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311 I judge all things as I would have them be.

MT: We call a child lazy and then berate him for lying around. My president calls other countries the Axis of Evil and then expects them to act like democracies. I judge my partner as closed off to Spirit, telling myself that he should act differently, but he doesn't, so it's hopeless but at least I am right! I have even (shame!) given the finger to the driver who cuts me off on the freeway—do I really think this will make him more polite? JC, you've made it impossible for me to act irresponsibly. Well, not impossible, only painfully obvious.
JC: Today, hand all judgments to God. Not because you should not judge, but because the ego cannot. When you declared yourself separate from God, you limited the mind, and with this concrete-encased mind you set yourself up as the judge of all you see. Ask yourself, first, how do I want this person/situation/world to be? Then judge with the Mind of God.
MT: The miracle of the reversal!

311 I judge all things as I would have them be.

JC: You think you have learned this lesson.
MT: Yes, I have. I see it all around me. What's hard is to let go of judgment completely. Even as I know I cannot pretend that my judgment is right, I judge people and things all over the place.
JC: OK, then, let the Holy Spirit in you guide your sight. And let go of concern: the thought that judgment needs to be abolished by effort. Effort is, in itself, a judgment, the judgment that you have not done enough.
MT: It occurs to me that, entirely without judgment, nothing would be as it seems right now.
JC: You could walk through solid walls, yes.
MT: That is scary, JC.
JC: But there is nothing to fear. Perfect love casts out fear.



312  (2004) I see all things as I would have them be.

This is the law of the ego: first I judge (because I am trying to be God), then I see, then I feel. Right now, after the election in which things didn't go the way I wanted, I judge politicians as stupid, hidebound half-alive carcasses, then I see them as such, then I feel indignant, victimized, hopeless.
JC: Do you like the rage you feel?
MT: It feels right, like your anger at the moneylenders in the temple.
JC: We should talk about that another time. Right now, let not my anger excuse yours, any more than the behavior of politicians excuses your judgment of them. Aren't you happy about the conversation with your son?
MT: Oh yes. I thank you for your guidance. All I did was express my grief at the outcome of the election, without arguing or trying to change his views, and he comforted me! He even sounded like he might have voted Democrat-alas, probably not.
JC: So today, watch your judgments. Come from the heart, moment to moment. And by the way, twenty centuries ago in the temple, I was in the flesh as the man Jesus, and I had an ego attack. I misused, for a moment, the light of God in me.  That is all. I forgave myself for it, and I would like you to forgive me as well.
MT: You are the light that shines across two millennia. How could I have anything but love for you?


312 (2006) I see all things as I would have them be.

MT: So, what do I want? It all boils down to what I want. You are offering me a chance to change the world by changing my mind. The world I see is not in my own best interests--so what do I do about it? I change my mind, that's what. Forgiveness has a vastly expanded meaning, when viewed in this way.
JC: See all things as you would have them be. Today, see the world you want, not the world the ego made up. How simple is salvation!

312 I see all things as I would have them be.

I make up the world I want, using judgment/fear, or using love. Which of these two states I use as my ground of being determines the world I perceive. When you think about it, it's not really a choice. Love propels all living things, judgment and fear contracts, makes smaller, rigid, lifeless. Which do I want?

312 I see all things as I would have them be.

I make up my reality on the fly, so to speak! What do I see--a world of suffering, sin, and death, or a world bathed in the glorious light of God? That is my choice, today, tomorrow, next year. It was always my choice, but now, it is my conscious choice. Let me today take responsibility for how I see things. Let me today use the power of my mind to hasten our collective return Home.



313 Now let a new perception come to me.

MT: When I stop judging, my mind is free. A new way of seeing the world my body inhabits can then come in. And then I am free of the strain of constant judgment, free to enjoy the moment. Who would say no to such a deal?
JC: So what is keeping you from accepting God's bargain?
MT: I have accepted it as a concept, but haven't integrated it into my life. My knee-jerk responses persist like a pesky fly.
JC: Judging hold habits keeps them around. You cannot whip yourself into the Kingdom. A benevolent look upon the world, including yourself, is essential. Allow your eyes, the windows of your soul, to gaze beyond form. There is sparkling beauty in all things, beauty so exquisite that you would weep if you allowed yourself to see it.
MT: So be it. Today my eyes open up to a forgiven world.

