“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
The Holy Bible, 1 John 4:18
“The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing has no opposite.”
Jesus, A Course In Miracles, Introduction
* * * * * * *
Invocation: [Note: The following prayer is taken from A Course In Miracles. It is the Course’s version of the Lord’s Prayer.] “Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter. Our holiness is Yours. What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect? The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love. Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will. And let us receive only what You have given, and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love. Amen.”
* * * * * * *
God Knows Your Sinlessness
You have heard that it was said to men of old that the Lord our God hates sin and punishes and destroys sinners, but truly I say to you: our Heavenly Father knows nothing of sin and, therefore, nothing of punishment and attack, for all that surrounds Him is eternal Peace and infinite Love!
Dear brothers and sisters, our heavenly Father IS Love! All that surrounds us and maintains us and upholds our spirit is Love! There is nothing to fear! Our Creator longs to share Himself with us, which is the reason YOU were created – not as the image you now think of yourself (ego), but as the Holy Christ, the Son of God. This state of eternal, infinite communion and sharing is Heaven, where God and His Son reside forever! You are at Peace forever – even now. Beneath the insane images in the world, there is a hush – a gentle stillness of eternal Peace. This is your Home! All who have ears to hear, please listen!
There is no fear in Him and none which comes forth from Him to His Son. Does love sometimes turn to attack and demand that we fear it? Only in the ego’s twisted version of love. God’s Perfect Love makes fear entirely impossible, for Its very Presence dissolves all fear. Like a shadow before the light, it goes! You who experience fear, you but quiver before shadow play! You have forgotten that your toys and games of make-believe are not real, and instead you are haunted by the grotesque shadows that appear to dance, move about and loom menacingly over you.
O Child of God! Do not cower before illusions, for the Power of Christ lights the way before you and makes all shadows recede into the nothingness they are! The real part of you – the only part there is – can never be threatened.
The Ego’s Motto
The ideas expressed in the preceding paragraph mean very little to all separated ones in the world. They may be wonderful thoughts, but not ones to seriously consider. To the separated Sons of God, His eternal Peace and infinite Love is the dream, a lovely one, perhaps, one that would be wonderful in an ideal world, but not here. Not in this place. We’ve somehow messed things up here.
In this world, the Laws of Love are replaced by what the Course calls the laws of chaos. Where the love of God engenders perfect security, the laws of chaos demand subservience to fear. For behind each inhalation, there is an exhalation – as well as the possibility that another breath may not follow. These “laws” also state that truth is perception and is different for everyone. Ask a physicist what the truth is, then ask a religious person! Now ask religious people of different faiths and denominations. The truth is different. Yet how can truth sometimes be true and sometimes not? To be true, it is true always! These laws of chaos declare that every one is a sinner and, therefore, everyone deserves attack and death. This gives rise to the endless cycle of violence, an “eye for an eye”, where violence is never justified! They proclaim that identity rests in what we can wrest from the world – who we can make ourselves out to be by fulfilling our “dreams”. They promise that there IS a substitute for love and the world is the place where we seek that substitute. Such are the decrees of fear and chaos!
Dear brothers and sisters, is this not how the ego looks at the world? Is not “mother nature” a heartless force, which both destroys and creates, which is indifferent to our pleasures and pains and unresponsive to our pleas and prayers? Isn’t life “ordered” by division, bordered by death and circumscribed by unanswered questions? Don’t we have to compete to survive and succeed? Aren’t those who wrong us deserving of our wrath and punishment? Isn’t everything we work for and everyone we love taken from us into the clutches of death?
We believe we are under these strange laws, but they are not God’s. God did not create them, but we have made them up.
In this world, the motto is “kill or be killed” – after all, it’s a matter of survival of the fittest. Struggle and scarcity are inherent in this tragic version of life, and “having” is based upon what can be taken from the world – often against the will of and towards the destruction of others. And yet, as our “hero” of the dream works hard to satiate its desires, nothing the ego amasses will it keep for itself, for all that it steals from the world will be ripped from its clutching hands when death comes to claim what is its due.
The ego convinces the Son of God that He is no longer what God created, but a solitary and vulnerable life framed on all sides by death. It counsels, “What is due is our little life, which we cannot keep.” This much is clear to all. Not one gets out of the world alive. From dust we are born and to dust we will return. Thus, the ego hopes that by convincing the Son that he is a body, that it will succeed in killing God’s Son and destroying Heaven forever. Such is the madness of life which the ego holds out for our belief. And it is the madness we all accept as fact. But would an all-loving Father create a place like this for His Son?
Why Sin, Guilt and Fear Appear to Exist
An indispensable part of the life we have grown to trust are the foundational experiences of sin, guilt and fear. Because of Who we are, a part of us still remembers Reality. It is this memory which leads all separated ones to feel, at their core, that something is wrong here and wrong with them. It is the something beautiful we have lost, the garden of paradise from which we were expelled. This “something wrong” is in our own minds only, but it is not recognized there. Instead, it is projected outwards from the mind, into an “external” “reality”, which is believed to exist apart from and outside of the mind. This “original sin” replicates itself in our experience; like an ever-moving fractal of deceit, it’s lies spread to every corner of our existence and every aspect of our understanding. “We are sinners!” we exclaim! This is an assertion of a false reality and a prescription for continued pain, guilt and fear.
