41 God goes with me wherever I go.

Silence is the only appropriate reaction to this lesson. I do not need to seek God; He is present here, now, in and around me. My mind is part of God's. I am very holy. Now will I open myself to the awareness of God's Presence, my natural inheritance.

41 God goes with me wherever I go.

JC: How could it not be so? How could you walk the world without the Self?
MT: You're saying, how could I look for me when that's who I am? Somewhere in the Lessons you poke the ribs of "man, the only animal who does not know who he is and wanders the world in search of himself." I love it when you dip the pen in irony, JC.
JC: Glad to oblige. Irony is only one of many ways to reach my brother. You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts.
MT: This is, then, the way out of fear--to know that I am never alone, that being alone is impossible because God is within, God is that which moves my body, the air I breathe, the light with which I see.
JC: God is life in matter, mind made flesh. Would the sun wander deep space searching for light? There is no escaping that which you are, but would you really want to, even if you could?

41 God goes with me wherever I go.

>Deep within me is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through me and out into the world. It will cure
all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and
suffered out of its allegiance to them.
MT: I am not separate from God because that is impossible. It could never have happened. God is Life, and there is no life apart from Him.

>I can never be deprived of my perfect holiness because its Source goes with me wherever I go. I can never suffer
because the Source of all joy goes with me wherever I go. I can never be alone because the Source of all life goes
with me wherever I go. Nothing can destroy my peace of mind because God goes with me wherever I go.
MT: This is so clear, plain, and straightforward, JC. Now I only need help in retaining it. I need help to think
in this way, every minute of every day. I know it will bring me everything I want, but then I forget. I forget for
hours at a time.
JC: This is why the Holy Spirit, the bridge to God, is in your mind. It stands ready to assist you.
MT: Guess I just want to feel helpless here . . . but I'm not.
JC: This is what the Course is all about: empowering you. You wanted power, but looked in all the wrong places for it.
MT: Let me put aside these children's toys. Today I am as God created me.


42 God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

MT: You are making a connection between strength and vision. For me, that's a tenuous connection.

JC: Strength, the God within, the surge of energy you feel in your body. Vision is the use of that energy.

MT: A natural outcome of the energy that I feel at times. How do I work toward this goal, then?

JC: How about doing the lesson exactly as it is? You are much too lenient with yourself in some ways, unbelievably harsh in other ways. There is no need to dwell in judgments of others, to feel criticized by some comment or other, to see yourself as inadequate because a client cancelled on you. That is indulging—making up a problem so you can worry about it. Let go of it! Vision is like a baptism, a complete surrender of the past. Vision happens when your mind is no longer preoccupied with past thoughts. This is about a new beginning, but to begin anew you must let go of past attachments.

MT: To be born again, no?

JC: The ritual of baptism is very symbolic, but it needs to happen more than once. Each day, each moment you have a chance for a new beginning. All you need do is ask.


42 God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

MT: I had a very good day, yesterday, JC. Don't know how it happened--I'd
like to think it was something I did or did not do, but perhaps it was just
a gift from God.
JC: A good day is a gift. All you did was to open yourself to the
possibility.
MT: And today's lesson? What can you tell me about it?
JC: You have long associated God with weakness. Established religion would
tell you that God created you a miserable sinner. This erroneous belief
leads people to crawl on their knees and bellies, seeking atonement for
their imagined sins.
MT: How about vision? I am even afraid to ask the question! What kind of
vision are we talking about?
JC: This refers to the experience of God. It is possible, desirable,
essential to experience God directly. Everyone who walks the world must
eventually come to this point, so it may as well be now. It is only the
belief in your worthlessness that keeps you from the vision of God.


42 God is my strength. Vision is His gift.

The idea for today . . . sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why I cannot fail in my efforts
to achieve the goal of the course. I will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not my own, that
gives me power. And it is His gift, rather than my own, that offers vision to me.

