A Course In Miracles Lesson 62

A Course In Miracles Lesson 62

A Course In Miracles Lesson 62

A Course In Miracles Lesson 62

A Course In Miracles  Lesson 62 states:

Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

I translate this statement as:

Releasing painful thoughts is my purpose in this world.

The word “forgiveness” has been used by misguided religious institutions in the service of pain and violence for so long that now sane, healthy people are quite understandably wary and off-put by the word.  It may be that a new word is better suited to convey the concept of today’s lesson.  We do not need to struggle to restore the word forgiveness to its original intent if we can just as easily find an easier way to grasp the concept it holds hidden under historical corruptions.

Forgiveness is not a practice of holding one’s self in superiority over those we feel have wronged us.  Forgiveness is not an act of appearing calm and tolerant of those who are behaving in ways that hurt.  Forgiveness is not hurtful or painful.  It is a relief.  But the misunderstanding of its meaning has led to those misunderstandings being associated with the word.  So how do we either release that word’s current energy or replace it with a new word?  What other words would start to guide our understanding of what the lesson is trying to point us towards?  What is the “act” of forgiveness?

It is not an act.  It is a letting.  Letting go of what you think you see in a situation that causes pain is the realization that you do not understand the situation at hand because it is not understandable.  Putting down the effort to set a wrong right will ironically lead to righting a situation more effectively than any pro-active plan you might make.  Because we do not see a whole situation, any plan we make will fall short of full resolution.  We do not need to understand a situation to be able to navigate it with grace and ease.  Sometimes speaking up is needed and sometimes silence is more helpful.  Which is needed at a given time can be determined only when we feel certain we are not making decisions from the energy field of the burning pain that prompted the conflict in the first place.

A Course In Miracles Lesson 62 asks us to not see errors in what unfolds.  See what happens as what has happened and nothing more.  If we do not like what has happened we will move accordingly.  But we do not need to feel as if we need to fix something that has gone wrong.  We do not need to see errors in what happens next.  

A desire to change a situation does not indicate that an error has occurred. It only indicates that your preference for what you want has been clarified.  Letting go of what we think should happen and being curious about what unfolds develops the skills that cultivate peace within us.  Peace leads to relaxation and relaxation leads to creativity which is the most enjoyable state to be in.  And so we could also say that Relaxation is my function as the light of the world.  How do we relax?

Someone has behaved violently towards you.  The pain of their behavior causes you to feel vulnerable and in danger which in turn causes fear and then anger.  Anger is our response to danger so that we guard against threats and restore or maintain our safety.  When someone does something that hurts us we defend, we take action to shut down their power or return the harm to equalize the dynamic (even the score).  But when we engage in revenge, no matter how minute the behavior may seem, we are in fact fueling the violence we are trying to resolve.  Revenge and retaliation against actions that harm us require aggressive pursuit on our part and therefore make us part of the same violent energy we are trying to get away from.  By defending and being proactive in boundary-setting we increase the conditions of defense and boundary setting.  We fuel the fire.

A Course In Miracles wants us to consider a new idea.  What we think has harmed us has not really harmed us.  We are, in truth, light. This concept is very challenging to accept when we are dealing with a situation where our physical body has been literally harmed.  Or when our possessions like our home, car, or money have in some way been harmed.  We think of our possessions (including our body) as permanent when they are not.  Identifying with permanent things as if they were or could ever be eternal is the source of our pain because no temporary expression of life can ever be sustained for as long as the pure, non-physical energy of eternal life force itself.  Life is eternal.  Life conditions are temporary expressions of the eternal play of Creation.  We are not any one expression forever.  We are the forever energy, itself.

We have not been harmed.  We have been altered and changed, but we have not been diminished or reduced.  As eternal creative energy, we can not ever be reduced.  We are in fact and in truth unassailable.  Connecting with these “lofty” ideas is the development of a spiritual dimension within you.  It is practical to think of the non-physical nature of life, especially when that is the pathway that will lead to relief from painful thoughts.