Because we realize something is wrong in our minds, we project it outside of ourselves. Thus, we believe there is something wrong with the world instead. There is something wrong with others not me. There was something that others before us did, which was wrong, and so we, too, are wrong in our very nature. We are lowly sinners, deserving of guilt and the wrath of God.
Do you see how the belief in sin calls for the belief in guilt? They are two sides of the same belief, each a circular definition pointing to the other. At the end of this insane argument is the equally insane conclusion: we deserve punishment and we will die by the hands of God. This is where the unholy trinity completes itself and precludes all else. Death is the punishment our egos believe will be meted out upon us when God’s wrath finds us in our hiding spot (our bodies).
What does the God of infinite Love know of sin and punishment? These concepts are unknown to Him, being born of illusions and deceit. God did not author illusions and, as such, they have no reality. Not one private whisper, not one isolated atom, not one idle thought of loss has any reality in Him or anywhere else. Would you believe it? Would you divest yourself of your dreams this instant, and declare your own deliverance from sin and death?
The belief in sin is insanity for it is the idea that what God wills can be overturned and that what God created like Himself can be defiled. Sin, like an hallucination, is not real and has no effect on Reality. But do you believe in it, dear Son of God? Be completely honest with yourself and do not hold this belief in hiding from Him Who has come to dispel it.
Salvation Does Not Overcome Sin, It Demonstrates Sinlessness
That sin has no effect on what God created was Jesus’ message 2,000 years ago and his continued message in A Course in Miracles. Yet, the ego has twisted His message, and much like the misguided addition of the Book of Revelations to the end of the Holy Bible, the ego seeks to change His Word to that of destruction, separation, anguish and damnation. The ego’s word becomes the capstone rolled in front of Christ’s tomb. But Jesus demonstrated that even the ego’s most precious belief in death has no effect on Christ and the world is saved – not through blood, pain or sacrifice – but by LOVE! Do you have faith in His Message, Dear Son of God? His resurrection and ascension is yours, just as God’s Love has kept you safe from your nightmares of your self and life.
Christ has overcome the world, so this is reason alone to be of good cheer! He overcame it for you and me, inside of you AND inside of me. Would you look within yourself today, this hour, and be witness to the Beauty and Love of Which you are eternally part and parcel? Your inclusion is NECESSARY for the functioning of Heaven and the extension of God’s Love. Do you now see how important You are, and why it is your life’s purpose to awaken to this Importance? God’s Will will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!
Forgiveness looks upon “others” and sees that what appears to have happened in dreams has not really occurred in Heaven, in Truth, in Reality. Forgiving another for their sins is to recognize there is no sin. The ego’s idea of forgiveness is to say, “LOOK what you did! How awful and terrible and mean! But I am the good one, I will extend a favor and get over your sin against me, even though you deserve it not!”
True forgiveness is to see your brother as your Self, and in him, the Light of Christ. Your Identity lies in Him and there is no other way to the Father except through Him. Forgiveness is God’s answer to the dreaming Son’s nightmares, declaring them forever unreal and reasserting the Truth of Christ. This truth will come to all in time because time will end and eternity goes on forever.
Giving and Receiving Are One
Because we are all One and the original error in our mind remains singular, we must all learn to recognize that giving and receiving are one and the same. “As we sow, so shall we reap” is another way of saying the same thing. This is because there is no external world and no separate people living therein. The illusion is one of separation and division, but Reality calls to us as One and proclaims that we are Whole forever. Jesus came 2,000 years ago to demonstrate forgiveness, for it is by forgiveness that we understand that giving and having are the same. Forgiveness looks upon the Face of Christ in your brother and recognizes it as your Self. Thus by giving forgiveness to another, one recognizes it as one’s own, too. How simple is salvation!
Yet this is not how the ego understands giving. According to the ego, to give to another is to go without. For example, if I give you $1,000, I am $1,000 poorer, not $1,000 richer! Such are all gifts the ego values, because giving, in this sense, validates the ego’s existence and underscores its underlying premise: the Son is lacking. True giving is the extension of spirit.
Jesus asks us to forgive – that is, to recognize that what we believe our brother did to us has not occurred in Truth – because the only way for us to realize that forgiveness IS OURS is to give it away. This mirrors the Reality of True Giving by extension, not projection. The ego projects, Spirit extends. By allowing for our natural extension of Spirit, we accept the miracle of release for ourselves, returning our mind to that of unity, wholeness and Love.
Would you give complete forgiveness today, knowing that in releasing others, you release yourself? Would you withhold forgiveness today, knowing that in withholding it from others, you withhold it from yourself?