God is indeed my strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that I can receive it any time and
anywhere, wherever I am, and in whatever circumstance I find myself. My passage through time and space is not at random. I cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.


I love the statement: "my passage through time is not random." The ego would have me be a dry leaf in the wind, a
boat without moorings, a grain of sand in the dunes. And then it would have me fight this core belief, and
proclaim myself ruler of the universe! What insanity! No wonder that death seemed, at times, the only relief.

No more such thoughts. Today I am One with the Beloved. Today I am One with God.


43 God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

MT: I like this lesson, JC. I have a Source--I did not create myself. I get a hint of vastness, of worlds beyond my puny understanding. The picture I get is of a stem of brussels sprouts I buy at the farmers market. God is the strong, thick stem, I am the sprout coming off of it--I and countless others. The sprout cannot exist without the stem to provide nourishment. It can pretend it is separate and get all puffed up at being so unique and different and intelligent and so on, but the reality is--it cannot leave its Source. And it cannot see apart from its Source.

43 God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

MT: All this stuff about seeing, JC, and here I worry about my deteriorating eyesight! Is this a coincidence, or what?
JC: There are no coincidences. These are lessons you would do well to study closely.
MT: They freak me out, to tell you the truth. The Feldenkrais eye exercises freaked me out big time. I suspect there is a connection.
JC: You are so close to true seeing! It is a tiny step away, now.
MT: How do I need to think, in order to see?
JC: It helps to be vigilant for God. It helps to think with God. You know what those thoughts are. But ultimately, seeing is a gift of grace and it comes unbidden. Training your mind merely paves the way for seeing.
MT: What am I doing? I would rather sleep than do this lesson! Help!
JC: Who are you, and what do you want?
MT: I am the holy son of God, returning to his Father's house.

43  God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.

>Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge.
 
God, the Universal Intelligence; our five senses, a function of the body.
 
>Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind.
 
We've got built-in help. All it takes is willingness to hear--willingness to believe in what we're hearing.
 
>With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge. That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it. Therefore, that is its function in truth.
 
We pray to see things differently.

>Made by the Son of God for an unholy purpose, [perception] must become the means for the restoration of his holiness to his awareness. . . Healed perception becomes the means by which the Son of God forgives his brother, and thus forgives himself.
 
We pray to see our brothers differently. What a miraculous key to relationships!

>You cannot see apart from God because you cannot be apart from God. Whatever you do you do in Him, because whatever you think, you think with His Mind. If vision is real, and it is real to the extent to which it shares the Holy Spirit's purpose, then you cannot see apart from God.
 
My mind is one with God's. Without God I cease to exist. With God, all power is given unto me--well, really us, because there is no separate power. The ego wants to keep power separate, but my true function is to restore universal grace by offering it to all.


44 God is the Light in which I see.

MT: Good morning, JC.

JC: Good morning, dear Monica. Thanks for checking in today.

MT: This light business. . . The Course is much more than just an intellectual exercise, isn't it? I've long had the uncomfortable feeling that I was shortchanging myself, that I was missing something. I "learned" the Course, and it did help in my relationships, but it seems that you are shooting for something much more esoteric here.

JC: I can only say yes. Some call it en-lighten-ment. Enlightenment, at its most elementary level, is intellectual knowledge, but it is much more than that. It is a rearranging of the very cells in your body by the awesome power of God. It is death and rebirth. I am asking you, in this lesson, to go beyond anything you've experienced before, and to trust me to guide you in these uncharted waters.

MT: I am willing. I can also feel the fear. What am I getting into! My life works pretty well, why am I messing with it?

JC: But. . . there is a but, isn't it?

MT: But this is the goal I've been working for all these years. If I don't push through, I'll regret it.

JC: There is nothing to regret. You won’t miss out if you don’t do it today. Everybody gets there eventually, it's guaranteed. But for some the journey is needlessly long and painful. I am trying to save you time, effort and suffering. Take the shortcut and learn to fly. You can be with me today in Paradise. Open up to God, He is the light in which you see. There is no life but His.

