Sunday, August 9, 2015
Lesson 221: “What is forgiveness?” ‘Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.”
The Course brings us to a place repeatedly where we allow our minds to be still. What we learn is how to remove the blocks to love. We are learning how to have a conversation within our hearts and minds that will lead us in the end to complete quiet. This may seem like a paradox. How can words lead us to quiet? What is most helpful for us is to use the Course as the emotional tool that it is to help us align our minds with the ideas within and then we can be at peace within our minds. The ego is a chatter box and usually tries to persuade us at length that words will save us.
God wants us to learn instead how to use the words- like surrendering our place of being stuck and our attachment to God’s altar. We can use this image and the words within it to understand this particular technique of the letting go of all thoughts that happens afterward. We may need to do some work with our words and concepts to properly align them so they are ready to drop away. The Course gives us a whole spectrum of options that we can get to where our words fall away and we are instead left in quiet. But remember not to judge ourselves if we get frustrated about having a somewhat slow process getting to a place of the words dropping away. We must forgive ourselves as we go. Each moment in our minds, watch. And when we see a judgement about us for any part of this process, forgive. This is the way to our peace- staying connected to our forgiveness for any thought of self blame.
The most important idea to really get the Course in a broad way is to make sure we get to the experience of it. We grow up in a world where intellect is glorified and we feel pressured to get good grades in school and to keep up our thinking mind. What the Course wants us to get is that the words of the Course are simply to help us initially to understand the larger thought system of the Course. This is important because it gives us a framework to aid in our understanding of the emotional tool. This is necessary to understand all the ideas intellectually.
This is important when we want to understand the Course on every level of our minds and beings. But what the Course ultimately wants us to do with that intellectual experience of the Course is allow this way of knowing it be simply the guide we have about how to experience the Course in our minds and bodies. To experience it is what Jesus wants us to do solely in the end. The Course says- when we finish reading the book- throw it away. Let go of anything we understood about the Course’s teaching. What we are asked to do instead is stay in the experience of it. We want to feel it and live it- in no way that is a thinking process.
Releasing our thought is the way to get to being in the moment. When we think invariably it is about the past or future. Therefore, the Course asks us to come with a quiet, empty mind to the present. We are asked to experience the Course because this is a way of joining with it. When we think about the Course this is a way of separating from it. The joining energy is of God. Thus, this is the way to live in harmony with God’s teaching in a Godly way.