Let me recognize that my problems have been solved.
Lesson 80 of A Course in Miracles is so entangled with Lesson 79 it feels wrong somehow to take them separately. Yet without the clarity of the prior lesson, this one would lose some of its power. In practice, they merge together in a way that few other ACIM lessons do.
Lesson 79 teaches us that we must recognize the problem as it is in order for it to be solved. Lesson 80 gently extends the teaching: our problems are already solved. This is because we do not have multiple problems but rather a single problem – separation – and that problem has been solved. It was solved before it began.
Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other. Therefore, you must be at peace. Salvation thus depends on recognizing this one problem, and understanding that i has been solved (W-pI.80.1:2-4).
We are saved if we can accept as fact that we are not separate from God and therefore each and every problem that we appear to have is an illusion that requires no effort, intention or application from us.
Can we do this?
You are entitled to peace today. A problem that has been resolved cannot trouble you. Only be certain you do not forget that all problems are the same (W-pI.80.3:1-3).
This, then, is essential: our willingness to see all the problems the world presents to us as symptoms of the only problem we have. War, famine, flat tires, head colds, arguments at work, knotted shoe laces, undercooked fish . . .
Ego suggests that these are separate problems requiring separate solutions. It seems so rational! The solution to undercooked fish – cooking it longer – won’t help our tangled shoelaces. And at least we know how to untangle our shoelaces – we can’t say the same for ending war and famine.
Spirit gently insists that these are merely appearances, each reflecting the only problem we actually have. Mind believes it is fractured into parts, briefly at home in bodies, and constantly under siege. In fact, we remain as God created us: perfectly abstract, perfectly living, and forever free from sacrifice, suffering and death.
To give attention to Spirit is the lesson’s mandate. We need to open our minds to the truth of its teaching.
You have laid deception aside, and seen the light of truth. You have accepted salvation for yourself by bringing the problem to the answer. And you can recognize the answer because the problem has been identified (W-pI.80.2:4-6).
To see that all our problems arise out of the fundamental problem of separation, is to understand which problem needs to be solved. If we can hold the problem clearly in mind, then at the level of mind, we will be given the answer: we remain where – and as – God created us.
Salvation is a gentle shift in thought and nothing more. We take responsibility for how we think, and so our thoughts align with Spirit, who steers them gently back to love, patience, forgiveness, gentleness, wisdom and comfort. We think we are separate, and we suffer accordingly. We are not separated; love is our inheritance; joy and peace are our due, and we gain them by giving them unconditionally to all our brothers and sisters.