A Course In Miracles Lesson 123

A Course In Miracles Lesson 123

*Please Note: If this is your first time visiting this blog, and you think you’d like to begin the Course, please start the daily practice with Lesson 1 and proceed each day with the next lesson.   While it is possible to begin the curriculum in the middle, This spiritual teaching is best followed in a consecutive manner.  Each lesson builds upon the next.  

A Course In Miracles Lesson 123

How do we give thanks for what we have in life?  Who do we thank? What do we give to that which has it all and is All?  Blood sacrifice?  Food in a bowl?  Creation creates because it is a joy to do so.  Joy and awe are all Creation ever wants.  We thank Creation by living a life that cultivates awe which is another word for gratitude.  

Today’s lesson develops our gratitude.  Sometimes we do not feel very glad to be alive and we can often feel stuck and required to live life.  We feel we are in a terrifying compulsive machine that forces souls to live against their will and suffer endlessly.  We believe in hell.  We want to change that cycle of thoughts and rewire to produce a totally different effect.  So today we take time to give back to the Source we came from.  Why give back?  Because as we learned from Lesson 108  what we give is given to us.  We give gratitude to enjoy the way gratitude feels.  

Perhaps you do not feel particularly grateful today.  And if so, it can be very irritating to have someone suggest that you locate gratitude.  But if you do not want to remain irritated, A Course In Miracles is teaching us that locating some small thing around you that softens you by any degree is the only path out of the feelings you do not want.  Gratitude for the wonder of life is a state of mind we must take careful steps towards.  We can not ask ourselves to get to gratitude all at once.  The ego will tell us we “should” be grateful and try to shame us for not feeling the “right” way. 

The ego, coming from the same Source as everything is empowered with the same power as that source.  The ego is tremendously convincing. But its objective is always destruction.  The joke is that it is trying to destroy the very source of its own existence.  (My attack thoughts are attacking the unattackable.) 

Pursuing hostile feelings, talking them through with friends or professional listeners, and journaling about your pain may be helpful and bring clarity. But eventually, you will need to lift off that pain dimension and locate something large or small that you find beautiful.  

Living in connection with gratitude and awe feels very good.  It is practical to put effort into finding appreciation of things in the world around you.  Gratitude is a practice that has great power to improve the experience of your life.  It restores a sense of young, inspired innocence and play.  The quality of our life is determined by the quality of our thoughts.  So today we search for thankful thoughts.  

This book is an answer to the question, “How do I end suffering?”  This book asks the reader to take one year to daily place attention on a different way of thinking.  The lessons of this course are a day-by-day, step-by-step process of changing the belief system that causes a hellish perception. It is our way of thinking that is hell on earth. Earth is not hell.  Our belief system is. We must change the way we understand this world.  We must transform the thoughts that build up an experience of hell around us.  Today we do that with the concept of gratitude.

If you have followed the lessons from lesson 1 and have arrived here 123 days later, you have reached a serious milestone and a victory in establishing resolve and conviction for shifting out of a nightmare perspective and into what A Course In Miracles calls living the happy dream.  You have arrived at an unshakable interest in cultivating peace as a way of life.  After 123 days of effort, you can never go back to the pain levels you once knew.  At this point in the Course, the student/reader is fully committed to the curriculum that will shift their logic from ego to enlightened.  Even if there is still a bit of uncertainty, an experience of awe has begun to cultivate your character in an irreversible way.  You are remembering and reawakening your inherent nature. 

If you are only just finding this lesson for the first time, we highly encourage you to start from lesson 1 and give the Course a try!  But do not worry if you found the course in the middle for the first time.  A Course In Miracles is a holographic spiritual text that can be engaged from any point of the work.  The linear daily lessons are only structured in that way because our brains need progression and time.  Begin wherever you begin but give it a year’s effort, daily and come full circle from.  And then watch how day by day your activities and challenges become much easier to navigate.

Cultivating gratitude is a way of thinking that decides to see everything that happens as a way to find peace.  This too can be a path to peace.  And this… and this, too, also leads to peace if I choose.  Today resolve to view everything that comes your way as only helpful in your devoted quest towards truth which is also peace.  Say to every situation, “this too can guide me to the grace of God.”

