ACIM Daily Lesson 72 Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.
Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. ACIM Daily Lesson 72
Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.
1. 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. ²In 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.
Our attack on God’s plan is obvious when we think about the ways we have imposed the ego’s attributes onto God. If, like me, you grew up in a religious household, you may remember hearing this. “You had better be good because when you die, you will have to face God’s judgment.” So, in this we see God as judgmental. And yet, if we perceive the world through the ego, everything and everyone is judged. So it is that we have projected the ego as judge onto God.
In the church I grew up in, we learned that God was vengeful and would send us to hell if we died with sins on our soul. Another one I hear is that no one gets away with anything. Those that are not punished here will be punished by God. And so we have God as the avenger and the punisher. If we watch our mind, we will see that those are ego traits that we project onto God. Maybe those kinds of thoughts have shown up recently as you watch the drama taking place in the Ukraine.
Seeing Ourselves as Bodies
2. The ego’s fundamental wish is to replace God. ²In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of that wish. ³For 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. ⁴The limit on communication cannot be the best means to expand communication. ⁵Yet the ego would have you believe that it is.
By seeing ourselves as bodies, we cut ourselves off from each other and thus limit communication. Think for a moment what it must be like to be spirit, to have no limits and no boundaries. In our natural state as such, there is unlimited communication because there is nothing to prevent it. If I am everywhere and everything and so are you, what could I know that you do not? What could I keep secret and from whom?
Grievances are Always Associated with Bodies
3. 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. ²But let us consider the kinds of things you are apt to hold grievances for. ³Are they not always associated with something a body does? ⁴A person says something you do not like. ⁵He does something that displeases you. ⁶He “betrays” his hostile thoughts in his behavior.
4. You are not dealing here with what the person is. ²On the contrary, you are exclusively concerned with what he does in a body. ³You are doing more than failing to help in freeing him from the body’s limitations. ⁴You are actively trying to hold him to it by confusing it with him, and judging them as one. ⁵Herein is God attacked, for if His Son is only a body, so must He be as well. ⁶A creator wholly unlike his creation is inconceivable.
If I think about Putin as an aggressor, as someone who puts his own needs and desires above all others, I have imprisoned him in a body. In my judgment I would have failed to help release my brother from ego thinking. I would have completely dismissed what he is and instead have decided he is only what he does. In this, I would have attacked God’s plan for salvation. A plan which would free Putin and me at the same time. Even more, I would have attacked God. By making His Creation a body, I would then see God as a body and thus limit Him. I choose not to do this.
Death as Salvation
5. If God is a body, what must His plan for salvation be? ²What could it be but death? ³In 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. ⁴The body’s apparent reality makes this view of God quite convincing. ⁵In fact, if the body were real, it would be difficult indeed to escape this conclusion. ⁶And every grievance that you hold insists that the body is real. ⁷It overlooks entirely what your brother is. ⁸It reinforces your belief that he is a body, and condemns him for it. ⁹And it asserts that his salvation must be death, projecting this attack onto God, and holding Him responsible for it.
Thinking of ourselves and of God as bodies, the idea of salvation becomes very confused. I remember when I was a child a nun was explaining why cremation was a sin. She said that if our bodies were burned, we wouldn’t have one for Heaven. Even as a young child that made no sense. I asked what happens if you die in a fire and she had no answer.
The problem is one of believing in bodies at all. If we believe we are a body we will believe God must be a body, too. We will believe He created us as bodies, and it follows that death must be part of His plan as well. Thus, salvation is death and God is responsible. No wonder everyone has a fear of God.
The Body Is not Your Savior
6. To this carefully prepared arena, where angry animals seek for prey and mercy cannot enter, the ego comes to save you. ²God made you a body. ³Very well. ⁴Let us accept this and be glad. ⁵As a body, do not let yourself be deprived of what the body offers. ⁶Take the little you can get. ⁷God gave you nothing. ⁸The body is your only savior. ⁹It is the death of God and your salvation.
