Lesson 354 • December-20

We stand together, Christ and I, in peace and certainty of purpose. And in Him is His Creator, as He is in 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: I have found it helpful to make this lesson more specific: "In this situation, we stand together, Christ and I…." I have also found it helpful to reword it: "I take my stand with Christ today, united with Him in purpose. And God is in both of us."

Commentary

This lesson expresses the awareness of my identity with Christ. The Creator is in Christ and also in me; God is in me as He is in Christ. Identical. "I have no self except the Christ in me" (1:2). This awareness of identity is where the Course is leading us. All our study of the Text, our practice of the Workbook, and our application of forgiveness in all our relationships is bringing us to this final awareness: "I have no self except the Christ in me." "And what am I except the Christ in me?" (1:7).

As we arrive at these final lessons, we may feel as though somewhere along the line the Course has passed us by. Somewhere we missed the boat, or more likely, got off the boat and stayed behind. I know that I have often felt that way; I also know that, if I continue to practice what the Course has taught me, that will not always be true. One day the realization that I have no self except the Christ in me will resonate in my mind without any resistance or doubt.

I believe deeply that these words I've just quoted are true, yet I am aware there is a part of my mind that, as yet, does not believe them. My experience has not caught up to my understanding. My mind still believes that I am not identical to the Christ, and so my experience follows my belief, and I experience myself, or at the very least parts of myself, that seem to be other than this perfect Self, Who is wholly like His Father.

Does this mean the Course has failed, or that I have failed the Course? No, I don't think so. In the epilogue, which follows Lesson 365, Jesus speaks of how the Holy Spirit will be our "Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real" (W-Ep.4:1). So he expects that everyone, having finished the Workbook, will still experience difficulties, and, sometimes, still mistakenly think that pain is real. He says there, "Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him" (W-Ep.1:5). Even after all this, we will still experience troubles. "This course is a beginning, not an end" (W-Ep.1:1). The Text and Workbook are meant not to bring us to the end of our journey, but to train us in the proper way to travel, to develop proper habits of spiritual practice. They introduce us to our Teacher and instill the habit of listening to Him. That is all, and that is enough.

And yet these latter lessons put words in our mouths and have us speak as if we have already arrived. Think of them as foretastes of what your mind will be like when you have finished your journey. Immerse your mind in them and let them soak in, transforming you as they do. Whatever you may feel like today, whatever you may think about yourself, these words are still the truth.

Who we are is beyond the reach of time and free of every law but God's (1:1). We have no purpose but Christ's purpose (1:3). We are one with God, just as Jesus was and is (1:5). And all our learning is designed to help us unlearn everything that tells us anything different.

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