Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lesson 221 Peace to my mind.

PART II

Introduction

Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons that remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain, and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set, and find the end toward which our practicing was always geared.

Now we attempt to let the exercise be merely a beginning. For we wait in quiet expectation for our God and Father. He has promised He will take the final step Himself. And we are sure His promises are kept. We have come far along the road, and now we wait for Him. We will continue spending time with Him each morning and at night, as long as makes us happy. We will not consider time a matter of duration now. We use as much as we will need for the result that we desire. Nor will we forget our hourly remembrance in between, calling to God when we have need of Him as we are tempted to forget our goal.

We will continue with a central thought for all the days to come, and we will use that thought to introduce our times of rest, and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not content ourselves with simple practicing in the remaining holy instants which conclude the year that we have given God. We say some simple words of welcome, and expect our Father to reveal Himself, as He has promised. We have called on Him, and He has promised that His Son will not remain unanswered when he calls His Name.

Now do we come to Him with but His Word upon our minds and hearts, and wait for Him to take the step to us that He has told us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take when we invited Him. He has not left His Son in all his madness, nor betrayed his trust in Him. Has not His faithfulness earned Him the invitation that He seeks to make us happy? We will offer it, and it will be accepted. So our times with Him will now be spent. We say the words of invitation that His Voice suggests, and then we wait for Him to come to us.

Now is the time of prophecy fulfilled. Now are all ancient promises upheld and fully kept. No step remains for time to separate from its accomplishment. For now we cannot fail. Sit silently and wait upon your Father. He has willed to come to you when you have recognized it is your will He do so. And you could have never come this far unless you saw, however dimly, that it is your will.

I am so close to you we cannot fail. Father, we give these holy times to You, in gratitude to Him Who taught us how to leave the world of sorrow in exchange for its replacement, given us by You. We look not backward now. We look ahead, and fix our eyes upon the journey's end. Accept these little gifts of thanks from us, as through Christ's vision we behold a world beyond the one we made, and take that world to be the full replacement of our own.

And now we wait in silence, unafraid and certain of Your coming. We have sought to find our way by following the Guide You sent to us. We did not know the way, but You did not forget us. And we know that You will not forget us now. We ask but that Your ancient promises be kept which are Your Will to keep. We will with You in asking this. The Father and the Son, Whose holy Will created all that is, can fail in nothing. In this certainty, we undertake these last few steps to You, and rest in confidence upon Your Love, which will not fail the Son who calls to You.

And so we start upon the final part of this one holy year, which we have spent together in the search for truth and God, Who is its one Creator. We have found the way He chose for us, and made the choice to follow it as He would have us go. His Hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit the darkness of our minds. His Love has called to us unceasingly since time began.

We had a wish that God would fail to have the Son whom He created for Himself. We wanted God to change Himself, and be what we would make of Him. And we believed that our insane desires were the truth. Now we are glad that this is all undone, and we no longer think illusions true. The memory of God is shimmering across the wide horizons of our minds. A moment more, and it will rise again. A moment more, and we who are God's Sons are safely home, where He would have us be.

Now is the need for practice almost done. For in this final section, we will come to understand that we need only call to God, and all temptations disappear. Instead of words, we need but feel His Love. Instead of prayers, we need but call His Name. Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed. We will accept the way God's plan will end, as we received the way it started. Now it is complete. This year has brought us to eternity.

One further use for words we still retain. From time to time, instructions on a theme of special relevance will intersperse our daily lessons and the periods of wordless, deep experience which should come afterwards. These special thoughts should be reviewed each day, each one of them to be continued till the next is given you. They should be slowly read and thought about a little while, preceding one of the holy and blessed instants in the day. We give the first of these instructions now.

1. What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin, except a false idea about God's Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.

An unforgiving thought is one which makes a judgment that it will not raise to doubt, although it is not true. The mind is closed, and will not be released. The thought protects projection, tightening its chains, so that distortions are more veiled and more obscure; less easily accessible to doubt, and further kept from reason. What can come between a fixed projection and the aim that it has chosen as its wanted goal?

An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.

Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show you what to do, through Him Who is your Guide, your Savior and Protector, strong in hope, and certain of your ultimate success. He has forgiven you already, for such is His function, given Him by God. Now must you share His function, and forgive whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees, and whom He honors as the Son of God.

Lesson 221

Peace to my mind.

Father, I come to You today to seek the peace that You alone can give. I come in silence. In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice. My Father, speak to me today. I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me.

