Lesson 118
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Perceive the Real World
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 10 "GOD AND THE EGO"
VIII. THE PROBLEM AND THE ANSWER      
 
70 Every loving thought that the Son of God ever had is eternal. Those which his mind perceived in this world are the world's only reality. They are still perceptions because he still believes that he is separate. Yet they are eternal because they are loving. And being loving, they are like the Father and therefore cannot die. The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else. For if you perceive both good and evil, you are accepting both the false and the true and making no distinction between them.

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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 118 ~ REVIEW III
[Review Lesson 105 and Lesson 106]

<AUDIO>
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

* IAMBIC PENTAMETER BEGINS*
 
 
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 value 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 that we think we need in order to be happy. Yet when we get them, we realize that 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. "Seek not outside yourself. For all your pain comes simply from a futile search for what you want, insisting where it must be found." (T.29.VII.1.6-7) (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, and 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 place our happiness outside ourselves and keep seeking and seeking, hoping everything we want will eventually come to us, and then 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) We came 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 the Son of God goes ". . .in search of something he cannot find, believing that he is what he is not," (T.29.VII.2.5)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.44)then, "The lingering illusion will impel him to 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 the 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, great despair, and depression. When we can accept that all events and circumstances are perfectly orchestrated opportunities to look at places in ourselves where healing is called for, we become happy learners. Then 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 that shows 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 already in us? 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 start to lose interest in what held our attention before. In other words, we increasingly see that 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 that 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 to look at our attachments and recognize our happiness is not in any of these things. There is a true source of happiness within and 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 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 eventually, it has little significance or power. It moves into the background of our lives.
 
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 our plan, we experience 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 that is constantly speaking of what we are. The mighty Voice has one message that assures us, ". . .I am God's perfect Son." (W.118.(106).2.2)

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

VIII. The Problem and the Answer           

69 The world as you perceive it cannot have been created by the Father, for the world is not as you see it. God created only the eternal, and everything you see is perishable. Therefore, there must be another world which you do not see. The Bible speaks of a new Heaven and a new earth, yet this cannot be literally true, for the eternal are not re-created. To perceive anew is merely to perceive again, implying that before, or in the interval, you were not perceiving at all. What, then, is the world that awaits your perception when you see it?
 
70 Every loving thought that the Son of God ever had is eternal. Those which his mind perceived in this world are the world's only reality. They are still perceptions because he still believes that he is separate. Yet they are eternal because they are loving. And being loving, they are like the Father and therefore cannot die. The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else. For if you perceive both good and evil, you are accepting both the false and the true and making no distinction between them.
 
71 The ego sees some good but never only good. That is why its perceptions are so variable. It does not reject goodness entirely, for that you could not accept, but it always adds something that is not real to the real, thus confusing illusion and reality. For perceptions cannot be partly true. If you believe in truth and illusion, you cannot tell which is true. To establish your personal autonomy, you tried to create unlike your Father, believing what you made to be capable of being unlike Him. Yet everything in what you have made that is true is like Him. Only this is the real world, and perceiving only this will lead you to the real Heaven because it will make you capable of understanding it.
 
72 The perception of goodness is not knowledge, but the denial of the opposite of goodness enables you to perceive a condition in which opposites do not exist. And this is the condition of knowledge. Without this awareness, you have not met its conditions, and until you do you will not know that it is yours already. You have made many ideas which you have placed between yourselves and your Creator, and these beliefs are the world as you perceive it. Truth is not absent here, but it is obscure. You do not know the difference between what you have made and what God created, and so you do not know the difference between what you have made and what you have created.
 
73 To believe that you can perceive the real world is to believe that you can know yourself. You can know God because it is His Will to be known. The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.
 
74 This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel that a course which, in the end, teaches nothing more than that only reality is true is necessary. But do you believe it? When you have perceived the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you only an instant to realize that this judgment is true.
 
75 And then everything you made will be forgotten, the good and the bad, the false and the true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The re-interpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge. The Bible tells you to become as little children. Little children recognize that they do not understand what they perceive, and so they ask what it means. Do not make the mistake of believing that you understand what you perceive, for its meaning is lost to you. Yet the Holy Spirit has saved its meaning for you, and if you will let Him interpret it for you, He will restore what you have thrown away. As long as you think you know its meaning, you will see no need to ask it of Him.
 
76 You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning. You are not misguided; you have accepted no guide at all. Instruction in perception is your great need, for you understand nothing. Recognize this but do not accept it, for understanding is your inheritance. Perceptions are learned, and you are not without a Teacher. Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you have learned of yourself, for you who have learned amiss should not be your own teachers.
 
