I have a function God would have me fill.
We do not appear to live in a world that is governed by the laws of love. There is suffering everywhere. There is war and famine. There is injustice. We may scrape some crumbs of solace and peace here and there, but we are ever under threat, and always our brothers and sisters are understood as enemies or potential allies, but never as wholly innocent.
How in such a world can we complete our function of completing God Himself?
. . . you have a function in the world in its own terms . . . Forgiveness represents your function here (W-pI.192.2:2, 3).
Forgiveness is the means by which we are able to let our illusions go. Creation does not wait for our return in order to be completed – what God created one cannot be divided – but rather our acknowledgment, our recognition that is – and it alone – is real.
Bodies represent limits; the world represent a limit. Creation, which is one and perfect “cannot even be conceived of in this world” (W-pI.192.3:1) because it has no form (W-pI.192.3:4). But forgiveness – which reflects a way of perceiving the world guided by the Holy Spirit – can translate into form that which is entirely formless (W-pI.192.3:5).
This is still an an illusion! It is still a dream but it is a dream “so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain” (W-pI.192.3:6).
By perceiving form as illusory, the specific form disappears, and is replaced by “the Word of God” (W-pI.192.4:1). This is still a symbol, but it is the final symbol, because in it both the fear of death and the attraction of guilt are undone (W-pI.192.4:2). The body thus becomes a teaching aid and the world a classroom, both of which can be “laid by when learning is complete” (W-pI.192.4:3).
Critically, the “laying by” – the letting go – does not affect the learner (W-pI.192.4:3). This reinforces the fundamental Course teachings that there is no world (W-pI.132.6:2) and we are not bodies (W-pI.199.8:7).
Really, what our practice of forgiveness teaches us, is that we are not bodies but rather minds, and absent a body, a mind cannot make mistakes (W-pI.192.5:1). Minds cannot die, and therefore are not subject to the scarcity principle. They cannot be deprived; they have no need of defense, and therefore no need to attack.
When we remember that we are childen of our Father in Heaven, we are not referring to the embodied self, much less a being in the world, but rather to Mind Itself. Forgiveness – because it discerns between what is false and what is true, which is the undoing of all illusions in the body in the world – teaches us that we are Mind.
Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness (W-pI.192.5:6-7).
This is the end of fear and anger and the beginning of true service, which is always the extension of justice and mercy. It rests on the understanding that nothing real can be threatened, and nothing unreal exists. Love holds everything; there is nothing else.
We are one, and therefore give up nothing. But we have indeed been given everything by God (W-pI.192.6:5-6).
It is this forgiveness teaches, because it is the only lesson we would teach the world. To be born again in Christ is simply to be willing to perceive only Christ in all people, places and things.
. . . hold no one prisoner. Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free. The way is simple. Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword over your own head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free (W-pI.192.9:1-5).
The brother or sister who angers you is thus our savior by allowing us to remember that we are doing this to our self (T-27.VIII.10:1), and that we can choose to do something else. We can choose to remember what we are in truth – God’s Creation, perfect, pure and holy beyond the world’s ability to measure or imagine.
And in that memory, we are saved, and all our brothers and sisters saved with us.
Be merciful today. The Son of God deserves your mercy. It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now (W-pI.192.10:1-3).
We share God’s Love, and we remember we share it as we offer it to one another. It is our practice of forgiveness – which, in this context, means remembering our brother or sister is God’s beloved Child and thus merits only love and respect – that makes it so.