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111 Miracles are seen in light. Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.

MT: I feel slightly ill this morning, JC. I feel like I need to go back to bed. And I notice the apprehension: suppose I'm coming down with flu, and all of a sudden, the illness rules and I must change all my plans for the week?

JC: Holy child of God, know this: there is nothing to fear.

MT: A part of me welcomes an excuse to do nothing for a week, this much is true.

JC: You know that you are free to do nothing for a week, you don't need illness for this. In fact, I recommend the discipline: take to bed for a week as if you were ill, and practice doing nothing. You have put an excess of busyness into your life. You long for a time to slow down. Call it meditation, call it a retreat.

MT: I won't do it. I couldn't possibly do it! Surrounded with reminders of Things to Do?

JC: Things to Do are extraordinarily unimportant. You give them meaning, but one hundred years from now, will anyone remember that you failed to water the tomatoes, didn't reply to Nina, didn't go on a hike or frequent the gym? Didn't update the website for ID? Didn't send a card to Pat? Didn't post daily on this board?

MT: Wow. You've got a point. It's only my overblown sense of self-importance that says I must attend to these things. They are a preference, not an obligation. I know all this, JC--deep down I know it. But I spend my days behaving as if, and then the "as if" becomes the rule, and I follow the rules like a bureaucrat.

JC: You have seen the bumper sticker: Question Authority. Especially your made-up internal authority.

MT: What synchronicity! This quote just came in with one of Ron's posts: "To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times" -- Thomas Merton.

 

111 Miracles are seen in light. Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.

MT: The ego-mind rushes to try to make sense of the words. Light? Strength? The two images don't match. But I've learned enough of this Course to know that you really mean it.
JC: I challenge the so-called reality you learned in your childhood home. Not an easy task.
MT: Guess I need to remember that light does not make me into a babbling idiot, and that strength does not make me into a bully.
JC: Light and strength are attributes of God, yes. Together they are offered to undo your darkness and littleness. Because in the illusion you misuse light and strength.
MT: Soften my heart and strengthen my spine, JC. That is my will. I want to stand up to evil, but to do so while scattering the seeds of love.
JC: Evil does not need to be fought.
MT: I thought that was the function I was refusing to fulfill--to fight evil.
JC: Bring clarity instead. The world desperately needs a way out of darkness. That is your function, to use strength to bring light to the world.


112 Light and peace and joy abide in me. I am as God created me.

MT: Good morning, JC. How did you sleep?

JC: I take the question is really a greeting. I do not sleep, because I am not in a body. What do you think about the statements above?

MT: They are self-evident, JC. Of course light and peace and joy abide in me. I glow like a 15-watt bulb right now, but I know the statement is true.

JC: The body will do what the body does--get fatigued, perhaps suffer from eating unwholesome food. Spirit hovers above it all, and knows all is well in God's world.

MT: I used to make myself wrong about feeling bad, but you're telling me it is of no concern.

JC: Or only very temporarily. If you are sitting on a cactus, it may be well to remove it rather than to try to overcome the pain by spiritual means.

MT: Well, yes, I can see that. To keep eliciting pain is a form of defiance, a testing of God, a consciously selected miracle, and unworthy of a Son of God. I am so grateful for the logic you installed in my head.

JC: Today, let light and peace and joy in. You are as God created you.

MT: I am as God created me. Thank you, JC.

 

112 Light and joy and peace abide in me. I am as God created me.

I refuse to be the personality, I refuse to congeal myself into form once more, I now return to my original state: a resplendent being of light. Hesitation, pondering, fear, procrastination: I pay no heed to these today. God Himself wills my return to Him. My return was written on the walls that stand through eons of time. My return is proclaimed by the seagulls that glide by the shore. My return is whispered in the wind and murmured in the clear rivers of snowmelt. My return is witnessed in awed silence in the desert, celebrated by lightning and thunder in the plain. I am as God created me.

112 Light and joy and peace abide in me.
I am as God created me.


What does God want for me? God wants light and joy and peace for me. Why would I want anything else? God won't push his gifts on me. If I am not at peace, it's because I'm trying to be something other than what God created. What a gift, to take my place among the Sons of God!


