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Daily Lesson 103
Sarah's Reflections
TEXT CH 9, 20-30



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The only meaningful contribution the therapist can make is to present an example of one whose direction has been changed for him and who no longer believes in nightmares of any kind. The light in his mind will therefore answer the questioner, who must decide with God that there is light because he sees it. And by his acknowledgment, the therapist knows it is there. That is how perception ultimately is translated into knowledge. The miracle worker begins by perceiving light and translates his perception into sureness by continually extending it and accepting its acknowledgment. Its effects assure him it is there.    


ACIM OE CH 9, 27     


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 L e s s o n 103
God, being Love, is also happiness.  



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Happiness is an attribute of love. 
It cannot be apart from it, nor can 
it be experienced where love is not. 
Love has no limits, being everywhere. 
And therefore joy is everywhere as well. 
Yet can the mind deny that this is so, 
believing there are gaps in love where sin 
can enter, bringing pain instead of joy. 
This strange belief would limit happiness 
by redefining love as limited, 
and introducing opposition in 
what has no limit and no opposite.

Fear is associated then with love, 
and its results become the heritage 
of minds which think what they have made is real. 
These images, with no reality 
in truth, bear witness to the fear of God, 
forgetting being Love He must be joy. 
This basic error we will try again 
to bring to truth today, and teach ourselves:

God, being Love, is also happiness. 
To fear Him is to be afraid of joy.

Begin your periods of practicing today 
with this association, which corrects 
the false belief that God is fear. 
It also emphasizes happiness 
belongs to you because of what He is.

Allow this one correction to be placed 
within your minds each waking hour today. 
Then welcome all the happiness it brings, 
as truth replaces fear, and joy becomes 
what you expect to take the place of pain. 
God being Love, it will be given you. 
Bolster this expectation frequently 
throughout the day, and quiet all your fears 
with this assurance, kind and wholly true:

God, being Love, is also happiness. 
And it is happiness I seek today. 
I cannot fail, because I seek the truth.

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 Circle Of Atonement ~ COMMENTARY on LESSON 103


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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

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God, being Love, is also happiness.
Sarah's Commentary:

We have had two previous Lessons affirming that happiness is our natural inheritance. In other words, it is our nature given us by God. When we don't experience happiness, we are actually choosing against our nature and thus against God. We are choosing against God's Will for us. Now we see that we can make a choice for our happiness by looking at all of the thoughts and beliefs that keep us from being happy, none of which are true. It goes back to our belief that suffering can bring us something that we want as was discussed in our previous two Lessons. We have associated fear with love. " Fear is associated then with love, and its results become the heritage of minds that think what they have made is real. These images, with no reality in truth, bear witness to the fear of God, forgetting being Love, He must be joy." (W.103.2.1-2) It is our fear of God that we associate with love, believing that we must sacrifice for Him, giving Him what we think He wants or He will destroy us. The god of the ego that we all proclaim to love and worship is a terrifying god and one that does demands of us and will judge us in the end.
This is a God who demands suffering and punishment of us for what we have done in separating from Him. Now we hold guilt in our minds for what the ego has told us is a mortal sin. We associate love with fear and suffering and see God as a terrifying figure in our dream. That is why all of our experiences in this world are tinged with fear. Our belief that our lives are contained in these bodies is certainly a state of vulnerability, for they don't protect us from the elements, from sickness and death.

Think of someone you love and all of the fear associated with that love. Think of how many of your activities are based on fear of consequences, worrying about how you might be letting someone down if you didn't meet their perceived expectations. Thus, we try to please others in order to defend against our fear of their rejection of us. This is what keeps us from feeling the abundance of the joy that is ours. It is a life where every joy is tinged with pain. Imagine life only motivated by love and nothing else. Because of the fear, we do not experience the consistent joy that comes from remembering the truth about ourselves as one with our Source. It takes a lot of mind training for us to really get in touch with this fear. We spend a lot of our lives covering it over.

