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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 11 "GOD'S PLAN FOR SALVATION"
III. THE MECHANISM OF MIRACLES
Perceive in sickness but another call for love and offer your brother what he believes he cannot offer himself. Whatever the sickness, there is but
remedy. You will be made whole as you
whole, for to perceive in sickness the appeal for health is to recognize in hatred the call for love. And to give a brother what he
wants is to offer it unto yourself, for your Father wills you to know your brother
call for love and
is answered. Healing is the love of Christ for His Father and for
L e s s o n 124
Let me remember I am one with God.
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Let me remember I am one with God.
This Lesson attempts to describe the experience of being one with God. It is an experience of awakening or enlightenment. It is a mystical experience. Until we have a full blown experience or even glimpses of it, these are just words. When you hear or read about such experiences, most people have difficulty describing them. They find it difficult to put the experience into words, as it is an experience beyond words. Yet this Lesson attempts to give us a picture of what it might be like to have such an experience. It is an experience of revelation where there is a feeling of total protection and safety. Everything we touch is blessed and healed, even when we look on ". . . appearances of pain." (W.124.5.1) "We see it in the frantic, in the sad and the distressed, the lonely and afraid, who are restored . . . " (W.124.5.2) We see loveliness. Why? "All this we see because we saw it first within ourselves." (W.124.5.4) In other words, we look past appearances and see with Christ's vision.
Jon Mundy wrote in Miracles Magazine, May/June 2008 issue, an excerpt from his book, What is Mysticism? He asked the question, "What is enlightenment?" Then he went on to ask, "What would it be like to have no worries, no anxiety, no problems, no major concerns? What would it be like to hold no grievance, no hurt feelings, no unforgiveness or condemnation? What would it be like to be forever calm, patient, and serene? What would it be like to be free of judgment? What would it be like to experience the love of God, flowing from the heart, to everyone you meet every day? What if there were no fear of death, no sense of limitation? What if you knew you were not a body? What would it be like to know eternity? What would it be like to know God?"
There are many reflections of those who seem to live consistently in this state in the world today. I recently read Byron Katie's book, called A Thousand Names for Joy. I found this book deeply inspiring as she is someone who reflects for me this state of awakened mind. The important thing to remember is we can make the same choice, as the truth is already in our own minds. It would be a mistake to try to emulate these beings, thinking that spirituality looks and acts a certain way. We must be honest with ourselves, so we don't take ourselves beyond where we are with some kind of spiritual bypass, thinking that because we understand something it is enough. It is not about quoting spiritual truths, dressing a certain way, wearing amulets, or eating certain foods. There is no salvation in form, only of the mind.
In this Lesson, Jesus gives us a sense of the effects of joining with God, reminding us our home is safe, our protection is guaranteed, and His power and strength are available to us in all our undertakings. When we move in Him, we can fail at nothing. "Everything we touch takes on a shining light that blesses and that heals." (W.124.1.4) Our minds are holy and indeed very powerful. When we know this as a result of our experience of joining with the truth within, everything we see reflects holiness. We know then that we are never alone. "God is our companion as we walk the world a little while." (W.124.2.4)
It is an experience where doubt is gone, we don't question His protection and care, and we have perfect certainty in everything we do. Even if there seem to be appearances of pain, sadness, distress, loneliness or fear, when the mind is healed, vision sees past it all to the loving and the lovable. As our misperceptions, based on our senses, are healed, the miracle can work through us to "heal all forms of suffering in anyone, in times gone by and times as yet to come, as easily as in the ones who walk beside them now." (W.124.6.2) Such healing is not limited by time or space. We are reminded of the first principle of miracles---There is no order of difficulty among them.
Jesus tells us, "Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both." (T.1.I.24)(ACIM OE T.1.I.27) The problem is always the thoughts of doubt in the mind based on lack and limitation. The solution is always to remember the truth of who we are. All pain, suffering, specialness, and anxiety are equally illusory.
