71 Only God's plan for salvation will work.

MT: The ego's plan for salvation is to look everywhere except in my own mind, where salvation resides. It's amazing, however, how I cling to other plans. I've stopped blaming other people (except for my partner), but I look to money, diet, and exercise for salvation.

I also realize I'm not focusing, and it feels fake to talk about the lesson like a good girl in the little Baptist church. Let me check out my state of mind right at this moment. I am sleepy. I would like to go back to bed instead of doing this lesson. I just drifted off, thinking about my lost tooth. I remembered the dream I was having this morning, another dream about packing up to leave someplace. What is God's plan for salvation for me, JC? To give up all this? I also still hate my belly. It reminds me of Mother. I would like to go back to bed. This chair is uneven and it's hurting my back. Help me make sense of this.

JC: I can't help you, because it makes no sense. You have to give it up.
MT: But then, there's the Great Nothingness.
JC: But then, there's everything. The peace of God. Nothing can touch you. You walk the world in perfect holiness.
MT: So I'm refusing to be peaceful right now, this moment, when I could be feeling just fine.
JC: That is correct.
MT: So come in, Awson. I welcome you, right here, right now. The silence of the spheres.

71 Only God's plan for salvation will work.

MT: I am struck, JC, by what you said: " . . . [if you follow] two plans for salvation . . . the result can only bring confusion, misery and a deep sense of failure and despair." Your words really speak to me, because I've been in this despair place many times. But I don't see where I'm still relying on the ego's plan. I ask you to show me.
JC: Glad you ask, but I don't want to offer you any more chances to busy yourself with mind-cleaning. I suggest, instead, that you declare yourself saved. For example, you like to garden. You know you can spend all day pulling weeds, but you also know that planting a crop you want is a far, far better way to keep weeds out. Same goes for your mind.
MT: So I'm not busy enough with God's work?
JC: Let's say that I want you to completely give up the idea that you are flawed and defective. Ask God to plant a radiant new crop in the garden of your mind.
MT: Thank you. "Doing God's work" looks gray with sacrifice, like joining a parade of nuns. Planting flowers--yes, that's beautiful, resplendent and good.

71 Only God's plan for salvation will work.

What would You have me do?
This I gladly do, and nothing else.

Where would You have me go?
I follow Your sure guidance, because I know it takes me to happiness and fulfillment.

What would You have me say, and to whom?
No more stage fright! God is in charge, and the words I speak do not come from me. I can be sublimely unconcerned with results.

72 Holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation.

MT: Not again!! Guess this is pretty central, to let go of grievances. The sullen resentment I hold against my partner is the only one I can think of. It's not easy to let go of it, because I think he's got an investment in the status quo. He provokes grievances and calls it kidding and having fun.

JC: And you respond in kind. You are like two naughty children. Your relationship, as it is most of the time, is an attack on God's plan for salvation. You two could be doing so much more, so infinitely more, to help bring on the Atonement.

MT: But JC. . .

JC: You think it is his fault, don't you? You think that if he would only mellow out and open up his heart, you two would be fine. So the world goes, everybody waiting on each other. Six billion people, everybody waiting on everybody else.

MT: If Helen and Bill had waited on each other, we wouldn't have the Course.

JC: Definitely not. What does this tell you?

MT: I've tried not to respond to his "kidding" and "having fun."

JC: But in order not to respond, you close yourself off. Approach him with an open heart. See the light in your partner, the last bastion of the ego for you. You have nothing to lose but your anxiety and your old patterns of feeling and behavior.

MT: So help me today as I navigate uncharted waters. This is my prayer: help me open my heart to those closest to me, my partner above all. I am willing to let the light in today.