44 God is the light in which I see.

" . . . think of light, formless and without limit, as you pass by the
thoughts of this world." How sweet these words, JC. God as light, God as
energy, God as the pattern that connects all living things, God the
intelligence that moves planets in their appointed paths, God the mystery of
suns upon suns thousands of light-years away. How great Thou art!

44  God is the light in which I see.

>You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light. You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation. Creation and darkness cannot coexist, but light and life must go together, being but different aspects of creation.
 
There is something transcendent in these words. "Light reflects life." I am reminded of the so-called Pillars of Creation, one of Hubble Telescope's stunning photos of outer space. When it first appeared in the media, that picture brought me to tears. I was peeking into God's den. Light and life, life and light, both expressions of God.

>In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without. You do not see outside yourself, nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. An essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.
 
Light, then, exists as part of me, part of this physical body and the physical things around me. I gather that it is an essential part of being alive. I can never be blind because light is within.



45 God is the Mind with which I think.

MT: As I reach for the Thought of God, I have a feeling of leaving my body.

JC: That is exactly the point. You are not a body, and you must disidentify with it.

MT: I am not a body. I am free. How nice. When I look through the cosmetics department at SavOn, I'm struck by the hundreds and thousands of potions and paints people buy to take care of and decorate the body. Also, to stave off its decline.

JC: Those are not thoughts of God. They are (pricey) thoughts of man in his separation.

MT: JC, study of the Course has installed in my mind a magnificent BS detector, for which I am forever grateful.

JC: Well, I am grateful too. Heaven rejoices with you at every step. And this is only the preview of coming attractions ; )

45 God is the mind with which I think.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) "Under all the senseless thoughts and mad ideas with which you have cluttered up your mind are the thoughts that you thought with God in the beginning." (ACIM Lesson 45)

MT: So that's where I came from. I was a Thought of God in the beginning. I have never left my Source. That's quite a task you set yourself, JC--to undo the illusion from within.
JC: It would be a task comparable to Herakles' cleaning of the Augean stables, except for the fact that the illusion is not Truth, so illusion has no weight and no substance and can vanish in an instant. In effect, I aim to pack your mind full of healing thoughts, leaving little room for worry, fear, guilt, anger. Reach beyond tick-tock now. Reach for the Mind that knows no limit.

45  God is the Mind with which I think.

>You think with the Mind of God. Therefore you share your thoughts with Him, as He shares His with you. They are the same thoughts, because they are thought by the same Mind. To share is to make alike, or to make one. Nor do the thoughts you think with the Mind of God leave your mind, because thoughts do not leave their source. Therefore, your thoughts are in the Mind of God, as you are. They are in your mind as well, where He is. As you are part of His Mind, so are your thoughts part of His Mind.
 
A computer tech made a house call the other day. He asked about the blue book, perched on my desk along with Vista for Dummies. I told him, "That is a philosophy book. It installs a new operating system in the mind." Come to think of it, that's exactly what the Course does--or rather, it reinstalls the original system that we thought to replace with a better one of our making.
 
Thank you, God, for saving the original Mind of God where it could not be deleted. Today, let me think only Thoughts of God.


46 God is the Love in which I forgive.

MT: Old lesson again.

JC: No matter. You still need it. What you haven't done is forgiven yourself. Why don't you accept Atonement for yourself and be done with it?

MT: Awwwww. . .

JC: I really mean it. You have a few things to apologize for, but nothing major. Why do you carry yourself as if you were guilty, even when you are not?

MT: The original sin, perhaps?

JC: No, I really mean it. This is feedback for you: stop taking yourself so personally! Stop taking others so seriously! You've heard it from your partner and from your sons, now you are hearing it from me. You try to "respect" everybody to the utmost, which is very laudable, but you end up not respecting yourself. Talk about terminal uniqueness! And it puts others on a pedestal where they don't belong.

