A Course in Miracles Lesson 165

Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.

It is not possible to be separated from God. But it is possible to deny our oneness with God. We can ignore grace but we cannot undo it. We cannot make what is true false. Our happiness and peace depend on a right understanding of what we are in truth and on our willingness to accept that reality, rather than resist it.

This lesson begins with four questions, each of which is aimed at revealing the depth and intensity of our self-denial. They are leading questions – each supposing a variation of the answer “I am doing this to myself” (T-27.VIII.10:1).

So this lesson basically has two parts: remind us that we are not – because we cannot be – separate from God and, to the extent we feel we are separate from God, to remember that we are the ones driving that separation and that there is – thank Christ there is – another way.

Deny not Heaven. It is yours today, but for the asking . . . Ask to receive, and it is given you (W-pI.165.4:1-2, 4).

What tends to stand in the way of accepting Heaven is doubt. We don’t believe that we’re worthy. Or we believe that God is capricious and unreliable. Or we’re on the wrong spiritual path and the right one will make everything easier. All of these concerns are forms of doubt, which in turn are forms of fear.

Doubt brings forth the idea of sacrifice and makes it appear meaningful. Doubt begets a personal sense of suffering because doubt always arises as confusion about what we are which, in turn, means that we are confused about joy and pain (e.g. T-7.X.3:6-7).

Conviction lies within [Heaven]. Till you welcome it as yours, uncertainty remains. Yet God is fair. Sureness is not required to receive what only your acceptance can bestow (W-pI.165.4:5-8).

The end of doubt is certainty, but certainy comes when we ask for it with real desire, and then accept without condition or qualification what is given in response. Do you want the peace of God? Then the peace of God is there, by virtue of your desire for it. It is not God’s intention that we should go without the sure knowledge of our identity.

Would God consent to let His Son remain forever starved by his denial of the nourishment he needs to live? Abundance dwells in him, and deprivation cannot cut him off from God’s sustaining Love and from his home (W-pI.165.6:5-6).

The suggestion is that we lean not our own certainty – which is feeble and compromised at best – but rather on God’s. Where God abides, truth abides, and where truth abides there can be no doubt. Hence the injunction to not deny the Thought of God but rather to accept that it cannot be absent from us (W-pI.165.7:2-3-5, 8:1). Even if we think or feel otherwise, we cannot be absent from God.

Our willingness to practice in this way is what matters. The gift has already been given; God’s grace is already our only reality and thus our only identity. We merely open our minds to remember what is already inherent in them. Beyond fear and hate, beyond doubt and anger, is the quiet stillness of Love in which all dreams end, including the happy dream of being host to that which is all-encompassing and eternal. Today we let a few beams of divine light in to warm us and show the way forward to the peace that – for a little while longer yet – surpasses understanding.

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