TUESDAY APRIL 12, 2016
You Live in Eternity
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 9 "THE CORRECTION OF ERROR"
III. ATONEMENT AS A LESSON IN SHARING  

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?

DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 102
I share God's Will for happiness for me. 

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*

<AUDIO><VIDEO>
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
  
   You do not want to suffer. You may think
   it buys you something, and may still believe
   a little that it buys you what you want.
   Yet this belief is surely shaken now,
   at least enough to let you question it,
   and to suspect it really makes no sense.
   It has not gone as yet, but lacks the roots
   that once secured it tightly to the dark
   and hidden secret places of your mind.|
 
   Today we try to loose its weakened hold
   still further, and to realize that pain
   is purposeless, without a cause, and with
   no power to accomplish anything.
   It cannot purchase anything at all.
   It offers nothing, and does not exist.
   And everything you think it offers you
   is lacking in existence, like itself.
   You have been slave to nothing. Be you free
   today to join the happy Will of God.|
 
   For several days we will continue to
   devote our longer practice periods
   to exercises planned to help you reach
   the happiness God's Will has placed in you.
   Here is your home, and here your safety is.
   Here is your peace, and here there is no fear.
   Here is salvation. Here is rest at last.|
   Begin your practice periods today
   with this acceptance of God's Will for you:
 
    "I share God's Will for happiness for me, 
     And I accept it as my function now."

   Then seek this function deep within your mind,
   for it is there, awaiting but your choice.
   You cannot fail to find it when you learn
   it is your choice, and that you share God's Will.|
   Be happy, for your only function here
   is happiness. You have no need to be
   less loving to God's Son than He Whose Love
   created him as loving as Himself.
 
   Besides these hourly five minute rests,
   pause frequently today to tell yourself
   that you have now accepted happiness
   as your one function. And be sure that you
   are joining with God's Will in doing this.
  
 
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Lesson 102
I share God's Will for happiness for me.

Sarah's Commentary:  
 
This Lesson is a continuation of the previous one. Here our elder brother Jesus continues to address the whole idea of suffering. According to him, we think suffering can buy us something we want. "You may think it buys you something, and may still believe a little that it buys you what you want." (W.102.1.2) Now that sounds totally insane, yet, when you think about it, you can see this is true. I remember as a young child all the attention I got when I was sick. There was a huge payoff for me. Of course I was not conscious at that time that this was my motivation. At a conscious level, I was unhappy with the suffering I endured, yet the payoff in being the victim was there. You may protest that you don't want the pain and suffering, but he asks us to bring some awareness to what it allows us to do and not to do. The fact is we do want to suffer. We want the payoff. We want to be the victim. We want things like attention, control, manipulating others to meet our needs, all things we are willing to suffer for. We also want to demonstrate that others are responsible for our suffering, so now they are the guilty ones and will ultimately suffer God's punishment, and we will escape His anticipated punishment for our guilt. Suffering proves we are right, and that we are justified in our attacks because "look at what they have done to us." It proves our reality is indeed these fragile bodies, and thus God is wrong about who He says we are. Finally, it is a way we punish ourselves for our seeming sin. Now God need not punish us, as we have 'atoned' for our sin against Him. Who would have thought suffering is such a prize to the ego!?
 
It is important to remember this is our dream. We made it up, so we can change it whenever we take to heart what Jesus is saying in this Lesson. "You do not want to suffer." (W.102.1.1) Apparently we still do, but he is appealing to the decision-making part of the mind that can choose to see we really don't want to suffer and we have another choice we can make. We can let go of the sin and guilt in our minds we think is offering us something. This sin and guilt we project onto others. We believe we can make others responsible for our suffering by projecting our guilt on them, but this is how we keep the cycle of guilt and fear going. On a metaphysical level, as we saw in the Lesson yesterday, we believe our suffering actually buys off God's punishment. In other words, by suffering, we are saying to God He need not punish us for our seeming separation because we are doing a great job of it ourselves.
 
The expression that sometimes we cut off our nose to spite out face suggests the same kind of thing. We believe grief will bring us a reward. We believe deprivation has some kind of elevated goal, but Jesus says we are now far enough along in our understanding that the belief that suffering will buy us something we want has been weakened. We can start to question it and "suspect it really makes no sense." (W.102.1.3) Our beliefs are no longer as firmly established in our thinking as they once were. We can now actually catch ourselves in these beliefs by watching our thoughts. There is no value in atoning for perceived sin. Our grievances do not make us happy.
 