MT: Sheesh, you are really confrontive today.

JC: I'm going for a change of mood here. Remember that in the flesh I lost patience with the money changers in the temple. I didn't ask where they were coming from or whether they had been abused as children. I just threw them out.

MT: So this is an inner money changer I need to throw out?

JC: Yes, your money changer that struck a craven deal, so long ago: you filter your feelings and make public only the "good" ones. You handle others like Waterford crystal. In this way, you make them guilty so they won't tell YOU how they feel, because you are afraid that, deep down, they really hate you! That's your contribution to the illusion, cloaked as virtue.

MT: Peace. . .

JC: Check inside. You don't love me any less for confronting you, do you? You know I'm coming from a place of love. Love doesn't mean you have to turn your spine into limp spaghetti. There is strength in love, but you won't find it until you try.



46  God is the Love in which I forgive.

>God does not forgive because He has never condemned. And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary.
 
This is such a crucial concept for salvation. When we do not first condemn, forgiveness becomes unnecessary and it drops away.
 
>Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them. As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.
 
To judge others is to judge ourselves. To hold even one "sin" as unforgivable is to maintain the world that we think we see.

>Yet although God does not forgive, His Love is nevertheless the basis of forgiveness.
 
God does not forgive! What a thought! And humanity spends so much time and effort and suffering in seeking God's forgiveness.
 
>It does not matter "how much" you have not forgiven them. You have forgiven them entirely or not at all.
 
Forgiveness is total, like vision, like salvation, like enlightenment. The memory of God is a total event. We can take steps to facilitate it, but in the end, God Himself takes the final step.


47 God is the Strength in which I trust.

MT: Trust? I immediately have the Charlie Brown reaction: will I fall flat on my back as Lucy withdraws the ball?

JC: You learned not to trust, growing up with your shattered parents. But remember that it was other egos that betrayed you. Back then, you didn't know there was a difference between trusting other egos and trusting God.

MT: But what if this is all a hoax?

JC: What, for instance?

MT: The idea that there is a God I can trust. Maybe there isn't, so we may as well eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

JC: Ouch! What a bleak, cynical way of thinking.

MT: That's the thinking I embraced in my late teens. The only thing that kept me from killing myself was the thought that possibly I was wrong and there WAS a God, and he'd send me to roast in suicide hell forever and ever.

JC: No kidding! So the fear of God kept your ego in check. Interesting. It redefines God, by implication, into a vengeful, petty lawgiver.

MT: The fear of God kept me from carrying out my beliefs to their logical conclusion. So maybe it was useful that God was such a jerk. A loving God wouldn't do. Or perhaps it might. . . I might have reached for Him. But I wanted out, what with a God obscenely watching my every move for the slightest slip, ready to banish me to the depths of hell. Banishing myself was preferable to having others do it. It's hard to live with two completely contradictory beliefs: on the one hand, that you are fundamentally flawed, and on the other hand, that nothing but perfection will do. I can taste the bitterness in my mouth even now.

JC: Having visited that old state of mind, what do you prefer to believe today?

MT: Sigh. What a desperate state of mind. I am forever thankful for this magnificent Course and the interlocking chain of beliefs you put in my head. I choose to believe that God is my strength, now and forever. There is no conflict, for my mind is one with God's.

47 God is the strength in which I trust.

How great Thou art! No longer do I trust in my own petty strength. God goes with me wherever I go. There is nothing to fear.

One gets the Course by bits and pieces. In dealing with various body infirmities, I "got it" this time: how essential it is to move attention away from sickness/lack/decay, and to focus firmly on God's opinion of me. "I have no more use for this" is the powerful affirmation that helps us look away from the body. In this pithy sentence, we are affirming our magnificence as a Son of God, taking responsibility for creating the illness, and letting it go.


