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221 Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.

MT: One of my favorite affirmations, JC.
JC: Yes. A mind still as a lake in the moonlight, reflecting only the presence of God. What more could we desire?
MT: There was a time when I did not even dream of the possibility of a still mind. My ego chatter was the only state known to me.
JC: Welcome to the Kingdom.
MT: Or at least a hint of the Kingdom--a herald of eternity.

221 Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still.

MT: Yes, peace. I want the priceless gift: a silent mind. Seems like the closer I get, the noisier it gets. Or the noisier I make it! My mind feels out of control, yet obviously I am generating the noise (if not I, then who?).
JC: Perhaps you need help? This is not a journey to be taken alone.
MT: I figured I must grit my teeth and apply the leash to my mind. Not so?
JC: This is the law of love: what you do to yourself you do to others, what you do to others you do to yourself.
MT: What does that have to do with controlling my mind?
JC: Slow down and listen. Slow down and listen. Beyond the sun and stars there is Silence.
MT: So I need to slow down and listen to others.
JC: Yes. What are they really saying? Be a witness today. Nothing more is necessary.



222 God is with me. I live and move in Him.

MT: This affirmation entails a basic reworking of our made-up God, doesn't it? From the bearded judge in the sky--the God of my youth--to a pervasive, beneficent presence.
JC: You got it. And words fail here, because God cannot be defined in words. You can talk about God, but you will always fall short of the mark, because God is an experience, not a thing.
MT: Ah! I like that! God is an experience, not a thing. We thingify our world and in doing so we rob ourselves of the richness of experience.
JC: That is why you need silence. That is why you need to let go of your ideas and come empty-handed unto your God. That is why "finding God" is an impossibility, because God always finds you in the end.
MT: The fish cannot "find" water because it's in it all along. You cannot "find yourself" because you are yourself all along. How could we even begin to imagine that we had lost ourselves and lost God! What a preposterous idea! And, JC, it's such a comfort to "feel" God on my skin, in the air I breathe, in the gentle breeze touching my cheek. I am forever grateful to you for bringing us this magnificent guide to peace.

222 God is with me. I live and move in Him.

God Is. No more do I need to search for the chapel where I might find God.
No longer do I look for a guide to tell me how to live. God cannot be found,
because we already are Him, we cannot not be Him. God is the seeking for
God; God is the seeing what is not there; God is the war we wage and the
lives we save and the love we extend--God is Life. God Is.

222 God is with me. I live and move in Him.

MT: It's late, JC. I want to eat a bowl of cereal, brush my teeth, and go to bed.
JC: And . . . ?!
MT: Well, this post is my promise to myself and to the group.
JC: And . . . ?!
MT: I judge myself if I don't keep my promises.
JC: Promises can be kept and they can be broken. What was true for you yesterday may not be true today.
MT: But what will people think?
JC: You have a reputation to maintain?
MT: In my mind, yes. I try to maintain the fiction that I am responsible and keep my word.
JC: But you know it is a fiction. Reponsible/unreliable is part of the duality that we seek to leave. What is the loving thing? What are you guided to do?
MT: I want to go to bed.
JC: Whatever you do, who walks with you? That is the important question. Nothing else matters.
MT: Thank you . . .



223 God is my life. I have no life but His.

"God created man in His image, and man promptly returned the compliment" -- Voltaire 

223 God is my life. I have no life but His.

And why is that? Because God is Life. God is the breath I take, the steady beat of my heart, the flow of blood in my veins, the mystery of life itself. God is the intelligence of evolution. God is the intention of the acorn that grows into a noble oak. An acorn never develops into a potato plant, because it knows what it's supposed to do!

And what is my intention? My intention is to be "as God created me." I know, that leaves choices wide open! So be it. I do not walk alone. Whatever I choose to do, I will do it with a song in my heart.

 



224 God is my Father, and He loves his Son.

MT: The Lessons are much more direct now, JC. I see that they seek to establish a direct, hierarchical relationship with God.
JC: The God you thought you left so long ago, yes.
MT: For a long time as I did the lessons, the word "father" ground on my nerves. The relationship with my earthly father was a difficult one for me.
JC: It need not be. You know he loved you, he just didn't know how to love himself.
MT: That is so true. He tried and tried again, and every time he tried, he ran into his own barriers.
JC: With this work, we are removing the barriers to love. It is the most important thing you will ever do in this lifetime.
MT: Thanks, JC. My most important task and role. The thought is almost overwhelming.
JC: God is your father, always was, will always be, loving you in a way that your earthly father never could, no matter how hard he tried.
MT: I want to love "as God." I want to love my brothers, and myself, as God loves us.

