Lesson 169 2021

Lesson 169 

By grace I live. By grace I am released. 

1. Grace is an aspect of the Love of God which is most like the state prevailing in the unity of truth. ²It is the world’s most lofty aspiration, for it leads beyond the world entirely. ³It is past learning, yet the goal of learning, for grace cannot come until the mind prepares itself for true acceptance. ⁴Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received; an altar clean and holy for the gift. 

How do we prepare for grace? Exactly as we are doing now. We do these lessons to the best of our ability. We watch our minds for untrue thoughts and beliefs and we allow the Holy Spirit to correct our thinking. We commit to our purpose and live it as best as we can. We forgive and forgive and forgive until the mind is clear enough to receive grace. 

2. Grace is acceptance of the Love of God within a world of seeming hate and fear. ²By grace alone the hate and fear are gone, for grace presents a state so opposite to everything the world contains, that those whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace can not believe the world of fear is real. 

Jesus told us in Lesson 132: ²There is no world! ³This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. The Atonement is the acceptance of this truth. There is no hate and fear. Can you imagine a world without hate and fear? This is what grace brings us. Through grace, we no longer believe in a world where fear is seen as real. 

3. Grace is not learned. ²The final step must go beyond all learning. ³Grace is not the goal this course aspires to attain. ⁴Yet we prepare for grace in that an open mind can hear the Call to waken. ⁵It is not shut tight against God’s Voice. ⁶It has become aware that there are things it does not know, and thus is ready to accept a state completely different from experience with which it is familiarly at home. 

We cannot learn grace but we can receive it if we learn the lessons that are given to us so that we can hear the Call to waken. I had an experience in which I was judging someone recently. I knew I was doing it but a deeply rooted belief had been triggered, and for a few minutes I was lost in that story. It felt so wrong to me to do this that I kept pushing it aside. But this morning, I was led to a teaching that clearly pointed to the need to release this belief and to forgive the previous night’s judgment. Ahh! Thank you, God. I cannot allow any guilt to remain in my mind because it prevents the grace that I yearn for. 

4. We have perhaps appeared to contradict our statement that the revelation of the Father and the Son as one has been already set. ²But we have also said the mind determines when that time will be, and has determined it. ³And yet we urge you to bear witness to the Word of God to hasten the experience of truth, and speed its advent into every mind that recognizes truth’s effects on you. 

All scripts have been written and every variation of these scripts as well. This includes the Holy Spirit’s correction of our scripts, and so all scripts including the corrected script, the one in which we accept the Atonement and awaken, are available to us right now. How decisions guide us to some variation of the life we are observing, or to the corrected version of this life. It is up to us. Doing this work with the Course and practicing it with consistency will bring us to awakening more quickly. It will bring us to grace. And our acceptance will bring others to grace more quickly as well. 

5. Oneness is simply the idea God is. ²And in His Being, He encompasses all things. ³No mind holds anything but Him. ⁴We say “God is,” and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. ⁵There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. ⁶It has united with its Source. ⁷And like its Source Itself, it merely is. 

6. We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all. ²It comes to every mind when total recognition that its will is God’s has been completely given and received completely. ³It returns the mind into the endless present, where the past and future cannot be conceived. ⁴It lies beyond salvation; past all thought of time, forgiveness and the holy face of Christ. ⁵The Son of God has merely disappeared into his Father, as his Father has in him. ⁶The world has never been at all. ⁷Eternity remains a constant state. 

Jesus is giving us a peek behind the veil at what is to come. It is merely words to us at this time. If you have released enough fear and accepted enough healing, these words will pull at your heart and create a longing in you. But they are still just words and can be known only through the experience they try to describe. Without a world, without separation, there are no words; there is only experience, or Beingness, or Isness. Really, what difference does it make what we call it? It is what it is and at that point, words are entirely unnecessary and unknown. 

7. This is beyond experience we try to hasten. ²Yet forgiveness, taught and learned, brings with it the experiences which bear witness that the time the mind itself determined to abandon all but this is now at hand. ³We do not hasten it, in that what you will offer was concealed from Him Who teaches what forgiveness means. 

