Light and joy and peace abide in me.
I think this lesson is important at two levels. First, it bolsters our confidence here and now by reminding us that we are perfect as God created us. We are not lacking in any way, however much we believe otherwise. Second, at a deeper level, it reminds us that what we are trying to accomplish is already done. We are not on a search for something distant or hidden. Rather, we are clearing interior space the better to love what we already are in truth. There is a lot of practical value in realizing this because it reduces our focus on externals. It is hard to make inner progress towards peace when we are obsessed with what appears to be happening outside of us.
I say often that A Course in Miracles will batter a serious student. It will challenge you, pressure you, even frighten you. When you really look at the ego’s handiwork, then you are going to feel repulsed. You are going to feel terrified. The course suggests you might even feel suicidal (e.g., W-pI.93.1:3). We are not to take a warning like this lightly! You are going to feel sad and guilty and scared and angry. These feelings pass but while we’re in the midst of them it sucks. It really sucks. And that midst can last a long time! Or you think you’re past it and then you peel off another layer and the tears and suffering start all over again.
It’s a process that unfolds in a body in time. Anybody who says it’s all bliss all the time is not being honest. Here in the world we are learners, and our learning is challenging.
So we need sometimes to be reminded that it’s all okay. Right now it’s all okay. We forget that when we’re doing the work. We get so serious about being diligent students that we slip away from the natural joy and peace that is our inheritance, and which we are allowed to taste right now. And that’s why a lesson like Lesson 93 is so beautiful. It’s like a drink of water in the desert, a bed when we need to crash, a light in the darkness that threatens our soul.
It is so refreshing to spend a day reminding ourselves that we contain light and peace and beauty and joy. It is a gift to be allowed to discard the self we made for the creation of God that we are. We may not believe that yet; we may push against it for a while longer – it’s early in the workbook, relatively speaking. But still: we are creations of Love and our remembrance of this fact is not being withheld from us.
Try to experience the unity of your one Self. Try to appreciate Its holiness and the love from which it was created. Try not to interfere with the Self which God created as you, by hiding Its majesty behind the tiny idols of evil and sinfulness you have made to replace it. Let It come into Its Own (W-pI.93.9:3-6).
For me, Lesson 93 is a reminder that it’s okay to smile. It’s okay to be happy – to be nice to people, to have fun while teaching, to drink two cups of coffee, to linger watching the sun set or deer graze in a far field. Lesson 93 – essentially functioning as a microcosm of A Course in Miracles – gives us permission to be content, to be joyful even. “Here you are; this is You” (W-pI.93.9:7).
So enjoy this lesson at that level. You’re perfect. You are exactly as God created you and whatever else appears to obscure that truth can be set gently aside. You do not need to give attention to images of sin and regret, hate and evil, depression and suffering. It is okay – it is more than okay – to feel the quiet joy of your Creator.
A cynic – or a real hardcore student – might say, “okay fine. But you’re not really practicing A Course in Miracles when you walk around pretending your physical self in the physical world is real – even if you are being happy and kind and gentle. You’re just doubling down on the original error.”
Well, sure. I get that. And sometimes the lessons drive us in the direction of grappling with the underlying metaphysics of the course. That’s a good space to be in, too! But Lesson 93 – with its emphasis on joy, its encouragement and inspiration – is not a mere wade through the shallow end of the divine pool. If we want, it can also help us deepen at the level of Spirit – and for the very reason it is so liberating at the level of the body and the world.
That is, it is a tangible reminder that we are as God created us. And if that is so, then whatever we are seeking – whatever union we imagine the atonement will bring – is already inside of us. Right now we are capable of waking up. Right now we can go straight through the many illusions of self and world and other selves all the way to Heaven. This is what the lesson promises when it teaches us that “you are and will forever be exactly as you were created” (W-pI.93.7:6).
We aren’t chasing something that is outside of us. We aren’t inventing anything. We aren’t earning anything. We’ve already got everything there is. All A Course in Miracles does is remind us of this fact. It brings us into contact with this fact. It lets us ease into our real identity, our real self.
