We are infinite and eternal.
I will accept Atonement for myself.
1. Here is the end of choice. ²For here we come to a decision to accept ourselves as God created us. ³And what is choice except uncertainty of what we are? ⁴There is no doubt that is not rooted here. ⁵There is no question but reflects this one. ⁶There is no conflict that does not entail the single, simple question, “What am I?”
2. Yet who could ask this question except one who has refused to recognize himself? ²Only refusal to accept yourself could make the question seem to be sincere. ³The only thing that can be surely known by any living thing is what it is. ⁴From this one point of certainty, it looks on other things as certain as itself.
It is hard to believe that we deliberately choose not to know what we are. It all seems like such a mystery if we are not what we seem to be. When we accept this one thing, when we acknowledge our Self as what we are, all other choices are made in this one choice. Think of that! In knowing what we are, we know what to feel when attacked and what to do about it. No thinking about it, no conflicting feelings, just simple uncomplicated knowing. This applies to all problems. This is how life can be experienced. This is why Jesus emphasizes that we are mean to be happy, that this is God’s Will for us. The acceptance of the Atonement, the recognition and acceptance of what we are is the purpose of A Course in Miracles.
3. Uncertainty about what you must be is self-deception on a scale so vast, its magnitude can hardly be conceived. ²To be alive and not to know yourself is to believe that you are really dead. ³For what is life except to be yourself, and what but you can be alive instead? ⁴Who is the doubter? ⁵What is it he doubts? ⁶Whom does he question? ⁷Who can answer him?
People with amnesia don’t remember who they are, but we don’t remember what we are. It is amnesia so deep that it defies the imagination and yet we accept it as fact. We think we know that we are human beings, living short and often painful lives for a short time in hopes that there is more and that the more is not greater suffering in payment for our many sins. All along we are the Sons of God, divine and eternal, in complete denial of our Self, wondering what we are as if there could be doubt. What a crazy situation we put ourselves in when we let that tiny mad idea creep into our minds.
4. He merely states that he is not himself, and therefore, being something else, becomes a questioner of what that something is. ²Yet he could never be alive at all unless he knew the answer. ³If he asks as if he does not know, it merely shows he does not want to be the thing he is. ⁴He has accepted it because he lives; has judged against it and denied its worth, and has decided that he does not know the only certainty by which he lives.
When I began the study of the Course, it was because I was ready to acknowledge the truth, not that I realized it at the time. I didn’t know why I was doing this, but I would not have done so if it were not time to wake up from this long dream. Still, I spent most of that time with the Course asking what it is I am even though Jesus gives us that answer over and over again.
5. Thus he becomes uncertain of his life, for what it is has been denied by him. ²It is for this denial that you need Atonement. ³Your denial made no change in what you are. ⁴But you have split your mind into what knows and does not know the truth. ⁵You are yourself. ⁶There is no doubt of this. ⁷And yet you doubt it. ⁸But you do not ask what part of you can really doubt yourself. ⁹It cannot really be a part of you that asks this question. ¹⁰For it asks of one who knows the answer. ¹¹Were it part of you, then certainty would be impossible.
The reason A Course in Miracles is so long is not that the answer is complicated. It needs to be this long to slowly and gently awaken us to what we are. We need this slow careful awakening because we are so deep in denial. Cate Grieves in writing about her awakening describes it as finding a room in her mind that she had never entered before.
I like that metaphor but I might use it slightly differently. In our mind is everything, all knowledge as well as all illusion. Nothing is hidden from us, but we are in a little room with the door shut tight and the ego on guard to keep us from opening that door. But the ego works for us and so it will step aside the moment we choose to accept the Atonement and go through the door.
6. Atonement remedies the strange idea that it is possible to doubt yourself, and be unsure of what you really are. ²This is the depth of madness. ³Yet it is the universal question of the world. ⁴What does this mean except the world is mad? ⁵Why share its madness in the sad belief that what is universal here is true?
