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If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? Like the text for which this workbook was written, the ideas used for the exercises are very simple, very clear and totally unambiguous. We are not concerned with intellectual feats nor logical toys. We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.
If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? This is not difficult, surely. The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question. But do you believe that guilt is hell? If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a workbook at all. No one needs practice to gain what is already his.
We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world. What about your own salvation? You cannot give what you do not have. A savior must be saved. How else can he teach salvation? Today's exercises will apply to you, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world. As you apply the exercises to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.
Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future. Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell. Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own. How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it? God does not know unholiness. Can it be He does not know His Son?.
A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today, and longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged. If you want to exceed the minimum requirements, more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are suggested.
Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today's idea to yourself. Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear; uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity and so on. Whatever form they take, they are unloving and therefore fearful. And so it is from them that you need to be saved.
Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today's exercises. It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently. And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.
Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation. Apply the idea for today to each of them in this way:.
My unloving thoughts about _____ are keeping me in hell.
My holiness is my salvation.
You may find these practice periods easier if you intersperse them with several short periods during which you merely repeat today's idea to yourself slowly a few times. You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything. Sustained concentration is very difficult at first. It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractible.
Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into the exercise periods in whatever form appeals to you. Do not, however, change the idea itself as you vary the method of applying it. However you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning is the fact that your holiness is your salvation. End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding:.
If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?.
In the shorter applications, which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today's idea, and preferably both. If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:.
My holiness is my salvation from this.
Commentary by Allen Watson
The opposite of hell is salvation; the opposite of guilt is holiness. If guilt is hell, then holiness must be salvationThe question is: Do I believe that guilt is hell? Or do I, perhaps, feel that guilt serves a useful function in my life?.
The Course teaches that guilt is at the root of all our problems, and yet at the beginning we don't even suspect guilt as the cause. We lay the problems at the feet of many different things, but rarely at the feet of guilt. "Of one thing you were sure: Of all the many causes you perceived as bringing pain and suffering to you, your guilt was not among them". Guilt is hell. This is part of what the Course is trying to teach us-a large part.
As long as you believe that guilt is justified in any way, in anyone, whatever he may do, you will not look within, where you would always find Atonement. The end of guilt will never come as long as you believe there is a reason for it. For you must learn that guilt is always totally insane, and has no reason.
All salvation is escape from guilt.
Guilt is interference, not salvation, and serves no useful function at all.
Perhaps we may object. Perhaps it seems that guilt is necessary to keep us from wrongdoing; but that presumes something within us that is inherently evil and perverse, something that will always do wrong unless it is kept caged, or punished when it misbehaves. Guilt serves no useful function; guilt is hell. Guilt is what we need to escape from. Guilt does not keep us from wrongdoing; it keeps us locked into it. It is guilt that has driven us insane.
As this lesson says, if we wholly believed that guilt is hell, we would immediately understand the entire Text and have no need for a Workbook. We would have salvation, full and complete, for salvation is escape from guilt. This is not a part of the Course's message; it is the whole of it. This is why my holiness is my salvation; holiness is freedom from guilt.
Notice the emphasis in practice on "unloving thoughts". Unloving thoughts are guilty thoughts; they both stem from guilt and produce more of it. Holiness is lovingness. If my thoughts are unloving, I will be fearful and guilty; my holiness is my salvation from guilt. As we realize that our unloving thoughts are keeping us in hell, we will let them go.
Today's practice instructions are fiercely demanding:
a minimum of four sessions of five full minutes each, with "longer and
more frequent practice sessions…encouraged". Then there are shorter
applications, "which should be made some three or four times an hour
and more if possible". Plus there are responses to temptation. Today's
idea must be very important! It must be very hard for our minds to
absorb, so that we need to frequently immerse our minds in this