Lesson 117
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I AM Your Resurrection
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 10 "GOD AND THE EGO"
VII. EXPERIENCE AND PERCEPTION     
 
62 I am your resurrection and your life. You live in me because you live in God. And everyone lives in you, as you live in everyone. Can you, then, perceive unworthiness in a brother and not perceive it in yourself? And can you perceive it in yourself and not perceive it in God? Believe in the resurrection because it has been accomplished, and it has been accomplished in you. This is as true now as it will ever be, for the resurrection is the Will of God, which knows no time and no exceptions. But make no exceptions yourself, or you will not perceive what has been accomplished for you. For we ascend unto the Father together, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for such is the nature of God's Son as His Father created him.
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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 117 ~ REVIEW III
[Review Lesson 103 and Lesson 104]
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

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

[103] God, being Love, is also happiness.
               2 Let me remember love is happiness       
       And nothing else brings joy. and so I choose
       To entertain no substitutes for love.
[104] I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
3 Love is my heritage and with it joy.     
 These are the gifts my father gave to me.
 I would accept all that is mine in truth.
 
4 On the hour:  
               5 God, being Love, is also happiness .
 
6 On the half hour:  
              7 I seek but what belongs to me in truth .
 

     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM
  
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 117
Review III ~ Lesson 103 and Lesson 104
 
Sarah's Commentary:

Happiness is a reflection of God's love in the world. We are happiest when the love we are is extended through us because only then we know it is in us. This was so well illustrated in a movie I saw called About a Boy with Hugh Grant. The main character, Hugh Grant, spent most of his days spending time in distractions that he thought would make him happy. He measured each day in units of time-this many units for exercise, this many for eating out, this many for a favorite TV show, and so on. Time for him was about what some call "killing time" in pursuit of distractions.
 
Yet it was all ultimately meaningless to him even though he thought this is what would give him the happy life he craved. It was not until he reached out to help a young boy that he felt true happiness. Just like in the movie, we have to get beyond the false ideas of what would bring us happiness. We too are asked to look beyond our ideas of what would make us happy and seek the genuine condition. It means we need to be willing to be taught because we have been misguided. We will always be led astray when we look to ourselves for the answers. We are like the child who receives a toy but prefers the box it comes in and cries when it is taken away. We need help to distinguish what is valuable from what is valueless.
 
Getting a new car, new house, new computer, new job, new relationship, and whatever else we dream about, will only give us poor substitutes for the peace and love we hope to find in these things. After the initial rush when we receive what we think we want, we often end up feeling empty. The peace and happiness we were seeking through these things escape us. Even though this is the case, to give up what we think will bring us happiness, brings suffering if we believe we are being deprived. Jim Carey wisely said, "I hope you get everything you think you want, so you can see none of it brought you happiness." We are not bad or guilty for seeking the things of this world. However, the sooner we see they are not the source of our happiness, the sooner we will look for happiness where it really is.
 
New age religion focuses on the power of our minds to manifest what we want for our perceived happiness. When these are material things, superficial desires, and specialness, which are all substitutes for God, they will not make us happy. In fact, they just bring more pain. Again, it does not make us wrong or guilty for pursuing these substitutes. We just need to understand that they are ultimately meaningless and will not satisfy us or bring us true happiness. We do not know our own best interests. Like a child, we do not know what we really want.
 
There is no question that affirmations do work and can manifest what we think we want. The mind is powerful, and when we put our mind and intention to what we think we want, we can certainly realize it. There is nothing wrong with that. Jesus is not trying to make us feel guilty for pursuing any of it. We all came here to find something the world can't deliver. Until we realize this is so, we will pursue these things. However, Jesus is showing us that our peace and happiness can only be found in the eternal and not in the ephemeral. While there is value in recognizing how powerful our minds are and that we can indeed manifest what we think we want in the world, we eventually learn that nothing here brings us anything of value. In fact, it brings us nothing at all.
 
What is truly valuable is if: what we choose will last forever, it serves the purpose of awakening us from this dream, and everyone benefits from our choice. "When you let your mind be drawn to bodily concerns, to things you buy, to eminence as valued by the world, you ask for sorrow, not for happiness." (W.133.2.2) This Lesson says that each choice we make will bring us everything or nothing.
 
The things of the world that we manifest through our affirmations will not bring us an experience of peace, love, nor recognition of our innocence. Certainly, the Course also contains affirmations but the difference is that they affirm the truth. We remain as God created us. We are love, limitless, whole, and complete. We need do nothing to become what we already are in truth. "When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; 'I need do nothing'." (T.18.VII.5.7) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.67) In other words, we are affirming what we already have and what we already are. We are not trying to manifest something that is not already ours.
 
