I have a function God would have me fill.
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. Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred and attack?
Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms. For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp? Forgiveness represents your function here. It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone. And who would pardon Heaven? Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.
Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. It has no meaning here. Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth. For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all. Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless. What 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.
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. Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome, because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone. Forgiveness 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.
The mind without the body cannot make mistakes. It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attack. Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then? What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear? Only forgiveness can relieve the mind of thinking that the body is its home. Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.
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. Is this unwelcome? Is it to be feared? Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted? We are one, and therefore give up nothing. But we have indeed been given everything by God.
Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so. Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack. Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is but confusion born of error. We 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.
Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines? Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone? A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends his time in keeping watch on him. The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them.
Therefore, hold no one prisoner. Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free. The way is simple. Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death. And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.
Be merciful today. The Son of God deserves your mercy. It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now. Deny him not. His Father’s Love for him belongs to you. Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity. He is as God created him. And you are what he is. Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.
INITIAL INSIGHT: Jesus starts off talking about our true Selves and he reminds us that we are creators. But he also tells us that we cannot create from the world we made to take the place of reality. In this world, we have a stand-in function and that function is forgiveness. It is through forgiveness that we undo what we have done. Jesus says that 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.
Forgiveness is letting the illusion go. I think of guilt and I forgive the idea that guilt could ever be real, could ever be a creation of God. I think of attack and I forgive the idea that attack could ever be warranted and that I could ever want to attack. This is how I undo the ego. In forgiving, I am undoing the separation idea and the belief I want it. I forgive the idea and let it disappear.
Jesus emphasizes that our problem is that we think the body is our home and that is why we are afraid. It is why we have sickness, pain, and death. It is why we attack and defend and are angry. It is why we are not at peace and why we have forgotten we are holy. He also tells us that the solution is forgiveness. When we forgive the body will be seen as the teaching aid it is and not as what we are. All problems will disappear when we forgive the belief we are the body.
A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner.
I fully accept that I must forgive my brother, though, I also understand that I forgive only my own projections onto him and that what he is in reality needs no forgiveness.
Jesus tells us that to be free we must free our brothers from our judgments. He says this: Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. He wants us to realize how important it is that we not hold grievances because we hurt ourselves when we do. Our function on earth is only to forgive our brothers and learn to see them as one with us.
All grievances have to go. I have already recognized this and while there are few things I know for sure this is one of them. I cannot have a grievance in my mind. When I realize I have a grievance no matter how big or small it seems to be, I let it go. When I come to one that feels stubborn in my mind, I ask for help and I work on it until it’s gone.
DAILY APPLICATION: My function in this world is forgiveness, that is, knowing what I see and what is interpreted by the ego is not true. It is in this way that I allow illusions to fade away so that I will have no blocks to the awareness of God. Here is one of my favorite passages is in this lesson, and it is one that has guided me for a long time now:
“Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death. And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.”
I remember one time when I was thinking of a business competitor and began to click off in my mind all his faults. The ego part took comfort in seeing how lacking in scruples he was, and listening to ego, I felt justified in my judgment of him. I noticed this line of thinking and realized that I could not exclude this holy brother from the Sonship.
To exclude means to make less than whole and if I try to make God’s Son less than whole I will be, in my mind, destroying the Sonship. It is the Sonship because it is whole. I am God’s Son only because that man is, too. To be whole I can exclude no one. To be less than whole is to forfeit my inheritance, though not in truth, certainly in my experience. I was willing to disregard the ego interpretation of this man’s actions and to realize they could not be true.
I was talking about a politician and my friend and I were in agreement that his actions were self-centered and had nothing to do with representing his constituency. That may be so, but the emotion behind the words was anger (which is fear). In that moment, I was tearing the Sonship asunder. I was seeking to make separate that which is whole. But then I remembered my function. I forgave the politician my projections onto him and myself for judging. I imagined my holiness enveloping all of us in perfect love. I remembered there is nothing my holiness cannot do.
On the other hand, I remember that I had more trouble forgiving the stylist who butchered my hair. Evidently, my haircut was more important to me than the welfare of the nation. ~smile~ When I asked the Holy Spirit to help me see what was up with that, He showed me a couple of things. One was that the ego insists this bad haircut is of the utmost importance because it has an image to protect. This image is what matters to the ego. He also reminds me that I am not the ego. I can hear the ego rant, but I don’t have to believe it.
I saw how important image is to the ego. Each time I thought I had forgiven the desire to preserve that image, I felt anger being projected outward onto the stylist and anyone else I could attach it to. I would look again at my thoughts and remind myself that this is my story. No one else can be responsible for it because I wrote the script.