It lets us taste the peace and joy of our Creator in Heaven.
And the truth of this practice is that the more we are able to manifest happiness at the physical level, the more space we clear at the spiritual level. There is a correspondence here which the course invites us to notice and accept. It’s not so hard, you know? Or it doesn’t have to be. And that is perhaps the biggest lesson Lesson 93: waking up is easier than we think.
This is your best summary yet. Beautiful!
Well said. Also resonates with buddhism perhaps. I would love a rewritten course without the religious-male-god language. Love created me like itself, for instance, is great! Oh if only…😊 ..however, it probably connected with more christians this way, and who’s to say that it was not needed more for that group than others. And it can be fun crossing out words and putting others in to make it more digestible to the body. As if it’s not perfect, and that this body knows better.
Yeah the patriarchal language of the course – and the dogmatic attempts to justify it by certain notable teachers – is a real drag. As the urtext makes clear, Helen and Bill were working through a lot of issues around gender, sex, power and so forth.
I appreciate very much your open-mindedness about how even the sexism can be beneficial – by allowing some folks to feel safe with the material, and others to feel safe by clarifying through inclusiveness etc. It all sugars out in the end, right? 🙂
Thanks for being a kindred spirit and sharing the path.
I am grateful for your commentaries on ACIM. I don’t know whether you read these comments any more as this commentary is ten years old now but this is my second attempt at working through ACIM. The first time the lingo put me off but yours and other commentaries have helped me get beyond that this time. But yet, a quarter way through, the course has still given me no direct experience of what it’s talking about. It may as well be mumbojumbo to me at the moment and yes I have gone into my darkness and worked through things. Can you tell me if you have direct experience of what ACIM talks about? I ask this because you seem to be very much a thinker.
Thank you for sharing, Evie. Can I ask you a question, too? What is it that ACIM talks about that you have not experienced?
For me, A Course in Miracles has a very practical objective: it teaches us how to recognize the Voice the Holy Spirit and to listen to it rather than to the ego.
So yes. I have directly experienced that.
Discerning between the Holy Spirit and the ego is a practice; there were some dramatic moments early on in my practice but then it just became like work, like training for a marathon or staying on a diet or something like that. Learning a new language? That might be a better metaphor.
And then once you’ve learned how to HEAR the Holy Spirit, you have TRUST the Holy Spirit, and that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax:)
Over the years, as my ACIM practice has grown steadier and less prone to drama, and as I have gotten better at surrender and acceptance, a sense of quiet peace and happiness has become increasing prevalent. I don’t get anywhere near as rattled as I once did; I don’t argue very much. I tend to assume the best in people; I know that everything is working for good. I’m better at making things about other people, rather than me.
Statements like “I am not a body” and “there is no world” feel reasonable and even obvious. There is no separation – not between me and you, not between me and creation, and not between me and God.
All this flows from listening to the Holy Spirit, who says things like “go read David Bohm” or “forgive your father” or “call this friend and invite him for coffee” or “quit your job” or “comment on that guy’s blog.”
And I do it – even when it seems scary or counterproductive or just silly, I do it. And as a consequence, I am happy in ways that I wish for all people – ways that are sustainable, nondramatic – and for which I am deeply grateful.
Does that make sense?
Don’t give up Evie!
Ok well it seems that I will have to surrender to the subtlety of the process. No ‘wham bang thankyou ma’m’ scenario then. Six years ago (I was 66yo at the time) I surrendered to the Universe, God, source or whatever. Since then it’s been an emotional roller coaster ride.. One year in and I was contemplating suicide when a message appeared on my computer ‘don’t kill yourself, just do something to stop the pain’’. Bleeding obvious really but I had not thought of that before! And so I transitioned, I am transgender, but the thought of transitioning had never entered my head. Since then there have been many ‘coincidences’. I need something – it comes to me some time later. The little points of light that I have seen all my life suddenly seemed to fit in with all this. So maybe that is what some would call the Holy Spirit. I have no idea. Perhaps my problem lies around expectations. Someone else referred to them as a type of grievance. All mind stuff of course. I shall persevere. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer. Take care.