Don’t feel comfortable with the word God?  I really relate to that.  When I started the Course for the first time my mind tensed up at every religious word.  When I started redefining each word that bothered me into a term that did not cause me tension, those religious words lost their charge for me.  After reading the Course twice now, the word God no longer causes me tension.  But if it still causes you tension, I highly encourage you to find a synonym rather than turn away from the teachings this book offers because the messages are too valuable to allow anything to get in the way of considering them.  A Course In Miracles is not a religious text.  It is not considered Christian by most Christian organizations.  But Christianity lost its connection to true spirituality long ago.  This book is an effort to repair the damage done by abusive religious institutions which arose from highly oppressive patriarchal societies.

In today’s lesson if we let the word “Father” be translated as “Nature” (which is the generator of all life) this lesson could read, “I thank Nature for all it provides.”

We could also change the word “thanks” to “awe” because how does one thank something so vast as Nature?  We can technically only thank people and so in this deep lesson, we glimpse that the only thing we can do in life to show our appreciation for life is to be filled with the awe and joy of it all.  That feeling is the gift we give back to the Giver of all that is.

Creation wants more creation.  Creation sees all of it as very good.  Even the struggle and the failures and the horrible mishaps, to Creation, it is all magnificent.  While this can be frustrating when we are suffering, connecting to that dimension of wonder and joy is a doorway out of suffering.  

Many religions and cultural worldviews believe that suffering is all we can give in thanks for the wonder of life.  But life wants life, not destruction.  Destruction is no part of life.  Life is eternal and only joyful.  Whatever falls apart was never real life to begin with.  Only illusion.  When we place our attention on Life rather than forms, we recognize that suffering is not what Creation wants for us.  God wants my joy.  If I am suffering, it is certainly not because God wants me to suffer.  If God wanted my suffering and my destruction, I would already be gone.  The fact that all things die is not an indication that Creation likes death.  It is an indication that we are confused about what this world really is.  

Physical life is a temporary illusion we engage in for fun.  If we are not having fun, it is great fun to learn how to guide ourselves towards fun again.  Realigning with the Grace of God never gets old.  It is great fun.  And there are instructions on how to do that even in the darkest of corners.

Today we take a day to give the gift of joy back to the Maker Of Joy.  When we decide to put down our discontent and let even a tiny breeze of joy stream in, we receive joy back tenfold.  

Will you let yourself believe joy is safe?  Will you let yourself find a thread of light?  Or will you try to convince yourself and others that you have found the one exemption in all the Universe where light can not go?  Have you landed on the one situation that can not ever be resolved?  Amazing!  Focus on that amazement rather than on the situation and it will transform.

Locate what is going well, even if it is as thin and fragile as a spider’s thread.  Size and proportion mean nothing to eternity.  Conviction and determination are the currency we trade in when working with Spirit.  

Instead of trying to turn away from something problematic (like anger with a person) try instead to turn your attention towards awe. What do you choose to notice in the alleyway on your break?  The trash or the dandelion?  You have the power and strength to decide where your attention goes.  Will you climb up or down the ladder of free will?  

We devote this day to noticing all that is going well.  Today we learn to interpret all that we receive as a gift and an opportunity to locate the Way to truth, which is peace.

Do you not want peace?  Do you want excitement?  Do not let the ego interpret the word “peace” as boring.  Do not be tricked into thinking you want pain because it feels better.  There is nothing more exciting, inspiring, enthralling, and interesting than the Peace of the Cosmos.  Happiness is tremendously interesting, and unlike suffering, it can expand forever.  All pain eventually comes to an end.  This angers the ego which finds clever ways to tear open old wounds and try to last.  You do have a choice to choose to keep the pain going, but you have that choice by the Grace of God, who holds your act of choosing more important than any one “right” choice you might make.  Your freedom is paramount to finding the truth.

Choose to take 15 minutes twice today to meditate on how to locate gratitude for something or someone in your life.  Take a bath in thoughts of gratitude in the morning and in the evening.  And throughout the day, remember to find a grateful moment every hour.  Say to what you locate, “Oh, how wonderful.  This I let fill me with awe.  Today I let myself open to the awe of all that nature provides for me.”

Jessica Hagan Los Angeles

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jess.  This blog is an ongoing discussion and practice of A Course In Miracles. All content is based on and cited from the original publication.  If you are interested in learning new ways to explore self improvement we invite you to join one of our alternative group healing workshops.  All our healing approaches are informed and led by the teachings found in A Course In Miracles. Learn more about Jess…

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