Lesson 106
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Your Value Merely Is
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 9 "THE CORRECTION OF ERROR"
VII. GRANDEUR VERSUS GRANDIOSITY       
 
58 Yet if truth is indivisible, your evaluation of yourself must be God's. You did not establish your value, and it needs no defense. Nothing can attack it or prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely is. Ask the Holy Spirit what it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, for it comes from God. It is 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 know it for what it is.  
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  106
Let me be still and listen to the truth.


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   If you will lay aside the ego's voice
   however loudly it may seem to call;
   if you will not accept its petty gifts
   which give you nothing that you really want;
   if you will listen with an open mind
   which has not told you what salvation is;
   then you will hear the mighty Voice of truth,
   quiet in power, strong in stillness, and
   completely certain in Its messages.

   Listen, and hear your Father speak to you
   through His appointed Voice, Which silences
   the thunder of the meaningless, and shows
   the way to peace to those who cannot see.
   Be still today and listen to the truth.
   Be not deceived by voices of the dead
   which tell you they have found the source of life,
   and offer it to you for your belief.
   Attend them not, but listen to the truth.

   Be not afraid today to circumvent
   the voices of the world, walk lightly past
   their meaningless persuasion. Hear them not.
   Be still today and listen to the truth.
   Go past all things which do not speak of Him
   Who holds your happiness within His hand,
   held out to you in welcome and in love.
   Hear only Him today, and do not wait
   to reach Him longer. Hear one Voice today.

   Today the promise of God's Word is kept.
   Hear and be silent. He would speak to you.
   He comes with miracles a thousand times
   as happy and as wonderful as those
   you ever dreamt or wished for in your dreams.
   His miracles are true. They will not fade
   when dreaming ends. They end the dream instead,
   and last forever for they come from God,
   to His dear Son, whose other name is you.
  
   Prepare yourself for miracles today.
   Today allow your Father's ancient pledge
   to you and all your brothers to be kept.
   Hear Him today, and listen to the Word
   which lifts the veil that lies upon the earth,
   and wakes all those who sleep and cannot see.
   God calls to them through you. He needs your voice
   to speak to them, for who could reach God's Son
   except his Father calling through your Self?
  
   Hear Him today, and offer Him your voice
   to speak to all the multitudes who wait
   to hear the Word that He will speak today.
   Be ready for salvation. It is here,
   and will today be given unto you.
   And you will learn your function from the One
   Who shows it in your Father's Name for you.

   Listen today and you will hear a Voice
   Which will resound throughout the world through you.
   The Bringer of all miracles has need
   that you receive them first, and thus become
   the joyous giver of what you received.
   Thus does salvation start and thus it ends;
   when everything is yours, and everything
   is given away, it will remain with you
   forever. And the lesson has been learned.
  
   Today we practice giving, not the way
   you understand it now, but as it is.
   Each hour's exercises should begin
   with this request for your enlightenment:
   
    I will be still and listen for the truth. 
    What does it mean to give and to receive?

   Ask and expect an answer. Your request
   is one whose answer has been waiting long
   to be received by you. It will begin
   the ministry for which you came, and which
   will free the world from thinking giving is
   a way to lose. And so the world becomes
   ready to understand and to receive.

   Be still and listen to the truth today.
   For each five minutes spent in listening
   a thousand minds are opened to the truth.
   And they will hear the holy Word you hear.
   And when the hour is past, you will again
   release a thousand more who pause to ask
   that truth be given them along with you.

   Today the holy Word of God is kept
   through your receiving it to give away,
   so you can teach the world what giving means
   by listening and learning it of Him.
   Do not forget today to reinforce
   your choice to hear and to receive the Word
   by this reminder, given to yourself
   as often as is possible today:
   
    Let me be still and listen to the truth. 
    I am the messenger of God today, 
    My voice is His, to give what I receive.
 
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM   
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 106
Let me be still and listen to the truth.
 