72 Holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation.

MT: I love it, JC: "God is assigned the attributes which are actually associated with the ego, while the ego appears to take on the attributes of God." Voltaire used different words: "God created man in His image, and man promptly returned the compliment."
JC: I hear you. Now to talk about you . . .
MT: Ah, yes. So easy to discourse on nice turns of phrase while ignoring the content. I do not know what salvation is. Please show me!
JC: What do you see as God's plan?
MT: God's plan is that I accept my true Self, that I stop tilting at windmills, that I recognize the truth of my inheritance.
JC: And that you come back today to the home you never left. To do so, you give up grievances.
MT: Shouldn't be too hard. I think grievances are overrated, anyway. I no longer feel like attacking God, either. I'm fine with being forever an effect of God.
JC: There is nothing to defend! Welcome to the banquet of life.

72 Holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation.

I am seeing what is not there (holding grievances), when I see a body.
When I maintain my brother is a body, I have made God into a body.
If God is a body, then God created death too.
Therefore God is a liar and deceiver. If so, I may as well take whatever I can get, before I die like everybody else.

>This is the universal belief of the world you see. Some hate the body, and try to hurt and humiliate it. Others love the body, and try to glorify and exalt it. But while the body stands at the center of your concept of yourself, you are attacking God's plan for salvation, and holding your grievances against Him and His creation, that you may not hear the Voice of truth and welcome It as Friend. Your chosen savior [the ego] takes His place instead. It is your friend; He is your enemy.

What a terrifying view of our home, our planet, ourselves! Thank God this is not the truth. Thank God I can see things differently.

73 I will there be light.

MT: I am troubled by Carolynn's message. There seems to be a contradiction
here. How are we to be "in the world but not of it" at the same time that we
assume our function of performing miracles? Isn't that making the world

JC: Relax. You are feeling attacked, and the Thought of God is not available
to you when you are feeling attacked. Your body just got a shot of
adrenaline. Your stomach contracted. It's the old feeling of being the bull
in a china shop, breaking delicate things.

MT: Stuff about Miriam. About her being wounded by me. Or Mother, saying she
wanted to die and refusing comfort from any of us. I told her to go kill
herself already! That was rude and thoughtless, but I was only a child--ten?
Twelve? Aunt Elisa, wounded by what I said in a moment of anger. I had all
those delicate people around me, one touch of a finger and poof! As if there
wasn't enough wounding to go around, they had to look for it.

JC: And you? What do you know about acting like a crushed flower?

MT: I got "wounded" by Sarah. . . same thing. I was offended and retreated
into my shell. Poor Sarah. She meant well.

JC: She's not "poor Sarah," though. She is fine. She is a strong woman, and
she was out of line when she chose to see you as pulling her flowers. She
didn't know the difference. You were out of line when you decided never to
touch any of her plants again. Don't make such sweeping decisions. By making
the world black and white, you congeal it.

MT: Thanks. . . This is old, old stuff for me. The possibility of "wounding"
someone else is a powerful brake. It keeps me from boldly going ahead. I am
too afraid of consequences. Of course, I have come across as cold and
indifferent, encrusted in my logical thinking--like Father. Guess one never
gets over Family.

JC: There is room for everybody in this world, the thinkers and the doers.
We all contribute what we can. But let go of this wounded business. It is
not fitting for a Son of God. The Prodigal Son returns, completely healed.
The separation never happened. The "wounded" brother didn't lose anything,
his situation was completely unchanged.

MT: So, JC, I started out to do the lesson. . . I will there be light.

JC: You have done the lesson!


73 I will there be light.

MT: We're not saying "I wish there was light, but . . . "
JC: No. You are stating your will, united with the will of God.
MT: So many times we can get what we want, even at the illusion level, by stating it as will rather than wish.
JC: But you will notice there is fear associated with that.
MT: Yes--what happens if I get beaten back and lose face!
JC: There shouldn't be fear in asking for the light, unless you extrapolate from what happens at the illusion level, where egos fight each other. This is not about one-upmanship. This is a claim on your birthright.
MT: Help me open my heart to let light in!
JC: The light is already in. Open your heart to others, to let light out. That's how it's done.
MT: Awesome! So much for selfish enlightenment!

73 I will there be light.

>Today we are considering the will you share with God. This is not the same as the ego's idle wishes, out of which darkness and nothingness arise.

