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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 9 "THE CORRECTION OF ERROR"
VII. GRANDEUR VERSUS GRANDIOSITY
48 Grandeur is of God and only of Him. Therefore, it is in you. Whenever you become aware of it, however dimly, you abandon the ego automatically because in the presence of the grandeur of God the meaninglessness of the ego becomes perfectly apparent. Though it does not understand this, the ego believes that its "enemy" has struck and attempts to offer gifts to induce you to return to its "protection." Self-inflation of the ego is its alternative to the grandeur of God. Which will you choose?
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 105
God's peace and joy are mine.
IAMBIC PENTAMETER BEGINS*
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
God's peace and joy are yours. Today we will
accept them, knowing they belong to us.
And we will try to understand these gifts
increase as we receive them. They are not
like to the gifts the world can give, in which
the giver loses as he gives the gift;
the taker is the richer by his loss.
Such are not gifts, but bargains made with guilt.
The truly given gift entails no loss.
It is impossible that one can gain
because another loses. This implies
a limit and an insufficiency.
No gift is given thus. Such "gifts" are but
a bid for a more valuable return;
a loan with interest to be paid in full;
a temporary lending, meant to be
a pledge of debt to be repaid with more
than was received by him who took the gift.
This strange distortion of what giving means
pervades all levels of the world you see.
It strips all meaning from the gifts you give,
and leaves you nothing in the ones you take.
A major learning goal this course has set
is to reverse your view of giving, so
you can receive. For giving has become
a source of fear, and so you would avoid
the only means by which you can receive.
Accept God's peace and joy, and you will learn
a different way of looking at a gift.
God's gifts will never lessen when they are
given away. They but increase thereby.
As Heaven's peace and joy intensify
when you accept them as God's gift to you,
so does the joy of your Creator grow
when you accept His joy and peace as yours.
True giving is creation. It extends
the limitless to the unlimited,
eternity to timelessness, and love
unto itself. It adds to all that is
complete already, not in simple terms
of adding more, for that implies that it
was less before. It adds by letting what
cannot contain itself fulfill its aim
of giving everything it has away,
securing it forever for itself.
Today accept God's peace and joy as yours.
Let Him complete Himself as He defines
completion. You will understand that what
completes Him must complete His Son as well.
He cannot give through loss. No more can you.
Receive His gift of joy and peace today,
and He will thank you for your gift to Him.
Today our practice periods will start
a little differently. Begin today
by thinking of those brothers who have been
denied by you the peace and joy which are
their right under the equal laws of God.
Here you denied them to yourself. And here
you must return, to claim them as your own.
Think of your "enemies" a little while,
and tell each one as he occurs to you:
My brother, peace and joy I offer you,
That I may have God's peace and joy as mine.
Thus you prepare yourself to recognize
God's gifts to you, and let your mind be free
of all that would prevent success today.
Now are you ready to accept the gift
of peace and joy which God has given you.
Now are you ready to experience
the joy and peace you have denied yourself.
Now you can say "God's peace and joy are mine,"
for you have given what you would receive.
You must succeed today if you prepare
your mind as we suggest, for you have let
all bars to peace and joy be lifted up,
and what is yours can come to you at last.
So tell yourself "God's peace and joy are mine,"
and close your eyes a while, and let His Voice
assure you that the words you speak are true.
Spend your five minutes thus with Him today
each time you can today, but do not think
that less is worthless when you cannot give
Him more. At least remember hourly to say
the words which call on Him to give you what
He wills to give, and wills you to receive.
Determine not to interfere today
with what He wills. And if a brother seems
to tempt you to deny God's gift to him,
see it as but another chance to let
yourself receive the gifts of God as yours.
Then bless your brother thankfully, and say:
My brother, peace and joy I offer you,
That I may have God's peace and joy as mine.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
God's peace and joy are mine.
We know we have received the gifts of God when we give them. We can't know what we have and what we are until we give. This is a central thought in the Course. In fact, Jesus says that reversing our view of giving is a "major learning goal this course has set." (W.105.3.1) What is your idea of giving? So often it is about what we can get in return. In the world's perspective, to give is to lose, and when we give, we usually expect some kind of reciprocity. We generally expect to get something back in return for what we have given. If I am kind and generous to you, I might expect gratitude, kindness, or generosity in return. When we really understand that there is no need for reciprocity, because we are only giving to ourselves, then we can experience true giving where there are no expectations.
"God's peace and joy are yours. Today we will accept them, knowing they belong to us. And we will try to understand these gifts increase as we receive them
." (W.105.1.1-3) How do we accept God's peace and joy? We recognize that they are in us now and belong to us. Now everyone must share in our peace and joy. These attributes are already in everyone because they have been given to all by God. We all share in the Oneness of God. The ego would have us believe that if we have peace and joy, we must have gained at someone
s expense. It is the belief in one or the other. If I am happy, I have won my happiness at someone's expense, and they have therefore lost what I have gained. This is why we feel guilty when we feel very happy, and why we believe happiness can't last. We feel that we don't deserve to be happy. We tell ourselves that there are people suffering in the world and that we should feel guilty if we are happy.