Sarah's Commentary:

The truth is in us, but the raucous voice of the ego must be stilled if we are to hear the Voice of truth. "If you will lay aside the ego's voice, however loudly it may seem to call; if you will not accept its petty gifts that give you nothing that you really want; if you will listen with an open mind, that has not told you what salvation is; then you will hear the mighty Voice of truth, quiet in power, strong in stillness, and completely certain in Its messages." (W.106.1.1)
 
The Lessons we have been looking at in this last section are about helping us access the truth in our minds so we can experience the love, peace, and joy of the Christ Self we are. Through our everyday experiences that offer us all the opportunities for the healing we need, we are being asked to let go of the ego programming that is so entrenched in our thought system. We experience a lot of resistance in this process because we are very invested in our identity as a body and personality. Jesus tells us that we have overlearned the ego programming, which is why it is so challenging to release.
 
As we apply the exercises provided each day, our entrenched thought system is loosened. The world does not reinforce the Course teaching. Thus, we may feel very much on our own in undoing the thought system of the world. When we listen to the voices of this world, we hear messages that reinforce the thoughts we still hold in our wrong minds. Certainly, the perspective of the world reinforces the ego thought system, but Jesus encourages us to listen to our inner Guide, rather than be persuaded by the voices of the world. "Be not afraid today to circumvent the voices of the world. Walk lightly past their meaningless persuasion. Hear them not." (W.106.3.1-3)
 
When we listen to our thoughts, we can see how obsessive they are. They are tapes that play over and over in our minds, ruminating on the same problems, the same grievances, the plans and expectations we have, our frustrations, worries and anxieties, and all thoughts, keeping us from hearing the truth of who we are. They are fear-based thoughts that block the love shining in us all the time. Sometimes we are aware of these tapes and other times they play in the background of our minds. Mostly, they run our lives without our awareness until we learn to watch our thoughts so we can bring this conditioned mind to awareness and realize how we have been deceived by its lies.
 
The conditioned mind holds many beliefs. These beliefs run our lives and dictate our actions. Beliefs such as: "Women/men can't be trusted." "Love is dangerous because I always get hurt." "I can only depend on myself." "If I don't defend myself, I will be a doormat for others to take advantage of me." "I can't trust anyone not to hurt me." "I need to get what I can." "I must take care of myself above all." "I am not worthy."
 
When these beliefs and millions of others we hold are not conscious, we do not understand why certain events keep happening to us. We define ourselves as a certain type of person and seem to get stuck in various roles we play as a brother, sister, husband, wife, daughter, employee, loser, gambler, lover, nurturer, and victim. But roles offer no rewards. When we become conscious of our hidden beliefs that run our lives, we can choose to release them.
 
One way we become aware of these beliefs is to look at what we are projecting onto others. Another way is to look at the feelings that come up in us and trace them back by asking, "What must I believe about myself for this to arise?" Another way is to become aware of how we defend against being hurt. When I get hurt, for example, I tend to withdraw. I feel safer in my aloneness. We each have preferred ways in which we protect ourselves from pain. It is important to look at our defense strategies, as they show us where we feel vulnerable to attack. When our minds are crowded with self-attack thoughts, we will not hear the truth. The truth is in the stillness.
 
Jesus tells us that the voice of the ego is a very loud, thunderous voice. It deceives us into believing what is not true. It is a noisy and boisterous voice, always demanding our attention and attempting to distract us from experiencing the Christ Self within. Stillness is like rat poison to the ego because stillness opens us up to "'The peace of God which passeth understanding.'" (T.2.II.1.9) (ACIM OE T.2.II.18) This is the last thing the ego wants us to experience; but the Christ in us is given birth on ground we have helped to prepare for holiness to be revealed to us. This ground is a place of stillness in the mind. In the stillness of the holy instant, we enter the eternal present where Christ dwells and where the recognition of Christ within dawns upon us.
 
The voice of the ego is a very persuasive voice. It insists that the meaningless things of the world are where our happiness lies. It keeps us blind to the truth. It is important to see that we are not asked to analyze the meaning of this voice but to circumvent it. "Walk lightly past their meaningless persuasion. Hear them not. Be still today and listen to the truth." (W.106.3.2-4) "Be not deceived by voices of the dead, which tell you they have found the source of life and offer it to you for your belief." (W.106.2.3) We are being asked not to listen to the ego in anyone. The voices of the dead are actually the voices of those who are speaking from their ego.
 