313 Now let a new perception come to me.

Today, Father, let me see my brothers as they truly are. Along with them, I too am a radiant being of light.

313 Now let a new perception come to me.

MT: I feel angry, JC. I don't feel at all like remembering God, letting in a new perception, or anything of the sort.
JC: You feel angry and separated.
MT: I feel justified in my anger. Why should I have to do everything around here.
JC: You feel unjustly treated.
MT: Yes, I do. I think anyone else would agree, too.
JC: And who decides? Who is the judge here?
MT: I am.
JC: And are you at peace?
MT: No, I am not. It will be hard to sleep.



314  I seek a future different from the past.

 
MT: Yes, of course. I think we all want a brilliant future. Yet we cling to habit and routine. We make rules for life out of something that happened forty years ago. Those early experiences have a sticking quality. Life gets smaller and smaller when we live by early decisions. These waning years should bring freedom: "when I am old, I shall wear purple." How come the young, who have most to lose, are fearless, and we who are dying off fear to try anything new because we might shorten our pathetic little life? 
JC: You were meant to transcend death, yet the body cannot do at sixty what it did at age twenty. This body will never belong to another generation. Listen to the Voice for God that tells you what to do, how to see.
MT: Today, let me not worship youth. Now let a new vision come to me, and out of that a new role and purpose and meaning. In silence I receive God's word today.  


314 (2006) I seek a future different from the past.


MT: I do. How did you know? I want to correct mistakes that have plagued me for decades. As I look at the years that are left to this body, I want to enjoy life. I want to laugh often, to love much, to be with friends, to have an open house where everyone is welcome. I want to push open doors that I thought were locked tight. Yes, I seek a future different from the past.
JC: And it has already been given you! Open your arms in welcome!

314 I seek a future different from the past.

MT: Even though there is no future and no past.
JC: I know the world of illusion and the world of knowledge, both. The keyword here is "different."
MT: I do not want to repeat the mistakes of my past. Yes, I seek a different future.
JC: And it is yours! Walk through the doors of the Kingdom today, you and your brother, hands held.


314 I seek a future different from the past.

Well, yes--why would I desire a future that's just a rehash of old days? Let me wipe the slate clean. Let life branch out in all its possibilities. My mind has been imprisoned all too long. Let it be freed today.



315  All gifts my brothers give belong to me.
 
MT: Risky statement, JC! 
JC: Only if taken out of context.
MT: I guess one can always misuse God's word.
JC: As the Inquisition did. As politicians are doing today. So read on, and take the lesson in the spirit in which it was written. 
MT: Yes, I see. The Harlem Boys Choir is a gift to me. Jane Goodall's work in Africa is a gift to me. The writing of Aldous Huxley is a gift to me. Helen and Bill’s seven-year commitment to taking down the Course is a gift to me. So many of us work quietly to improve the planet. Our work is a gift to me, because I am not separate, and we all benefit from our actions. My newspaper and magazines, not to mention TV, thrive on violence, injustice, murder. They incite helpless rage, a restlessness in the soul. Meanwhile, the good that moves us closer to God is easily overlooked because it doesn't make headlines. 
 
So today I will collect good news. I will claim my brothers' gifts and fill my heart with wonder. Christmas came early this year!

315 All gifts my brothers give belong to me.

Let me open my hands to receive God's gifts today. We are the Son whom the Father loves. We are the Son!

315 All gifts my brothers give belong to me.

MT: What do I make of this, JC? What's this about brothers and gifts?
JC: You and your brothers are one. There is no difference.
MT: And the giving and receiving?
JC: No difference there either. You cannot give without receiving. You cannot receive without giving.
MT: I see the first, but the second?
JC: You give to you and you. You receive from you and you. It is mutual.
MT: The Christ mind. Yes.
JC: All differences are erased when your mind is one with God's.
JC: Do you like what you feel?
MT: Of course I don't . . . or maybe I do. There is energy in the anger. I would like to straighten out a few things around here.
JC: So you are not ready for a new perception. This is where you are right now. You made a decision with the ego, and the separation from God is not painful enough yet.
MT: Well, I'm beginning to see a crack in my anger. A tiny ray of light comes through. I can get what I want without being angry about it. That's my new perception, isn't it? It's amazing how you always turn things around!



