Handout_234-240

Workbook Lesson Support Notes

by Allen Watson

LESSON 234
August 22

“Father, today I am Your Son again.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

This lesson is about anticipating heaven.

“Today we will anticipate the time when dreams of sin and guilt are gone, and we have reached the holy peace we never left” (1:1).

That is what we do each day as we draw near to God in these times of quiet and stillness. We are giving ourselves a foretaste of Heaven. Just in this moment, just for now, imagine that all your dreams of sin and guilt are gone. Imagine that all fear has ended—all fear! Imagine that every thought of conflict is past. Imagine that there is nothing and can be nothing ever again that will disturb your perfect rest.

What you are imagining is real—the true state of things.

“Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son” (1:4).

The dreams of sin and guilt, the dream of fear, the dream of conflict, the dream of any disturbance at all is just that. Nothing more than a dream. Let it go, let it float away, meaningless and without significance. Just a bubble in the stream.

“Merely a tiny instant has elapsed between eternity and timelessness. So brief the interval there was no lapse in continuity, nor break in thoughts which are forever unified as one. Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son. This we accept as wholly true today” (1:2–5).

In these moments of remembrance, these holy instants we set aside each day, we are anticipating the time when our bad dreams are wholly absent. No, I am not there yet, nor are you, not in our experience—although in reality, as the lesson states so clearly, we never left. There has never been a “lapse in continuity,” and not one note in Heaven’s song was missed. We, however, are still living most of the time in the dream. But we can experience moments of anticipation, direct experiences of the truth. It is that we seek right now. A moment of anticipation. A sense in the core of our beings, something we identify with the word “peace,” something that words cannot capture.

These are practice times in which we deliberately stretch ourselves above the level of our normal, mundane experience. We choose to “accept as wholly true” the fact that the peace of God, Father and Son, has never been disturbed. Just for the moment, just for now, we allow ourselves to experience believing that. We don’t worry that in fifteen minutes we may not believe it. We don’t worry about what will happen to our lives if we believe it. We don’t consider all the evidence to the contrary our senses have brought us in the past. We just let all that go, and breathe deeply of the rarified atmosphere of Heaven. This is my Home. This is what I really am. This is what is really true. This is all that I want.

If thoughts of sin, or of guilt, or of fear, do arise in our minds, we gently dismiss them. “This is not what I want to experience right now. Right now, I want the peace of God. Right now, I have the peace of God.”

Jesus, our Elder Brother, joins us and leads us in prayer, praying with us:

“We thank you, Father, that we cannot lose the memory of You and of Your Love. We recognize our safety, and give thanks for all the gifts You have bestowed on us, for all the loving help we have received, for Your eternal patience, and the Word which You have given us that we are saved” (2:1–2).

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 4)

To our mind, the separation is real. “The separation is a system of thought real enough in time, though not in eternity” (T-3.VII.3:2). “The mind can make the belief in separation very real…” (T-3.VII.5:1). The mind experiences itself as split, separated from God, and with one fragment of mind separated from other fragments. This is our experience in time, and it is “real enough” in time, although it is not real in eternity. In truth, the mind is not actually split; it is simply failing to recognize its oneness (W-pII.2.2:4). But within that one mind, the experience of separation seems real.

Think of nearly any dream you have had in which you are interacting with other people. You are yourself in the dream, and there are other characters. Perhaps someone is making love to you. Perhaps you are arguing with someone, or being chased by a monster. Within the dream, every character is distinct and separate. The other people in the dream may say or do things that surprise you, or that you do not understand. And yet, in fact, every one of those “other characters” exists only in your one mind! Your mind is making them up. In the dream there is separation between the characters. In reality, there is only one mind, and different aspects of that mind are interacting with one another as if they were separate entitites.

This, according to the Course, is exactly the case with this entire world. It is one mind, experiencing different aspects of itself as if they were separate beings. Within that dream the separation between the different characters seems to be clear and distinct, unbridgable. And yet the mind is still one. The one mind does not know itself; it believes that “its own Identity was lost” (2:5). But the Identity was not lost in fact, only in a dream.

And so, within each fragment of the mind that is failing to recognize its oneness, God implanted the Thought of peace, “the Thought that has the power to heal the split” (2:4). This “part of every fragment” (2:4) remembers the Identity of mind. It is a part that is shared by every fragment. Like a golden thread running through a piece of fabric, it binds us all together, and draws the seemingly separated fragments constantly toward their true oneness. This Thought within us knows that “Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son” (W-pII.234.1:4).

