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Only appreciation is an appropriate response to your brother. Gratitude is due him for both his loving thoughts and his appeals for help, for both are capable of bringing love into your awareness if you perceive them truly. And all your sense of strain comes from your attempts not to do just this.

ACIM OE T11 God's Plan for Salvation
Workbook for Students
Lesson 124
Let me remember I am one with God.
1 Today we will again give thanks for our identity in God. Our home is safe, protection guaranteed in all we do, power and strength available to us in all our undertakings. We can fail in nothing. Everything we touch takes on a shining light which blesses and which heals. At one with God and with the universe, we go our way rejoicing, with the thought that God Himself goes everywhere with us.

2 How holy are our minds! And everything we see reflects the holiness within the mind at one with God and with itself. How easily do errors disappear, and death give place to everlasting life. Our shining footprints point the way to truth, for God is our Companion as we walk the world a little while. And those who come to follow us will recognize the way because the light we carry stays behind, yet still remains with us as we walk on.

3 What we receive is our eternal gift to those who follow after and to those who went before or stayed with us a while. And God, Who loves us with the equal love in which we were created, smiles on us and offers us the happiness we gave. Today we will not doubt His Love for us nor question His protection and His care.

4 No meaningless anxieties can come between our faith and our awareness of His Presence. We are one with Him today in recognition and remembrance. We feel Him in our hearts. Our minds contain His Thoughts; our eyes behold His loveliness in all we look upon. Today we see only the loving and the lovable.

5 We see it in appearances of pain, and pain gives way to peace. We see it in the frantic, in the sad and the distressed, the lonely and afraid, who are restored to the tranquillity and peace of mind in which they were created. And we see it in the dying and the dead as well, restoring them to life. All this we see because we saw it first within ourselves.

6 No miracle can ever be denied to those who know that they are one with God. No thought of theirs but has the power 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. Their thoughts are timeless and apart from distance as apart from time.

7 We join in this awareness as we say that we are one with God. For in these words we say as well that we are saved and healed, that we can save and heal accordingly. We have accepted and we now would give, for we would keep the gifts our Father gave. Today we would experience ourselves at one with Him, so that the world may share our recognition of reality. In our experience the world is freed; as we deny our separation from our Father, it is healed along with us.

8 Peace be to you today. Secure your peace by practicing awareness you are one with your Creator, as He is with you. Sometime today, whenever it seems best, devote a half an hour to the thought that you are one with God. This is our first attempt at an extended period for which we give no rules nor special words to guide your meditation. We will trust God's Voice to speak as He sees fit today, certain He will not fail. Abide with Him this half an hour. He will do the rest.

9 Your benefit will not be less if you believe that nothing happens. You may not be ready to accept the gain today. Yet sometime, somewhere, it will come to you, nor will you fail to recognize it when it dawns with certainty upon your mind. This half an hour will be framed in gold, with every minute like a diamond set around the mirror that this exercise will offer you. And you will see Christ's face upon it, in reflection of your own.

10 Perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, you will see your own transfiguration in the glass this holy half an hour will hold out to you to look upon yourself. When you are ready, you will find it there within your mind and waiting to be found. You will remember then the thought to which you gave this half an hour, thankfully aware no time was ever better spent.

11 Perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, you will look into this glass and understand the sinless light you see belongs to you, the loveliness you look on is your own. Count this half hour as your gift to God, in certainty that His return will be a sense of love you cannot understand, a joy too deep for you to comprehend, a sight too holy for the body's eyes to see, and yet you can be sure someday, perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, you will understand and comprehend and see.

12 Add further jewels to the golden frame that holds the mirror offered you today by hourly repeating to yourself:

13 Let me remember I am one with God, at one with all my brothers and mySelf, in everlasting holiness and peace.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 11
 God's Plan for Salvation

I. Introduction
 par 1-2
1 You have been told not to make error real, and the way to do this is very simple. If you want to believe in error, you would have to make it real because it is not true. But truth is real in its own right, and to believe in truth, you do not have to do anything. Understand that you do not respond to stimuli, but to stimuli as you interpret them. Your interpretation thus becomes the justification for the response. That is why analyzing the motives of others is hazardous to you. If you decide that someone is really trying to attack you or desert you or enslave you, you will respond as if he had actually done so, because you have made his error real to you. To interpret error is to give it power, and having done this, you will overlook truth.

2 The analysis of ego-motivation is very complicated, very obscuring, and never without the risk of your own ego-involvement. The whole process represents a clear-cut attempt to demonstrate your own ability to understand what you perceive. This is shown by the fact that you react to your interpretations as if they were correct and control your reactions behaviorally but not emotionally. This is quite evidently a mental split in which you have attacked the integrity of your mind and pitted one level within it against another.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 11
 God's Plan for Salvation

II. The Judgment of the Holy Spirit
 par 3-10
3 There is but one interpretation of all motivation that makes any sense. And because it is the Holy Spirit's judgment, it requires no effort at all on your part. Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing and help. That is what it is, regardless of the form it takes. Can anyone be justified in responding with anger to a plea for help? No response can be appropriate except the willingness to give it to him, for this and only this is what he is asking for. Offer him anything else, and you are assuming the right to attack his reality by interpreting it as you see fit.

