I will accept Atonement for myself.
Atonement is the means by which we remember what we are in truth and, in remembering that, remember that all creation is united with us, and that our shared union is our identity in God. Thus, what we remember for ourselves, we remember for all. This is the end of fear and the beginning of love.
Today’s lesson makes a persuasive argument that remembering what we are is not actually difficult. We cannot be other than what we are! To think otherwise is merely to play a game. But we can take that game seriously – we can take it so seriously that we forget it’s a game.
This forgetfulness – which is a really a form of adverse self-judgment – is the source of all grief and conflict, on all apparent scales.
When we pretend that we do not know what we are, says the course, it merely shows that we do not want to be the thing that we are. We have essentially denied ourselves – like Peter unto Jesus – and all our self-seeking – however earnest, however disciplined, however spiritual – is merely a means of upholding that denial.
In denial we are unsure of what we are. This uncertainty breeds defensiveness and attack. Scared of what we might be, we project those fears and dark fantasies onto our brothers and sisters. Despair and anger are the world’s hallmarks, each warring against the other in a vain attempt to answer a question that cannot be answered because to ask it is to answer it.
Atonement remedies the strange idea that it is possible to doubt yourself, and be unsure of what you really are. This is the depth of madness. Yet it is the universal question of the world. What does this mean except the world is mad? Why share the madness in the sad belief that what is universal here is true? (W-pI.139.6:1-5)
In order to question ourself, we must exist. To ask how can I be, I must first be. The dead cannot ask questions about their lives. Only the living can pose a question, and they can only pose it to the living. Self-doubt and uncertainty are impossible; they are illusions undertaken by minds which have become so utterly deluded they can no longer discern between what is true and what is false.
In stillness – committed to learing the truth of our identity and resolved to no longer be the author of pain and suffering, ours and everyone else’s – let us give attention to our mind. What is holy there? Who decides? Where did this holiness come from? If we want to say it comes from someone other than our own self, then how do we know it is holy?
Can you find the stillness that does not question but simply knows?
Note that today’s lesson does not want us to engage in rhetoric or wordplay. It is not about being right about the metaphysics. Beyond logic and semantics can be found a clear stillness that knows with calm certainty it is an extension of God’s Will in Creation. We do not need to do anything other than accept this certainty. In truth, we cannot do more. There is nothing more.
When this is seen clearly, it is also seen clearly that this insight is not personal. It is not a statement about Sean but about life itself. And life is not broken into many parts but is one-without-another. Therefore, all creation is included in our remembrance of our self as an extension of God’s joyous creation.
This does Atonement teach, and demonstrates the Oneness of God’s Son is unassailed by his belief he knows not what he is. Today accept Atonement, not to change reality, but merely to accept the truth about yourself, and go your way rejoicing in the endless Love of God (W-pI.139.10:1-2).
We remain as God creates us; can God be wrong? We can be confused and deluded about ourselves, but we cannot make the truth untrue, any more than we make what is false the truth.
Therefore, in gratitude for our Creator – and in praise of all Creation, which is one with us – we turn our mind to what it knows without any qualification or condition: we remain as God created us (e.g., W-pI.139.11:3). Atonement is the grace in which we remember this at last.