A Course In Miracles Lesson 86
A Course In Miracles lesson 86 reviews lessons 71 and 72.
There is only one way to find peace Review of Lesson 71
Review of Lesson 71:
When we are out in the world and it is time to go home, we begin to travel in that direction from wherever we may be. But as we get closer and closer to our destination, there are not lots of options for how to arrive. Eventually, our journey narrows down to the same road home and the same driveway.
There is only one pathway to get to the location I seek. Or rather, there is only ever one location I ever seek. All my adventures are a quest for joy. Joy is what I seek wherever I go and whatever I do. And only joy leads to joy. No other qualities will result in joy until those qualities shift onto the path that leads to joy.
Release from pain (what ACIM calls “salvation”) is a matter of clarifying what is true from what is mistaken, in error, misguided, and wrong.
What is wrong can not lead to what is right until the error is corrected. Correction of misperception is the pathway to peaceful thinking. Peace is the eternal state beyond all the temporary turbulence of this temporary and unstable world. Peace is what we find beyond time and space.
Religious terms rephrased "God's plan" = "the Tao" = The Way
The phrase “God’s plan” can raise wariness in modern readers because throughout history violent people seeking power over others have claimed to be in service to a divine plan which did not lead to grace or peace. Personal goals are easily declared to be “God’s” in an attempt to rationalize violent, dominating behavior.
Modern minds with peaceful priorities are wary of such religious terms as “God’s plan” for good reason. The corruption of the language on the part of those who would fixate on self-interests is what A Course In Miracles is correcting. Reclaiming such phrases re-empowers truth-seekers who have their moral compasses intact. Another word for “God’s plan” could be the word, “truth.”
Only truth will end suffering. “God’s plan” or the peaceful path is found when we devote our focus to locating what is true. It is only by following a truthful path that what we need will be able to reach us. Deception leaves us in a compromised position. Truth empowers us to navigate what comes fully informed and connected to a larger Source. Following a pathway of truth means we do not hide from our ego’s efforts to maneuver for revenge. When we are angry we do not say we are not angry. We acknowledge our state of being and we recognize impulses to act from vengeance.
When the pull to take action to get back at or get “even” takes us over, we turn instead to an awareness of the feelings of vengeance. We ask the impulse towards violence be lifted away from us. We ask this of the higher power that exists within our hearts and minds. We refrain. The movement of violence ends with us and finds no other form of expression. We silence the violence and turn towards the quiet peaceful whisper within.
That process is “God’s plan.” The plan is:
1. Learn the value of being truthful.
2. Learn how to ask the creative infinite field of Truth for help finding truth.
3. Make that process a way of life.
Learning how to ask how we connect to real power
Us learning how to ask for guidance from a non-physical source is “God’s plan.” Or rather, asking for help is the evolutionary process of the human soul into greater creative power and capacities. Evolution never ends as we will always be expanding into newer forms of magnificence. In our tiny human form, we really have no idea of what beauty and creativity our eternal selves are capable of.
Our asking for help is the only way help will ever be able to reach us. Help can not impose or demand. Grace will never interfere with our choices. Grace will never demand or force our compliance.
The plan is, we learn how to ask for help from a higher power and we let ourselves be guided by that inner wisdom. If we struggle to hear the voice of guidance, we ask for help in learning how to step aside and let Grace lead the way.
In this lesson we learn the most excellent news we could ever here. There is a way out of suffering. It is a shift in understanding. Reading this work is making that shift. This curriculum will work because of where it comes from. There is nothing more powerful than the Grace of Creation. The perfection of Creation never fails and you reside forever in that perfection because It made you. It is where you come from. Whatever you think you have done wrong, whatever wrong you think has been done to you, that pain can end.
New Inner Dialogue to remember throughout the day
There is a way out of this painful memory. I may not know the pathway out. But it is enough for me to know that the pathway is there. I can find it once I recognize it exists.
This painful, confusing event I find myself in is not powerful enough to stop the pathway of Grace from finding me. Whatever happens in this world is the next step in the process of changing (correcting) my way of thinking.
This situation I am facing is not as it seems. Let me see it as a pathway I can use to move towards grace and light.
Holding resentment destroys the pathway to peace Review of Lesson 72
(72) Holding grievances destroys the pathway to peace.