4 Perhaps the danger of this to your own mind is not yet fully apparent to you, but this by no means signifies that it is not perfectly clear. If you maintain that an appeal for help is something else, you will react to something else, and your response will be inappropriate to reality as it is but not to your perception of it. This is poor reality testing by definition. There is nothing to prevent you from recognizing all calls for help as exactly what they are except your own perceived need to attack. It is only this that makes you willing to engage in endless "battles" with reality in which you deny the reality of the need for healing by making it unreal. You would not do this except for your unwillingness to perceive reality, which you withhold from yourself.

5 It is surely good advice to tell you not to judge what you do not understand. No one with a personal investment is a reliable witness, for truth to him has become what he wants it to be. If you are unwilling to perceive an appeal for help as what it is, it is because you are unwilling to give help and to receive it. The analysis of the ego's "real" motivation is the modern equivalent of the inquisition, for in both a brother's errors are "uncovered" and he is then attacked for his own good. What can this be but projection? For his errors lay in the minds of his interpreters, for which they punished him.

6 Whenever you fail to recognize a call for help, you are refusing help. Would you maintain that you do not need it? Yet this is what you are maintaining when you refuse to recognize a brother's appeal, for only by answering his appeal can you be helped. Deny him your help, and you will not perceive God's answer to you. The Holy Spirit does not need your help in interpreting motivation, but you do need His. Only appreciation is an appropriate response to your brother. Gratitude is due him for both his loving thoughts and his appeals for help, for both are capable of bringing love into your awareness if you perceive them truly. And all your sense of strain comes from your attempts not to do just this.

7 How simple, then, is God's plan for salvation. There is but one response to reality, for reality evokes no conflict at all. There is but one Teacher of reality, Who understands what it is. He does not change His Mind about reality because reality does not change. Although your interpretations of reality are meaningless in your divided state, His remain consistently true. He gives them to you because they are for you. Do not attempt to "help" a brother in your way, for you cannot help yourselves. But hear his call for the help of God, and you will recognize your own need for the Father.

8 Your interpretations of your brother's need is your interpretation of yours. By giving help you are asking for it, and if you perceive but this one need in yourself, you will be healed. For you will recognize God's answer as you want it to be, and if you want it in truth, it will be truly yours. Every appeal you answer in the name of Christ brings the remembrance of your Father closer to your awareness. For the sake of your need, then, hear every call for help as what it is, so God can answer you.

9 By applying the Holy Spirit's interpretation of the reactions of others more and more consistently, you will gain an increasing awareness that His criteria are equally applicable to you. For to recognize fear is not enough to escape from it, although the recognition is necessary to demonstrate the need for escape. The Holy Spirit must still translate it into truth. If you were left with the fear, having recognized it, you would have taken a step away from reality, not towards it. Yet we have repeatedly emphasized the need to recognize fear and face it without disguise as a crucial step in the undoing of the ego. Consider how well the Holy Spirit's interpretation of the motives of others will serve you then.

10 Having taught you to accept only loving thoughts in others and to regard everything else as an appeal for help, He has taught you that fear is an appeal for help. This is what recognizing it really means. If you do not protect it, He will reinterpret it. That is the ultimate value to you in learning to perceive attack as a call for love. We have learned surely that fear and attack are inevitably associated. If only attack produces fear and if you see attack as the call for help that it is, the unreality of fear must dawn upon you. For fear is a call for love in unconscious recognition of what has been denied.

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ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 124
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. Most people have difficulty describing them, finding it difficult to put such an 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 that 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 that 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. "Our shining footprints point the way to truth, for 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, for "No miracle can ever be denied to those who know that they are one with God. No thought of theirs but has the power 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.124.6.1-2) 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 that 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 mind 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 asks us, "Does pain seem real in the perception ? If it does, be sure the lesson is not 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 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 those who were experiencing grief and suffering in his presence to heal their minds of their perception that 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 to heal 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 get revealed? 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, we see a world of competition, reciprocity, and giving to get. When we recognize that 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 that anything here could be real. The problem we have is that we remembered not to laugh at the tiny mad idea that we could separate from love. Now, in any situation where we feel distressed, 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.What is the Miracle.1.3)
To know that we are One Self, we must be willing to clear the channel of everything that interferes with it. It is the undoing of our investment in our special, separate selves and 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, protects and supports us. We doubt His love. We experience anxieties and worries, but these experiences need not keep us from our peace and joy unless we give them the power to do so. With the choice for the ego, suffering, pain, and death seem like our immutable reality. It is not because they are real, but we made the sin and guilt real in our minds.
If all our pain and suffering come from the guilt within our own minds, then the answer must also be available within ourselves. It is good news to know that 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 truth within ourselves first. In the mind of Christ, there is no anxiety, pain, and suffering. When we change our mind, and change our teacher, we are no longer interested in what the ego has to offer. We choose instead the Holy Spirit whose guidance leads us in all we do.
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 lovingly assures us 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 that they are simply 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 awaken. 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 is not who we are. Beating up on ourselves is the ego's game. We will reconnect with 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. Instead, 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 that 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 over us, 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. You now become an example for others as you ". . . take your place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening." (T. 15.XI.10.10) (ACIM OE T.15.XI.112)

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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 “ A Workbook Companion: Vol I and II .”

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