ACIM Daily Lesson 169 By grace I live. By grace I am released.
By grace I live. By grace I am released.
1. Grace is an aspect of the Love of God which is most like the state prevailing in the unity of truth. ²It is the world’s most lofty aspiration, for it leads beyond the world entirely. ³It is past learning, yet the goal of learning, for grace cannot come until the mind prepares itself for true acceptance. ⁴Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received; an altar clean and holy for the gift.
How do we prepare for grace? Exactly as we are doing now. We do these lessons to the best of our ability. We watch our minds for untrue thoughts and beliefs and we allow the Holy Spirit to correct our thinking. And we commit to our purpose and live it as best as we can. We forgive and forgive and forgive until the mind is clear enough to receive grace.
Grace Is Acceptance of the Love of God
2. Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear. ²By grace alone the hate and fear are gone, for grace presents a state so opposite to everything the world contains, that those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace can not believe the world of fear is real.
Jesus told us in Lesson 132: ²There is no world! ³This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. The Atonement is the acceptance of this truth. There is no hate and fear. Can you imagine a world without hate and fear? This is what grace brings us. Through grace, we no longer believe in a world where fear is seen as real.
My Current Practice
Here is what I am doing now. I have a disturbing thought. I am aware of it. That thought passes and another thought occurs. I remain at peace as I observe the thoughts crossing my mind. Or this could happen. I have a disturbing thought and I think about it. One thought leads to another and I am judging the thought or the situation the thoughts have led me to. Maybe I worry about it. Or I form an opinion and think about someone who disagrees with me. I think about ways to win that non-occurring argument until my mind moves on or I see how ridiculous this is. The upshot is that I have disturbed the peace in the mind.
The first forgiveness process of not thinking and judging is helping me to completely let go of the belief in the world of hate and fear. In the second way of looking at thoughts, I allow the mind to compound the original thought. This inevitably leads to judgment and I wind up deep in a story and the world of hate and fear seems to be all I can see. With some practice, I am able to subvert the ego desire for drama and chaos. It is worth the effort because, without judgment, the mind is at peace. My mind is moving toward a state that allows God’s Grace.
Grace Is Not Learned
3. Grace is not learned. ²The final step must go beyond all learning. ³Grace is not the goal this course aspires to attain. ⁴Yet we prepare for grace in that an open mind can hear the Call to waken. ⁵It is not shut tight against God’s Voice. ⁶It has become aware that there are things it does not know, and thus is ready to accept a state completely different from experience with which it is familiarly at home.
Grace is the final step and that is the step God takes. A Course in Miracles shows us the way to prepare for it so that it will be accepted. As we continue to forgive the world we made, we become open to God’s Voice that is calling us Home. Otherwise, we will continue to be afraid of God and afraid to let go of our world. The world we made is not a happy one but it is one we are familiar with. We will be reluctant to accept something else in its place unless we let our world go.
Doing Our Part
We are given through the Course a simple and gentle way to transition to reality. Jesus tells us that we only have two steps toward the healing of our mind. First, we must allow ourselves to be aware of the beliefs that are keeping the world in place. Then secondly, we must look at them with the Holy Spirit and let them go to Him for healing. That is all we have to do. The Holy Spirit does the rest. I have used this method for a long time and now have shortened and deepened it as I simply forgive the desire to think about and judge the world. Instead, I allow the thought or the situation without deciding with the thinking mind (ego) what it means.
4. We have perhaps appeared to contradict our statement that the revelation of the Father and the Son as one has been already set. ²But we have also said the mind determines when that time will be, and has determined it. ³And yet we urge you to bear witness to the Word of God to hasten the experience of truth, and speed its advent into every mind that recognizes truth’s effects on you.
All scripts have been written and every variation of these scripts as well. This includes the Holy Spirit’s correction of our scripts. So all scripts including the corrected script, the one in which we accept the Atonement and awaken, are available to us right now. Our decisions guide us to some variation of the life we are observing, or to the corrected version of this life. It is up to us. Doing this work with the Course and practicing it with consistency will bring us to awakening more quickly. It will bring us to grace. And our acceptance will bring others to grace more quickly as well.
Disappearing Into the Father
5. Oneness is simply the idea God is. ²And in His Being, He encompasses all things. ³No mind holds anything but Him. ⁴We say “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. ⁵There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. ⁶It has united with its Source. ⁷And like its Source Itself, it merely is.
6. We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all. ²It comes to every mind when total recognition that its will is God’s has been completely given and received completely. ³It returns the mind into the endless present, where the past and future cannot be conceived. ⁴It lies beyond salvation; past all thought of time, forgiveness and the holy face of Christ. ⁵The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him. ⁶The world has never been at all. ⁷Eternity remains a constant state.
A Peek Behind the Veil
Jesus is giving us a peek behind the veil at what is to come. It is merely words to us at this time. If you have released enough fear and accepted enough healing, these words will pull at your heart and create a longing in you. But they are still just words and can be known only through the experience they try to describe. Without a world, without separation, there are no words; there is only experience, or Beingness, or Isness. Really, what difference does it make what we call it? It is what it is and at that point, words are entirely unnecessary and unknown.
7. This is beyond experience we try to hasten. ²Yet forgiveness, taught and learned, brings with it the experiences which bear witness that the time the mind itself determined to abandon all but this is now at hand. ³We do not hasten it, in that what you will offer was concealed from Him Who teaches what forgiveness means.
That we are doing the forgiveness works indicates that we are getting close to awakening. We will not be pushed to go faster or do more. We go at our own pace. My experience thus far is that the peace and the joy that increases as the mind clears is all the motivation that is needed to continue.