While it is not possible to avoid encountering anger or disappointment, it is possible to prevent those feelings from getting stuck. Experiencing painful feelings is not the same as living in them long-term. Feelings need to move. They are indicators of the accuracy of our logic. If we sustain a negative feeling for a long period of time, we are, in fact refusing to change how we think about something.
Anger is an emotion that moves and is dynamic. Resentment is a state of mind that does not move and becomes an obstacle to accessing enjoyable feelings. Moving through anger is the process of self-realization.
Enjoying life is why we are here. Joy is the only meaningful stat there is because joy is the state of Creation. Creation is where meaning comes from. Without a connection to the qualities of Creation it is not possible to have a sense of purpose or meaning in this world because the Creative dimension is all that matters.
Creation is Self-defining. When we locate joy we locate our eternal purpose. This brings tremendous relief. Following what feels good is the natural process of life expanding. This is what A Course In Miracles calls, “God’s plan.”
When conflict occurs in us we have located a potential to expand and deepen understanding and awareness. To resist expansion, to resist moving out of a negative feeling is a self-made declaration of war with reality. We are not being asked to never get angry or sad. We are being asked to understand the necessary movement involved with that learning process. We are not meant to stay unhappy. When something happens that hurts or disappoints, we are learning how to develop a response system that lets go of the pain sooner rather than later. We can call this resilience or we can call it yielding. What happens is what happens. Feel the effects of what happens fully and let the feelings keep traveling through you. Be curious about why something unfolded the way that it did, rather than resentful.
Power of Choice the law of the 3rd Dimension
You decide if you live in a world filled with constant mistakes. Or if you live in a world governed by Grace. We do not know why thinks unfold as they do, but that does not mean a mistake has occurred. It means we have arrived at a learning point. Whatever happens can be used by our minds as a way to locate Grace. Believing that Grace has let us down or abandoned us is a misunderstanding about what this world really is. What we thought should be true was not accurate.
We do not know the best way for events to unfold. There is a movement much larger than our own single awareness. When we sense and learn how to follow that larger movement we live in a state of discovery and amazement rather than resentment. Life becomes a joy and an adventure when we are curious about how things will unfold rather than determined to get them to unfold in a certain way.
Shifting our attitude away from demanding or expectant and towards an attitude of learning releases us from suffering. We will feel pain but we will not feel agony to no end. Instead of responding to a situation with the attitude of, “How dare this happen to me.” Respond with, “Why has this happened? What led to this?”
Aside from the people involved in a given situation, look closely at your thought process about it. A misperception about what this world is has occurred in you as well as in others. How you respond needs adjusting whenever your responses do not lead to well-being. This adjustment process is what A Course In Miracles calls “the atonement.”
Correcting mistakes really needs to only occur within our awareness. Once we yield and accept that we were not seeing something clearly, a shift in our attitude occurs naturally and our responses start to correct the situation instantly. We are not being asked to humble ourselves excessively before people who would have us apologize to them. There is no belittlement in the process of atonement or correction of attitude. The process of correction is a wholly empowering experience, a relief, and a joy. We allow ourselves to feel regret for our errors and if we feel safe enough to express that regret to those involved we may even strengthen bonds with others. But if we do not feel safe expressing our regret to those involved, it is enough to feel it in ourselves and ask that peace come to the situation. We do not have to fix anything. We need only let what happened in truthfully.
Resentment is an indication that we have not yet fully located the truth of a situation. Resentment means we blame another person for harming us. But the deeper truth is that we are not harmed. We are okay. We are in tact and able to move on.
It is our choice to view a situation wrongly or accurately. To see a situation wrongly is to hold another person in distain and disappointment. This will always hurt because our deeper desire is to connect with other. To see a situation accurately, we can decide to put down our self-made certainty about what went wrong and why and be willing to be guided into a different attitude. We chose peace without knowing yet how we will find it. Wanting peace is the first step in finding it. This is why holding grievances blocks resolutions.
We are not designed to know. We are designed to discover.
New Inner Dialogue to remember throughout the day
Bring this lesson to any conflict you encounter today and say to that situation:
“I could become offended by this. Or I could become curious about why this has occurred in this way.”
“Let me become curious. Let me put aside feeling offended or vengeful.”
“Let me realize how those feelings block my pathway to Grace and joy.”