113 I am one Self, united with my Creator. Salvation comes from my one Self.

MT: This is going to be brief, JC. I need to leave the house in forty-five minutes, and take a shower first.

JC: Brief is good. The Course can be summed up as: GOD IS.

MT: God is, and I am one Self with Him. But, salvation comes from my one Self?

JC: You have looked for salvation in far corners. You have looked for salvation where it was not. Now I am pointing out to you where to find it, so you need no longer search.

MT: So it's not in having lots of money, a great body, being famous, having a house up on a hill, paparazzi following me for a photo. Salvation is in a mind that's sewed back together. One-pointedness. Having my priorities straight: peace of mind comes first, love is the only way to approach a brother, the first function of a worker of God is to accept Atonement for himself. What a massive reversal of the way the world thinks.

JC: Be grateful that it is so. This is the way home.

 

113 I am one Self, united with my Creator. Salvation comes from my one Self.

MT: I pray, God, let us be One!
JC: A noble prayer, but the decision is not up to God. It is up to you to unmake a decision you dreamed up so long ago: to be separate from God. Sacrifice and effort and thought meant to changing God's mind are to no avail, because God's mind never excluded you from Oneness.
MT: Is the dream part of evolution? That we return to God better off for having developed a separate consciousness? I like this thought.
JC: To see it in this way helps undo any guilt you might feel, and this Course is, above all, pragmatic. There is profound learning to be had in playing the opposites. The Prodigal Son is better off for having wandered away from the Father. His faith is more solid from having been challenged. I seek to spare you suffering, but once the decision is made and the carpet of time unrolled, the Holy Spirit uses this experience, too, to bring you closer to God. Do not ask for suffering, but when it seemingly happens, know that it is an opportunity for learning, graciously offered to you.

 


114 I am spirit. I am the Son of God. I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.

Don't know what to say, JC. I have no questions. I feel removed from God right now. Or from the lesson. Perhaps it's time to let go of the lessons. My mind is jumping ahead to Starbucks and the bike and the garden. I feel under the spell of my confused dreams just before I woke up. This is me, right now. Am I spirit? I guess so. Feel quite material right now, a dim 15W bulb. Need to unkink my body, get appointments at the Studio, get appt for bodywork. Want to let go of procrastination, but that too I procrastinate. You can take this procrastination, the big P of my life.
JC: Your life is divided. Your self is splintered. Procrastination is clear evidence of a splintered self.
MT (mildly irritated): So you've got a diagnosis, where is the remedy?
JC: The remedy is power. The power that God gave in such abundance, and which you think you do not deserve.
MT: Power is the remedy for procrastination. I don't get it.
JC: You are a fan of Mahatma Gandhi, so let's look at him. Did he procrastinate? Was he a powerful being?
MT: No and yes, of course. But he knew what the hell he was doing. He knew who he was. I don't.
JC: So the need, as you see it this moment, is to know who you are and to know what you are doing.
MT: Sheesh, yes. Right back to today's lesson. You have a way of doing that.
JC: So you see the reason for today's lesson, do you not? Even if you don't believe it right at the moment, there's a compelling reason for it. It is your way out. Who runs your life, the default programming of the ego, or the God in you? You rebel against your ego's shifting dictates and pompous pronouncements, and why not? It has never served you and never will. Are you willing to take your place among Beings of Light?
MT: Thanks for the redirection. I feel lighter. My bulb is up to 60W right now.
JC: You can choose to fire it up to a floodlight.


114 I am spirit.
I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.


I am not a body, and I have a part to play while I inhabit a body. What is my part to play? From me forgiveness spreads its wings of peace over the world of form, that it disappear and be no more. This is my function. This is my life, my purpose, my love.


115 Salvation is my only function here. My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.

MT: I've heard this before, so many times. Perhaps I shouldn't be doing these lessons over and over? You don't recommend that in the book.

JC: No, I don't. I leave it open. I knew most people would feel the need to keep going through the lessons, as do you.

MT: The world is too much with me, and I forget the Thought of God.

JC: And today's thought?

MT: Let me look at my day. If I were more active, socially speaking, then I'd meet more people and have more chances to practice my part.

