Lesson 192 2021

Lesson 192

Release instead of bind

I have a function God would have me fill.

1. It is your Father’s holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its name, forever one with God and with your Self. ²Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred and attack?

It might seem strange to think of yourself as God’s sacred Son creating in His name, and yet, that is the truth. What we see as our self is not who we are. It is an illusion, a desire made manifest but not made real. It is truly insane to think that we could be something other than what God created. How arrogant we have been to think we could decide for ourselves what we are rather than simply accepting ourselves as God would have us be. Our function is to accept and be what we are. Even in this world of envy, hatred, and attack, this is our function.

2. Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms. ²For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp? ³Forgiveness represents your function here. ⁴It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone. ⁵And who would pardon Heaven? ⁶Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. ⁷Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.

In the world, our function is to forgive. Forgiveness is not real any more than the world is real, but it is how we let our illusions go. I think of it as an undoing mechanism. As I forgive the world, I undo it.

I love that last sentence. We are not actually returning to Heaven (Creation), we are in Heaven. Our function of forgiveness will bring us to the point of acknowledgment because our salvation has already been accomplished and simply waits on us to notice this.

3. Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. ²It has no meaning here. ³Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth. ⁴For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all. ⁵Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless. ⁶What He makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain.

Here we made form and this is not creation because there is no form in Heaven. What we have is forgiveness and this undoes what we made so that we can again be aware of creation. We are given the Holy Spirit Who makes a different dream for us, a happy dream that is close to waking, and one we can understand.

4. Forgiveness gently looks upon all things unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear, and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before. ²Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome, because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone. ³Forgiveness lets the body be perceived as what it is; a simple teaching aid, to be laid by when learning is complete, but hardly changing him who learns at all.

Forgiveness removes from the world what we made so that we can see what is of God. Forgiveness overcomes the fear of death. It allows us to perceive the body as a teaching aid rather than identified as ourselves.

5. The mind without the body cannot make mistakes. ²It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attack. ³Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then? ⁴What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear? ⁵Only forgiveness can relieve the mind of thinking that the body is its home. ⁶Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. ⁷Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.

When we believe we have a body and are in this body, we have reason to fear. We see that bodies attack other bodies and that bodies age and get sick and eventually die. It is within these bodies that we make mistakes and cause ourselves and others to suffer. Without bodies none of this is possible. This is why it is necessary for us to forgive the idea that we are bodies and in these bodies. This is what it means to wake up, to know yourself as spirit rather than a body and it is salvation. Knowing we are not bodies, we know we are unassailable and we have nothing to fear, and suffering becomes impossible.

6. With anger gone, you will indeed perceive that, for Christ’s vision and the gift of sight, no sacrifice was asked, and only pain was lifted from a sick and tortured mind. ²Is this unwelcome? ³Is it to be feared? ⁴Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted? ⁵We are one, and therefore give up nothing. ⁶But we have indeed been given everything by God.

7. Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so. ²Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack. ³Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is but confusion born of error. ⁴We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there.

As we forgive our beliefs, our thoughts, our emotions, each other, and all circumstances within the world, and as we forgive the world itself, our memory returns. We know that we are the Christ. There is no sacrifice asked of us to return to this happy state. We give up only that which hurts us. Imagine never feeling anger or guilt, never suffering in any way. This is what we are meant for. This is how we were created. To think otherwise is just to be lost in our fearful thoughts. Forgiveness is the way out.

8. Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines? ²Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone? ³A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. ⁴He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends his time in keeping watch on him. ⁵The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. ⁶And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them.

9. Therefore, hold no one prisoner. ²Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free. ³The way is simple. ⁴Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. ⁵And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. ⁶Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death. ⁷And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.

We must release everyone if we want to be free. As Jesus says, ³A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. When we judge another, we will judge ourselves and we will be judged because we have asked for judgment. When we attack in any way, we will be attacked. Our thoughts call to us what we send out. It is necessary that we release everyone.

This is the reason that I don’t hold grievances. My grievances are as harmful to me as they are to some other. Whatever I believe in becomes the world I experience. I don’t want to live in a world filled with judgment, hate, and guilt, so I don’t let these ideas find a hold on my mind. I immediately forgive them if they show up.

10. Be merciful today. ²The Son of God deserves your mercy. ³It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now. ⁴Deny him not. ⁵His Father’s Love for him belongs to you. ⁶Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity. ⁷He is as God created him. ⁸And you are what he is. ⁹Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.

(ACIM, W-192.1:1–10:9)

²The Son of God deserves your mercy. The Son of God is all of Creation and He deserves our mercy. There is no exception to this. If we give mercy, we receive mercy and no amount of reasoning will get us around this. There is no sin so great that we do not deserve mercy. Today, I will give only what I want to receive. I will forgive everything that I don’t want to receive.

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