Only God’s plan for salvation will work.
Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.
To the extent we actually have problems, one of them might be that we insist on looking for salvation where it cannot be found, and thus go on in anguish and suffering when peace and happiness are literally at hand.
What does this mean in practice? It means that we look for salvation in the other – a better partner say. A new spiritual teacher. A job with more money or less responsibility. A body that looks like this rather than that. Running instead of yoga, yoga instead of watching sitcoms. We buy into the body and the world as causes and we start looking for the right one. And then we are lost.
Because there is no “right one” in the world. Salvation is an inside job and it never fails. But we have to remember to look for it. We have to insist on “no more idle seeking” (W-pI.86.2:6).
What we are in truth – which is to say, in Creation – is not separate from God. That is why God’s plan for salvation is in our mind – because our mind is an extension of God’s mind, and “ideas leave not their source” (T-26.VII.4:7).
Yet has God given answer to the world of sickness, which applies to all its forms. God’s answer is eternal, though it works in time, where it is needed. Yet because it is of God, the laws of time do not affect its workings. It is in this world, but not a part of it. For it is real, and dwells where all reality must be (T-26.VII.4:2-6).
That is a lovely description of salvation: and remember, it describes the contents of our mind, because it is the mind we share with God.
Today’s review distinguishes between what we are in truth – the light of the world, blessed Creations of a wholly perfect and loving Creator – and what ego is. Ego has its own agenda, its own plan. Its plan revolves in part around grievances. It’s a grievance collector.
Grievances are attacks on the Holy Instant, on the present, because they cherish the past. Not only are they focused on the past, but they are a perception of the past that insists on seeing only a brother or sister’s errors. Grievances are deeply invested in the self as contained by – forever bound to – a body, struggling and stumbling through a world of pain and confusion, forever in conflict with other bodies.
It is not possible to clear a space for the calm light of grace when we are torn by fear and hatred like this.
Lesson 86 reminds us of that we are called to a form of forgiveness that transcends the limitations of the body and the world. It aims to make the stakes clear. We cannot remember peace and experience joy if we are not vigilant against ego’s habit of getting us to focus on its agenda instead of God’s. And the way it does this is by utilizing grievances. To grieve is to overlook the radiant present in which harm is not possible at all.
Salvation – as our Creator extends it, and as we know it in our shared mind – is present the moment we choose it. Time and space end in that choice. We are not earning anything, or making anything, or traveling to far lands to reclaim something. We aren’t actually on a journey. Salvation is simple because it’s here now. The miracle always returns us to this moment, allowing us to choose again in favor of Love.