A friend recently gave me some items in her garage sale for which I paid what she asked. Later, I noticed there was a small item I had picked up that I had not paid for. I assumed it would perhaps be worth about three to five dollars. When I phoned her and told her I wanted to pay for this item, she told me I could pay for the lunch we had scheduled the following week. Lunch would be in the neighborhood of twenty dollars. All of a sudden I felt as though I had lost in this transaction. The bargain was not in my favor. It was another opportunity to look at my idea of value and a sense of having lost. But to the spirit, nothing can be lost. We are only giving to ourselves all the time. The gifts we give truly have no strings attached, and then we truly receive. "The truly given gift entails no loss." (W.105.1.6)
The thought that there are winners and losers originated in the mind with the belief that we stole our identity from God. Now we have our individual self at His expense because there can't be both God and me in Oneness. If I exist, then He cannot. It is a thought of "one or the other," meaning that if I win, someone must lose. It is how we function in the illusory world. But with this thought comes the belief that we have done something terribly wrong, so we feel guilty. It is not a conscious thought in us, but don't we all carry a vague feeling that we are wrong, although we are not sure why? When we hold onto this belief, then any happiness we feel is tinged with guilt, because we feel someone must have lost if we have gained. For example, when I am happy in my relationship, it is because my needs have been met. My expectations have been met, and you have sacrificed on my behalf. Now I feel loved and supported by you. I have received what I want from you. Yet with such a bargain in a relationship, any happiness I experience is tinged with guilt. It is because, if we got what we wanted, then we feel that at some level we must have stolen it. It is a reflection of the belief that we stole God's gifts and hid them in the world to escape His wrath. So it seems like peace and joy can't be ours without being accompanied by the feeling that we don't really deserve to have them. If we have peace and joy, there is a feeling that someone else must be deprived.
This idea is really developed in Chapter 16 where Jesus talks about our special relationships. These are what he calls the "bargains made with guilt." (W.105.1.5) They are bargains made with guilt because in our special relationships, we give our gifts in exchange for what we expect to receive from the other. Yet we want something better than what we gave. Our special relationships are about trying to extract from the other gifts of greater value than the ones we gave. We each want to give as little as possible to get as much as possible. All the conflict we experience in our relationships is based on this premise. We are constantly trying to extract from the other what will best meet our needs. In the end, it is the basis for our misery and suffering because now we live in a state of guilt. Healing requires this be looked at with great honesty. Otherwise, we exempt ourselves from this process, seeing ourselves as innocent while others are the guilty ones, withholding from us what we are trying to extract from them.
"Each partner tries to sacrifice the self he does not want for one he thinks he would prefer. And he feels guilty for the
of taking, and of giving nothing of value in return. How much value can he place upon a self that he would give away to get a
(T.16.V.7.5-7) (ACIM OE T.16.VI.49) We can't stand to be happy for long because our guilt says that we don't deserve it. With each bargain that we make in our special relationships, our guilt is reinforced because we are constantly making bargains to serve our needs at the expense of our brothers and exchanging our gifts of little worth for ones where we hope to gain with each exchange.
The belief that God has lost because I have taken His love and joy for myself is the basis for what I have carried into the thought system I hold in the world. It is such a foundational belief in our lives and so deeply defended against, which makes it very challenging to see, yet it is the foundation of everyone's lives here. In order to recognize this pattern in our lives, we must stay very vigilant about our motivations and intentions so we can bring them to awareness. We can't heal what we don't see. To see it, we must look behind our defenses and be willing to be very honest with ourselves without judging ourselves.
Applying these Lessons in our daily lives and staying very vigilant in watching our thoughts is important if we are to make progress in undoing this thought system. "This strange distortion of what giving means pervades all levels of the world you see. It strips all meaning from the gifts you give, and leaves you nothing in the ones you take." (W.105.2.3-4)
The ego constantly wants to prove to us that it is the source of our love and our life, not God. While we invest in its thought system, we will feel guilty when we experience peace and joy, because these "gifts" come at someone's expense. Yet true giving entails no loss. "God's gifts will never lessen when they are given away. They but increase thereby." (W.105.3.4-5) This is an authentic kind of giving because we give, and we know that in this giving, we can't lose. We then won't feel guilty in receiving the gifts we give and receive. We are undoing the idea of giving to get. We are learning, increasingly, through the application of the thought system Jesus is teaching that all we give is given to ourselves, as Lesson 126 reminds us. Every time we bring our specialness to awareness and are willing to experience healing, we receive the miracle. Specialness tells us we are number one. It is all about me.
