It is hard to appreciate the idea that salvation in A Course in Miracles is essentially a saving from something that never happened.
It is always important to remember that what we believe what we think and so – because we think that we are separated from God, and live a life premised on that separation – the separation is real to us. In truth it never happened. In our thoughts, it did.
Salvation is rescuing us from the mistaken belief that it is possible to forcibly leave God and set up divine shop on our own.
Thus, if we are going to be saved, the plan for 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 – the plan has to respect the mind’s mistaken belief.
The plan of salvation has to function in illusion and with illusion to undo illusion.
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.99.4:3)
This plan resides in our mind: 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.
Practicing Lesson 99 simply involves reminding ourselves of this truth as often as possible. We are giving five minutes every hour – and as often as practicable and desirable in between – to simply remembering that God is Love and that suffering and anguish are not God’s will.
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 which is, as Gertrude Stein once said, a form of insistence. Each time we remind ourselves that God is Love, the ego’s strength 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 – are the means by which the ego keeps the separation active in our minds. 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 – going home to God – is our function. 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.