Lesson 334 “Today I claim the gifts forgiveness gives.”
I will not wait another day to find the treasures which my Father offers me. Illusions must be vain, and dreams are gone even while they are woven out of thoughts that rest on false perception. Let me not accept such meager gifts again today. Godʹs Voice is offering the peace of God to all who hear and choose to follow Him. This is my choice today. And so I go to find the treasures God has given me.
“I seek but the eternal. For Your Son can be content with nothing less than this. What, then, can be his solace but what You are offering to his bewildered mind and frightened heart, to give him certainty and bring him peace? Today I would behold my brother sinless. This Your Will for me, for thus will I behold my sinlessness.”
Lesson 333 “Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.”
Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be evaded, set aside, denied, disguised, seen somewhere else, called by another name, nor hidden by deceit of any kind, if it would be escaped. It must be seen exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality which has been given it, and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. For only then are its defenses lifted, and the truth can shine upon it as it disappears.
“Father, forgiveness is the light You chose to shine away all conflict and all doubt, and light the way for our return to You. No light but this can end our evil dreams. No light but this can save the world. For this alone will never fail in anything, being Your gift to Your beloved Son.”
The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death. It is the will that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which It is denied. The ego is the “proof” that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.
The ego is insane. In fear it stands beyond the Everywhere, apart from All, in separation from the Infinite. In its insanity it thinks it has become a victor over God Himself, and in its terrible autonomy it “sees” the Will of God has been destroyed. It dreams of punishment, and trembles at the figures in its dreams, its enemies who seek to murder it before it can ensure its safety by attacking them.
The Son of God is egoless. What can he know of madness and the death of God, when he abides in Him? What can he know of sorrow and of suffering, when he lives in eternal joy? What can he know of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt, of hatred and attack, when all there is surrounding him is everlasting peace, forever conflict‐free and undisturbed, in deepest silence and tranquility?
To know Reality is not to know the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts, its laws and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost belief in it entails. In suffering, the price for faith in it is so immense that crucifixion of the Son of God is offered daily at its darkened shrine, and blood must flow before the altar where its sickly followers prepare its feast of death.
Yet will one lily of forgiveness change the darkness into light; the altar to illusions to the shrine of Life Itself. And peace will be restored forever to the holy minds which God created as His Son, His dwelling‐place, His joy, His love, completely His, completely one with Him.
Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function. Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept Godʹs gifts has been restored to Spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self Which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.
“Father, Your Son can not be hurt. And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.”
“Father,I wandered from Your Will, defied It, broke Its laws, and interposed a second will more powerful than Yours. Yet what I am in truth is but Your Will, extended and extending. This am I. And This will never change. As You are One, so am I one with You. And This I chose in my creation, where my will became forever one with Yours. That choice was made for all eternity. It cannot change, and be in opposition to Itself. Father, my will is Yours. And I am safe, untroubled and serene, in endless joy, because it is Your Will that it be so.”
Today we will accept our union with each other and our Source. We have no will apart from His, and all of us are one because His Will is shared by all of us. Through It we recognize that we are one. Through It we find our way at last to God.
Lesson 328 “I choose the second place to gain the first.”
What seems to be the second place is first, for all things we perceive are upside‐down until we listen to the Voice of God. It seems that we will gain autonomy but by our striving to be separate, and that our independence from the rest of Godʹs creation is the way in which salvation is obtained. Yet all we find is sickness, suffering, and loss and death. This is not what our Father wills for us, nor is there any second to His Will. To join with His is but to find our own. And since our will is His, it is to Him that we must go to recognize our will.
“There is no will but Yours. And I am glad that nothing I imagine contradicts what You would have me do. It is Your Will that I be wholly safe, eternally at peace. And happily I share that Will which You, my Father, gave as part of me.”
Lesson 327 “I need but call and You will answer me.”
I am not asked to take salvation on the basis of an unsupported faith. For God has promised He will hear my call, and answer me Himself. Let me but learn from my experience that this is true, and faith in Him must surely come to me. This is the faith that will endure, and take me farther and still farther on the road that leads to Him. For thus I will be sure that He has not abandoned me, and loves me still, awaiting but my call to give me all the help I need to come to Him.
“Father, I thank You that Your promises will never fail in my experience, if I but test them out. Let me attempt therefore to try them, and to judge them not. Your Word is one with You. You give the means whereby conviction comes, and surety of Your abiding Love is gained at last.”
“Father, I was created in Your Mind, a holy Thought that never left its home. I am forever Your Effect, and You forever and forever are my Cause. As You created me I have remained. Where You established me I still abide, and all Your attributes abide in me because it is Your Will to have a Son so like his Cause that Cause and Its Effect are indistinguishable. Let me know that I am an Effect of God, and so I have the power to create like You. And as it is in Heaven, so on earth. Your plan I follow here, and at the end I know that You will gather Your Effects into the tranquil Heaven of Your Love, where earth will disappear, and separate things unite in glory as the Son of God.”
Let us today behold earth disappear, at first transformed, and then, forgiven, fade entirely into Godʹs holy Will.
Lesson 325 “All things I think I see reflect ideas.”
This is salvationʹs keynote. What I see reflects a process in my mind, which starts with my idea of what I want. From there, the mind makes up an image of the thing the mind desires, judges valuable, and therefore seeks to find. These images are then projected outward, looked upon, esteemed as real, and guarded as oneʹs own. From insane wishes comes an insane world. From judgment comes a world condemned. And from forgiving thoughts a gentle world comes forth, with mercy for the holy Son of God, to offer him a kindly home where he can rest a while before he journeys on, and help his brothers walk ahead with him and find the way to Heaven and to God.
“Our Father, Your Ideas reflect the truth, and mine apart from Yours but makes up dreams. Let me behold what only Yours reflect, for Yours and Yours alone establish truth.”
Lesson 324 “I merely follow, for I would not lead.”
“Father, You are the One Who gave the plan for my salvation to me. You have set the way I am to go, the role to take, and every step in my appointed path. I cannot lose the way. I can but choose to wander off a while, and then return. Your loving Voice will always call me back, and guide my feet aright. My brothers all can follow in the way I lead them. Yet I merely follow in the way to You, as You direct me and would have me go.”
So let us follow One Who knows the way. We need not tarry, and we cannot stray except an instant from His loving hand. We walk together, for we follow Him. And it is He Who makes the ending sure, and guarantees a safe returning home.