Monday, April 30, 2007

Lesson 121:

Forgiveness is the key to happiness…

Oh my, is it ever… and thank God… This is salvation’s perspective laid along side our own. Here is immediate relief and release from whatever angst we seem to be infected with at any given time.

We are entering into a very active, practical segment of the workbook lessons. Here we are given very specific tools and exercises that open the way for the Holy Spirit to turn our minds around and show us a new perception of everyone and everything. We but bring our willingness… “If you are willing, you can learn today to take the key to happiness, and use it on your own behalf”…

Please join me in practicing today’s exercise:

Begin by thinking of someone you do not like, who seems to irritate you, or to cause regret in you if you should meet him; one you actively despise, or merely try to overlook. It does not matter what the form your anger takes. You probably have chosen him already. He will do…Now close your eyes and see him in your mind, and look at him a while. Try to perceive some light in him somewhere; a little gleam which you had never noticed. Try to find some little spark of brightness shining through the ugly picture that you hold of him. Look at this picture till you see a light somewhere within it, and then try to let this light extend until it covers him, and makes the picture beautiful and good… Look at this changed perception for a while, and turn your mind to one you call a friend. Try to transfer the light you learned to see around your former "enemy" to him. Perceive him now as more than friend to you, for in that light his holiness shows you your savior, saved and saving, healed and whole… Then let him offer you the light you see in him, and let your "enemy" and friend unite in blessing you with what you gave. Now are you one with them, and they with you. Now have you been forgiven by yourself.” …

~Ah, the incredible lightness of being~

This is the holy function these lessons guide us through… Forgiveness is the key to happiness, on whatever level of belief or willingness I may be given to at the time. I witness and experience its effects reflected everywhere, right here, right now.

I’ll tell you what, without the perspective the practice of forgiveness offered and the immediate relief delivered, in the instant of my willingness for it, I can’t imagine how I could have hung-in … till the long term effects began to take hold. By long term, what I mean really, is the memory of what I am, what you are and as the Son of God.

I didn’t do so well with willingness or remembering ‘there is a solution’, for a very long while. I simply didn’t trust.

The ego is the belief it is all-alone, with no one, least of all it’s self, it can trust. This was me. What made it all the more exasperating, was my judgment that I should be further along than I was; remember more, crave immediate satisfaction less…

This too, turned out to be a forgiveness lesson… We forgive what our body’s eyes see by looking past it to the Christ which joins us all as one… Our so-called feelings, the emotions of the body-ego, are included here and seen as what they are ~a call for love, which is answered immediately through the Holy Spirit, the part of our mind that knows love…

One of the big deterrents to this practice, it seems to me, is that we always want to preempt our forgiveness lessons. It seems like whenever I realized, ‘oh, this is a forgiveness lesson’, immediately my mind would make its promises to ‘never let it happen again’. Apparently, looking to, avoid the pain and fear and judgment I experienced while coming to the awareness that it was a forgiveness lesson and not reality at all.

Duh, doesn’t this mean I am worshiping at the alter of fear? ~d e n i a l~

I came to realize that ‘whatever’ the forgiveness lesson, (any angst about you or me or the world at large) simply wasn’t reality. It was but a projection of my belief in the impossible; that something other than what the love of God created could happen to me which I would then need to defend against. It took a while for me to accept that being stuck in my fear of ‘it happening again’, was a perpetuation of the belief that these so-called emotions were real, therefore negating, in my mind, the holy instant of relief engendered by forgiveness. This set up a state where I was hanging-on to the belief in authorship of myself, where perpetual evaluation and avoidance were inevitable… “The strain of constant judgment is virtually intolerable… It is curious that an ability so debilitating would be so deeply cherished. Yet if you wish to be the author of reality, you will insist on holding on to judgment. You will also regard judgment with fear, believing that it will someday be used against you. This belief can exist only to the extent that you believe in the efficacy of judgment as a weapon of defense for your own authority”. (T-3.VI.5.6)

Forgiveness is the key to the reversal of a world of fear to a world of hope to a world of peace in God; what the Course refers to as the Forgiven or ‘real’ world. This makes me think about an exquisite section in the text called The Savior from the Dark (T-25.II.1-3; , as well as the following section "Perception and choice" T-25.III.6)which are a yummy complimentary read for today…

Blessed are we, one Mind, that every one and every situation and event, witness to the reality of Christ through our forgiveness. ~Forgiving just simply feels good! ~

Here we are at the crossroad, where we can see ‘specialness’, the ego’s cheap substitute for oneness, for what it is and we are ready to take the other road. We have made the choice, already. None of us want the burden of judgment and self-righteousness, ‘right-ness as a replacement for happiness”… do we? Why delay? Today let’s forgive and rejoice and be happy!

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