47  God is the strength in which I trust.

What a powerful set of lessons. So much for my old, petty, dumb and deaf Judge in the Sky! God is my strength. God never intended for me to be a spineless, morose pilgrim on the march toward death! God is Light. God is Mind. God is Love. God is strength. This God is a Presence all around and within me, whose assistance I invoke whenever there is a need. As in Luther's hymn of the Reformation, "A mighty fortress is our God."


48 There is nothing to fear.

MT: What a flat statement! Nothing to fear! So every moment I spend in fear, which is most of the time, is wasted on nothing. It leads me nowhere. It does not keep me safe--quite the contrary. At times, fear has brought on exactly what I feared, and worse. A fear-based existence, besides being a sorry waste, actually makes up a world to be feared.

JC: Well stated, MT. Defenses generate what they would defend against. A river of money is spent on learning how to defend yourself better--against illness, against aging, against he who would take your property, and the whole thing is an illusion and does not exist.

MT: I long to lead a fearless life.

JC: Your life is fearless, about one-tenth of one percent of the time. I guess you'd like to have the remaining 99.9% too!

MT: You bet I want that. It is my natural inheritance, and I claim it now.

JC: That was a fearless statement.

MT: It surprised me. For a moment, I learned the lesson I set out to learn. It's not that difficult, really.

JC: There is strength and vision in that statement, because it is the Word of God. Sooner or later the Sonship will decide with God. History, time, and space will cease to exist.

MT: There is change in the air. People are demonstrating in the streets, and despots are powerless to stop them. What a great moment in history, and I am here to witness it. Let me today be part of this great evolution, by accepting that “there is nothing to fear.”

48  There is nothing to fear.
 
Here is the Course in a nutshell! To learn this is to remember God. Why? Because the memory of God is total love, and in total love there cannot be fear. Fear comes from our world of beginnings and endings, good and bad, life and death, separation and sacrifice. As I step aside from the world of my making, let me remember today: there is nothing to fear.




49 God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.

MT: God's guidance is there, all I need do is open to it. Enough of doing things on my own. Enough of trying to solve problems with limited resources. God offers the broader view, and that's what I need. Whenever my frantic imaginings show me a world I do not want, I merely stop and search inside for that calm, always at rest, and wholly certain voice. It can't really be a miracle, then, JC. It must be the most natural thing I can do. It must happen as "oh, that's what it was! How come I didn't see it before?"

JC: You are no longer untrained. You are practicing that listening whenever you talk to me. You are practicing it when you (however dimly) realize "there must be a better way." God's Voice will deepen and become increasingly natural as you practice listening to it.

MT: You are right. Even when I indulge in attack thoughts about myself or others, deep down there is a part of me that whispers, this is not real. I know there is a better way. You've put another layer in my mind, initially as small as the pea under the princess' mattress. I can attack if I want to, but there's the pea that doesn't let me be unconscious about it!

JC: Be you in peace!

49 God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.

We think we need gurus and politicians and kings to tell us how to behave in the world. The blind lead the blind, and when things go wrong, we always have someone else to blame. Must have been the Republican administration! But someday, out of nowhere, the Messiah will arrive and we'll be in Heaven. Meanwhile, let's wait and suffer our fate.

God's quiet Voice murmurs in the background: wait no longer, the Kingdom is here. The Kingdom is in you, the Kingdom IS you. The Messiah has come! --but not in the form you expected. Miracles usually arrive in unexpected forms anyway, you should have noticed by now. The miracle of the Second Coming is no exception. It requires from you only the relinquishment of your mad ideas of sin, suffering, and death. It requires your empowerment: Behold the glory of Creation! I am the Christ, and so are you! What were we thinking? How come we didn't notice it before?

49 God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.

>The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not. It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world's laws. It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganized and highly uncertain.

Tell me about it! ; )

>The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain. It is really the only part there is. The other part is a wild illusion, frantic and distraught, but without reality of any kind. Try today not to listen to it. Try to identify with the part of your mind where stillness and peace reign forever. Try to hear God's Voice call to you lovingly, reminding you that your Creator has not forgotten His Son.