Most of us feel we are a long way from the constancy of such an experience, yet Jesus reminds us, "The peace of God is shining in me now," (W.188) and "Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all." (W.188.1.4) Therefore, we are already the Christ Self. We are the ocean thinking we are a wave, separate from other waves and separate from the ocean. The truth is already in the right mind, but unrecognized when it is blocked by our egoic thoughts. When we defend the illusory self, we are choosing to believe in our guilt and with it our independent selves---limited, lacking, and victims of the world. When guilt is our choice, we see a world of pain, suffering and death. We have made it all real because we think the guilt in our minds is real. With forgiveness, this state of separation is undone. When we come to accept the love we are, there can then be no guilt, no pain, no loneliness and no death.
How do we know when we have chosen the ego rather than the Holy Spirit? Jesus tells us when "pain seems real in the perception," (W.193.7.2) we can be sure our Lesson has not been learned, and "there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs." (W.193.7.4) This means we have first made guilt real in our minds. Thus, whether we feel the suffering within ourselves or we see it in someone else, we are making it real and identifying with it. I had an opportunity to see this in the presence of a dear friend, Tomas Vieira, a gifted Course teacher, who had cancer that ultimately brought him to make his transition. He kept reminding anyone who experienced grief and suffering in his presence to heal their minds of their perception he could be sick. In other words, if we were not seeing the wholeness of the Christ in him, then we were the ones needing healing for our own minds. Attempting to join in suffering with anyone is what Jesus describes as false empathy. It is not about what we are seeing with our eyes, but the interpretation we give to what we see. When we are not seeing the Christ in our brother, we are forgetting who we are and who our brother is.
As Jesus reminds us, "No miracle can ever be denied to those who know that they are one with God." (W.124.6.1) How does the miracle show up? It comes naturally when any thought of sin, guilt and fear is healed. These are the thoughts in the mind that gave rise to the world of separation. The miracle shows up when we remember the truth and experience our reality as one with God. In that remembrance, thoughts of sin, guilt and fear must disappear, just as there can be no darkness when the light is turned on. Light and darkness cannot coexist. To recognize the truth, we must see the unreality of all we currently think is real. When we turn to the ego as our guide to seeing, it shows us the fear and guilt in our minds. It is a world of competition, reciprocity and giving to get. When we recognize we are wrong in the way we see, we become willing to accept what Jesus is telling us. We can then smile at the silliness of believing anything here could be real. The problem was that in the tiny mad idea of separation we remembered not to laugh. Now, in any situation where we feel distress, we can learn to look with gentle eyes and smile at the unreality of what we are seeing. "It [the miracle] merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13.1.3)
To know Oneness, it is important to undo everything that interferes with it. It is to undo our investment in our special, separate selves and in the guilt in the mind. Everything we see with the body's eyes and all our investment in the separation is a reflection of how much we don't believe God walks with us, protecting and supporting us. We doubt His love. We experience anxieties and worries, but these thoughts have no power except the power we give them. With the choice for the ego, suffering, pain and death do seem like our immutable reality. It is not because they are real, but we made the thought of guilt real in our minds. If all our pain and suffering come from the guilt in our own minds, the answer must be available to us within ourselves. It is good news to know we need not correct the problem. The only thing we need to do is to accept the correction (Atonement) for our wrong-minded thoughts. When we let the interfering thoughts go, only then is it possible to see the loving and the lovable. It is all about connecting to the love in ourselves first. In the mind of Christ, there is no anxiety, pain and suffering. When we change our minds and change our teacher, we are refusing to listen to the ego by choosing with the Holy Spirit instead, and then we can see with vision.
We may get discouraged on this path when we don't see progress. In some instances, when we get on this journey things may even seem to get worse. Jesus assures us lovingly that we should not let this bother us. The thoughts we are now noticing in our minds were always there. When we start noticing them, we may be initially horrified at their presence. The good news is they are coming to our attention for healing. These thoughts have always been in the subconscious mind, affecting our state of mind without our awareness. He assures us we will see progress ". . . perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow . . ." (W.124.10.1) "When you are ready you will find it there, within your mind and waiting to be found." (W.124.10.2) Doing this Lesson every hour will "Add further jewels to the golden frame that holds the mirror offered you today." (W.124.12.1) It truly is an unfolding process.
