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321 Father, my freedom is in You alone.

>>I did not understand what made me free. . .
MT: I thought therapy might make me free. I thought self assertion, confrontation, plans for revenge, plans for suicide made me free.
>>. . . what my freedom is . . .
MT: I thought freedom was more. More money, more beauty, more admirers, more goods, more food, more car, more house.
>>. . . and where to find it.
MT: Since I looked for more of the same, more of the same is what I got.
>>I have searched in vain until I heard Your Voice directing me.
MT: Back then, I would have rejected your Voice as pure Pollyanna-talk. I put my faith in cynicism, on tearing down while sanctimoniously claiming to build. Yet I kept looking because deep down a Voice spoke, "Find a better way."
>>Now would I guide myself no more.
MT: I would guide myself no more. Not because "I shouldn't," or because the book says so. I would guide myself no more because I cannot. If I want to transcend the little local self, my mind MUST be guided by something beyond the local self, whatever one may call It. Most call it God.

321 Father, my freedom is in You alone.

MT: I look to the end of the year--Thanksgiving, Christmas, family, the sparkling winter days here in Southern California. What will 2009 bring? I want to be free of questions and doubts.
JC: And your freedom is in the Father.
MT: I must trust, then. This is a huge issue for me--to trust that Lucy won't pull away the ball just as Charlie runs to kick it.
JC: Let this time be a time of trust.
MT: How come I fell off my bike? Why did this happen?
JC: What is the thinking? You expect that accidents won't happen because you are special?
MT: So trust goes beyond this world of fires and hurricanes and terrorism. Trust is where I come from, and whatever happens, happens.
JC: God does not prove anything to you in order that you trust. You decide, and cosmic wheels move to support your decision.

321 Father, my freedom is in You alone.

I look for freedom in therapy. . .
but my freedom is in You alone.

I look for freedom in bodywork . . .
but my freedom is in You alone.

I look for freedom in shiny new things, elegant high-tech objects . . .
but my freedom is in You alone.

I look for freedom in a well balanced stock portfolio . . .
but my freedom is in You alone.

I look for freedom in helping others change . . .
but my freedom is in You alone.

Let me no longer embark on useless journeys. Let me search for freedom where it is, not where it is not.



322 I can give up but what was never real.


MT: Convoluted writing, JC! I guess you say, again, that what is real cannot be given up. Such as the boundless intelligence that drives the universe, the love that unites all living things. The lion shall lie down with the lamb. I used to think, how ridiculous is that? The lion turns vegetarian?
JC: The lion retains its lion-ness, the lamb its lamb-ness. What changes is the meaning you ascribe to death.
MT: More about that?
JC: As you give up your ideas and replace them with Truth, you realize there is no death, only recycling. Thus are you freed from your own dread of annihilation. Death is a concept that did not exist when there was no separate self. The Sonship took a long detour into the world of scarcity and lack. When you bit from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge you unrolled the carpet of time. Your task now is to walk back on that carpet until you are again subsumed into God and the eternal present. Then you become "as Gods." The things of the ego are but detours you take on that carpet.
MT: I get a sense of the transcendent when you talk like that. Something ancient and sacred gets stirred up in me.
JC: Welcome to higher realms of energy. That is where you were meant to abide.
MT: I love you, JC. Thanks for being by my side.
JC: I love you more than you will ever know.


322 (2006) I can give up but what was never real.


MT: I need this lesson today. Just got my hackles up with Jermaine, a woman
who refuses to take back an mp3 player I bought on ebay. JC, it has a short
in the headphone jack. There's no way she wouldn't have known, but she says
it was perfect when it left her house. I know that a loose jack connection comes from
major mishandling, and it's outrageous to try to sell it as being in perfect
working order . . .
JC: You lost your peace of mind.
MT: It's amazing how I can get triggered, just like that. I am open and
vulnerable early in the morning, I guess. Know what I'd like to do? Send an
email back saying f--- you, I'll write a buyer review that will curl your
hair.
JC: What defects of character are you seeing in Jermaine? What do you accuse
her of?
MT: She's cheap. She's craven and miserly. She sells her reputation for a
few bucks. She has no perspective, no grander view. Must be an old witch
pecking at the computer with knobby arthritic fingers. I know people like
that.
JC: Anything else? What kind of person, in your present view, rips people
off in this way?
MT: A grasping, cheap person. Eighty dollars in the pocket, and thinks she's
won. She's probably cackling right now about having unloaded her worthless
mp3 player.
JC: You know where this is all taking you. Denied parts of you walk out
there in Jermaine. What is she mirroring to you?
MT: Would I accuse myself of being cheap? I try not to, but I'm pretty rigid
about it. Craven and miserly? I remember well those sad years when I thought
losing a dollar was like bleeding a pint. Grasping and cheap falls in the
same category. But I do make a point of being honest, JC. I would never
unload a broken piece of equipment on an unsuspecting buyer.
JC: Knowing what you know now, probably not. But you know what it's like to
walk in her shoes, do you not?
MT: I've been there myself.
JC: I believe you are more at peace now. Now let light shine through the picture you made of her, until it covers the whole body and makes it beautiful and good . . . now bring in someone whom you call a friend, someone generous and giving. Let the light cover your friend and Jermaine, both. Now hold hands with her and your friend, and give the light you extended to both of them envelop you also in its boundless energy and love . . .
MT: I entered another state of being altogether. The rage is gone. Thank you, JC.

