To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read A Course in Miracles, Chapter 24, Section III (pages 505-507)
A helpful definition of forgiveness is to let go of the ego, or our grievance against Love’s oneness. Under the layers of the ego’s defense against the truth of oneness is the secret wish to kill God so that we could be special and different from God’s oneness. With this secret wish for specialness comes guilt for our ‘sin’ against our Source.
Forgiveness is the end of specialness because forgiveness means not holding on to illusions of separation. As we join with the Holy Spirit in our minds, we are able to let go of specialness and see past the ego’s stories of separate bodies to the Light of Love that we really are. When we let go of specialness, we are also letting go of guilt.
Jesus explains this in paragraph 2. Here he tells us, “Whatever form of specialness you cherish, you have made sin. Inviolate it stands, strongly defended with all your puny might against the Will of God. And thus it [every form of specialness] stands against yourself; your enemy, not God’s.” (2:1-3)
Also in paragraph 4 Jesus describes how belief in specialness is an attempt to be at war with God: “It [specialness] will forevermore be unforgiving, for that is what it is; a secret vow that what God wants for you will never be, and that you will oppose His Will forever.” (4:6) We hide from ourselves the fact that believing in specialness is an attack on God, an attack on our true Identity. We may close it off from our conscious awareness, but this belief in our guilt for choosing against oneness has not gone away just because we are denying it.
When we join with dreams of specialness, it appears that we have taken power from God. Because our dreams appear very real to us, we think we have really usurped God’s Will. Jesus makes it clear that this is not the case: “And yet, this idol [specialness] that seems to give you power has taken it [power] away. For you have given your brother’s birthright to it [specialness], leaving him alone and unforgiven and yourself in sin beside him, both in misery, before the idol that can save you not.” (2:6-7)
When we believe in specialness, we feel vulnerable and unsafe because in order to keep specialness, everyone must become our enemy. To keep our distance we must place our trust in no one but ourself. Jesus tells us, “It [our specialness] can be thrown off balance by anything. What rests on nothing never can be stable. However large and overblown it seems to be, it still must rock and turn and whirl about with every breeze. …It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes, or creeps or crawls, or even lives at all. Nothing is safe from its attack, and it is safe from nothing.” (3:4-7, 4:4-5)
Jesus knows that we are in pain and feel vulnerable and unsafe when we believe in specialness. Because he wants us to be happy, he asks that we forgive God for not giving us the specialness we wanted. He knows that when we are willing to let it go, we will be eternally at peace. That is why he says, “Forgive the great Creator of the universe, the Source of life, of love and holiness, the perfect Father of a perfect Son, for your illusions of your specialness. Here is the hell you chose to be your home. He chose not this for you. Ask not He enter this. The way is barred to love and to salvation. Yet if you would release your brother from the depths of hell, you have forgiven Him Whose Will it is you rest forever in the arms of peace, in perfect safety, and without the heat and malice of one thought of specialness to mar your rest.” (6:1-6)
When we dream of specialness, we are dreaming that we are the opposite of Love, our true Self. When we dream of a world of separate bodies with separate minds, our Reality disappears from our awareness. It appears that Love’s oneness has been destroyed. Because we are one with God, we are dreaming of the death of our Self. This is a scary dream indeed.
Jesus is asking us here to awaken from the dream of death when he says, “The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see. Freedom and peace and joy stand there, beside the bier on which they sleep, and call them to come forth and waken from their dream of death. Yet they hear nothing. They are lost in dreams of specialness. They hate the call that would awaken them, and they curse God because He did not make their dream reality. [They] curse God and die, but not by Him Who made not death; but only in the dream. Open your eyes a little; see the savior God gave to you that you might look on him, and give him back his birthright. It is yours.” (7:1-8) — God gave His Love to all, so the Love that belongs to our brother also belongs to us.
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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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