Forgiveness is the process of connecting our understanding of this world with an understanding of the spiritual, eternal dimension.  Forgiveness is letting go of the belief that someone has the power to take anything real from you.  If something is real, it is yours forever.  Where and how you live in the world is always changing.  How it changes (gracefully or violently) is determined by what you believe is possible in this world.  To change what you believe requires that we forget what we think we know about what has happened in the past.  From our current (painful) logic, we do not see this world accurately.  Forgiveness is forgetting.  A willingness to let ourselves forget how we understood something or someone in the past is the beginning of long-lasting wellness.  We may believe that if we let ourselves forget about past violence towards us that those who committed the violence will “get away with it.”  A more accurate understanding of the predicament you are in is to realize that they have for all intents and purposes already “gotten away with it.” The effect their harm produced is in effect in you when you are locked into focus with it.  What is done is done. Staying angry about the event will not undo the event.  They did it. It hurt.  But it is not your destiny to be injured forever.  

An even more accurate understanding of a painful situation is to see that what I think has happened (and maybe even what they think has happened) has not really happened in the way I understand it.  The situation is not as I (or they) understand. I do not, in fact, understand at all.  What has occurred is not what I think it is and it is not an insurmountable problem.  It is also not my destiny to be bound to this brief, fleeting event like a ball and chain.  I can let go of thinking about this in this way. (I can see this differently).

Navigating out of the painful narrative and coming to these types of thoughts about a situation is the “act” of forgiveness.  Does the word “release” feel more accurate?  My release of painful thoughts will bring me into peace and joy.  Letting go of trying to get to the bottom of the situation, settle the score, and be heard by those who will never let my perspective in is what leads to lasting wellness and that action is my purpose here.  I can not make someone hear me or recognize my equal rights to peace and health.  I do not need anyone to hear what I have to say.  If it is true, it is known by me and by everyone, whether they deny it or not.  The truth about the situation speaks for itself.

My release of painful thoughts and giving up of engaging them in any way will bring me into better feelings which will empower me beyond words.  But how do we release thoughts that seem to cling to us?  How do we manage attack thoughts?  We have a condition of logic that leaps up and takes sudden action.  Can you see how our minds are in a tense and reactive state most of the time?  Seeing our minds’ condition is what the first half of the Course In Miracles is all about. I see only the past.  What I see is a form of vengeance.  Seeing our minds’ condition creates space and enables us to hold and witness what is without creating more of the hostile energy.  

Along with the act of witnessing the behavior of our mind, we can also reach for healing statements to add to the tangled logic we are navigating out of.  Following the threads of painful logic (like the belief that we have been robbed or violated) will never lead out of itself.  To get out of that thought cycle we must open a door or a window and let in a new thread of logic that feels true and which counters the logic of the painful system in place.  Where do we find new threads of logic?  The whole book A Course In Miracles is one true statement after another.  There are many sources to find new and helpful healing sentences to add into the mix of our conflicted minds.  There is no point in trying to push out an existing thought-form.  It is more effective to build a bridge from that thought outward towards a new landscape.  So it may be true, you were assaulted.  It is also true that nothing real can ever be assaulted and so whatever was assaulted was not what you really are.

The healing sentences we reach for are determined by the nature of the logic we are trying to change.  Finding the right phrase for us that is the perfect small step forward all depends on what the nature of the tangle is.  So what is that condition really about?  What specific belief is misguided?  Which healing sentence brings relief to the incorrect logic at play?  Do you feel attacked and unsafe?  Can you remember that you are, in truth, the Light of this world and you are unassailable?  Don’t believe that is true?  Acknowledge this resistance and keep tracking back through the progression of logic presented in the Course.  If identifying with the Light of the world is too large a leap to make, let’s remember that our mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.  Let’s remember that we do not see things clearly at this time.

