Sink into the happiness, peace and joy that forgiveness offers you.
Remarks: You have reached the turning point in the road, after which it becomes far easier. You are near the end of the journey. Practice in the hope and faith that salvation will be yours today. Seek it earnestly and gladly, aware you hold the key, aware the end is guaranteed. The light you receive today will cause this world to fade away and another to rise in its place.
Shorter: every 15 minutes, for 1 minute--at least
Say: "Forgiveness offers everything I want. Today I have accepted this as true. Today I have received the gifts of God."
REMARKS: Do not let the gifts you receive in the longer exercise recede and be forgotten as you go through the day. Hold them firmly in mind by doing the shorter exercises.
Behind every appearance lies something that does not change. Appearances change, and rapidly. This is true both physically and in more subtle perceptions. But the spirit within us does not change, having been created by the eternal. Forgiveness is a way of looking past the appearances to the unchanging reality. It disregards the temporary picture of the ego's mistakes and sees the Son of God. As Mother Teresa said of each one she helped, we see "Christ, in his distressing disguises."
"Forgiveness lets the veil be lifted up that hides the face of Christ from those who look with unforgiving eyes upon the world" (3:1).
Forgiveness is giving up all the reasons we have built up for withholding love. The veil of all our judgments is lifted, and we behold something marvellous, something wonderful, something indescribable. "What you will remember then can never be described" (8:4). (So I won't try!) When forgiveness has removed the blocks to our awareness of love's presence, we see love everywhere. Love is unchanging and unchangeable. There is no wonder, then, that forgiveness offers everything we want, bringing peace, happiness, quietness, certainty, and "a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world" (1:4). When you see the changeless in the heart of change, distress drains right out of your heart because there is no reason for it.
Why are our moods and feelings such a problem to us? Because we identify with them, because as the moods and feelings change we believe we have changed. The Course is teaching us to learn to identify with something beyond change, with the Mind of Christ within ourselves that never changes and never will. Here is a very simple rule of thumb: What changes is not me. My Self is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable (W-pI.190.6:5).
This is starting to take better shape in my mind as I began to see that forgiveness is simply to "see the changeless in the heart of change" (W-pI.122.13:4). It is to recognize that the only thing that needs to be changed is the thought that it is possible to change the Mind of the Son of God. It is to realize that all my ego `thoughts' have changed nothing, and all my brother's ego thoughts also change nothing. It is to realize that what is changeable is not me; to cease to identify with that which changes, and to cease to believe my brother is my changing perceptions of him. Forgiveness means looking beyond what is changeable to that which is changeless.
Our pain comes from identifying with the ephemeral. Our peace comes from identifying with the eternal. Nothing that changes is created by God. Nothing that changes is really me. What is changeable is threatened by change, and "nothing real can be threatened" (Text, Intro). Therefore, nothing that changes is real.
All that changes is nothing but a passing landmark on the journey to the eternal. They are nothing to be held on to. Think of a line of stones by which you cross a creek; you do not cling to each stone as you pass it. You appreciate its value in moving you toward the other side, but you do not lament its passing. Your goal is the other side. That is the only value of things in this world, things which include our own bodies and the bodies of our loved ones as well as material things, or even concepts in our thought system. Changing things are to be valued only as stepping stones to that which is eternal, to be gently released as we take the next step toward the changeless, which is always with us, always the reality of our being, even as we appear to journey towards it.
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