We have to question everything that arises from the ego’s dualistic belief system (e.g., T-11.VIII.3:8). This is what the lessons help us do: they are a practical means to apply the principles of A Course in Miracles to the day-to-day reality of our lives. But our questioning has to be undertaken with our eyes on awakening to the truth of our identity in God. It can’t be mere brain chatter. It can’t be just another idea.
When our questioning is animated by forgiveness, it leads to the undoing of all illusions, which is what allows us to wake up.
In A Course in Miracles, to forgive is to “overlook” (T-9.IV.1:2). We don’t focus on the so-called error – whether it be harsh words in the mouth of a brother or sister or the harsh judgment of them in our mind. In both cases, our goal is to see past the so-called error – the harsh words or judgment – to the perfection of the given brother or sister. We want to see them as God sees them, not as ego sees them.
This is hard! And figuring out how to do it is a process, one that A Course in Miracles is given to guide us through. We have to be willing to look at the seeming cause of our upset and question its reality. This person’s words hurt my feelings. My hurt is proof that I am a separate body and that pain is possible. Yet if we stay with the questioning we can also ask: is there another way to see this?
It is not my strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive. As I begin to see, I recognize His reflection earth (W-pI.60.2:2-4).
That reflection reaches our memory as “the Love I chose to forget, but which has not forgotten me” (W-pI.60.:6).
This begets both joy and responsibility. Joy because joy is what we are in truth. And responsibility because we can only remember what we are in truth when we awaken others.
Yet when we accept this responsibility it becomes possible to remember the fundamental insight of Lesson 34 – I could see peace instead of this. We can release our need to be right – so and so is mean, or I really am a bad person, or whatever – and instead choose peace.
We only hurt because we have projected hurt outside of us. Unable to look at the pain inside us (because of ego’s interpretation of God as cruel and the self as unforgivable) – we push it onto others. They hurt us and we say, “I was right.” Their misdeeds become proof of ego’s dubious theory that God is mortally angry at us.
But if we question this thought process, then we can forgive it. If we see the hurt as being a projection we made, then the brother or sister who was the object of the projection can be seen as wholly innocent.
And we can also see that because we can see another way, then it must also be true that God is not actually angry at us and so we can look within. We can consider that there is another way live.
And then, inevitably, we remember our holiness.
As I open my eyes, God’s Love lights up the world for me to see. As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son (W-pI.60.5:3-5).
This can sound complicated – many steps in a process, many ideas that are hard to work through. But it really comes down to our willingness to be taught a new way of living. We reject our old way of learning, guided by ego, and choose instead the wholly reliable and wholly holy instruction of the Holy Spirit. In a sense, to choose the Holy Spirit as a guide is to choose the path of ACIM forgiveness, for the two are not separate.
Lesson 59 reminded us the separation was not real. Lesson 60 reminds us of the process by which we can accept that truth in a real and pragmatic way. We do not need to suffer. Are we ready to live in the peace of Christ and the Love of God?