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181 I trust my brothers, who are one with me.

MT: Don't know about this one, JC. I feel quite untrusting right now. I felt attacked by E this morning, pinned wriggling against the wall. Didn't know how to get out of the situation.

JC: You forgot to ask me for help.

MT: I did. I was relying on my own finite resources. I let E determine my reaction to him, instead of asking you. I need a kick in the pants, JC.

JC: No, dear sister, what you need is Atonement. You need to know that you are holy, complete, a bright light in a world that gropes around in darkness.

MT: I forgot, JC. This morning I quite forgot who I am. Let me remember your guidance and your love.

181 I trust my brothers, who are one with me.

MT: So what does this actually mean, in my life within the illusion?
JC: You trust AND lock the door when you leave, lest you tempt a brother to steal.
MT: There is no virtue in offering oneself up for attack, then.
JC: The question is, what is the loving action?
MT: When my mother slapped Dad in the face, he would turn the other cheek and point to it. It made her lose it entirely.
JC: His was not a loving response, despite the Biblical injunction.
MT: I am reminded of one of those gems from est: "The meaning of the message is the response you get." This is so totally situational!
JC: That is true humility: to act out of love, again and again.



182 I will be still an instant and go home.

Of all 365 lessons, this is my favorite. I will be still an instant and go home. We all want to go home to our Father, and we try to satisfy our longing with sleek cars, a sparkling rock on the finger, designer clothes, a trophy partner, gourmet food and vintage wine. But nothing can fill the void, because the soul longs to be in the arms of God. JC, envelop me with God's love tonight. Let me feel the tenderness of a love that has no beginning and no end, no conditions, no price. Let me be here with you, and hear the voice that whispers: You are the Son of God, in whom He is well pleased. Who can add anything to these words? And who would want to?



183 I call upon God's Name and on my own.

 
"God's name cannot be heard without response." I used to think that prayer was worthless, that God was deaf to our supplication. Now that I see that God is in my mind, that I live and breathe IN Him, how could I not be heard? Now that I know God is part of me, and I am part of Him, how could I not be heard? When I ask to see things differently, in that moment I open myself to a better way.
 
"Repeat God's name, and all the world responds by laying down illusions." We are connected. What happens to me resonates throughout creation. I can reinforce the illusion by being grouchy, indulging in anger and resentments, chasing sin so I can punish it--or I can simply call God, and the world itself will respond!
 
"Repeat the name of God, and little names have lost their meaning." As I meet others today, I will silently say: God. God is here. As I am tempted to fill my sadness by buying more of what I don't need, I will say: God. I don't need another trinket, God is what I need.
 
"Repeat the name of God and call upon your Self, whose name is His." When I call upon God, I am calling upon my true self, the self that is eternal, boundless, infinite. I am calling upon my inner mind. I am calling upon intelligence that is vast beyond comprehension. I am calling upon the intelligence that makes rivers flow to the sea, tree roots embrace the ground, the sparrows to feed their young, the flower to open its petals to the sun and curl them up at night.
 
"All things are silent. . . the little things of earth have disappeared." You and I, one at last.



184  The name of God is my inheritance.
 
MT: We are family, you, God, and I. We share a common name and wealth. There is a strong bond between us, bro.

JC: Indeed there is. We stand by one another.

MT: You start out the lesson by talking about perception, how we divide and subdivide the world we see. How we put spaces between things, and keep things separate by naming them. When we name something, we are also saying what it is not: this is a computer and not a sofa. This is a book and not a lamp, or a carpet, or a vase. I think that to have things flow together would be quite disabling, not to mention terrifying. How could we get along in this world of separate things?

JC: I also said that to perceive separate objects and to make up names for them is a phase everyone must go through. It is acculturation. Words are a way to get along with the members of your tribe. But do not mistake the ways of the culture with reality. These are conventions. Time is a convention. You say to someone: "I'll meet you at three." You could as easily say, "I'll meet you when we are hungry again after the hunt," or "I will meet you when the shadow of the oak reaches this line on the ground."

MT: Clocks give us precision--"I'll meet you at 11:15." I get upset if I have to wait until 11:45! "Time is money."

JC: Speaking of illusions. . . you assign value to pieces of paper. Holy sons of God kill for small sheets of paper! Do you not see how far you have removed yourself from reality?



185  I want the peace of God.
 
MT: You say, in this lesson, that we mouth the words but do not really mean them. I can think of one person, right now, whose hands I could not bear to hold in mine, let alone say: I want the peace of God. I would rather give Edith a lecture on how to behave so as not to inconvenience the rest of us!

JC: You noticed, dear Monica. That is all that is required. Here is truth. You are clutching to your heart a form of unforgiveness. In doing so, a part of you is secret to yourself. Would you accuse yourself of behaving the way she does?

