Friday, October 17, 2008

Lesson 184 The Name of God is my inheritance.


The Name of God is my inheritance.

You live by symbols. You have made up names for everything you see. Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name. By this you carve it out of unity. By this you designate its special attributes, and set it off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it. This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.

This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world's perception is achieved. You see something where nothing is, and see as well nothing where there is unity; a space between all things, between all things and you. Thus do you think that you have given life in separation. By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.

What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awarenesses? You gave these names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be. The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well. For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequence inherent in itself.

This is the way reality is made by partial vision, purposefully set against the given truth. Its enemy is wholeness. It conceives of little things and looks upon them. And a lack of space, a sense of unity or vision that sees differently, become the threats which it must overcome, conflict with and deny.

Yet does this other vision still remain a natural direction for the mind to channel its perception. It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more. Yet you believe this is what learning means; its one essential goal by which communication is achieved, and concepts can be meaningfully shared.

This is the sum of the inheritance the world bestows. And everyone who learns to think that it is so accepts the signs and symbols that assert the world is real. It is for this they stand. They leave no doubt that what is named is there. It can be seen, as is anticipated. What denies that it is true is but illusion, for it is the ultimate reality. To question it is madness; to accept its presence is the proof of sanity.

Such is the teaching of the world. It is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through. But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are its premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects. Learning that stops with what the world would teach stops short of meaning. In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin, a new perception can be gained, and all the arbitrary names the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised to doubt.

Think not you made the world. Illusions, yes! But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming. When you call upon a brother, it is to his body that you make appeal. His true Identity is hidden from you by what you believe he really is. His body makes response to what you call him, for his mind consents to take the name you give him as his own. And thus his unity is twice denied, for you perceive him separate from you, and he accepts this separate name as his.

It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function. You have need to use the symbols of the world a while. But be you not deceived by them as well. They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them. They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.

Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. Here you understand the Word, the Name which God has given you; the one Identity which all things share; the one acknowledgment of what is true. And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules.

Use all the little names and symbols which delineate the world of darkness. Yet accept them not as your reality. The Holy Spirit uses all of them, but He does not forget creation has one Name, one meaning, and a single Source which unifies all things within Itself. Use all the names the world bestows on them but for convenience, yet do not forget they share the Name of God along with you.

God has no name. And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end. All names are unified; all space is filled with truth's reflection. Every gap is closed, and separation healed. The Name of God is the inheritance He gave to those who chose the teaching of the world to take the place of Heaven. In our practicing, our purpose is to let our minds accept what God has given as the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made as fitting tribute to the Son He loves.

No one can fail who seeks the meaning of the Name of God. Experience must come to supplement the Word. But first you must accept the Name for all reality, and realize the many names you gave its aspects have distorted what you see, but have not interfered with truth at all. One Name we bring into our practicing. One Name we use to unify our sight.

And though we use a different name for each awareness of an aspect of God's Son, we understand that they have but one Name, which He has given them. It is this Name we use in practicing. And through Its use, all foolish separations disappear which kept us blind. And we are given strength to see beyond them. Now our sight is blessed with blessings we can give as we receive.

Father, our Name is Yours. In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator. What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Your Own reality. And we are glad and thankful we were wrong. All our mistakes we give to You, that we may be absolved from all effects our errors seemed to have. And we accept the truth You give, in place of every one of them. Your Name is our salvation and escape from what we made. Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace. Amen.

The Following is Forwarded from


Lesson 184
"The Name of God is my inheritance."

Names are how we identify things. So when I affirm that the Name of God is my inheritance, I am affirming that God's Identity is mine. I share His Identity and all His attributes. The Identity of God is my Inheritance. This Identity seems very different than the identity that I have been accustomed to thinking is me. I am not the body with a name that people call it. I am not the body's behavior or its collection of experiences during its "life." My body's family history has nothing to do with my Identity.

My true Identity I share with God. This Identity is my own. It is the acceptance of my inheritance, my true Identity, that frees me from all the limits of identifying myself as a separate entity with a separate mind that thinks private thoughts. My identity is Love, because God is Love and I have inherited His Identity.

When I think or act without Love, it is only because I have mistaken my identity. I believe I am separate and alone. It is only in believing this that I could imagine that I am without Love, unloving or unlovable. It is this mistaken belief that needs correcting.

As I focus on the idea that the Identity of God is my inheritance, it begins to gradually dissolve that mistaken belief. At first it seems that nothing is happening, but with continued diligence and practice, that hardened belief begins to soften around the edges. What seemed unquestionable starts being raised to doubt. The certainty of the belief weakens and my mind begins to open to the possibility of another vision, another perception. Now the door begins to open to the recognition of my true Identity. I am profoundly grateful for these lessons, which are opening the way for me to see my unity with all my brothers in the unity of God, in the unity of Love.

The part of the lesson that stands out to me the most is, "And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end." So now, my job is to learn the lesson of oneness, to learn that all names are unified. My job now is to see past the separate names to the one Name of God That is everyone's true Identity.

Applying this lesson seems very difficult at times and the ego would tell me to give up trying because it is impossible. The Holy Spirit tells me that this is the only meaningful lesson for me to learn and that no one can fail who truly seeks to return to the oneness of God. The oneness of God lies beyond all the false images of separate bodies. God's Oneness is the only thing that is true.

The way to learn this lesson that is helpful for me is to keep a close connection with the Holy Spirit all through the day. I ask, what is my level of peace? What is my level of joy? These are the effects of my connection with Holy Spirit. If I am not feeling peace, then that becomes a signal for me to return to peace, which comes from the Holy Spirit in my mind.

The Holy Spirit will help me see past separate bodies and find the one Name of God behind all the illusions of separation. The Holy Spirit brings my mind to truth and reminds me that the illusions are not real. They are simply illusions of separation and nothing more. The Holy Spirit reminds me not to give them meaning. As I remove the meaning I have given these symbols of separation, the One Identity That lies behind them comes more clearly into focus.

At this stage, this lesson from the Holy Spirit takes diligence and much practice. Many times I forget and make illusions real again. Then I lose my sense of peace, joy and inner happiness. This becomes the signal again to return to the lessons the Holy Spirit has to teach me, the lesson of oneness.

This one lesson is all that I need to receive. This one lesson is all I need to give. We are all one Identity. We have only one Name and that is the name of our Father.

Applying this lesson does indeed seem difficult. I can't give up trying because then where would that leave me? There is no other place to go, is there?

I have been thinking, today, how hard I have resisted these lessons. This resistance has been going on for a long time. It is not nearly as strong as it used to be, so I can definitely see progress. But I still resist. I think that my resistance is the only thing impeding my progress. I believe that the Course is a perfect and certain way out of the world that I have made. I think that being free of this illusion is the only thing worth striving for. And still I resist. It is hard to fathom.

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