Those bold and futile attempts to exercise a power we know we have but which the ego sabotages at every turn.

>The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it.

And to access it it is necessary to surrender the ego--as Gandhi put it, "to reduce myself to zero."

>Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego's need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for "righteous" judgment. These figures become the middlemen the ego employs to traffic in grievances.

Oh, I love how JC puts it: the figures in the dream are "the middlemen the ego employs to traffic in grievances."

>Your will is lost to you in this strange bartering, in which guilt is traded back and forth, and grievances increase with each exchange.

"You done it to me." "No, YOU done it to ME." It's a game without end, this assignment of guilt.

>Can such a world have been created by the Will the Son of God shares with his Father? Did God create disaster for His Son? Creation is the Will of Both together. Would God create a world that kills Himself?

God could not possible have willed for me to be this miserable. I am part of God and God does not disown part of Himself.

Today, I will there be light. I do not wish it expecting to fail. I will it because it is inevitable.

74 There is no will but God's.

MT: First of all, JC, I need to clear my mind in this issue of miracles--who is to perform them, what is the mental attitude we're looking for here.

JC: Who performs miracles? Everybody, everywhere, at any time. They are natural, and when they do not occur, something has gone wrong.

MT: So how would I know. . . guess it's a question of being of one will with God. Of being "as God."

JC: Do not confuse attachment with God's will. When you are aligned with God's will, miracles happen instantaneously. Attachment, on the other hand, makes a miracle a lot of work! If you need to work at it, there is part of you that is not with God. When miracles have happened in your life, they have come from the singing heart.

MT: The singing heart! I like that.

JC: Which is not to say that God does not respond to the heavy heart. The real miracle is the lifting of the weight you carry, so a singing heart is God's first response. You may as well ask for that.

MT: But we can call from our anguish and our pain.

JC: Yes. No need to clean house for the cleaning lady. Come as you are, come wholly empty handed unto your God. Does He not know the way to you?


74 There is no will but God's.

MT: Well, I thought God gave me will, but I misused it. Please clarify.
JC: There is One Will. The flower wills to bloom. The fox wills to chew off the leg caught in a trap. Every living thing lives by will. So do you.
MT: Will is one, then.
JC: Will unites all living things, but the ego dreams it can use will to separate. That's why I say this is all an illusion and never happened.
MT: You seem to be equating will with life and love, while for me the word evokes stern visage and clenched jaw.
JC: The ego negatively reframes all that comes from the boundless and infinite loving energy of God. Yes, will equals life equals love.
MT: As a living thing, then, I AM the will of God. How nice. There is beauty and strength in that.
JC: You ARE beauty and strength. You represent Him who sent you. United with your brothers, your will shapes reality, because it becomes the will of God. You are back where you started, before you spun off the dream of separation.
MT: In the beginning there was the Will, and the Will was with God, and the Will was God . . .

74 There is no will but God's.

>God's is the only Will. When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His. The belief that conflict is possible has gone. Peace has replaced the strange idea that you are torn by conflicting goals. As an expression of the Will of God, you have no goal but His.

Why is this statement true? The way I see it, there can't be a will apart from God's, because God IS will. God IS energy. God is the flow of rivers, the rain that quenches thirst, the sun's rays that warm and nourish the earth. These are all voices that speak to us of God.

If I say, "It was the will of God" -- I am separating God from will, and myself from God. Enough of these ideas! We now have a new way of seeing the world. We now have the power of God at our fingertips.

75 The light has come.

MT: This is the first lesson where you clearly want us to stop the words and allow a new vision to replace this shabby one we made.

JC: What can I say? Yes, it is so. You are being given a chance to see what this Course is all about.

MT: How do I do that and keep posting?

JC: Perhaps the format within which you teach your brothers and yourself will change. We do not want to become creatures of habit here. We evolve.

MT: Thank you! You're not asking for rigid, encrusted, overbaked, mind-numbing repetitions. I got so tired of those with religion.