MT: I go the other way. I am the overly responsible one. I would never not show up for a meeting, neglect to assign a proxy, and then expect my voice to be heard and heeded! She's got a lot of nerve. Do you really think I should let her get away with it? Something in me feels very ugly, when I contemplate her presence, even in my imagination. I have a lot of trouble dealing with irresponsible, manipulating people with a stupid fake neigh that passes for a laugh.

JC: My, my! So much for the peace of God!

MT: Look, I know there's a cry for love in there someplace. Why does she have to hide it so well?

JC: So do you resent her behavior, or the fact that her ego has layers and layers? That she walks a little behind you on the path?

MT: JC, I just noticed my own feelings. I feel powerless, like a victim, because she's a better manipulator of people. She won this round, we're reconsidering the vote we took in her absence, her manipulation succeeded, and that's what I did not want to see happen.

JC: You do not want manipulation to succeed. Can you think of manipulation you would approve of?

MT: Milton Erickson, the father of clinical hypnosis, was a master manipulator. But he did it to get his clients' egos out of the way, to help them achieve their goals. Yes, I approve of his manipulation. I would like to do what he did. In fact, my rule against manipulation handicapped me quite a bit when raising my children. I knew I could get them to bed with a fake choice: do you want to go to bed right now, or in five minutes? They'd always fall for it, but I was ashamed that manipulation made it so easy. A stern order, I felt, was more honest. But that always set them up to fight me.

JC: Will you let a ray of light come through the picture of Edith that you see? Therein lies the peace of God.

MT: Therein lies the peace of God. . . thanks, JC. You are quite the pal.

185 I want the peace of God.

It all comes down to one simple question: Do I want to be right, or happy? Would I rather win, or be at peace? We think that it is only in winning that we can finally rest. What if, at the end of our journey on this plane, we realize that life has revolved around a mistake? That life was not about winning at all? That peace can only be had above the battleground?



186  Salvation of the world depends on me.
 
MT: I know this. Salvation of the world depends on me. Do you have to repeat yourself so?

JC: You chose to do the lessons over and over again. I never set this up as a requirement.

MT: It is easier than to meditate. And it does make for a cybercompanionship. I get feedback, occasionally. I know there are people out there.

JC: So what do you wish for right now?

MT: I need to center. I feel out of it, and slightly hostile. Such is my mood today.

JC: You feel separated. The last thing in your mind right now is to save the world. You reluctantly inherited mission from your Dad, whose stance in life was clear: he was important, and salvation depended on him. He chose to be a minister, and he never gave up.

MT: He should have! He would have made a far, far better college professor. The congregation longed to connect with God, my Dad gave them analytic sermons laden with logic and reason. They wanted experience, he gave them dry explanations. I think he felt like a failure, and he was.

JC: It all came from a tiny error: the belief that he was separate from God.

MT: He prayed to a God outside of him. No wonder he didn't get much of a response. Plus, his God was harsh and judgmental and condemning, just like himself.

JC: Let's not dwell on the error! Would you like to reconnect with the loving God, the infinite, awesome intelligence that permeates all things of Earth and Heaven?

MT: It is not a choice, is it? I either connect with an all-loving God, or I make up a God to kick around and be kicked by, which is not connecting at all. How laughable the human condition. At least, now we humans--Sons of God--know the way home. You came back via a couple of willing scribes to show us the way.

JC: And now I come back through you, and everybody who offers a little willingness. Salvation depends on you. You are among the ministers of God.

186 Salvation of the world depends on me.

This study has changed me in numerous ways. I think of it as a new operating system for the mind. One early realization was my true importance, to myself, my family, and those in my circle of acquaintances. BC (Before Course) I dismissed myself as meaningless, unimportant, negligible, even to my children. This train of thought coexisted, out of awareness, with grandiose dreams of fame and fortune, the grateful multitudes erupting in cheers and applause for my work in Saving the World.

How different, now, life is! I can no longer indulge in what my son called "colossal indifference". That earlier attitude was just an excuse to act irresponsibly. I now know that my smallest action, when it springs from love, can change others, can change the world. I now know that "salvation of the world depends on me."



187  I bless the world because I bless myself.
 
MT: Good morning, JC.

JC: Good morning to you too, beloved sister! God loves you. I love you.

MT: A good way to start the day.

JC: To bless yourself, yes. It puts everything in perspective. When you bless yourself, you cannot help but to bless the world.

MT: I find myself orienting more and more to the group--like, what do I need to hear from you, from which they would benefit too?

JC: A good development. You are not alone. Even in your darkest moments, angels hover all about you, and your brother is not far away either.

