A Course in Miracles Lesson 198

Only my condemnation injures me.

The power of belief is such that we can believe that we are vulnerable to injury; the evidence that we do believe this is evident in our condemnation of our brothers and sisters. We receive what we offer. As we condemn – as we make illusion appear real to us – we are in turn condemned.

Condemn and ou are made a prisonder. Forgive and you are freed. Such is the law that rules perception (W-pI.198.2:1-3).

Yet perceptions “laws” are illusory; to believe them is to believe a lie. In truth, condemnation is impossible. Yet so long as we believe in it, then it is real for us.

A Course in Miracles – and the practice of forgiveness informing it – is an illusion wielded by the Holy Spirit that our willingness to indulge illusion at all might be undone.

Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. All illusions save this one must multipy a thousandfold. But this is where illusions end. Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking (W-pI.198.3:1-4).

Forgiveness – and that which is perceived under its influence – is not truth itself, but it points to what is true, and to God, with a certainty that cannot be denied by any Child of God.

Given this means of salvation, why do we not avail ourselves of it? Why do we insist on suffering when perfect happiness and peace are offered without condition or qualification?

The lesson invites us not to analze that question, but to answer it once and for all. It is tempting to use the intellect to tease apart of the meaning of the words, to explore the myriad possibilities they entail.

It is not a crime against God or nature to play with langauge this way! Analysis is not forbidden! But there is a space in which the intellect avails us nothing, and some other means of understanding and acting must be evoked. As Abhishiktananda said, logos (language and logic) get us to the entrance of the Cave to the Heart but they do not help us enter.

We are haunted, yes. We fear there is no mercy anywhere. We believe in death and dread hell.

And yet.

The stillness of your Self remains unmoved, untouched by thoughts like these, and unaware of any condemnation which could need forgiveness . . . today we practice letting freedom come to make its home with you (W-pI.198.8:1, 9:1).

It is a simple prayer to understand. It is difficult – murderously so – to practice.

Only my condemnation injures me.
Only my own forgiveness sets me free

A Course in Miracles invites us – begs us, really – to “accept one illusion which proclaims there is no condemnation in God’s Son,” which naturally restores Heaven to awareness, and unveils Christ, all in one fell swoop (W-pI.198.10:1).

This is the gift the Holy Spirit holds for your from God your Father. Let today be celebrated both on earth and in your holy hoe as well. Be kind to Both, as you forgive the trespasses you through Them guilty of, and see your innocence shining upon you from the face of Christ (W-pI.198.10:2-4).

When we accept this gift – when we are even willing to consider accepting the gift – the Word of God echoes in our heart and spreads a soft light over the world. It is no longer possible to fear nor doubt; we reject no brother or sister.

Our joy becomes our union with all of life, and our sincere desire to celebrate our holiness in and with it.

This celebration is the final instant of perception. For in it, all symbols are undone, and all that remains is the Mind of God which knows its Child as one with Him.

There is no condemnation in him. He is perfect in his holiness. . . . In this vision of the Son, so brief that not an instant stands between this single sight and timelessness itself, you see the vision of yourself, and then you disappear forever into God (W-pI.198.12:1-2, 6).

This is the future; this has not yet occurred. We are not ready. But we are given the means by which to bring it as close to us as the next breath. Let us pray together, and let nothing come between us to disturb the stillness that we share as Christ.

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