JC: You are doing fine. If it were in your best interests to meet more people or hold a full-time job, I'd show you the way. Your part, right now, is to practice contentment. Your busyness is an ego device and unworthy of a Son of God. When I walked the earth, I did not move about frantically planning to be somewhere else.

MT: I need your help in being content. I'm always trying to change me. I have a mania for self-improvement.

JC: Out of where you are, comes that which seeks to emerge, in a natural, organic development. That is trust. Practice trust today.

115 Salvation is my only function here. My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.

MT: I am fighting this process, JC. Is it a good fight, or a trick of the ego? Should I continue focusing on the Lessons, or go on to something else?
JC: Who are you, and what do you want?
MT: I am the Holy Son of God. I want peace that passes all understanding.
JC: From this reference point, how do you answer your two questions?
MT: Awesome! I just got in touch with a place in my mind, a place I visit often, where I am thrown back into the agony of choice. There Hell is. I've been there countless times before, probably on a daily or hourly basis. I need to shut the door to that place, to throw away the key.
JC: Not so fast. Where Hell is, there is Heaven too, both creations of your mind. The Holy Spirit will use every place in your mind, if you will open it for, so to speak, a celestial cleanup.
MT: Visit my "hell of choices" place, then, and show me how to see it differently.
JC: You go to that place and empty it out. See it as clean, empty, freshly painted. Open the door to God and invite Him in.
MT: This is profound--to open the recesses of my brain. God doesn't solve any problems I make up! Instead, God takes up residence in places free of problems of my making.

115 Salvation is my only function here.
My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.


MT: Woke up in a funky mood today. The ohming--it unsettles me. It's supposed to deepen the connection with God, but it does the opposite.
JC: Please continue.
MT: I feel quite scattered. I couldn't even focus on the yoga poses. They were so peaceful for so long, and now . . .
JC: What is the (imaginary) fear?
MT: That I've lost it forever! Peace will never come back!
JC: The state of agitation must be permanent! Agitation is forever, like diamonds!
MT: I see what you mean. I wasn't born agitated, it happened along the way. I am peaceful most of the time.
JC: What do you need to remember right now?
MT: I need to remember that I am one with God and my brothers. That peace is my natural inheritance. That God is my last name, because I belong in the Family. I am part of God's Cosa Nostra! : )))


116 God's Will for me is perfect happiness. I share God's Will for happiness for me.

MT: The house is quiet, a fire lights up the room, life is good.

JC: As long as you know that quiet can be frightening, and that fire can also burn.

MT: The duality of everything on this plane. So where is perfect happiness?

JC: Perfect happiness resides in doing God's will. When your will and God's are one, nothing can disturb your peace. Walk the world with God, and you will radiate joy to everyone you meet.

MT: I have met people like that. Arny, and a casual acquaintance whose name I've forgotten! She, especially, sticks to mind. She was so present. She was radiant. I wanted to be like that.

JC: She found the key a little before you did. You see the logic of the two statements above, right? That if God's will is perfect happiness for you, and if you share God's will, then you must be perfectly happy. It also gives you a yardstick by which to measure your proximity to God: if you are not happy, you must not be doing God's will.

MT: I am forever thankful, JC, that you did away with the wrathful God of my youth. How I suffered under the burden of guilt and fear! I would not wish that on anybody else. It crushed my spirit. I was born playful and free, and then darkness descended on my soul, and I did not question darkness. Darkness was truth, a harsh reality that I must accept in order to carry on my miserable life.

JC: Welcome to perfect happiness. Those days are gone, and now you can be free again.

 


116 God's will for me is perfect happiness. I share God's will for happiness for me.

How could it be otherwise? I want to be happy. God wants me to be happy. End of story. The story is always about trials, and I give up my story. I erase the book of my life. I am ready to live happily ever after.

116 God's Will for me is perfect happiness.
I share God's Will for happiness for me.



This is my reminder, today, of what's true. If God is Love, as Christianity would have it and I learned in the Baptist church, then His will for me must be perfect happiness. After all, would God condemn any of his Sonship to the eternal fires of hell? I grew up in fear of hell, but c'mon! I was just a kid who knew nothing of sin. How did God create me? I am sure He did not create me evil from the get-go.

