Lesson 187

“I bless the world because I bless myself.”

No-one can give unless he has. In fact, giving is proof of having. We
have made this point before. What seems to make it hard to credit is
not this. No-one can doubt that you must first possess what you
would give. It is the second phase on which the world and true
perception differ. Having had and given, then the world asserts that
you have lost what you possessed. The truth maintains that giving
will increase what you possess.

How is this possible? For it is sure that if you give a finite thing
away, your body’s eyes will not perceive it yours. Yet we have learned
that things but represent the thoughts that make them. And you do
not lack for proof that when you give ideas away, you strengthen
them in your own mind. Perhaps the form in which the thought
seems to appear is changed in giving. Yet it must return to him who
gives. Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. It must be more.

Ideas must first belong to you, before you give them. If you are
to save the world, you first accept salvation for yourself. But you will
not believe that this is done until you see the miracles it brings to
everyone you look upon. Herein is the idea of giving clarified and
given meaning. Now you can perceive that by your giving is your
store increased.

Protect all things you value by the act of giving them away, and
you are sure that you will never lose them. What you thought you
did not have is thereby proven yours. Yet value not its form. For this
will change, and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you
try to keep it safe. No form endures. It is the thought behind the
form of things that lives unchangeable.

Give gladly. You can only gain thereby. The thought remains and
grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. Thoughts extend as
they are shared, for they can not be lost. There is no giver and
receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. There is a giver
who retains; another who will give as well. And both must gain in
this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to
him. What he seems to lose is always something he will value less
than what will surely be returned to him.

Never forget you give but to yourself. Who understands what
giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. Nor can he fail to
recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. He laughs as
well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation and
at death. He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands
behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.

Illusions recognized must disappear. Accept not suffering, and
you remove the thought of suffering. Your blessing lies on everyone
who suffers when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. The
thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appears
to take. And sacrifice is an idea so mad that sanity dismisses it at once.

Never believe that you can sacrifice. There is no place for
sacrifice in what has any value. If the thought occurs, its very
presence proves that error has arisen, and correction must be made.
Your blessing will correct it. Given first to you, it now is yours to
give as well. No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure
before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.

The lilies that your brother offers you are laid upon your altar,
with the ones you offer him beside them. Who could fear to look
upon such lovely holiness? The great illusion of the fear of God
diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on
here. Be not afraid to look. The blessedness you will behold will take
away all thought of form, and leave instead the perfect gift forever
there, forever to increase, forever yours, forever given away.

Now are we one in thought, for fear has gone. And here, before
the altar to One God, One Father, One Creator and One Thought,
we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him Who
is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our One
Self Whose innocence has joined us all as one, we stand in
blessedness and give as we receive. The Name of God is on our lips.
And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our
reflection of our Father’s Love.

Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world. What we have
looked upon we would extend, for we would see it everywhere. We
would behold it shining with the grace of God in everyone. We
would not have it be withheld from anything we look upon. And to
ensure this holy sight is ours, we offer it to everything we see. For
where we see it, it will be returned to us in form of lilies we can lay
upon our altar, making it a home for Innocence Itself, Who dwells in
us and offers us His Holiness as ours.

Britney Shawley added:

Give gladly. You can only gain thereby. The thought remains, and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. Thoughts extend as they are shared, for they can not be lost. There is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. There is a giver who retains; another who will give as well. And both must gain in this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to him. What he seems to lose is always something he will value less than what will surely be returned to him.

Never forget you give but to yourself. Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. Nor can he fail to recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. He laughs as well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation and at death. He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.

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