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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 10. 8-17-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 10
10 He Who has freed you from the past would teach you are free of it. He would but have you accept His accomplishments as yours, because He did them for you. And because He did, they are yours. He has made you free of what you made. You can deny Him, but you cannot call on Him in vain. He always gives His gifts in place of yours. He would establish His bright teaching so firmly in your mind, that no dark lesson of guilt can abide in what He has established as holy by His Presence. Thank God that He is there and works through you. And all His works are yours. He offers you a miracle with every one you let Him do through you.

We are aware of only the past because that is all that is happening here, the past being replayed so that we can experience it again and make new choices. The new choice we can make is to accept the Holy Spirit’s accomplishments as our own. He has freed us from the past, and to know that freedom we only have to accept it.

Last night I had trouble sleeping. I had a choice. I could lay there tossing and turning and wishing I could sleep, or I could ask the Holy Spirit for His gift. I didn’t know what that gift would be. Would I fall asleep or would it be a different gift? As it turned out, it was a different gift. He showed me how to see the situation differently.

I got up and did work until I was sleepy and I spared barely a moment worrying about how I should be sleeping and what that would mean to me the next day. I did go to sleep eventually and I woke up just fine, and feel good. The Holy Spirit was teaching me to turn to Him in all things. He was also teaching me that the body is not independent of my thoughts. It is not creative and cannot be tired without my belief that it can. These were lessons worth staying up for.

No matter what seems to be happening in my life, if I am not in perfect peace, there is another way to see it. The Holy Spirit is teaching me to always ask for that vision. My growing willingness to accept His gifts in every circumstance is preparing my mind to be a conduit of miracles for everyone. This is helping the entire Sonship to awaken. He is in me and works through me, and I am thankful for that.

“He would establish His bright teaching so firmly in your mind, that no dark lesson of guilt can abide in what He has established as holy by His Presence.” Yes, God! Thank you, God!

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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 9. 8-15-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 9
9 Do you think that what the Holy Spirit would have you give, He would withhold from you? You have no problems that He cannot solve by offering you a miracle. Miracles are for you. And every fear or pain or trial you have has been undone. He has brought all of them to light, having accepted them instead of you, and recognized they never were. There are no dark lessons He has not already lightened for you. The lessons you would teach yourself He has corrected already. They do not exist in His Mind at all. For the past binds Him not, and therefore binds not you. He does not see time as you do. And each miracle He offers you corrects your use of time, and makes it His.

This paragraph brought tears to my eyes. All my problems have been solved. I know. There is a lesson that talks about that, and yes, I have done the lesson (Lesson 80). But somehow, this morning I just get it. This is the function God gave the Holy Spirit. He has already solved all problems for us. Now we only need to accept His solution, which is a miracle. “Miracles are for you”, Jesus says. Thank you, God.

He goes on to say that every fear or pain or trial we have ever had has been undone. He did this by recognizing that they never were. All my dark lessons have been brought to the light. This made me stop and think about some of them. My most stubborn expression of fear is my fear of heights. I often wonder if I will ever be able to give up that fear. And yet, it has already been done. The Holy Spirit did it for me. I exist without that fear. When will I accept His gift? When will I accept the self that exists without the fear of heights? I don’t know. When I do, I suppose.

Jesus tells us this about the Holy Spirit. He says that our errors do not exist in His Mind at all, which means that they do not exist in my mind. Right now, right in this moment, I exist in a state of complete innocence. I can accept that self if I want to. The past does not bind the Holy Spirit. He knows me without a past in which I seem to have sinned.

Because it does not bind Him, it does not bind me either. I can know myself as one who has never erred. I don’t have to wait for any of this. It is done. I have a hard time understanding how this could be because I see time differently than the Holy Spirit. It feels linear to me, and to Him, it doesn’t exist at all. Through the miracles, He offers me He is correcting my use of time. I am learning to use time for miracles and rather than to extend the illusion so that I can see that there is no time.