When we put the ego in charge of our awakening, we will only become more frustrated. As Mariana Caplan reminds us in Halfway Up the Mountain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment, "One is more likely to awaken through surrender than through seeking to waken. The effort to awaken is the effort of ego, whereas to surrender is to give up all efforts and to place oneself in the hands of a vast force that is more powerful than any realization of non-duality. When one finally gives up one's futile attempts to make reality conform to one's own wishes, and allows it to unfold on its own terms, all the energy that was tied up in foolish attempts to manipulate the universe is freed up."
Let's not beat up on ourselves today for lack of progress. This is just the ego talking and we need not listen. The ego is not our friend and it is not who we are. Beating up on ourselves is the ego's game. We will remember this beautiful light in our minds when we are ready, and then it will radiate healing through us. The full benefits will be revealed to us when the time is ripe. The day will come when this will totally be the truth for us. We will never be thrust into enlightenment, which would be a terrifying experience for us. We are being gently guided by the Holy Spirit in our day to day activities. He takes us only as far and as fast as our willingness and determination to be released from fear will allow.
The words and thoughts he gives us here are very encouraging, reminding us we may have this experience "perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow," (W.124.10.1) but whenever it is, he says it will come when we are ready. "When you are ready you will find it there, within your mind and waiting to be found." (W.124.10.2) When that day comes, ". . . you will look into this glass, and understand the sinless light you see belongs to you; the loveliness you look on is your own." (W.124.11.1) The reflection we look on will be the Christ Self we are.
Whenever we choose to deny the power of the ego, we are making progress in healing the belief in separation. We will then bring this healing to the world, not by anything we need to do, but simply by reflecting God's Love in the world. We become an example for others, that they too can make the same choice we have made and "take your place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening." (T. 15.XI.10.10)(ACIM OE T.15.XI.112)
Love and blessings, Sarah
III. The Mechanism of Miracles
11 Fear is a symptom of your deep sense of loss. If when you perceive it in others you learn to
supply the loss, the basic
cause of fear is removed. Thereby you teach yourself that fear does not exist
in you, for you have
in yourself the means for removing it and have demonstrated this by
giving it. Fear and love are the only emotions of which you are capable. One is false, for it was made out of denial, and denial depends on the real belief in what is denied for its
12 By interpreting fear correctly
as a positive affirmation of the underlying belief it masks, you are undermining its perceived usefulness by rendering it useless. Defenses which do not work at all are
automatically discarded. If you raise what fear conceals to
clear-cut, unequivocal predominance, fear becomes meaningless. You have denied its power to conceal love, which was its only purpose. The mask which
you have drawn across the face of love has disappeared.
13 If you would look upon love, which
is the world's reality, how could you do better than to recognize in every defense
against it the underlying appeal
for it? And how could you better learn of its reality than by answering the appeal for it by
giving it? The Holy Spirit's interpretation of fear
does dispel it, for the
awareness of truth cannot
be denied. Thus does the Holy Spirit replace fear with love and translate error into truth. And thus will
you learn of Him how to replace your dream of separation with the fact of unity. For the separation is only the
denial of union and, correctly interpreted, attests to your eternal knowledge that union is true.
14 Miracles are merely the translation of denial into truth. If to love oneself is to
heal oneself, those who are sick do
not love themselves. Therefore, they are asking for the love that would heal them but which they are denying to themselves. If they knew the truth about themselves, they could not
be sick. The task of the miracle-worker thus becomes
to deny the denial of truth. The sick must heal
themselves, for the truth is in them. Yet, having
obscured it, the light in
another mind must shine into theirs because that light
15 The light in them shines as brightly,
regardless of the density of the fog that obscures it. If
you give no power to the fog to obscure the light, it
has none, for it has power only because the Son of God gave power to it. He must
himself withdraw that power, remembering that
all power is of God.
