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“Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.”
Jesus makes it very clear in this lesson that this world is a dream of conflict. He also makes it very clear that this dream of conflict cannot be resolved except through forgiveness. Conflict’s defenses hide the truth from our awareness. Conflict’s defenses make it look like the ego’s lies are the only truth.
Forgiveness paves the way by which the deceit of the ego’s false perceptions are revealed. Forgiveness provides an opening through which the Holy Spirit can reveal the truth. There is only one truth and in that one truth there can be no conflict. In Heaven, where we really reside, there is no conflict. Our will and God’s Will are one.
The ego is the opposite of God’s Will. The ego is the choice for separation from oneness. From the choice for separation came a world of conflict. This conflict is resolved through letting go of the mad illusions of separation.
The Holy Spirit will lead us out of these mad delusions as we open our minds and are willing to receive a correction in our perception. This is what the Course calls forgiveness. “Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.”
Sentence two in the lesson describes the many ways the ego attempts to deal with conflict. All of them are methods of avoidance rather than resolution. The ego does not really want to resolve conflict because it is the idea of conflict, being the wish for specialness. When conflict is undone, the ego is undone with it. So the ego will avoid the resolution of conflict at all costs out of self preservation. It is no wonder this world is a world of conflict, being the making of the ego.
The ego does not want us to recognize that inherent in specialness is conflict. And so it offers us many deceitful disguises, calling it by many names. In special relationships it is called love, or adoration or acceptance or respect. The ego gives hidden meaning to these terms. With the ego’s meaning of love there is always a hidden agenda. It says, “I will know you love me if you ...” which is followed by a long list of behaviors and to do’s, many unspoken but if unmet, bring out our wrath. Can this be love?
The Course tells us that Love makes no demands because Love is one and complete in itself. It has no needs, so making a demand is inconceivable to Love. Love gives freely because it is limitless and eternal, and Love’s nature is to give of Itself. Because Love is one, Love gives only to Itself, for there is no “other.”
But the ego’s definition of love has endless conditions and demands. Conflict is inevitable, because special love’s demands conflict with each other. In one circumstance a certain behavior is acceptable. In another it is not. And so in this world we wander about seeking for “love,” not realizing that we are seeking conflict. What we seek under the guidance of the ego will never satisfy because the ego seeks where real Love cannot be found. The ego’s substitute for Love never brings peace because, although it might appear appealing on the surface, conflict lies hidden below, waiting for its chance to raise its fearsome head.
The way out of this painful illusion is forgiveness. This forgiveness must come through recognition of the deceits the ego offers. Throughout the Course, again and again, the many forms the ego’s deceits take are brought to our attention. It’s not a pretty picture. But we have wandered in a world of illusion so long that we don’t recognize the illusion for what it is, and so we must be taught. By the grace of God, we have a Teacher in our mind Who will help us see the illusions for what they are.
This is why it is so important for us to remember that on our own we do not know what anything means. As we practice bringing all our thoughts to the Holy Spirit and open our minds to His perception, we will learn to recognize all the hidden conflicts and let them go. We will let them go because the Holy Spirit will show us that they are really nothing. There will be no sense of loss or sacrifice because they will cease to have value to us. “Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.”
There was a paragraph in your comments that really caught my attention. You said, “With the ego’s meaning of love there is always a hidden agenda. It says, “I will know you love me if you ...” which is followed by a long list of behaviors and to do’s, many unspoken but if unmet, bring out our wrath.” Lately, when I am with my daughter and her partner, I have several times made “funny” remarks about being ignored by them. I guess that by keeping it light and humorous I was trying not to sound demanding.
I didn’t even consciously realize I was doing it until I read what you said. I didn’t realize I was feeling so left out of their lives, but I guess I am and that it matters to me. I have been making some rules for them to follow without coming right out with them. I wasn’t telling my daughter and I wasn’t even telling myself, but I was certainly expecting them to be followed. I’m grateful to see this. Now I can take it to the Holy Spirit for healing.
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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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