A Course in Miracles Lesson 230

Now will I seek and find the peace of God.

What is true does not change. But do we know what that is? We know the meaning of the words, yes. “What is true does not change.” We can say the words, argue about them, and even modify them. But are we actually in touch with what does not change?

Do we know what is true?

A Course in Miracles teaches us that the peace of God lies in understanding the simple fact that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists (T-in.2:2-3). What does not change cannot be threatened; it is immune to harm. It wasn’t born and it does not die. It’s beyond time and beyond the body.

Do you know what it is? Could you name it? Could you share it? Could you taste or touch or hear it?

The course says that what cannot change is our own self (W-pII.230.1:3). Our real self was created in peace and it remains in peace, which does not change (W-pII.230.1:1-2). God does not make mistakes and what He creates is forever true. But we have to want to know it. We have to want to know more than we want to forget. Our goal in a sense is the end of our own wilfull ignorance.

We have to want – we have be willing to work to go – beyond whatever passing comfort these ideas (and ideas like them) appear to offer us. We don’t want to be merely consoled; we don’t want a temporary respite. We want to know the truth of our identity. What I am does not change. It is true forever. Show it to me, Jesus!

The peace in which Your Son was born into Your Mind is shining there unchanged. I am as You created me (W-pII.230.2:3-4).

This self cannot be a body, right? Bodies change over time – their appearance changes, their abilities change, and eventually they lay down and die. Ideas change, too. They can be modified or discarded. They can be forgotten as easily as they can be cherished and shared.

Keep going. The world changes. Season to season, landscape to landscape, epoch to epoch. The Universe changes. Once it was hot quark soup and now it’s a vast expanding space full of stars and planets, and black holes and dark matter.

Can you find a single thing that does not change? Will you consider the possibility that if you do find it – if you can perceive it, name it, discuss it – then it is not eternal but just another idea or object? Just another data point in another data point’s range of perception and cognition. It takes humility and courage to see this. It takes willingness.

Seeking the thing that never changes – and realizing the futility of the search from the perspective of our shared human existence – is hard. It throws us into the awareness that our resources – our physical energy, our intelligence, our conditioning, our culture, our tools and textbooks, literally everything that we call the world and the self – are inadequate. Neti neti unto everything, including “neti neti.” There are reasons most of us don’t take the inquiry this far. It is not a comfortable space.

For some of us, the “answer” to “what thing doesn’t change” is “awareness itself” or “consciousness.” Which, fine. I understand the way in which that feels like it’s the answer. Certainly it represents the far reaches of our perceptual and cognitive capacities. There is a pleasing sense of finality to it.

Another default is to find the one who is aware of thought – we call this one the witness, the watcher, the observer. Reaching the “I Am” can be a significant step in this particular version of the journey. But in and of itself, it is not the answer. It’s just another way station. Indeed, Nisargadatta said “I am” was the first ignorance, the first illusion, and the first deception.

What are we supposed to then?

The lesson tells us to seek peace – the peace that comes from knowing in a felt and realized way that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists. What was true remains true. What is true will always be true. It invites us to accept ourself as God accepts us; to know our self in Creation as Creation.

This is the penultimate lesson in the Workbook’s focused section about forgiveness. And it does not mention “forgiveness” once! It merely invites us to enter confidently into relationship with God. That natural fruit of that relationship is peace – but not because of anything we do or don’t do. Because of what God does, which is to say, what God wills.

When we reach a juncture where we can accept God’s Will in place of ours, then we can let go of judgment, which is the foundation of all our activity. It’s not that things stop getting done. It’s that our relationship to what happens changes because we are no longer in charge. It is – to borrow and slightly adapt a trusted metaphor – the difference between driving the bus, with all the stress and demands that go along with that, and just riding the bus, gazing out the window at the passing landscape, happily chatting with fellow travelers.

We have an idea that we have to be active and responsible. We have to be in charge or know who’s in charge. We have to have a plan, others need to buy into our plan. And the Course is saying, no. You don’t have to do any of that.

Not doing is harder than it sounds. We turn it into a doing, right? We evaluate how effectively or not effectively we are doing nothing. And then we are back in the same old pattern of resistance and distraction and delay.

But this is a lesson about confidence. This is a lesson about realizing that confidence placed in ourselves is not the answer, while confidence placed in God is. It is a new way of being in the world, because it releases us from the illusory idea that we are in charge or responsible for salvation. Deep inside us is a tiny spark of knowledge that speaks for the peace of God that is inherent.

