Lesson 158 2021

Lesson 158

Today I learn to give as I receive.

1. What has been given you? ²The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of love. ³Nor have you left your Source, remaining as you were created. ⁴This was given you as knowledge which you cannot lose. ⁵It was given as well to every living thing, for by that knowledge only does it live.

The reason we cannot fail to know the truth is that the truth is already in our mind and will always be there. We can obscure the truth by choosing to believe we are otherwise, but the truth remains true and remains in our mind.

2. You have received all this. ²No one who walks the world but has received it. ³It is not this knowledge which you give, for that is what creation gave. ⁴All this cannot be learned. ⁵What, then, are you to learn to give today? ⁶Our lesson yesterday evoked a theme found early in the text. ⁷Experience cannot be shared directly, in the way that vision can. ⁸The revelation that the Father and the Son are one will come in time to every mind. ⁹Yet is that time determined by the mind itself, not taught.

I want to address sentence nine. The time when we will awaken has already been determined by the mind. But Jesus tells us in the Course that we can slow down the process with the decisions we make. It has already been scripted when we will awaken as has everything been scripted, but we can choose to view that script when we are ready and that choice will be made according to what we choose to believe.

3. The time is set already. ²It appears to be quite arbitrary. ³Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. ⁴It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. ⁵For time but seems to go in one direction. ⁶We but undertake a journey that is over. ⁷Yet it seems to have a future still unknown to us.

Time is difficult for us to understand because we experience it as if it is linear with a past, a present, and a future. But this is not so. Time occurred all at once, with everything that occurred happening at the same time. It ended at the same time as well with the Holy Spirit correcting each script, and with all variations of each script. All of creation is still available to us because it is all within our mind, the ego version of the story of our life as well as the Holy Spirit’s corrected version.

4. Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic. ²Yet there is a plan behind appearances that does not change. ³The script is written. ⁴When experience will come to end your doubting has been set. ⁵For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by.

The story of our lives is already ended. We are not living it; we are reviewing it. We are watching the story of this life and deciding if we want to continue to believe the ego version of the beliefs being played out before us, or if we want to view the Holy Spirit’s corrected version of the story. As we begin to wake up, as all of us on this path are doing, we make the choice for the Holy Spirit’s version and then go back to the ego version.

We keep doing this until we realize that we are no longer interested in the beliefs that made the ego story. It is inevitable that we choose the truth because this has already occurred, that script is written. But you can speed it up by being vigilant for opportunities to choose the truth. Or you can slow it down by stubbornly holding onto the ego story.

5. A teacher does not give experience, because he did not learn it. ²It revealed itself to him at its appointed time. ³But vision is his gift. ⁴This he can give directly, for Christ’s knowledge is not lost, because He has a vision He can give to anyone who asks. ⁵The Father’s Will and His are joined in knowledge. ⁶Yet there is a vision which the Holy Spirit sees because the Mind of Christ beholds it too.

6. Here is the joining of the world of doubt and shadows made with the intangible. ²Here is a quiet place within the world made holy by forgiveness and by love. ³Here are all contradictions reconciled, for here the journey ends. ⁴Experience—unlearned, untaught, unseen—is merely there. ⁵This is beyond our goal, for it transcends what needs to be accomplished. ⁶Our concern is with Christ’s vision. ⁷This we can attain.

The point at which the world is made whole by forgiveness and love is not our goal; it is merely there. Our concern is Christ’s vision. This is something we can attain.

7. Christ’s vision has one law. ²It does not look upon a body, and mistake it for the Son whom God created. ³It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. ⁴It sees no separation. ⁵And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees.

To see each brother as the holy Self He is and to overlook everything else the world shows us about him is our goal. This is Christ’s vision. Jesus says we can learn to do this, and maybe you are thinking that there is someone you cannot imagine in this way. Maybe, like me when I first began the Course, you think that if you succeed in seeing everyone except this one person as the Christ, that will be enough. But the Christ isn’t whole until all parts of it have been reconciled through forgiveness and so we cannot leave anyone out.

8. This can be taught; and must be taught by all who would achieve it. ²It requires but the recognition that the world can not give anything that faintly can compare with this in value; nor set up a goal that does not merely disappear when this has been perceived. ³And this you give today: See no one as a body. ⁴Greet him as the Son of God he is, acknowledging that he is one with you in holiness.

This should be easy enough since it is only the truth. Jesus tells us frequently that we are not these bodies, not even in these bodies and that we are still the eternal beings we were created. So why is it so hard for us to acknowledge that this is the truth? We get mesmerized by the story we are watching. We can recognize how this works when we get caught up in a movie or TV show, and we find ourselves crying for the hero, or laughing with him. We might feel righteous indignation or his situation or get an adrenal rush when he wins.

Well, this is all that is happening in our lives right now. We are watching a show that we are so caught up in that we think we are the hero of the story and it is all happening to us. So, when the antagonist in this show comes along and causes the hero problems, we think they are our problems and as the hero of this story deals with them, we think we are the one making these decisions and taking action.

In order to end this story and remember who we are, it is necessary to realize what is going on and decide to allow the Holy Spirit to help us see differently. As we gain detachment from the story, we are better able to see that as we are not the character we had identified with, the other person is not that character either. We begin to see the others as the Christ they are, the sleeping Son of God, trying to wake up and detach from the story, too.

We begin to use the story for this purpose. Watching what the characters believe and experiencing how this affects them. Then we are able to identify the beliefs that cause suffering and that have kept us bound to the story and we can turn to the Holy Spirit to correct these beliefs. The Holy Spirit’s correction of the story is a happier and more peaceful version and we easily see with Christ’s vision.

9. Thus are his sins forgiven him, for Christ has vision that has power to overlook them all. ²In His forgiveness are they gone. ³Unseen by One they merely disappear, because a vision of the holiness that lies beyond them comes to take their place. ⁴It matters not what form they took, nor how enormous they appeared to be, nor who seemed to be hurt by them. ⁵They are no more. ⁶And all effects they seemed to have are gone with them, undone and never to be done.

10. Thus do you learn to give as you receive. ²And thus Christ’s vision looks on you as well. ³This lesson is not difficult to learn, if you remember in your brother you but see yourself. ⁴If he be lost in sin, so must you be; if you see light in him, your sins have been forgiven by yourself. ⁵Each brother whom you meet today provides another chance to let Christ’s vision shine on you, and offer you the peace of God.

Christ’s vision is of One. As we forgive the idea that our brothers are sinners and accept the truth about them, we forgive ourselves and recognize the truth about us. Every person we meet or even think of is an opportunity to bring peace to ourselves if we are willing to give it to them.

11. It matters not when revelation comes, for that is not of time. ²Yet time has still one gift to give, in which true knowledge is reflected in a way so accurate its image shares its unseen holiness; its likeness shines with its immortal love. ³We practice seeing with the eyes of Christ today. ⁴And by the holy gifts we give, Christ’s vision looks upon ourselves as well.

(ACIM, W-158.1:1–11:4)

Once again, Jesus reminds us that what we give, we receive. What we see in a brother, we will see in ourselves. What we believe about a brother, we will believe about ourselves.