Lesson 1
A New Birth
1 This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer and will gladly give it to you if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you.

2 You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still, for it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore, obey your will and follow Him Whom you accepted as your Voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God, and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth.
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Workbook Introduction
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio    

1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
2 The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
3 The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time and, if possible, in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
4 Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
5 Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this-you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM       


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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  1
Nothing I see in this room
[on this street, from this window,
in this place] means anything.

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
2 This table does not mean anything.
This chair does not mean anything.
This hand does not mean anything.
This foot does not mean anything.
This pen does not mean anything.
3 Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:
4 That door does not mean anything.
That body does not mean anything.
That lamp does not mean anything.
That sign does not mean anything.
That shadow does not mean anything.
5 Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied. That is the purpose of the exercise. The statement is merely applied to anything you see. As you practice applying the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.
    ~ Original Handscript of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
Sarah's Commentary:

Here we are on Lesson 1 again for those of you who are starting the year with the lessons for the first time or starting for the umpteenth time! This lesson may seem simple and even silly to some. I have heard people say they don't see the importance of these early lessons and want to skip over them and get to the ones that seem more powerful and more meaningful. Yet if we are willing to deeply reflect on the lesson, we will see its significance. We begin to understand that at some level we give meaning to everything. When we begin to withdraw our own meaning, only then are we willing to be taught. Until then, our minds are closed to anything but our own thoughts about what we see. When we acknowledge that perhaps we don't know what anything means and the meaning we have given to what we see may be wrong, it puts to question our own ideas about everything.
The "I know mind" cannot be taught. It is already full of its own ideas of what things are and what they are for. We are currently in the undoing phase of mind training. In this phase, we are in the process of undoing the way we see; but to do so requires a willingness to question how we see now and to trust the process laid out for us.
Our current way of seeing is to focus on the forms of this world and give them meaning. The meaning we give to the forms of the world brings fear. To us, forms such as money, bodies, homes, cars, and buildings have meaning. In fact, all the forms of this world have meaning for us, and the meaning that we give them brings fear. What if I lose what I value? What if this body gets hurt or dies? What if I lose my money? The purpose of this lesson begins a process of withdrawing meaning from the forms we look upon. We will later learn that only what is behind all forms has meaning. Only the content of love has real meaning. It is only when we have the experience of reality behind all forms will we understand this.
The content of the ego mind is sin, guilt, and fear, all of which are nothing. Our experience here is that sin, guilt, and fear are real. When we come to see their unreality, we will recognize that nothing real is happening or has happened in the past. As such, all problems that we seem to have are the same, regardless of how we determine their degree of importance. Jesus teaches that there is no order of difficulty in the problems we perceive. They all reflect a wrong-minded perspective based on the value we put on them, believing some are more important than others. The truth is, they are all unreal.
We may think the Lesson is simple and we get it. We may think that just because we have studied this course for many years, we are beyond this lesson. Yet if we were, then we would no longer be attached to what the course calls "idols", which are forms we value. We would recognize our reality is not a body.
I recently watched the movie Eastern Promises where a dead body had its fingers snipped off to rid it of being identified by its fingerprints. I found myself not able to watch because I felt the "pain" of this act. Obviously, I was giving meaning to a body that has no meaning. I was identifying with the pain by identifying with my own body and how this would feel if it were done to me. The truth is, we are not a body. Our reality is outside the body. The body is actually just a projection on the screen of this world.
I look around my office and see the meaning I have given to my collection of things and see that all these forms have no meaning except what I have given them. The meanings all come from past associations and from the value they hold for me.
You are doing these Lessons because you have some level of commitment and dedication to undoing your current investment in this world and finding your way to peace and joy. This is your invitation today to apply yourself as well as you can to the Lessons and simply trust the spiritual "technology" laid out for the undoing of the way you see now. It can be extremely powerful in undoing our conditioned way of thinking when we apply the Lessons daily.
May this be a blessed year of further gains in finding our way to peace.

Love and blessings, Sarah
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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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