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PART I

LESSON 121.

Forgiveness is the key to happiness.

W-121.1. Here is the answer to your search for peace. 2 Here is the key to meaning in a world that seems to make no sense. 3 Here is the way to safety in apparent dangers that appear to threaten you at every turn, and bring uncertainty to all your hopes of ever finding quietness and peace. 4 Here are all questions answered; here the end of all uncertainty ensured at last.

W-121.2. The unforgiving mind is full of fear, and offers love no room to be itself; no place where it can spread its wings in peace and soar above the turmoil of the world. 2 The unforgiving mind is sad, without the hope of respite and release from pain. 3 It suffers and abides in misery, peering about in darkness, seeing not, yet certain of the danger lurking there.

W-121.3. The unforgiving mind is torn with doubt, confused about itself and all it sees; afraid and angry, weak and blustering, afraid to go ahead, afraid to stay, afraid to waken or to go to sleep, afraid of every sound, yet more afraid of stillness; terrified of darkness, yet more terrified at the approach of light. 2 What can the unforgiving mind perceive but its damnation? 3 What can it behold except the proof that all its sins are real?

W-121.4. The unforgiving mind sees no mistakes, but only sins. 2 It looks upon the world with sightless eyes, and shrieks as it beholds its own projections rising to attack its miserable parody of life. 3 It wants to live, yet wishes it were dead. 4 It wants forgiveness, yet it sees no hope. 5 It wants escape, yet can conceive of none because it sees the sinful everywhere.

W-121.5. The unforgiving mind is in despair, without the prospect of a future which can offer anything but more despair. 2 Yet it regards its judgment of the world as irreversible, and does not see it has condemned itself to this despair. 3 It thinks it cannot change, for what it sees bears witness that its judgment is correct. 4 It does not ask, because it thinks it knows. 5 It does not question, certain it is right.

W-121.6. Forgiveness is acquired. 2 It is not inherent in the mind, which cannot sin. 3 As sin is an idea you taught yourself, forgiveness must be learned by you as well, but from a Teacher other than yourself, Who represents the other Self in you. 4 Through Him you learn how to forgive the self you think you made, and let it disappear. 5 Thus you return your mind as one to Him Who is your Self, and Who can never sin.

W-121.7. Each unforgiving mind presents you with an opportunity to teach your own how to forgive itself. 2 Each one awaits release from hell through you, and turns to you imploringly for Heaven here and now. 3 It has no hope, but you become its hope. 4 And as its hope, do you become your own. 5 The unforgiving mind must learn through your forgiveness that it has been saved from hell. 6 And as you teach salvation, you will learn. 7 Yet all your teaching and your learning will be not of you, but of the Teacher Who was given you to show the way to you.

W-121.8. Today we practice learning to forgive. 2 If you are willing, you can learn today to take the key to happiness, and use it on your own behalf. 3 We will devote ten minutes in the morning, and at night another ten, to learning how to give forgiveness and receive forgiveness, too.

W-121.9. The unforgiving mind does not believe that giving and receiving are the same. 2 Yet we will try to learn today that they are one through practicing forgiveness toward one whom you think of as an enemy, and one whom you consider as a friend. 3 And as you learn to see them both as one, we will extend the lesson to yourself, and see that their escape included yours.

W-121.10. Begin the longer practice periods by thinking of someone you do not like, who seems to irritate you, or to cause regret in you if you should meet him; one you actively despise, or merely try to overlook. 2 It does not matter what the form your anger takes. 3 You probably have chosen him already. 4 He will do.

W-121.11. Now close your eyes and see him in your mind, and look at him a while. 2 Try to perceive some light in him somewhere; a little gleam which you had never noticed. 3 Try to find some little spark of brightness shining through the ugly picture that you hold of him. 4 Look at this picture till you see a light somewhere within it, and then try to let this light extend until it covers him, and makes the picture beautiful and good.

W-121.12. Look at this changed perception for a while, and turn your mind to one you call a friend. 2 Try to transfer the light you learned to see around your former "enemy" to him. 3 Perceive him now as more than friend to you, for in that light his holiness shows you your savior, saved and saving, healed and whole.

W-121.13. Then let him offer you the light you see in him, and let your "enemy" and friend unite in blessing you with what you gave. 2 Now are you one with them, and they with you. 3 Now have you been forgiven by yourself. 4 Do not forget, throughout the day, the role forgiveness plays in bringing happiness to every unforgiving mind, with yours among them. 5 Every hour tell yourself:

6 Forgiveness is the key to happiness. 7 I will awaken from the dream that I am mortal, fallible and full of sin, and know I am the perfect Son of God.

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