Our reality is love and, as such, happiness is an attribute of love. In other words, happiness and love go together. "Nor can it be experienced where love is not." (W.103.1.3) Without love, there can be no happiness because it is a state separate from God. To be in a state separate from God is to be in the illusion, which is not real. This is a state of lack and limitation, which defines the condition of what we call love in this world. In truth, love has no limits. In this world there are limits on our happiness. The nature of this world and our separate identities are, in themselves, limits. " Love has no limits, being everywhere. And therefore joy is everywhere as well." (W.103.1.4-5) Clearly then, our state is unlimited joy, but in this illusion that is not our consistent experience. The ego's notion of happiness is related to getting, having things its way, keeping, avoiding, defending, planning and controlling. When we limit love to certain people, it is not real love, as it is about meeting our needs for specialness, which is always based on fear of not getting those needs met.
Jesus says that when we deny our happiness, we are denying God. We do this by thinking that God can't make us happy, but that, instead, the substitutes we seek can bring us happiness. When we pursue these substitutes, we suffer.  Looking outside of ourselves for happiness means that it is dependent on circumstances and is thus very elusive. It comes and goes, but is never constant. Sometimes we experience tremendous joy, but we don't believe it can last. It seems to us to be situational. Yet if it is in fact our nature, it is there all the time. We are simply choosing against it by blocking the joy, which is in our minds. We don't believe that we deserve to be happy all the time, and while we hold guilt and fear in our minds, the happiness that is always there will not be in our awareness.

Jesus says that we believe that " there are gaps in love where sin can enter, bringing pain instead of joy." (W.103.1.6) In other words, love is a very inconsistent experience because we have seemingly separated from that love. That inconsistency is also experienced in the dream. We say things like we were in love, but no longer are. But where love can come and go, there never was love. That is why this inconsistent kind of love that we believe in is called a strange belief that we hold about love. " This strange belief would limit happiness by redefining love as limited, and introducing opposition in what has no limit and no opposite". (W.103.1.7) It is indeed a strange notion of love that we hold, while in this illusion, loving some people some of the time, when they are meeting our needs, and turning away from that love, when those needs are trampled on. We see ourselves as incomplete and believe that others need to complete us. Thus, this lack we experience is why we continually seek for something to fill it. Love needs no completion. Love simply is, it holds no one apart from it. When we recognize ourselves as the love that we are, the gap that we hold between ourselves and God is healed as well. That healing is experienced in the forgiveness of our brothers.
Jesus is showing us that our special love has never made us happy. We can see from our own experiences of love in this world, that with it comes a huge amount of pain and disappointment. When we feel the pain of this sufficiently, we are ready to be taught that there is another way. Our way cannot be God's way. His way is for us to know the consistency of the love that is in us.

If love, joy and peace are everywhere, are we willing to see it today? Are we willing to be happy today by letting go of our grievances, our expectations and our judgments that block the love that we are? Do we walk through life expecting things to go wrong? When we are willing to see the unconscious guilt that we project onto others, and take responsibility for it, healing can happen. We can watch the news and see a world of death and destruction and get very depressed, or we can ask for help to see through the "eyes" of the Holy Spirit and bring our judgments to Him to reinterpret what we see. He will help us to see that everything is either love or a call for love.

Our responsibility in healing our minds is to bring to awareness anything that triggers us. When we project unconscious guilt that is in our minds, we experience conflict with others or we may experience self-attack in the form of suffering, depression, disease, pain, and unworthiness. Our job is now to bring these painful thoughts to awareness and recognize that they are not of God, because God brings us only happiness. He has placed the Holy Spirit in our minds. He will heal our pain, when we place it on the altar of truth where He abides. If we resist taking responsibility for our suffering and try to control, manage or defend against it, it reflects a decision to keep the pain and make someone else responsible for it .