A Journey that Is Done
8. All learning was already in His Mind, accomplished and complete. ²He recognized all that time holds, and gave it to all minds that each one might determine, from a point where time was ended, when it is released to revelation and eternity. ³We have repeated several times before that you but make a journey that is done.
9. For oneness must be here. ²Whatever time the mind has set for revelation is entirely irrelevant to what must be a constant state, forever as it always was; forever to remain as it is now. ³We merely take the part assigned long since, and fully recognized as perfectly fulfilled by Him Who wrote salvation’s script in His Creator’s Name, and in the Name of His Creator’s Son.
It only seems like we are making the journey to Heaven for the first time. Actually, this is done. The Holy Spirit has written the corrected script, the one that takes us home, and all learning has already been accomplished. We are just watching the show and deciding if we are ready to stop watching and go Home. This is why we cannot fail, it is a feat already accomplished.
Now We Have Work to Do
10. There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand. ²When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood. ³Now we have work to do, for those in time can speak of things beyond, and listen to words which explain what is to come is past already. ⁴Yet what meaning can the words convey to those who count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them?
11. Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part. ²The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done. ³It does not matter. ⁴For your part is still what all the rest depends on. ⁵As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God.
What will it be like to fully awaken? Jesus cannot really tell us this. We have to awaken ourselves to find out. But we do have work to do and that is where our energy is better spent. And as we play our part, we are helping others to awaken as well.
The Final Gift
12. Forgiveness is the central theme that runs throughout salvation, holding all its parts in meaningful relationships, the course it runs directed and its outcome sure. ²And now we ask for grace, the final gift salvation can bestow. ³Experience that grace provides will end in time, for grace foreshadows Heaven, yet does not replace the thought of time but for a little while.
13. The interval suffices. ²It is here that miracles are laid; to be returned by you from holy instants you receive, through grace in your experience, to all who see the light that lingers in your face. ³What is the face of Christ but his who went a moment into timelessness, and brought a clear reflection of the unity he felt an instant back to bless the world? ⁴How could you finally attain to it forever, while a part of you remains outside, unknowing, unawakened, and in need of you as witness to the truth?
A Beacon of Light
We forgive and our mind clears. We receive grace and experience the real world for a little while before God takes us into Himself. In this interval, we are here to be a beacon to those who have yet to awaken. This is done repeatedly, I think. We get this moment in timelessness, a holy instant, and we then return to bless the world with the light that lingers in our faces.
Have you ever been with those who are awakened? Their faces are different, softer, and lighter. Their demeanor is different, kinder, and loving. It feels peaceful just being with them. If someone has experienced what grace gives, why would they return? Jesus explains this in the last sentence. ⁴How could you finally attain to it forever, while a part of you remains outside, unknowing, unawakened, and in need of you as witness to the truth? We come back for our brothers, for the parts of ourselves that have yet to feel the call or having felt it, have not yet answered it.
Asking for Grace
14. Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you. ²You carry them back to yourself. ³And revelation stands not far behind. ⁴Its coming is ensured. ⁵We ask for grace, and for experience that comes from grace. ⁶We welcome the release it offers everyone. ⁷We do not ask for the unaskable. ⁸We do not look beyond what grace can give. ⁹For this we can give in the grace that has been given us.
I am happy to ask for grace, and I am satisfied that this is my purpose now knowing that revelation is yet to come in its time. I am happy to give what I have received knowing that I am giving to my Self. We are not separate. We are all part of Oneness.
Our Goal for Today
15. Our learning goal today does not exceed this prayer. ²Yet in the world, what could be more than what we ask this day of Him Who gives the grace we ask, as it was given Him?
³By grace I live. ⁴By grace I am released.
⁵By grace I give. ⁶By grace I will release.
Here is a little story that happened to me once. It illustrates our part in this process.I was getting ready for a workshop and I had set my goal for the weekend. My intention was to see the Christ in each person I met there. I imagined how beautiful that would be and wondered how it would affect the whole experience. How exciting to see what it looked like to recognize the Christ in 30 people and wondered if I could hold that vision for a whole weekend.
I forgot that to see the Christ I would have to release the judgments that keep me from seeing clearly. Releasing the judgments is part of the process, so being aware of the judgments is the first step of the process. By the end of Saturday, my head felt it would explode from the sheer number of judgments. And the variety of judgments; good grief!
At first, I was discouraged, but then I remembered the importance of being aware of, and of looking with the Holy Spirit, in order to let go. The Holy Spirit also reminded me that thoughts are not personal and that they will float right on through my mind if I don’t attach to them and believe them. So, I just kept watching the thoughts in my mind without judging myself for having them and this was a more comfortable process and went more smoothly.
How does it look to see the Christ in everyone? Well, I did not experience bright lights emanating from their chakras or whatever it was I thought would happen. What I noticed is that this was the most amazing group of people I had ever been with. They were so loving and so filled with Spirit I just didn’t want to leave them. I felt blessed to be in their presence and I felt loved every moment I was there.
In answer to my willingness to see with Christ Vision, I felt love, and the more willing I became, the more love I felt. No matter what was said or done, I saw the love that truly defined the person or situation. Even though the judgmental thoughts floated in and out of my mind, even though the ones that I chose to temporarily entertain in my mind, I saw the love.
I did nothing to make this happen. Christ’s Vision wasn’t something I did, only something I experienced once I did my part. That is to say, once I became willing to hear God’s Voice and to forgive everything that wasn’t love, in me and in every other person as well. Even forgiving is simple; it is just the willingness to allow things to be different than I thought. What I experienced in the place of judgments wasn’t a startling phenomenon, just a gentle beingness and joyful state in which to exist. This was a touch of grace.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 169 click here.
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