Lesson 116
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 10 "GOD AND THE EGO"
VI. THE DYNAMICS OF THE EGO    
 
41 Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen. Clarity undoes confusion by definition, and to look upon darkness through light must dispel it. Let us begin this lesson in "ego dynamics" by understanding that the term itself does not mean anything. In fact, it contains exactly the contradiction in terms which makes it meaningless. "Dynamics" implies the power to do something, and the whole separation fallacy lies in the belief that the ego has the power to do anything. The ego is fearful to you because you believe this. Yet the truth is very simple:
 
42 All power is of God. What is not of Him has no power to do anything.
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I ~ REVIEW III
INTRODUCTION
Review III
<AUDIO> 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
  
* IAMBIC PENTAMETER BEGINS*
 
   Our third review begins today. We will  
   review two of the last twenty ideas  
   each day, until we have reviewed them all.  
   We will observe a special format for  
   these practice periods, which you are urged  
   to follow just as closely as you can. 
   We understand, of course, that it may be  
   impossible for you to undertake  
   what is suggested here as optimal  
   each day and every hour of the day. 
    
   Learning will not be hampered when you miss
   a practice period because it is
   impossible at the appointed time.
   Nor is it necessary that you make
   excessive efforts to be sure that you
   catch up in terms of numbers. Rituals
   are not our aim, and would defeat our goal.  
   
         But learning will be hampered when you skip
    a practice period because you are
   unwilling to devote the time to it
   which you are asked to give. Do not deceive
   yourself in this. Unwillingness can be
   most carefully concealed behind a cloak
   of situations you cannot control.
   Learn to distinguish situations which
   are poorly suited to your practicing
   from those which you establish to uphold
   the camouflage for your unwillingness. 
    
   Those practice periods which you have lost
   because you did not want to do them for
   whatever reason should be done as soon
   as you have changed your mind about your goal.
   You are unwilling to cooperate
   in practicing salvation only if
   it interferes with goals you hold more dear.
   When you withdraw the value given them,
   allow your practice periods to be
   replacements for your litanies to them.
   They gave you nothing. But your practicing
   can offer everything to you. And so
   accept their offering, and be at peace. 
    
   The format you should use for these reviews
   is this: Devote five minutes twice a day,
   or longer if you would prefer, to
   considering the thoughts that are assigned.
   Read over the ideas and comments which
   are written first in each day's exercise.
   And then begin to think about them while
   letting your mind relate them to your needs,
   your seeming problems and all your concerns. 
    
   Place the ideas within your mind, and let
   it use them as it chooses. Give it faith
   that it will use them wisely, being helped
   in its decisions by the One Who gave
   the thoughts to you. What can you trust but what
   is in your mind? Have faith, in these reviews,
   the means the Holy Spirit uses will
   not fail. The wisdom of your mind will come
   to your assistance. Give direction at
   the start, and then lean back in quiet faith,
   and let the mind employ the thoughts you gave
   as they were given you for it to use. 
    
   You have been given them in perfect trust;
   in perfect confidence that you would use
   them well; in perfect faith that you would see
   their messages, and use them for yourself.
   Offer them to your mind in that same trust
   and confidence and faith. It will not fail.
   It is the Holy Spirit's chosen means
   for your salvation. Since it has His trust,
   His means must surely merit yours as well. 
    
   We emphasize the benefits to you
   if you devote the first five minutes of
   the day to your review and also give
   the last five minutes of your waking day
   to it. If this cannot be done, at least
   try to divide them so you undertake
   one in the morning, and the other in
   the hour just before you go to sleep. 
    
   The exercises to be done throughout
   the day are equally important, and
   perhaps of even greater value. You
   have been inclined to practice only at
   appointed times and then go on your way
   to other things, without applying what
   you learned to them. As a result, you have
   gained little reinforcement, and have not
   given it the opportunity to prove
   how great are its potential gifts to you. 
     
   Here is another chance to use it well.
   In these reviews we stress the need to let
   your learning not lie idly by between
   your longer practice periods. Attempt
   to give your daily two ideas a brief
   but serious review each hour. Use
   one on the hour, and the other one
   a half an hour later. You need not
   give more than just a moment to each one. 
     