You can remember this for all the Sonship. Do not allow your brother not to remember, for his forgetfulness is
your remembering is
his, for God cannot be remembered alone.
This is what you have forgotten. To perceive the healing of your brother as the healing of yourself is thus the way to remember God. For you forgot your brothers
with Him, and God's answer to your forgetting is but the way to remember.
16 Perceive in sickness but another call for love and offer your brother what he believes he cannot offer himself. Whatever the sickness, there is but
one remedy. You will be made whole as you
make whole, for to perceive in sickness the appeal for health is to recognize in hatred the call for love. And to give a brother what he
really wants is to offer it unto yourself, for your Father wills you to know your brother
as yourself. Answer
his call for love and
yours is answered. Healing is the love of Christ for His Father and for
17 Remember what we said about the frightening perceptions of little children which terrify them because they do not understand them. If they ask for enlightenment and
accept it, their fears vanish, but if they
hide their nightmares, they will
keep them. It is easy to help an uncertain child, for he recognizes that he does not know what his perceptions mean. Yet you believe that you
do know. Little children, you are hiding your heads under the covers of the heavy blankets you have laid upon yourselves. You are hiding your nightmares in the darkness of your own certainty and refusing to open your eyes
and look at them.
18 Let us not save nightmares, for they are not fitting offerings for Christ, and so they are not fit gifts for
you. Take off the covers and look at what you are afraid of. Only the
anticipation will frighten you, for the reality of nothingness cannot
be frightening. Let us not delay this, for your dream of hatred will not leave you without help, and help is here. Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace. Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal. The goal of love is but your right, and it belongs to you
despite your preference.
You still want what God wills, and no nightmare can defeat a Child of God in his purpose. For your purpose was given you by God, and you must accomplish it
because it is His Will. Awake and remember your purpose, for it is
your will to do so. What has been accomplished for you
must be yours. Do not let your hatred stand in the way of love, for
nothing can withstand the love of Christ for His Father or His Father's love for Him.
20 A little while and you
will see me, for I am not hidden because
you are hiding. I will awaken you as surely as I awakened myself, for I awoke
for you. In
my resurrection is
your release. Our mission is to escape
crucifixion, not redemption. Trust in my help, for I did not walk alone, and I will walk with you as our Father walked with me. Did you not know that I walked with Him in peace? And does not that mean that peace goes with
us on the journey?
21 There is no fear in perfect love. We will but be making perfect to you what is
in you. You do not fear the
unknown, but the
known. You will not fail in your mission because I failed not in mine. Give me but a little trust in the name of the
complete trust I have in you, and we will easily accomplish the goal of perfection together. For perfection
is and cannot
be denied. To deny the denial of perfection is not so difficult as the denial of truth, and what we can accomplish together
must be believed when you
see it as accomplished.
22 You who have tried to banish love have not succeeded, but you who choose to banish fear
will succeed. The Lord is with you, but you know it not. Yet your Redeemer liveth and abideth in you in the peace out of which He was created. Would you not exchange
this awareness for the awareness of your fear? When we have overcome fear-not by hiding it, not by minimizing it, not by denying its full import in any way-this
is what you will really see. You cannot lay aside the obstacle to real vision without looking upon it, for to lay aside means to judge
you will look, the Holy Spirit will judge and will judge truly. He cannot shine away what
you keep hidden, for you have not offered it to Him, and He cannot take it
23 We are therefore embarking on an organized, well-structured, and carefully planned program aimed at learning how to offer to the Holy Spirit everything you do
He knows what to do with it. You do
not know how to use what He knows. Whatever is revealed to Him that is not of God is gone. Yet you must reveal it to
yourself in perfect willingness, for otherwise His knowledge remains useless to you. Surely He will not fail to help you, since help is His
only purpose. Do you not have greater reason for fearing the world as
you perceive it than for looking at the cause of fear and letting it go forever?
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