Forgiveness, Form and Content

In general, I like very much the idea of having a special function. When that phrase shows up in the text or lessons, I can just feel the ego start rubbing its paws together in delicious anticipation. Perhaps I am a famous writer or the scribe of a new spiritual masterpiece or a Gandhi-like leader of a morally bankrupt democracy or . . .

It always comes down to form, you know? I must be this or I must be that and you are going to play this role and she is going to play that role. I am the central figure – that’s really the important thing.

When our focus is on the world of form, we are not healing but perpetuating the belief that we are separated from God. Maybe we see ourselves as famous healers or generous teachers, spreading wisdom and love wherever we go. It doesn’t matter.

When we choose form over content – which is what we are doing when we begin projecting our special form of healing and love into the world – then we are indulging again the ego’s painful fantasy that attack on God is real. We are postponing the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to restore us to sanity.

I think we have to make a real effort to engage the Course in this way. We are forever given a chance to choose a teacher for whom the only purpose in the dream world is that of healing. It chooses Love because we – beholden as we are to the ideas of the ego – cannot. Rather than focus on becoming this or that, we need to focus on the underlying choice between form and content, between hate and Love, between the ego and Jesus.

If we want Love – if we want to be healed – then we must reach out to Jesus and let him guide us. We can be bank presidents, rock stars or unemployed bricklayers and the bottom line never changes. Our one problem is our belief that separation is real. It is the undoing of that belief to which the Course directs itself – and by extension, our attention and effort. There is nothing else.

Of course, the world seems real to us. And we seem real in it. Nothing in the text or workbook suggests that we ought to throw everything away, don a loin cloth, and go sit on a high lonesome mountain eating half a leaf of lettuce every other day while meditating on God. There is nothing we can do in the world of form that is itself going to change the underlying belief system that gave rise to the world of form.

Our special function is forgiveness (T-25.VI.5:3). This is true regardless of the form in which we seem to be living out our lives. Jesus reminds us that “salvation is no more than a reminder this world is not your home (T-25.VI.6:1).” Knowing this, our focus can shift from the external to the internal. We can loosen the outside world from its role as cause of the interior condition. We begin to accept that healing is in our mind, placed there by God and nurtured by the Holy Spirit.

The grace of God rests gently on forgiving eyes, and everything they look on speaks of Him to the beholder. He can see no evil; nothing in the world to fear; and no one who is different from himself. And as he loves them, so he looks upon himself with love and gentleness (T-25.VI.1:1-3).

Peace is gained – revealed, really – through our practice of forgiveness. And all that really means is asking Jesus to look with us upon this dream that we call both self and home. That is really it. The rest is given – it is already there. How hard is to accept a gift?

The ego teaches us to be judges and arbiters, to divide the world into a multitude of differences, each more painful and divisive than the last. The Holy Spirit – our healed and corrected mind – simply asks that we be willing to look on all this differently. At the level of form – the egoic level – forgiveness becomes attack because it never goes beyond differences. It sees them and celebrates them.

At the level of content, it is merely – merely! – Love responding to the call for Love.

Only in darkness does your specialness appear to be attack. In light, you see it as your special function in the plan to save the Son of God from all attack, and let him understand that he is safe, as he has always been, and will remain in time and in eternity alike (T-25.VI.7:6-7).

Again, it is not about saying “no” to the world. There is nothing there to say “yes” or “no” to! Rather, we are simply saying “yes” to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Haltingly, nervously, inconsistently . . . it doesn’t matter. Our affirmation of Love will never fail to bring us home.

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