" You do not walk alone. God's angels hover close and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure: that I will never leave you comfortless. " ACIM OE W.EPILOGUE
Workbook for Students
Introduction Part I
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.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 1
Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
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.

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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Text
Foreward by Course in Miracles Society
"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.

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 cannot 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." ACIM OE Epilogue

With these words, A Course in Miracles concludes its prescribed curriculum of 365 daily lessons, and it is with these words,too, that we begin our study.

A Course in Miracles (often called just "the Course") is a self-study course for retraining the mind that is spiritual, rather than religious, in its perspective. Although it uses Christian terminology, it is ecumenical in its approach, and its underlying ontology is reminiscent of ancient refrains, echoing the world's most hallowed traditions.

The Course is pragmatic in its method, and its aim is a peaceful mind: " Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is." Nevertheless, the Course frequently emphasizes its simplicity.

The story of the Course began when, in the midst of an environment of intense competition and negative attitudes, Columbia University clinical psychologist Dr. William T. Thetford decided he had had enough and declared to his colleague, Dr. Helen Schucman, "There must be another way, and I'm determined to find it." Dr. Schucman vowed to help him.

What ensued was a dramatic progression of waking dreams for Schucman, which culminated in October 1965 with her experience of a voice which spoke clearly in her mind, saying "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes."

With Thetford's support and assistance in transcribing her shorthand notes, Schucman took down some fifteen hundred typewritten pages of A Course in Miracles over a period of seven years.

Schucman did not claim to be the author of the material herself. As she often explained, she heard a kind of inner dictation and she felt compelled to write it down, even though at times she disagreed with the content and resisted the process. The voice which spoke through Helen clearly identifies himself as Jesus. Nonetheless, one need not be Christian nor accept Christianity's traditional doctrines to benefit from the teachings of the Course. Indeed, traditional Christians will at first find many of the pronouncements contained in this work to be startling and perhaps unbelievable. Persistence and open-mindedness will nevertheless be rewarded.

The dictation of A Course in Miracles was completed in September 1972 and resulted in three volumes—the Text, the Workbook for Students, and the Manual for Teachers. As the development of the material progressed, Schucman and Thetford faced the formidable task of organizing the original typescript (often called the "Urtext") into what would become A Course in Miracles. They divided the Text into chapters and sections and gave titles to each, and they removed a great deal of material from the early chapters, material they believed was meant for them personally, not for the Course. The edition that resulted from those efforts is the book you hold in your hands.

The Text volume of the Original Edition has undergone an evolutionary process since the 1972 manuscript of A Course in Miracles was discovered and released on the internet in late 1999. In early 2000 Course in Miracles Society (CIMS) printed the 1972 manuscript of the text as Jesus' Course in Miracles. Distribution of that book was suspended during the continuance of the copyright litigation, which was concluded in 2006.

In November 2006 the initial printing of the Original Edition (referred to as the 2006 Printing), containing the Workbook for Students and Manual for Teachers in addition to the Text, was released. The 2006 Printing corrected numerous typographic errors, misspellings, and aberrant punctuation that had appeared in the original 1972 manuscript and which were reproduced in the Jesus' Course in Miracles edition.

There was a second printing in 2009 (referred to as the 2009 Printing) which continued the process of correcting errors in the manuscript. In this undertaking the editors for the first time looked back to earlier manuscripts and restored material that appeared to have been inadvertently or mistakenly omitted in retyping. This process of restoration has continued through 2012, 2017, and 2018 Printings, adhering always to the fundamental directive, "fidelity to Source." Among the improvements, beginning with the 2012 Printing, was the updating of paragraph numbering in Chapters 2, 9, 26, and 27, necessitated mainly by the restoration of material from an earlier manuscript. Paragraph renumbering is described in footnotes where pertinent.

In its continuing evolution, this Original Edition faithfully reproduces the original transcript of the book that was the result of the collaboration between Schucman and Thetford, whom many believe were involved with each other in the "holy relationship" described in Chapters 17 through 22 of the Text. This edition preserves the original language of the dictation of those chapters, which were addressed to the two collaborators as they worked together to produce the manuscript. Later editing of the manuscript changed the focus of these important chapters and addresses them to a solitary reader, removing the mutuality that is explicit in the original dictation.

It seems clear that this Original Edition is what Schucman and Thetford originally intended to be A Course in Miracles. However, in 1973 Ken Wapnick, who had joined their small circle and received a copy of the 1972 manuscript, expressed his belief that further editing was needed. Thetford withdrew from further detailed editing work, and Schucman and Wapnick resumed the editing process. Along with changes in paragraphing, punctuation, capitalization, and section titles, there was a great deal of line-by-line editing. In addition, about one-fifth of the material in the first five chapters was removed. Finally, a new section, the Clarification of Terms, was added. The resulting edition, published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace, became the Course with which the world would become familiar.

While we honor that edition of the Course, we believe that the additional editing resulted both in shifts of meaning and a change in the over-all tone of the work. When encountering Schucman and Thetford's Original Edition, students often find fresh clarity as they read its wording or new understanding as they encounter passages that were not included in the later 1975 edition. In the case of editing, it seems to us that the "less-is-best" rule applies—the less tampering with the eloquent and carefully worded dictation that Schucman received, the better.

In this Original Edition, we have taken great care in dealing with the editorial issues presented by the original typed manuscript. Our focus has been upon reproducing as nearly as possible the content as it was originally given to Schucman and Thetford. It is to be noted, however, that there are a few occasions where we encountered material from the original dictation that appears to have been inadvertently or mistakenly dropped in the early retyping. In those instances, we have re-inserted the missing lines, noting our addition by placing the inserted material in square brackets. Otherwise, the only changes that have been made to the original manuscript of the Course as completed by Schucman and Thetford have been to correct obvious typographic errors and misspellings, to standardize punctuation and capitalization, and to format the material for print publication. Apart from the simple section and paragraph numbering which we include for ease of reference and navigation, nothing has been added to or omitted from the work.

We would be remiss were we to fail to acknowledge the selfless support provided to the Course in Miracles Society by its members and others. From its earliest days, the work of the Society has been enabled by tireless contributions of labor and generous financial support provided by many individuals whose only compensation has been the satisfaction of fostering the circulation of this sacred writing in the world. Publication of this edition, in particular, has been underwritten by a substantial grant from a member who wishes to remain anonymous. To those supporters and all of our members, we extend a sincere "thank you." We are most grateful.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 1
Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything.
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.

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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
Published in DAILY LESSON MAILING by http://www.jcim.net
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