Lesson 156 2021

Lesson 156 

I walk with God in perfect holiness. 

1. Today’s idea but states the simple truth that makes the thought of sin impossible. ²It promises there is no cause for guilt, and being causeless it does not exist. ³It follows surely from the basic thought so often mentioned in the text; ideas leave not their source. ⁴If this be true, how can you be apart from God? ⁵How could you walk the world alone and separate from your Source? 

Jesus talks to us a lot about how to recognize the ego in our mind, helping us understand just how destructive our untrue thoughts are and how unhappy they make us. He reinforces the way out of this thinking by being vigilant for our thoughts and allowing the Holy Spirit to correct them. But in this lesson, he tells us about our true Self and the message is beautiful and reassuring. Remembering this about ourselves is the purpose of the Course.

As we remember, we gladly choose to awaken from the dream of separation. God created us as part of Himself and holds us lovingly and eternally in His holy Mind. We cannot be apart from God. We cannot walk this world separate from our Source. Contemplate what is being said here. It is astounding to those who think they are alone and helpless in a nightmare existence with no way out. What a story we tell ourselves! 

2. We are not inconsistent in the thoughts that we present in our curriculum. ²Truth must be true throughout, if it be true. ³It cannot contradict itself, nor be in parts uncertain and in others sure. ⁴You cannot walk the world apart from God, because you could not be without Him. ⁵He is what your life is. ⁶Where you are He is. ⁷There is one life. ⁸That life you share with Him. ⁹Nothing can be apart from Him and live. 

Jesus further emphasizes that we cannot be apart from God. God is Life. We could not live without God. There is no life apart from God so we cannot be apart from Him. We made this world to be apart from God and thus it can only exist in our imagination because to be apart from God is to be apart from life. To think we are is to delude ourselves on a massive scale and that is what the world is, a delusion, a dream. We can awaken from this dream whenever we want to and knowing we can is maybe the first necessary step in doing so.  

3. Yet where He is, there must be holiness as well as life. ²No attribute of His remains unshared by everything that lives. ³What lives is holy as Himself, because what shares His life is part of Holiness, and could no more be sinful than the sun could choose to be of ice; the sea elect to be apart from water, or the grass to grow with roots suspended in the air. 

All that God is is shared by all that lives. God is holy and therefore, so are we along with all living things. He is not talking about bodies and objects as these are illusions. He is talking about your Self, your holy mind and all living things are the light of God even as they appear to take form, behind that form, they are still as they were created, pure spirit and very holy. You, my dear friends, are very holy. Don’t let these images of bodies with their stories fool you. You are not the body and not in the body, no body could contain you.  

4. There is a light in you which cannot die; whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you. ²All things that live bring gifts to you, and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet. ³The scent of flowers is their gift to you. ⁴The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat, and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head. 

5. The light in you is what the universe longs to behold. ²All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you. ³The light you carry is their own. ⁴And thus they see in you their holiness, saluting you as savior and as God. ⁵Accept their reverence, for it is due to Holiness Itself, which walks with you, transforming in Its gentle light all things unto Its likeness and Its purity. 

Jesus is being beautifully poetic in this paragraph, but he is speaking to our holiness which is a fact. He is making it clear that we must let go of our present beliefs about ourselves if we want to remember what we are in truth. There is no place where being bodies living in a world of chaos where we suffer and die and being holy Beings of eternal Light can meet. To know our Self we must relinquish the idea of being separate from God. God cannot be what we think we are and we cannot live apart from God.  

6. This is the way salvation works. ²As you step back, the light in you steps forward and encompasses the world. ³It heralds not the end of sin in punishment and death. ⁴In lightness and in laughter is sin gone, because its quaint absurdity is seen. ⁵It is a foolish thought, a silly dream, not frightening, ridiculous perhaps, but who would waste an instant in approach to God Himself for such a senseless whim? 

Here is the way salvation works, Jesus tells us. First, we step back. By this he means we stop thinking with the split mind, with the ego-mind. We let go of the idea that this ridiculous parody of life is genuine. We stop trying to live separately from what we are, stop making decisions with the wrong mind, stop planning with the ego what should happen and what shouldn’t. We stop trying to manipulate the dream in hopes of finally succeeding in making it something we can love. 

For the next step, we need do nothing. Stepping back is our only job. As we do so, the light in us steps forward. The light in us is Life, is God, and as it steps forward, it encompasses the world. There is no punishment for our imagined sins. Guilt and fear vanish from our mind. We laugh at the foolish thought that we could live without the Source of Life. We recognize it as a silly dream, a senseless whim. 

7. Yet you have wasted many, many years on just this foolish thought. ²The past is gone, with all its fantasies. ³They keep you bound no longer. ⁴The approach to God is near. ⁵And in the little interval of doubt that still remains, you may perhaps lose sight of your Companion, and mistake Him for the senseless, ancient dream that now is past. 

8. “Who walks with me?” ²This question should be asked a thousand times a day, till certainty has ended doubting and established peace. ³Today let doubting cease. ⁴God speaks for you in answering your question with these words: 

⁵I walk with God in perfect holiness. ⁶I light the world, I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me. 

(ACIM, W-156.1:1–8:6) 

We are close, now, in awakening and allowing our true mind to be restored to us. It may not seem that way when during the busyness of life, you lose track of your purpose, or when you release to the Holy Spirit the same erroneous thought over and over and nothing seems to be happening. But you may rest assured that this is all part of the process that allows you to step back as ego so that the Light that is You can step forward.

In the world, all this seems to take so much time, but in reality, there is no time and it is already done. May we all be patient and loving to ourselves and may we trust and have faith in ourselves and each other. We are not trusting the separate ego-self, but the strength of God in us, our holy Self. Let us remind ourselves often during the day of Who it is that walks with us. 

I walk with God in perfect holiness. ⁶I light the world, I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me.  

Oh, my dear God, yes! I will remind myself of this beautiful truth often. And, I will answer any ego thought of guilt or fear with this true statement. 

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