MT: I can choose to shrink into a shell and lick my wounds, or I can choose the glorious connection with others and with God. JC, thinking of my Dad again, I had a vision of the different worlds he could have spun out. He could have chosen the path of vengeance, and destroyed himself, and us, in the process.

JC: You are glad he chose to be a minister. He chose the path of forgiveness, even though it was difficult for him to walk it. At every moment of every day, you spin out a world. It can be a world redeemed or a world at war. Which do you choose?

187 I bless the world because I bless myself.

MT: A good way to start the day.
JC: To bless yourself, yes. When you do, you cannot help but to bless the world.
MT: I find myself orienting more and more to the group--like, what do I need to hear from you, from which they would benefit too?
JC: A good development. You are not alone. Even in your darkest moments, angels hover all about you, and your brother is not far away either.
MT: I can choose to shrink into a shell and lick my wounds, or I can choose the glorious connection with others and with God. JC, thinking of my Dad again, I had a vision of the different worlds he could have spun out. He could have chosen the path of vengeance, and destroyed himself, and us, in the process.
JC: Be glad he chose to be a minister. He chose the path of forgiveness, even though it was difficult for him to walk it. At every moment of every day, you spin out a world. It can be a world at war, or a world redeemed. Which do you choose?



188  The peace of God is shining in me now.
 
MT: Sometimes I can predict the next lesson, but that's not the case with this one. We leap from blessing myself to experiencing the peace of God. And "shining"? Peace shines, or is peace more of a feeling of warmth and comfort?

JC: You can analyze, or you can experience. Do you not see how you avoid experience?

MT: Truthfully, I don't see it. I think I'm looking for experience right now, but first getting a couple of ornery questions out of the way.

JC: The peace of God shines in you right at this moment. Look for that golden feeling that washed over you so long ago in a Berlin art gallery. You can distract, but you cannot erase it.

MT: I would love to see that painting again. . . but that is a distraction. The soul wants release, does it not?

JC: The soul wants release from the bonds of the personality. The rules made by man keep the soul tethered to the ground, but cannot change its nature. it was created to soar with delight.

188  The peace of God is shining in me now.

Peace shines! Here is the idea of light again--formless, infinite, without limit. We are gently encouraged to practice reaching for that light in our times of "deep experience," which to me means meditation. What happens for me, if I do not actively participate in study, sharing, and meditation, is a removal from God and a reassertion of the ego world.



189  I feel the Love of God within me now.

No longer need we think we must claw our way to God. This lesson contains the most beautiful words spoken anywhere. I should repeat Paragraph seven daily, memorize it, paste it on the door of the fridge. "Come with wholly empty hands unto your God." We think we need to sacrifice, crawl to Mecca on our knees, whip ourselves until we bleed--and you remind us, we need do nothing! God knows the way to us! It's truly a startling thought, that every effort of man, every offering, supplication, alms and Paternosters, ends up being a barrier. "Lest ye be as little children. . . " The awareness of God pours into the open, innocent heart. It fills us to overflowing, and then
spills onto our brothers, making again a verdant garden of the parched desert the ego made.

MT: I just got a glimpse of it! The name of God, is that an illusion too?

JC: We are making up a word for what will eventually be a wordless experience. The name of God is a learning device. Today, practice seeing God in all things. God is the pattern that connects every living thing. God is the commonality every cell in your body shares. God is the commonality you have with those who walk the earth with you.

189 I feel the Love of God within me now.

No longer need we mortals claw our way to God. This lesson contains the most beautiful words spoken anywhere. "Come with wholly empty hands unto your God." We think we need to sacrifice, crawl to Mecca on our knees, whip ourselves until we bleed--and you remind us, we need do nothing! God knows the way to us! It's truly a startling thought. Every effort of man, every offering, supplication, alms and Paternosters, ends up being a barrier. "Lest ye be as little children. . . " The awareness of God pours into the open, innocent heart. It fills us to overflowing and washes over our brothers, making again a verdant garden of the parched desert the ego made.

JC: The name of God is an illusion as well. We make up a word for what will eventually be a wordless experience. The name of God is a learning device. Today, practice seeing God in all things. God is the pattern that connects every living thing. God is the life shared by every cell in your body. God is the bond with those who walk the earth with you.



190  I choose the joy of God instead of pain.
 
Pain is a choice I make to see myself as a victim of circumstances out of my control. Pain proves I am alone in the universe, that I have been thrown out of the Garden of Eden and that I deserved every bit of it.I choose pain every time I hold an unforgiving thought. Attack thoughts are like arsenic coursing through my veins. Clogged arteries are lined with congealed attack thoughts! Cancer cells are literally self-attack. Rogue cells floating in my bloodstream are self-condemnation in physical form.
 
I can choose to be happy in a forgiven world. My brother and I can be home where we belong, today, safe in our Father's arms.


 

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