I. Atonement Without Sacrifice, P 3
3 The statement “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” is a misperception by which one assigns his own “evil” past to God. The “evil” past has nothing to do with God. He did not create it and He does not maintain it. God does not believe in retribution. His Mind does not create that way. He does not hold your “evil” deeds against you. Is it likely that He would hold them against me? Be very sure that you recognize how utterly impossible this assumption is, and how entirely it arises from projection. This kind of error is responsible for a host of related errors, including the belief that God rejected Adam and forced him out of the Garden of Eden. It is also why you may believe from time to time that I am misdirecting you. I have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but it is always possible to twist symbols around if you wish.
First I want to address the fact that Jesus is so clear in this paragraph. God is not vengeful! There is no vengeance in Love. It is really impossible to misunderstand Jesus in this paragraph, and yet, I remember reading it the first time and doing just that. I was, of course, relieved to know that God does not hold my evil deeds against me, but I continued to believe He did. I continued to feel guilty for them. As it turns out it is not easy to let go of the old way of thinking. Guilt is such a persistent belief.
I am sure nearly everyone has at least an occasional thought that someone is guilty, either himself or herself or someone else. Probably everyone who is not yet awake has many of these thoughts. It is a very clear mind that can read in the paper about some atrocity and not have a visceral reaction that the one committing them is guilty. If not that, who among us does not react to a personal attack as if it really is an attack and someone is guilty of it. My most persistent form of guilt has been for my own past actions.
Every fear I have of God is a projection from my own mind. It is not real because God is Love and nothing else. God cannot also be vengeful because Love is not vengeful. I hold the past against myself and others and then I project that feeling onto God in the assumption that God is like this illusion I think of as “me”. I pray, sincerely, to be healed of this mistaken idea. Let me remember that it is insane that God becomes like me. Surely, it is more likely that I am like my Creator. Any thought, word, or action that seems to refute this must be an illusion.
As I am like God, it is impossible that I be vengeful except in my dream of separation, and even here it cannot really happen; I can only pretend it could happen. This is all that is going on in the world. I pretend to be something I could never be. Is God angry about this? Is He disappointed in me? He cannot be either of these things. He can only Love me because there is nothing in God except love.
Here is the way I am unlearning these crazy things I have taught myself. When I read about some people being shot in a drive-by, I watched the judgments in my mind. I didn’t try to undo the judgments or change my mind in any way. I just acknowledged them. Then I realized that they could not be true and I opened my mind and heart to Love. I asked that I be healed of these beliefs. I asked how to love these people who are clearly calling for love. I keep doing this every time I notice the opportunity.
As my mind heals of the belief in guilt, retribution, vengeance, and any other feelings arising from the belief in guilt will naturally fall away and love will be all that is left. There will be nothing to project onto God and so there will be nothing to fear from God. This is the path Home. It is an easy path, with many simple steps. It is well marked and our Guide never leaves our side. We have many mighty companions who help us each step of the way. We can wander away for a bit, we can stand in place, but we cannot go backward and we cannot lose our way, nor can we fail to reach the end.