224 God is my father, and He loves his Son.

MT: I don't like the image, JC. I like to see you as brother, but God as father? Of course, these are all just dreams.
JC: Yes. The reality of God cannot be contained in the image of a father.
MT: So why do we do it? Why play with these emotion-laden symbols?
JC: This course is a bridge from illusion to reality. It uses the symbols of the illusion to undo it.
MT: You spoke to me in bed this morning, when the cat climbed on top of me and I realized that the cat is God too.
JC: There is no place or thing, no animal or human, where God is not. That is for you to remember. God is to you as the vast ocean to a wave.

224 God is my Father, and He loves His Son.

The mysterious world around us, just beyond the five senses, is a friendly one. It is beneficent, forever giving. The mystery is a delight. So much for the world of fear handed down by my parents and the culture! "There is nothing to fear." What if . . . what if this were really true? How would I operate, how would I move about, what would I do, if there was really, really nothing to fear?



225 God is my Father, and His Son loves Him.

MT: Been a busy two days, JC, going from one thing to another without a pause. I've become accustomed to a slower pace. I am thankful, though, that I was able to help Rick with his feelings of confusion and guilt. It's a heady feeling, to be a vehicle for the Holy Spirit. The time was right, he looked for that kind of help, and I was there. It was a coming together of events, time, space, and people. Doesn't happen often, and I want to be open to that synchronicity. It is my heart's desire.
JC: You are open, right now, to being an instrument of God's peace. May you stay that way.
MT: God's peace is like a mysterious command from another sphere. The universal wheels turn and opportunity comes around. How ecstatic the feeling of being there when it happens.
JC: You will live increasingly from this mystery. The door is open now.

225 God is my Father, and His Son loves Him.

MT: So how am I this morning, you ask? And it is not just a greeting. You really want to know. You want a report. So here goes: My body feels quite free, my mind is full of stuff. I longed for a purpose the other day, watching the video of last year's TED conference. I longed for the stimulation of good minds, the company of good minds. I longed to use my head! Having dwelt in academic settings for twenty years, I now feel left out and atrophied. Am I totally off here? Does this longing come from a source other than my petty self, or is it just my ego kicking up?
JC: You are close to tears. This is a painful spot you touched.
MT: Yes, there is pain here. How did I give up on myself like this?
JC: Notice that you framed the question within the assumption that you gave up on yourself. You look for your answer to your question. You compete with God for meaning.
MT: So I don't know, really, if anything is wrong or what might be wrong. Back to the first few lessons!
JC: When you let go of your definitions, you access knowledge that is not of you. You also access love that is not of this world. God is cause, we are effect. God is Father, we are Son, and this hierarchy shall never be undone.



226 My home awaits me. I will hasten there.

MT: The city is quiet at this early hour. This lesson has a hint of death, of leaving the body, of going home to God. Talk to me about death and dying. My friend Elsa will not last the week. I feel such reverence in her profound stillness.
JC: This is my church, where two come together as one with God.
MT: The attendants breeze in with fake cheer and loud voices. It is jarring. I want to shake them: Pay attention! Elsa's Great Moment is at hand! But they do not hear, they are like ants.
JC: They might hear you better if you whispered.
MT: And I? Where do I fit in?
JC: You heard it already: practice dying.
MT: That's my practice, isn't it--to cultivate the profound stillness that comes from Elsa. One dies to the world and is reborn to eternal life.

226 (2006) My home awaits me. I will hasten there.

MT: It is still today, JC. The world sleeps at this early hour. I am here to talk to you, to hear from you. I don't belong here, I belong with the Father, and soon I will return home. People fear death and build a whole world around avoiding death, yet it is the one unavoidable event. I wonder how I will face the death of the body.
JC: Dear, dear Monica, I am here for you, and I will respond joyously to any call. When the time comes and you ascend the tunnel of light, I will be there to gather you in my arms.
MT: Well, JC, today is still for the living (or those who walk the world half alive). Show me the way.
JC: There is nothing to fear. Go about your day in love and gratitude.
MT: But I take this thought with me: my home awaits me, and I hasten there.

