God is my Father, and He loves His Son.
My true Identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light. It lights the world as well. It is the gift my Father gave to me; the one as well I give the world. There is no gift but this that can be either given or received. This is reality, and only this. This is illusion’s end. It is the truth.
My Name, O Father, still is known to You. I have forgotten It, and do not know where I am going, who I am, or what it is I do. Remind me, Father, now, for I am weary of the world I see. Reveal what You would have me see instead.
INITIAL INSIGHT: I don’t yet think of myself in such glowing terms but I also don’t think of myself as this body/personality. I don’t usually think of the world I experience as a body as being real. I mostly think of it as a place I imagine in my mind. Once in a while, I follow thoughts into the story and feel as if it is all very real and of great importance. I don’t stay there, though. For the most part, this life feels like a classroom where I observe the effects of the beliefs we hold in the mind and where I have the opportunity to release the ones that are not bringing us peace and love. But I have not yet discovered this Self that lights the world, but it is inevitable that I will because that is God’s Will.
DAILY APPLICATION: One year, I read this lesson that says God is my Father, and He loves His Son, that I felt a moment of disappointment, a grievance against God because He loves His Son and His Son is all of us together, the entire family of God. I had a thought that was something like, “What about me now? What about Myron?” With that thought came sadness and anger.
Then I thought, “But I am the Son. I am not Myron, but the Son of God.” And I saw that this thought of wanting the individual self to be honored is what fuels the illusion and keeps it running. It is this thought, that I want God’s special favor and that I can’t have it because He only loves everyone, which triggers the feelings of depression and rage. That was the first time I saw it in my own mind.
The thought didn’t stay long because as soon as I felt the sadness and the anger, I chose peace instead. I am, every day, less tolerant of the ego desire for drama and less willing to follow the ego-mind into these feelings. As soon as I felt the desire to return to peace, Holy Spirit showed me what the feelings were all about. I was just stunned by this. It was still easy to forget that I am not Myron. It still required my active desire to remember the truth. I don’t have this feeling anymore, but I am not entirely free of the belief in self either.
Here are some entries from the past that are helpful examples of the practice of this lesson.
A Not So Funny Joke
Because I want to know this, to really know it, to feel it in every fiber of my being, I watch closely for those indications that I have placed some false idol above this desire. I noticed a grievance yesterday and was surprised because I also noticed I had been holding it for a couple of days but had refused to look at it until yesterday. I did not say to myself, “I see this grievance but I want to worship it awhile before I give it up.” But that is what I did. Yesterday when it rose up into my awareness again, suddenly I felt very “yucky” and wanted to forgive it. I don’t know why two days ago I was able to push the grievance to the back of my mind and yesterday I was very clear that I had something to forgive. But I am grateful to be aware and grateful to forgive.
With that grievance held in my mind, I could not be fully aware of the love my Father has for me, nor could I fully express my love for my Father. In the Text is a passage that says: “You cannot enter God’s presence if you attack His Son,” and a grievance is an attack. This is why forgiveness is the cornerstone of salvation. Everything in the Course is leading me to forgive so that I can know that God is my Father and that He loves me. Yesterday I heard myself make a very unkind statement about someone. It was done in a joking manner and I remembered the lesson from my ministerial courses that talked about the unkind use of humor. As is easy to tell from TV sitcoms and popular jokes, the ego uses this kind of humor to mask cruelty and to legitimize judgment.
I did not know why I made this sick “joke” about someone I know and care for. I looked at the words and asked the Holy Spirit to look with me and help me to understand the energy behind the words. What have I done before that is like this and that I am ashamed of, or maybe it was about my fear of being like this? I quickly saw that this person’s behavior was bringing up a memory of my past. I no longer behave like that but I used to. I did not forgive myself for it and so it was hanging around, creating a sense of self-loathing which, although I was not aware of on a conscious level, was none the less there. At the first opportunity, I was trying to hurl it out of myself and onto the closest victim who turned out to be this friend of mine.