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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 8. 8-14-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 8
8 How can you, so firmly bound to guilt and committed so to remain, establish for yourself your guiltlessness? That is impossible. But be sure that you are willing to acknowledge that it is impossible. It is only because you think that you can run some little part, or deal with certain aspects of your life alone, that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is limited. Thus would you make Him undependable, and use this fancied undependability as an excuse for keeping certain dark lessons from Him. And by so limiting the guidance that you would accept, you are unable to depend on miracles to answer all your problems for you.

I think Jesus explains our need to rely on Holy Spirit for guidance in everything very clearly. I hear two important messages here. First, that guilt is our problem and second that the Holy Spirit is our answer. First I want to look at guilt as the problem. I sometimes think that lack and loss is the problem, but where does this idea come from?

If I think I lack anything it can only be because I believe I am guilty and thus unworthy of abundance. How about the problem of attack and defend? I could only attack or defend if I thought I was vulnerable and that could only happen if I thought I was guilty of something and thus unworthy of perfect protection.

I think that all problems go back to the belief in guilt, which came from the belief we separated from God. The audacity of that act is what left us feeling guilty and unworthy. It is the one problem with the one solution that Jesus talks to us about. This solution is the Holy Spirit, who will guide us out of the belief in guilt.

The Holy Spirit will provide us with perfect guidance in every area of our life if we let Him. To let Him we must first acknowledge that we cannot establish our own guiltlessness, that it is impossible for us to do so. The second thing we have to do is to offer every problem to Him. We must not hold back some parts of our life that we think we can solve alone. When we do this we fail, and we come to believe the Holy Spirit is undependable, sometimes helping us and sometimes not.

Here is an example. Some years ago, my daughter had a problem she wanted help with, and I wanted to provide that help. I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me away from this decision and I quickly squelched that thought. I didn’t want the Holy Spirit’s advice on this. I wanted to be my daughter’s hero. I did as I planned and it was an uphill battle the whole time.

Here is another example. I said I wanted to be done with a belief and was sent many opportunities to choose differently. Instead of using these situations to make new decisions and form new habits, I felt sorry for myself for all the trouble I seemed to have. I felt unfairly treated and a victim of life. I listened to the ego’s dark lesson of fear instead of accepting the Holy Spirit’s help. It took awhile before I was able to accept the guidance I was being given and thus to reap the benefits.

I now fully accept that I still believe in guilt and that I cannot establish my own guiltlessness. I also fully accept that the Holy Spirit can and will if I only let Him. He will do it without fail unless I hold back. Where I want to make decisions on my own (with ego) the Holy Spirit cannot intercede but will wait patiently for me to change my mind. If I change my mind quickly, turn to the Holy Spirit in every circumstance, I will end my suffering.

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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 7. 8-11-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 7
7 You cannot be your guide to miracles, for it is you who made them necessary. And because you did, the means on which you can depend for miracles has been provided for you. God’s Son can make no needs His Father will not meet, if he but turn to Him ever so little. Yet He cannot compel His Son to turn to Him and remain Himself. It is impossible that God lose His Identity, for if He did, you would lose yours. And being yours He cannot change Himself, for your Identity is changeless. The miracle acknowledges His changelessness by seeing His Son as he always was, and not as he would make himself. The miracle brings the effects that only guiltlessness can bring, and thus establishes the fact that guiltlessness must be.

When I made up this separate identity and called it myself, I experienced guilt and the need for miracles were known. God meets each need we have in our self-imposed deprivation. Because we made the need for miracles, we cannot provide them for ourselves, so God assured our access to them through the Holy Spirit.

The way this works is that when we think we have a problem we turn to God with it and the Holy Spirit heals us. He heals us as he removes the effects of guilt and we begin to remember who we are. For the miracle to be ours we must want it. God will not impose the miracle on us without our true desire for it.  God does not compel.

There are times in which I wish God would do just that, compel me to accept the miracle of healing. Like, just get it over with, God! It is inevitable that I’m going to return to you anyway, so just take me Home. But Jesus says that to compel is not in God’s nature and to do so would cost Him His identity. God is changeless and so does not act in a way that is not Himself.

