Index of Lessons

161  Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.

MT: What confrontation you offer today. When I first praticed the Lessons, some twenty years ago, this idea threw me for a loop--no, it threw me for a somersault. Waking up in the morning next to my boyfriend, I reached for the Course and opened the lesson of the day. "But--but--it can't possibly say that! Ask HIM for a blessing? Are you trying to provoke me? How could this benighted character give me a blessing?"

JC: But he did, didn't he?

MT: Yes, in a roundabout sort of way. The idea showed me how much resentment I was gunnysacking, in case I needed ammunition for later. I saw him as threatening, invasive, controlling, totally unworthy of me.

JC: And this was the one person, out of several billion, whom you chose to share life with you. 

MT: Totally irrational, I realize. What is remarkable, JC, is that I felt the need to gunnysack, that I saw my judgments as valuable. I wasn't ready to give them up, because they held a whole world view together. Without this judgment of him, I had to see myself differently. A big piece of my Self was restored.

162 (2006) I am as God created me.

MT: I feel headachy this morning. Have sore legs from all the hiking, a stiff neck and an occasional stab of pain in my left hip. Nothing major, but nothing grand or glorious either. I don't think God created me like this. How to be free?

JC: How do you bind yourself?

MT: I know where you're getting at. I did get angry yesterday. I gave a brother tit for tat and felt righteous about it. The separation was intense, and it was over nothing, really. A pair of socks left on the bed. The meaning I gave it was, he's trying to assert dominance here and I mustn't let him. It's my house too.

JC: The meaning you gave that "nothing" brought you smack into the world of the ego once more, didn't it.

MT: It feels so good to be angry, for a few minutes at least. I was tired from the trip, here's this pair of dirty socks, and he insists they are mine. How dare he. Anybody could see they were his socks.

JC: World War III over a pair of dirty socks. I call that another useless journey. What do you call it?

MT: Oh, I agree, it's another useless trip down a road to nowhere.

JC: How long, dear sister, how long? God waits with open arms and a banquet table, set for you and the brother of the dirty socks.

163 (2006) There is no death. The Son of God is free.

MT: Well, how appropriate, JC. I have a curious feeling that my family is "defective" because we lost Nina. Have no idea where that comes from.

JC: Suffice it to realize that it is part of the illusion. Everybody is perfect, those who leave, those who remain. The family is perfect.

MT: Yet I have been in grief for weeks now. I would like healing for myself and my family. I so want the kids to be all right. I know they miss her in countless little ways, and they may be afraid of losing their dad too.

JC: Dear sister, you are home. Fear is the stranger here. This event opened your heart. It is a priceless opportunity for the children to open their hearts too, for your son to open his.

MT: Well, he could use it!

JC: Everybody can benefit. All paths lead to God in the end. You cannot avoid God, any more than God can avoid you.

MT: So in the appearance of death we can find God.

JC: In the appearance of death, you find God.

164 (2005) Now are we one with Him who is our source.

MT: Good morning, JC.

JC: Good morning to you too. I was in your thoughts through the night. It is a good idea to remember the lesson before bed, as you did by accident.

MT: From my days of doing affirmations and hypnosis, I carry a great respect for what I put in my mind. I cringe to think what fare children are being fed for hours on end, as they watch television--brutality, killings, car crashes, broken glass, anger. It's all about anger.

JC: Today are you one with Him who is our source. No need to try to be one with the world of the ego. It is impossible, in any case.

MT: You say, in the lesson: "today vain imaginings part like a curtain. . ." --I have a question about that. Off and on, in these early lessons, we are clearly steered toward a breakthrough. Not just a logical conclusion--there are plenty of those--but an experiential breakthrough. I've studied the Course diligently and practiced forgiveness, but you tell us, in your gentle way, to experience God. That I resist, and I feel vaguely ashamed of it.

JC: The ideas go just so far, and then meditation and silence must take over. You say you want to experience God, but you cling to your shabby ego world. You do not, for even a moment, totally let go of it. I would say that the ego world now has a tenuous hold on you, and it would take very little effort to see it vanish completely. Colors are powerful for you. I suggested saffron orange to you while driving home yesterday. I suggest it again.

MT: How? Do I paint the wall orange? 

JC: Colors exist in your mind. Meditate on golden saffron orange. Let it bathe you in its beneficent light.