Using the Rules for Decision to Forgive
As is apparent if you have been reading my postings lately, I am using the Rules for Decision as a process to do this. I recognize that if I am making someone guilty, it can only be that I am asking the ego to interpret the situation. I want to be happy, and I want to know God and my Self, so in my willingness to do what it takes for this to happen I do the corrective process. I cancel out what ego told me, and on that blank slate, I ask the Holy Spirit to write the truth. Then I let the whole thing go.
Sometimes I think that last part is the most important part of the process. As I let the whole thing go, I am stepping back because I have done my part. I would not interfere with His part. The ego-mind wants very much to write the ending, but now that I have learned to stop and let the Holy Spirit finish the process, everything is changing.
INSIGHTS FROM HOLY SPIRIT: When it seems difficult to forgive, understand that you cannot hold onto a single illusion of the Son of God and still know the Son. Bring Me the illusion and let us look on it together. I will show you the love behind the error in your mind, and error it must be if you see God’s Son as less than whole and perfect.
GRATITUDE: I was thinking that a certain person was arrogant in his behavior, and then realized I was being arrogant to think so. More and more I see the world as my mirror. I want the error corrected and it doesn’t matter where I think I see it, if it is in my awareness, it is for me to forgive. I very much want to remove the blocks to God’s Love. I want to remember what that feels like. I know that I resist this even as I claim it for my own, but I am determined to move past my resistance. I am grateful for all the help I get. Thank you, Holy Spirit.
The false self is nothing but thought. It isn’t a self at all. It has no life. Only awareness-life-presence has life. Only that which has life can be a genuine self. However, when the attention aspect of awareness-life-presence becomes engrossed in thought, it appears that life and thought are one. This creates the illusion of the false self.
In order to claim awareness-life-presence as our identity, we need to release the illusion that we are thought. A good way to release the illusion that we are thought is to observe thoughts without getting hooked on them.
Let me demonstrate:
Let’s imagine I am in a work relationship with someone. I am working with this person on an important project that has many challenges. We are working on one particular challenge that needs to be resolved before we can move to the next set of challenges. A deadline is looming. I begin to notice that my co-worker isn’t doing his part of the research. My mind begins to tell me that we are going to fail because he is avoiding his share of the work.
As someone who is embracing my true identity, I say to myself, “I see that thought, but I don’t know what is supposed to happen here. I don’t know what is going to happen here. My only role is to do my part and watch the rest.”
With that, I ‘unhook’ from thoughts that were asking for attention.
That’s how forgiveness works. Forgiveness doesn’t deny thought and it doesn’t believe thought either. It acknowledges the presence of thought, but doesn’t give it meaning.
Reason is the ability in the mind that enables humans to make decisions using logic. In the example above, I used logic to convince myself to let go of a particular line of thinking. This use of reason could be called right-reason.
Today’s lesson talks about how we misuse reason. It says, “Without [the kindly light of forgiveness] we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack.”
The purpose of reason is to enable us to make decisions that are in our best interest. But when we misuse reason, “what we think we understand is but confusion born of error. We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light.”
We need to return reason to its proper function.
The Yoga Vasistha is a Hindu text named after a Vedanta sage, Vasistha. A quote from The Yoga Vasistha says, “So long as one does not subdue the mind with the mind, one cannot attain Self-knowledge.”
That quote points to the importance of the proper use of reason. We can use reason to justify our attachment to thought or we can use reason to unhook from that attachment. The latter is using the mind to subdue the mind. It’s how we practice forgiveness, which today’s lesson describes as the “function God would have me fill.”
Here’s something important to know about the right use of reason. When you use right-reason, thought may argue that you are using reason to deny the truth. In the example above, it might argue that I am denying the truth that my co-worker is a lazy butt.
It’s important to remember what today’s lesson says, “Forgiveness represents your function here. It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone … the means to let illusions go.”
In other words, right-reason is not the truth itself. It is an illusion used to release a greater illusion. So if thought argues that right-reason is not true, realize that’s okay. Letting go of the greater illusion is the current task at hand. That brings us closer to truth.
Right-reason is the means to right-dreams, “a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, … and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before.”
“The way is simple. Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.” You make the choice to be condemned or free through your use of reason. You will use it to justify thought or to unhook from thought. The latter is the choice for freedom.
MY THOUGHTSRegina uses the idea of logic to forgive and gives a good example. I recommend reading the whole tip. I can do this most of the time myself. I can look logically at the situation, realize that if I am upset it is because of a thought in my own mind and then I can let that thought go, or to say it another way, I take my attention off of that thought and put it somewhere else. Most of the time that works fine. But when it doesn’t, when there is a deeper issue that needs addressing and when I cannot undo this with the logical mind, I am very grateful that I have Help.