Our goal in applying these Lessons is to ready our minds to accept the Atonement for ourselves. What is the Atonement? It is a correction that leads us to the recognition of the truth about ourselves. We recognize that love is already in us when we extend it. We can't know it until we give it. In the movie, the character played by Hugh Grant realizes this when he gives the young boy, who comes into his life, the gifts of his time and attention, expecting nothing in return. He is amazed by the infusion of true happiness and well-being he experiences. It is something he has never known. It is the power of giving and receiving that comes through extending. This is how we realize the love that is already in us.
 
Love is happiness but not in the usual way of this world where we expect something in return. In other words, special love is about giving in order to get. It involves bargaining and reciprocity where we exchange as little as possible to get as much as possible; and this is the ego's definition of love--- we try to get something in return for something of equal or better value for what we gave.
 
Jesus tells us he is not special but that he is our brother and our equal. We share the same nature with him and with everyone else. Yes, our brothers, as ourselves, will commit many errors, but forgiveness helps us to see beyond their errors to the truth of who they are. Forgiveness is to look beyond appearances because we can't forgive what we have made real. That is why Jesus says, forgive your brother for what he did not do. The reason he says this is because there are no real effects as a result of his behavior. He is showing us that it is what is in our own minds that needs healing.
 
This is not an easy thing to do, which is why we need to call on the Holy Spirit to help us see the truth in our brothers so we can know it in ourselves. This requires that we look at our own mistakes that we project onto our brothers. "My function here is to forgive the world for all the errors I have made." (W.115.(99).1.2) In other words, what I see in my brothers are only my misperceptions based on my projections of my own self-judgment.
 
If I am not happy today, "At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now." (T.30.I.8.2) (ACIM OE T.30.II.16) In this Section, "Rules for Decision," we are given a process to help us recognize that perhaps our judgments about our brothers have been wrong and that we are willing at least to admit there may be another way of looking. This thought leaves us open to being a little willing to choose another way of seeing by opening the mind and being willing to be shown. "Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?" (T.30.I.12.3-4) (ACIM OE 30.II.26) By questioning our way of seeing, we loosen the mind enough to open the way to another perspective. The "I know" mind is closed and is not willing to let go of its perceptions and its judgments. Jesus is asking us for just this little willingness.
 
The Lesson today reminds us, "Love is my heritage, and with it joy." (W.117.(104).2.2) There is great happiness in opening our hearts to love and great pain in holding it back. When we experience this kind of pain, it is important to recognize that there is indeed another way to look at everything. Moving from stubborn resistance to willingness is a great start. Yes, when we feel great pain, it requires patience to move through it. We can't rush the process, as this will result in a spiritual bypass. Have the courage just to be with it and allow the feelings to be seen and felt so that they can be burnt in the "holy fire." This requires courage, but we don't go alone. Rest in the knowledge that you are supported in every step of the way. Let the mind observe the process from above the battleground. Remind yourself that whatever you are feeling, you are still safe in the Arms of Love. Accept the process as part of the journey through the darkness to the light.
 
We can make a choice for happiness by looking at all the thoughts and beliefs keeping us from being happy, none of which are true. Thus, we come to know that "Love is my heritage and with it joy. These are the gifts my Father gave to me. I would accept all that is mine in truth." (W.117.(104).2.2-4) This is so opposite of the ego's message to us. Its message is that God wants us to suffer and atone for our sins. Forgiveness corrects this belief and constantly reminds us of the gifts awaiting us on the other side of our pain. Our heritage is love and joy.
 
We apply the Lesson to every concern, problem, situation, or relationship that comes up during the day. We try to remember the Lesson hourly with the morning spent on remembering, "God, being Love, is also happiness," (W.117.(103).1.1) and the afternoon on remembering, "I seek but what belongs to me in truth." (W.117.(104).2.1)

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

VII. Experience and Perception          

59 It is impossible not to believe what you see, but it is equally impossible to see what you do not believe. Perceptions are built up on the basis of experience, and experience leads to beliefs. It is not until beliefs are fixed that perceptions stabilize. In effect, then, what you believe, you do see. That is what I meant when I said, "Blessed are ye who have not seen and still believe," for those who believe in the resurrection will see it. The resurrection is the complete triumph of Christ over the ego, not by attack but by transcendence. For Christ does rise above the ego and all its works and ascends to the Father and His Kingdom.
 