322 I can give up but what was never real.

MT: I guess you're saying, again, that what is real cannot be given up. Such as the boundless intelligence that drives the universe, the love that unites all living things. The lion shall lie down with the lamb. I used to think, how ridiculous is that? The lion turns vegetarian?
JC: The lion retains its lion-ness, the lamb its lamb-ness. What changes is the meaning you ascribe to death.
MT: More about that?
JC: As you give up your ideas and replace them with Truth, you realize there is no death, only renewal. Thus are you freed from your own dread of annihilation. Death, merely a concept, did not exist when there was no separate self. The Sonship took a long detour into the world of scarcity and lack. When you bit from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge you unrolled the carpet of time. Your task now is to walk back on that carpet until you are again subsumed into God and the eternal present. Then you become "as Gods." The things of the ego are but detours you take on that carpet.
MT: I get a sense of the transcendent when you talk like that. Something ancient and sacred gets stirred up in me.
JC: Welcome to higher realms of energy. That is where you were meant to abide.
MT: I love you, JC. Thanks for being by my side.
JC: I love you more than you will ever know.

322 I can give up but what was never real.

MT: This goes right back to the beginning, doesn't it. "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists."
JC: Yes. I am reminding you of the basic purpose of this study: to learn to differentiate between the real and the illusion.
MT: It's a bit scary to imagine all of this gone.
JC: Fear is of the ego. There is nothing to fear. Contemplate the loving radiance of God all around and through everything that you think you see.
MT: So you are saying, there is no loss, there is only gain in this work.
JC: God only gives. Payment is not demanded. Now it is suggested that you do as God. But only if you want to be happy!



323  I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.

 
MT: Sacrifice? Of fear? What's that all about?
JC: You have worshipped at the altar of fear. Now you can at last sacrifice it, as the ancients did with animals to appease angry gods.
MT: That's a nice image to behold. I corner fear, tie it up, and slaughter it at the altar. Who wouldn't be happy at the prospect?
JC: It is the Great Undoing, where your world is turned right side up again, where the Son of God takes place at last next to the Father. All God asks of you is that you surrender the stones you have carried and jealously guarded as if they were precious gems.

323 I gladly make the 'sacrifice' of fear.

MT: Fear, fear . . . JC, my life has been the tale of fear. Now you're telling me to give it up, my companion of seven decades!
JC: That's why I put in quotes the word "sacrifice." It may seem that you are giving up something.
MT: Oh, how I long to touch the Hand of God!
JC: Touch your own, or the hand of your brother. They are all the same. All things are echoes of the Voice for God.
MT: The love that inspires the touch, that is God, isn't it!
JC: Now let silence surround you. I am with you now and forever. Together we are God. Together we are One.


323 (2006) I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.


JC: What does this mean, to you, this moment?
MT: It means that I've held on to fear as if it were a gem, when it really is just a lump of coal.
JC: Better still, it's really nothing. It is a fog that dissipates in the rising sun.
MT: I am especially grateful to have given up the fear of God. I grew up fearing God, but the fear turned out to be a manipulation, a man-made means of control.
JC: Fear of God was an attempt to solve a problem that didn't exist in the first place: the problem of your supposedly evil nature that needed controlling.
MT: Oh yes! I knew I wasn't evil. I think I did know that. How could I be exorcised of a devil that didn't exist? How sweet it would have been for my parents, instead, to acknowledge my holiness.
JC: They would have had to acknowledge their own as well. It would mean giving up their worldview, and they weren't ready.
MT: The sacrifice of Abraham's son comes to mind. My Dad was ready to put our heads on the chopping block, if he thought God required it. Talk about living in fear!
JC: It need not be so, dear sister. Wake up from the dream. The soft light of dawn heralds the brilliant sun of a new day.