   Repeat it, then allow your mind to rest
   a little time in silence and in peace.
   Then turn to other things, but try to keep
   the thought with you, and let it serve to help
   you keep your peace throughout the day as well.
   If you are shaken, think of it again.
   These practice periods are planned to help
   you form the habit of applying what
   you learn each day to everything you do. 
     
   Do not repeat it and then lay it down.
   Its usefulness is limitless to you.
   And it is meant to serve you in all ways,
   all times and places, and whenever you
   need help of any kind. Try, then, to take
   it with you in the business of the day,
   and make it holy, worthy of God's Son,
   acceptable to God and to your Self. 
     
   Each day's review assignment will conclude
   with a restatement of the thought to use
   each hour, and the one to be applied
   on each half hour as well. Forget them not.
   This second chance with each of these ideas
   will bring such large advances that we come
   from these reviews with learning gains so great
   that we begin again on solid ground
   with firmer footsteps and with stronger faith. 
     
   Do not forget how little you have learned.
   Do not forget how much you can learn now.
   Do not forget your Father's need of you,
   as you review these thoughts He gave to you.
 
   ~ Original Handscript of ACIM
  
  ACIM OE WORKBOOK LESSON REVIEW III

CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT ~ COMMENTARY
          
LESSON AUDIO RECORDINGS
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 116 ~ REVIEW III
[Review Lesson 101 and Lesson 102]

<AUDIO>
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

* IAMBIC PENTAMETER BEGINS*
 
 
1 For morning and evening review:

[101] God's Will for me is perfect happiness.
               2 God's Will is perfect happiness for me.      
       And I can suffer but from the belief
       There is another will apart from His.
[102] I share God's Will for happiness for me.
3 I share my Father's Will for me, His Son.
What He has given me is all I want.
What He has given me is all there is. 
      
4 On the hour:  
               5 God's Will for me is perfect happiness .
 
6 On the half hour:  
              7 I share God's Will for happiness for me

     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM
  
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 116
Review III ~ Lesson 101 and Lesson 102
 
Sarah's Commentary:

God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Go deep within to connect with the source of that happiness. Choose His Will rather than your own. His Will for us is that we would know who we are as the One Self. The condition of this Self is happiness. Happiness is natural. To be restored by His grace to our true nature of perfect happiness is our goal. Our part is essential to His plan for our happiness. Jesus tells us that our joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends us. They will see their function in our shining faces and hear God calling to them in our happy laughter.
 
This happiness, this joy, and this happy laughter come from deep within you and are available in the holy instant. We are reminded in this Lesson that happiness is in us and always present. It is not something we have to look for. If we don't experience it, it is only because we are blocking it with our obsessive thinking. It is a question of where we want to put our focus. If we focus on our grievances, judgments, and anger, we block the joy that is there. When we tenaciously hold the belief that we are right about the way we see, we refuse to make room for joy. It takes great willingness to deeply question our thoughts, but unless we do, we stay stuck in being right and not allowing happiness in.
 
"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.100.4.2-4)
 
Release your sadness today. "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." (W.100.5.3-5) Joy is your function here. "If you are sad, your part is unfulfilled, and all the world is thus deprived of joy, along with you." (W.100.6.2)
 
We all have hidden areas of the mind that sabotage our happiness. They include dark stories we tell, strategies we use to compensate for pain, failures we experience, and guilt we hold onto. They are places of self-attack and self-hatred that we need to see if healing is to occur. There may even be stories that come from deeper levels of our minds (past lives). I have forayed into this area for myself and have uncovered some strategies I have been using against myself that when seen, could be released. I saw my relationship to my father from a past life that helped me in my healing of this relationship. I can't verify the truth of it, but it led me to an understanding of how the relationship was set up. Whatever we do in uncovering the layers of the mind that are kept hidden from us is helpful.
 
We are also encouraged to look at the idols we look to for happiness that we have substituted for God. These may include drugs, food, money, lust, power, romance, suffering, illness, and martyrdom, among other things. Clearly, this is our misinformed, convoluted way of trying to find happiness and compensate for our pain. These ego strategies all have a purpose in our lives, but while they aim for happiness and safety in the world, they only bring more pain, which is kept hidden from our awareness. The purpose they all serve is to keep us invested in the world and in specialness, but they fail to bring us what we really want, which is peace and happiness.
 