7. This is the universal belief of the world you see. ²Some hate the body, and try to hurt and humiliate it. ³Others love the body, and try to glorify and exalt it. ⁴But 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. ⁵Your chosen savior takes His place instead. ⁶It is your friend; He is your enemy.
I refuse to accept the body as my identity any longer and so I watch for thoughts that would keep it at the center. When I look in the mirror I see wrinkles and loose skin and way more fat than is needed. That is just a fact and not a problem. It becomes a problem if I judge it and fret over it and want it to be different. If it is just the body that is the image needed for this story, why should I let it upset me? It is upsetting how the body looks only if I think it represents me. So, if I am seeing it as such, I ask the Holy spirit to correct my thinking. I am grateful for my true Self and that it cannot change or die. This body is not my friend; it is nothing to me.
Attacks on Salvation
8. We will try today to stop these senseless attacks on salvation. ²We will try to welcome it instead. ³Your upside-down perception has been ruinous to your peace of mind. ⁴You have seen yourself in a body and the truth outside you, locked away from your awareness by the body’s limitations. ⁵Now we are going to try to see this differently.
9. The light of truth is in us, where it was placed by God. ²It is the body that is outside us, and is not our concern. ³To be without a body is to be in our natural state. ⁴To recognize the light of truth in us is to recognize ourselves as we are. ⁵To see our Self as separate from the body is to end the attack on God’s plan for salvation, and to accept it instead. ⁶And wherever His plan is accepted, it is accomplished already.
In order to correct my thoughts, the Holy Spirit needs me to look honestly on what they are. In this way, He looks with me and His Light shines them away. Here is what I see when I look.
- Though I have lost a lot of interest in the body, I still sometimes want it to be different. I choose to be free of this.
- Spending my life in a battle over what this body should weigh. I choose to be free of this.
- Very much caring when this body is in pain. I choose to be free of this.
- Sometimes I still use this body to limit communication. I choose to be free of this.
- Sometimes I use this body for attack of other bodies through judgment. I choose to be free of this.
I accept that I am not this body and I have no desire to be this body. Not only am I not this body but I am not in this body. I choose this as my present experience.
10. Our goal in the longer practice periods today is to become aware that God’s plan for salvation has already been accomplished in us. ²To achieve this goal, we must replace attack with acceptance. ³As long as we attack it, we cannot understand what God’s plan for us is. ⁴We are therefore attacking what we do not recognize. ⁵Now we are going to try to lay judgment aside, and ask what God’s plan for us is:
⁶What is salvation, Father? ⁷I do not know. ⁸Tell me, that I may understand.
⁹Then we will wait in quiet for His answer. ¹⁰We have attacked God’s plan for salvation without waiting to hear what it is. ¹¹We have shouted our grievances so loudly that we have not listened to His Voice. ¹²We have used our grievances to close our eyes and stop our ears.
Though my attack thoughts are few and seldom take form as words or actions, they are still blocking my awareness of my Self. I have become more vigilant than ever for those thoughts and I will gladly continue to do so. I do truly desire God’s plan for salvation and it would be counterproductive to choose grievances instead.
What Is Salvation, Father?
11. Now we would see and hear and learn. ²“What is salvation, Father?” ³Ask and you will be answered. ⁴Seek and you will find. ⁵We are no longer asking the ego what salvation is and where to find it. ⁶We are asking it of truth. ⁷Be certain, then, that the answer will be true because of Whom you ask.
12. 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:
²What is salvation, Father? ³I do not know. ⁴Tell me, that I may understand.
⁵He will answer. ⁶Be determined to hear.
13. One or perhaps two shorter practice periods an hour will be enough for today, since they will be somewhat longer than usual. ²These exercises should begin with this:
³Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation. ⁴Let me accept it instead. ⁵What is salvation, Father?
⁶Then wait a minute or so in silence, preferably with your eyes closed, and listen for His answer.
Being Determined to Hear
I think His answer is so apparent that I tend to overlook it. It is the acceptance of the Atonement. It is the return of awareness to Oneness. In the world it looks like loving all without exception and without regard to their stories. It is seeing past bodies to the Self. I see what they do, I hear what they say, but I only believe in What They Are, which is What I Am.
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