"My holiness is my salvation"
PRACTICE SUMMARYLonger: 4 times (more are encouraged), for 5 full minutes (longer is encouraged).
- Repeat idea.
- Close eyes and slowly search your mind indiscriminately for any form of unloving thoughts: depression, anger, worry, etc. Identify specific situations, events or personalities associated with these thoughts and say: "My unloving thoughts about______are keeping me in hell. My holiness is my salvation." You may want to intersperse the practice period with times of just repeating the idea, or not thinking of anything. You can vary the method of applying the idea, though retain its meaning: your holiness is your salvation.
- Conclude by repeating idea and adding: "If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?"
Ask yourself question: "If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?" Or repeat idea. Preferably both.
Response To Temptation: A helpful form is: "My holiness is my salvation from this."
COMMENTARYThe opposite of hell is salvation; the opposite of guilt is holiness. If guilt is hell, then holiness must be salvation. The question is: Do I believe that guilt is hell? Or do I, perhaps, feel that guilt serves a useful function in my life?
The Course teaches that guilt is at the root of all our problems, and yet at the beginning we don't even suspect guilt as the cause. We lay the problems at the feet of many different things, but rarely at the feet of guilt. "Of one thing you were sure: Of all the many causes you perceived as bringing pain and suffering to you, your guilt was not among them" (T-27.VII.7:4). Guilt is hell. This is part of what the Course is trying to teach us--a large part.
As long as you believe that guilt is justified in any way, in anyone, whatever he may do, you will not look within, where you would always find Atonement. The end of guilt will never come as long as you believe there is a reason for it. For you must learn that guilt is always totally insane, and has no reason (T-13.X.6:1-3).
All salvation is escape from guilt (T-14.III.13:4).
Guilt is interference, not salvation, and serves no useful function at all (T-14.III.1:4).
Perhaps we may object. Perhaps it seems that guilt is necessary to keep us from wrongdoing; but that presumes something within us that is inherently evil and perverse, something that will always do wrong unless it is kept caged, or punished when it misbehaves. Guilt serves no useful function; guilt is hell. Guilt is what we need to escape from. Guilt does not keep us from wrongdoing; it keeps us locked into it. It is guilt that has driven us insane.
As this lesson says, if we wholly believed that guilt is hell, we would immediately understand the entire Text and have no need of a Workbook. We would have salvation, full and complete, for salvation is escape from guilt. This is not a part of the Course's message; it is the whole of it. This is why my holiness is my salvation; holiness is freedom from guilt.
Notice the emphasis in practice on "unloving thoughts." Unloving thoughts are guilty thoughts; they both stem from guilt and produce more of it. Holiness is lovingness. If my thoughts are unloving, I will be fearful and guilty; my holiness is my salvation from guilt. As we realize that our unloving thoughts are keeping us in hell, we will let them go.
Today's practice instructions are fiercely demanding: a minimum of four sessions of five full minutes each, with "longer and more frequent practice sessions...encouraged" (5:1). Shorter applications, "which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible" (11:1). Plus responses to temptation. Today's idea must be very important! It must be very hard for our minds to absorb, so that we need to frequently immerse our minds in this thought.
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