Lesson 108 2021

Lesson 108

To give and to receive are one in truth.

1. Vision depends upon today’s idea. ²The light is in it, for it reconciles all seeming opposites. ³And what is light except the resolution, born of peace, of all your conflicts and mistaken thoughts into one concept which is wholly true? ⁴Even that one will disappear, because the Thought behind it will appear instead to take its place. ⁵And now you are at peace forever, for the dream is over then.

2. True light that makes true vision possible is not the light the body’s eyes behold. ²It is a state of mind that has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all. ³And thus what is the same is seen as one, while what is not the same remains unnoticed, for it is not there.

Our purpose here is to undo the idea of separation and see ourselves as one. Today’s idea that to give and receive are one, if accepted, does this for us. It reconciles all opposite and fills the mind with light so that we can, at last, truly see. We are filled with conflicting ideas in this world and even we understand that they cannot all be true. 

This is a terrible way to live, never feeling certain. This feeling of uncertainty is probably why we fight to be right even as this insistence on being right rather than happy is causing so much suffering. We long for stability, trust, and to feel safe. But because we are all one, we cannot have this until we all have it. We need one concept that is wholly true. 

The light in our mind that unifies makes true vision possible. This isn’t anything we see with the body’s eyes because it is the light that shows us what is true and the body is part of the illusion. Vision has nothing to do with the eyes. Jesus describes it here as a state of mind that has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all.  

Can you imagine this? I was thinking of what it would be like to have no dark thoughts at all. I would never again have the thought that something is wrong, that I have been attacked, that I have the need to defend myself. I would never again be afraid for myself or for my children or anyone else in the world. I would not worry about what happens in the illusion, what happens to bodies or to an imagined world. I would be in absolute unending peace, and I would always be happy. I would certainly never feel lonely again knowing that I am never alone but am always and forever part of a Whole. 

3. This is the light that shows no opposites, and vision, being healed, has power to heal. ²This is the light that brings your peace of mind to other minds, to share it and be glad that they are one with you and with themselves. ³This is the light that heals because it brings single perception, based upon one frame of reference, from which one meaning comes. 

All of the dark thoughts in our mind are a reflection of the one thought that we are separate from each other and from our Creator. Vision shows us that this is not true. It reveals our oneness. With this vision, our minds are healed and we can heal. We share this vision with other minds and they share it with still more minds. This is how we awaken the Sonship from this long dream of separation. Each of us is enlightened as we share the vision of oneness. 

Our purpose here is to undo the idea of separation and see ourselves as one. Today’s idea that to give and receive are one, if accepted, does this for us. It reconciles all opposite and fills the mind with light so that we can, at last, truly see. We are filled with conflicting ideas in this world and even we understand that they cannot all be true.  

I don’t know how this occurs for others, but for me, it was a slow step-by-step process as I looked with the Holy Spirit on much of the darkness in my mind. As I was able, I released what I found there to Him and I accepted His healing. At some point, I realized I had reached a state of fundamental well being that did not depend on circumstances to uphold it.  

It is not complete, not in the way Jesus describes it here, but my mind continues to heal and at a faster rate now. Here is an example from this week. My daughter was told by her doctor that there were signs that there was a problem with her heart, that she may have had a heart attack. She had to undergo a battery of tests over a two day period. I was worried about this situation, but at the same time, I wasn’t.  

It is very strange the way this works. I was aware of intermittent fear thoughts in my mind, but I know that if this had happened before I shifted, it would have been two really awful days. I would have been unable to function on a normal level. I would have cried and insisted on being with her throughout the ordeal. I would have called everyone I knew to talk it out.  

But that’s not what happened. I didn’t try to be fearless, instead, I kept watching my mind fear thoughts when they showed up, I asked the Holy Spirit to correct them and to show me another way to see this situation. I let Him guide me through the days, showing me how to maintain my peace. When my mind would go to “what if thoughts” I would be guided back to the present moment.  

I was guided to the perfect passages in the Course to remind me of the truth. I was also reminded that our minds are one and so I shared thoughts with my daughter that were true and helpful, not in words so much, but in the more power way of mind to mind. Here are a couple of quotes He led me to.  