And why would I choose anything but perfect happiness, transcendent beauty, ecstatic creativity? I share God's will for me!


117 God, being Love, is also happiness. I seek but what belongs to me in truth.

MT: Thanks for this thought, JC. I really made myself miserable yesterday by procrastinating. I avoided updating the ID website and uploading Carol's new paintings to her website. Since I spent the whole day avoiding those two tasks that would have taken two hours at most, I didn't do anything I really enjoyed, whatever that is. Even watching a movie in the evening was tainted by the nagging feeling that I hadn't done those two things, the shame that I might be judged a flake and a non-keeper of commitments.

JC: You spent the day treating yourself lovelessly.

MT: I am confused. Every time I sat down to the computer, the loving thing seemed to be to play a game of Spider Solitaire! It's instant relief, to play a game. I feel the relief washing over me when the green screen opens up.

JC: Look at what's actually happening, instead of your picture of what should be happening.

MT: Uh? My picture of what should be happening is--I do the work, and then I feel peace. I relax. I have time to go downtown and browse in the bookstore, or go for a nice evening walk with Mozart on the mp3 player. It's really undignified, to spend so much time playing Spider Solitaire! It doesn't agree with the picture I hold up as myself, the go-getter, the sparkling, efficient woman who tells these people: "no problem, I'll have that done in no time at all." I feel like a creep when I don't do what I promised to do. I slink around like a dog that's eaten franks off the barbecue.

JC: So you are saying you are long on promise and short on delivery?

MT: You've got it. How can I get out of this pickle? I need to promise less and deliver more.

JC: Can you forgive the 16-year-old who was left in charge of the house when mother left? The teen who boldly promised to take care of Father because she felt she was more sparkling, more efficient than Mother? Can you forgive your dad for telling everybody you had failed?

MT: That goes back a long ways, doesn't it. Ouch. I need to go right now, but thanks for the awareness.

JC: God does not call you a failure. The word does not exist in His vocabulary. You've already gotten an A in this Course.

 

117 God, being Love, is also happiness. I seek but what belongs to me in truth.

MT: Don't know what to say, JC. It is curious that I can know that something is true and still not fully integrate it. Of course God is love and happiness. Of course happiness belongs to me in truth. I need a deeper experience of this, that's all.
JC: Ask for a deeper experience, and let yourself be guided by what comes next.
MT: It's usually nothing.
JC: Nothing is exactly what needs to happen. Give up your attempts to show God the way. The ego IS your mania for showing God how things should be. Just know that, if you are unhappy, or restless, or judgmental, you have decided with the ego, and then it is time to decide for God.
MT: I seek but what belongs to me in truth. How could I not receive it!


117 God, being Love, is also happiness.
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.


I seek happiness for myself. Therefore, I must also want God! Then it follows that misery is just a way of shutting God out.

Happiness belongs to me. God belongs to me. God is my family, my name, my life. In His house I dwell, forever and forever.


118 God's peace and joy are mine. Let me be still and listen to the truth.

MT: Here I am, JC, such as I am, with all my scars. That's quite a promise, that God's peace and joy are mine for the asking, and that I can hear the truth merely by being still.

JC: In God's world there are no scars, pimples, bad breath, falling hair, tooth decay. In God's world, you leave this world behind, along with money, housing, taxes, relationships, beauty and ugliness, rain and shine.

MT: I used to fear those words, because I was attached to so much. Now there are only a few stray attachments, at least in theory. I think that threats to my health and physical integrity would strike terror in my heart. The movie last night--Hotel Rwanda--I was there, JC. To know that half a million got chopped to pieces in that beautiful country, in the streets I walked, hits close to home. I had hoped that humanity had learned something from two world wars, but nothing seems to have changed.

JC: You can also see how the carnage was only because of ego, no? Human beings erroneously thinking that killing others kept them safe. It needed not happen.

MT: Now let me leave those thoughts behind. Let me see the futility of attack. Let me be still and listen to the truth. I am willing to own God's peace and joy today.