What is true needs no defense; it simply is. Today we ask that our awareness of it be rekindled. We give attention to our inner doubt and uncertainty and, when we notice it, we accept it. If we didn’t doubt, we wouldn’t need A Course in Miracles and other spiritual paths. But even our doubt is accommodated by God because it, too, comes and goes. It, too, is enfolded in forgiveness, and thereby brought to peace.

Let it be done and realize it was always thus.

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A Course in Miracles Lesson 229

Love, which created me, is what I am.

Here is the answer to all our questions about what we are and what is our function. Love, which created us, is what we are (W-pII.229.h).

But for many of us – certainly I am one – the answer is like a bright light that obscures its own simplicity. We all know that Love is what we are. Most of us were saying that, or something like it, long before we even encountered A Course in Miracles.

Why is it so hard to accept? Why do we place so many obstacles to its acceptance?

And are those even the right questions to ask?

I want to suggest that the real gem in this lesson is just behind the main idea and it’s this: “Now need I seek no more” (W-pII.229.1:2).

There are two important aspects to this idea, which are equally challenging to our acceptance of the primary idea the lesson offers.

The first is that our spiritual journey is over. We don’t have to wander the earth looking for good books and websites, gurus and teachers, retreats and churches. All that was a distraction. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t the answer.

It is very hard to accept that all our so-called spiritual work – reading and re-reading Tara Singh, studying and applying the lessons, finding good therapists, meditation and yoga, all of it – was just froth at the tip of the wave. No more and no less.

Our ego doesn’t want to admit that! We want our journey to have been meaningful, full of direction and clarity, and always productive. And the Course is saying, that’s not so.

It’s not so because what we were seeking was always already given to us. It was what we are – right here, right now. Therefore, not only is there nothing to seek, it was seeking that obscured the truth.

This is an extension of the ACIM premise that the secret to salvation is that we are doing this to our own self (T-27.VIII.10:1).

This is the other aspect of this idea that can be challenging to us. Love is what we are but we clearly don’t know it, and all our instinct and all our conditioning teaches us to go find it. Study, learn, read, meditate, sit at the feet of the guru, sit in the front of the classroom et cetera.

And none of that will do. That’s just the same old useless dream – empty and meaningless – reasserting itself. It’s mechanical; it just runs of its own accord, and carries us with it.

What is the other way? Look at the lesson carefully, especially these sentences:

Love has prevailed. So still It waited for my coming home, that will turn away no longer from the holy face of Christ (W-pII.229.1:3-4).

Love does the work and the work it does is . . . wait. It doesn’t call to us, it doesn’t get all active in our lives. It just . . . waits. Are we finished with our silly seeking? Our pointless speculation about spirit and God?

Remember what the introduction to this sequence of lessons said about forgiveness. It is “still and quietly does nothing” (W-pII.1.4:1).

It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not (W-pII.1.4:2-3).

When we release judgment – which, yes, has to be learned and re-learned, applied and re-applied – then what see reveals the “holy face of Christ” (W-pII.229.1:4). This is not a thing we do but a thing we know when we stop insisting that our way – our ideas, our rituals, our plans – are equal in any way to God’s. Everything we look upon and reflect upon “attests the truth of the Identity I sought to lose” (W-pII.229.1:5).

Our seeking was a form of refusing to realize what was always true. Seeking was a form of hiding, avoiding and obscuring. Can we – for a few minutes today – not seek? Can we simply look, wait and judge not?

Can we – for a moment even – be the Love that in Creation we have always been? What else in the end becomes us?

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A Course in Miracles Lesson 228

God has condemned me not. No more do I.

Essential to our understanding and practice of A Course in Miracles is the idea that we have not left our Source. In the context of separation, this is an idea. It seems like a concept that needs to be explored, understood, supported by evidence, argued over, brought into application, assessed and re-assessed . . .

Which, okay. We can do that. In some ways, we have to do that. But in another way – and this lesson is an example of that other way – we don’t need to do anything at all other than give it our full attention and see what happens.

My holiness remains a part of me, as I am part of You. And my mistakes about myself are dreams. I let them go today (W-pII.228.2:3-5).

The “dreams” are nightmares, really. They are dreams of actually separating from our source, wandering the world alone and vulnerable, eking out a living at the expense and welfare of others, and eventually dying.

All we are really being asked to let go of is the illusion that we can suffer because we are bodies. Is there, perhaps, another way?

And the answer is, yes, because the answer is always yes, and because A Course in Miracles exists because two people agreed to work together to find a way out of the nightmare of separation.

Can God be mistaken? If you hem and haw, bring your attention to your dearest love – your son or daughter, niece or nephew, cousin or aunt, dog or cat or horse. Are you mistaken about your love for them?

