I. Atonement Without Sacrifice, P 8
8 The innocence of God is the true state of the mind of His Son. In this state your mind knows God, for God is not symbolic; He is Fact. Knowing His Son as he is, you realize that the Atonement, not sacrifice, is the only appropriate gift for God’s altar, where nothing except perfection belongs. The understanding of the innocent is truth. That is why their altars are truly radiant.
I am innocent because God is innocent. As I begin to believe in my innocence, I know God. Often I say that my true desire is to know God, so here is the way it happens. I know myself as innocent and then I know my brother as innocent… then I know God. I am really drawn to the next part of the sentence. “…God is not symbolic; He is Fact.” I don’t have anything to say about that, I just feel good when I think about it.
The thing I am happy to know as I read this paragraph is that I am innocent, that God does not want my sacrifice and that what He does want instead, is that I accept the Atonement. This is so simple and so possible that I feel elated when I think about it. I am happy at the thought that all day today, I am going to watch for the opportunity to accept the Atonement in whatever situations arise.
I do realize that there is a part of my mind that simply does not believe in my innocence. This part of the mind (the ego) is convinced that I am very guilty and that my only chance of survival is to avoid God. When my focus is on this part of the mind, I believe in my guilt and it can be hard to let that belief go. In a weird circular way, it seems like my guilt is the only thing protecting me from an angry, vengeful God. If I don’t feel guilty, the ego says, I will foolishly turn to God and He will destroy me.
If the ego would only use these words, I would easily turn from the guilt because it makes no sense. But that’s not the way it happens. I feel a surge of anger when someone offends me in some way. I feel guilty for the anger and I feel guilty that I felt offense in the first place. The whole situation makes me feel guilty and so the ego confirms my guilt.
As I continue to take these thoughts and situations to the Holy Spirit and become willing to accept the Atonement, my mind clears. I realize that guilt is in my mind and is then projected outward as a story of Myron being offended and feeling righteous anger. I feel all of the anger and guilt melt away and I know that nothing really happened.
Guilt, which does not exist, was projected onto a world that does not exist. The person I accused is innocent. I am innocent. We are innocent because nothing happened. Nothing could happen because we are innocent. We are innocent because God is innocent and He created us like Himself. This is where the Atonement brings me every time.
I have been writing about how I am learning that pain is not real and neither are suffering and death. This is still an idea that I am working with. I accept the Atonement each time I feel pain or suffer or believe in death. I keep placing these beliefs on the altar. I keep asking for the Atonement and accepting it to the degree I am able to do so at this time. I am chipping away at the belief and I am watching it crumble.
A few days ago it occurred to me that I can apply this same process to another stubborn belief. I have spent most of my adult life trying to control my weight. Just reading that sentence tells me where the problem lies. I am trying to control the body as if I were it’s victim and as if the body had a mind of it’s own that was in opposition to mine. Well that’s pretty funny, but I still believe it. I know I believe it because I wrote that sentence.
I told the Holy Spirit that I was willing to accept the Atonement in this situation. I am willing to let go of the belief that I am a victim to this problem, and I am willing to let go of the idea there is a problem to begin with. I want to end this war with the body. I want to be healed. I approached this in the same way I do any false idea. I begin by accepting that I do not know what any of this means. I don’t know how it will unfold and what it should look like.
Then I pay close attention to my thoughts about it. I notice which thoughts are not true. (Most of them as it turns out) I ask for the Atonement. I ask that Love come into my mind and heal every error there. I give all the willingness I have to accept that healing. And so I chip away at a belief that has hardened in my mind over a life time. It is giving way.
The surprises: I have so much guilt around the idea of body weight and seem to be willing to believe this guilt is real. I believe that God will ask for a sacrifice for this healing, that he will ask me to give up my hope for a slim body. I bargain with him as I agree to a bigger but not biggest body. Jeez. I have to be honest. I am not only surprised, but somewhat discouraged to find these thoughts in my mind.
Another very stubborn false belief is that food, which doesn’t really exist, can affect the body, which doesn’t really exist, in ways that the mind does not want, and that the mind has little control over the choices being made. Really? The mind is victim to the body’s appetites? I cannot control the mind’s decisions about food choices? Who is this “I” and how could it be that “I” have no control over my choices? This is so crazy I can hardly believe that I believe these things, and yet as I watch my mind, I see that it is true.
The ego says that this is just too confusing and too hard. It counsels me to just let it all go and return to dieting. I have a really good handle on dieting after all these years and I should stick with what works. But I am not listening to the ego. This is not confusing and it is not hard. The only thing that is happening is that I am believing a bunch of untrue thoughts. The solution is the Atonement. I have accepted the Atonement before and I know how to do this and am convinced that it works. I feel so happy and so free when I accept the Atonement that I am highly motivated. In fact, I am excited for another opportunity to remember my innocence.
(I wrote this in March of this year. I re-read it before sending it out, and when I got to the part where I discovered all of those untrue thoughts about food and body and weight, I just cracked myself up. They are hilarious!)