77 No one can withhold truth except from himself. Yet God will not refuse the answer He gave you. Ask, then, for what is yours but which you did not make, and do not defend yourself against truth. You made the problem which God has answered. Ask yourselves, therefore, but one simple question-
 
78 Do I want the problem, or do I want the answer?
 
79 Decide for the answer and you will have it, for you will see it as it is, and it is yours already.
 
80 You complain that this course is not sufficiently specific for you to understand it and use it. Yet it has been very specific, and you have not done what it specifically advocates. This is not a course in the play of ideas, but in their practical application. Nothing could be more specific than to be told very clearly that if you ask you will receive. The Holy Spirit will answer every specific problem as long as you believe that problems are specific. His answer is both many and one, as long as you believe that the one is many. Realize that you are afraid of His specificity for fear of what you think it will demand of you. Yet only by asking will you learn that nothing that is of God demands anything of you. God gives; He does not take.
 
81 You are refusing to ask because you believe that asking is taking, and you do not perceive it as sharing. The Holy Spirit will give you only what is yours and will take nothing in return. For what is yours is everything, and you share it with God. This is its reality. Would the Holy Spirit, Who wills only to restore, be capable of misinterpreting the question you must ask to learn His answer?
 
82 You have heard the answer, but you have misunderstood the question. You have believed that to ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit is to ask for deprivation. Little Children of God, you do not understand your Father. You believe in a world that takes, because you believe that you can get by taking. And by that perception, you have lost sight of the real world. You are afraid of the world as you see it, but the real world is still yours for the asking. Do not deny it to yourself, for it can only free you. Nothing of God will enslave His Son, whom He created free and whose freedom is protected by His Being.
 
83 Blessed are you who will ask the truth of God without fear, for only thus can you learn that His answer is the release from fear. Beautiful Child of God, you are asking only for what I promised you. Do you believe I would deceive you? The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Believe that the truth is in me, for I know that it is in you. God's Sons have nothing which they do not share. Ask for truth of any Son of God, and you have asked it of me. No one of us but has the answer in him, to give to anyone who asks it of him. Ask anything of God's Son and His Father will answer you, for Christ is not deceived in His Father, and His Father is not deceived in Him.
 
84 Do not, then, be deceived in your brother and see only his loving thoughts as his reality, for by denying that his mind is split, you will heal yours. Accept him as his Father accepts him and heal him unto Christ, for Christ is his healing and yours. Christ is the Son of God, who is in no way separate from His Father, whose every thought is as loving as the Thought of His Father by which He was created. Be not deceived in God's Son, for thereby you must be deceived in yourself. And being deceived in yourself, you are deceived in your Father in Whom no deceit is possible.
 
85 In the real world there is no sickness, for there is no separation and no division. Only loving thoughts are recognized, and because no one is without your help, the Help of God goes with you everywhere. As you become willing to accept this Help by asking for it, you will give it because you want it. Nothing will be beyond your healing power because nothing will be denied your simple request. What problems will not disappear in the presence of God's answer? Ask, then, to learn of the reality of your brother because this is what you will perceive in him, and you will see your beauty reflected in him.
 
86 Do not accept your brother's variable perception of himself, for his split mind is yours, and you will not accept your healing without his. For you share the real world as you share Heaven, and his healing is yours. To love yourself is to heal yourself, and you cannot perceive part of you as sick and achieve your own goal. Brother, we heal together as we live together and love together. Be not deceived in God's Son, for he is one with himself and one with his Father. Love him who is beloved of His Father, and you will learn of the Father's Love for you.
 
87 If you perceive offense in a brother, pluck the offense from your mind, for you are offended by Christ and are deceived in Him. Heal in Christ and be not offended by Him, for there is no offense in Him. If what you perceive offends you, you are offended in yourself and are condemning God's Son, whom God condemneth not. Let the Holy Spirit remove all offense of God's Son against himself and perceive no one but through His guidance, for He would save you from all condemnation. Accept His healing power and use it for all He sends you, for He wills to heal the Son of God in whom He is not deceived.
 
88 Children perceive terrifying ghosts and monsters and dragons, and they are terrified. Yet if they ask someone they trust for the real meaning of what they perceive and are willing to let their interpretations go in favor of reality, their fear goes with them. When a child is helped to translate his "ghost" into a curtain, his "monster" into a shadow, and his "dragon" into a dream, he is no longer afraid and laughs happily at his own fear. You, my children, are afraid of your brothers and of your Father and of yourselves. But you are merely deceived in them.
 
89 Ask what they are of the Teacher of Reality, and hearing His answer, you too will laugh at your fears and replace them with peace. For fear lies not in reality, but in the minds of children who do not understand reality. It is only their lack of understanding which frightens them, and when they learn to perceive truly, they are not afraid. And because of this, they will ask for truth again when they are frightened. It is not the reality of your brothers or your Father or yourself which frightens you. You do not know what they are, and so you perceive them as ghosts and monsters and dragons. Ask of their reality from the One who knows it, and He will tell you what they are. For you do not understand them, and because you are deceived by what you see, you need reality to dispel your fears.
 
90 Would you not exchange your fears for truth if the exchange is yours for the asking? For if God is not deceived in you, you can be deceived only in yourself. Yet you can learn the truth of yourself of the Holy Spirit, who will teach you that, as part of God, deceit in you is impossible. When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made. And then your Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you by raising you unto Himself.   

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