Lesson 100
Atonement as a Lesson
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The ego literally lives on borrowed time, and its days are numbered. Do not fear the Last Judgment, but welcome it and do not wait, for the ego's time is borrowed from your eternity. This is the Second Coming, which was made
for you as the First was created. The Second Coming is merely the return of
sense. Can this possibly be fearful?
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  100
My part is essential in God's plan for salvation.

 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

Just as God's Son completes his Father, so 
your part in it completes your Father's plan. 
Salvation must reverse the mad belief 
in separate thoughts and separate bodies which 
lead separate lives and go their separate ways. 
One function shared by separate minds unites 
them in one purpose, for each one of them 
is equally essential to them all.

God's Will for you is perfect happiness. 
Why should you choose to go against His Will? 
The part that He has saved for you to take 
in working out His plan is given you 
that you might be restored to what He wills. 
This part is as essential to His plan 
as to your happiness. Your joy must be 
complete to make His plan be understood 
by those to whom He sends you. They will see 
their function in your shining face, and hear 
God calling to them in your happy laugh.

You are indeed essential to God's plan. 
Without your joy His joy is incomplete. 
Without your smile the world cannot be saved. 
While you are sad the light which God Himself 
appointed as the means to save the world 
is dim and lusterless. And no-one laughs 
because all laughter can but echo yours.

You are indeed essential to God's plan. 
Just as your light increases every light 
that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth 
calls to all minds to let their sorrows go, 
and take their place beside you in God's plan. 
God's messengers are joyous, and their joy 
heals sorrow and despair. They are the proof 
that God wills perfect happiness for all 
who will accept their Father's gifts as theirs.

We will not let ourselves be sad today. 
For if we do, we fail to take the part 
that is essential to God's plan, as well 
as to our vision. Sadness is the sign 
that you would play another part, instead 
of what has been assigned to you by God. 
Thus do you fail to show the world how great 
the happiness He wills for you. And so 
you do not recognize that it is yours.

Today we will attempt to understand 
joy is our function here. If you are sad 
your part is unfulfilled, and all the world 
is thus deprived of joy, along with you. 
God asks that you be happy, so the world 
can see how much He loves His Son, and wills 
no sorrow rises to abate his joy; 
no fear besets him to disturb his peace. 
You are God's messenger today. You bring 
His happiness to all you look upon; 
His peace to everyone who looks on you, 
and sees His message in your happy face.

We will prepare ourselves for this today 
in our five minute practice periods, 
by feeling happiness arise in us 
according to our Father's will and ours. 
Begin the exercises with the thought 
today's idea contains. Then realize 
your part is to be happy. Only this 
is asked of you or anyone who wants 
to take his place among God's messengers. 
Think what this means. You have indeed been wrong 
in your belief that sacrifice is asked. 
You but receive according to God's plan, 
and never lose or sacrifice or die.

Now let us try to find that joy which proves 
to us and all the world God's Will for us. 
It is your function that you find it here, 
and that you find it now. For this you came. 
Let this one be the day that you succeed! 
Look deep within you, undismayed by all 
the little thoughts and foolish goals you pass 
as you ascend to meet the Christ in you.

He will be there. And you will reach Him now. 
What could you rather look upon in place 
of Him who waits that you may look on Him? 
What little thought has power to hold you back? 
What foolish goal can keep you from success 
when He Who calls to you is God Himself? 
He will be there. You are essential to 
His plan. You are His messenger today. 
And you must find what He would have you give.

Do not forget the idea for today 
between your longer practice periods. 
It is your Self who calls to you today. 
And it is Him you answer every time 
you tell yourself you are essential to 
God's plan for the salvation of the world.
                ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
My part is essential to God's plan for salvation.
Sarah's Commentary:

We have several Lessons now that speak to us about happiness and God's Will for us. Our choice for happiness is a choice for healing, which comes about through forgiveness because to forgive is to let go of our ego thought system. This Lesson says that happiness is a choice. "God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will?" (W.100.2.1-2) What is the happiness Jesus is talking about? Clearly, it is not a matter of trying to maintain a positive way of thinking or a happy demeanor that covers over any sense of sadness or distress we may be feeling. On the contrary, it is getting in touch with the deep joy already in our right minds. It is not something we manufacturer through our own efforts. It is something we uncover through forgiveness of what stands in the way. This requires staying vigilant in watching our thoughts and bringing them to light so they can be released. These are the blocks that keep us unaware of our true happiness.
Why do we choose against His Will for us, which is our happiness? We choose against His Will because we would rather have our own will, which is to hold onto the small self we have made. We hold onto what we know of ourselves as a body and personality living in this world. We are actually holding onto an image of ourselves and the role we play in the world. This is the character we know as ourselves in this dream. We are very familiar with this character and are reluctant to give it up. Who would I be without the familiarity of my thoughts, my beliefs, my values, and my roles?
In order to keep this dream intact, we sacrifice our true happiness. We value our life drama more than perfect happiness. We value attack and revenge. We value getting what we want. We value blame, judgment, and condemnation, more than perfect happiness. We want to be right about the way we see things, rather than surrendering our judgments and admitting we are wrong. Further, strange as it may seem, we actually want to be victimized by others so we can hold them responsible for our condition.
We hold onto our judgments because we actually want others to be separate and different from us. Thus, we can blame them for our sadness and suffering, instead of taking responsibility for our choices. This is what keeps the ego going. We prefer to hold onto our grievances, our judgments, our distress, and our way of seeing. The ego has set it up so we can project the guilt in our minds onto those we see as responsible for our misery, and thus we believe we can buy our innocence at their expense. We willingly buy into the ego's plan, which is to project our own guilt in the belief that we are getting rid of it. We don't want to see it in ourselves. We prefer to see it in others, and thus we see them as the guilty ones, while we righteously proclaim we would never do what we see others doing.
When we blame others and see them as guilty, rather than getting rid of our guilt, we are actually holding onto it. We chose the ego's plan, even though it brings us pain, because we are invested in the world. We are actually attracted to the guilt because this is how we hold onto our separate, individual selves. Our biggest addiction is to the self we think we are. We believe that if we don't hold onto our specialness, our pain, our suffering, our stories, and our uniqueness, we will lose ourselves. We are therefore leery of God's plan, of His Love, and of His Will for us.
"Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you. They will see their function in your shining face, and hear God calling to them in your happy laugh." (W.100.2.5-6) God does not have billions of separate plans for each of us. Often we hear that God has a plan for our lives, but it is not so. We are to become part of God's plan, which is the plan for all of us, and that is to be happy. Our part in God's plan is to reawaken the happiness already in us that God has willed for us to experience. He wants to restore to us our happiness. It is not that God actually has any wants, as He already knows us as whole and perfect and at home in Him. When we hear that God wants our happiness, it motivates us to wake up from this dream, as it is also what we want. When we bring our guilt and fear to the Holy Spirit, it is shined away by Him. He is our bridge back to our home. As long as we choose to listen to the ego, we are opposing His Will, which is actually our own true will. In the service of the ego, our will is actually imprisoned because it is bound to the ego thought system of sin, guilt, and fear.
If someone is distressed today and this upsets me, or if someone says something unkind to me today and I respond with anger, I make the situation real, rather than see it as an appeal for help and for love. Only by connecting to the deep joy and peace in myself can I respond with love and kindness. Love and kindness come through me when my attack thoughts are brought to the light. We have a choice to offer blessings instead of attack in every situation. There is a beautiful passage in Chapter 8 that speaks of this to us. "When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself. Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation. Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself." (T.8.III.4.1-7) (ACIM OE T.8.IV.19)
This Lesson means a lot to me because my husband died on the day that this Lesson came up for me. I turned to the Lesson and read: "God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Why should you choose to go against His Will?" (W.100.2.1-2) It made me realize that the grief and sadness in me were a choice I was making and that healing was available when I was ready to bring the sadness to His healing light. How would you have me look at this situation, Holy Spirit? Then I realized, suffering was a decision. "While you are sad, the light that God Himself appointed as the means to save the world is dim and lusterless, and no one laughs because all laughter can but echo yours." (W.100.3.4) I saw that my sadness came from believing I had suffered loss, I felt lost and alone, and everything about this illusion seemed real, including death. Would I choose to participate in the healing, or would I use this experience as an opportunity to see myself as victimized? I was standing on the precipice of a decision. Which way would I turn? I did not deny my grief and sadness, but in the back of my mind, I felt the freedom available to me to choose how to see it. I resolved to stay open and asked Holy Spirit to help me see how this was an opportunity to go deeper into my process of opening to Spirit.
