“The idea for today reaffirms your commitment to salvation. It also reminds you that you have no function other than that. Both these thoughts are obviously necessary for a total commitment.” ACIM, Workbook page 108, Lesson 65.
The key words above are “total commitment.” If we had total commitment we would have already achieved salvation. It is because we have other goals, as well as salvation, that we don’t actually become liberated. One might argue that, as long as one appears to be living in this world, there will always be earthly goals to achieve. To a certain extent that is true, as there are things that have to be done every day for the survival of oneself and one’s family. But these daily activities should not detract us from our only important goal, which is awakening from the dream through the power of forgiveness. We do all the things that we need to do whilst practising the Workbook lessons and making the most of our forgiveness opportunities.
Lesson 65 continues, “…The full acceptance of salvation as your only function necessarily entails two phases; the recognition of salvation as your function, and the relinquishment of all the other goals you have invented for yourself.” Lesson 64 explains exactly what our function is. It points out that the purpose of this world is to conceal our function of forgiveness from us; this is important for the ego because complete forgiveness would entail its demise. Yet, the Holy Spirit has another purpose for us: “…To the Holy Spirit, the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself for what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation.”
Forgiveness, according to A Course in Miracles, is the only tool within our illusory world that will actually lead us out of the world. It is the only illusion that will bring to an end all our other illusions. For that reason it is our only significant function. In Lesson 62 we read, “…Through your forgiveness does the truth about yourself return to your memory. Therefore, in your forgiveness lies your salvation. Illusions about yourself and the world are one. That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Your goal is to find out who you are, having denied your Identity by attacking creation and its Creator.”
It’s interesting to note that the great Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi, also emphasised the need for Self-enquiry and Self-knowledge. He said one should ask oneself, “Who am I?” and eventually one will come to the realisation that one is not one’s body or one’s mind (lower mind/egoic mind) as these are unreal. Only the Self is real and everything is the Self. In an essay written in the 1920’s, Ramana Maharshi stated, “Self itself is the world; Self itself is the 'I'; Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self.”
In Lesson 63, with reference to forgiveness, we read, “You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you. Accept no trivial purpose or meaningless desire in its place, or you will forget your function and leave the Son of God in hell…” In learning how to forgive, we bring about our own salvation and, by healing ourselves, we heal others since, in reality, there is only one of us. There is one Son of God and he is you, me and everyone else. This is emphasised in Lesson 64: “…The world’s salvation awaits your forgiveness, because through it does the Son of God escape from all illusions, and thus from all temptation. The Son of God is you.”
If you are having a difficult day at work or someone parks in the exact place where you had planned to park your car or you find yourself arguing with your special love partner, etc. the best thing you could do would be to take responsibility for these things and remember that there are no victims in this world, despite appearances. If we experience something in our lives (good or bad) it is because we have “created” it through mental projection. It is not something that was done to us by an external agent for the simple reason that there is nothing external. All that exists is mind—one mind, emanating from the Mind of God. Lesson 82 gives us perfect advice to help us deal with a difficult person at work, in the car park or in the home. Simply say to them mentally, “Let peace extend from my mind to yours.” If you can do this and genuinely mean it, then you have taken an important step along the path of forgiveness and it is proof that you are aware of your only function.
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