Now do we wait in quiet. God is here, because we wait together. I am sure that He will speak to you, and you will hear. Accept my confidence, for it is yours. Our minds are joined. We wait with one intent; to hear our Father's answer to our call, to let our thoughts be still and find His peace, to hear Him speak to us of what we are, and to reveal Himself unto His Son.




The Following is Forwarded from Pathwaysoflight.org


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Lesson 221
"Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still."

As I affirm today's lesson title, it seems that my thoughts are anything but still. That is why I need this practice. Just because my mind seems to be flitting from one meaningless thought to another, it is not justification for me to give up. It is simply an indication that I need to continue practicing my mind training.

Yesterday a group of us here created a new song. We sang phrases over and over until we liked the way they sounded. Then we would add to those phrases until we were practicing an entire verse. Over and over we repeated it, gradually expanding our repetition until it encompassed the entire song. Sometimes we would adjust the length of the note to make it flow better, and repeat it again. Over and over we practiced. We wanted to reach the point where the song flowed easily and freely. If we missed a word or note, we just took it as a signal to keep practicing until we reached our goal.

The same applies to letting peace enter my mind and letting all my thoughts be still. I just need to keep practicing until I reach the goal. I have been letting my mind be cluttered with the meaningless thoughts of the ego for a long time. Now I want to build a new habit so I need to keep practicing. Each time an ego thought tempts me, it simply means that I need to practice releasing it, to give up the meanings that I have given to ego thoughts.

With each practice, awareness of peace grows stronger. With each practice, the song of Love that has been eternally in my heart grows stronger and more clear. The song of Love gains more and more of my attention as I reduce the attention I have given to the ego. In truth, the song of Christ is all there is to hear. The hand of Christ is all there is to hold. There is no journey but to walk with Him.


The purpose of ego thoughts is to drown out God's Thoughts. God's Thoughts are always there as we are willing to quiet the ego thoughts in our minds. Holy Spirit is there to build a bridge from the loud and raucous ego thought system to the quiet peace, joy and Love of our true eternal Home. Our true Home is the Mind of God. God created us as one and that cannot change. God's eternal Love never changes. God's peace never changes. God's joy never changes.

On the other hand, the ego's thoughts are in a constant state of flux. There is no safety there. There is no peace there. There is no joining there. It is always looking for something more, something different, something more exciting, some new way to be special and unique. It is always looking for its replacement for God's Love in all the wrong places. It is a hopeless journey. Its dreams are filled with the illusion of separation, suffering and death.

It is only when we are willing to let all these thoughts be laid aside that we receive the help of the Holy Spirit as our Guide out of this hell of separation from our true Nature. There Holy Spirit knows it is a gradual process. The Holy Spirit knows that we are so familiar with the constant chatter of the ego that it seems difficult to lay it down. That is why the Holy Spirit invites us to practice retraining our mind. The Holy Spirit is gentle and kind with our process of awakening. As we are ready, the Holy Spirit always brings us the next step in the undoing of the ego's insanity of separation. The Holy Spirit remembers the truth and brings our illusions gently to a conclusion.

Today's lesson is of great help in enhancing this process of laying the ego's thoughts of separation down. The ego's insane thoughts of separation have seemed very plausible and real to us. We have believed it and experienced its chaotic repertoire. We now know that this dream of separation is a useless journey and are gradually learning to lay it down. We understand very clearly that we need the consistent help of the Holy Spirit to undo the grip we have had on the ego.

As we lay the ego down, fears come up that there will be nothing to replace it. Fears come up that we are losing the only thing we know. We have become so familiar with the ego thought system that our identity seems to be falling away with it. And this is true. The good news is the Holy Spirit knows how to bring us safely across this bridge of return. The Holy Spirit knows how to deal with our fears as they come up. The Holy Spirit is the great Comforter as we gradually leave behind the old stories of deception and conflict.

As we hold Holy Spirit's hand, we are led to a quiet inner world, an inner life that is calm and peaceful, sure and strong. As we learn to live in the world the Holy Spirit leads us to, we feel the touch of Christ, our true Nature. It is always gentle and consistent. We gradually realize that it does not come and go. It is always there. It is just we who have pulled away from Its healing Light.

Step by step, we are gradually led to the deeper waters of God's peace. Our pulling away gradually subsides as we grow more secure with the deeper layers of peace. We feel the truth that God is our strength and vision is His gift. We open our mind to see past the ego's silly ideas of separation. We practice opening to the Holy Spirit's gentle guidance more and more each day. We know deep inside that we are on the strong and surefooted path of return to accepting our true Identity as Love and nothing else.

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