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“Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”
This lesson is one of the clearest places in the Course where it demonstrates that the Course’s thought system is diametrically opposed to the thinking of this world. The thinking of the world reflects the projected belief that God made the body. Yet in this lesson it says that not only did He not make the body, but He could not, because He cannot create unlike Himself.
The statement that as long as the body is the center of our concept of ourselves, we are attacking God’s plan for salvation has been a real eye opener to me. I am seeing that thinking I am a body is an attempt to defy God and be what God did not create me to be.
Identifying myself with a body inevitably leads to grievances, for if I am a body, then everyone I see with the body’s eyes is also a body. What bodies do then exemplifies what they are in this thought system. Whether or not I am pleased with what they do, just believing they are a body, a separate identity, is an attack on the unity of God.
I may think I am not holding a grievance toward someone, but if I am regarding them in my mind as a separate identity, I am insisting that my brother is not what God created him to be. This belief in separate identities shows me that I am still holding a grievance against God.
The idea that I am not a body, that the body is outside me, that no one is a body, is far reaching. Take away the body and all the images associated with a body, the behavior, the personality characteristics, the sense of individuality, and what is left? The ego would say, “nothing.” God says, “everything.”
All that we are has nothing whatsoever to do with the body. To be without a body is our natural state. To be Love and nothing else is our natural state. To be unified with all that is real is our natural state.
I am coming to see that all my grievances, my upsets about anything that occurs, are just projections of the grievance against God that the body represents in the ego thought system. I want peace. I want happiness. To experience this, I must learn to see beyond the body to the Light that I share with all that is real, to the Light of God in all things. This is letting go of grievances. This is forgiveness. This is going through the clouds to the Light. Today I acknowledge that it is my will to see the Light in everyone and see it as part of me.
The Course tells me that when I join with the ego thought system, I am joining with the wish to replace God. The body is the ego’s principle tool to hide God from my awareness. The more I focus on the body and what the body does, the deeper I go into the ego’s thought system.
The ego’s plan for salvation is to forget Reality and replace it with a world where everything is separate and alone, made so by image making. This image making gives the appearance that individual bodies are all that is real. The bodies have individual stories of birth and death, of conflict and war with other bodies. The stories include bodies in competition with each other, winners and losers, success and loss.
God’s plan for salvation is to let go of all this. God’s plan for salvation centers on a return to the truth through the Holy Spirit, Which is in everyone’s mind. The Holy Spirit teaches that the body is not what I am, or ever was or ever will be. The Holy Spirit teaches me to remember that I am Spirit, the Spirit of Love. The Holy Spirit teaches me that everyone is that same Spirit of Love. The Holy Spirit teaches me that when I focus on individual personalities and make it real in my mind, this is the same as trying to replace God. It is holding a grievance against my true nature.
The Holy Spirit shows me, day by day, how to let this image making go. The Holy Spirit reminds me again and again that the stories of individuality are not true. The Holy Spirit helps me lay these stories down.
These stories always lead to conflict and can never bring true happiness. They never bring peace of mind. My salvation lies in being willing to lay the stories down. They were just a barrier to my remembering the truth that All is Spirit, the Spirit of Love. Love is One. Love is All. I need not try to replace It with false stories of separate identities. Herein lies my salvation. Herein lies my true and eternal happiness.
Have you ever had an argument with someone when that person wasn’t there to take part in it? That is what I did this morning. I imagined a whole conversation (both sides of it!) and then argued with the absent person and became angry with him. When I stopped and thought of what I was doing, I didn’t know whether to laugh or what.
It is not the first time I’ve done that, but this time it really made me aware of how illusory my grievances are. To make the whole situation even sillier, I was upsetting myself over an imagined $5.00. This made me realize how cheaply I am willing to sell my peace.
I took the situation to Holy Spirit and asked how I could have salvation instead. I was blessed with the realization that I wasn’t angry with the absent person at all. I was just using that person’s persona as a mirror which showed me my own faults. I was seeing in that person what I really recognized in myself. I insisted it was the other person’s faults because I didn’t want to accept that it is really me that I don’t like.
I also realized that my vehemence was caused by my fear of recognizing myself in this other person. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I would rather think he is like that, instead of me. I was then reassured that it is OK to recognize this behavior because this isn’t really me either. It is a behavior I might have identified with, but it isn’t me. Who I am is unassailable. What I sometimes act like is just something to change my mind about.
The greatest blessing in this is that now I don’t have to be afraid of what I think I am, so I don’t have to attack the person I imagine is showing me this picture of myself. Where there is no fear, there is no need for attack. I feel so blessed that Holy Spirit used this silly little incident to show me another way to live.
© 2003, Pathways of Light. http://pathwaysoflight.org
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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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