Spiritual Awakening, Growth, and Enlightenment/Finishing lesson 365
QUESTION: Hello Ms Jaemes, I am just finishing the last lesson Lesson 365. Where does one go from here? I guess starting the lessons over would not be necessary. Could you also speak of doing the internal work that you speak of? Any help would be very appreciated.Thank you
ANSWER: Aloha Linda:
Thank you for your questions. I would be more than happy to provide some feedback and then you can go with what you feel is right for you. Let me first address the Workbook and the Lessons.
None of us get it the first time around. We end up repeating them in order, or at random, over the years until our mind is completely corrected. Sometimes itís in this life and sometimes over several lifetimes. The learning (correction) you get in this life is never lost and it can shave hundreds or thousands of cycles of birth and death off for you. It is a course in mind training and it requires practical application until you choose forgiveness for absolutely everything and are completely Right Minded (salvation). You must do this while in a body so this world is meaningless for you.
One of the things that Kenneth Wapnick points out, and I agree, is that the Workbook becomes more meaningful as our understanding of the Text increases. My suggestion would be to ask Holy Spirt/Jesus for help in understanding the Text and applying the Workbook lessons; and then pay attention to what shows up and go and do that. Heís your guide and Teacher and knows what is best. Iíve had the Text come to me in such a variety of ways over the years; and subsequently, Workbook Lessons started to make more sense. I donít try and rush it. Thatís ego.
We are always in the right place to get the forgiveness lessons we need to end the idea of separation in our mind. The internal work I speak of is what the Course says which is take the curriculum of your life, because it is there for your forgiveness lessons, and practice forgiveness with whoever and whatever shows up that bothers you in any way whatsoever.
As you do this, you get better and better at recognizing what is in need of forgiveness and the consequences of that is also the Text and Workbook come to mean more. Youíll find yourself going and looking things up in the book, asking questions and trying to gain deeper understandings. That peace with each correction, at least for me, takes a portion of the burden of judgment out of my mind and just makes me want to do it (forgiveness, Workbook, Text) more and more. I didnít get that at first. Itís been a cumulative effect. All Iíve done is keep on practicing forgiveness, no matter what, and learning to get deeper and better at it with the curriculum of my life as my lessons.
I hope this helps. If you need clarification or have some specific questions, donít hesitate to ask. The more forgiveness you do, the more the light shines in your mind and those ďah ha!Ē moments come through. I wish you the best.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you for your very helpful answers to my questions.
So, forgiveness is our only function. I was unaware that ACIM was of the belief that this course will help with shaving many lifetimes off the birth/death cycle. So once we have come to the last cycle of birth/death what is next or what happens then?
I'd like to share with you a bit on this.
My son when he was around 3 years old was sitting quietly on the couch with his head down and I walked past him and he raised his head and he said to me "Last time I was your mom and you were my son." His head dropped back down immediately after and continued his deep thought/ponderings.He had never been exposed to any religious training.
Could you clarify a few things for me that you wrote-
In the 2nd paragraph you wrote "...it requires practical application until you choose forgiveness for absolutely everything and are completely Right Minded" Could you help me understand what is meant by "Right Minded"?
Then you go on to write "You must do this while in a body so this world is meaningless for you". I am not understanding the meaning of this sentence.
Thanks again. I look forward to your reply.
It is your job to correct your mind - that is forgiveness as the Course means it. In the metaphysics of ACIM, the mind is split between the ego and God and forgiveness means to use the course to train your mind to recognize ego judgments which are errors in thinking and unreal. Those are thoughts, opinions, ideas, judgments, fear, guilt, etc. As you do the Course, and practice forgiveness, you learn more and more what all of those are and how to give them up (forgive) and thus choose to remember the Truth instead. It is your responsibility to fully correct your mind so that you are right minded.
By ďpractical application,Ē I am trying to say that you have to be willing to learn, make mistakes, then go and take what youíve learned of the correction process and actively and purposefully use it to correction your mind (forgive), make more mistakes and do it again. All mistakes are correctable errors to God. To the ego, theyíre based on sin (an idea) and so are full of fear and guilt in need of correction in the mind.
You cannot just turn over everything to God because this correction/forgiveness process is His solution (Atonement) for anything (one problem, one solution in the Course). You look at each judgment choice you have made and will make and decide differently - decide to forgive (correct your mind of error).
The decision making ability in the mind is where the Course is aimed. You train yourself to choose the opposite of what youíve been doing (instead of choosing the ego/error, you choose to give it up). You donít have to know the Truth or know what to do with it - just that you recognize it as ego judgment and donít value it any longer. Truth is there waiting for you to stop denying it (with the ego judgments) and deny the ego judgments instead. The goal is to teach yourself to practice forgiveness for everything...no matter what shows up. None of us get it overnight. It takes dedicated practice and learning.
Now, what does Right Minded mean? In short, salvation. It means to have corrected your mind of all judgments while you are in this world and in a body. You see each and every person as you, with the same shared interests (brothers).
When you have fully corrected your mind out of judgment, this world is ďmeaninglessĒ because it was ďmadeĒ with ego judgments and you just gave all those up (corrected/forgive). Whatís left is what is real: God and Love. FYI - you are still here but at that point, God can reach out to you because the last choice you need to make is to end the idea of separation (which this dream or illusion is based on being separated from God).
As for your son, that was a message to you that you never die - itís a cycle of birth and death until your mind is fully corrected (right minded). Why I said what I did about the birth/death cycle was to encourage you to keep on with the Course because youíll never lose what you learn here now. I just answered the last cycle in the above paragraph - when you give up the idea of separation you are back home in the mind of God and no longer need a body.
I hope Iíve answered all your questions, Linda. If not, let me know or if you need clarification. My best to you.