A Course in Miracles: Lesson 198

Lesson 198

Only my condemnation injures me.  

When we speak ill of or hurt another, we truly are only hurting ourselves.  There are many ways in which this happens. First, the strong feelings we have towards another, that move us to action, are only occurring in our own heads and bodies, wreaking havoc on our nervous system.  Secondly, usually when we do take action against another, we feel guilty about it later, which only hurts us and gives us something to stew over at a later date.  Lastly, when we hurt our fellow brother or sister, we are taking action on ourselves, as we are all connected by our Oneness.

In believing that we can condemn, through violence, word, thought, etc., we negate to realize that we put ourselves in the same pool, knowing that it can also happen to us as well.  If we give vengeance, we believe we can also receive it, thus do we become on guard and imprison ourselves.  This can happen on a big scale, while also in a much more subtle manner.  It could be from physically attacking another, to stealing from another, to simply talking negative about another Child of God.  And that is truly who we are taking action against, another Child of God.  Yet, at that time, we are blind to that Truth.  Instead, we see a separate body that can be condemned just as we are.

“For you have believed that you can injure, and the right you have established for yourself can be now used adjacent you, till you lay it down as valueless, unwanted and unreal” (ACIM Lesson 198 1:4).

It is impossible to injure another and ourselves, in Reality, but as we hold the belief in condemnation that is not the reality we abide in.  The bridge to that Reality is through forgiveness.  Although we truly need not be forgiven, as we are already perfect and whole, it the use of forgiveness that helps us see Heaven on earth.  It is the means by which we cross the threshold of Heaven.

“Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking.  It is not itself the truth.  Yet does it point to where the truth must be, and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself.  It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are one” (ACIM Lesson 198 3:4-7).

We have explored forgiveness in-depth throughout our lessons, however today, we are given a glimpse that there is a finality to this concept.  It is not a cycle, although we can make one of it.  It is actually a marker, an arrow, pointing us in the direction of Reality.  We do not have to come back to keep looking at the same sign over and over again.  The point is to know it and to choose freedom and love from there.  If we keep coming back to the arrow of forgiveness, we are still choosing in the possibility of condemnation.  And in doing so, are we still placing the “key to Heaven” outside of ourselves rather than knowing it already lies within us.

“It is not wiser to be glad you hold the answer to your problems in your hand?”  (ACIM Lesson 198 5:1).

We hold the key to set ourselves free.  In no longer condemning others, or ourselves, we free All.  Again, it is a subtle manner in which this happens.  It happens by releasing our false thoughts and identities.  It happens by only speaking kind words to yourself and others.  It happens by seeing the person in the mirror and the person in front of you as the Child of God.  If even for just a moment, you allowed the thought to rise up that the person you see is a Child of God, it could change everything.

“Only my condemnation injures me.  

Only my forgiveness sets me free”

(ACIM Lesson 198 9:3-4).  

You have the key to Heaven right in your little sphere:  in the body, mind, and spirit.  Today is about integrating your freedom on all three levels to make them One.  It is about seeing your inner world and outer world with the eyes of Sacred Sight.  It is about moving beyond the cycle of forgiveness to all is forgiven.

“There is no condemnation in him.  He is perfect in his holiness.  He needs no thoughts of mercy.  Who could give him gifts when everything is his?  And who could ream of offering forgiveness to the Son of Sinlessness Itself, so like to Him Whose Son he is, that to behold the Son is to perceive no more, and only know the Father?  In this vision of the Son, so brief that not an instant stands between this single sight and timelessness itself, you see the vision of yourself, and then you disappear forever into God” (ACIM Lesson 198 12:1-6).

In the last few lessons we have learned of the sweetness of our essence:  the goodness of being just as We are.  In knowing this, how could we condemn anyone?  What if you called yourself and everyone you met by their real name, Child of God?  How would that change your thoughts, words, and actions?  In recognizing our own perfection, are we free to truly disappear into God.  I call you by your name, Child of God, and honor your journey.  Namaste.



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