Jesus tells us that the life we seem to be living in this world is not life at all. We have become convinced that the source of our lives is our bodily experience in the world, starting with our birth in the body. What we call life seems to come through the body, but the body is nothing. It is a dream figure, and when we identify with it, it becomes an obstacle to the truth. "What has the body really given you that justifies your strange belief that in it lies salvation?" (T.19.IV.B.2.6) (ACIM OE T.19.V.b.61) Our reality is the eternal Christ Self. The Bible says that we are created in the image of God, yet it is an image of a dualistic God. Jesus says, do not listen to this as it is not the truth of who we are. God is only love, and we were created in His image as love. As part of God, we have all the same characteristics that He has. The voices of this world that seem to witness to an individual self do not exist and have no reality.
 
We resist what Jesus is teaching and find it difficult to accept because the teaching is not in keeping with the authorities of this world. We must turn away from the pressures of those who speak of their belief in fear, belief in death, and belief that suffering can offer us something. If we invest in the voices of the ego, we cause ourselves increased suffering and pain. We don't need to do this anymore. We need to see the false as false. "It [the miracle] merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII. What is the Miracle? Q13.1.3) We can make another choice. We can go past all the voices of the world and say no to the ego's persuasive voice. It may keep talking, but when we don't listen to it, it drifts off into the background of our minds. We are not these separated selves with a name and a body, as the ego insists. We are being reminded of who we really are. We are invited to accept the glorious gifts given us in our creation and are with us now. We can choose against the shabby gifts of the ego. They offer us nothing but pain.
 
Jesus helps us to see in this Course that our "normal" state of mind is similar to what the Buddhists call "monkey mind", which is a mind constantly leaping from one thing to another, endlessly chattering and never still. The ego thoughts that normally occupy this mind are described in the Course as "raucous screams and senseless ravings." (T.21.V.1.6) (ACIM OE T.21.VI.49) This mind is constantly occupied with ". . . the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world." (W.49.4.4) We are constantly talking in our minds. We review our past and have fantasies about the future. We narrate our experiences in the world, talking to ourselves about what we are doing, and thus we never experience the stillness that this and other Lessons remind us are in us.
 
In a nutshell, this mind is in a state of conflict. It is constantly at war, both with the external world and within itself. If we pause to look at our thoughts, we can see the insanity going on in our minds. Our focus is almost entirely on our survival on the physical and emotional level, constantly defending against threats to the safety of the body and threats to the psychological self. Even these thoughts are not a united front since we hold conflicting goals. No wonder when we first start with these Lessons, things seem to get worse for us; the thoughts we had not previously recognized now become more apparent to us.
 
If we want to end the conflict and find peace, the first step is simply to turn our attention away from both the cacophony of the outside world and the constant stream of warring thoughts in our mind. This is what Jesus wants us to do when he asks us to still the mind and to empty the mind of its usual conflicted content, so we can be open to receive new content. "An empty space that is not seen as filled, an unused interval of time not seen as spent and fully occupied, become a silent invitation to the truth to enter, and to make itself at home." (T.27.III.4.1) (ACIM OE T.27.IV.32) "For what you leave as vacant God will fill, and where He is there must the truth abide." (T.27.III.4.1.3) (ACIM OE T.27.IV.32)
 
Jesus frequently invites us to take a moment and let go of everything that normally occupies our minds, as in the following passage: "Let us be still an instant, and forget all things we ever learned, all thoughts we had, and every preconception that we hold of what things mean and what their purpose is. Let us remember not our own ideas of what the world is for. We do not know." (T.31.I.12.1-3) (ACIM OE T.31.I.12) (See also T.31.II.8, ACIM OE T.31.II.22, and W.189.7) We will only be willing to "be still and listen to the truth," (W.106) when we truly come to believe in His promises. "He comes with miracles a thousand times as happy and as wonderful as those you ever dreamed or wished for in your dreams." (W.106.4.4) This is quite a promise. It means no matter how wonderful our manifestations are of what we think will make us happy, they offer us nothing except more guilt. His peace and joy will surpass all of this and a thousand times more.
 