164 (2006) Now are we one with Him Who is our Source.

MT: I like that, JC. I didn't create myself--I have a Source. I cannot be apart from my Source, ever. You attempt to convey the idea of a ground of being, aren't you? Like water to a fish.

JC: The fish can deny the existence of water, but the water is still there, unchanged and unchangeable, essential to the existence of the fish.

MT: So we're trying to see the unseen, experience the inexpressible.

JC: Or at least, acknowledge its existence.

MT: What a difference a direct experience of God would make in my life. I would never be the same.

JC: You have experienced it, but you have denied it.

MT: I misused the power of my mind. Enough of these games. Now let me be one with Him Who is my Source.

165  Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.
MT: Looks like this lesson is about certainty. It is about experience and the certainty experience brings.

JC: Humanity becomes the Sonship again through a common experience. Do not deny this to yourself. It is your natural inheritance.

MT: To deny the Thought of God is to deny who I really am, and pretend I am someone else. JC, in the background for me right now is fear of aging. Not fear of dying, but of the misery that I see in a body that Spirit has left but which goes on by dint of modern medicine.

JC: You are making two huge assumptions: that Bill is miserable in his body, and that his spirit has left. Do you not see that he waits for the final answer? That he waits for Atonement? People who hang on are the ones who have unfinished business on this plane.

MT: You mean, I could help him recognize the Thought of God.

JC: It is up to you. Of those closest to Bill, you are the one who can help him solve the riddle of existence.

MT: Also sprach Zarathustra, who sees that God is incomplete without man, and man is incomplete without God and without his brother. That we need each other and we need God to solve the riddle of existence. Zarathustra then descends from his mountain retreat to be a man among men again.

165 (2006) Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.

MT: Like Peter who denied Jesus three times before the rooster announced dawn, no?

JC: He did it out of fear. Are you letting fear control your mind as it did Peter's?

MT: Guess I am, JC. I live in this world, and to a great extent I still allow myself to be "of" it. I would pledge to change that. But, y'know, when the rooster crows the world rushes in, all sorts of plans take form, and I look forward to none! I long for that feeling of infinite possibilities I had while on vacation, or after a couple of glasses of wine . . . right now I grasp firmly the bars of my jail cell. There are no possibilities, there's only endurance, making the best of boring safety.

JC: The door is open, sister. You white-knuckle bars that you carry around with you. They are heavy, and your back hurts from the exertion.

MT: That's so sad, JC. That's the human plight in two short sentences. What are we all doing? What am I doing? I see the world as my jailer, but I am the one who carries the heavy bars around. Give me courage to live and experiment and dare! I am willing to risk my illusory safety, the house that's paid for, the retirement account, the two computers and all the slick technology that so fascinates me. I am willing to be willing, at any rate . . . hold my hand, JC!

166  I am entrusted with the gifts of God.
MT: So I am. Good morning, JC!

JC: Good morning, Monica.

MT: How did you sleep?

JC: I don't sleep. I watch over you all night long. Sleep is of the body, and I no longer live in a body.

MT: You are free.

JC: As are you.

MT: But I am still in a body.

JC: And Spirit can zip around like a hummingbird. You have experienced that.

MT: So I have. I want more of it. That is truly a gift of God, that I can even contemplate the possibility of zipping around like a hummingbird.

JC: You are the trustee of a priceless inheritance. Help others know they are not bodies, that they too can be free as a soaring eagle. Sons of God were not meant to be tied down to earth like oxen.

MT: Ouch. That's a painful comparison. I make myself into a beast of burden most of the time. I make myself slave to my body and its upkeep. I walk the world slowly and painfully, looking down lest I trip and fall. I carefully hold on to what I have today, lest I be destitute tomorrow.

JC: Forgive those who taught you. You were created to soar. You have known what it is to soar. Today, reown your inheritance and your function, because you are entrusted with the gifts of God.

166 (2006) I am entrusted with the gifts of God.

MT: Feeling a bit down today, JC. Entrusted with the gifts of God? I don't feel like it right now. I am a bit sick, and I am angry.

JC: Angry . . . tell me more.

MT: Ate too much. I feel potbellied. Have a painful swollen lymph node. Slept too much. Would like to feel better.

JC: Who did you make this decision with?

