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91 Each one acts according to the particular hierarchy of needs he establishes for himself. His hierarchy, in turn, depends on his perception of what he is—that is, what he lacks. A sense of separation from God is the only lack he really needs to correct.
ACIM OE TEXT CH 1
Workbook for Students
Part I
Introduction
1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.

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Workbook for Students
Part I
Lesson 12
I am upset because I see
a meaningless world.
1 The importance of this idea lies in the fact that it contains a correction for a major perceptual distortion. You think that what upsets you is a frightening world, or a sad world, or a violent world, or an insane world. All these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself.

2 These exercises are done with eyes open. Look around you, this time quite slowly. Try to pace yourself so that the slow shifting of your glance from one thing to another involves a fairly constant time interval. Do not allow the time of the shift to become markedly longer or shorter, but try, instead, to keep a measured, even tempo throughout. What you see does not matter. You teach yourself this as you give whatever your glance rests on equal attention and equal time. This is a beginning step in learning to give them all equal value.

3 As you look about you, say to yourself:

4 I think I see a fearful world, a dangerous world, a hostile world, a sad world, a wicked world, a crazy world;

5 and so on, using whatever descriptive terms happen to occur to you. If terms which seem positive rather than negative occur to you, include them. For example, you might think of a "good world," or a "satisfying world." If such terms occur to you, use them along with the rest. You may not yet understand why these "nice" adjectives belong in these exercises, but remember that a "good world" implies a "bad" one, and a "satisfying world" implies an "unsatisfying" one. All terms which cross your mind are suitable subjects for today's exercises. Their seeming quality does not matter.

6 Be sure that you do not alter the time intervals between applying today's idea to what you think is pleasant and what you think is unpleasant. For the purposes of these exercises, there is no difference between them. At the end of the practice period, add:

7 But I am upset because I see a meaningless world.

8 What is meaningless is neither good nor bad. Why, then, should a meaningless world upset you? If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. Beneath your words is written the Word of God. The truth upsets you now, but when your words have been erased, you will see His. That is the ultimate purpose of these exercises.

9 Three or four times are enough for practicing the idea for today. Nor should the practice periods exceed a minute. You may find even this too long. Terminate the exercises whenever you experience a sense of strain.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
TEXT
Chapter 1
Introduction to Miracles

I. Principles of Miracles par 82-91
[READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
50. 82 The miracle is a learning device which lessens the need for time. In the longitudinal or horizontal plane, the recognition of the true equality of all the members of the Sonship appears to involve almost endless time. However, the sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception which the miracle entails introduces an interval from which the doer and the receiver both emerge much farther along in time than they would otherwise have been.

83 The miracle thus has the unique property of shortening time by rendering the space of time it occupies unnecessary. There is no relationship between the time a miracle takes and the time it covers. It substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years. It does this by the underlying recognition of perfect equality and holiness between the doer and the receiver on which the miracle rests.

84 We said before that the miracle abolishes time. It does this by a process of collapsing it and thus abolishing certain intervals within it. It does this, however, within the larger temporal sequence. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval which is not under the usual laws of time. Only in this sense is it timeless. By collapsing time, it literally saves time. Much as daylight saving time does, it rearranges the distribution of light.

51. 85 The miracle is the only device which man has at his immediate disposal for controlling time. Only revelation transcends time, having nothing to do with time at all.

86 The miracle is much like the body in that both are learning aids which aim at facilitating a state in which they are unnecessary. When the Soul's original state of direct communication is reached, neither the body nor the miracle serves any purpose. While he believes he is in a body, however, man can choose between loveless and miraculous channels of expression. He can make an empty shell, but he cannot express nothing at all. He can wait, delay, paralyze himself, reduce his creativity to almost nothing, and even introduce a developmental arrest or even a regression. But he cannot abolish his creativity. He can destroy his medium of communication but not his potential.

87 Man was not created by his own free will alone. Only what he creates is his to decide. The basic decision of the miracle-minded is not to wait on time any longer than is necessary. Time can waste as well as be wasted. The miracle-worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor gladly because he recognizes that every collapse of time brings all men closer to the ultimate release from time in which the Son and the Father are one.

88 Equality does not imply homogeneity now. When everyone recognizes that he has everything, individual contributions to the Sonship will no longer be necessary. When the Atonement has been completed, all talents will be shared by all the Sons of God. God is not partial. All His Children have His total love, and all His gifts are freely given to everyone alike. "Except ye become as little children" means that, unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father.

89 You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness. You never really wanted peace before, so there was no point in being told how to achieve it. No learning is acquired by anyone unless he wants to learn it and believes in some way that he needs it. While the concept of lack does not exist in the creation of God, it is very apparent in the creations of man. It is, in fact, the essential difference. A need implies lack by definition. It involves the recognition that you would be better off in a state which is somehow different from the one you are in.

90 Until the "separation," which is a better term than the "fall," nothing was lacking. This meant that man had no needs at all. If he had not deprived himself, he would never have experienced them. After the separation, needs became the most powerful source of motivation for human action. All behavior is essentially motivated by needs, but behavior itself is not a divine attribute. The body is the mechanism for behavior. The belief that he could be better off is the reason why man has this mechanism at his disposal.

91 Each one acts according to the particular hierarchy of needs he establishes for himself. His hierarchy, in turn, depends on his perception of what he is—that is, what he lacks. A sense of separation from God is the only lack he really needs to correct. This sense of separation would never have occurred if he had not distorted his perception of truth and thus perceived himself as lacking. The concept of any sort of need hierarchy arose because, having made this fundamental error, he had already fragmented himself into levels with different needs. As he integrates he becomes one, and his needs become one accordingly.
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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 12
I am upset because I see
a meaningless world.


Sarah's Commentary:
 
This idea corrects ". . . a major perceptual distortion." (W.12.1.1) What is that distortion? The distortion is our belief that the world has meaning and is the cause of how we feel. We think that when we are upset it is because something happened to us, and as a result, we are hapless victims. We end up blaming people and circumstances in the world for our situation. "I would be happy if my car started, if it weren't so cold outside, if my children did not disturb my peace, if my job were less demanding, or if I had the right relationship." In other words, I'd be happy if the world weren't so upsetting, so frightening, so sad, so violent, so insane, or so disappointing. Yet Jesus says, "All of these attributes are given it by you. The world is meaningless in itself." (W.12.1.3‑4)
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is:

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