Now Jesus tells us, "For giving has become a source of fear, and so you would avoid the only means by which you can receive. Accept God's peace and joy, and you will learn a different way of looking at a gift. God's gifts will never lessen when they are given away. They but increase thereby." (W.105.3.2-5) Ultimately, our fear is that we will be punished for what we have stolen from God and are taking from our brothers in the self-serving bargains we try to make with everyone. Now we are called to bring the guilt, specialness, hate, and fear in our minds to the altar of truth, so we can experience the gifts of peace given us by God, Whose infinite love for us is boundless.
"As Heaven's peace and joy intensify when you accept them as God's gift to you, so does the joy of your Creator grow when you accept His joy and peace as yours."
(W.105.4.1) Jesus is saying that God's completion depends on our acceptance of His gift to us. This is not a statement to be taken literally, as God's joy is complete now. Nothing is lacking in Him. It is just an expression of how much we should take to heart the importance for ourselves of accepting the fullness of God's love for us. With the acceptance of the truth about ourselves comes gratitude for the joy we are and the joy we receive in giving with no expectations of anything in return, because the gift is received by us as it is given.
Today, we are asked to choose someone we think of as an enemy to whom we have denied peace and joy. We have forgotten that they are the same as us and "under the equal laws of God." (W.105.6.2) In seeing differences with our brother, we have denied ourselves the peace and joy in us both. Now we can claim the peace and joy we have denied ourselves by seeing our brother as innocent. "And here you must return to claim them as your own." (W.105.6.4)The peace and joy we give our brother are what we receive for ourselves, as we are one with every brother. Any attack we make on another is an attack on ourselves. Now we learn that how we see our brother is how we see ourselves. We are all the same in our divinity. This sameness is a reflection of the one Self we are. We all hold the same thought system that came with the separation, and we also all hold the same healing light of the Holy Spirit within our minds. Here there are no differences despite appearances in the world of form.
When we become willing to take responsibility for our guilt by seeing that it is only ourselves we are attacking, we can bring the guilt back to our own minds and choose to give it over to Spirit. By bringing our projections to the Holy Spirit, they are released. "Now are you ready to accept the gift of peace and joy God has given you. Now are you ready to experience the joy and peace you have denied yourself." (W.105.7.4-5) Only by silencing the ego's voice of specialness will we hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit. In order to hear His Voice, we need to look at all the ways we interfere. We do this when we express impatience, irritation, think unkindly of others, gossip about them, get frustrated, and all the other ways we throw our peace away. When any brother tempts us to throw away our peace and joy, it is because we actually want them to betray us so we can blame them for taking our joy from us. We have actually chosen to throw away our peace and project onto them the choice we have made, making them responsible for our lack of peace. No one can take our peace unless we give them the power to do so. By choosing to take responsibility for everything that seems to happen to me, I increasingly come to recognize that I truly am not a victim of the world I see.
Today, we choose to release our misperceptions and offer blessings instead, so we can receive the blessings for ourselves. Every one of our brothers deserves to receive this blessing from us with no exceptions. It is "their right under the equal laws of God." (W.105.6.2)
Today, we are called to look at who we are withholding blessings from and recognize that when we do, we are only withholding them from ourselves. By cutting someone off from my love, I am separating myself from love. When I open my heart to my so-called "enemies" by seeing their call for love and understanding, rather than focusing on their behavior, I am opening up to the gift of peace and joy God is holding out for me. Thus, I am opening myself to receive these gifts. It is not something we receive first and then give, but in fact, we give in order to know we have received. The gifts of peace and joy are already in us. We practice this Lesson, not just by affirming God's peace and joy are ours, but by letting go of the barriers we have against recognizing these gifts already in us.
Our "enemies" are not really outside of us but reflect our own inner self-hatred, which we project onto our brothers. The self-hatred must be seen for what it is if we are to heal our minds. To accept the gifts of God, we must take the self-hatred that we hold in our minds and project onto our brothers, and take responsibility for it. As we turn it over to the Holy Spirit, He reminds us that it is not the truth about ourselves, nor our brothers. Our brothers are innocent, just as we are. We are the same. When we see others as different from ourselves, we are always trying to get, bargain, and see ourselves as the special ones who deserve more than what others get. It is important to look at our motivations and be very, very honest in recognizing the guilt these relationships entail. We are worth the effort that it takes to remain vigilant in watching our minds. What we don't see can't be healed.
Love and blessings, Sarah
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
A Course in Miracles
The Correction of Error
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
VII. Grandeur Versus Grandiosity
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
48 Grandeur is of God and
only of Him. Therefore, it is in you. Whenever you become aware of it, however dimly, you abandon the ego automatically because in the presence of the grandeur of God the meaninglessness of the ego becomes perfectly apparent. Though it does not understand this, the ego believes that its "enemy" has struck and attempts to offer gifts to induce you to return to its "protection."
