Workbook Review Lessons 134-140
Forgiveness is not an unjustified gift to be offered to the undeserving. It recognizes that what appears to have happened, in reality has not. The unforgiveness starts by choosing the ego (the idea of separation) as your source. The ego then plants a misperception in your mind (which is always an unloving thought). Finding this thought untenable, you then project this unloving thought outward onto your brother or onto a situation in the world. Your unloving thought is then reflected back to you by your brother’s unloving attitude toward you, or by the appearance of an “injustice” in the world.
All of this is occurring simultaneously in the mind. Nothing occurs outside of the mind, even though it may appear to be outside andappear to be happening to you. Understand this: there is nothing outside of the mind! If you recall from Lesson 132, there is no world! It is a projection of imaginary illusory thoughts from the minds of the separated ones onto an imaginary world. Just as a movie on a screen, it is not real. Your erroneous thoughts are the movie; the world is the screen. Thus, it also follows that nothing can be happening to you in the world. It all began with the unloving idea of separation, the idea that you are separate from God and Love, and separate from your home in Him, and apart from Heaven.
Yet when you choose God as your Source, the illusions will not even appear, and there will be no basis upon which to perceive condemnation or unforgiveness in the first place, therefore no need for forgiveness, and no need to look past any illusions to the truth. The chain of illusory events will not even have started!
Forgiveness does not condone unloving thoughts, words or actions. Forgiveness does not approve or disapprove of illusions and the projections and reflections of the misperceptions of the mind. It but regards them lightly. With a little laugh, then, you gently choose the truth of love instead of the illusion of fear, and the misperception then simply disappears. The situation is seen differently in the light of love. It is seen as it is – unreal! It is not even there. It is imagined. Without a cause, there can be no effect. If the cause is a misperception, an illusion, then its effect cannot be real either. Thus every illusion starts in your mind; and every illusion ends there.
Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the illusions of the world. It sees their nothingness, and looks straight through the thousand forms in which they may appear. It looks on lies, but it is not deceived. It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt. It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, “My brother, what you think is not the truth."
There is a very simple way to find the door to true forgiveness, and perceive it open wide in welcome. When you feel that you are tempted to accuse someone of sin in any form, do not allow your mind to dwell on what you think he did. Instead, understand that what you thought you saw was never there; it was an illusion. And keep your mind as free of accusation and guilt and pain as God Himself intended it to be, and as it is in truth. Remember, it is only lies that condemn or accuse.
Therefore, it is the unreality of the perceived “offense” that makes forgiveness natural and wholly sane. You see, pardon is neither asked for, nor needed, for what is true. In fact, the major difficulty that you find in genuine forgiveness on your part is that you still believe you must forgive the truth, and not illusions. Therefore it is important to know the true from the false. If it does not reflect the love of God, it is not true! Practice using discernment, as Jesus teaches and as he did it first.
Truth is God’s creation, and to pardon that is meaningless. All truth belongs to Him, reflects His laws and radiates His Love. It is a deep relief to those who offer it and a quiet blessing where it is received. Choosing God as your Source, and truly understanding forgiveness, will bring freedom from all illusions and their effects. Keep your mind on all that is holy, all that is pure and true, all that is loving and lovely, and of good report so illusions will gain no foothold in your mind. It is quite easy to do, as ONLY LOVE IS REAL.
Lesson 135: If I defend myself I am attacked.
You operate from the belief you must protect yourself from what is happening in the world because it must contain what threatens you. The world is based on this insane belief. All its structures, all its thoughts and doubts, its penalties and heavy armaments and wars, its laws and legal definitions, its ethics and its leaders -- all serve but to preserve this sense of threat. You can buy a gun with ease, and pepper spray is a staple for some. Locks are on every door, and children are taught to beware of “strangers.” We all hear that the only things you can count on in this world are death and taxes. Can you be at peace with such a concept of the world?
Yet would you defend yourself if you did not perceive that you were being attacked? And who or what is the perceived attacker? It is always an unloving thought, a misperception in your own mind, that is the attacker. There is no one outside of you to attack you. Your brothers are one with you, and you and your brothers are one with God. And there is no one else, there is nothing else. All is Love. All is God.
And what is being attacked? Defend the body and you have attacked your mind. Because if you see your body as weak, you will not see the mind as separate from bodily conditions; you will see your mind as limited and fragile and apart from other minds and separate from its Source. Yet the mind is the body’s only real defense!
