Lesson 96 2021

Lesson 96

Salvation comes from my one Self.

W-pI.96.1. Although you are one Self, you experience yourself as two; as both good and evil, loving and hating, mind and body. 2 This sense of being split into opposites induces feelings of acute and constant conflict, and leads to frantic attempts to reconcile the contradictory aspects of this self-perception. 3 You have sought many such solutions, and none of them has worked. 4 The opposites you see in you will never be compatible. 5 But one exists.

Thank goodness that there is only one Self. Accepting that this is true is the way out of conflict and suffering. I am as God created me and I am nothing else. I seem to be a body but I am not even in a body temporarily. I am aware of the story of this body, that is all. The stronger my identity with my Self, the more peaceful my mind.

W-pI.96.2. The fact that truth and illusion can not be reconciled, no matter how you try, what means you use and where you see the problem, must be accepted if you would be saved. 2 Until you have accepted this, you will attempt an endless list of goals you cannot reach; a senseless series of expenditures of time and effort, hopefulness and doubt, each one as futile as the one before, and failing as the next one surely will.

I cannot balance the mind, body, spirit as people often suggest as a goal. My salvation lies in recognizing that only spirit exists and I am that and only that. Every other goal is a waste of time but within this solution are all other solutions. For instance, at one time, I thought I needed to be seen as productive, as smart, and as successful. I longed for reassurance in these areas. I tried so many ways to gain validation and if I received it, I would be thrilled for a while but soon, I was again longing for proof that I was ok. Approval came and went and I was always chasing that carrot.

It is not the same now. I don’t need validation so if I get it, ok. If I don’t get it, ok. I’m not chasing approval anymore because I am not this body/personality I used to identify with. If some old thoughts come up, that’s fine. They are just fading memories and don’t interest me. The longing for proof that I am ok is no longer a desire and so the problem has been solved in all areas of my life.

W-pI.96.3. Problems that have no meaning cannot be resolved within the framework they are set. 2 Two selves in conflict could not be resolved, and good and evil have no meeting place. 3 The self you made can never be your Self, nor can your Self be split in two, and still be what It is and must forever be. 4 A mind and body cannot both exist. 5 Make no attempt to reconcile the two, for one denies the other can be real. 6 If you are physical, your mind is gone from your self-concept, for it has no place in which it could be really part of you. 7 If you are spirit, then the body must be meaningless to your reality.

For the longest time, I could not understand how to achieve this. How could I not be a body when here I was, being a body. I thought I had to let this body die in order to accomplish this goal of not being a body. I was ok with that, but not right now. ~smile~ But Jesus tells us in the Course that nothing is accomplished in death. I think death is our way of avoiding the issue but then we just wind up here again with the goal of deciding. I do not have to stop being a body through death. I never have been a body. Recognizing this is all that is needed.

At some point in my study, it dawned on me that when Jesus says that I am not in this body, that this body cannot contain me, that the body does not exist, and that is the answer to my quandary. I am spirit, the sleeping Son of God dreaming of bodies. Another way I see this is that I am awareness looking from the perspective of this illusory body and that is why it feels so real and why I can achieve the effect of existing in a body when I do not. From this perspective, I am also able to make decisions about waking up and this is how the insane experience of the Son of God as a body is finally reconciled. Instead of using the body to have an experience of separation, I am now using the body to wake up.

W-pI.96.4. Spirit makes use of mind as means to find its Self expression. 2 And the mind which serves the spirit is at peace and filled with joy. 3 Its power comes from spirit, and it is fulfilling happily its function here. 4 Yet mind can also see itself divorced from spirit, and perceive itself within a body it confuses with itself. 5 Without its function then it has no peace, and happiness is alien to its thoughts.

That I am having an experience of separation is not the problem. It is the belief that I really am separated from my Self that has caused the suffering that is experienced in the world. From that belief comes all the conflict, the competition, the hatred, the fear and the guilt that is life in the dream world.

W-pI.96.5. Yet mind apart from spirit cannot think. 2 It has denied its Source of strength, and sees itself as helpless, limited and weak. 3 Dissociated from its function now, it thinks it is alone and separate, attacked by armies massed against itself and hiding in the body’s frail support. 4 Now must it reconcile unlike with like, for this is what it thinks that it is for.

We cannot resolve this problem by thinking our way out of it even if it appears that this is what we are doing. We don’t even actually think unless we are thinking with the Mind of God. We study the Course, not to find our way out of the ego with thinking, but to convince us that we desire freedom. Our desire is the invitation needed by the Holy Spirit to free us.