This Thought, implanted within us by God, is what we seek when we become still within the holy instant. By quieting all the separated thoughts, we listen for this Voice within us, speaking of our oneness, our wholeness, our eternal peace. This Thought has power to heal the split, to dissipate the seeming solidity of our illusions of separation, and to restore to the Sonship the awareness of its unity. “Salvation…restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate” (M-19.4:2).


LESSON 235
August 23

“God in His mercy wills that I be saved.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

If we look at our own thoughts honestly we will be able to see many ways in which we believe the direct opposite of today’s lesson. We think, “God is His anger wills that I be punished.” Somewhere in each of us is a pathetic voice telling us that we must deserve whatever we get in the way of pain, or that what joy we have may be taken from us because we are undeserving of it.

To those who begin to list their complaints about the world and how it mistreats them, the Course has very abrupt advice: “give up these foolish thoughts!” (M-15.3:1). It is in my power to reverse these things. All I need to do is to assure myself, “God wills that I be saved from this” (1:1). God does not will my pain, my sadness, or my loneliness. By changing the way I think of all this, I can change the world.

We think our hurt and sadness is caused by the events of the world; the Course is teaching us that it is the other way around. Our belief in God’s anger is what brings us suffering; our belief in His mercy and love can transform our lives. What needs changing is not out there in the world, but here, in my own mind. Let me today remember, Father, that I am “safe forever in [Your] arms” (1:3). Let the thought that You will my happiness fill my mind today. If You are Love, if you love me, what else could You want for me?

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 5)

“Salvation is undoing in the sense that it does nothing, failing to support the world of dreams and malice. Thus it lets illusions go” (3:1–2).

To participate in salvation is not the addition of a new activity, but the letting go of our ancient drama of dreams and malice. To be saved is to stop supporting our illusions, to cease adding fuel to the fire of anger, attack, and guilt that has ravaged our minds for eons. Salvation is not a doing but an undoing. It is to end our resistance to the flow of love, both the flow from God to us, and the flow from us to God and to our brothers. Salvation means we stop inventing excuses not to love. It means we stop inventing reasons why we are not worthy of it.

“The ego has no power to distract you unless you give it the power to do so” (T-8.I.2:1). The only power the ego has is what we give to it; it uses our own power against us. All ego illusions are funded by our investment in them. When we withdraw that power, and stop our support of the ego’s illusions, they “quietly go down to dust” (3:3). How is the ego undone? By our choice to no longer support it.

“The secret of salvation is but this: That you are doing this unto yourself” (T-27.VIII.10:1).


LESSON 236
August 24

“I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

If the “secret of salvation” is that “I am doing this to myself” (T-27.VIII.10:1), the reason that is “salvation,” or good news, is that it means there are no inimical external forces imposing themselves on me. It’s just my own mind screwing up. And if that is true, there is hope. Because nobody is running my mind but me! Therefore, I can turn things around. My mind is my kingdom, and I am king of my mind. I rule it; nobody and nothing else does.

Yes, it’s true that, “At times, it does not seem I am its king at all” (1:2). At times! For most of us it seems more like most of the time. My “kingdom” seems to run me, and not the other way around, telling me “what to think, and what to do and feel” (1:3). A Course in Miracles is a course for kings; it trains us how to rule our minds. We’ve been letting the kingdom run wild instead of ruling it. We’ve made the problem, projected the image of the problem, and then we’ve blamed the image for being the problem. As the Text says, we’ve reversed cause and effect. We are the cause, we made the effect, and now we think the effect is causing us (T-28.II.8:8). So we need a course in “mind training” that teaches us we are the rulers of our minds.

The mind is a tool, given to serve us (1:4–5). It does nothing except what we want it to do. The problem is that we have not been watching what we’ve asked the mind to do. We’ve asked for separation, we’ve asked for guilt, and being guilty, we’ve asked for death, and the mind has delivered as asked. We’ve given it over to the wild insanity of the ego, and the result is the ego’s world we live in. So we need to see that, stop doing it, and give the mind’s service to the Holy Spirit instead.