Self-inflation of the ego is its alternative to the grandeur of God. Which will you choose?
49 Grandiosity is
always a cover for despair. It is without hope because it is not real. It is an attempt to counteract your littleness, based on the belief that the littleness is
real. Without this belief, grandiosity is meaningless, and you could not possibly want it. The essence of grandiosity is competitiveness because it
always involves attack. It is a delusional attempt to
not to undo. We said before that the ego vacillates between suspiciousness and viciousness. It remains suspicious as long as you despair of yourself. It shifts to viciousness whenever you will not tolerate self-abasement and seek relief. Then it offers you the illusion of attack as a solution.
50 The ego does not know the difference between grandeur and grandiosity because it does not know the difference between miracle impulses and ego-alien beliefs of its own. We once said that the ego
is aware of threat, but does not make distinctions between two entirely different kinds of threat to its existence. Its own profound sense of vulnerability renders it incapable of judgment
except in terms of attack. When it experiences threat, its only decision is whether to attack
now or to withdraw to attack later. If you accept its offer of grandiosity, it will attack immediately. If you do not, it will wait.
51 The ego is immobilized in the presence of God's grandeur because
His grandeur establishes
your freedom. Even the faintest hint of your reality literally drives the ego from your mind because of complete lack of investment in it. Grandeur is totally
without illusions, and because it is real, it is compellingly convincing. Yet the conviction of reality will not remain with you unless you do not allow the ego to attack it. The ego will make every effort to recover and mobilize its energies
against your release. It will tell you that you are insane and argue that grandeur
cannot be a real part of you because of the littleness in which
52 Yet your grandeur is not delusional
because you did not make it.
You have made grandiosity and are afraid of it because it is a form of attack, but your grandeur is of God, Who created it out of His Love. From your grandeur you can only bless, because your grandeur is your
abundance. By blessing, you hold it in your mind, protecting it from illusions and keeping yourself in the Mind of God. Remember always that you cannot be anywhere
except in the Mind of God. When you forget this, you
will despair, and you
53 The ego depends
solely on your willingness to tolerate it. If you are willing to look upon your grandeur, you
cannot despair, and therefore you cannot
want the ego. Your grandeur is God's
answer to the ego because it is true. Littleness and grandeur cannot co-exist, nor is it possible for them to alternate in your awareness. Littleness and grandiosity can and
must alternate in your awareness since both are untrue and are therefore on the same level. Being the level of shift, it is experienced as shifting, and extremes are its essential characteristic.
54 Truth and littleness are
denials of each other because grandeur
is truth. Truth does not vacillate; it is
always true. When grandeur slips away from you, you have replaced it with something
you have made. Perhaps it is the belief in littleness; perhaps it is the belief in grandiosity. Yet it
must be insane because it is
not true. Your grandeur will
never deceive you, but your illusions
always will. Illusions
are deceptions. You cannot triumph, but you
are exalted. And in your exalted state, you seek others like you and rejoice with them.
55 It is easy to distinguish grandeur from grandiosity because love is returned, but pride is not. Pride will not produce miracles and therefore will deprive you of your true witnesses to your reality. Truth is not obscure nor hidden, but its obviousness to
you lies in the joy you bring to its witnesses, who
show it to you. They attest to your grandeur, but they cannot attest to pride because pride is not shared. God
wants you to behold what He created because it is His joy.
56 Can your grandeur be arrogant when God Himself witnesses to it? And what can be real that
has no witnesses? What good can come of it? And if no good can come of it, the Holy Spirit cannot use it. What He cannot transform to the Will of God does not exist at all. Grandiosity is delusional because it is used to
replace your grandeur. Yet what God has created cannot
be replaced. God is incomplete without you because His grandeur is total, and you cannot
be missing from it.
57 You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part of It, and while you leave your part of It empty, your eternal place merely waits for your return. God, through His Voice, reminds you of It, and God Himself keeps your extensions safe within It. Yet you do not know them until you return to them. You
cannot replace the Kingdom, and you cannot replace
yourself. God, Who
knows your value, would not have it so, and so it is
not so. Your value is in
God's Mind and therefore not in yours alone. To accept yourself as God created you cannot be arrogance because it is the
denial of arrogance. To accept your littleness
is arrogant because it means that you believe
your evaluation of yourself is
truer than God's.
Yet if truth is indivisible, your evaluation of yourself must
God's. You did not establish your value, and it
no defense. Nothing can attack it or prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely
. Ask the Holy Spirit
it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, for it comes from God. It
an exalted answer because of its Source, but the Source is true and so is Its answer. Listen and do not question what you hear, for God does not deceive. He would have you replace the ego's belief in littleness with His own exalted answer to the question of your being, so that you can cease to question it and
it for what it
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