 

118 God's peace and joy are mine. Let me be still and listen to the truth.

Mine. Mine! This is have, worth more than all the trinkets, houses, bank accounts, new cars.

Now let me be still and listen to the truth. It is this I sought when, as a girl, I primped before the mirror. It was this I wanted when nothing but the highest grade in the class was worthy of me. It was this I sought when I owned a house on the hill. It was the peace and joy of God I sought when I helped others, raised children, trekked in the wilderness, sat by the campfire in the evening. It was the peace of God I sought when I drank wine, ate chocolate, anguished over failure and got puffed up with success. God's peace and joy were mine all along, buried under the many doings that I believed would bring me peace and joy. Now let me be still and listen to the truth: God Is.

118 God's peace and joy are mine.
Let me be still and listen to the truth.


What else could I desire, besides peace and joy?
And how else do I get there, except through stillness? Truth is drowned out by the static in my mind--not permanently, but within our space/time reality, it can be a long, long time. Silence must be nurtured, watered and fertilized like a seedling in spring, that it may flower and produce its fruit, a hundred to one. Let me be still and listen to the truth.


119 Truth will correct all errors in my mind. To give and to receive are
one in truth.


MT: Today let me be open to the truth, that to give and to receive are one.
The minute I wake up, plans for the day inundate my consciousness. I am
willing to take in this truth today, and remember it often. What better
purpose for my day.

JC: All that you give is given to yourself. When you offer forgiveness,
forgiveness comes back to you a thousandfold.

MT: And when I give anger and attack. . .

JC: You tend to receive the same. When you attack, you tempt your brother to
respond lovelessly. It is his choice, but not a helpful thing on your part.
Your purpose should never be to educate with a negative example, and excuse
it by saying he needed to learn a lesson.

MT: Forgive me if I laugh. I've excused my angry behavior with exactly this
line of thought. How sheepish I felt when I yelled at a bad driver and he
rolled down his window and apologized!

JC: As you go through your day, offer a silent prayer for truth: to give and
to receive are one, a directionless flow between two Sons of God. You can
make scarcity, or you can create abundance, peace and joy.

 

119 Truth will correct all errors in my mind. To give and to receive are one in truth.

MT: I think I have a feeling for what is truth. It is an energetic feeling in the body. But somehow, you are connecting the fact that giving and receiving are one, a true statement I know, with the correction of errors . . . oh, never mind. I thought I had a question!

JC: You thought they were separate thoughts, but they are one. Today, stay with the correction of errors, the dawn of truth in the mind of the Son.

119 Truth will correct all errors in my mind.
To give and to receive are one in truth.


What is truth, I wonder? How do I know a statement is true? I can venture a few criteria:
Truth is universal, not exclusive.
Truth eliminates duality.
Truth does not discriminate. Like sunshine, it gives its clarity to saint and sinner alike.
Truth has a resonance in one's being. Arguments end when truth enters in.

"To give and to receive are one in truth." Why does this statement follow the first one? Could it be that the bedrock of the ego is the separation between giving and receiving? The world of shortages, starvation and lack does not need to exist. A "world that works for everyone" (in Werner Erhard's expression) is not only possible but essential.


120 I rest in God. I am as God created me.

MT: No need to change anything. No need to improve myself, the world, my
brother. Today I let all things be exactly as they are.

JC: When there is a task to be done, the Holy Spirit will show you the way,
as it did me, as it does everyone.

MT: Except I am deaf and blind. The enormity of my resistance to hear and
see anything different is just becoming apparent to me.

JC: God's Voice is as loud as your willingness to hear. This is where you
need a miracle. The miracle overcomes the barriers you have set up to keep
God away, but you need to ask. An uninvited miracle is frightening and
negates your free will.

MT: Today, I rest in God. I allow myself to relax into my original state. I
let God do the work.

JC: From your mouth to God's ear.

 

120 I rest in God. I am as God created me.

If I am "as God created me," there is no need to huff and puff, strive and suffer. As Effects of God, we extend the quiet magnificence of God Himself. Like the child I once was, I can run out into the sunshine and breathe in the air of the Father's House. There is beauty and resplendent power in every leaf that moves in the wind, every drop of water in the morning sun. I am as God created me.


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