Salvation is my only function here.
It is challenging sometimes to remember that salvation in A Course in Miracles is essentially a saving from something that never happened. Indeed, salvation can be said to be the simple remembrance that separation is an illusion, not an actual problem that we are charged with solving.
[Salvation] reflects the truth because it is the means by which you can escape illusions. Yet it is not yet the truth because it undoes what was never done (W-pI.99.2:4-5).
Hence, salvation reflects a kind of helpful borderland – a liminal space – that, like forgiveness, allows us to “undo” what was never done (W-pI.99.2:3).
We believe what we think, and project a world that confirms our beliefs. Therefore, because we believe that we are separated from God and Creation, and live a life premised on that separation – the separation is effectively real to us. In truth it never happened. In our thoughts, it did. So we need correction, rescue, help.
Salvation rescues us from the mistaken belief that it is possible to forcibly leave God and set up divine shop on our own. It corrects the mistaken belief, and thus realigns the mind with Reality.
Thus, if we are going to be saved, salvation must do two things. First, it has to recognize that what the mind thinks happened, never happened. But second – and in apparent contradiction of the first point – it has to respect the mind’s mistaken belief.
The plan of salvation has to function both in illusion and with illusion in order to undo illusion. Of this plan, A Course in Miracles is effusive.
What joins the separated mind and thoughts with Mind and Thought which are forever one? What plan could hold the truth inviolate, yet recognize the need illusions bring, and offer means by which they are undone without attack, and with no touch of pain? What but a Thought of God could be this plan, by which the never done is overlooked, and sins forgotten which were never real? (W-pI.99.4:1-3)
This plan resides in our healed mind and is the Holy Spirit’s domain. It is the simple idea that our only function is salvation, that God is still love, and that what we appear to endure in separation is not God’s will but an illusion readily undone.
Practicing Lesson 99 simply involves reminding ourselves of this truth as often as possible. We give five minutes every hour – and as often as practicable and desirable in between – to remembering that God is Love, that suffering and anguish are not God’s will, and that we are not separate from God.
All the world of pain is not his will. Forgive yourself the Thought He wanted this for you. Then let the Thought with which He has replaced all your mistakes enter the darkened places of your mind that thought the thoughts that never were His will (W-pI.99.7:4-6).
Our job in this lesson is to create space. We do this through repetition. Each time we remind ourselves that God is Love, and are open to the truth of it, then the ego’s capacity for disruption and chaos is diminished. Our minds long to dwell in the simple clarity of God. All that is asked of us is willingness.
Importantly, Lesson 99 also asks us to surrender our secrets: to keep nothing from God. This matters! The dark corners of our mind – the secrets that we would keep to ourselves forever – are the means by which the ego keeps the separation active in our minds. They beget shame, guilt, resentment and other forms of fear. Thus we are asked to “[o]pen your secrets to His kindly light, and see how bright this light still shines in you (W-pI.99.8:4).
Salvation is our function because remembering God is our function. And it is not a question of whether we will go, but when.
You cannot lose the gifts your Father gave. You do not want to be another self. You have not function that is not of God (W-pI.99.10:2-4).
Thus, Lesson 99 is simultaneously a call to deepen our practice through repetition of the simple idea that God is Love, but it also reassures us that we cannot fail to remember God. There is a pervasive confidence in this lesson: a sense that we are ready at last to give over to the Holy Spirit all that we would withhold from God and thus be liberated to know again the Love that is our Source and true identity.