"You are indeed essential to God's plan. Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go, and take their place beside you in God's plan. God's messengers are joyous, and their joy heals sorrow and despair. They are the proof that God wills perfect happiness for all who will accept their Father's gifts as theirs." (W.100.4.1-4)
The synchronicity of this Lesson given to me at this time seemed as though the Holy Spirit were speaking very specifically and directly to me and to my situation. I did not have to understand why this had happened. I only needed to surrender my pain, although this was not something forced on me. I could take my time and feel whatever feelings were coming up. It was not about denying what I was experiencing. I was simply recognizing that, with willingness, there was a way out of this pain. I realized that understanding could only come with peace. "Your joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends you." (W.100.2.5) Did I want to understand why this was happening to me, or did I want peace? That was the question that came to me. I learned I did not need to understand. Time was still here for me to continue to do the healing. I was not the victim of this situation. Clearly, I set it up this way, as it was in my script for this lifetime. Who am I to argue with it, since I apparently wrote this script?
"God asks you to be happy, so the world can see how much He loves His Son, and wills no sorrow rises to abate his joy; no fear besets him to disturb his peace. You are God's messenger today. You bring His happiness to all you look upon; His peace to everyone who looks on you and sees His message in your happy face." (W.100.6.3-4)
The healing continues, and the joining in purpose brings deeper levels of peace and joy and wonderful holy encounters that are such a blessing. This does not mean there are not many challenges, but they all bring more opportunities for undoing the ego thought system. As we heal, we show the world a genuine shining face and a happy laugh to which others will be attracted. This is not an outward focus of a happy face but a reflection of the quiet inward joy of our Being, which comes about with the undoing of the ego through forgiveness. I now see all the distress and sadness of these kinds of events in our lives is not to be denied, but neither is it to be indulged. We can take as long as we need for the healing process to unfold.
We may think we will lose something if we don't respond to the issues in our lives with anger and attack. We may think we will get taken advantage of. We may think there is something we can get from the situation, or we will need to sacrifice something we value. "You have indeed been wrong in your belief that sacrifice is asked. You but receive according to God's plan, and never lose or sacrifice or die." (W.100.7.6-7) If anyone does anything that appears cruel, our upset makes that behavior seem real. When we come to a place in our journey where we can see in it an appeal for help, it is our own call for healing. When we do our part to bring the light of our Being to that person, we receive the same light. This is only possible when we commit fully to our own healing.
Today, be the messenger for everyone you meet or even think about. "It is your Self Who calls to you today." (W.100.10.6) The Answer is in our own minds. We just need to work with Jesus to remove the blocks that are keeping us from knowing the joy already present in us. He says, "For this you came." (W.100.8.3) There is no other reason to be here except for our healing.
Today, we are asked to let any sadness go so we can participate fully in His plan. We are the ones to bring joy to the world by getting in touch with it in ourselves. "Today we will attempt to understand joy is our function here." (W.100.6.1) Our sadness deprives the world of joy along with ourselves. God will be known through us today when His message is seen in our happy faces. We are not here to deny our sadness. That would be a mistake. We are here to look at our sadness with the Holy Spirit so we can willingly release it. There is no spiritual bypass that is helpful if we are to fully embrace whatever feelings come up. Investigate the beliefs you hold that have brought about these feelings of sadness, grief, despair, or anything else at the forefront of your mind today. Look at what you must be thinking in order to feel sad, investigate those beliefs, and recognize them as just thoughts, which are not the truth about you.
"My part is essential to God's plan for salvation." (W.100) What is that part? It is to be happy. "Look deep within you, undismayed by all the little thoughts and foolish goals you pass as you ascend to meet the Christ in you." (W.100.8.5) Be confident knowing "He will be there." (W.100.10.1) Remind yourself, "You are essential to His plan. You are His messenger today. And you must find what He would have you give," (W.100.10.2-4) which is joy.
If you find yourself not willing, just watch the experience from above the battleground and recognize that it is not up to you to change your feelings nor is it helpful to indulge them. Simply see them for what they are without judging them. They have no reality. Looking at your thoughts and feelings without judgment helps you to see that you need do nothing but look. He will do the rest.

Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Nine

The Correction of Error   

Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

III. Atonement as a Lesson in Sharing               

9 Atonement is for all, because it is the way to undo the belief that anything is for you alone. To forgive is to overlook. Look, then, beyond error, and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds. Accept as true only what your brother is if you would know yourself. Perceive what he is not, and you cannot know what you are because you see him falsely. Remember always that your identity is shared and that sharing is its reality.
10 You have a part to play in the Atonement, but the plan of the Atonement is beyond you. You do not know how to overlook errors, or you would not make them. It would merely be further error to think either that you do not make them or that you can correct them without a Guide to correction. And if you do not follow this Guide, your errors will not be corrected. The plan is not yours because of your limited ideas of what you are. This limitation is where all errors arise. The way to undo them, therefore, is not of you but for you.
11 The Atonement is a lesson in sharing which is given you because you have forgotten how to do it. The Holy Spirit merely reminds you of what is your natural ability. By reinterpreting the ability to attack, which you did make, into the ability to share, He translates what you have made into what God created. If you would accomplish this through Him, you cannot look on your abilities through the eyes of the ego or you will judge them as it does. All their harmfulness lies in its judgment. All their helpfulness lies in the judgment of the Holy Spirit.
12 The ego, too, has a plan of forgiveness because you are asking for one, though not of the right teacher. The ego's plan, of course, makes no sense and will not work. By following it, you will merely place yourself in an impossible situation to which the ego always leads you. The ego's plan is to have you see error clearly first and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real? By seeing it clearly, you have made it real and cannot overlook it.
13 This is where the ego is forced to appeal to "mysteries" and begins to insist that you must accept the meaningless to save yourself. Many have tried to do this in my name, forgetting that my words make perfect sense because they come from God. They are as sensible now as they ever were because they speak of ideas which are eternal. Forgiveness that is learned of me does not use fear to undo fear. Nor does it make real the unreal and then destroy it.
14 Forgiveness through the Holy Spirit lies simply in looking beyond error from the beginning and thus keeping it unreal for you. Do not let any belief in its realness enter your minds at all, or you will also believe that you must undo what you have made in order to be forgiven. What has no effect does not exist, and to the Holy Spirit, the effects of error are totally non-existent. By steadily and consistently canceling out all its effects everywhere and in all respects, He teaches that the ego does not exist and proves it. Follow His teaching in forgiveness then, because forgiveness is His function, and He knows how to fulfill it perfectly. That is what we meant when we once said that miracles are natural, and when they do not occur, something has gone wrong.
15 Miracles are merely the sign of your willingness to follow the Holy Spirit's plan of salvation in recognition of the fact that you do not know what it is. His work is not your function, and unless you accept this, you cannot learn what your function is. The confusion of functions is so typical of the ego that you should be quite familiar with it by now. The ego believes that all functions belong to it, even though it has no idea what they are. This is more than mere confusion. It is a particularly dangerous combination of grandiosity and confusion which makes it likely that the ego will attack anyone and anything for no reason at all. This is exactly what the ego does. It is totally unpredictable in its responses because it has no idea of what it perceives.
16 If one has no idea of what is happening, how appropriately can you expect him to react? You might still ask yourself, regardless of how you can account for the reactions, whether they place the ego in a very sound position as the guide for yours. It seems absurd to have to emphasize repeatedly that the ego's qualifications as a guide are singularly unfortunate and that it is a remarkably poor choice as a teacher of salvation. Yet this question, ridiculous as it seems, is really the crucial issue in the whole separation fantasy. Anyone who elects a totally insane guide must be totally insane himself.
17 It is not true that you do not know the guide is insane. You know it because I know it, and you have judged it by the same standard as I have. The ego literally lives on borrowed time, and its days are numbered. Do not fear the Last Judgment, but welcome it and do not wait, for the ego's time is borrowed from your eternity. This is the Second Coming, which was made for you as the First was created. The Second Coming is merely the return of sense. Can this possibly be fearful? 
18 What can be fearful but fantasy, and no one turns to fantasy unless he despairs of finding satisfaction in reality. Yet it is certain that he will never find satisfaction in fantasy, so that his only hope is to change his mind about reality. Only if the decision that reality is fearful is wrong can God be right. And I assure you that God is right. Be glad, then, that you have been wrong, but this was only because you did not know who you were. Had you remembered, you could no more have been wrong than God can. The impossible can happen only in fantasy. When you search for reality in fantasies, you will not find it. The symbols of fantasy are of the ego, and of these you will find many. But do not look for meaning in them. They have no more meaning than the fantasies into which they are woven.
19 Fairy tales can be pleasant or fearful, pretty or ugly, but no one calls them true. Children may believe them, and so for a while the tales are true for them. Yet when reality dawns, the fantasies are gone. Reality has not gone in the meanwhile. The Second Coming is the awareness of reality, not its return. Behold, my children, reality is here. It belongs to you and me and God and is perfectly satisfying to all of us. Only this awareness heals because it is the awareness of truth.
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

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