Foundation for A Course in Miracles - Dr. Kenneth Wapnick

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The Holy Spirit asks us to see all things as lessons in forgiveness that God would have us learn. Thus we walk the world in a spirit of gratitude for the opportunities for release from guilt that are offered us. Every situation can teach this as long as we are open to accept its gift. What we ask for is given us. If we look out on a world of fear, seeing there the fear that really lurks in our hearts, it is this fear we shall receive. If instead we offer forgiveness to the world, seeing in all attack a desperate cry for help, it will be our own forgiveness we shall find.

The prisons of guilt and fear we establish for ourselves and others, when given over to the Holy Spirit, become transformed into shrines of forgiveness. There are our “secret sins and hidden hates” undone as they are seen in another and then let go, bringing peace at last to all those who wander “in the world, uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear” (T‑31.VIII.9:2; T‑31.VIII.7:1). We wander among them, and so we are brought time and time again to this holy place by the Holy One Himself, that we may choose to recognize in each other the holiness we have forgotten, and which our forgiveness now recalls to us.

Would we not feel grateful, then, for what had once seemed like misfortune’s curse? Would we not let the song of gratitude fill our heart that Heaven had not left us alone in our prison house of fear, but had instead joined with us there that all God’s children be free? And would we not awaken each morning with this prayer of thanksgiving on our lips, thanking God for the opportunities the day will bring:

Father, help me see only Your Will this day in everyone I meet; that I may teach the single lesson You would have me learn: that all my sins have been forgiven me because I have forgiven them in all my brothers and my sisters You have sent. Help me not to be tempted by my fear to hate or to condemn; but only let forgiveness rest upon my eyes that I may see Your Love in all I meet today, and know that it is in myself as well.

Excerpted from Forgiveness and Jesus

Audio: Setting realistic goals for our study of A Course in Miracles.

Q: What does A Course in Miracles refer to as “all” in the sentence “To have, give all to all.” (T-6.V-A5:13)? I have heard Ken say that it doesn’t mean to give everything away in this world and go live on a mountain top. What does it mean?

A: First, Jesus is correcting the ego’s version, which is “to have, take all from all.” To the ego, the only way of having something is to get it from somewhere or someone. Therefore, Jesus tells us, “the first step in the reversal or undoing process is the undoing of the getting concept” (T-6.V-B.3:1). This is directly related to our learning to prefer shared interests instead of separate, competing interests; and that by seeking to take something from someone, we will wind up as the loser, because we will have once again denied that God’s Son is one and that as His creation we already have everything (W-pI.133.7).

So this has nothing to do with form or with behavior; it has to do with our attitude or inner orientation: the content, not the form. It has to do with undoing our inclination to exclude others and to acquire what we want at another’s expense. It has to do with looking at how we value uniqueness and specialness, and how that leads to more conflict instead of peace. We would begin to question the value of something that cannot be shared with everyone—why we would want something that cannot be shared with everyone. Again, this has to do with our attitude. Obviously, as you said, we are not being asked to buy enough for everyone in the world whenever we go shopping. Jesus is working with the premises that govern our thinking.

This first lesson of the Holy Spirit, then, is essentially about undoing our concept of getting as the means of having: “You learn first that having rests on giving, and not on getting” (T-6.V-C.6:1).

Excerpted from Q&A

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