Lesson 121: Forgiveness is the key to happiness.

Soul in Bondage by Elihu Vedder, 1891

I’m back from my break and once again, I haven’t completed the Text Reading on time so I’m going ahead with the lessons. I’ll catch up. Onward to Lesson 121!

The unforgiving mind is…

  • full of fear
  • sad
  • torn with doubt
  • afraid and angry
  • weak and blustering
  • afraid to go ahead
  • afraid to stay
  • afraid to waken or go to sleep
  • afraid of every sound but more afraid of stillness
  • terrified of darkness but more terrified of the approach of light
  • unable to see mistakes, only sin
  • in despair

Forgiveness is acquired. Each unforgiving mind provides an opportunity to teach your own mind forgiveness.

Today we practice learning to forgive. We will try to learn that giving and receiving are the same.

Begin the longer practice periods by thinking of someone you do not like, who seems to irritate you, or to cause regret in you if you should meet him; one you actively despise, or merely try to overlook. It does not matter what the form your anger takes. You probably have chosen him already. He will do.

A very specific, powerful person immediately comes to mind.

Now close your eyes and see him in your mind, and look at him a while. Try to perceive some light in him somewhere; a little gleam which you had never noticed. Try to find some little spark of brightness shining through the ugly picture that you hold of him. Look at this picture till you see a light somewhere within it, and then try to let this light extend until it covers him, and makes the picture beautiful and good.

That is so hard to do!! I can imagine him as a damaged child, but I have so much difficulty seeing light in him! It was there for a minute…

Look at this changed perception for a while, and turn your mind to one you call a friend. Try to transfer the light you learned to see around your former “enemy” to him. Perceive him now as more than friend to you, for in that light his holiness shows you your savior, saved and saving, healed and whole.

Then let him offer you the light you see in him, and let your “enemy” and friend unite in blessing you with what you gave. Now are you one with them, and they with you. Now have you been forgiven by yourself. Do not forget, throughout the day, the role forgiveness plays in bringing happiness to every unforgiving mind, with yours among them. Every hour tell yourself:

Forgiveness is the key to happiness. I will awaken from the dream that I am mortal, fallible and full of sin, and know I am the perfect Son of God.

From Wapnick:

Forgiveness is the key that opens our minds. It is the name A Course in Miracles gives to the process of realizing that what upsets us is not what is going on within our own or another’s body.

Very few “great thinkers” question the reality of the material world. Even the quantum physicists who do question it, do not question the thoughts that made it. ACIM asks us to question both the world and the underlying system of guilt that made it. To learn ACIM requires a willingness to question every value you hold.

Everyone is calling for help and a release from the Hell we have created, including the people we dislike. The point of the lesson is not a New Age Affirmation in seeing the light in everyone. It’s about getting in touch with the ugly picture in my mind. That is how I will realize that perceiving ugliness in others is a defense I have chosen to conceal the light of truth that is in my mind and that of others. Likewise, we cannot remember love until we acknowledge hate. We have to recognize that we are denying truth. (The task of the miracle worker is to “deny the denial of truth”.)

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