September 2014 – “My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.”

“…It is difficult for anyone who thinks he is in this world to believe this of himself. Yet the reason he thinks he is in this world is because he does not believe it…” A Course in Miracles, Workbook page 53, Lesson 35

It does seem difficult to believe that we are all very holy. If we did, we would not have gone to the trouble of seeking to escape from Heaven, set up the ego to take the place of God and “miscreate” the world of time and space where we now appear to dwell. Yet that is what ACIM tells us we have done, ever since we first had the “tiny, mad idea” to separate from God. Because we really believe we have separated, we feel very guilty and fearful of the wrath of God. With guilt and fear deeply ingrained in our egoic minds, it is virtually impossible for us to feel holy.

Nevertheless, in numerous places in the Course, Jesus reiterates that we are holy sons of God and that we are a part of Him. “God has given you a place in His Mind that is yours forever. Yet you can keep it only by giving it, as it was given you. Could you be alone there, when it was given you because God did not will to be alone?…” Text, p195. This passage confirms that our minds are part of God’s and raises another important point. It points out that all of us are equal because we all have a place in God’s Mind. If we all have a place in God’s Mind, then we are not in a position to judge or condemn anyone, even those who appear to act in an unholy manner.  Once again, we can see how everything in A Course in Miracles leads us back to forgiveness. We forgive others and we forgive ourselves because we are all holy.

The Holy Spirit or Higher Self has a significant role to play in the awakening process. We are asked to consistently turn to Him for advice and guidance whenever we are disturbed, upset or unsure how to react to anyone or anything.  If we try to correct others, for example, it means we are listening to the ego instead of to the Holy Spirit. This is explained very clearly in Chapter 9 of the Text, p. 167: “If you point out the errors of your brother’s ego you must be seeing through yours, because the Holy Spirit does not perceive his errors. This must be true, since there is no communication between the ego and the Holy Spirit…When you react at all to errors, you are not listening to the Holy Spirit. He has merely disregarded them, and if you attend to them you are not hearing Him. If you do not hear Him, you are listening to your ego and making as little sense as the brother whose errors you perceive…” In this passage we are given excellent advice. We must do our best not to react to anyone no matter what they have done. If they have acted in a way that has hurt us, they have obviously been following their egos. But we are trying to rise above our own egos, and so we do as the Holy Spirit does—we overlook the misdeeds of others, knowing they are unreal. We do not get drawn into conflict and into a cycle of attack and defence.

This might appear to be an easy thing to do when the misdeed is something small such as an upsetting comment. But it is not so easy to do when we perceive an atrocity such as murder, violent acts of extremism, etc. Yet, we are still asked to overlook such things. Yes, our egos will most certainly speak out and condemn such things but if we listen to the Holy Spirit—the Voice for God—we will forgive and, thereby, achieve peace. “Follow the Holy Spirit’s teaching in forgiveness, then, because forgiveness is His function and He knows how to fulfil it perfectly.” Text, p.169. On the other hand, our egos do not know how to forgive. “The ego’s plan is to have you see error clearly first, and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real? By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it…” Text, p. 169. That is food for thought.

One should point out that in the world of form—of the physical body—those who commit violent crimes obviously have to be punished. But at the level of the mind we have to forgive them and look upon them with compassion, knowing they have lost their way and are ruled by their egos. Jesus points out in A Course in Miracle that the ego is vicious and cruel.

The exercises in Lesson 35 are very helpful as they have the aim of gradually undoing the guilt in our minds and helping us recognise our innate holiness.  We are asked to close our eyes and think about how we feel about ourselves. For example, if we are depressed, we would say to ourselves: “I see myself as depressed.” Then we correct this negative view and state: “But my mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.” Or, if we feel like the victim of certain circumstances, we might say: “I see myself as helpless.” Then, once again, we turn this thought around and say: “But my mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.” Workbook, page 54.

The Workbook section of A Course in Miracles is packed full of exercises like these to help us overcome the fear and guilt in our egoic minds, learn how to forgive and rise above the ego altogether. It is an amazing gift that Jesus has given us. One can only think about him with great love and immense gratitude.

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