I had the experience, twice, of different levels of the mind. It happened after intense bodywork--I was studying movement meditation, and at that time my body wanted to kick and scream (I suspect everybody wants to scream like that, at least once). The movement awakened my dreambody, it seemed. For a good half hour afterwards, I walked around dreaming while awake and doing other things. A dream stream bubbled happily through my experience.

A universal reaction, when I talk about this to others, is one of fear: "is that schizophrenia?" But let me tell you, the experience was intensely pleasurable. I was in awe at uncovering another layer of my mind. I still wonder how many layers there may be, unavailable to my shabby, limited egomind.

>Go past all the raucous shrieks and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your eternal link with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world. You do not live here. We are trying to reach your real home. We are trying to reach the place where you are truly welcome. We are trying to reach God.

Such loving words!


50 I am sustained by the Love of God.

MT: You say, I am sustained by the Love of God. I ask, what does this mean for me, today, here? I am sustained by the Love of God. And the power went out right now, with an explosion. It's really early, and the house is totally dark now. All I see is the eerie glow of the laptop, and the warm glow of the fireplace. I think I am sustained by the electric power flowing through the wires, but I am really sustained by the Love of God. That was quite an explosion, though, JC! It resonated through the neighborhood.

JC: I know. I helped it happen.

MT: Really? And what was the point?

JC: To wake you up. You are not sustained by electricity. You are sustained by the Love of God. It's about time you got it.

MT: I am worried about the fireplace. Electricity drives it. How am I going to turn it off? Maybe it will run on and on and get the house overheated.

JC: And you let that disturb your holy mind. My, my. You don't trust that you will find the answer when you need it.

MT: OK, I found it. The remote works with the gas even though power is out.

JC: There you go.

MT: But how does it restrict the outflow of gas, if the power isn't there?

JC: I don't know the answer, and right now I don't think it matters. You worried about one thing, you took care of it, and now you worry about another--how the bloody thing works. Notice how you occupy your mind with your mistrust. You try to think ahead and solve problems so your world won't fall apart, as if it ever had fallen apart.

MT: Historically it has, yes. It fell apart for all of Europe in the last century. Some people got away in time. How did they do it? Millions did not, and I doubt they were any better or worse than the ones who got away.

JC: It wasn't by trusting their own power, and it wasn't by trusting their fears. Fear could have led them to stay in order not to lose money, or it could have led them to run away, or many other choices too numerous to mention. Fear is a confusing element. I guess the ones that got away, did so by the power of Love, didn't they?

MT: Scary to think that I have no other choice.

JC: But would you really want one?

MT: So the power of Love is like the instinct in animals. Animals seem to know even when an earthquake is coming, and we, who think we are oh-so-smart, do not.

JC: For today, remember. You are sustained by the Love of God. Do not forget. We are sustained by the Love of God.

50 I am sustained by the love of God.

I thought I was sustained by money, but I am sustained by the love of God.
I thought I was sustained by food, water, vitamins, sunshine, but I am sustained by the love of God.
I thought I was sustained by the government, but I am sustained by the love of God.
I thought I was sustained by my life partnet, but I am sustained by the love of God.
I thought I was sustained by fear, but I am sustained by the love of God.

MT: What's this about fear, JC?
JC: Fear is a learned reaction. It is now time to unlearn it.
MT: And the difference between fearless behavior and rash behavior?
JC: Walk the world in serene certainty, and nothing can hurt you. Defiant behavior is something else.
MT: I like "serene certainty." Defiant behavior is . . . oh my God, JC, I just realized, I engage in defiant behavior regarding food. I'll eat what I'm sure is not good for me, thinking that if I'm holy enough, God can save me from the consequences. That's defiant behavior, isn't it? And it leads to a dilemma.
JC: That is defiant behavior, unworthy of you. In God there are no dilemmas. In God there is only certainty.
MT: Today, I am sustained by the love of God.


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