That raises a question for me. If I am supposed to rule my mind, how is giving it to the Holy Spirit doing that? To give the mind to the service of the Holy Spirit is said, here, to be the way “I direct my mind” (1:6–7). The answer is actually quite simple. There are only two alternatives: ego or Holy Spirit, fear or love, separation or union. The Holy Spirit is not a foreign power ruling over me, He is the voice of my own Self, as well as the Voice for God. He is the Voice of both Father and Son because Father and Son are one, with one will. The call to rule my mind is not a call to total self-reliant independence, the king as me-all-by-myself. That is the ego version of ruling the mind. The call to rule my mind is a call to total dependence, to total Self reliance; reliance upon the Self that is shared by us all.

I have the choice between the illusion of independence, in which my mind is actually enslaved by its effects, and real freedom, in which my mind is given to its divinely intended purpose, serving the will of God. Who can deny that our experience of being independent minds is actually an experience of slavery, with our “kingdom” telling us what to think and do and say? Let us today realize there is an alternative, and gladly give our minds to God. Let us enter with willing hearts into the process of retraining our minds to think with God.

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 6)

When we stop supporting the mind’s illusions, and they fall down into dust, what is left? “What they hid is now revealed” (3:4). When illusions are gone, what remains is the truth. And the truth is a wonderful reality within ourselves. Instead of the malice, pettiness and evil we fear to find within us, we find “an altar to the Holy Name of God whereon His Word is written” (3:4).The truth that lies behind all the masks, the misdirection, the subtle deceptions of the ego is an altar to God within my own heart, a sacred place, an ancient and eternal holiness.

There are treasures lying before this altar. And they are treasures I have put there! They are the gifts of my forgiveness. And it is only a short distance, a moment of time, from this place to the memory of God Himself (3:4).

The discovery of the holy altar to God within my mind is the result of doing nothing; of failing to continue my support of the ego’s illusions, of refusing any longer to give my mind to the ego and its purposes. The discovery of what is true about me, and the memory of God that follows from it, all grow out of my willingness to question the illusions and let them go. I do not need to build the altar or rebuild it; it is there, behind the mists of self-deception. The way to truth is through the exposure of the lies that hide it. Deep within me, communion with God continues uninterrupted, waiting only that I turn from the lies that tell me otherwise. I can turn to that altar now. I can brush past the curtains that hide it, and enter God’s Presence, and find my Self waiting there.

LESSON 237
August 25

“Now would I be as God created me.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

These lessons in Part II all seem to be about realizing Who or What I really am. As the Introduction says,

“The workbook is divided into two main sections, the first dealing with the undoing of the way you see now, and the second with the acquisition of true perception.”

So the emphasis in this entire last section of the workbook, the last 165 lessons, is on true perception. The assumption is that the reader has at least become aware of the ego thought system in his life, although by no means is it supposed that the ego is entirely undone. If that were the case, additional lessons would not be needed.

What we are doing in these last lessons is putting the positive side of the Course into practice, and attempting to bring it into application. “Now I would be as God created me.” The goal is not just to understand the idea and file it away under “Facts: human nature, true,” but to be the Son of God. Bringing that truth to my awareness throughout the day, and living accordingly.

“I will arise in glory” (1:2). Each day can begin in glory. Radiance, bright outshining. Glory means “majestic beauty and splendor; resplendence.” It is not a word we easily associate with ourselves. Today I can make a conscious effort to be aware of my glory. I am a radiant being. The light of love and joy shines out from me to bless the world. Let me sit a moment in silence, just picturing that, being aware of my own shining.

As I go through the day, let me “allow the light in me to shine upon the world” (1:2). “I bring the world the tidings of salvation which I hear as God my Father speaks to me” (1:3). This has more to do with being than with doing. It has more to do with radiating than with speaking. We teach peace by being peaceful, not so much by talking about it. If I am joyful, restful, loving, and accepting of those around me, my attitude will speak louder than my words or actions.

So in this day, as I work and visit with friends, let me be radiant. I am as God created me, so I am radiant; I don’t need to do anything to become radiant. All that is needed is to notice what my thoughts would do to dim that radiance, and to choose otherwise.

In a certain sense this supersedes the earlier lesson where I ask the Holy Spirit where to go, what to do and what to say. Now the emphasis is on what I am. It really doesn’t matter so much where I go, what I do, or what I say, as long as I am acting as the being whom God created rather than my independent self.

I come to see “the world that Christ would have me see” (1:4), and I see it as “my Father’s call to me” (1:4). Seen through the eyes of Christ the world can become a constant call to be who I am, to shine, to radiate His Love, to be His Answer to the world.