316  All gifts I give my brothers are my own.

A lesson from the Bible stayed with me: Do not hide your light under a basket (I always worried that it might catch fire, anyway!). The work I do is useful to all. If nobody worked, there would be no wealth, no new books, no hospitals or schools, no Internet. No ACIM, either. Civilization as we know it would end. Our collective ego wants to reframe work as a selfish activity, done only for the money, something to be endured. But everybody benefits from what we give, and what we get from work is infinitely more precious than the paycheck. I suspect, however, that today's lesson really has to do with forgiveness. When I offer forgiveness to another, not out of pity but out of spontaneous, unrehearsed love, the light of God is a glow around me all day long.

Let me commit acts of love and senseless beauty today.

316 All gifts I give my brothers are my own.

I cannot give without receiving. I cannot receive without giving. Giving and receiving are one. What do I want for myself? This I offer others. What do I want for them? This is my gift to myself.

316 All gifts I give my brothers are my own.

I cannot give without receiving. My gracious acceptance of what others have to give is equally a gift. We do not keep score! Thus we create as God does. Our gifts are Light, formless, without limit, extending forever and ever.



317  I follow in the way appointed me.
 
MT: Here's surrender again. God is boss.
JC: I would prefer you think of God as your partner.
MT: Yet "I am forever an effect of God."
JC: That is also true, but I want to emphasize mutuality here. A true partner always consults the other, and decisions are made jointly.
MT: I beg to differ. God didn't ask me before sending Hurricane Katrina!
JC: Perhaps He just said yes to your request? You believed the Administration needed a lesson in humility, and there it was.  
MT: Touche. JC, help me remember God's love. Help me bless those who serve us, even if they do not always seem to do the right thing. Today I step off the blame and judgment pulpit.


317 (2006) I follow in the way appointed me.

MT: This seems like a new phase of my evolution. I feel more separate from God these days, JC. I'm no longer fighting the Light or judging myself as I used to, but rather in a curious detached state of mind. I'll do what needs to be done but move about sort of . . . absently. At times I don't remember who I am. The rigid, encrusted Monica is breaking up and vaporizing, and I watch the process with a sort of curiosity. I'm not even so engaged in "saving the world." This all happened since the shock of Nina's death. The feeling is "so what?" Don't know whether to judge or just let it be. Is this the "dark night of the soul?"
JC: Let me hold you in my arms, dear sister. Do not think for a moment that your spiritual guides have left you.
MT: Ah, that closeness. To feel your breath expand against my heart. To hear a murmur, a whisper. To feel your warmth--and, at last, to see the glory of the Other who is One with me. I knew this when I was a child curled up next to Mother. It also occurs to me that intimacy with oneself is a precious gift. That "to follow in the way appointed me" is to have a deep sense of my inner process, the energy moving forward, staying still perhaps, expanding or retreating, it does not matter, the God-energy is like the tides, it eventually always comes back. How God moves me is up to God.

317 I follow in the way appointed me.

At last, to see the glory of the Other who is One with me! I knew this when,
a child still, I curled up next to Mother. And to see the glory of the Self
that I am! Intimacy with oneself (call it the Atonement if you will) is the
gift without price. To "follow in the way appointed me" is to have a deep
sense of that which moves me, the energy moving forward, staying still
perhaps, expanding or retreating, it does not matter which. The God-energy
is like the tides, it always eventually returns. How God moves me is up to
God.

Today, let me listen to the "still small voice" that whispers betweeen the
raucous cries of the ego. Let me listen to Your guidance today.

317 I follow in the way appointed me.

MT: Darn it, I don't know what to say or think. I know this already.
JC: You are making yourself do something you no longer want or (perhaps) need.
MT: I should back off, beginning next year.
JC: Let someone else contribute, yes.
MT: Oh, that's another way of looking at it. If I don't blog, it makes room for someone else to pick up the slack. But is this ego talking?
JC: Does it bring you peace? That is the question you must answer.
MT: It's neither here nor there. I know I don't want to remove myself from any contribution. But, speaking for myself, I know to reach for your advice whenever I feel anxious or unfocussed or unhappy.
JC: So follow your heart, Beloved.