  • ⁴You can give up the god of sickness for your brothers; in fact, you would have to do so if you give him up for yourself. ⁵For if you see the god of sickness anywhere, you have accepted him. 
  •  To believe that a Son of God can be sick is to believe that part of God can suffer. 
  • What Comforter can there be for the sick children of God except His power through you? ²Remember that it does not matter where in the Sonship He is accepted. ³He is always accepted for all, and when your mind receives Him the remembrance of Him awakens throughout the Sonship. ⁴Heal your brothers simply by accepting God for them. ⁵Your minds are not separate, and God has only one channel for healing because He has but one Son. ⁶God’s remaining Communication Link with all His children joins them together, and them to Him. ⁷To be aware of this is to heal them because it is the awareness that no one is separate, and so no one is sick. 
  • ⁹God would have them released from their sickness and returned to His Mind. ¹⁰He will not limit your power to help them, because He has given it to you. ¹¹Do not be afraid of it, because it is your salvation. 
  • Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both.  
  • ⁵The power of one mind can shine into another, because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark. 

I remembered that our minds are one and so I kept in my mind what she needed in her mind. 

4. Here are both giving and receiving seen as different aspects of one Thought whose truth does not depend on which is seen as first, nor which appears to be in second place. ²Here it is understood that both occur together, that the Thought remain complete. ³And in this understanding is the base on which all opposites are reconciled, because they are perceived from the same frame of reference which unifies this Thought. 

And this is what was happening yesterday in this particular situation. I continually turned to the Holy Spirit to heal my mind so that what I gave was what would be helpful. I gave thoughts of healing and I received thoughts of healing. I received thoughts of healing and I gave thoughts of healing. It is simultaneous and cannot be separated. To have spent my day in worry and fear would have been to give my daughter and the rest of the Sonship worry and fear and thus to have simultaneously increased worry and fear in me. It would also have reinforced in all minds the belief we are separate from each other and from our Creator. 

5. One thought, completely unified, will serve to unify all thought. ²This is the same as saying one correction will suffice for all correction, or that to forgive one brother wholly is enough to bring salvation to all minds. ³For these are but some special cases of one law which holds for every kind of learning, if it be directed by the One Who knows the truth. 

Each time any of us turns to the Holy Spirit to correct a thought and His correction is fully accepted, that correction touches all minds. One brother wholly forgiven brings forgiveness to all minds. This is true for all learning if the learning is directed by the Holy Spirit. 

6. To learn that giving and receiving are the same has special usefulness, because it can be tried so easily and seen as true. ²And when this special case has proved it always works, in every circumstance where it is tried, the thought behind it can be generalized to other areas of doubt and double vision. ³And from there it will extend, and finally arrive at the one Thought which underlies them all. 

The situation this week with my daughter might seem isolated, but it proves the idea that giving and receiving are the same. I have had many such experiences in the last few years, and especially so in the last two. I have, in many ways, generalized what I have learned. I tend to see with single vision now with only occasional bouts of double vision where I see the truth and then the illusion and back to the truth. I know that this bouncing around will end as I continue my vigilance and continue to trust and follow guidance. 

7. Today we practice with the special case of giving and receiving. ²We will use this simple lesson in the obvious because it has results we cannot miss. ³To give is to receive. ⁴Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone, and see how quickly peace returns to us. ⁵Light is tranquility, and in that peace is vision given us, and we can see. 

There is a Buddhist prayer that I love and that I think of as I read this paragraph. It begins with this: May all beings be peaceful. May all beings be safe. What I pray for others, I automatically pray for myself because what I give is what I receive. To give is to receive. I look forward to today’s practice and to seeing that giving is receiving. 

8. So we begin the practice periods with the instruction for today, and say: 

²To give and to receive are one in truth.
³I will receive what I am giving now. 

⁴Then close your eyes, and for five minutes think of what you would hold out to everyone, to have it yours. ⁵You might, for instance, say: 

⁶To everyone I offer quietness.
⁷To everyone I offer peace of mind.
⁸To everyone I offer gentleness. 

9. Say each one slowly and then pause a while, expecting to receive the gift you gave. ²And it will come to you in the amount in which you gave it. ³You will find you have exact return, for that is what you asked. ⁴It might be helpful, too, to think of one to whom to give your gifts. ⁵He represents the others, and through him you give to all. 

10. Our very simple lesson for today will teach you much. ²Effect and cause will be far better understood from this time on, and we will make much faster progress now. ³Think of the exercises for today as quick advances in your learning, made still faster and more sure each time you say, “To give and to receive are one in truth.”

(ACIM, W-108.1:1–10:3)

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