Jesus reminds us that God did not make this world of illusion, so the world of unhappiness cannot be true. Today, we can take each thought that is unhappy, each disappointment, all impatience, fear and guilt to the Holy Spirit to be released. The truth is we were created happy by Happiness. Anything less is a denial of our Self and of our Creator. We literally shut off this happiness with each grievance that we hold. It may be a grudge that we have against someone because of a past issue. It may be a fear that there may be a crash in the market. It may be a worry about our kids or our aging parents. It may be distress about the world situation. There are many ways that we keep ourselves from our happiness. In the bigger picture, of course, we keep ourselves from happiness by identifying with the self that we think we are, as a unique and special body and personality.

In Chapter 10, we read that the god of sickness demands our depression as a sign that we are committed to him.  " Joy is never permitted, for depression is the sign of allegiance to him." (T.10.V.1.2)(ACIM OE T.9.XI.93) We then project our responsibility for the depression onto others, thus holding them responsible for our sadness. We " cannot see the spark in them that would bring joy." (T.10.V.2.4)(ACIM OE T.9.XI .94)  to us. " It is the denial of the spark that brings depression, for whenever you see your brothers without it, you are denying God." (T.10.V.2.5)
" You do not realize how much you have denied yourself, and how much God, in His Love, would not have it so. Yet He would not interfere with you, because He would not know His Son if he were not free." (T.10.V.10.1-2)(ACIM OE T.9.XI.102) No matter how much joy and happiness we deny ourselves, and no matter how much God does not want this for us, He loves us enough to value our freedom to choose our own experience. It is up to us to choose to give up our sadness. It will never be removed from us without our agreement. Our freedom of choice is our own and will not be taken from us, not even by God.
The choice we make, Jesus tells us, is between our brother's body and his holiness as what we want to see. Peace and happiness are dependent on the choice we make. It is a choice to see our brother's holiness rather than his guilt, for that is the choice we are making for ourselves as well. " He is the mirror of yourself, wherein you see the judgment you have laid on both of you." (T.24.VI.8.6)(ACIM OE T.24.VII.56) As we fear our brother, we do indeed fear God. It is in every brother that we can know our Self. It is in everyone that we encounter that we can choose to see him as our savior by seeing in him a reflection of our unhealed or healed mind. The decision is ours to make, and with each decision we make our choice for joy or suffering is reflected. Today, be very honest with yourself so you can see what you are projecting on your brother, which is your own unconscious guilt that must be brought to light, if there is to be healing and thus learning that " God being Love is also happiness." (W.103) We learn this by releasing our judgments and grievances.
Today we start our longer practice periods with the thought "
God, being Love, is also happiness. To fear Him is to be afraid of joy." (W.103.2.4-5) We do this each waking hour today always bringing our false beliefs to the truth. Then sit in silence, welcoming all the happiness it brings as truth replaces fear, and joy becomes what you expect to take the place of pain. God, being Love, it will be given you.
Throughout the day maintain awareness and vigilance of any fear thoughts, any triggers you experience in your relationships, any conflicts that show you what is in your mind being projected out and bring these to the truth of this Lesson, that " God, being Love, is also happiness." (W.103.3.5) And remind yourself often that " It is happiness I seek today, I cannot fail, because I seek the truth." (W.103.3.6-7) Whenever you are aware of fear, anxiety, guilt or pain, bring awareness to this condition and ask for His help.

Love and blessings, Sarah


A Course in Miracles 


Chapter Nine

IV. The Unhealed Healer        

20 The ego's plan for forgiveness is far more widely used than God's. This is because it is undertaken by unhealed healers and is therefore of the ego. Let us consider the unhealed healer more carefully now. By definition, he is trying to give what he has not received. If he is a theologian, he may begin with the premise, "I am a miserable sinner and so are you." If he is a psychotherapist, he is more likely to start with the equally incredible idea that he really believes in attack and so does the patient, but it does not matter in either case.


21 We have repeatedly stated that beliefs of the ego cannot be shared, and this is why they are unreal. How, then, can "uncovering" them make them real? Every healer who searches fantasies for truth must be unhealed because he does not know where to look for truth and therefore does not have the answer to the problem of healing. There is an advantage to bringing nightmares into awareness, but only to teach that they are not real and that anything they contain is meaningless. The unhealed healer cannot do this because he does not believe it.