If you can be so certain of your love, how much more certain can God be of His?

It’s important to see the latent arrogance in our convction that we are not worthy of God’s Love – that we don’t deserve it because of what we have decided we are.

Shall I deny His knowledge and believe in what His knowledge makes impossible? Shall I accept as true what He proclaims as false? (W-pII.1:2-3)

We set ourselves up as little gods – we refuse our Creator – and then wonder why everything goes sideways. We don’t need to re-assert our worth here. We need to become humble about it. We need to become grateful.

Father, I was mistaken in myself, because I failed to realize the Source from which I came . . . And I stand ready to receive Your Word alone for what I really am (W-pII.228.2:1, 6).

We have not left our Source. The idea that we are bodies in a world is an illusion predicated on a grandiose error you have to consciously avoid looking at in order not to laugh it away. Separation takes an unbelievable amount of effort!

So in quiet and stillness then, we open our minds to revelation. We invite God to speak in us the truth about us, so that we will remember together our shared inheritance as fully loved and fully loving.

We are yet deceived about our true nature, but the blocks and defenses are far less effective than they once were. There are chinks in the armor. Let us today become defenseless again, in order that we might hear all of Creation sing its hymn of praise to us.

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A Course in Miracles Lesson 227

This is my holy instant of release.

The will that we share with God is creative, loving and merciful. Most of us like those adjectives and will happily adopt them as our own. But absent the experience of knowing God’s Will as our own, they degene. rate into magic. They become mantras we use to distract ourselves from the real work of giving up dreams born of separation.

God’s Will extends only Love. But this love is impersonal and neutral. Like sunlight it does not distinguish between the objects it rests upon. As Jesus said so long ago, God causes the rain to fall on the just and unjust alike. Distinctions and evaluation are separative, not unitive.

We do not have to magically – or supernaturally – undo judgment. We can’t do that. All we can do is see the way that our will is presently not aligned with God, and then become willing to learn a new way of seeing. “Seeing” here is a term of art that is closer to psychology than physiology.

It is tempting always to ask what does God’s Will create? But that is a confusion arising from our sense of being separate from Creation. We think that creation means writing a poem or baking a pie or having a child. Those things are fine – do then or don’t. They are just examples of the physical reproducing itself.

God’s will “creates” by extending itself, and what is created is a sense of peace and happiness. But, again, not the peace and happiness of “I got what I wanted and/or needed.” It is a peace and happiness that transcends the body’s narrow definition of contentedness.

We don’t want to rush ourselves into pretending that we know God’s Will is ours. We want to gently question our conclusions, and keep our mind clear and ready. Forgiveness waits (W-pII.1.4:3). Forgiveness is ready to receive. And when it does receive, what it receives surpasses understanding and extends itself naturally, without effort.

Imagine a prism. When sunlight passes through it, beautiful rainbows appear. The prism doesn’t decide to do this or consent to do it. It doesn’t work for some light but not other light. Its function is what it is, and it cannot refuse that function.

We are like prisms unto the light of God. As that light reaches us, and extends through us, it becomes beautiful and radiant – not because WE want it that way, but because what it is and what we are harmonize in this particular way. Love is extended naturally, without qualification or condition, and we become happy accordingly.

God’s Will is merciful in the specifically ACIM sense of not perceiving “sin” at all. It corrects errors without dwelling on them. It does not accept the judgment that renders some things – some people, places, objects or ideas – as better than or worse than others.

True mercy is intent only on knowing the other as God knows them, which means we have to set aside our internal standards of evaluation – the body’s craving for survival, the conditioned mind’s service unto that goal. Who are your brothers and sisters really? How do you know?

All of this is hard to do because it is unfamiliar. The body – and the mind conditioned to believe it is the body – are like a river used to flowing a certain way. It takes practice and devotion to reroute it. But this lesson is clear that our practice and devotion do not necessitate time. It may take time to awaken; but also, this instant may itself be our instant of “holy release.”

Therefore, we come to the present with gratitude and humility. Our intention is to set aside fantasies of our spiritual growth, our inner peace, and our happiness. They have brought us nothing but grief and pain, and we would accept – and offer – a new gift.

Today, in our time with God, let us lay down our many defenses against love – all the projections, all the distractions, all the worries – and simply wait in joyful hope to remember together the home we never left, and the Creator whose Will to create we share.

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A Course in Miracles Lesson 226

My home awaits me. I will hasten there.

A Course in Miracles invites us to reconsider the purpose of the world. What is the reason it exists? What is it for?