226 My home awaits me. I will hasten there.

MT: Where is home? I have searched all my life, and I've felt homeless, vacant, anxious like a lost dog darting about in empty streets. If there is anything I still want while on this journey, it is to contribute, to give of what is meaningful. But there is that word again: meaningful. So I still want to assign meaning to what I do, and my meaning and God's meaning are in direct conflict. All I can do, really, is to focus on what's in front of my nose and make no judgments. You want me to clean the kitchen? Write a note to my niece?
JC: You know that you select the impulses to follow. I told you to call Chris and Carol. I whispered to you to clean up old emails. But you made other choices instead. This is not a sin, but it does delay your arrival Home.
MT: Yes, I avoid acting on impulse. Fear comes up--what if I mess up? What if it's uncomfortable, embarrassing, what will the neighbors think?
JC: So bring joy to that which you do. You have been richly rewarded any time you have heeded my voice. I will never ask you to do what brings you pain. Come home today! Angels and prophets wait with open arms.



227 This is my holy instant of release.

MT: Good morning, JC. Still sleepy here. Having a hard time focusing my eyes, not to mention my mind.
JC: That is fine. Come as you are to your holy instant of release.
MT: No need to clean up before the maid walks in, I guess.
JC: If you did not need Atonement, you would not need Atonement.
MT: One of the blessings of this Course--to allow what is, to forgive what is, and to let it go.
JC: Which means to walk the world without defense.
MT: I like that. Today I walk the world without defense. There is nothing to defend.
JC: There is nothing to defend. In this holy instant you are released.


227 This is my holy instant of release.

THIS instant. Not next year, after my next training. Not next month after I've endured relatives for three days. Not tomorrow, after I have prayed and meditated another hour. My holy instant of release is NOW, as I come wholly empty-handed unto my God. Grace has no requirements and no price. It is the fullest expression of God's love for His Son, and our love for Him.



228 God has condemned me not. No more do I.

MT: I feel slightly condemning today, JC. Please assist here.
JC: What is the unforgiveness you are holding?
MT: The unforgiveness of my body, I think. After an hour of stretching, I'm still 71. I haven't forgiven my body for not being a trapeze artist in Cirque du Soleil. Can you imagine the ecstasy of soaring 100 feet above ground?
JC: That soaring--the spirit soars. You remember that. That is a memory you hold.
MT: I am not a body, am I. God did not condemn me to die with the body.
JC: God did not make you a body.
MT: What I want, what I really want, is vision.
JC: You have vision right now, this moment. You ARE vision. Vision is the gift of God. Vision is life. Make no more darkness today.

228 (2006) God has condemned me not. No more do I.

Mt: Why should I take on the role of judge, jury, and executioner? I can be my own best friend today.
JC: Yes. The only thing you need remember is the love of God, and then do likewise.
MT: It is only arrogance to condemn myself, isn't it.
JC: It is, and you can let it go today.
MT: Ah, to walk the world in perfect holiness! How could that not bring me joy. That's the prescription for joy.
JC: Today, breathe deeply of the holy air of our Father's house. You are home now.

228 God has condemned me not. No more do I.

MT: I've gotten so ho-hum with the Course. Can take it or leave it, today at
least. My life works well, except for the feeling that I could be doing
so much more. God did not condemn me? Of course not. That's preposterous.
JC: So who are you, and what do you want?
MT: I am the Son of God, and I want to SEE. But it's not like wanting air
when you are drowning. It's more academic than that.
JC: Vision is God's gift to you. Vision has to do with doing
nothing. You cannot be true vision as long as you are trying to be something
else.
MT: To BE true vision?
JC: Yes, I meant that. True vision is not something you do as a separate
self. True vision is yours when there is no more "you" to "have" it.
MT: And I get there through forgiveness.
JC: You get there through the Great Undoing of forgiveness. Today, look upon those you meet with the eyes of Christ. This you can do. Vision you cannot work to obtain. It comes by grace, the grace of God.

228 God has condemned me not. No more do I.

MT: My first reaction is, "you got to be kidding! I don't condemn myself, ever!"
JC: Yet you do. You condemn yourself to littleness, for example.
MT: I don't believe I am worth any effort, that's for sure. Giving up is always easier and safer.
JC: Seemingly safer. Easier? Only because of habit. But what does God say about you?
MT: God says I am His Son whom He loves. God says the flowers on the path bend down to greet me. They have saved their perfume for me. Their rich colors reflect the Light of God. Oh, how can I not believe the Word of God?