While we are still not free of our guilt and suffering, Jesus assures us it "lacks the roots that once secured it tightly in the dark and hidden secret places of your mind." (W.102.1.4) What this means is Jesus is confident about our ability to change our minds because we have already gone a long way in doing so. Of course, the ego does not want us to look at these dark and hidden secret places because completely releasing these places in the mind means the end of the ego. While it is indeed the end of the ego, our fear is that we think it means the end of us. Jesus assures us he is with us, walking with us through the fear to the extent that we are willing to let him in.
 
Today, we try to "realize that pain is purposeless, without a cause and with no power to accomplish anything." (W.102.2.1) The purpose of pain has been to keep us focused on the body and personality and stay rooted in the illusion. It keeps us separate from our brothers, feeling all alone with our pain and suffering and separate from God, but our suffering gets us nothing of value. "It cannot purchase anything at all." (W.102.2.2) It will not get us our salvation as the ego promises. It accomplishes nothing except to bring more suffering. The idea that we should suffer comes from guilt. The original guilt came about as a result of our belief that we had separated from God, attacked Him, attacked and destroyed the perfection of our being, and now deserve punishment. Obviously this is deeply hidden in our subconscious, but shows up in our lives today when we experience pain, depression, grief, rage, sickness, suffering of any kind.
 
Thus, the happiness God has willed for us, which is our natural inheritance, is obscured. This happiness is not something we need to look for. It is already in us. We are not trying to make ourselves happy. We just need to give up the sadness and suffering, so we can connect to the happiness within. It is to "Step gently aside, and let healing be done for you." (T.16.I.3.7)(ACIM OE T.16.I.3) Our part is to take responsibility for our feelings by bringing awareness to our unhealed thoughts and turning them over, so healing take place. It requires letting down our defenses to see what is hidden from our awareness.
 
Today, we try to realize that any pain or distress we feel we have chosen, not because we want pain, but because of what we think it will get us. It appears to pay off our guilt. Jesus tells us "everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked." (T.21.II.2.5)(ACIM OE T.21.III.15) There are no accidents. We are responsible for our experience. Jesus reminds us there is only God and nothing outside of Him exists. There cannot be God and something else as well, if God is all there is. If we choose what is outside of God, we make a choice to be on our own. By this choice we reject God's Love.
 
Nothing in this world happens to me outside my will and my will determines my perception of everything and my response to everything. It is all about my choice as to how I see it, but just as important is the recognition that nothing real is happening to me at all. In other words, the temporal happenings of this world don't really exist and neither do these separate selves. Unless we include the second point along with the first, we will feel entirely at the mercy of our own mind, and we will wonder, "how in the world did I manifest this?" In that case, we feel totally responsible and even victimized by our own minds. However, when we accept that the non-eternal does not even exist, we can step aside from our investment in the dream. This is perhaps one of the hardest things to take in and accept, but God and the ego are irreconcilable beliefs. It is one or the other, truth or illusion. As was said in Lesson 98, "we take a stand on but one side today." (W.98.1.2)
 
God already knows us as the perfect Self we are, but we need to experience God as a beneficent and loving Father and not the punishing God the mind fears. Our final obstacle to peace is the fear of God, but God doesn't understand the guilt we hold in our minds. He asks nothing of us. If He did, it would acknowledge there is something He needs of us, which is not the case.
 
When we recognize that God's Will for us is perfect happiness and nothing else, we know the only place where our safety lies is in our home in Him. "Here is your home, and here your safety is. Here is your peace, and here there is no fear. Here is salvation. Here is rest at last." (W.102.3.2-5) It is there now, in our right minds, waiting for our acceptance and acknowledgement. Our part is to simply look at our guilt, which is dispelled when we look at it without judgment or self-condemnation. We simply look and no longer protect the guilt with our defenses, and it can no longer thrive in the secret, dark places in the mind.
 
Our "only function here is happiness." (W.102.5.1) and we achieve that function when we give, rather than try to get. What we are giving is happiness that emanates from us from the truth within us. When we are unhappy, we use it as our excuse for not being loving. Have you noticed the many excuses we give for being hurtful? It can be anything from "I have a headache," to "I am tired," to "I don't feel well." From these places where we suffer, we don't extend to others. Our function is now to look honestly at our suffering and what is behind it, so the pain we experience can be corrected. Jesus asks us to remind ourselves in our practice today, "I share God's Will for happiness for me, and I accept it as my function now." (W.102.4.2) If you are not feeling this way today, just be willing to look at the blocks to love you are experiencing and choose again, and then just "let healing be." You are responsible only for the correction, not the error. You are dearly loved and nothing you are experiencing can change that fact. 

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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.

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