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 7)

If the altar to God is within me, yet remains largely hidden from my habitual awareness, what I need to do is to “come daily to this holy place” (4:1). This is the practice of the holy instant recommended by the Text (T-15.II.5,6; T-15.IV), a premeditated turning aside from our routine activities to bring our minds into this holy place, with Jesus at our side (“Let us come…and spend a while together” (4:1)). If you are open to it, it seems to me that Jesus is here asking us to spend some time, daily, with him, in God’s presence. If the figure of Jesus is somehow dischordant for you, picture an anonymous spiritual guide, perhaps representing your higher self. With him or her, you enter this temple, stand by the altar, and spend time there in communion with God.

We need to form this habit of bringing our minds into the holy instant, reminding ourselves of the presence of Jesus (or the Holy Spirit), remembering this altar to God within ourselves, with His Word written on it (3:4). That Word, I think, is the Word of salvation, the promise He made that we would find our way to Him (1:1). It is the Thought of Peace, which will replace our thoughts of conflict. This meeting place is where we experience the unbroken communication between ourselves and God. This is where we bath in the flow of love that streams constantly between the Father and the Son.

Chapter 14, Section VIII, of the Text describes this holy meeting place, and says:

“All this is safe within you, where the Holy Spirit shines. He shines not in division, but in the meeting place where God, united with His Son, speaks to His Son through Him. Communication between what cannot be divided cannot cease. The holy meeting place of the unseparated Father and His Son lies in the Holy Spirit and in you. All interference in the communication that God Himself wills with His Son is quite impossible here. Unbroken and uninterrupted love flows constantly between the Father and the Son, as Both would have it be. And so it is” (T-14.VIII.1:10–16).

And so it is. This is what I want to know and experience daily, in coming to this place. Here I bring my guilt and fear and lay it down, accepting Atonement for myself. Here my mind renews its contact with its Source. Here I rediscover the unending communion which is mine, my inheritance as God’s Son. Here my nightmares are all banished, and I breath the fragrant air of Heaven and of home.


LESSON 238
August 26

“On my decision all salvation rests.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

In Lesson 236 I saw that I alone rule my mind. God has created me free to choose to listen to His Voice, or not to listen. Salvation thus rests entirely on my decision. The message of today’s lesson is that, if this is true, God must have a great deal of trust in me. As humankind is typically pictured, it is weak, vacillating, or downright rebellious. Sinners at the core, and totally untrustworthy. But if God “placed [His] Son’s salvation in my hands, and let it rest on my decision” (1:3), that dark picture cannot be the truth. If I was such an untrustworthy being, if humankind were so unreliable, God would never have put such enormous trust in us. Therefore, “I must be worthy” (1:1). “I must be beloved of You indeed. And I must be stedfast in holiness as well” (1:4–5). In sum: If God trusted me, I must be worthy of that trust.

It isn’t just my own salvation that rests on my decision; “all salvation” rests on it. Because the Sonship is one. If one part remains separate and alone, the Sonship is incomplete. Yet God “gave [His] Son to me in certainty that He is safe” (1:5). If God is certain that the Son is safe in my hands, He must know something about me that I have forgotten. He knows me as I am (1:2), and not as I have come to believe I am. The trust He displays is amazing, because the Son is not simply His creation, the Son is “still part of” Him (1:5). God has entrusted part of His very Being to my care, in confidence of what my decision will be: To freely, willingly, choose to join with and enter into His Love and His Will. He knows that in the end I will not choose otherwise and cannot choose otherwise, for He formed me as an extension of His own Love.

Let me, then, today, reflect often on how much God loves me; how much He loves His Son; and how God’s love for His Son is demonstrated by entrusting all salvation to my decision. Let me rest assured that the outcome is as inevitable as God. Let me take confidence in God’s confidence in me.

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 8)

When we come daily to this holy place, we catch glimpses of the real world, our “final dream” (4:2). In the holy instant we see with the vision of Christ, in which there is no sorrow. We are allowed to see “a hint of all the glory given us by God” (4:2). The goal of the Course for us is to come to the place where we carry this vision with us always; where our minds are so transformed that we see nothing but the real world, and live a life that is one, continuous holy instant. That time may seem far off to me, but it is much nearer than I believe, and in the holy instant I experience it as now. It is by repeatedly coming to the holy instant, repeatedly immersing our minds in the vision of the real world, that this world becomes the only reality to us, the final dream before we waken.