323 I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.

MT: You do have a way of twisting things around. What's to sacrifice about fear?
JC: Yet the ego holds on to fear as that which keeps you safe.
MT: So it can look like a sacrifice to give up fear, even though it is a release. I long to live a fearless life.
JC: So, today, let go of your fears, as you have done much already.
MT: I gladly make the sacrifice of fear. Yes. Walk with me today and keep me safe even as I take chances--or what appear to be chances.



324  I merely follow, for I would not lead.


The beginner's mind is willing to back off and ask: is there more I need to see here? Can I learn from someone else who's been there? Now that I've gathered all the facts, what does God have to say about this endeavor? I'm only learning this late in life, and the ignorance of this principle stymied my life and career. I thought I had to be what I was not, and if I only pretended long enough, people would start to believe in me. Some did, but it was no good, because I didn't believe in me myself! The only way was through--to be willing to follow. To accept ignorance so I could be wise. To accept failure so I could be successful. To accept the darkest corners of my being so the light can, at last, shine in.

324 I merely follow, for I would not lead.

Do I want peace? Peace is to be had by following inner guidance, moment by moment.

How do I sort out what's guidance and what is not? The ego has offered "guidance" that proved disastrous. I have every right to be wary of its offerings. One way to tell is what I call the "can of worms" in my head. Ego's guidance involves conflict and fear. God's guidance is bold, serene, and powerful. It means leaving every consideration behind, knowing that, whatever happens, I am safe.

God's guidance leads to peace, lightness, humor, a twinkle in the eye. What can I play with today?



325 All things I think I see reflect ideas.


Projection makes perception. What I see with my body's eyes is made up in my mind. I congeal energy into form by the action of my mind, moment by moment, as I go. It follows that if I saw matter as the energy that it is, I could walk through walls. If I didn't congeal others into evil configurations, I could help them change into more desirable ones! I am the ruler of the world I see, but I have misused this God-like power to make up a world that I then berate and condemn--for sins I think I committed. The mind boggles at the thought. What a grand illusion we make up, together, by simple agreement. Enough of that! Today I will see the world I want. Today I will see a world forgiven, a world enveloped in the Light of God.

325 All things I think I see reflect ideas.

MT: They are only ideas in my mind. That's the hardest concept to really get, JC.
JC: Yes, I hear you. Because this is an experience that you only know at the concept level, right now.
MT: Help free me from the bonds of perception!
JC: Forgive perception. You grew up with it. Forgive yourself for being a perceiver and not yet a Knower. You are much loved.
MT: Day by day and year by year, my mind gets a little cleaner. So let me live my life today, with gratitude as the spice.

325 All things I think I see reflect ideas.

MT: Yeah, yeah. Just words, right now.
JC: Let me offer you love that passes all understanding.
MT: OK, but what about the lesson?
JC: Do you feel the love I offer you, or are you rigid in the face of it?
MT: I am rigid. That is true. I go through the motions, like a Jesuit.
JC: And the ego-world you made tells you that salvation lies in empty motions.
MT: But what about the lesson? What can I get out of it right now?
JC: You can accept that love is the answer. Love will show you the truth in this statement. Come wholly empty-handed unto your God.
MT: Working hard ain't the answer, then.
JC: You cannot get to truth by fighting untruth. Truth comes to you unbidden. Truth merely is.



326 I am forever an Effect of God.


How powerful these simple words. I do not believe anybody in history had put them together before Helen wrote them down, forty years ago. I am forever an effect of God. This is fact, not subject to discussion or argument or questioning. I am part of a huge, incomprehensible, magnificent whole. I am part of God's creation, indivisible--and as the Founding Fathers profoundly said, "with liberty and justice for all." When I accept this fact, I am humbled and at the same time gloriously powerful.

Charles Garfield studied the "team effect"--when humans act together in concert, transcendence happens. He called it Peak Performance. We forget our separate needs, desires and goals. We subsume them into the greater good, and in doing so we venture onto ground never trod before, unleashing unimaginable creativity and power. When we forget the separate self, we are exhilarated. We drink from the cup of joy, we become one with God. To paraphrase Teilhard de Chardin, "for the second time in history, man discovers fire."


326 (2006) I am forever an Effect of God.


MT: These words put things in perspective, JC. I can create as God, but I cannot create God. Back when I was a teenager, I remember the headlines: "God is Dead." But, long live God! Methinks we did not succeed in killing God Is, any more than a wave can ever kill water. There's a hierarchy established here--or reestablished, or re-revealed because it was always there and always will be.
JC: Revelation is happening. Truth dawns in the minds of men.
MT: I so badly want to see things differently. There's a feeling of missing the point, somehow. That I am tiptoeing around the God-fire, afraid to jump in.
JC: Afraid that love will consume you. Which it will--but there never was a You to be consumed. There was only God.
MT: God Is!