This is a good thing. We are created in His image and so we are changeless as well. We are only imagining a self that is different, and we remain as we were created. All we need to do to experience ourselves as we are, ever have been, and ever will be, is to wholly desire that this is so. The Holy Spirit acts on our behalf as we are ready.

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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 5. 8-8-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 5
5 You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your mind that hurt and hinder you, and everyone around you. The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: You think you do not will for God’s Son what his Father wills for him. Every dark lesson teaches this, in one form or another. And each bright lesson with which the Holy Spirit will replace the dark ones you do not accept, teaches you that you will with the Father and His Son.

The way I understand what Jesus is telling us here is that if I do not have perfect peace, I have chosen a will that is not my own and not God’s. That only leaves one option. I have chosen to align myself with the ego mind and to use the separate will as if it is mine. There is no way I can ever be comfortable with this choice. Even if I bury my anxiety under layers of denial, it is still there and I project it as disturbing stories in my life.

So when my child is angry with me or my friend is in trouble, when I don’t have enough money or I am sick, these are all projections of the anxiety and guilt I feel because I have denied my Self and I have denied God. That is what the world is for. It is a place where we pretend to have a will that is not our own and experience guilt for that choice.

It is a world that offers us the punishment we think we deserve for our betrayal. “The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt.” T 13: Intro. This is a world of pain, punishment, and death. This is what it will continue to represent until we change our mind about who we want for a teacher, and which lessons are meaningful until we accept our true will, which is God’s Will.

How do I know if I have learned the lesson the Holy Spirit offers me? I will have no fear. Jesus says in another place in the Course, “Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” T 2: VI. My choice will be in accord with his if my will is in accord with God’s Will.

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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 4. 8-7-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 4

4 You who have not yet brought all of the darkness you have taught yourself into the light in you, can hardly judge the truth and value of this course. Yet God did not abandon you. And so you have another lesson sent from Him, already learned for every child of light by Him to Whom God gave it. This lesson shines with God’s glory, for in it lies His power, which He shares so gladly with His Son. Learn of His happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth, and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take. Every dark lesson that you bring to Him Who teaches light He will accept from you, because you do not want it. And He will gladly exchange each one for the bright lesson He has learned for you. Never believe that any lesson you have learned apart from Him means anything.

A Course in Miracles is a lesson we are to learn, but if we have not brought all our dark lessons to the light within us, we will need more help. We are given this help as the Holy Spirit. We can bring those dark lessons to Him. It is His function to take from us what we do not want. He exchanges these dark lessons for bright lessons.

This is the part that fascinates me. Jesus says that He gives to us each bright lesson He has learned for us. Interesting that it is phrased in that way. So clearly, Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit. He says: “And so you have another lesson sent from Him, already learned for every child of light by Him to Whom God gave it.” So this seems to say that the Holy Spirit has learned the lessons for us. No wonder Jesus says in another place in the Course that the Holy Spirit is hard to understand. Just as I think I have pinned down an idea of what the Holy Spirit is, I see that I don’t really know.

The important part for me to know, however, is that the lessons I am trying to learn have already been accomplished and through the Holy Spirit, I can simply accept them. In fact, anything I learn on my own is useless, and only what I accept from the Holy Spirit is real. Once again I am surprised by the simplicity of salvation. Somehow, the ego mind has trouble believing that something simple can also be powerful.

Once again I see that my only part in this is to accept that I want His lesson instead of mine. The other day, I realized that I was not happy. I wasn’t really sad, but it was like I had a dampening field around me that prevented me from feeling joy. With this realization came the desire to feel otherwise, and from that desire came the answer. I received a clear thought that all I needed to do was to believe what Jesus was telling me about myself.

I had fallen into the habit of looking at all I have failed to accomplish rather than being in gratitude for all that I have accomplished. I had started comparing myself to others and thinking that I was not the teacher they were, or that I was not the light they were. I started thinking about how many times I had to learn the same lesson before I stopped slipping back into the ego. I saw that slowly many of those thoughts had slipped into my mind and stolen my joy.

So I shifted my thinking. Right that moment I made a decision to accept the Holy Spirit’s bright lesson rather than the dark lesson the ego had been teaching me. I started focusing on the truth about myself. I am the light of the world. I completely disregarded any ego “proof” that I was something else. I placed my awareness on my holy mind, rather than my ego mind.