229 Love, which created me, is what I am.

MT: I want to curl up in bed, after eight hours' sleep. I am avoiding something, aren't I?
JC: You are avoiding God, of course. What other forms does the avoidance of God take, in your life?
MT: I avoid God when I get sleepy right after eight hours in bed. I avoid God when I eat on top of a full belly. I avoid God when I watch yet another episode of Weeds, despite my back's message that I've been sitting too long.
JC: Enough of looking for error! How do you invite God in?
MT: Ah, yes. I invite God in when I talk to my plants. I invite God in when I rock the cat on the floor. I invite God in when I look into my grandchild's eyes and remind her she is perfect. I invite God in when I return attack with gentleness. I invite God in when I stop whatever I am doing and say, "JC, help me out here."
JC: Yes . . . you invite God in when you manifest love in the world of form.

229 (2006) Love, which created me, is what I am.

MT: Talk to me, JC. I am listening.
JC: Happy birthday! I am happy you are here. I am happy you talk to me and hear what I have to say.
MT: Thank you. Sixty-nine seemed unreachable when I was a child, but here it is.
JC: Today you remember love. Today you remember who you are.
MT: There is no other way to be, is there? Save for my nightmares, it's not really a choice.
JC: You can choose pain, but, as you say, it does not exist in God's world.
MT: I find myself wanting to curl up back to bed. I am avoiding something, aren't I?
JC: You are avoiding God, of course. How many forms does the avoidance of God take, in your life?
MT: I avoid God when I get sleepy right after eight hours in bed. I avoid God when I eat on top of a full belly. I avoid God when I watch yet another episode of West Wing, despite my back's saying I've been sitting too long.
JC: Enough of looking for error. How do you invite God in?
MT: Ah, yes. I invite God in when I go talk to my plants. I invite God in when I rock the cat on the floor. I invite God in when I look into my grandchild's eyes and remind her how perfect she is. I invite God in when I return attack with gentleness. I invite God in when I stop whatever I am doing and say, "JC, help me out here."
JC: Yes . . . you invite God in when you manifest love in its many forms.



229 Love, Which created me, is what I am.

Here is the answer to the age-old question: Who am I? I am not a body. I am not a "who" but a "what"--the highest expression of God's love for the Son. Love created me, and Love is what I am. I let go of form and move into symphony, the interwoved threads of Life loving Itself. Thank you, God, for this vision of Heaven.



230 Now will I seek and find the peace of God.

MT: Your use of poetry is superb, JC.
JC: Thanks. I learned from the best.
MT: Shakespeare?
JC: And others. How does the lesson apply to you, today, here, now?
MT: Awww. So much more convenient to focus on you.
JC: And less conducive to peace! You have focused on others all your life, now it's time to take it all in.
MT: So, my goal today is to seek and find the peace of God, rather than to allow distractions to control me.
JC: Yes. It is possible to be with others and retain the peace of God.
MT: When I look someone in the eyes, judgments flood in--mostly judgments of myself. I think they are judging me.
JC: And they think you are judging them, so you and your brother bounce the ball of judgment back and forth and there is no end to the game, except to say "stop."
MT: OK, today I will silently repeat this beautiful affirmation: I seek and find the peace of God in your eyes, brother.

230 Now will I seek and find the peace of God.

MT: Here is little me seeking to connect with the Infinite. I always start out with some littleness--the bellyache, a random fear of future loss, the unpleasant encounter with another body--and you help me access that which is greater than I. You are my red phone, my Internet, my direct line to God. But today I have no idea what to ask. Perhaps there is no question right now.
JC: Today we seek and find the peace of God. Do you love me?
MT: A startling question! Why do you ask?
JC: When you truly love one, you love all. True love makes no exclusions based on form. Would you love me if I were in a body weighing 400 pounds?
MT: But you aren't, JC. That's an unfair question.
JC: So you would love me if I were a lean, bearded Semite in a white robe, but not if I showed up as a black female weighing 400 pounds.
MT: I think I could get past the form, but it would take a while. How can we separate form from spirit? Spirit makes form. We are embodied in a form that reflects the quality of spirit animating it.
JC: You just made up a spurious distinction between spirit and Spirit. It is not so. When you forgive, you change form. Or not. Form no longer matters when you forgive, when you are the peace of God.

230 Now will I seek and find the peace of God.

MT: How timely this lesson, JC. Smoke is coming out of my ears from J's email.
JC: You lost your peace of mind over a separate one.
MT: Yes. Sigh. I took it personally, but it's only a statement about her, isn't it.
JC: She knows not what she does.
MT: I feel weary. How is it that one individual can upset a whole group?
JC: How is it that a whole group can lose peace of mind over one individual?
MT: I am beginning to see this differently, JC. Thank you for the perspective. Thank you for your abiding love.


 

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