If I believe it has a value as I see it now, so will it still remain for me. But if I see no value in the world as I behold it, nothing that I want to keep as mine or search for as a goal, it will depart from me (W-pII.226.1:3-4).

The suggestion is that we investigate the world’s value. Do we care whether the snow will make it harder to drive to work? Are we resentful because have cancer or a migraine? Do we care more about our kids than kids in a warzone on the other side of the globe?

For most of us, if we are honest, we have to say yes. We perceive differences, and we evaluate those differences based on what they either take from or give to us, and we judge them good or bad accordingly.

The question isn’t whether living this way is natural or right or wrong. It’s whether it makes us happy or unhappy. And, again, if we are honest, most of us are not happy in a natural, sustainable and enduring way.

Most of us, when we are happy, it’s because we believe we are gaining something. But in order for us to get anything in the world, somebody else has to go without. Can we truly be happy if our brothers and sisters suffer on our account?

A Course in Miracles is not a spiritual path that fixes this problem. It’s not about learning some philosophical trick to retranslate experience or using the intellect to rearrange the facts of experience, making them add up to anything other than zero.

It’s about letting go of the world as a site of loss or gain altogether. Not even death counts as loss against our power to choose salvation.

If I so choose, I can depart this world entirely. It is not death which makes this possible, but it is a change of mind about the purpose of the world (W-pII.226.1:1-2).

This “change of mind” is a decision to no longer seek to replace the truth with illusions (W-pII.226.1:5). We are willing to have a world of competition, of winners and losers, of fear of loss and dread of suffering be gently washed away a love that is not of the world.

Father . . . Your Arms are open and I hear Your Voice. What need have I to longer in a place of vain desires and of shattered dreams, when Heaven can so easily be mine? (W-pII.226.2:1-3).

The Truth is, and is revealed when we stop insisting that we know what it is. We are not here because we are spiritual experts and giants in Christ. We are here because we are confused and have thus invested wrongly. This lesson is yet another reminder – and thus another opportunity – to choose again another way.

Let us rest in the hope that the way home will be shown to us today, and if not today then tomorrow or the day after. There is no need to postpone the end of suffering. Let us consent to be taught how to remember Christ together, and in the remembrance gather all our brothers and sisters, so that together we might be restored to the Love of God.

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A Course in Miracles Lesson 225

God is my Father, and His Son loves Him.

Lessons 224 and 225 are a kind of dyad, the one bringing forth the other, in a cycle of endless creation. God loves me, and I love God. And, because “giving and receiving are one,” there is in truth only one love (W-pII.225.1:1).

In the action of love – in loving – the form of the giver and the receiver are undone. It is rest that we seek, and the rest is given when we realize that we ARE what we seek. This long spiritual journey – this dark night of the soul, this lonesome valley, this Via Dolosa – was all an illusion.

We who are one with God can neither leave God nor return to God. These lessons – indeed, the whole structure and content of A Course in Miracles – are merely “steps which end a journey that was not begun” (W-pII.225.2:5).

In practice (which for a little while longer is our method and our mode), this means giving attention to our desire to know God. We want to reach the well of Love; we want to see the Face of the Lord and live; we want to come unto the Source of all being.

Where does that want live? How does it appear? What does it ask of me? How do I know?

I don’t want to do anything with these inquiries! I don’t want to say, well, I am going to shout from the rooftop my love for God. Or I am going to wear sackcloth as evidence of my love.

I am not going to become invested in the so-called answers to those inquiries.

Rather, I am going to open my mind and heart to the desire itself, and I am going to see what happens. I am going to become still and quiet, giving myself to the experience which has no name and cannot be contained in language.

The words and the activity will come later. We aren’t giving anything up; we aren’t giving anything away. We are simply offering ourselves to the love that is inherent, that is given, that is in us but not of us.

When we know it, it is a source of rest and joy. It is a source of peace. There is no doubt in it, and no uncertainty. It does not leave us and we cannot leave it, because it is us.

And if we do not remember that Love today, we remind ourselves it is not a crime against God or nature to be confused. This isn’t a race to be won. We are not here to persuade a judge to take our side. If in this breath I do not remember that God’s Name and mine are one, then in the next breath I will.

And if not in that breath, then the next.

Our confidence arises not out of our own supposed strength and devotion, but out of our relationship with Jesus, who has heard our cry for help and pledged to never abandon us (W-pII.225.2:4).

We are in this together, and our companions are mighty. For this alone, we can be grateful. Our gratitude allows us to perceive, however dimly, the “kindly light, inviolate, beloved” (W-pII.225.1:2) that IS our shared identity in Christ, who is the Father, who is Love Itself, in which even the idea of journeying ends.

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