Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 2013 – “Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free.”

 “…Without forgiveness is the mind in chains, believing in its own futility. Yet with forgiveness does the light shine through the dream of darkness, offering it hope, and giving it the means to realize the freedom that is its inheritance.” ACIM, Workbook page 468, Lesson 332.

A Course in Miracles tells us that there are only two emotions in the world: love and fear; this implies that all other emotions stem from either one or the other. It will come as no surprise to learn that love originates in the “right” portion of the split mind, whilst fear originates in the “wrong” portion, emanating from the ego. The ego is fearful because it believes that we actually managed to split away from God. It, therefore, fears the wrath of God, and this causes us to feel guilty as well as fearful. “The ego’s purpose is fear, because only the fearful can be egotistic…If the ego is the symbol of the separation, it is also the symbol of guilt. Guilt is more than merely not of God. It is the symbol of attack on God…” T84.

As fear is a core ego emotion, it is not surprising that fear-based activities pervade our world. Countries go to war with each other because of the fear of a lack of resources such as water and oil. We fear the ideologies of other nations and that gives us another reason to wage war on them. Fear rears its head in another way: feelings of lack and the fear of financial insecurity cause the greed and grasping of individuals, institutions and countries, all of which stem from the fear of going without. So it is, indeed, obvious that, “Fear binds the world.”

So, how does forgiveness set the world free? Firstly, it is important to remember that A Course in Miracles equates forgiveness with healing. A forgiven mind is a healed mind because it no longer believes in the separation from heaven; it has accepted the atonement, which is another word for salvation because it is the recognition that the separation from God did not occur. In other words, all that we see in our world are illusions and by forgiving ourselves and others for having created the illusory world, we are set free. Secondly, forgiveness, although also an illusion, is described by Jesus as being the bridge to heaven. He says that forgiveness, “…is the only thing still in the world in part, and yet the bridge to Heaven.” M83.

In the section entitled, The Obstacles to Peace, in Chapter 19 of the Text, the relationship between forgiveness of illusions and the atonement is clarified. “No one can look upon the fear of God unterrified, unless he has accepted the Atonement and learned illusions are not real. No one can stand before this obstacle alone, for he could not have reached this far unless his brother walked beside him. And no one would dare to look on it without complete forgiveness of his brother in his heart…” T422. That interesting passage is food for thought. The fear of God, which engulfs the ego, can be overcome if we really believe this world is an illusion and the separation did not take place. Furthermore, we need the help of others because, in order to accept the atonement, we need to forgive both ourselves and others for their illusions.

The Holy Spirit, who always abides in our “right” minds, is there to lead us back Home. He encourages us to forgive, which means never judging others and letting go of illusions. As I mentioned at the start, there are only two emotions—fear and love. Love is the emotion that results from receiving and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I asked Him for guidance recently and this is the message I received: “Peace on earth to all mankind. Spread the message of peace. Be loving and kind. Extend God’s love to all who cross your path.” A message such as that could not have come from the ego. On another occasion I asked for guidance about overcoming guilt in my mind. This is what I received: “You must forgive yourself. Remember you dwell with God in peace, whilst dreaming this life here on Earth. You are a holy son of God, as are all others. So be kind to yourself. Be humble and forgiving and tread gently and swiftly along your Path to Heaven.”

Still on the subject of forgiveness, these words of Jesus are significant: “You are afraid of God because you fear your brother. Those you do not forgive you fear. And no one reaches love with fear beside him.” T422. Yet again, we see that our choice is simply between love or fear, between the Holy Spirit/right mind or the ego/wrong mind. When we are able to extend the miracle of forgiveness to ourselves and others, we will be able to overcome fear. Then love will replace fear and we will be set free. But it is a long, gradual process, and it is unlikely that we will be able to overcome all our fear and judgement overnight.

As we travel along the path back Home it is useful to remind ourselves that:

 “Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free.”

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