That we are doing the forgiveness works indicates that we are getting close to awakening. We will not be pushed to go faster or do more. We go at our own pace. My experience thus far is that the peace and the joy that increases as the mind clears is all the motivation that is needed to continue. 

8. All learning was already in His Mind, accomplished and complete. ²He recognized all that time holds, and gave it to all minds that each one might determine, from a point where time was ended, when it is released to revelation and eternity. ³We have repeated several times before that you but make a journey that is done. 

9. For oneness must be here. ²Whatever time the mind has set for revelation is entirely irrelevant to what must be a constant state, forever as it always was; forever to remain as it is now. ³We merely take the part assigned long since, and fully recognized as perfectly fulfilled by Him Who wrote salvation’s script in His Creator’s Name, and in the Name of His Creator’s Son. 

It only seems like we are making the journey to Heaven for the first time. Actually, this is done. The Holy Spirit has written the corrected script, the one that takes us home, and all learning has already been accomplished. We are just watching the show and deciding if we are ready to stop watching and go Home. This is why we cannot fail, it is a feat already accomplished. 

10. There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand. ²When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood. ³Now we have work to do, for those in time can speak of things beyond, and listen to words which explain what is to come is past already. ⁴Yet what meaning can the words convey to those who count the hours still, and rise and work and go to sleep by them? 

11. Suffice it, then, that you have work to do to play your part. ²The ending must remain obscure to you until your part is done. ³It does not matter. ⁴For your part is still what all the rest depends on. ⁵As you take the role assigned to you, salvation comes a little nearer each uncertain heart that does not beat as yet in tune with God. 

What will it be like to fully awaken? Jesus cannot really tell us this. We have to awaken ourselves to find out. But we do have work to do and that is where our energy is better spent. And as we play our part, we are helping others to awaken as well. 

12. Forgiveness is the central theme that runs throughout salvation, holding all its parts in meaningful relationships, the course it runs directed and its outcome sure. ²And now we ask for grace, the final gift salvation can bestow. ³Experience that grace provides will end in time, for grace foreshadows Heaven, yet does not replace the thought of time but for a little while. 

13. The interval suffices. ²It is here that miracles are laid; to be returned by you from holy instants you receive, through grace in your experience, to all who see the light that lingers in your face. ³What is the face of Christ but his who went a moment into timelessness, and brought a clear reflection of the unity he felt an instant back to bless the world? ⁴How could you finally attain to it forever, while a part of you remains outside, unknowing, unawakened, and in need of you as witness to the truth? 

We forgive and our mind clears. We receive grace and experience the real world for a little while before God takes us into Himself. In this interval, we are here being a beacon to those who have yet to awaken. This is done repeatedly, I think. We get this moment in timelessness, a holy instant, and we then return to bless the world with the light that lingers in our face.  

Have you ever been with those who are awakened? Their faces are different, softer, lighter. Their demeanor is different, kinder, and loving. It feels peaceful just being with them. If someone has experienced what grace gives, why would they return? Jesus explains this in the last sentence. ? ⁴How could you finally attain to it forever, while a part of you remains outside, unknowing, unawakened, and in need of you as witness to the truth? We come back for our brothers, for the parts of ourselves that have yet to feel the call or having felt it, have not yet answered it. 

14. Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you. ²You carry them back to yourself. ³And revelation stands not far behind. ⁴Its coming is ensured. ⁵We ask for grace, and for experience that comes from grace. ⁶We welcome the release it offers everyone. ⁷We do not ask for the unaskable. ⁸We do not look beyond what grace can give. ⁹For this we can give in the grace that has been given us. 

I am happy to ask for grace, and I am satisfied that this is my purpose now knowing that revelation is yet to come in its time. 

15. Our learning goal today does not exceed this prayer. ²Yet in the world, what could be more than what we ask this day of Him Who gives the grace we ask, as it was given Him? 

³By grace I live. ⁴By grace I am released.
⁵By grace I give. ⁶By grace I will release. 

(ACIM, W-169.1:1–15:6

What a perfect prayer for what it is we are here to accomplish.