I guess the ego mind realized I was serious about this shift and so tried to join me in it. I saw thoughts to prove that I am good and smart and helpful. But I ignored this, too. Anything I teach myself (that comes from the ego mind) is meaningless. If I look to proof found in my story that I am what I was created to be, then I would also find proof there that I am not. I simply accept that I am still as God created me and that is a brilliant and perfect Thought in His Mind.

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Study of Text, C 14: XI. The Test of Truth, P 3. 8-4-17

XI. The Test of Truth, P 3
3 Atonement teaches you how to escape forever from everything that you have taught yourself in the past, by showing you only what you are now. Learning has been accomplished before its effects are manifest. Learning is therefore in the past, but its influence determines the present by giving it whatever meaning it holds for you. Your learning gives the present no meaning at all. Nothing you have ever learned can help you understand the present, or teach you how to undo the past. Your past is what you have taught yourself. Let it all go. Do not attempt to understand any event or anything or anyone in its “light,” for the darkness in which you try to see can only obscure. Put no confidence at all in darkness to illuminate your understanding, for if you do you contradict the light, and thereby think you see the darkness. Yet darkness cannot be seen, for it is nothing more than a condition in which seeing becomes impossible.

I think that Jesus is telling me that I have taught myself badly in the past and that I need to let that all go. I didn’t learn anything then that will help me eliminate the darkness in my mind. I have to agree that this is true. It is different now. I have learned that I have a Teacher and He will show me what the problem is, and then He will show me the answer.

In the past, if I had a problem, I would try to figure out how to fix it. I would think about what seemed to work in the past and what didn’t work. I might read a book by an expert or ask someone who should know. Using the thinking mind to work things out is the same thing as asking the ego what the situation means and how to manipulate it to give me the results I am looking for in light of my understanding of the problem.

The reason this doesn’t work most of the time is that I asked the ego to define the problem. Now I might be working on the right problem, but the chances are I am not. For instance, my ex-husband is an alcoholic. He would make decisions while in a drunken state which led to problems. I asked the ego (or as I thought of it then, I used common sense) to figure out what the problem was and what to do about it.

Based on this ‘common sense’, it seemed obvious to me that his drinking was the reason I was so upset, so fearful and angry, and the solution was that he should stop. I worked out in my mind how to get him to do that. I used reason, and threats, and pleading, and of course, guilt. Nothing worked, and eventually, I left him thinking that this was the final solution. It wasn’t. We had a son together and so our lives are still interconnected and I had to revisit the whole problem again recently.

This time when I had to deal with him and with his alcoholism, it was very different. He was drinking at a very inappropriate time, and in a way that could be harmful to others. Because of our connection through our son, it was now in my life. At first, I was appalled and angry by his actions. But that didn’t last long, only a few minutes, really.

The reason I didn’t stay angry is that I realized that I had judged him, and this happened because I fell back on old methods of dealing with problems, probably because this was an old problem. But as soon as I saw what was happening, I changed my mind. I stopped asking the ego what the situation meant, and I asked the Holy Spirit instead.

It became very clear and obvious to me that I had no reason to expect anything else from him. He is living the story of an alcoholic and unless the alcoholic has managed their disease, then the alcoholic drinks. I realized that there was no reason for me to be angry and upset about it. I didn’t feel like judging him, and I never mentioned anything about it. My daughter and I figured out what to do about the situation to make it better and we did it.

There was only one reason the two situations were so different. In the first, I was confused about the problem. I was upset and afraid and I used the ego thinking mind to come to the conclusion that my husband was the problem. In the second, I was upset and afraid and I used the Holy Spirit to come to the conclusion that my reaction to this situation was a choice I was making, and I was the problem.

This was good, because, while I cannot change him, I absolutely can change me. I did just that as I saw that I didn’t have to react in fear and anger. I reacted from love and acceptance instead. My mind was clear and I received inspiration on how to deal with it. This is why I don’t use the darkened mind to bring light to any situation. It can’t.

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