Lesson 108 • April-18

To give and to receive are one in truth.


Practice Instructions

Purpose: To offer peace to everyone and feel peace return to you. To thereby learn the unity of cause and effect—that giving (cause) and receiving (effect) are the same.

Longer: Every hour on the hour, for five minutes (if you cannot do this, at least do the alternate).

  • Say, "To give and to receive are one in truth. I will receive what I am giving now."
  • Close your eyes and offer everyone those inner states and qualities that you would like to receive. Say, for example: "To everyone I offer peace of mind. To everyone I offer gentleness." "Say each one slowly, and then pause a while, expecting to receive the gift you gave" (9:1). Trust it to come back in the amount that you gave. You may want to single out one person as the one you give your gifts to, understanding that through giving to him you give to everyone.

Frequent reminders: Often.

Repeat the idea, realizing that each repetition makes your learning "faster and more sure" (10:3).

Encouragement to practice: Try to think of today's exercises as "quick advances in your learning" (10:3), revealing to you the nature of cause and effect, and heightening the speed of your progress.

Commentary

The early part of the lesson describes the state of One-mindedness, where all opposites have been resolved into "one concept which is wholly true" (1:3). When that occurs, the concept will disappear because

the Thought behind it will appear instead to take its place. And now you are at peace forever, for the dream is over then. (1:4-5)

This is Heaven; attaining this state is beyond the scope of the Course. But it is our eventual goal, a place where perception and concepts have vanished, and only knowledge remains.

That "state of mind that has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all" (2:2) is within me. It is the Christ mind, and from it comes my peace of mind; from it comes single perception. It is this I call upon or tap into, drawing it into myself until it takes me over. It is where I am always and what I am forever, but which I have forgotten.

One of the best and most useful lessons we can learn while drawing on this state of mind is that giving and receiving are one and the same. Like all opposites, they are not truly opposite at all; they are part of a unified spectrum of reality. Neither precedes the other; both occur together. Through actual experience with this particular example of the resolution of opposites we can begin to learn how all opposites are reconciled.

We can produce an experience of this resolution at will. It is an experiment that always works.

Sit quietly, and mentally begin to send peace to everyone. Think of specific persons, and say to them in your mind, "I offer you quietness. I offer you peace of mind. I offer you gentleness" (based on 8:6-8).

Go through your list of friends and relations mentally, sending peace to each and every one of them. Offer it to the world at large.

What we find as we do this is that, as we offer peace to others, we experience it ourselves. Quite literally, what we give, we receive. Immediately. There is no pause, no delay for feedback. Our act of giving is quite literally also an act of receiving. There is one act and it contains both things, because there are not two things, only one.

The generalization of this lesson is that cause and effect are one in truth (my interpretation of 10:2-3). It leads us to realize that my thought of attack on another is literally an attack on myself, at that very moment. We think of cause and effect in a linear fashion, as if what I do today will impact on me tomorrow and in the future. That is an incomplete picture. In fact, there is no time delay at all. My thought of attack impacts on me now, just as my thoughts offering peace immediately make me peaceful. Thought and action are likewise the same. I am constantly engendering the universe of my experience. In reality, there is nothing outside my mind. Nothing but these thoughts exists. The world we see is just our thoughts given form. They have never left our mind in truth.

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