Self-Knowledge, Salvation and Inner Peace
On shifting attention from body to spirit . . .
Salvation is knowing one's true self as well as their creator. It is to dwell in the peace and joy that naturally attend Creation. It is to know with perfect certainty that we cannot actually be other than what we are in truth and cannot be excluded from the home God creates with us.
We can be confused about all this but we cannot "make untruth true" (T-3.II.6:2). It is our confusion that leaves us feeling that we are something other than a perfect creation of a perfectly loving Creator. We do feel excluded from Heaven - alien unto our brothers and sisters, strangers unto Love.
Lesson 76 of A Course in Miracles suggests that this isolation and sorrow are not a mystery. We have sought salvation where salvation cannot be found, and therefore are not saved. If you are hungry you go to a bakery, not a hardware store. If you want to swim you go to a beach, not a zoo. If you want salvation, you have to look for it where it is.
The idea for today tells you once again how simple is salvation. Look for it where it waits for you, and there it will be found. Look nowhere else, for it is nowhere else (W-pI.76.2:3-5).
To which all sincere ACIM students say, "okay but . . . where does salvation wait for me?"
In order to undo our strange ideas about salvation, which lead to our insistence on searching for it only where it will never be found (and thus never finding it), we have to examine the precise nature of our confusion. "Questioning illusions is the first step in undoing them" (T-3.III.2:6).
For example, can we see the way in which we believe we are subject to laws of nutrition? Would you stop eating or drinking? Taking vitamins?
Can we make contact with our obedience unto the laws of economics? Who among us doesn't think about money? Or work? Or our mortgage?
Can we see our utter dependency on the laws of medicine? Have you really never visited a doctor or a dentist?
Please note that these laws do hold for bodies. Dentists can help with sore teeth. Money can buy a winter jacket when it's cold. A nice salad at lunch is fuel for the afternoon.
They just don't hold for what we are in truth.
A Course in Miracles does not advocate denial of the body (e.g., T-2.IV.3:11). Rather, it reminds us over and over that what we are in truth is not a body. Indeed, the body's real suffering comes from the way we insist on treating the body as our home and thus subject ourselves to laws which cannot actually be meaningfully applied to us. The body needs money, meds and meatloaf but we are not bodies.
These are not laws, but madness. The body is endangered by the mind that hurts itself. The body suffers just in order that the mind will fail to see it is the victim of itself. The body's suffering is a mask the mind holds up to hide what really suffers (W-pI.76.5:1-4).
Can a cloud pay interest on a loan? Does a snowflake take aspirin for pain? Does a prism need bread and water?
Mind uses the body in order not to look at its own role in its suffering. "It would not understand it is its own enemy; that it attacks itself and wants to die" (W-pI.76.5:5). It is precisely for its value in allowing us to deny our responsibility for happiness that we believe we are bodies (W-pI.76.5:7). And there is no way out but to give attention to it.
Thus, we see the way in which the myriad laws we enact and believe ourselves subject to - laws of nutrition, religion, politics, economics, medicine, fashion, et cetera - cause the very suffering they are ostensibly designed to redress. And in seeing this, we can also open our thinking to the possibility of a meaningful alternative. We can actually listen for - and hear - the Voice for God.
You will be listening to the One Who says there is no loss under th laws of God. Payment is neither given nor received. Exchanges cannot be made; there are no substitutes; and nothing is replaced by something else. God's laws forever give and never take (W-pI.76.9:3-6).
These are not the laws which govern the world in which we think we live. These are laws which beget "endless joy" (W-pI.76.10:5) and "freedom from all danger and all tyranny" (W-pI.76.12:2). These are laws that end sacrifice, conflict and competition.
When we look for these laws, we find them because they are given to us as a condition of what we are in truth. They are what remains when we no longer subject ourselves to ego's confusion and false pretenses.
The laws of God are what we see when the light of what we are in truth begins at last to shine in self-imposed darkness. We merely need to ask for this light - asking is what the light is. And all the light reveals is salvation.