THURSDAY APRIL 28, 2016
All Power is of God
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 10 "GOD AND THE EGO"
VI. THE DYNAMICS OF THE EGO    

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.
 
  ACIM.OE.TX.CH 10.VI.41, 42
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I ~ REVIEW III
INTRODUCTION
Review III
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Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
  
*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER?
 
   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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DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 118 ~ REVIEW III
[Review Lesson 105 and Lesson 106]

<AUDIO>
 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
 

1 For morning and evening review:

[105] God's peace and joy are mine.
               2 Today I will accept God's peace and joy        
       In glad exchange for all the substitutes
       which I have made for happiness and peace.
[106] Let me be still and listen to the truth.
3 Let mine own feeble voice be still, and let      
 Me hear the mighty Voice of truth itself
 Assure me that I am God's perfect Son.
 
4 On the hour:  
               5 God's peace and joy are mine .
 
6 On the half hour:  
              7 Let me be still and listen to the truth .

     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM
  
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 118
Review III ~ Lesson 105 and Lesson 106

Sarah's Commentary:

We have made many substitutes to take the place of the happiness and peace given us by God in our creation. We are attached to what we have made and what we now value in place of what has been given us. It is not easy to let go of things outside ourselves that we are convinced are important to our happiness. This world was made as a substitute for God's love. We valued our uniqueness and our specialness more than His love. What we have substituted in the place of His love ultimately leaves us feeling empty. We have God's gifts of peace and joy right now, at this very moment, yet we keep wanting more. The ego is always about more of everything. "What way could give you more than everything, or offer less and still content the holy Son of God?" (W.155.12.4) Our wholeness is dismissed, and we lose sight of our divine identity by our desire for substitutes. These are the things outside ourselves, which we think we need in order to be happy. Yet when we get them, we realize they still leave us feeling empty because they are not the real thing.
 
Jesus urges us, "Seek not outside yourself. For it will fail, and you will weep each time an idol falls." (T.29.VII.1.1-2)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.43) Idols are substitutes for love. The only way we can be content and truly know peace is by remembering the truth of our creation, and this is where we find our true happiness. "All your pain comes simply from a futile search for what you want, insisting where it must be found." (T.29.VII.1.7)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.43)
 
We still don't totally believe that there is no happiness to be found in the things of this world. We still think we know where our happiness lies, so we keep seeking for it in the substitutes we have decided are important to our well-being. It is not easy for us to give up our belief that there is something here that will fulfill us, and when we get it we will be happy. Thus, we put our happiness outside ourselves, so we keep seeking and seeking, hoping everything we want will eventually come to us, and we will be in bliss. Jesus tells us, "No one who comes here but must still have hope, some lingering illusion, or some dream that there is something outside of himself that will bring happiness and peace to him." (T.29.VII.2.1)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.44) So we come here for this experience, and we will do what we came to do. There is no need to feel guilty or bad that we still hold some hope for happiness in the world.
 
As long as we believe we are what we are not, we will "seek out a thousand idols, and to seek beyond them for a thousand more." (T.29.VII.3.1)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.45) Isn't that what our lives are about and where all our attention goes? The relationships, the jobs, the houses, the careers, the material things, and immaterial things like recognition, power, and pleasures, are all idols. We not only think our happiness lies in getting everything we want, but when our external world does not measure up to our expectations, it can throw us into feelings of sadness, anger and depression. When we accept that all these events are there as perfectly orchestrated opportunities to look at places in ourselves where healing is called for, we become happy learners. Thus, this world of separation can become an essential classroom for looking honestly at how we are using these idols to cover over what lies beneath.
 
When we have expectations of how things should go in the world and they don't go the way we had hoped, it puts us in a tailspin. When things we value are lost, stolen or broken, we can get very upset and distraught. When things do not work out according to the plans we made, we can get depressed. Being right about the way things should go becomes much more important to us than acceptance of the perfection of everything showing up for us. "Whenever you attempt to reach a goal in which the body's betterment is cast as a major beneficiary, you try to bring about your death. For you believe that you can suffer lack, and lack is death." (T.29.VII.4.1-2)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.46)
 
How do we let go of all we have substituted for the love we are? How do we connect with the peace and joy we already are? To do so does not mean we must give up our attachments to what we still value, for that would be sacrifice and sacrifice is not called for. We can continue to pursue what we think we want, but as we increasingly apply these Lessons to our lives, our goals and priorities change very naturally. They change because our thought system is changing. Behavior simply follows what we hold in our minds. We simply start to lose interest in what held our attention before. In other words, we increasingly see our idols don't deliver anything that can satisfy our deep desire for contentment and peace. There is no real fulfillment in these pursuits.

We are not being coerced into giving up anything in the world we still want. We will eventually see there is nothing of value here to be given up. All we are being asked to do is look at our attachments and recognize our happiness is not in any of these things. There is a true source of happiness within, always available to us. As we release our wishes and demands through forgiveness, we begin to experience the internal peace and joy Jesus talks about. As we trust this process more and more, we recognize how much more satisfying and reliable it is than pursuing the shifting things of the world.

Eventually, we will want to let go of everything in the world we thought would bring us happiness and peace. It is generally a process, but for some it has come in a moment. I think of Byron Katie or Eckhart Tolle, both of whom experienced an instant of awakening from this dream as a result of their state of deep despair, from which came an instant of total surrender. At one time, I thought this was the end of the ego. I saw enlightenment as more of an event and the end of the journey. Now I have come to understand that the ego continues on, but has very little significance or power. However, attentiveness is still necessary, as it can become very subtle.

When we determine on our own how things should be and what we need to make us happy, we are actually in agreement with the ego and relying on our own personal will. We are choosing to be in control. We plan and organize our day and determine what needs to happen in order for us to be happy. We think we know what is needed. We make lists. We dream dreams. We make plans. We hold expectations. And when things don't go according to plan, we have anger, anxiety, distress, and grievances. The voice of the ego appears to us as incessant, loud, raucous, and relentless. Jesus says that it is actually feeble because ultimately it carries no power of its own. Let us today be willing to question this feeble voice and bring its ramblings to the truth. It does not define us. What it does is block the mighty Voice for Truth, which is constantly speaking of who we are. The mighty Voice has one message for us, which assures us, "I am God's perfect Son." (W.118.(106).2.2)

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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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  Lesson 108
  
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