Laying down your defenses, you become a light which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own. And it will lead you on in ways appointed for your happiness. Your brothers will join their light with yours, and it will be increased until the world is completely lit with joy. Your brothers will lay aside their cumbersome defenses, and the truth of love will dawn upon their minds with certainty. In defenselessness, all will be strong together, as One.
Lesson 136: Sickness is a defense against the truth.
You cannot experience healing unless you understand what purpose sickness seems to serve. For then you learn that sickness is an insane device for self-deception. Its purpose is to hide reality from you, to attack it, change it, distort it, twist it, or reduce it to a pile of unassembled parts. Its purpose is separation. The aim of all defenses, including sickness, is to keep the truth from being whole.
Sickness is like a secret, magic wand you wave when truth appears to threaten what you would believe. It seems to be an unconscious decision because of the rapidity with which the choice is made. The continued sickness is a result of you continuing to not remember that you were the one who made that choice. It was your decision to continue to hide from the truth that you are not a body, that you are as God created you. When you are no longer afraid to remember who you are, when you are no longer afraid of love, the sickness will disappear and you will be healed.
Sickness is wrong thinking. Healing is right thinking. Just as God does not forgive because condemnation must precede forgiveness and God does not condemn -- God also does not heal, because God does not make sick. Sickness is an idea of the world; the idea is not in Heaven. Therefore healing is in the world, too, as there is no need of healing in Heaven. A “healer”, then, is someone who helps others to change their minds about being sick, and to choose to be whole, not fragmented, because wholeness is the truth.
Sickness is used on this earth to hide the truth that we are one with God, in Heaven, whole and complete. Therefore, for sickness to be undone, the truth of who we are must be accepted. We are God’s Son, in whom He is well pleased.
Lesson 137: When I am healed I am not healed alone.
When you have made the decision for truth, you will be healed. But you will not be healed alone, because sickness is isolation, and healing is joining. When you are willing to be rejoined with your brothers, and to no longer retreat or to be shut off from others, you will banish the thought of sickness from your mind and you will be healed. You will understand that the separation that sickness symbolizes is not the truth. ONENESS is the truth.
Lesson 138: Heaven is the decision I must make.
In this world it appears that there are thousands of choices to make. There is but one. We seem to think that if Heaven exists, there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way we make what we perceive and what we think is real. Yet creation knows no opposites. If Heaven is real, then its opposite has to be an illusion. Only one can be true. In Heaven, there are no opposites. In the world, all opposites to God and to truth are illusions.
Lesson 139: I will accept Atonement for myself.
In this world Heaven is a choice, because the world believes there are alternatives to choose between, thinking that all things have an opposite and what you want you choose. Therefore the world thinks that if Heaven exists there must be hell as well, for contradiction is the way the world makes what is perceived and what is thought to be real.
Yet ask yourself if a perfect, loving God would make the perfect AND the imperfect, the loving AND the unloving, and if so WHY? Truthfully, creation knows no opposite. And the choice of Heaven is not the same as the relinquishment of hell. There is no hell! God did not create it, so it is not real.
Yet what is true in God’s creation cannot enter here until it is reflected in some form the world can understand. Truth cannot come where it could only be perceived with fear. This would be the error that truth can be brought to illusions. Opposition in this world makes the truth unwelcome, and it cannot come. Choice is the obvious escape from what appears as opposite. Heaven is chosen consciously. And it is chosen when the alternatives are accurately seen and understood with Heaven’s help. All mistakes in judgment are open to correction. The truth dismisses them as they are causeless and therefore without effects. Once the truth is in the open, lies cannot prevail. So here is the end of choice. For here you come to a decision to accept yourself as God created you.
And would there even be the idea of “choice” in your mind unless you were uncertain of who you are? There would only be certainty, then. So why would you even wonder who you are unless you do not already recognize yourself? Have you ever said “I am not myself today?” If not yourself, then who are you? You cannot be yourself one minute and not the next. Atonement, the idea of oneness with God, is the remedy for the strange idea that you can be uncertain or unsure of who you are. Accept your oneness as the Son of God. And go your way rejoicing in the endless Love of God.
Lesson 140: Only salvation can be said to cure.
You cannot get sick. The Son of God is beyond the idea of sickness. But you can entertain the idea. You can dream that you are sick. Awakening from the dream of sickness, then, is how you heal from it. Let your interfering thoughts be laid aside, and hear the Voice for God proclaim that you are healed. And you will feel salvation cover you with soft protection, and with peace so deep that no illusion of sickness or any other ailing thought can disturb your mind. This is when separation ends, and you remember who you really are. The moment when you awaken to the knowledge that you are God’s Son, whole and healed and complete, will be cause for rejoicing in all of Heaven. ❤