At some point, we all stop pretending not to know. We begin to question who it is that is asking. Who we are doesn’t ask because it knows. It must be the ego-self, the guard at the door and this questioning must be its way of keeping that door shut. The way to solve this mystery that isn’t a mystery at all is to choose to remember. This is why were are given the Atonement, the Solution, so that we could return our minds to reality as we become ready. I find that last sentence to be most helpful in nudging the mind toward sanity. ⁵Why share its madness in the sad belief that what is universal here is true?
7. Nothing the world believes is true. ²It is a place whose purpose is to be a home where those who claim they do not know themselves can come to question what it is they are. ³And they will come again until the time Atonement is accepted, and they learn it is impossible to doubt yourself, and not to be aware of what you are.
All the motivation I needed was in this paragraph. He says we will come again until the Atonement is accepted. I am infinite and eternal and that means I will live forever and forever and forever without end. The question I had to answer was, do I want to live like this for eternity? Do I want to live like this at all? The answer was a resounding, no! Once that decision was made, all I needed to do was to follow the instructions Jesus gives us to lay aside what I thought I wanted so that I could be what I am.
8. Only acceptance can be asked of you, for what you are is certain. ²It is set forever in the holy Mind of God, and in your own. ³It is so far beyond all doubt and question that to ask what it must be is all the proof you need to show that you believe the contradiction that you know not what you cannot fail to know. ⁴Is this a question, or a statement which denies itself in statement? ⁵Let us not allow our holy minds to occupy themselves with senseless musings such as this.
9. We have a mission here. ²We did not come to reinforce the madness that we once believed in. ³Let us not forget the goal that we accepted. ⁴It is more than just our happiness alone we came to gain. ⁵What we accept as what we are proclaims what everyone must be, along with us. ⁶Fail not your brothers, or you fail yourself. ⁷Look lovingly on them, that they may know that they are part of you, and you of them.
When we are lost in our story, it is hard to believe that we came here with a mission. But as we do this practice our mind becomes clearer and we begin to realize that this is true. We are here to wake up and to help others to awaken. Let us focus on our mission instead of on our stories. In this way, we use our stories to achieve our mission.
As we discard the false beliefs in our mind, our Self becomes so apparent to us that we have to laugh that we hid it so well from ourselves. We begin to live from that Self and this is how we help our brothers. Knowing our Selves we know our brothers as their Selves, and this helps them to see what we see.
10. This does Atonement teach, and demonstrates the Oneness of God’s Son is unassailed by his belief he knows not what he is. ²Today accept Atonement, not to change reality, but merely to accept the truth about yourself, and go your way rejoicing in the endless Love of God. ³It is but this that we are asked to do. ⁴It is but this that we will do today.
One of the reasons I like the metaphor of making a room in my mind in which I can experience this idea of separation is that it is easy for me to realize that nothing outside that room changes no matter what I am doing in it. I am in my office right now contemplating and writing about this lesson. Everything outside this room remains unaffected by what I do in here. In the same way, nothing I do in the dream world changes reality. Nothing I think or say or think changes my Self.
11. Five minutes in the morning and at night we will devote to dedicate our minds to our assignment for today. ²We start with this review of what our mission is:
³I will accept Atonement for myself, for I remain as God created me.
⁴We have not lost the knowledge that God gave to us when He created us like Him. ⁵We can remember it for everyone, for in creation are all minds as one. ⁶And in our memory is the recall how dear our brothers are to us in truth, how much a part of us is every mind, how faithful they have really been to us, and how our Father’s Love contains them all.
12. In thanks for all creation, in the Name of its Creator and His Oneness with all aspects of creation, we repeat our dedication to our cause today each hour, as we lay aside all thoughts that would distract us from our holy aim. ²For several minutes let your mind be cleared of all the foolish cobwebs which the world would weave around the holy Son of God. ³And learn the fragile nature of the chains that seem to keep the knowledge of yourself apart from your awareness, as you say:
⁴I will accept Atonement for myself, for I remain as God created me.
What an amazing thought that we have lost nothing in our mind wandering. We are still as God created us and it is possible even as we experience another story to remember and live from our Self. Everything else is just a complex web of deceit made to obscure the truth and we can let our minds be cleared of all the foolish cobwebs which the world would weave around the holy Son of God.