In this happy dream, “Earth is being born again in new perspective” (4:5). The images of grass pushing through the soil, trees budding, and birds coming to live in their branches speak to us of Springtime, of a rebirth after a long winter. The images stand for the new perception we have of the world, in which our spiritual night is gone, and all living things stand together in the light of God. We look past illusions now, past what has always seemed like solid reality to us, and see something more firm and sure beyond them, a vision of everlasting holiness and peace. We see and hear “the need of every heart, the call of every mind, the hope that lies beyond despair, the love attack would hide, the brotherhood that hate has sought to sever, but which still remains as God created it” (W-pI.185.14:1).

Here, in the vision of the real world, we “hear the call that echoes past each seeming call to death, that sings behind each murderous attack and pleads that love restore the dying world” (T-31.I.10:3). We see that the only purpose of the world is forgiveness. “How lovely is the world whose purpose is forgiveness of God’s Son!” (T-29.VI.6:1).

“How beautiful it is to walk, clean and redeemed and happy, through a world in bitter need of redemption that your innocence bestows upon it!” (T-23.IN.6:5).


LESSON 239
August 27

“The glory of my Father is my own.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

“Let not the truth about ourselves today be hidden by a false humility” (1:1)

One thing I am aware of as I have not been before while doing the workbook is that when it uses the words “we,” “us,” and “ourselves” it is not referring to just we students of the Course. The “we” includes Jesus. After all, it is Jesus who is speaking throughout the book. This is no ordinary, generic “we” that any author might use. Jesus is identifying himself with us, and us with him, each time a third-person pronoun is used.

The “truth about ourselves” is the truth about you, me and Jesus. In recognizing that I get a sense of his joining with me that I’ve never quite had before. And I see in his use of the terms a purpose, to focus my attention on the sameness of himself, myself and my brothers.

When I see traces of sin and guilt “in those with whom He shares His glory” (1:3) I am seeing them in myself. That is a false humility! When I see my brother as guilty or sinful it is because I am putting myself in that same class, and thus hiding the truth about myself. Guilt can take a seemingly saintly form: “We are all just poor students of the Course, weak and frail and constantly failing.” And that guilt, that false humility, obscures your glory and my own.

It is true that we are all just students, that we are on the lower rung of the ladder and just beginning to be aware of all we really are. It is false spirituality to pretend to what we do not experience. But it is false humility to constantly emphasize our weakness by judging or focusing on failures. We all share the same ego, but we also all share the same glorious Sonship. We need to spend time, from time to time, thanking God for “the light that shines forever in us…We are one, united in this light and one with You, at peace with all creation and ourselves” (2:1, 3).

What I see and dwell on in my brothers is what I am seeing and dwelling on in myself. How I view my brothers only reflects my view of myself.

“Perception seems to teach you what you see. Yet it but witnesses to what you taught. It is an outward picture of a wish; an image that you wanted to be true” (T-24.VII.8:8–10).

“How can you manifest the Christ in you except to look on holiness and see Him there?” (T-25.I.2:1) In other words, you can only manifest the Christ in you by looking on your brother and seeing the Christ in him.

“Perception tells you you are manifest in what you see” (T-25.I.2:2).

“Perception is a choice of what you want yourself to be; the world you want to live in, and the state in which you think your mind will be content and satisfied.” “It reveals yourself to you as you would have you be” (T-25.I.3:1, 3).

If I would not hide the truth of my own glory, I cannot hide that of my brother. “What is the same can have no different function” (T-23.IV.3:4). If I deny the truth in my brother, I am denying it to myself. In fact I am denying it in him because I am denying it about myself. When I mentally separate myself from someone, and make him or her different from myself, less than myself, by judging him, let me recognize that what I see is revealing what my mind is doing to myself. I am hiding my own glory, and therefore judging another, projecting the guilt outside. My judgement of another can then become a mirror to show me that I have forgotten who I really am. It can remind me, cause me to remember, and to choose again, to remember my status as Son of God, “at peace with all creation and [myself]” (2:3).

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 9)

We turn from the world to the holy place within; we enter the holy instant, where our illusions fall because we no longer support them, and we begin to see with the vision of Christ, seeing the real world. And then we return to the world. “From here we give salvation to the world, for it is here salvation was received” (5:1). This movement is repeated again and again in both Workbook and Text: Away from the world of dreams—into the holy instant—returning to give salvation to the world. The Course does not plan for us to retreat from the world, but to save it. It does not urge us into a withdrawn, contemplative life, but urges us from within the state of mind we find in contemplation to offer what we have found to the world.

