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“Forgiveness is the key to happiness.”
Forgiveness is letting the veil of separation be lifted from my mind. If the veil of separation is not lifted, I will focus on what bodies do and say. I will focus on individual identities separated and alone. I will think that this is true and real. Forgiveness helps me learn to look past the illusions of separation. Forgiveness helps me look past the belief in sin and death.
I learn forgiveness from my true Self. As I am willing to receive the truth, my true Self lifts the veil of separation from my mind. And then I am able to see the Light behind the isolated separated forms. I am able to see the Light behind the fearful behavior. And as I continue to practice this, it teaches me to find the Light behind my separate identity.
Only my true Self can lift the veil. My separated mind only knows of separation and teaches only this. My true Self teaches me to look for and find the Light of God That is behind every false image of separation. My true Self teaches me that this alone brings me true lasting happiness. It releases me from fear. It releases me from believing in death or that anyone could be harmed. It releases me from the false mind which always looks for guilt.
When guilt is gone, there is only innocence to see. Here is peace. Here is eternal Love. Here is happiness. Forgiveness is the answer to every perceived problem. When I am angry or sad or mad or depressed, forgiveness is the answer. When I feel lonely and afraid, forgiveness is the answer. Forgiveness lifts the veil and returns the truth of my Identity as part of God to my awareness.
The exercise in today’s lesson takes a different approach than I would have expected, based on the subject. From the little mind’s perspective, it seems like the obvious approach would be to think of something somebody did that offended me and then try to forgive the offense. This is the typical ego approach. First it makes the error real and then tries to disregard the error, while still maintaining its reality.
Instead, this exercise disregards anything the “enemy” may have done. It merely tells us to select someone we regard as offensive in some way. And then it tells us to look for the Light in that person. It is training us to look past the form, because the form is not real. What seemed to happen was only a dream of illusions interacting with illusions, and could not be real.
The exercise trains us to look past the unreal to the real, past the shadows to the Light. As we can allow ourselves to see the Light in an enemy and can equate that Light with the Light in a friend, it becomes easy then to equate that Light with the Light in ourselves. Our unity then becomes obvious and in my mind I have joined with my brothers. Forgiveness has happened.
I need to practice looking past images and forms to the Light that represents the unity of all things with the one Source of Light. Sometimes a specific offensive event seems so real to me that I am unable to see past it to the Light. This is when I need to remind myself that I cannot be my own teacher, for I have taught myself to see the offense, not the Light. This is when I need to turn to the Teacher within to let Him show me the unreality of interactions between images and help me see the Light beyond the darkness.
Forgiveness is exquisitely simple. I need only see the Light in my brother, give It my full attention. That is all. The only reason this seems difficult at any time is because of my unwillingness to give up being right about my judgment. I have made up a litany of rules and taught myself to judge by them. Not once has this judgment ever brought me real happiness. Now I am willing to be taught by the Teacher of Light how to see the Light where it is and disregard all empty images. I am grateful for this lesson, which takes me another step toward recognizing that I am in Heaven now. In reality, I never left. I have only been dreaming of being on a distant shore.
As I was reading this lesson, I noticed I was constantly nodding my head in agreement with what happens with an unforgiving mind. The reason I know that is because who the lesson is describing is me. That’s so often how I feel, that’s what I’m afraid of, that’s how I’ve been living so much of my life.
No wonder the Course says that if we’re living in fear, we’re not really living. Its taken me many years to realize that I’ve been “looking for love in all the wrong places,” but what I love about the Course is that it tells me that’s okay. I don’t need to beat myself up over what could’ve been. On the contrary, the multitude of mistakes I’ve made have just turned out to be blessings because they have brought me to my knees and surrender to the freedom the Course offers me.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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