JC: So this is your challenge: the light has come. Now you are offered a new world. If I took away all the props that held the old world together, and didn't offer a new vision, you would just become spectacularly depressed.

MT: It is scary to allow in a new vision . . . what is the fear all about?

JC: Suffice it to say that there is fear. Do not attempt to analyze darkness. You may notice, oh, there is fear around me. You may realize, how peculiar that I should be afraid of light like a subterranean creature. Because it is peculiar that you do not fear the world you made. You pay rapt attention to the insanity in full color on your TV screen, but you avoid the unbounded love of God.

The new vision God offers you today is your release from fear. I will hold your hand today as you enter into Light.


75 The light has come.

MT: Delight has come! Did you intend the pun?
JC: No, but you can take it so. Words as such do not matter. The intention behind the words does.
MT: I feel less than peaceful. I think I reawakened conflict with a brother, with an email I just sent. He came into my life to help me forgive something or someone in my past. I need clarity in this situation. I need to see this differently, because this way of seeing him/me is keeping the light from me in this moment.
JC: What has love to say about this?
MT: You mean to see the Christ in him, I guess. Going inside, there is a grating feeling of being out of sync. It blocks the light. My ego wants to force him to hear me. He doesn't need to agree, but I want to be heard.
JC (softly): Your ego wants to be heard, doesn't it.
MT: So many in my past were deaf to me. I saw them as encrusted like geodes, some life inside but barely a flicker. The pain of not being seen, not being heard, it sticks in my throat.
JC: How are you not hearing your brother? How are you not acknowledging others? How do you walk the world locked up in a dream?
MT: I get hints of that sometimes, mostly from my son. It's progress to realize I'm doing it, even if after the fact.
JC: You can give the gift of presence, of witnessing another. In doing so, you shall receive. Your brother reflects back to you the light you bring, a thousandfold.

75 The light has come.

>Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster.

How do you zero in so well, JC? I thought my dream of disaster was hidden from the world. I put on a calm and collected facade to hide the raging storm inside, but I guess you knew me all along!

>There are no dark dreams now. The light has come.

I see this happening. Thank God for the end of dark dreams, the gnashing of teeth in the dread of night.

>Today the time of light begins for you and everyone. It is a new era, in which a new world is born. The old one has left no trace upon it in its passing. Today we see a different world, because the light has come.

The Hand of God sweeps over the slate and wipes it clean. The light has come.

76 I am under no laws but God's.

What if I really, really believed this?

If I really, really believed this . . .

I could fly.
I could forget pills and shots and doctors and hospitals, forever.
I could walk through walls.
I could shift into invisibility at any time.
I would be free of the need for food and water.
Nothing and no one could ever harm me. Why? Because there would be no-body to harm!

This is the startling promise of our God, our Rock of Ages, the noble Friend who never left us.

76 I am under no laws but God's.

MT: As I start this day, I ask of you: help me be one. Help us be one. Help me think the highest thoughts I am capable of thinking, do the highest deeds I am capable of doing, feel the highest feelings I am capable of feeling. I am at peace today. I guess "the light has come," even if I was not aware of it.

JC: The light comes not in space or time, so if you stay in your customary space and time, you will not see it. The light is a stepping out of the world you made.

MT: How about the laws? That's what you go on to, today.

JC: Mankind has been breaking its own laws for all of recorded history. For everyone who dared to see a new possibility, there were always ten who were ready to jump in and say it was not possible. Flight was not possible, until it was. Electricity was not possible, until it was. Upon the invention of the automobile, some maintained that the human body could not withstand speeds higher than forty miles per hour. What laws are you laying upon yourself, especially your body?

MT: The laws of nutrition, for one. X number of calories equals X weight gain, but I know it is not so, or only in a very vague sort of way. I'm convinced that body weight resides in the mind, but try and tell that to a nutritionist.

JC: She would chase you out, and rightly so. If you challenge her most basic assumptions, what do you need her for?

MT: Good point. So I would like you to show me where, in my life right now, there reside laws that I would do well to discard.

