Lesson 163 2021

Lesson 163 

There is no death. The Son of God is free. 

1. Death is a thought that takes on many forms, often unrecognized. ²It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not may come to tempt you. ³All such thoughts are but reflections of the worshipping of death as savior and as giver of release. 

2. Embodiment of fear, the host of sin, god of the guilty and the lord of all illusions and deceptions, does the thought of death seem mighty. ²For it seems to hold all living things within its withered hand; all hopes and wishes in its blighting grasp; all goals perceived but in its sightless eyes. ³The frail, the helpless and the sick bow down before its image, thinking it alone is real, inevitable, worthy of their trust. ⁴For it alone will surely come. 

Before I read this lesson, I didn’t know that death took many forms. But now that I have thought about it, I see how it is true. God is Life and God is happiness, love, peace, and other similar attributes. So to be happy and loving and peaceful is to be Life and to be angry, fearful, sad, and other ego attributes must be death. Even on the level of the world, researchers have discovered that stress (from fear, etc) takes a toll on the body and eventually leads to sickness and to death. 

When we are caught up in a story of fear or guilt, in any of the deceptive stories of the ego, it all seems so real and sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes the effects of these beliefs seem inevitable and out of our control. Sometimes, for instance, when we discover we have a disease, we simply accept it as fact, and we give into it. We might go to the doctor or take medicine, but it might not occur to us that there is a spiritual solution, that the cause is in our mind and that we can change our mind.  

3. All things but death are seen to be unsure, too quickly lost however hard to gain, uncertain in their outcome, apt to fail the hopes they once engendered, and to leave the taste of dust and ashes in their wake, in place of aspirations and of dreams. ²But death is counted on. ³For it will come with certain footsteps when the time has come for its arrival. ⁴It will never fail to take all life as hostage to itself. 

And death itself seems to be inevitable and we simply accept that as truth. Everything else in our life is uncertain, but we can count on death.  

4. Would you bow down to idols such as this? ²Here is the strength and might of God Himself perceived within an idol made of dust. ³Here is the opposite of God proclaimed as lord of all creation, stronger than God’s Will for life, the endlessness of love and Heaven’s perfect, changeless constancy. ⁴Here is the Will of Father and of Son defeated finally, and laid to rest beneath the headstone death has placed upon the body of the holy Son of God. 

Have you ever thought of sickness and death in this way? God is Life, is changeless, eternal, is Love. But do we bow to that certainty? Or do we bow to our idols of sickness and death? Do we see God as inevitable or do we make death our god? 

5. Unholy in defeat, he has become what death would have him be. ²His epitaph, which death itself has written, gives no name to him, for he has passed to dust. ³It says but this: “Here lies a witness God is dead.” ⁴And this it writes again and still again, while all the while its worshippers agree, and kneeling down with foreheads to the ground, they whisper fearfully that it is so. 

Ooh, how about this sentence: “Here lies a witness God is dead.” Is this the epitaph I want on my tombstone? Do I want the worshippers of death gathered around my casket, weeping their fear onto the ground in which this body is buried? If not, I need to stop worshipping all forms of death now. I need to ask the Holy Spirit to show me where I am still doing this. Maybe as my mind heals more and more, my family and friends will celebrate my life instead of mourning the illusion of my death. 

6. It is impossible to worship death in any form, and still select a few you would not cherish and would yet avoid, while still believing in the rest. ²For death is total. ³Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die. ⁴No compromise is possible. ⁵For here again we see an obvious position, which we must accept if we be sane; what contradicts one thought entirely can not be true, unless its opposite is proven false. 

The reason I want to see all forms of death that I still worship is that I cannot keep one form and let the others go. Death is total, as is Life. If I believe in hate then I believe in death even if that is the only form of death I believe in. If I believe in guilt, I believe in death even if I give up all other forms of death. 

7. The idea of the death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it. ²For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive. ³Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death. ⁴And with the Father died the Son as well. 

8. Death’s worshippers may be afraid. ²And yet, can thoughts like these be fearful? ³If they saw that it is only this which they believe, they would be instantly released. ⁴And you will show them this today. ⁵There is no death, and we renounce it now in every form, for their salvation and our own as well. ⁶God made not death. ⁷Whatever form it takes must therefore be illusion. ⁸This the stand we take today. ⁹And it is given us to look past death, and see the life beyond. 

If I am afraid of something today, I am saying that God is dead, killed by my stronger will. If I am sad, it is the same. If I think someone is guilty, myself or someone else, I have declared God dead by my will that it be so. It is so obvious that these thoughts of suffering represent ego (death) as love and peace and joy represent God (Life) that I wonder how I managed to obscure this fact from my awareness for so long. Each time I believe that I have overcome God in my decision for death thoughts, I have reinforced guilt and fear in my mind.  

What I have been doing for the last two days is declaring the truth each time my mind has wandered to any form of suffering. I am reminding myself that God has answered all forms of suffering. His Answer to all our perceived problems is the reminder that I am as I was created. This is God’s Word. It has been wonderfully helpful in returning my mind to the truth. 

9. Our Father, bless our eyes today. ²We are Your messengers, and we would look upon the glorious reflection of Your Love which shines in everything. ³We live and move in You alone. ⁴We are not separate from Your eternal life. ⁵There is no death, for death is not Your Will. ⁶And we abide where You have placed us, in the life we share with You and with all living things, to be like You and part of You forever. ⁷We accept Your Thoughts as ours, and our will is one with Yours eternally. ⁸Amen. 

(ACIM, W-163.1:1–9:8

Oh, what a beautiful prayer! I am using this prayer in addition to my statement of truth. This will be a perfect reinforcement to turn my mind from thoughts of death to the certainty of Life. 

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