When we have an experience of His truth, we bring it to the world. Sometimes we extend to others with words that come through us and sometimes with just our thoughts and our presence. We need to receive the miracles first so we can extend them. "The bringer of all miracles has need that you receive them first, and thus become the joyous giver of what you have received." (W.106.6.5) We are told that we waste a lot of time when we resist taking up our function of forgiveness. We are learning about the meaning of giving and receiving, and he says, "Your request is one whose answer has been waiting long to be received by you." (W.106.8.2) It is through forgiveness that we learn to be still and listen to the truth.
 
Have you wondered what we are in this world for? Why are we here at all? For most of us, we probably don't think of our function in the world as some kind of ministry, yet that is how it is described here. We have an important ministry in demonstrating the choice for healing that all can make. The Healer is available in all minds, and the power of decision is available to all of us when we are ready. The way of the world is to believe that when we give, we lose, yet "Today the holy Word of God is kept through your receiving it to give away, so you can teach the world what giving really means by listening and learning it of Him." (W.106.10.1) We teach only by example. We become a demonstration of the healing we have accepted for ourselves. What this requires is that we must let go of our grievances, our attacks, our fears, and our belief in sacrifice. Through forgiveness, the love we are extends to the Sonship, as we are One Mind. This is how we bring healing to the world. We hear the message by allowing the truth to be itself as it extends through us. It certainly does not mean preaching. It is only about the Holy Spirit extending through us.
 
"Your peace surrounds me, Father. Where I go, Your peace goes there with me. It sheds its light on everyone I meet. I bring it to the desolate and lonely and afraid. I give Your peace to those who suffer pain, or grieve for loss, or think they are bereft of hope and happiness. Send them to me, my Father. Let me bring Your peace with me ." (W.245.1.1-7) This whole process of receiving, giving, and recognizing that we have by giving, is foundational to Course teaching. We become channels for the Holy Spirit, receiving everything from Him, and in giving it away, we have it forever. We can only know we have when we give. The Lesson assumes, quite rightly, that we don't understand this kind of giving to receive, which he is talking about. We think of giving as loss and sacrifice.
 
Now we accept the truth, "I will be still and listen to the truth. What does it mean to give and to receive?" (W.106.7.5-6) The answer is to accept the Atonement for ourselves. To accept the Atonement is to accept the correction. We need not take responsibility for the error but we need only to be constantly willing to receive His correction. It is the realization that the answer is and always has been within. We only need to take our problem to the answer, rather than listen to the ego whose solution keeps us invested in the illusion and in our pain and suffering.
 
This is about shifting our investment from being right about our perspective and instead to be willing to recognize that we don't know. Through His Voice and His message, we can become a light to our brothers and know the truth about ourselves. I can extend healing, peace, and joy to everyone by healing my own mind. Thus, I can know the truth in me. "Thus does salvation start and thus it ends; when everything is yours and everything is given away, it will remain with you forever." (W.106.7.1)
 
In this process, our individuality and specialness are released, and we are not so enamored with our own thoughts, realizing there is just one identity as Christ, and we are all the same. We no longer have to defend our own way or compete for attention with others. There is no need then to make anything here important. Our strength lies in connecting to the stillness within the right mind. We can then release our need to show the world our special self, and instead, we allow the stillness of God in us to communicate His peace.
 
"Father, I come to You today to seek the peace that You alone can give. I come in silence. In the quiet of my heart, the deep recesses of my mind, I wait and listen for Your Voice. My Father, speak to me today. I come to hear Your Voice in silence and in certainty and love, sure You will hear my call and answer me . " (W.221.1.5)
 
Thus, we will "Hear Him today, and listen to the Word which lifts the veil that lies upon the earth, and wakes all those who sleep and cannot see. God calls to them through you." (W.106.5.1-2) All minds are One. As we listen and respond to His call, we are guided by His love, and everything we think and do comes from His love.

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

The Correction of Error   

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Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

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?
 
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 outdo but 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 it believes.
 
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 will attack.
 
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.
 
58 Yet if truth is indivisible, your evaluation of yourself must be God's. You did not establish your value, and it needs no defense. Nothing can attack it or prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely is. Ask the Holy Spirit what it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, for it comes from God. It is 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 know it for what it is
.
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  
   

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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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