MT: Oh, a shadow from the past. Probably my critical and jealous sister. But I hate to keep writing like this. People will get on my case for whining.

JC: Like, get off the pity pot already?

MT: Exactly.

JC: So why don't you?

MT: I wouldn't give them the satisfaction.

JC: Who is "them"?

MT: The people who tell me to get off the pity pot. I would like to show them a thing or two. I will sit here till the cows come home.

JC: Well, since that is your decision . . .

MT: You're going to leave me here, aren't you?

JC: Yes, but only because you are the decider--not because I think it's your best decision.

MT: I am free to ruin my life. Thanks a lot.

JC: You are free to choose between happiness and misery. No loving God will kick you past Heaven's gate, you must walk in on your own power. Call me again when you've been miserable enough.

MT: OK, JC, I will at least try to enjoy being miserable.

167 (2005) There is one life, and that I share with God.

MT: I'm late posting today, JC. Thinking that I should meditate in the morning and post in the evening. What do you think?

JC: Any time is a good time to connect with God. Time of day is not a problem.

MT: I am grateful to you for a certain sharpness of mind, even as I get older.

JC: The benefit of forgiveness. The fog gives way to brilliant light.

MT: Looking back on the lesson: there is one life. All this agitation about when life begins, and about postponing its ending, that's a moot point if life is One.

JC: Life does not end because it does not begin. Life is a continuum. The atoms that make your body now existed a million years ago, in a different outward form.

MT: God is the life that animates every cell in my body. It is a light that the hand of man cannot put out. In the beautiful words of Genesis, "the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light."

JC: There is light in you today. Fear nothing, for God walks with you. God is life, life is God.

167 (2006) There is one life, and that I share with God.

MT: Well, here I am, JC, in the throes of an undiagnosed malady. Nothing like sickness to "prove" that the body is real.

JC: I love you. You are one with me. You are one with your brothers, one with God.

MT: Thanks. Helpful reminder. How often I forget that God loves me, that so many love me even at the illusion level, that I am important, that my contribution matters.

JC: What can I say? Welcome to the Kingdom you never left, dear sister. Nothing else matters, nothing else is real.

MT: The little life of my passing body is just an echo of the Voice for God.

JC: It can be a lovely note, however, like a distant flute in the woods. Let it be so. Let the melody of who you truly are silence the clatter and clang of the ego world.

168  (2005) Your grace is given me. I claim it now.
MT: Empowering words, JC. It’s like I've just bellied up to the bank teller's window: “I want to get into my safe deposit box. Here is the key.”

JC: Yes. You access your natural inheritance, your most valuable possessions. But let's not forget that this is a bottomless resource. In fact, the more you withdraw, the more there is. God's grace is an ocean, vast beyond comprehension, perpetually replenished by rain.

MT: I don't know what to say. I'm at a loss for words.

JC: No need to say anything. You feel sated. Now go on and give of this inexhaustible resource. Like water, grace benefits from being circulated.

MT: Can one say that stagnant grace, like stagnant water, becomes toxic?

JC: I aim to undo a common ego belief: that more for one is less for another. In your country, people are dying of overeating, while in other parts of the world, children starve for a crust of bread. An excess of anything eventually becomes a burden. The ego world is a world out of balance.
MT: We need to say, I have enough. I have sufficiency, I AM sufficient. Let me focus on flow, not on acquisition.
JC: Acquisition comes from fear, abundance issues from grace. Practice flow in your life, and you will experience abundance beyond any dream you can dream.

168 (2006) Your grace is given me. I claim it now.

MT: How empowering, this Course! No more of "have pity on us, miserable sinners!" No more groveling before a capricious, judgmental, demanding God. JC, I am forever grateful to you and Helen and Bill especially, and grateful to the several others involved in its editing and publication. This is truly the second coming of Christ.

JC: Awww . . . don't mention it. Fact is, the dictation, writing and publishing of this Course had an inevitability in it. Just as your going to Costa Rica had an inevitability about it. It was something that had to be done.

MT: I wait for the next inevitability. What would you have me do and say?

JC: You will know without a doubt when the time comes. Right now, your task is to claim grace. Enough of shutting yourself off from the Kingdom. Enough of second-guessing God. He knows what you need.

MT: Your grace is given me. I claim it now.

169  (2005) By grace I live. By grace I am released.

