ACIM Lesson 39 My holiness is my salvation.
My holiness is my salvation.
ACIM Lesson 39
My holiness is my salvation.
1. If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? ²Like the text for which this workbook was written, the ideas used for the exercises are very simple, very clear and totally unambiguous. ³We are not concerned with intellectual feats nor logical toys. ⁴We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.
If you are like most people, when you first picked up this book it hardly seemed simple and clear. I know that at times, I felt like I was reading some kind of code and I didn’t have the key to decipher it. I kept at it, though, and now I do see how simple it is. A Course in Miracles keeps telling us the same thing over and over in different ways until it sinks in. We are holy Sons of God. We are dreaming of being something else and it is time to wake up. Everything opposite of that is just part of the dream.
The Opposite of Hell
2. If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? ²This is not difficult, surely. ³The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question. ⁴But do you believe that guilt is hell? ⁵If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a workbook at all. ⁶No one needs practice to gain what is already his.
I have to laugh at this because Jesus knew that we would try to figure out the answer. It ertainly felt like a trick question to me. This just shows how complex is the ego thought system. I was so used to this complexity that the simple straightforward answer didn’t occur to me. How could the key to awakening be so simple and so readily available to me?
Jesus asks the question that explains our confusion. He asks if we believe that guilt is hell. I have absolutely proven to myself that guilt is hell. I let go of the belief in guilt and I shifted into a happy dream. In those moments when I pick up the idea of guilt again, I am back in hell and the difference is clear. I let go of the guilt as quickly as I can.
A Savior Must Be Saved
3. We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world. ²What about your own salvation? ³You cannot give what you do not have. ⁴A savior must be saved. ⁵How else can he teach salvation? ⁶Today’s exercises will apply to you, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world. ⁷As you apply the exercises to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.
My salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world. So is yours because we go Home together or not at all. In order for me to help anyone else reach salvation, I must accept salvation for myself. That is to say, I cannot give what I do not have. So doing these lessons benefits me and benefits all.
4. Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future. ²Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell. ³Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own. ⁴How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it? ⁵God does not know unholiness. ⁶Can it be He does not know His Son?
When we accept our holiness, All That Is becomes known again. The only thing keeping that knowledge obscured is the belief in guilt. This tells me that the desire for guilt is very strong. Equally, strong is the fear of innocence. Otherwise, we would have all already happily accepted the good news that guilt is not real. Until we decide to accept our salvation, we will continue the disheartening behavior of trading guilt.
We will see ourselves as guilty and then project it onto another. We will forgive the other and then withdraw in terror that this leaves us guilty. What could be the answer to this depressing and unending cycle? Jesus tells us here in this lesson that the answer is our holiness. We are not told that we have to do anything to become holy. To clarify, we are already are holy. We need only choose to believe in our holiness.
Let’s Begin our Practice
5. A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today, and longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged. ²If you want to exceed the minimum requirements, more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are suggested.
6. Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today’s idea to yourself. ²Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear; uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity and so on. ³Whatever form they take, they are unloving and therefore fearful. ⁴And so it is from them that you need to be saved.
Do you notice that Jesus says it is our thoughts that we need to be saved from? In the past, I used to think that I needed to be saved from my anxiety or from my depression. Now I see that I needed to be saved from my belief in these states of mind, my belief in their value. He also named many thoughts and then labeled them as one; they are all fear. It is our fear from which we must be saved and fear is just a belief.
Imperative for Our Salvation
7. Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises. ²It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently. ³And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.
8. Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation. ²Apply the idea for today to each of them in this way:
³My unloving thoughts about _________ are keeping me in hell. ⁴My holiness is my salvation.
Whether it is a situation and event or a personality that triggers an unloving thought, it will be suitable for the practice. Notice that Jesus tells us that it is imperative for our salvation that we see them differently. That is a very strong statement so let’s notice these ideas and bless them with our holiness. In the next paragraph, he is telling us that these unloving thoughts stand between us and our salvation. This is just in case we haven’t figured out yet the importance of this exercise.
The Rest of the Practice
9. You may find these practice periods easier if you intersperse them with several short periods during which you merely repeat today’s idea to yourself slowly a few times. ²You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything. ³Sustained concentration is very difficult at first. ⁴It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractible.
10. Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into the exercise periods in whatever form appeals to you. ²Do not, however, change the idea itself as you vary the method of applying it. ³However you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning is the fact that your holiness is your salvation. ⁴End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding:
⁵If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?
11. In the shorter applications, which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today’s idea, and preferably both. ²If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:
³My holiness is my salvation from this.
We are here to save ourselves and thus save the world. These practices are the way we begin to live our purpose. I am very grateful to our brother for his help. I intend to always take full advantage of each Lesson.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 39 click here.
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