A Course in Miracles Lesson 161

Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.

Salvation is collaborative, relational. Without our brothers and sisters, we cannot be saved, and if we cannot be saved, then salvation is a lie. God’s power is a joke, and Jesus a deluded fanatic. And A Course in Miracles even more so.

In your heart, you know this is not so. You may be confused and unsure about the truth of God, Jesus and ACIM, it may yet not be your personal path, but it doesn’t deserve to be scorned and discarded.

Today’s lesson is a deep exercise of open-mindedness and willingness. Thus, it is an exercise in personal vulnerability. Without any supernatural drama whatsoever, we have to give attention to the brother or sister we hate, and be willing to see Christ in them.

This means we have to be willing to be wrong! It means that we have to own our confusion. We have to be able to say “I know nothing” and then be taught by a Teacher other than our own self. Anything else would leave the underlying hate intact, an unacceptable result.

The savior’s vision is as innocent of what your brother is as it is free of any judgment made upon yourself . . . It cannot judge because it does not know. And recognizing this, it merely asks, “what is the meaning of what I behold?” Then is the answer given. And the door held open for the face of Christ to shine upon the one who asks, in innocence, to see beyond the veil of old ideas and ancient concepts held so long and dear against the vision of Christ in you (T-31.VII.13:1, 4-7).

For this to happen, we have to notice the way in which our current mode of understanding is premised on specifics. People are attractive or unattractive; this job is more culturally valuable than that one. People in this neighborhood are more trustworthy than those in this other neighborhood. I like purple and yellow but not red. Men should behave this way, women another. Et cetera.

We see specifics, and we value them according to a belief system that we rarely investigate. We just assume the world is the way it is, and the self too. Don’t its many differences and distinctions prove this? And yet look at the suffering this world includes? Is there not another way?

One brother is all brothers. Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one. Such is the truth (W-pI.161.4:1-3).

This does not make sense to us. It might seem like a good idea, or a future ideal. It might makes us feel good to say it. But it’s not how we live.

This lesson aims to change that, not by arguing that its wrong, but by going into it as deeply as possible. You and I have hate in our hearts. Specificity is its hallmark (W-pI.161.7:1). Okay, says A Course in Miracles, then let’s use that. Let’s look in a very literal way at one brother – his outfit, his appearance, the tenor of his voice, his behavior, what is admirable about him, what is not.

Then think of this: What you are seeing now conceals from you the sight of one who can forgive you all your sins; whose sacred hands can take away the nails which peirce your own, and lift the crown of thorns which you have placed upon your bleeding head (W-pI.161.11:5).

We ask a blessing of this brother, that we might see him “with the eyes of Christ” in order to behold our own “perfect sinlessness” (W-pI.161.11:7). We are asking our brother and sister – who we have set in a body and judged against, over and over and over – to show us another way of seeing. The blessing – the way of seeing the other not as a body, and free altogether of judgment of any kind – is a light in which we both are healed.

This is the savior’s vision: that he see his innocence in all he looks upon, and see his own salvation everywhere. He holds no concept of himself between his calm and open eyes and what he sees. He brings the light to what he looks upon, that he may see it as it really is (T-31.VII.11:5-7).

Asking a brother or sister to bless us is really asking them to show us who we are in truth. Being willing to see our brother or sister as our own self is what we are in truth. In the context of the world and of bodies, it is an exquisite symbol of joining that undoes our erroneous thinking by dissolving its foundation: that the world is real and we are bodies.

. . . in Christ’s vision is [our brother’s and sister’s] loveliness reflected in a form so holy and so beautiful that you could scarce refrain from kneeling at their feet. Yet you will take their hand instead, for you are like them in the sight that sees them thus (W-pI.161.9:3-4).

Is it clear? We merely ask Love to remind us we are Love Itself. Our willingness to ask – which is our willingness to be wrong about all our ideas and beliefs, bar none – opens the door to a grace and peace that truly transcends understanding.

Today we give attention to each other, grateful that are savior is near at hand and easy to recognize. Humbly we approach one another, seeing only Love, which is born of the willingness to see nothing else. And where Love is invited, Love enters, and makes welcome unto all.

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