Acting in the world to control the world and thus win happiness is also just more wasted time. Imagine yourself on the Titanic as it is going down. All around you is mass confusion and desperation. People are trying to find a safe way off. You are noticing that the deck chairs are scattered and some turned over. So, you start setting them aright, but they keep getting knocked over and pushed around. But you don’t give up, you just try another place to stack the deck chairs. That’s us. We are racing around desperately trying to get the deck in order on a sinking ship. LOL.

W-pI.96.6. Waste no more time on this. 2 Who can resolve the senseless conflicts which a dream presents? 3 What could the resolution mean in truth? 4 What purpose could it serve? 5 What is it for? 6 Salvation cannot make illusions real, nor solve a problem that does not exist. 7 Perhaps you hope it can. 8 Yet would you have God’s plan for the release of His dear Son bring pain to him, and fail to set him free?

Sometimes I will be having an interesting dream and before it is resolved, I’ll start waking up. I will try to go back into the dream so that I can finish it and it never works. This is what we are doing when we try to make the world work. We are trying to control the direction the dream takes. To whatever degree we succeed, and I’m not sure we have this control, we are still in a dream. The dream will lead us somewhere else and so the bit of satisfaction we experience in a dream we like we will inevitably lose it. I no longer ask God to make my dream better. I ask Him to wake me up from the dream.

W-pI.96.7. Your Self retains Its Thoughts, and they remain within your mind and in the Mind of God. 2 The Holy Spirit holds salvation in your mind, and offers it the way to peace. 3 Salvation is a thought you share with God, because His Voice accepted it for you and answered in your name that it was done. 4 Thus is salvation kept among the Thoughts your Self holds dear and cherishes for you.

The reason we have the thought of salvation in our mind is that we share that thought with God. The Holy Spirit holds it for us and will use it to bring us Home. Jesus says thus salvation is kept among the Thought you Self holds dear and cherishes for you. That is such a reassuring thing to know.

W-pI.96.8. We will attempt today to find this thought, whose presence in your mind is guaranteed by Him Who speaks to you from your one Self. 2 Our hourly five-minute practicing will be a search for Him within your mind. 3 Salvation comes from this one Self through Him Who is the Bridge between your mind and It. 4 Wait patiently, and let Him speak to you about your Self, and what your mind can do, restored to It and free to serve Its Will.

W-pI.96.9. Begin with saying this:

2 Salvation comes from my one Self. 3 Its Thoughts are mine to use.

4 Then seek Its Thoughts, and claim them as your own. 5 These are your own real thoughts you have denied, and let your mind go wandering in a world of dreams, to find illusions in their place. 6 Here are your thoughts, the only ones you have. 7 Salvation is among them; find it there.

What we believe is thinking is not real. It simply obscures what is real. But we do still have real Thoughts. These Thoughts are saved for us and are available to us and we can find them. That is what these meditations are for. Salvation is among them. We will find it there if we are willing to look. That is why these last several lessons are so important. It is wonderful to hear what we truly are, and this information is very encouraging and motivating, but it is the actual practice of the lesson, the going within to access our real Thoughts that is salvation.

W-pI.96.10. If you succeed, the thoughts that come to you will tell you you are saved, and that your mind has found the function that it sought to lose. 2 Your Self will welcome it and give it peace. 3 Restored in strength, it will again flow out from spirit to the spirit in all things created by the Spirit as Itself. 4 Your mind will bless all things. 5 Confusion done, you are restored, for you have found your Self.

What this feels like to me is just pure peace and happiness. It feels like serenity. It feels like love and gratitude. Have I said this before? I think so, but it is so miraculous and so wonderful that I have to say it again. These words are just words and don’t do it justice, but I don’t know any other way to say it. It is not mysterious and I don’t see colors or hear music or feel something otherworldly. It is simple and readily available to everyone. It is just so sweet I want to live there forever. The feeling starts to fade as I return my attention to the world, but it never entirely leaves me now. One day, there will be no fading of the feeling and no other feeling.

W-pI.96.11. Your Self knows that you cannot fail today. 2 Perhaps your mind remains uncertain yet a little while. 3 Be not dismayed by this. 4 The joy your Self experiences It will save for you, and it will yet be yours in full awareness. 5 Every time you spend five minutes of the hour seeking Him Who joins your mind and Self, you offer Him another treasure to be kept for you.

Yes. This is true. And your treasures start to come together so that there is little space between them and I think soon there will be no space and joy will be unchanging and unending.

W-pI.96.12. Each time today you tell your frantic mind salvation comes from your one Self, you lay another treasure in your growing store. 2 And all of it is given everyone who asks for it, and will accept the gift. 3 Think, then, how much is given unto you to give this day, that it be given you!

Of course, what we do for ourselves has the added benefit of being done for the All. Those who ask for it will receive it. And what we give, we receive and this contributes to our own awakening at the same time it helps others awaken.

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