V. Beyond Perception, P 6
6 Prayer is a way of asking for something. It is the medium of miracles. But the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything. Once forgiveness has been accepted, prayer in the usual sense becomes utterly meaningless. The prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that you may be able to recognize what you already have. In electing perception instead of knowledge, you placed yourself in a position where you could resemble your Father only by perceiving miraculously. You have lost the knowledge that you yourself are a miracle of God. Creation is your Source and your only real function.
The Song of Prayer begins by telling us that prayer is the greatest gift with which God blessed His Son at his creation. It says about prayer:
It was then what it is to become; the single voice Creator and creation share; the song the Son sings to the Father, Who returns the thanks it offers Him, unto the Son.
Prayer, as given by God to His Son is a love song, one to the other, and we are assured it will be so again. But then Jesus goes on to say that for those of us still in time, prayer takes the form that best will suit our need. As he is saying here in this paragraph, our only real need is forgiveness.
Every time I see the word forgiveness my mind automatically translates it to “undo.” I forgive the world I think I see. I forgive my perceptions and my projections. I choose forgiveness and all I have done is undone and I will know what has always been true. I will know myself as my Father’s creation. I will know myself as like my Father. I will, finally, remember that I am a creator rather than a maker.
I am in the absurd position of not knowing who or what I am, and not knowing Who my Creator is because I chose to perceive rather than to know. Now it requires miraculous perception to see the truth. I pray for forgiveness. I pray for a miracle. I pray that my perceptions be healed and brought as close to the truth as is possible in the world of time.
In the story of Myron, this means that I continue to follow the Holy Spirit’s prompts and to forgive whatever is in my awareness. It seems that we must forgive from the bottom up. So I start with the misperception that is in my mind right now. Whatever this misperception might seem to be, it is just a symbol of the only misperception there is. It represents the desire to be separate. But it seems I cannot go straight to the desire to be separate, but must first look with the Holy Spirit at the effects of that desire and make a new decision. I must choose again, and this time, choose knowledge over truth.
Right now it seems that the Holy Spirit is helping me as I look at the perception that I am this body or in this body. He is helping me to see that the body is not real. I didn’t, at first, realize this is what was happening. For instance, I thought the body was in pain and I wanted the pain to stop. But He waited until I asked a real question. My prayer became, “Holy Spirit, what am I supposed to do with this pain?” Then He led me to Workbook Lesson 190 and He helped me, step by step, to forgive the idea that pain could ever be real.
I am still learning this lesson. Or maybe a better way to say this is that I sometimes accept this lesson and sometimes return to my old perception. But I never go all the way back. What I learn, I cannot unlearn, it seems. Then the Holy Spirit surprised me. One night as I was getting read for bed, I reached for my Ambien, which I perceived as a necessary sleep aid. He whispered a question into my heart. He asked me if I would like to learn that I don’t need this magic.
I was intrigued and I assumed that I was ready for this step if He asked this question, so I said yes. This was not as hard as the previous experiment in rediscovering the truth about the body. After the first week or so I haven’t really felt like I needed the Ambien. I have taken it a couple of times but I am certain I didn’t need it even then. The reason I am certain is that I am beginning to remember that the body doesn’t need anything. It is only the mind that believes it needs something and then projects that need onto the body in the form of pain, suffering and finally, death.
A couple of weeks ago I found a new prayer. I noticed that I had gained five pounds and could no longer wear some of my clothes. Well, no need to panic. This is a dance I am very familiar with. I knew what to do and I knew it would be easy to lose the weight. But suddenly I felt very tired of the whole thing. I felt tired of the constant struggle with weight and the way my life seemed to revolve around what I eat.
I was reminded of the way Holy Spirit helped me to see time differently. I used to think I had to be asleep at a certain time so I could get a certain amount of sleep before I got up to write in my journal with Holy Spirit. This felt very important to me because the writing was not optional but I had to get it done before work. This is why I took Ambien. I could not always sleep and then I would panic and think that as a result I would not be able to think to write, or I would oversleep and then would be late for work while I took the time for God.
There were other ways that time would be an issue. It was like time was a tyrant and I was enslaved to it. One morning I was feeling the flow from Spirit and my writing was taking longer than usual. I felt the familiar worry about time. I really didn’t want to stop the flow, but I had an appointment I could not miss. I felt, rather than said, a prayer that if put into words would be, “Holy Spirit, what can I do about this?”
Then I remembered what Jesus said in the Course about time. He said that he could manipulate time, and so I asked him to. And he did! I put my faith in his words and I continued to write until I was through. I resisted the ego nudging to look at the clock. I just kept writing until the flow stopped. Then I got dressed and left. Only then did I look at the clock and I was right on time. I have often since then taken Jesus up on his offer to manipulate time and it always works.
So this is what I thought about. I am no longer a slave to time and it feels so good. Now I wondered if I could forgive the idea that I am slave to food. Could food simply become for me something that fuels the body in this dream of bodies? Could I allow my perceptions of food be changed to something closer to truth? This is what the Holy Spirit is working with me on right now.
What I am learning from each of these lessons is that the body is not real. The body does not get sleepy and it does not resist sleep. This happens in the mind, which then projects it onto the body. The body does not get fat from eating food. The mind gets fat from guilt and fear, and projects it onto the body. There is now a story of a guilty Myron who overeats (or God forbid, eats something that actually tastes good) and suffers the consequences for her sin.
These lessons and my acceptance of the truth about them is the way I pray for forgiveness. I have misperceived the world and the Holy Spirit is helping me to change that perception. This will, ultimately, lead to knowledge, though this is on another level altogether and comes directly from God. However, I am busy enough with the lessons I am given and am not concerned about how knowledge will come. I will allow the truth to unfold in its time.