JC: How about all of it? If any laws are essential to your survival, you will soon find out. Just don't move too fast!

MT: You are asking me to be bold! You have a lot of nerve.

JC: Let me try again. The law that says you become more fearful and withdrawing as you get older? That one bears close scrutiny. Older people close all their windows and lock all their doors, at a time when they could be least fearful. After all, if death is near, why bother keeping safe?

MT: I love it when you dip your pen in irony. Let me laugh a lot today. Let me especially laugh at my fears and the laws with which I keep the world a fearful place.


76 I am under no laws but God's.

MT: Right now, whether illusion or truth (more likely the former, given that I listen to illusions 99% of the time), I am in a semi-dream state, and when more awake, I size up my preparedness for a three-hour drive up north. Yes, that's all illusion. God's laws seem far away right now.
JC: One law you hold as Truth is that it takes three hours to drive to San Jose. Notice how firmly you believe that.
MT: You got me there. I do remember a couple of miracles related to time--that drive to Los Angeles, the hike up Bear Creek Canyon. Time lost its grip on me then. Or I let go of my grip on time, fatigue, struggle and boredom.
JC: Such are miracles. You step out of what you think is reality. It allows you to experience something totally different.
MT: I want to let go of a couple of laws I now see written in stone, JC.
JC: Why not all laws? Question laws. They are but convention, the power you give them the only power they have. Question laws, and you access awesome intelligence. Question laws, and you universe is never the same again.


77  I am entitled to miracles.

MT: It's inescapable, JC. This relates to my posts to Carolynn about her sister's condition. You must have inserted this lesson when I wasn't looking.

JC: I do a lot of things while you sleep. You have questions about this statement?

MT: Yes. Am I seeing myself as weak, when I am really strong? Am I denying myself power that I really have in my hands? How do I reconcile the profound learning about letting others be, while still performing miracles?

JC: You know that the recipient has to be willing. You need to know that you don't know anything. You do not know what is best for anybody else. That is all. Basically, the miracle is a moment of recognition, a moment when you and your brother take in a new reality. You cannot perform a miracle from a split state of mind, because by definition the miracle involves a fusion of separate states of mind.

MT: I always go back to my experiences with Arny Mindell. They touched me profoundly. It was pure love that he offered. He also said that sometimes people die. I think he was saying that our function is to help another step into a layer of the mind that's not usually available. That's the miracle.

JC: That is the miracle: the moment when you and your brother emerge farther along in your evolution. So a miracle does not necessarily have effects observable by the ego, although it may.

MT: We must approach the miracle with humility, then. I think that's what Arny did so well. He totally set his ego aside.

JC: I will tell you when to perform miracles. Your task right now is to learn to go with guidance, rather than questioning it a dozen times.


77 I am entitled to miracles.

MT: I feel wrapped up in the ego "reality" right now. Not in a bad way, but still, God-presence seems far removed. To say that I am entitled to miracles is just a mechanical sentence to me at this time.
JC: But you are sitting down to write on the lesson. A little willingness is all it takes, and you are offering it. All angels and prophets come to offer assistance.
MT: So here's where I am, and I know where I want to be.
JC: Forgiveness is the means to be present with your full Self. Do not judge your state, lest you remove yourself still further.
MT: I hereby forgive myself for momentarily believing the ego "reality." I hereby declare that I am entitled to miracles.
JC: Your word, when joined with the Word of God, is law in the Universe.

77 I am entitled to miracles.

>Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are. It is implicit in what God your Father is. It was ensured in your creation, and guaranteed by the laws of God.

Miracles are not magic. They are not tricks up my sleeve, or ways to impress people and attract them to me. This is such a basic tenet of this new (read: ancient) operating system that the book is called "a course in miracles". Why aren't miracles happening on a daily basis, for me, for anyone else? Only because we shut ourselves off from the Source. We clog the pipeline then complain about the drought.

Today I will live my life with song and laughter. Today I will expect miracles and calmly watch them unfold. Not because miracles aren't God's wonders, but because they are my birthright.