22 All unhealed healers follow the ego's plan for forgiveness in one form or another. If they are theologians, they are likely to condemn themselves, teach condemnation, and advocate a very fearful solution. Projecting condemnation onto God, they make Him appear retaliative and fear His retribution. What they have done is merely to identify with the ego and, by perceiving clearly what it does, condemn themselves because of this profound confusion. It is understandable that there has been a revolt against this concept, but to revolt against it is still to believe in it. The form of the revolt, then, is different but not the content.


23 The newer forms of the ego's plan are as unhelpful as the older ones because form does not matter to the Holy Spirit and therefore does not matter at all. According to the newer forms of the ego's plan, the therapist interprets the ego's symbols in the nightmare and then uses them to prove that the nightmare is real. Having made it real, he then attempts to dispel its effects by depreciating the importance of the dreamer. This would be a healing approach if the dreamer were properly identified as unreal. Yet if the dreamer is equated with the mind, the mind's corrective power through the Holy Spirit is denied.


24 It is noteworthy that this is a contradiction even in the ego's terms, and one which it usually does note, even in its confusion. If the way to counteract fear is to reduce the importance of the fearer, how can this build ego strength? These perfectly self-evident inconsistencies account for why, except in certain stylized verbal accounts, no one can explain what happens in psychotherapy. Nothing real does. Nothing real has happened to the unhealed healer, and he learns from his own teaching.


25 Because his ego is involved, it always attempts to gain some support from the situation. Seeking to get something for himself, the unhealed healer does not know how to give and consequently cannot share. He cannot correct because he is not working correctively. He believes that it is up to him to teach the patient what is real, but he does not know it himself. What, then, should happen? When God said, "Let there be light," there was light. Can you find light by analyzing darkness as the psychotherapist does or like the theologian, by acknowledging darkness in yourself and looking for a distant light to remove it while emphasizing the distance?


26 Healing is not mysterious. Nothing will occur unless you understand it, since light is understanding. A "miserable sinner" cannot be healed without magic, nor can an "unimportant mind" esteem itself without magic. Both forms of the ego's approach, then, must arrive at an impasse, the characteristic "impossible situation" to which the ego always leads. It can be helpful to point out to a patient where he is heading, but the point is lost unless he can change his direction. The therapist cannot do this for him, but he also cannot do this for himself.


27 The only meaningful contribution the therapist can make is to present an example of one whose direction has been changed for him and who no longer believes in nightmares of any kind. The light in his mind will therefore answer the questioner, who must decide with God that there is light because he sees it. And by his acknowledgment, the therapist knows it is there. That is how perception ultimately is translated into knowledge. The miracle worker begins by perceiving light and translates his perception into sureness by continually extending it and accepting its acknowledgment. Its effects assure him it is there.


28 The therapist does not heal; he lets healing be. He can point to darkness, but he cannot bring light of himself, for light is not of him. Yet, being for him, it must also be for his patient. The Holy Spirit is the only therapist. He makes healing perfectly clear in any situation in which he is the Guide. The human therapist can only let Him fulfill His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere. Remember that you are choosing a guide for helping, and the wrong choice will not help. But remember also that the right one will. Trust Him, for help is His function, and He is of God.


29 As you awaken other minds to the Holy Spirit through Him and not yourself, you will understand that you are not obeying the laws of this world, but that the laws you are obeying work. "The good is what works" is a sound, though insufficient, statement. Only the good can work. Nothing else works at all. This course is a guide to behavior. Being a very direct and very simple learning situation, it provides the Guide who tells you what to do. If you do it, you will see that it works. Its results are more convincing than its words. They will convince you that the words are true. By following the right Guide you will learn the simplest of all lessons-


30 By their fruits ye shall know them,
   and they shall know themselves.





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