We first need to uncover and discover our mistaken strategies so we can make a new choice. We think our strategies are protecting us and will get us what we want, but they lead to heartbreak. The ego is threatened at having its strategies unveiled. We can see this in the defenses we set up to protect ourselves. What is required is to be willing to look at these strategies without self-judgment. Yes, it does take great courage and honesty because the ego is invested in keeping us from seeing what it is up to. This is precisely why we need the help of our friends, companions, healers, and advisors. These are the people who do not believe our version of the story.
 
Looking at our defenses and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable breaks the sacred bond we have made with the ego. It tells us not to look, but Jesus is showing us that it is in our own interests to break this sacred covenant we have with the ego. In fact, it is the only way we can know the peace and happiness always available to us. It requires commitment and willingness to stay vigilant, watch our minds, and keep bringing the darkness to the light. Spirit does the rest. Our part is simply to uncover what is going on in our minds. Behind these thoughts that we defend so vigorously is pure peace and joy.
 
True happiness is not about making ourselves happy, manufacturing an emotion, nor trying to have a positive attitude; nor is our happiness based on things going well in our external life. It is an inner condition. It is a reflection of God's Love.
 
Where does our suffering come from if not from God? It comes from our separate will. It comes from the belief that we have separated from God. It is the ego, but the ego is not real. It has no power. We made it up, so we can release it with the help of the Holy Spirit. When we externalize it, we think it is the devil and that we are possessed. When we think it is a power outside ourselves, we are in fear. Recognizing that it is a decision of the mind, we can choose to withdraw our investment in it. The ego is only strong because of our belief in it. It lives on borrowed time. When the decision-making mind withdraws belief from the ego, it no longer exists. This is about withdrawing investment in our thoughts. The thoughts will continue, but when we lose interest in them, we withdraw power from them.
 
For the ego to continue to have power in our lives, it needs to keep us unaware. "For still deeper than the ego's foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you." (T.13.III.2.8) (ACIM OE T.12.III.12) The ego can't allow us to discover this love, for that would be its demise. The demise of the ego is our awakening to our Self, which is the reality of who we really are---changeless, limitless and eternally happy.
 
Let's review briefly the instructions we are given for our practice. Twice a day for five minutes each time and preferably longer, the first thing in the morning and last thing at night, we take time in meditation to reflect on the Lessons, "God's Will for me is perfect happiness. God's Will is perfect happiness for me. And I can suffer but from the belief there is another will apart from His".(W.116.(101).1.1-3) "I share God's Will for happiness for me. I share my Father's Will for me, His Son. What He has given me is all I want. What He has given me is all there is." (W.116.(102).2.1-4)
 
"And then begin to think about them [these ideas], while letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems and all your concerns." (W. Review III.5.3) We are basically letting related thoughts come to address any need, problem, or concern that we bring to this practice. Be willing to look at the thoughts blocking your happiness and bring them to the light of Truth. Now let the thoughts come up from your right mind, without your effort, by simply allowing them to emerge on their own. They are providing you guidance for your problem in light of this Lesson. We are being provided with wisdom in how to perceive any need, problem, or concern that we bring to this practice. As thoughts come up for me, I find it is like a form of helpful self-talk where I remind myself of the truth. I remind myself that the power is in me to choose not to listen to the ego. Such related thoughts will help in making the Lesson more meaningful to you as you keep telling yourself the truth.
 
"Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you." (W.RIII.6.1-2) "Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail." (W.RIII.6.4)
 
Remember to bring the idea to any perceived needs, problems, or concerns that arise during the day. Whenever you are not at peace, apply the idea to the upset. "Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think." (T.4.IV.2.4) (ACIM OE T.4.V.57)
 
Today, you might want to watch for times when you are missing the practices and deceiving yourself about the other activities and goals that you are finding more important. Recognize that this is resistance. I find I need to be very honest with myself if I am to make progress in my healing. The goals we give great attention to in our lives offer us nothing while practicing the Lessons offer us everything. How much do we buy this? Doing the Lessons diligently gives us, "This second chance with each of these ideas will bring such large advances that we come from these reviews with learning gains so great we will continue on more solid ground, with firmer footsteps and with stronger faith." (W.RIII.12.3)

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

God and the Ego

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

VI. The Dynamics of the Ego         

39 No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the ego's thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking honestly for truth. The "dynamics" of the ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to look beyond it since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together and then look beyond it to truth.
 
