Lesson 336 • December-2

Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Commentary

In the Text, the Course speaks of the idea that minds are joined as something that is experienced in a holy relationship, where two people have joined together in common purpose, what is called in one place "a common state of mind" (T-22.III.9:7). In a healthy holy relationship, the members of that relationship regularly practice forgiveness with one another. The result is stated as follows:

This is the function of your holy relationship. For what one thinks, the other will experience with him. What can this mean except your mind and your brother's are one? Look not with fear upon this happy fact, and think not that it lays a heavy burden on you. For when you have accepted it with gladness, you will realize that your relationship is a reflection of the union of the Creator and His Son. ( T-22.VI.14:1-5)

The idea that forgiveness is somehow connected to the experience of linked minds is not intuitively obvious. Yet a little reflection seems to make it clearer for me. If I am unforgiving toward someone, there is certainly a barrier between our minds. I am mentally rejecting that other person and have no desire whatever to find myself mentally linked to them. My judgment is a strong "no" to that person's thoughts. When I forgive, my mind opens to them. "Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined" (my emphasis). It opens the way for me to realize that this is true.

Our perceptions tell us, in a myriad of ways, that we are separate beings. Forgiveness opens the way to an experience that takes us beyond perception and shows us the underlying unity that perception cannot see. Forgiveness "opens the hidden altar to the truth" (1:4). Within our minds we find "the dwelling place of God Himself" (1:6). Forgiveness wipes "away my dreams of separation and of sin" (2:1). In the experience of union with another human being, we begin to remember our union with God and all creation

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