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Lesson 190

I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

1. Pain is a wrong perspective. ²When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. ³It is not a fact at all. ⁴There is no form it takes that will not disappear if seen aright. ⁵For pain proclaims God cruel. ⁶How could it be real in any form? ⁷It witnesses to God the Father’s hatred of His Son, the sinfulness He sees in him, and His insane desire for revenge and death.

2. Can such projections be attested to? ²Can they be anything but wholly false? ³Pain is but witness to the Son’s mistakes in what he thinks he is. ⁴It is a dream of fierce retaliation for a crime that could not be committed; for attack on what is wholly unassailable. ⁵It is a nightmare of abandonment by an Eternal Love, which could not leave the Son whom It created out of love.

3. Pain is a sign illusions reign in place of truth. ²It demonstrates God is denied, confused with fear, perceived as mad, and seen as traitor to Himself. ³If God is real, there is no pain. ⁴If pain is real, there is no God. ⁵For vengeance is not part of love. ⁶And fear, denying love and using pain to prove that God is dead, has shown that death is victor over life. ⁷The body is the Son of God, corruptible in death, as mortal as the Father he has slain.

4. Peace to such foolishness! ²The time has come to laugh at such insane ideas. ³There is no need to think of them as savage crimes, or secret sins with weighty consequence. ⁴Who but a madman could conceive of them as cause of anything? ⁵Their witness, pain, is mad as they, and no more to be feared than the insane illusions which it shields, and tries to demonstrate must still be true.

5. It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. ²Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in any way. ³There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. ⁴No one but yourself affects you. ⁵There is nothing in the world that has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail. ⁶But it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see by merely recognizing what you are. ⁷As you perceive the harmlessness in them, they will accept your holy will as theirs. ⁸And what was seen as fearful now becomes a source of innocence and holiness.

6. My holy brother, think of this awhile: The world you see does nothing. ²It has no effects at all. ³It merely represents your thoughts. ⁴And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind, and choose the joy of God as what you really want. ⁵Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever. ⁶And would you deny a little corner of your mind its own inheritance, and keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die?

7. The world may seem to cause you pain. ²And yet the world, as causeless, has no power to cause. ³As an effect, it cannot make effects. ⁴As an illusion, it is what you wish. ⁵Your idle wishes represent its pains. ⁶Your strange desires bring it evil dreams. ⁷Your thoughts of death envelop it in fear, while in your kind forgiveness does it live.

8. Pain is the thought of evil taking form, and working havoc in your holy mind. ²Pain is the ransom you have gladly paid not to be free. ³In pain is God denied the Son He loves. ⁴In pain does fear appear to triumph over love, and time replace eternity and Heaven. ⁵And the world becomes a cruel and a bitter place, where sorrow rules and little joys give way before the onslaught of the savage pain that waits to end all joy in misery.

9. Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last. ²Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. ³Let no attack enter with you. ⁴Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.

10. Here will you understand there is no pain. ²Here does the joy of God belong to you. ³This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. ⁴It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. ⁵Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. ⁶Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.

11. And so again we make the only choice that ever can be made; we choose between illusions and the truth, or pain and joy, or hell and Heaven. ²Let our gratitude unto our Teacher fill our hearts, as we are free to choose our joy instead of pain, our holiness in place of sin, the peace of God instead of conflict, and the light of Heaven for the darkness of the world.

(ACIM, W-190.1:1–11:2)

Posted in ACIM Lessons

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