318 In me salvation's means and end are one.

MT: Impressive statement, JC. The whole world I see ends up in me, like a laser 3-D picture, where the whole resides in each of the parts, no matter how small. In fact, there are no "parts" in the material sense. In me resides all of Creation. We—all of my misguided brothers, along with misguided me—have sought to deny a reality that cannot be avoided, any more than an element of a laser picture can ever be a separate entity. "I was created as the thing I seek."
JC: You are means and end. You are the peace of God. You are the Kingdom.
MT: What a vision! I am the Christ, the beginning and the end. The holy Christ is born in me today. Your words put a huge chunk in place. It's a new way of seeing myself and my role. And I love lasers! Those bits of shimmering light, they are beautiful beyond words, they are echoes of Eternity.
JC: Once your mind is stretched, it never entirely returns to its previous state.
MT: I am the Way, and I am the Destination. The Giver of Life Himself appointed me. I need nothing. Today I am here, complete, whole.

318 In me salvation's means and end are one.

>I am the means by which God's Son is saved, because salvation's purpose is to find the sinlessness that God has placed in me.

The first task of the miracle worker: to accept Atonement for himself.

>I was created as the thing I seek.

I want joy and peace that passes all understanding. I AM peace that passes all understanding.

>I am the goal the world is searching for.

The world feels worn out and bereft of hope. I came as the hope of the world.

>I am God's Son, His one eternal Love.

Father, today I enter Your House, the Paradise I thought I would never again see.

>I am salvation's means and end as well.

Through me is the world saved. In me is the world saved. Let this vision follow me wherever I go, to share with those I meet.



319  I came for the salvation of the world.
 
Whoa, JC! That's a bold statement. If I hadn't done the early lessons (I'm full of BS, I don't know anything, etc.) I could get all puffed up and go do something really embarrassing. 
JC: That's why there is a sequence to the lessons and you are told not to break it.  
MT: Say, this lesson also touches on family stuff for me. We Tarziers have such a compelling need to "save the world," coupled with a profound dread of sticking out our necks. After all, look what happened to Granddad. I've spent a lifetime getting over his execution. 
JC: I agree, that's a profound split. You felt destined for spiritual leadership and at the same time crushed by forces that kept you silent and humble. 
MT: So how does one integrate? 
JC: Patience! You have always tried to do too much, too soon. Spiritual leadership has to come from the God within you, not the ego. You have to acknowledge the other side, the fear. You must join and not try to go it alone. 
MT: Granddad must have felt betrayed by God Himself. I cannot imagine how much he suffered. 
JC: What could Karlis learn from you, from what you now know? How would you comfort him? 
MT: I would put my arm around his shoulder, in his dank prison, and we would cry together. The first step would be to acknowledge his desperate situation.
JC: And then? 
MT: I would do whatever I could to help him forgive his assailants. He had a vast reservoir of anger, plus a holier-than-thou attitude that can't have gone over too well. I would also seek to help him say goodbye to life.
JC: Your grandfather's fate does not have to be yours. You do not have to repeat history. "Choose again," remember?
MT: Thanks for listening, JC.
JC: Always here for you.


319 (2006) I came for the salvation of the world.


MT: First, you tell me I don't know anything. Then you tell me I am the Savior.
JC: Yes, and . . . ?
MT: So both must be true. Or neither one. There is no contradiction here, I guess. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. We're being asked to go past duality.
JC: You are being asked--but it's not an order, it's an opportunity--to let go of separation. There is no world, there is no Other, you and I and God are one.
MT: The world needs to hear this.
JC: But you are the world. It is you you are saving. It is you you are blessing. Do not set out to change a world outside of you. This is how you save the world: embrace it, for it is of your making.



320  My Father gives all power unto me.

MT: I find it curious, JC--a paradox--that I can so easily see myself as a sinner, a victim of the actions of someone else, the helpless dry leaf bobbing in the current. From the vantage point of littleness, life goes on in its petty pace, and then we die, beaten, defeated, worn.
JC: Let me assure you that the path of littleness may seem easy, but far more energy goes into holding back than moving forward. It's been pointed out that " . . . the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred."
MT: So then, a change of mind precedes, and precipitates, external change. We can struggle. We can spend our God-given energy fighting God. But one fine day we let God's energy billow the sails, and from that point on nobody can stop us.

320 My Father gives all power unto me.

MT: Oh yeah?
JC: You sound skeptical. Your ego objects to this statement.
MT: Do I go with the ego, or with the Word of God?
JC: Is it really a choice, or is your path determined by God from the moment of your creation?
MT: OK, I remember now. I do not need to believe in what my ego-body tells me.
JC: Do not look back. You are as God created you, not the sorry imitation of life that you learned with the ego. Let Truth show you the way.


 

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