78 Let miracles replace all grievances.

MT: All right, JC, I went into an old guilt space in response to my son's anger yesterday, and I am still suffering from the backwash of it today. I would like this lesson to clear that up. To list his faults: he's a control freak; his communication is mainly a request for agreement; he goes into a rage if I imply that he did anything wrong. I want to support him any way I can, but at the same time I want to be comfortable and free with him. I would like to say what I want without bringing on a tsunami of verbal attack.

So, let me behold my savior in my son, whom you have appointed as the one for me to ask to lead me into the holy light in which he stands, that I may join with him. I am willing to let go of my grievances, so that the light of God will shine on us both.

78 Let miracles replace all grievances.

>Perhaps it is not yet quite clear to you that each decision that you make is one between a grievance and a miracle.

MT: I just met, once again, a grievance from my childhood! What a testimonial to the staying power of grievances.
JC: Only the power you give your grievances.
MT: I know that, but I don't always act on it. Or, grievances seem to pop up unannouced and unwanted.
JC: Thus you make the world of suffering real.
MT: I want to see the miracle beyond this dark shield. I am willing to see my brother in the full radiance of his Self.
JC: And so you shall.

79 Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.

MT: My mind is empty at the moment, JC. This journaling started from my desire to let go of problems, and I think I know the way.
JC: You think you know the way, but do you know the way?
MT: I have a feeling of incompleteness, a sense that there is a major breakthrough that I'm supposed to experience. Life is good, but . . .
JC: And what do you place in the way?
MT: Oh, I should read Obstacles to Peace, shouldn't I.
JC: You can do so, and benefit from it, but you didn't answer my question. What are you placing in the way of this major breakthrough?
MT: The idea that there must be a major breakthrough before I can be all that I can be? It nags at me, but then, that's just the ego's drive to strive, isn't it?
JC: Is it?
MT: I want answers, not more questions. I want you to kick me in the rear and tell me to go live in the desert for forty days.
JC: Oh, I see. You want me to act like all those who, in your personal history, knew better what you should do, and told you so.
MT: The authority I rebelled against! I'm trying to make you into a bogus authority.
JC: I work with you, not against you. Countless spirits and guides stand in wait, eager to assist. You do not walk alone.

79 Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.

I think I have a blood pressure problem, but my problem is separation from God.
I think I have a weight problem, but my problem is separation from God.

As I continue on this journey, problems are fewer and smaller. I await the day when I will see them all as one. My only problem is a choice I made, so long ago that it totally fades from memory: a choice to identify with the body. So now I roll back the carpet of time and welcome back my Self.

80 Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

MT: As I start this day, I thank You for your guidance and your love. Let me be
open to guidance today. Let me recognize love, whatever form it may take.

JC: Well put. Love can take many forms. Even outright attack is a desperate pleading
to be loved and SEEN.

MT: And problems?

JC: The problems in your life are only outward manifestations of Soul crying for

MT: Interesting! Even hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods? The Holocaust?

JC: Collectively, yes. The Sonship cries for a return to the Source. This is easier to
see on an individual basis.

MT: So many of my problems were obviously self-caused and completely
unnecessary, it's sickening to look back. How different my life would have turned out,
had I not made such egregious mistakes, made such glaringly wrong choices.

JC: But at the time, you were swimming in a Sargasso sea of guilt and resentments and
knee-jerk responses. Guilt and resentments wrap around you and make free
movement impossible. Salvation is a recognition of the error. Forgiveness renders
suffering obsolete.

MT: So today, I recognize my problems have been solved. I can live and let live. I can
lighten up and enjoy what the day brings.

80 Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

>If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems. Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other.

It's intriguing to zero in on a "problem", such as high blood pressure, then reframe it as a "need to lose weight", then "need to relax so as to lower blood pressure," then to realize that my defense/attack/fear thoughts definitely send BP shooting up. If I walk with God in perfect holiness, I won't need to take BP medication, or lose weight, or work to relax. Either the problems will be seen as not-a-problem, or they will vanish.


Index of Lessons