40 What is healing but the removal of all that stands in the way of knowledge? And how else can one dispel illusions except by looking at them directly without protecting them? Be not afraid, therefore, for what you will be looking at is the source of fear, but you have surely learned by now that fear is not real. We have accepted the fact already that its effects can be dispelled merely by denying their reality. The next step is obviously to recognize that what has no effects does not exist. Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what extends to nothing cannot be real.
 
41 Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen. Clarity undoes confusion by definition, and to look upon darkness through light must dispel it. Let us begin this lesson in "ego dynamics" by understanding that the term itself does not mean anything. In fact, it contains exactly the contradiction in terms which makes it meaningless. "Dynamics" implies the power to do something, and the whole separation fallacy lies in the belief that the ego has the power to do anything. The ego is fearful to you because you believe this. Yet the truth is very simple:
 
42 All power is of God. What is not of Him has no power to do anything.
 
43 When we look at the ego, then, we are not considering dynamics but delusions. We can surely regard a delusional system without fear, for it cannot have any effects if its source is not true. Fear becomes more obviously inappropriate if one recognizes the ego's goal, which is so clearly senseless that any effort exerted on its behalf is necessarily expended on nothing. The ego's goal is quite explicitly ego autonomy. From the beginning, then, its purpose is to be separate, sufficient unto itself, and independent of any power except its own. This is why it is the symbol of separation.
 
44 Every idea has a purpose, and its purpose is always the natural extension of what it is. Everything that stems from the ego is the natural outcome of its central belief, and the way to undo its results is merely to recognize that their source is not natural, being out of accord with your true nature. We once said that to will contrary to God is wishful thinking and not real willing. His Will is one because the extension of His Will cannot be unlike itself. The real conflict you experience, then, is between the ego's idle wishes and the Will of God, which you share. Can this be a real conflict?
 
45 Yours is the independence of creation, not of autonomy. Your whole creative function lies in your complete dependence on God, Whose function He shares with you. By His willingness to share it, He became as dependent on you as you are on Him. Do not ascribe the ego's arrogance to Him, Who wills not to be independent of you. He has included you in His Autonomy. Can you believe that autonomy is meaningful apart from Him? The belief in ego autonomy is costing you the knowledge of your dependence on God in which your freedom lies. The ego sees all dependency as threatening and has twisted even your longing for God into a means of establishing itself. But do not be deceived by its interpretation of your conflict.
 
46 The ego always attacks on behalf of separation. Believing it has the power to do this, it does nothing else because its goal of autonomy is nothing else. The ego is totally confused about reality, but it does not lose sight of its goal. It is much more vigilant than you are because it is perfectly certain of its purpose. You are confused because you do not know yours.
 
47 What you must learn to recognize is that the last thing the ego wishes you to realize is that you are afraid of it. For if the ego gives rise to fear, it is diminishing your independence and weakening your power. Yet its one claim to your allegiance is that it can give power to you. Without this belief, you would not listen to it at all. How, then, can its existence continue if you realize that, by accepting it, you are belittling yourself and depriving yourself of power?
 
48 The ego can and does allow you to regard yourself as supercilious, unbelieving, "light-hearted," distant, emotionally shallow, callous, uninvolved, and even desperate, but not really afraid. Minimizing fear but not its undoing is the ego's constant effort and is indeed the skill at which it is very ingenious. How can it preach separation without upholding it through fear, and would you listen to it if you recognized this is what it is doing?
 
49 Your recognition that whatever seems to separate you from God is only fear, regardless of the form it takes and quite apart from how the ego wants you to experience it, is therefore the basic ego threat. Its dream of autonomy is shaken to its foundation by this awareness. For though you may countenance a false idea of independence, you will not accept the cost of fear if you recognize it. Yet this is the cost, and the ego cannot minimize it. For if you overlook love, you are overlooking yourself, and you must fear unreality because you have denied yourself. By believing that you have successfully attacked truth, you are believing that attack has power. Very simply, then, you have become afraid of yourself. And no one wills to learn what he believes would destroy him.
 
