A Course in Miracles Lesson 119

Truth will correct all errors in my mind (Lesson 107).

To give and receive are one in truth (Lesson 108).

One of the errors to which we are subject when we believe in separation is that cause precedes effect. The two are related but independent. In fact, giving and receiving are the same because the apparent giver and receiver are not separate from one another.

This does not make sense at the level of the body. At that level, if we have one piece of pie and I eat it, you don’t get any pie. But A Course in Miracles is an invitation to learn that we are not bodies, and that what we give away we receive.

One way to think about this is to focus on abstract ideas, like love or mercy. When I show mercy to a brother or sister, have I lost the capacity to extend mercy to someone else?

Or this. If I share my ideas about the importance of closely reading Emily Dickinson, have I lost my understanding of the importance of giving careful attention to Emily Dickinson’s poetry?

It’s clear that ideas do not leave their source, even when shared. The implication is similarly clear: whatever we are, we share a source from which we are not separate and – by extension – which unites us in a fundamental way that does not allow for actual separation.

To perceive ourselves as bodies and thus separate from one another in time and space is an error, which leads to other errors (for example about cause and effect and giving and receiving) that effectively double down on separation, making it appear real and beyond question.

Correction begins with our willingness to learn a new way of seeing that makes the illusion of separation obvious. This has nothing to do with the bodies eyes, but rather with how our thinking functions. We are giving attention in mind to mind, and learning that there is only mind.

When we do this, we experience a gentle peace which itself begets an even gentler – but still sustainable – happiness. Here, our suffering folds in on itself and disappears, and what remains is the quiet stillness of the self recollected in God.

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