Thank you, Evie. Honestly, what you are describing resonates for me in terms of guidance – you need something and there it is, sometimes without even knowing you need it. I don’t think what we call the guidance matters, but I do think that giving attention to it, being grateful for it, making space for it, inviting it to help us help others et cetera can make for a very happy way to live. A Course in Miracles is emphatic that “awakening from the dream” – language it uses – is not a solo adventure. We are here to help, care, listen, laugh and love to the best of our limited abilities. I know it’s the internet and all that, but you sound clear to me.
For me, yes, the process has been subtle but that doesn’t mean it has to be for everyone. If you need a big bang type of experience, perhaps go into that? Ask for it – or ask to know why it matters. You are obviously a strong person – I don’t think the cosmos are going to give you more than you can handle 🙂
Thank you for reading and sharing here, and please feel free to keep in touch.
Thanks Sean for your comments and for hosting this site.
I practiced this lesson today: ‘Light and joy and peace abide in me’.
Context: perhaps l’m very lucky, but l’ve always had from a a very young age, a sense and a feeling of the pureness and goodness inside me. This was always an unshakable experiential way of being. All ‘my mistakes’ and so on were seen as peripheral. Now l find that is what the Course is teaching – mistakes, errors and faults do not ultimately exist.
About 2 years ago while meditating, l had the experience of seeing a big ball of golden light rise up from below my heart into my line of vision. lt was an experience more real than anything l had experienced up until that point. The light was of unspeakable and indescribable beauty, purity and perfection. Utterly majestic, breathtaking and my heart was pounding in my chest at the sacredness of it. lt was not of this world. l had not started doing the Course at that point in time though.
Now, from time to time, the Holy Spirit brings this experience into the fore of my awareness, along with a sacred feeling in my being, and a trembling of something l don’t have words to describe in my stomach, to reinforce the truth of the lessons, the teachings, the wisdom and the messages as a lived experience.
For the past few days during my meditation, He has been bringing this experience to my awareness as a constant, which matches today’s lesson perfectly. “My sinlessness is guaranteed by God”. When l am aware of the immense profoundness of this experience of the inner golden light with a feeling of sacredness in my being, l know that opposing, worrying egoic beliefs and thoughts are “based on nothing”. Jesus tells us in the lesson that, “The self you made does not exist at all”. And that “Anything it seems to think and do means nothing.” “lt is unreal, and nothing more than that”. When l have this experience of the golden ball of light within and the emotions of something indescribable in my being, the ego completely vanishes into nothingness, long before the dawning of the truth inside me is revealed. And l know that nothing that is of the ego, can ever matter, or be real.
Thank you for sharing Jayney. Perhaps it is luck but it sounds more like a gift, and like all gifts, one that you are giving away. It is a beautiful moment to perceive egolessness, and to know the peace that is our real identity.
Thankyou for all of your wonderful insights that you present in such a gentle and caring way. I’m fairly new to ACiM and currently up to lesson 66.
I had an experience today of finding myself reading about some horrific ‘true’ events and having a sudden panic moment of thinking “if I’m looking at my own subconscious, is this what I really think I am!” I felt this disgust rise up in me and I did my best to step back from my judgement of myself and ask the Holy Spirit to help me see what he sees. A thought popped into my head “you believe you are the home of evil darkeness and sin”
I googled the the phrase, found lesson 93 bawled my eyes out with realief as I read it and then my search landed on this article. I don’t really know where I’m going with this message except that I wanted to connect with someone who understands the roller coaster of trying to let go of a seemingly entrenched ego thought system as well as to share my gratitude for you and your quiet, comforting confidence that only the truth is true. I’m in a much calmer place than I was 30 mins ago.
Thank you ♥️🌟♥️
Thank you Faience. I am so happy it was helpful, and so grateful to connect with you. Hidden in our shared mind is salvation, and these synchronicities and kindnesses are lights undoing the darkness. Love holds everything 🙏🙏