60 Would you join in the resurrection or the crucifixion? Would you condemn your brothers or free them? Would you transcend your prison and ascend to the Father? For these questions are all the same and are answered together. There has been much confusion about what perception means because the same word is used both for awareness and for the interpretation of awareness. Yet you cannot be aware without interpretation, and what you perceive is your interpretation. This course is perfectly clear. You do not see it clearly because you are interpreting against it and therefore do not believe it. And if belief determines perception, you do not perceive what it means and therefore do not accept it.
 
61 Yet different experiences lead to different beliefs, [and with them, different perceptions. For perceptions are learned with beliefs,] and experience teaches. I am leading you to a new kind of experience, which you will become less and less willing to deny. Learning of Christ is easy, for to perceive with Him involves no strain at all. His perceptions are your natural awareness, and it is only distortions which you introduce that tire you. Let the Christ in you interpret for you, and do not try to limit what you see by narrow little beliefs which are unworthy of God's Son. For until Christ comes into His own, the Son of God will see himself as fatherless.
 
62 I am your resurrection and your life. You live in me because you live in God. And everyone lives in you, as you live in everyone. Can you, then, perceive unworthiness in a brother and not perceive it in yourself? And can you perceive it in yourself and not perceive it in God? Believe in the resurrection because it has been accomplished, and it has been accomplished in you. This is as true now as it will ever be, for the resurrection is the Will of God, which knows no time and no exceptions. But make no exceptions yourself, or you will not perceive what has been accomplished for you. For we ascend unto the Father together, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, for such is the nature of God's Son as His Father created him.
 
63 Do not underestimate the power of the devotion of God's Son nor the power of the god he worships over him. For he places himself at the altar of his god, whether it be the god he made or the God who created him. That is why his slavery is as complete as his freedom, for he will obey only the god he accepts. The god of the crucifixion demands that he crucify and his worshipers obey. In his name they crucify themselves, believing that the power of the Son of God is born of sacrifice and pain. The God of the resurrection demands nothing, for He does not will to take away. He does not require obedience, for obedience implies submission. He would only have you learn your own will and follow it, not in the spirit of sacrifice and submission, but in the gladness of freedom.
 
64 Resurrection must compel your allegiance gladly because it is the symbol of joy. Its whole compelling power lies in the fact that it represents what you want to be. The freedom to leave behind everything that hurts you and humbles you and frightens you cannot be thrust upon you, but it can be offered you through the grace of God. And you can accept it by His grace, for God is gracious to His Son, accepting him without question as His own. Who, then, is your own? The Father has given you all that is His, and He Himself is yours with them. Guard them in their resurrection, for otherwise you will not awake in God safely surrounded by what is yours forever.
 
65 You will not find peace until you have removed the nails from the hands of God's Son and taken the last thorn from his forehead. The love of God surrounds His Son, whom the god of the crucifixion condemns. Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you. For the undoing of the crucifixion of God's Son is the work of the redemption, in which everyone has a part of equal value. God does not judge His blameless Son. Having given Himself to him, how could it be otherwise?
 
66 You have nailed yourself to a cross and placed a crown of thorns upon your own head. Yet you cannot crucify God's Son, for the Will of God cannot die. His Son has been redeemed from his own crucifixion, and you cannot assign to death whom God has given eternal life. The dream of crucifixion still lies heavy on your eyes, but what you see in dreams is not reality. While you perceive the Son of God as crucified, you are asleep. And as long as you believe that you can crucify him, you are only having nightmares. You who are beginning to wake are still aware of dreams and have not yet forgotten them. The forgetting of dreams and the awareness of Christ comes with the awakening of others to share your redemption.
 
67 You will awaken to your own call, for the Call to awake is within you. If I live in you, you are awake. Yet you must see the works I do through you, or you will not perceive that I have done them unto you. Do not set limits on what you believe I can do through you, or you will not accept what I can do for you. For it is done already, and unless you give all that you have received, you will not know that your Redeemer liveth and that you have awakened with Him. Redemption is recognized only by sharing it.
 
68 God's Son is saved. Bring only this awareness to the Sonship, and you will have a part in the redemption as valuable as mine. For your part must be like mine if you learn it of me. If you believe that yours is limited, you are limiting mine. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because all of God's Sons are of equal value, and their equality is their oneness. The whole power of God is in every part of Him, and nothing contradictory to His Will is either great or small. What does not exist has no size and no measure. To God all things are possible. And to Christ it is given to be like the Father.  

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