Our current goals:
- Widen the horizons of our vision
- Take direct approaches to uncover the blocks that keep our vision narrow
- Lift those blocks, however briefly, in order to experience the sense of liberation that comes when the blocks are removed
- Intensify our motivation for freedom
Today’s lesson makes clear that illusions are used to undo illusions, because truth has not been touched by illusions at all. This is why we are doing two things at once: We are practicing the teachings of A Course in Miracles Workbook for Students and practicing awareness-watching-awareness meditation.
Our work with A Course in Miracles is learning about and practicing the illusions that undo illusions. Let’s not get confused about this. Many students have become lost, because they have adopted the Course’s thought system as the truth. It isn’t the truth. It is an illusion that can be used to undo illusions.
Our second practice, awareness-watching-awareness, is the practice of paying attention to truth, which remains untouched by illusions. Today’s lesson says, “To condemn is thus impossible in truth.” This is not a minor point, and it is a point you can verify for yourself.
Take a moment to become quiet and look at awareness. As you look directly at awareness, notice it has no concepts in it at all. Being beyond concepts, it is also beyond condemnation. Judgment is not possible for awareness.
Remain quiet and continue to look at awareness. Can you separate yourself from awareness? Can you let go of awareness, or is awareness what you are?
If you can see that awareness is what you are, then you also know that there is no condemnation in you. Condemnation and attack, and the injury that occurs because of condemnation and attack, are at the level of body and mind only. They do not occur and have no effect at the level of truth.
When we practice the teachings of A Course in Miracles, we are using illusions to undo illusions, but truth is not involved at all. It is in the background merely being aware. We are working entirely with dreamscapes.
Why bother working at the level of the dream? As today’s lesson says, “Injury is impossible. And yet illusion makes illusion. If you can condemn, you can be injured. For you have believed that you can injure, and the right you have established for yourself can be now used against you, till you lay it down as valueless, unwanted, and unreal. Then does illusion cease to have effects, and those it seemed to have will be undone.”
In other words, as long as you believe illusions have value, you are caught at the level of illusions. So, illusions must be used to undo illusions until you come to see that illusions have no value at all. When this occurs, your attention will leave illusions completely and choose to abide with truth.
Today’s lesson refers to forgiveness as “illusion that is the answer to the rest. Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others.”
Forgiveness is letting go of thought. It is removing value, meaning, belief and attention from thought.
A few days ago, we learned to use right-reason, another illusion, to talk ourselves into letting go of thought. However, unless we are vigilant for forgiveness, the mind will use wrong-reason to justify our judgments and attacks. Today’s lesson asks, “And why would you oppose [forgiveness], quarrel with it, seek to find a thousand ways in which it must be wrong; a thousand other possibilities? Is it not wiser to be glad you hold the answer to your problems in your hand?”
The lesson points out, “This world has many seeming separate haunts where mercy has no meaning, and attack appears justified. Yet all are one …”
Let’s look at this point more carefully. I have noticed over the years that many spiritual students are able to practice forgiveness in some things, but not all things. For example, they may be willing to let go of their judgments of others based on physical appearance, and yet they are still willing to judge and attack based on political, spiritual or moral points of view. It’s as if politics, spirituality and morality are “separate haunts where mercy has no meaning.”
Is that true? Are condemnation and attack sometimes justified?
The lesson says, “Yet all are one.” In other words, the lesson is pointing out they are all illusions, all distractions from truth.
Let’s look at an example. If I have a democratic political leaning, and I believe democratic policy creates a more inclusive and compassionate society, I may feel justified when I attack republican points-of-view in conversation with friends or through a post in Facebook. However, when I do that, am I identified with awareness or with this personality-mind as what I am?
Look again. Does awareness have any political points-of-view in it?
You see, illusions are all one in that they are illusions, and to the degree that we are caught up in them, we are identified with illusion as what we are. In other words, all illusions have equal power to keep us lost and ignorant regarding our truth. This is why forgiveness is justified regardless of what the illusion is. This is why any reasoning that justifies condemnation and attack is always wrong reasoning. The only right reasoning is the logic that convinces us to let go.
Today we become more committed to let go of condemnation and attack in all circumstances. We do not withhold any circumstance as the special circumstance that validates our condemnation. The basis of this commitment is that we want to experience truth directly. We are no longer interested in being distracted from it. We are ready for Self-realization.
Remember to feel gratitude for all opportunities to practice forgiveness. Gratitude helps increase our willingness to let go.