[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
Lesson 167 (“There is one life, and that I share with God”) has one of my favourite Course quotations:
Let us today be children of the truth and not deny our holy heritage. (10:1)
I have always liked this idea. It stirs something deep in me and inspires me. It has a noble sound, the sound of rallying behind the banner of truth, of taking a stand for truth (Lesson 98.1).
This morning, when I reread paragraph 10, I made a connection that I had not seen before. I really like the phrase, “children of the truth,” but this time as I sat with it, I saw it as more than just a beautiful, inspiring expression. I realized that what it is saying is that I am truth’s child, a product of truth. Truth is my creator. I was sired by truth and born of truth, and since “ideas leave not their source” (3:6), I can not have left the truth. It is still there in my mind. I am as God–as truth–created me; I am forever a child of truth. As my Source, truth sustains me, supports me, and protects me with itself. It flows continuously in me and through me, giving me eternal life to have and to share.
Now, I know that this connection is obvious; it’s right there in the phrase, but I hadn’t seen it that way before. As part of my approach to studying the Course, I have been paying more attention to words or phrases I might have skipped over previously. The apparently simplest of phrases are taking on even more meaning because of my doing this.
Excited by my discovery, I continued with the rest of the quotation, which led me to asking myself, “If truth is my creator, what is the ‘holy heritage’ it has bequeathed to me?” A stop at my dictionary to check out “heritage” and “inheritance” told me that they refer to such things as characteristics, conditions, and possessions passed down by legal succession or will. That last word made me immediately think of God’s Will, so I asked, “What have I received from God through His Will?” For the answer I looked to the rest of paragraph 10:
Let us today be children of the truth, and not deny our holy heritage. Our life is not as we imagine it. Who changes life because he shuts his eyes, or makes himself what he is not because he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite to what he is? We will not ask for death in any form today. Nor will we let imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the Thought of life eternal has been set by God Himself.
From this, I saw that life eternal is my holy heritage. I checked out the rest of the lesson, and found that my inheritance also includes a mind awake (8:1; 9:4), my “holy home” at one with God’s Mind (11:1). Now I was on a roll, and decided to look up the references to “heritage” and “inheritance” (and their derivatives) in the Course search engine. The main things I found were: peace, love, joy and happiness, glory, truth and knowledge, sinlessness, holiness, perfection, perfect certainty, and most of all, the Kingdom of Heaven and God and all His gifts. In short, everything of God is my heritage!
No wonder the paragraph says that my life is not as I imagine it (10:2). I am not even seeing my real life; I am only imagining a life that bears no resemblance to life eternal, a life filled with God’s gift of everything! This life that seems so real to me is only a figment of my imagination. I am only making an image of a life and then believing it is real. Worry, feelings of being lost, things to figure out, decisions to make, confusion, aging, tiredness, all of these are only imagined. They are all forms of death, not aspects of life. By believing in this “reality” I have denied my holy heritage, denied my father (truth, God), and made up an imaginary world I am only dreaming I am in.
This brought up a lot of emotion, and tears came to my eyes. I felt so sad. Here I am awake in Heaven, only dreaming that I am asleep here in this physical form. My mind isn’t even really asleep; it’s only dreaming it’s asleep! Here I am a child of truth, with truth as the “holy heritage” I have received and which I in turn am here to pass on, and I still fall short of living it and demonstrating its power.
Realizing that the sadness and being hard on myself was also a form of death and denial of truth, I did a practice, repeating the idea for the day and adding, “I am a child of truth. This sadness is a form of death. I will take a stand against it, and take instead a stand for truth.”
Then, remembering Lesson 151 (“All things are echoes of the Voice for God”), I asked the Holy Spirit to take my sad thoughts, remove the elements of dreams, and show me those that reflected the truth. Here’s what I received:
You simply have to take a stand for the truth. You do know it. The emotion you feel is a sign of your longing for the truth. You don’t want to live this imagined life any more. You don’t want to “live” in this imagined world, but in the real world. That is what you long for.
I was heartened by my practice and by these wise words, and determined once again to be a child of truth and not deny my holy heritage.
Note: This started out to be a sharing of my experience with this lesson, but as I wrote, I saw that it was also a description of some of my study techniques; such as, reading every word carefully, taking none of them for granted, and allowing them to be filled with meaning; reading in the first person; consulting my trusty dictionary; and using the Course’s search engine for greater understanding.