Friday, June 13, 2008

Lesson 93 “Light and joy and peace abide in me.”


Light and joy and peace abide in me.

You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake. You think if what is true about you were revealed to you, you would be struck with horror so intense that you would rush to death by your own hand, living on after seeing this being impossible.

These are beliefs so firmly fixed that it is difficult to help you see that they are based on nothing. That you have made mistakes is obvious. That you have sought salvation in strange ways; have been deceived, deceiving and afraid of foolish fantasies and savage dreams; and have bowed down to idols made of dust,–all this is true by what you now believe.

Today we question this, not from the point of view of what you think, but from a very different reference point, from which such idle thoughts are meaningless. These thoughts are not according to God's Will. These weird beliefs He does not share with you. This is enough to prove that they are wrong, but you do not perceive that this is so.

Why would you not be overjoyed to be assured that all the evil that you think you did was never done, that all your sins are nothing, that you are as pure and holy as you were created, and that light and joy and peace abide in you? Your image of yourself cannot withstand the Will of God. You think that this is death, but it is life. You think you are destroyed, but you are saved.

The self you made is not the Son of God. Therefore, this self does not exist at all. And anything it seems to do and think means nothing. It is neither bad nor good. It is unreal, and nothing more than that. It does not battle with the Son of God. It does not hurt him, nor attack his peace. It has not changed creation, nor reduced eternal sinlessness to sin, and love to hate. What power can this self you made possess, when it would contradict the Will of God?

Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Over and over this must be repeated, until it is accepted. It is true. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. Nothing can touch it, or change what God created as eternal. The self you made, evil and full of sin, is meaningless. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God, and light and joy and peace abide in you.

Salvation requires the acceptance of but one thought;–you are as God created you, not what you made of yourself. Whatever evil you may think you did, you are as God created you. Whatever mistakes you made, the truth about you is unchanged. Creation is eternal and unalterable. Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God. You are and will forever be exactly as you were created. Light and joy and peace abide in you because God put them there.

In our longer exercise periods today, which would be most profitable if done for the first five minutes of every waking hour, begin by stating the truth about your creation:

Light and joy and peace abide in me.

My sinlessness is guaranteed by God.

Then put away your foolish self-images, and spend the rest of the practice period in trying to experience what God has given you, in place of what you have decreed for yourself.

You are what God created or what you made. One Self is true; the other is not there. Try to experience the unity of your one Self. Try to appreciate Its Holiness and the love from which It was created. Try not to interfere with the Self which God created as you, by hiding Its majesty behind the tiny idols of evil and sinfulness you have made to replace It. Let It come into Its Own. Here you are; This is You. And light and joy and peace abide in you because this is so.

You may not be willing or even able to use the first five minutes of each hour for these exercises. Try, however, to do so when you can. At least remember to repeat these thoughts each hour:

Light and joy and peace abide in me.

My sinlessness is guaranteed by God.

Then try to devote at least a minute or so to closing your eyes and realizing that this is a statement of the truth about you.

If a situation arises that seems to be disturbing, quickly dispel the illusion of fear by repeating these thoughts again. Should you be tempted to become angry with someone, tell him silently:

Light and joy and peace abide in you.

Your sinlessness is guaranteed by God.

You can do much for the world's salvation today. You can do much today to bring you closer to the part in salvation that God has assigned to you. And you can do much today to bring the conviction to your mind that the idea for the day is true indeed.



Lesson 93
“Light and joy and peace abide in me.”

In today’s lesson, Jesus is helping me distinguish between the real and unreal. He reminds me that the individual self image I made is not the the Son of God. The individual self image my brother made is not the Son of God, therefore all these images do not exist at all. What these images seem to do mean nothing. This helps me when I watch the images of war on television or the images of harm made by a new virus they are calling SARS. Jesus is helping me remember these images are not bad or good, they are merely unreal. The truth is light and joy and peace are what we all are and nothing else.

This lesson helps me see the unreality of the images, which helps me loosen my grip on them. I see the practice of today’s lesson of repeating the idea for the day at the top of every hour and then giving five minutes to let the experience of this truth soak in as very helpful for me today. Jesus uses repetition often to help me learn to distinguish the difference between the real and the unreal and wake up to the truth. I still identify with the self I have made as my identity. I need this practice. It is worth the effort. I need the practice of recognizing the truth in my brothers. It is worth the effort.

I want to come to the point where I automatically recognize that light and joy and peace abide in everyone, and that everyone’s sinlessness is guaranteed by God. This lesson is pivotal in my awakening. I recognize how important it is and I am determined to practice it every hour today. In this is my salvation and the salvation of the world.

If we simply accepted ourselves as God created us, this lesson and the entire Course would be unnecessary. But as the first paragraph spells out in vivid detail, we have very clearly made up an image of ourselves that is very different from what God created. It is this that must be undone. Whenever I feel sad or tired or irritated or guilty or angry or anything other than love and joy and peace, I am believing in an image of myself that is not true. It is time to remind myself that Love and joy and peace abide in me. I remain as God created me and He has guaranteed my sinlessness. There can be no exceptions to this in my thinking. If I attempt to hold out exceptions, I am attempting to deny the Will of God.

In the moments when I have felt firmly rooted in Love, I have experienced the reality of peace and joy and Love abiding in me. I have experienced the truth of this statement. My job now is to dismiss the other image of myself that I made up that denies this reality. That is what this lesson is here to help me do. I am grateful for this exercise, which will help me strengthen my acceptance of the reality of What I am, my acceptance of my Self. Here is my safety and my strength.

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