Do you disagree?  Do you think you see the situation at hand clearly?  The fact that you are in mental anguish is an indication that your conclusion about your clarity and accuracy is incorrect.  If you are in pain, you are not seeing a situation as it truly is.  This may be because you want reality to be as you prefer it rather than how it is.  Or it may be because you are unaware of your unique and important place in the much larger fabric of the situation at hand.  Every situation you are in is much bigger than you.  When we want to feel better all we need to do is let go of what we are focusing on and stand resolved in a desire to feel better without knowing how to achieve that.  It is not necessary that we figure it out.  We need only identify our interest in achieving resolution.  Do you want it?  Or does being angry still feel good?  If it does, you are not being judged.  You are given all the space you need to burn for as long as you feel necessary.

Letting go of thoughts that burn is your purpose and function in this world.  Remembering how you are a never-ending extension of the light of Creation is your purpose in this world.  You are here to make a spiritual connection from the physical dimension.  Your growing ability to let go of mental frustration in a true (not a pretend) way is your path towards stable, long-lasting creative wellness.

Telling yourself something does not bother you when emotionally it is, in truth, burning you up inside is not forgiveness and will never lead to lasting peace.  Registering the truth about your emotional condition (like the weather that it is) will move you towards a resolution of that pain.  When I am in pain, it is time to ask, “How am I thinking?”  What are my thoughts at this time?  What do I believe and why?  If I am in pain, I know something about how I am thinking is in error.  Otherwise, I would not be in pain.  Pain does not come from the outside world.  My thoughts create my world.  What happens to me is in direct relation to the path my thoughts are on.  Let me change my thoughts and I will change where I end up.  I have drawn an incorrect conclusion somewhere along the way and taking time to unearth that misguided logic is the best use of my time.  Releasing myself from misguided thinking frees me from pain.

It is not only possible to improve the quality of my thoughts. It is my destiny to do so because I AM the light of the world and the nature of light is joy.

Today’s lesson asks us to remember that attack thoughts lead us towards weakness rather than empowerment.  Attack and revenge do not lead to power.  Attack and revenge bind me to the weakest logic there is.  Recognizing when a thought holds the energy of attack and hostility will begin to dismantle that hostility in me and in my life.  The source of pain comes from the charge of our thoughts.  It is as if each thought has been surrounded by an electric fence.  We can turn off the charge of that painful thought and instead hold the contents in neutrality.  But first, let us just recognize and hold space for identifying thoughts that have electric fences around them.  Let’s observe, “Ah, this is an attack thought.  This is a painful thought.” And then let’s ask The Creative Field to lift the charge surrounding that thought and release us from the pain of it.  

We are not the ones who release ourselves.  We are the ones who let in and allow The Field to reconnect with us and release us.  We ask for help out of our predicament and in the asking, in the reaching, we are released.  Every time we ask for the electric fence around our thoughts to be turned off, we are empowering ourselves with the space and light of Creation.  We self-empower by remembering the Self we are part of.

Forgiveness means- do not attack back.  Do not engage the energy field of pain that would like nothing more than to draw you in, drag you down, and use you as a scout for new recruits in the army of pain that pain itself tries to build.  Put down all weapons and devices of vengeance and rest in the unassailable innocence of Self.  You are forgiven.  You have learned and you have done nothing so wrong as to be banished or punished forever.  Nothing is punished forever.  And so- that which is in a constant state of punishment is, actually nothing because only nothing is punished forever.  Turn towards what is real.  When assaulted by some violence in this world, let the momentum of that violence go no further.  Absorb it and dissolve it into nothing.  Taking action motivated by fear or anger will only add fuel to the very fire your act of vengeance is trying to put out.  Taking action from a place of connection to your true nature will be more powerful, more effective, and more assertive than any revenge you might think of.  Respond to events from a connection with Grace.  Know that Grace exists and is there for you whenever you turn to it.

Like the previous lessons, say today’s lesson first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  Say it also as often as you can think of it throughout the day and say it in whatever words feel best.  

Releasing painful thoughts is my purpose in this world.

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.  Learn more about Jess…