I forgave myself for my past behavior and forgave myself for feeling that I needed to project onto my brother what I did not want to look at in myself. Having withdrawn the projection, I was able to glimpse the Christ within the ego shell that my brother chose to wear in this illusion. It was truly a beautiful light. I felt such ease and comfort to know that within me is the same light. I also felt that “yuckiness” lift from my mind. I congratulated myself on a job well done and on saving myself a thousand years of “yuckiness.” Not a bad day’s work!:
Please take time this morning to read, “What is Forgiveness,” to contemplate Lesson 224, and to spend time in meditation. If you have 30-minutes for meditation and would like a gentle audio to guide you, I recommend this meditation by Michael Langford and Karen Worth:
God is my Father, and He loves His Son.
“Father” and “Son” are symbols. Like all symbols, they can have multiple meanings. For our purposes now, it is helpful to see life-awareness as Father and presence as Son.
Some people make the mistake of seeing the personality-mind as Son. The personality-mind is a temporary effect in presence, but it is not what you are. When one sees the personality-mind as Son, one remains stuck with the misperception that s/he is the personality-mind. In addition, the personality-mind isn’t “wholly beneficent.” When people feel that it should be, it can lead to additional guilt and unworthiness.
Focus your attention on presence (present awareness) now. Notice presence is simply aware without any involvement in the world or in thoughts. Presence is “wholly beneficent and free from guilt.” Presence is the awareness that lights up everything perceived and experienced. Without the awareness of presence, there would not be perception or experience. Said another way, nothing could exist without presence.
Presence is what you are. Presence is the Son of life-awareness.
Now focus your intuitive attention on life-awareness (activating cause), which is the foundation and essence of presence. Notice how life-awareness and presence are one. Life-awareness is the light of presence in the same way that presence is the light of the world. Just as nothing manifest could exist without presence, presence exists because of the loving and ongoing gift of life-awareness.
Today’s lesson says, “I am weary of the world I see.” Does this thought come from presence? Or is presence the silent witness of this thought? Who (or what) are you?
Jesus keeps telling us in the Course that we are not the body, that God is the Father and we are His Son. I had always needed something to hold onto as Self, some idea of what I am. I accepted I am not the body, but then what? I was so accustomed to seeing something with my eyes, to being something in form, that it felt almost frightening to not be able to draw some kind of mental picture of me.
Eventually, I began to realize that there is no me in the conventional sense. There is no separate person, separate personality. That is the goal I am moving toward, knowing myself as without form, uniqueness, distinction. I began to perceive myself as consciousness, awareness. I had to get over the idea that not solid was scary, but really, how silly is that. The body or any form is fragile and will experience pain, suffer, and die. Conscious awareness is invulnerable. So which is scary?
From seeing myself as conscious awareness, I began to see the body personality as something that passes through that which I am. It comes and stays awhile and then goes. I remain untouched by what has passed through. All things of which I am aware of now pass through what I am, bodies I think of as not me, thoughts, situations, the entire world I see. Even the thinking mind is a temporary experience within us. They are not eternal and thus not Reality. They are imagination.
And yet, I very much feel like a body some of the time and I feel like Myron some of the time. That is because my attention is focused on the story of Myron. Then, at times, I shift my attention from that story and I feel something else, not the entirety of my Self, just a brief and shadowy experience of Self. I experience just enough of Self that I never forget It is there and the “I” of my experience of Myron is there but only temporarily. It should be a weird experience but somehow is not.
This idea of myself as the space in which everything seen passes is just another symbol, the way Father and Son are symbols. But I think it is a good symbol for me right now. It is a little closer to reality in that it is not a personal symbol. The conscious awareness that I am relating to is not “me” separate from others.
We are conscious awareness, not individually a different awareness, but simply conscious awareness. Like I breathe air and you breathe air, not I breathe my air and you breathe your air. I could use that symbol at times. I am the air through which these bodies pass. You are the air through which these bodies pass. Anyway, I am definitely not fully identified with a body anymore, not even mostly identified as body. I just get entangled with the stories of bodies.
So, one more thought. What is God? I call God Creator, mostly. I am that which He created. Does God love me? God is Love and therefore could do nothing else. I, being an extension of God am Love and can do nothing else. These are ideas that I believe to be true. It does not explain God or my Self, but it is enough for me at this time. Maybe God will always be a mystery.