“The song of our rejoicing is the call to all the world that freedom is returned” (5:2). Our inner healing bubbles over in a “song of rejoicing,” and that song, that ebullient joy, becomes the very thing that calls the world back to its freedom. Nothing is so healing as a person whose face is radiant with joy. It is not so much that we come to the world preaching a new religion (W-pI.37.3:1,2), but that we transform it by our joy. We represent a new state of mind. As the Manual puts it, we “stand for the Alternative” (M-5.III.2:6). We save the world by being saved.


LESSON 240
August 28

“Fear is not justified in any form.”

PRACTICE SUMMARY 

(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)

COMMENTARY

“Fear is deception” (1:1). When we are afraid, we have been deceived by some lie, because given what we are (Sons of God, a part of Love Itself) (1:7–8), nothing can ever harm us or cause us loss of any kind. Therefore when fear arises, we must have seen ourselves as we could never be (1:2). The reality of what we are is never in danger: “Nothing real can be threatened” (T-Int.2:2). All the things in the world that appear to threaten us are simply impossible, because we cannot be threatened. “Not one thing in this world is true” (1:3). “Nothing unreal exists” (T-Int.2:3).

All the threats of the world, whatever their forms, witness only to one thing: our illusions about ourselves (1:4–5). We are seeing ourselves as something vulnerable; a body, a fragile ego, a physical life-form that can be snuffed out in an instant. That is not what we are, and when we fear, that is what we are thinking we are. In order for us to come to believe that we are something else—the eternal Son of God, forever secure in God’s Love, beyond the reach of death—we must be willing to learn the unreality of all that the world seems to witness to. Eventually we must come to see that to attempt to hold on to the reality of this world is to hold on to death.

If we insist on making the world real, today’s statement, “Fear is not justified,” will never seem true to us. Everything in this world is vulnerable, changeable, and will ultimately pass away. If we try to hold on to it, fear is inevitable because the end of what we are holding on to is also inevitable. The only way to be truly free from fear is to cease to value anything but the eternal.

This does not mean that we cannot enjoy what is temporary, that we cannot, for instance, pause to appreciate the beauty of a sunset which passes in minutes. But we come to understand that it is not the sunset we value, but the beauty it mirrors for a moment. It is not the touch of a body we value, a body which withers and is gone, but the eternal love it catches and expresses in the moment. Not the form, but the content. Not the symbol, but its meaning. Not the overtones, the harmonics, or the echo, but the eternal song of love (Song of Prayer-1.III.3:4).

Let me practice, then, today, by repeating, “Fear is not justified in any form.” And when fears arise, let me remember they are foolish (2:1). Let me recall there is no real reason for them. Let my very fears remind me that the truth of what I value never passes away

WHAT IS SALVATION? (Part 10)

Salvation results, not in a perfect material world, but in a state in which “eternity has shined away the world, and only Heaven now exists at all” (5:2). As we enter more and more fully into the holy instant, and the vision of the “real world” it brings, we are literally hastening the end of time itself. The phrase “the real world” is in actuality an oxymoron, a self-contradictory pair of words, for the world is not real. (See T-26.III.3:1–3.) The real world is the goal of the Course for us, and yet, when we have attained it fully, we will barely have time to appreciate it before God takes His last step, and the illusion of the world vanishes into the reality of Heaven (T-17.II.4:4). The nightmare is gradually translated into a happy dream, and when all the nightmares are gone there is no longer any need for dreaming; we will awake.

Salvation, then, is the process of translating the nightmare into the happy dream, the process of undoing the illusions, the process of removing the barriers we have built to love, the process, in short, of forgiveness. The experience we are now in is our classroom. The reason we are here is to learn the truth, or rather, to unlearn the errors. The Course urges us to be content with learning, and not to be impatient. We will not be, and cannot be, “abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality” (T-16.VI.8:1,2). It would terrify us, like a child in kindergarten abruptly being made President, or a first-year piano student being forced to do a solo recital in Carnegie Hall. Each of us is exactly where we belong, learning just what we need to learn. Let us, then, enter whole-heartedly and joyously into the process, practicing our holy instants, receiving our little glimpses of the real world, each one assuring us of the reality of our goal, and the certainty of its attainment.