MT: So here I am, six-thirty in the morning. Birds quarrel outside, in here I am aware of the hum of an energy-saving bulb, the ticking of a clock, and silence. I haven't heard the field mouse (the cat brought it in, the mouse got away and has chewed around in the kitchen for the past week), so perhaps it found a way out to the ivy patch again. I doubt it really wants to live in a place owned by a cat. This is another of those ho-hum lessons for me, JC. Like, OK, OK, enough already, I know it. Please refresh my mind.

JC: Grace is a gift, yet it is essential. It is the gate to Atonement.

MT: The gate to Atonement. . . not Atonement itself?

JC: Grace heralds Atonement in you.

MT: Do I need to know this?

JC: You asked, that's all.

MT: Aw, JC, I am confused. I am distracted. I don't want to talk to my annoying ego voice, and I suspect that's what I'm hearing.

JC: Get back to love. When what you hear is completely loving, you will know that you are hearing correctly.

MT: But I love you, JC.

JC: And I love you. Shall we live happily hereafter?

MT: That's how fairy tales end. We all know fairy tales are not real.

JC: No, but they too are heralds of eternity. There is no "living happily hereafter" in the world the ego made, because sooner or later the ego would make trouble to remind you of its existence. Eternity resides in a spatial dimension in your mind. You can access it any time you are totally willing. It is an egoless state.

MT: So I go in and out of it, hopefully increasingly in. But I feel this edge of annoyance today. Where are you?

JC: I have never left you. I will never leave you.

MT: I know that, but I don't know it. Gotta go, the clock calls. Perhaps we talk again later today.

169 (2006) By grace I live. By grace I am released.

MT: Here's surrender again. I thought I lived by my savings; by taking vitamin pills; by having a good relationship with my relatives; by answering letters and paying bills on time and yielding to faster traffic on the freeway. You are telling me that all those are illusions?

JC: You live by grace, not by idols. That doesn't mean you should break the rules of the world just to prove your point. That would be an especially noxious ego trick that would bring its own consequences.

MT: So I get my eight hours' sleep, drink plenty of water, and trust in God.

JC: Before you are enlightened, you chop wood and carry water. You see God, chop wood and carry water!

MT: JC, let me put something out here. I need to be open to your help and your presence in the days to come. The task I signed up for is not easy for me.

JC: I am right there with you. The grace of God is with you always. It will release you any time you ask.

170  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.
MT: The word "cruelty" always startles me when I first read it. It evokes all the cruelties I suffered under, heard about, read about. Viewed.

JC: That is the intent, to highlight the contrast between the world of God and the world of the ego. The ego made up a cruel God, full of spite, ready to hurl brimstone at those who transgress or think about transgressing or even think about thinking it. The illusion of a cruel God has to go before you can change your mind about yourself.

MT: I had great difficulty, for the longest time, with an image of God the Father, because it evoked the Old Testament God that my dad used as an excuse to vent his rage on us two kids. He could be cold as a razor blade, and we girls, the weakest ones, were at the receiving end. But his father was cruel to him too, his father's father as well, and no doubt this went up the generations all the way to Adam and Eve.

JC: Cruelty to one's own children harkens back to the original separation, the banishment from the garden of Eden. In that story, and it is only a story, God banishes His creations for daring to experiment. What could be farther from the truth? Would a loving God discourage strength and light, and the trying out of new things? But man decided to go it alone, spun out the carpet of time with its illusions, and blamed God for it.

MT: I feel overwhelmed just to consider it. One little error affected the Son of God for millennia thereafter. Are there any good aspects to this, or is it a disaster through and through?

JC: It had to happen in order that the Son be "as God." But it is now time for the return. Mankind is approaching the sun and coming ever closer to burning its wings. Power must be guided by love, not by fear and separation. This is the time when you must rediscover the power of love. This is the Second Coming, and we are long delayed.

170 There is no cruelty in God and none in me.

The belief in a cruel God has to go. Along with it, the belief in cruel Man has to go. The two are inseparable. I grew up with a cruel God, ready to send me to eternal torture by fire if I didn't behave. I grew up thinking that evil must be eliminated, in myself, in others. I sought perfection while believing I was defective. Now let me forever abandon these childish thoughts. Today let me only accept the Thought of God: I am as God created me.


Index of Lessons