Lesson 131 2021

Lesson 131

No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.

1. Failure is all about you while you seek for goals that cannot be achieved. ²You look for permanence in the impermanent, for love where there is none, for safety in the midst of danger; immortality within the darkness of the dream of death. ³Who could succeed where contradiction is the setting of his searching, and the place to which he comes to find stability?

2. Goals that are meaningless are not attained. ²There is no way to reach them, for the means by which you strive for them are meaningless as they are. ³Who can use such senseless means, and hope through them to gain in anything? ⁴Where can they lead? ⁵And what could they achieve that offers any hope of being real? ⁶Pursuit of the imagined leads to death because it is the search for nothingness, and while you seek for life you ask for death. ⁷You look for safety and security, while in your heart you pray for danger and protection for the little dream you made.

Jesus is again reminding us that what we find here is not ever going to satisfy. Maybe you have become convinced that the world has nothing to offer you, or maybe you read this and think it isn’t really that bad. Is “isn’t that bad” the goal you seek? It used to be my goal. No, I didn’t tell myself that, but in retrospect, I see that I would throw myself into whatever distracted me from what was bad and pretend that I was not dreading the next awful thing to come along. That fear would show itself, though.

I would hear an ambulance and feel a spike of fear as I thought about where my children were at that moment. My husband would be late getting home and I would be anxious wondering if he was alright. We would be financially secure and I would hear about someone getting laid off and I would worry. Everything would be going well and someone I knew would suddenly die and I would have to face the fact this could happen at any time to anyone. If happiness and peace of mind is my goal, and I am looking outward in the world for it, I am looking in the wrong direction.

3. Yet searching is inevitable here. ²For this you came, and you will surely do the thing you came for. ³But the world can not dictate the goal for which you search, unless you give it power to do so. ⁴Otherwise, you still are free to choose a goal that lies beyond the world and every worldly thought, and one that comes to you from an idea relinquished yet remembered, old yet new; an echo of a heritage forgot, yet holding everything you really want.

We come here to this place in our imagination that we think of as our life to find happiness and we can find it, but not in the world. The world is the effect of the guilt and fear that we tried to project from our minds at the moment of the tiny idea. How could it ever bring us to what we really want? The world will never be Heaven no matter how we try to manipulate it into satisfying us. Still, it can bring us to something close to our true goal if we use it as a bridge to Heaven.  

4. Be glad that search you must. ²Be glad as well to learn you search for Heaven, and must find the goal you really want. ³No one can fail to want this goal and reach it in the end. ⁴God’s Son can not seek vainly, though he try to force delay, deceive himself and think that it is hell he seeks. ⁵When he is wrong, he finds correction. ⁶When he wanders off, he is led back to his appointed task.

I think of the times when I have wandered off the path I came here to walk. For a number of years, this was a regular thing for me. Then slowly, I began to stay on my path for longer periods of time and when I wandered off the path, I returned more quickly. I was led back to my appointed task. I am so very grateful to have found my path, and so grateful I know that I cannot fail to reach my goal.

5. No one remains in hell, for no one can abandon his Creator, nor affect His perfect, timeless and unchanging Love. ²You will find Heaven. ³Everything you seek but this will fall away. ⁴Yet not because it has been taken from you. ⁵It will go because you do not want it. ⁶You will reach the goal you really want as certainly as God created you in sinlessness.

This falling away is an amazing thing! So many things I used to value and now I don’t, and it doesn’t feel like a loss at all. It is the thoughts and beliefs that fell away, like the belief in victimhood, being unfairly treated, and the belief in loss and lack. I leave behind the belief in guilt and fear. Even the belief in sadness and grief fall away. Some of that still shows up but I know I am not really interested and it fades away as I ask for the corrected version of this story. I thought I could abandon my Creator and that I could affect a change in His Love but that was silly. How could that be? It couldn’t, of course.

6. Why wait for Heaven? ²It is here today. ³Time is the great illusion it is past or in the future. ⁴Yet this cannot be, if it is where God wills His Son to be. ⁵How could the Will of God be in the past, or yet to happen? ⁶What He wills is now, without a past and wholly futureless. ⁷It is as far removed from time as is a tiny candle from a distant star, or what you chose from what you really want.

The ego has this big lie that it tells us about awakening. When we get serious about seeking Heaven, the ego stops trying to convince us it can’t be done, instead, it says that someday, in the far distant future, we will succeed. It is a mind trick. God wills us to be with Him and therefore it is done.

7. Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made and all its ways; its shifting patterns and uncertain goals, its painful pleasures and its tragic joys. ²God made no contradictions. ³What denies its own existence and attacks itself is not of Him. ⁴He did not make two minds, with Heaven as the glad effect of one, and earth the other’s sorry outcome which is Heaven’s opposite in every way.

Our whole journey is one that has already been completed. The only reason we don’t know we are in God already is our desire to look for Heaven in the world where it can’t be found. But nothing is happening. The fruitless search, the pain and suffering, it is all an illusion because we cannot undo reality no matter how much time we waste trying to do so.

8. God does not suffer conflict. ²Nor is His creation split in two. ³How could it be His Son could be in hell, when God Himself established him in Heaven? ⁴Could he lose what the Eternal Will has given him to be his home forever? ⁵Let us not try longer to impose an alien will upon God’s single purpose. ⁶He is here because He wills to be, and what He wills is present now, beyond the reach of time.

God is not in time and space, does not suffer, does not die. We are part of God, in God and cannot be separate from God. Therefore, we are not living in time and space either and we cannot suffer and die. The only alternative is that we are wandering through a dream-like experience, an imaginative landscape of loneliness and lovelessness, pretending we have no choice, pretending the world was done to us when all along, we made the world and all we need to do to escape is to stop wanting it.

9. Today we will not choose a paradox in place of truth. ²How could the Son of God make time to take away the Will of God? ³He thus denies himself, and contradicts what has no opposite. ⁴He thinks he made a hell opposing Heaven, and believes that he abides in what does not exist, while Heaven is the place he cannot find.

10. Leave foolish thoughts like these behind today, and turn your mind to true ideas instead. ²No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth, and it is truth we seek to reach today. ³We will devote ten minutes to this goal three times today, and we will ask to see the rising of the real world to replace the foolish images that we hold dear, with true ideas arising in the place of thoughts that have no meaning, no effect, and neither source nor substance in the truth.

Let us not put this off another day, another minute. Let us devote ourselves to awakening from the effects of a choice made billions of years ago and made just this moment. We can do this in the practice periods. We can do it during the day as we notice the distractions of the world and choose instead to remember our purpose. Let us simply choose to know that the world is nothing, foolish images that we hold dear, and choose again. Let the truth arise in our minds this day, right now. This cannot fail because what we are choosing now has no substance and cannot hold us back unless we want to be held back.

11. This we acknowledge as we start upon our practice periods. ²Begin with this:

³I ask to see a different world, and think a different kind of thought from those I made. ⁴The world I seek I did not make alone, the thoughts I want to think are not my own.

⁵For several minutes watch your mind and see, although your eyes are closed, the senseless world you think is real. ⁶Review the thoughts as well which are compatible with such a world, and which you think are true. ⁷Then let them go, and sink below them to the holy place where they can enter not. ⁸There is a door beneath them in your mind, which you could not completely lock to hide what lies beyond.

12. Seek for that door and find it. ²But before you try to open it, remind yourself no one can fail who seeks to reach the truth. ³And it is this request you make today. ⁴Nothing but this has any meaning now; no other goal is valued now nor sought, nothing before this door you really want, and only what lies past it do you seek.

13. Put out your hand, and see how easily the door swings open with your one intent to go beyond it. ²Angels light the way, so that all darkness vanishes, and you are standing in a light so bright and clear that you can understand all things you see. ³A tiny moment of surprise, perhaps, will make you pause before you realize the world you see before you in the light reflects the truth you knew, and did not quite forget in wandering away in dreams.

14. You cannot fail today. ²There walks with you the Spirit Heaven sent you, that you might approach this door some day, and through His aid slip effortlessly past it, to the light. ³Today that day has come. ⁴Today God keeps His ancient promise to His holy Son, as does His Son remember his to Him. ⁵This is a day of gladness, for we come to the appointed time and place where you will find the goal of all your searching here, and all the seeking of the world, which end together as you pass beyond the door.

15. Remember often that today should be a time of special gladness, and refrain from dismal thoughts and meaningless laments. ²Salvation’s time has come. ³Today is set by Heaven itself to be a time of grace for you and for the world. ⁴If you forget this happy fact, remind yourself with this:

⁵Today I seek and find all that I want.
⁶My single purpose offers it to me.
⁷No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.

(ACIM, W-131.1:1–15:7)

 What a wonderful meditation. I plan to do it again today and to remind myself of what I really want all during the day. I cannot fail because I seek to reach the truth.

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