50 If the ego's goal of autonomy could be accomplished, God's purpose could be defeated, and this is impossible. Only by learning what fear is, can you finally learn to distinguish the possible from the impossible and the false from the true. According to the ego's teaching, its goal can be accomplished, and God's purpose can not. According to the Holy Spirit's teaching, only God's purpose is accomplishment, and it is already accomplished.
 
51 God is as dependent on you as you are on Him because His autonomy encompasses yours and is therefore incomplete without it. You can only establish your autonomy by identifying with Him and fulfilling your function as it exists in truth. The ego believes that to accomplish its goal is happiness. But it is given you to know that God's function is yours and happiness cannot be found apart from your joint will. Recognize only that the ego's goal, which you have pursued quite diligently, has only brought you fear, and it becomes difficult to maintain that fear is happiness.
 
52 Upheld by fear, this is what the ego would have you believe. Yet God's Son is not insane and cannot believe it. Let him but recognize it, and he will not accept it. For only the insane would choose fear in place of love, and only the insane could believe that love can be gained by attack. But the sane know that only attack could produce fear, from which the love of God completely protects them.
 
53 The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts. The appreciation of wholeness comes only through acceptance, for to analyze means to separate out. The attempt to understand totality by breaking it up is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything. Never forget that the ego believes that power, understanding, and truth lie in separation, and to establish this belief it must attack. Unaware that the belief cannot be established and obsessed with the conviction that separation is salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by breaking it up into small and disconnected parts without meaningful relationships and thus without meaning. The ego will always substitute chaos for meaning, for if separation is salvation, harmony is threat.
 
54 The ego's interpretation of the laws of perception are, and would have to be, the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit's. The ego focuses on error and overlooks truth. It makes real every mistake it perceives, and with characteristically circular reasoning concludes that, because of the mistake, consistent truth must be meaningless. The next step, then, is obvious. If consistent truth is meaningless, inconsistency must be true if truth has meaning. Holding error clearly in mind and protecting what it has made real, the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system-that error is real, and truth is error.
 
55 The ego makes no attempt to understand this, and it is clearly not understandable, but the ego does make every attempt to demonstrate it, and this it does constantly. Analyzing to attack meaning, the ego does succeed in overlooking it and is left with a series of fragmented perceptions which it unifies on behalf of itself. This, then, becomes the universe it perceives. And it is this universe which, in turn, becomes its demonstration of its own reality.
 
56 Do not underestimate the appeal of the ego's demonstrations to those who would listen. Selective perception chooses its witnesses carefully, and its witnesses are consistent. The case for insanity is strong to the insane. For reasoning ends at its beginning, and no thought system transcends its source. Yet reasoning without meaning cannot demonstrate anything, and those who are convinced by it must be deluded. Can the ego teach truly when it overlooks truth? Can it perceive what it has denied? Its witnesses do attest to its denial but hardly to what it has denied! The ego looks straight at the Father and does not see Him, for it has denied His Son.
 
57 Would you remember the Father? Accept His Son, and you will remember Him. Nothing can demonstrate that His Son is unworthy, for nothing can prove that a lie is true. What you see of His Son through the eyes of the ego is a demonstration that His Son does not exist, yet where the Son is, the Father must be. Accept what God does not deny, and He will demonstrate its truth. The witnesses for God stand in His light and behold what He created. Their silence is the sign that they have beheld God's Son, and in the Presence of Christ they need demonstrate nothing, for Christ speaks to them of Himself and of His Father. They are silent because Christ speaks to them, and it is His words that they speak.
 
58 Every brother you meet becomes a witness for Christ or for the ego, depending on what you perceive in him. Everyone convinces you of what you want to perceive and of the reality of the kingdom you have chosen for your vigilance. Everything you perceive is a witness to the thought system you want to be true. Every brother has the power to release you if you will to be free. You cannot accept false witness of him unless you have evoked false witnesses against him. If he speaks not of Christ to you, you spoke not of Christ to him. You hear but your own voice, and if Christ speaks through you, you will hear Him.
 

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