Lesson 342 • December-8

I let forgiveness rest upon all things, for thus forgiveness will be given me.


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.

Practice suggestion: The following is a visualization based on today's lesson. It is long, so it may help if someone reads it to you, or if you read it onto tape and play it back for yourself.

Close your eyes. Think of your current life as if it's taking place inside of hell. Think of various problem areas in your life and see actual flames popping up in those places. Maybe you have a problematic relationship right now. See flames dancing there. Maybe you are having financial difficulties. See flames coming out of your wallet or purse. Maybe you feel alone and isolated. You might imagine a ring of flames around you, separating you from others. Just think of various problem areas and see flames dancing in each of those areas. Then, a little distance away, you see a massive, glorious door, the gate of Heaven. Imagine it however you like. Maybe it's made of gold. Perhaps there are diamonds in it. Perhaps it is shining with an otherworldly light. You walk toward it, and as you come nearer, you see it has a large keyhole, like you might see in a castle door. A ray of bright light is streaming out of the keyhole, a hint of the glory that lies on the other side. You find in your hand a large, old-fashioned key. Look at the key, feel it in your hand. As you look, you see that on it is engraved in beautiful writing the word "Forgiveness." Then you turn the key over, and on the other side it says, "of [name]." The name is someone you deeply need to forgive, but you have been putting it off. See whose name is there. Realize that you have been refusing to use this key for a long time. If going through the gate means using this key, you are not sure it's worth it. Maybe the flames are preferable. How long have you been loitering there, in front of the gate, wondering if you should enter in and be at home? You finally decide to forgive this person. Say to yourself, "I let forgiveness rest upon [name], For thus forgiveness will be given me." Do your best to mean these lines. "I let forgiveness rest upon [name], For thus forgiveness will be given me." One more time: "I let forgiveness rest upon [name], For thus forgiveness will be given me." Find that you have placed the key in the keyhole And are already turning it. You are forgiving this person at last. The key turns all the way and you pull the door open; it takes virtually no effort. As it swings open you find yourself face to face with a blazing light. The light of Heaven. The light of God. The light of your true Self. You are transfixed by this light, Caught up in the ecstasy of it. All questions are answered; all longings are satisfied. You are home at last. Say to God, "I forget all things except Your changeless Love. I forget all things except that You are here." (based on The Gifts of God, p. 126) Spend a few moments basking in this light, And then open your eyes when you are ready.

Commentary

As the fourth sentence says, "The key is in my hand" (1:4). Forgiveness is the key. As I forgive, I receive forgiveness—not from God as a reward for my good deed (God has no need to forgive, never having condemned), but—from myself. Forgiveness really means no more than that I "let creation be as You would have it be and as it is" (1:7). In my ego mind, I am the only one who has overlaid an illusion of "sin" onto the world around me. When I look with condemnation on the world, I am not seeing reality as it is. There is nothing to condemn, and that fact is my own salvation. If the sin I think I see in the world is really there, then I am damned with the world. Only when I let creation be as God would have it be—innocent—can I be free of condemnation.

This is God's plan "to save me from the hell I made" (1:1). I made the hell; God gives me forgiveness as the way out. The hell I made is not real, thank God. In this Course I have come right up to the door to the end of dreams (1:4). I hold forgiveness, the key, in my hand. "I stand before the gate of Heaven, wondering if I should enter in and be at home" (1:5). In every instant today when I face the choice between judgment and forgiveness, between murder and a miracle, I am standing at that gate, holding the key in my hand, wondering if I should go in.

Let me not wait again today. Let me forgive all things, and let creation be as You would have it be and as it is. Let me remember that I am Your Son, and opening the door at last, forget illusions in the blazing light of truth, as memory of You returns to me.(1:6-8)

Forgiveness is the key; the choice to open the door is mine. To open it I must be willing to forget all illusions. I must be willing to let go of my investment in seeing my own sins in my brother and to release him.

Brother, forgive me now. I come to you to take you home with me. And as we go, the world goes with us on our way to God. (2:1-3)

Let me think of these lines with every person I meet today. "Forgive me now. I come to take you home with me." Oh, let that be the way I greet everyone in my mind! Let us all go home together!

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