326 I am forever an Effect of God.

MT: One of my favorite lessons, JC. What an antidote to pride. I am effect of God. The many gods mankind has made up, including the Judeo-Christian one, are pathetic, petty and vengeful. They require praise and adoration, candles, begging, suffering and sacrifice. They keep women in shackles to their men. They are ready to smite at the smallest transgression, to stone the adulterer and take the sword to men who lay with men. What does that have to do with anything!
JC: And you know that a loving God would never condemn one of His children to eternal torment.
MT: No more do I. Thank you! Thank you for freeing me from the God of my youth.

326 I am forever an Effect of God.

God is first, I am second. God is Father, I am Son. I sprout from that infinite source of Life that is God. This is my rightful place in the universe. It is also my source of strength and power. No longer do I need to trust my own feeble strength, when God is within: That with which I am One.



327  I need but call and You will answer me.

That's part of being connected with God, isn't it? We are in constant communication, and no prayer or request goes unanswered. I need but call. Perhaps the answer is "no"! Do we know what's best? So many stories from my childhood entailed requests that, when fulfilled by magic, turn out disastrous. The foolish man asks for all the gold in the world, and is crushed under its weight. It's interesting to view this theme in the light of the Course. It points to the ego's intrinsic limitation, although no story ever put it so.

So what do I ask for? The only legitimate request, in this light, is for help in opening up to guidance. The genie is out of the bottle, and I cleverly ask for what's best for me, knowing that I do not perceive my own best interests. Better still, I ask to be shown--what's best for the community of man? What is my role in this cosmic play?

327 I need but call and You will answer me.

Sometimes the answer is "no"! Why? As we learned in Lesson 24, "I do not perceive my own best interests." A good father will deny his child a hand grenade. Instead of a parking spot, we could ask to be shown what's best in this particular situation. Instead of requesting that God smite the cop with the ticket, we could ask to be shown: "what's best here?"

The problem with most of our prayers is that we decide, first, on the outcome and then ask God to provide. Which is asking God to pander to our petty wishes in the world of form.



328  I choose second place to gain the first.

MT: Pray tell, JC, what new insights can I glean from these words?
JC: That now "second place" is a choice man must make. Having evolved to be "as Gods," now is the time to recognize the awesome order inherent in the Universe.
MT: I can never be God, so I may as well let God do Its job. But to "gain the first"?
JC: By reducing yourself to zero, you become infinity. Shouldn't be too hard to understand.
MT: So this is done in self-interest, really. What a paradox.
JC: Only because language leads to paradox. I am leading you back where you came from. I am leading you to the world of no language, no form, no rank, where God IS, where nothing else is.
MT: God IS. Thank you.



329 I have already chosen what You will.

God and I, we is!--sorry about the grammar. God willed that I be, and here I am, in glorious unity with all that is. I represent the Word made substance. My mind is an extension of God's. Today I am with God in Paradise.

329 I have already chosen what You will.

And why is that? Because I am an extension of God. I am God's will made manifest. I can pretend otherwise, claim to have created myself, but God is Life and I am an expression of Life. Let there be light!



330  I will not hurt myself again today.

If I try to be God, I hurt myself. If I maintain the belief that I am a sinner, or if I project it onto my brothers and call them sinners, I hurt myself. If, in false pride, I affirm my littleness, I hurt myself. If, like a coward, I deny God "three times before the cock crows," I hurt myself. If I see my body as anything other than a temporary residence of Spirit, I hurt myself. This much said, how do I not hurt myself, JC?
JC: You clean up your mind of everything that you have placed between you and God. You step into nothingness and find everything, with God's arms open to receive you. What you think a solid barrier is only a bank of fog. You do not walk alone. There are countless guides and prophets waiting to greet you in this eternal community, the community of the atoned.

330 I will not hurt myself again today.

MT: So what's this about hurting oneself, JC?
JC: You are the only one you can hurt.
MT: Please explain!
JC: You are the world. In your mind resides the world. When you own the true Self that God created, you give up all hurt.
MT: Right now, I worry about my granddaughter, that she is hurting herself by holding in so much. I see unhappiness all over her.
JC: Why don't you ask her? Perhaps you can learn from her.
MT: That's right! What can I learn from her, that is the question. I will ask, and then listen.

 


 

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