separate but could never be anything but love. When the conditions are right, the cubes all melt into the sea of love. Where are the differences then? Who is there to attack or be attacked by? How could I be abandoned? By who and where would this seeming someone go? There is nothing but love. Each seeming separate self, each animal, the sky, the trees, the mountains, the universe itself, all just love existing in love.
Choosing to Remember
The mind that wondered what separation would look like used its power of creation to make it appear as if one were many.
After a time, it forgot how to get out of the dream. Now we are each of us choosing to remember. We became afraid to let go of our temporary state and afraid that our play was being judged just as we had judged, and continue to judge. But through our daily practice, we are waking up to the truth of Love’s unchanging nature. We are learning to forgive ourselves through learning to forgive each other. Our practice is the catalyst that is melting the illusion and returning us to our natural state of oneness.
This idea gave my mind something to use as I first tried to see my brother as one with me. It made it easier for me to look past his body and behavior to know the holiness of his true Self. I then was able to do the practice given us here more effectively. I’m not angry at anyone much anymore. But I also recognize that as soon as I stop thinking of us as one, the possibility of anger arises. Sometimes it is possible to hide this anger from myself by calling it something else. However, honesty compels me to see it for what it is.