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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.

ACIM OE T11 God's Plan for Salvation
Workbook for Students
Lesson 125
In quiet I receive God's Word today.
1 Let this day be a day of stillness and of quiet listening. Your Father wills you hear His Word today. He calls to you from deep within your mind where He abides. Hear Him today. No peace is possible until His Word is heard around the world; until your mind, in quiet listening, accepts the message which the world must hear to usher in the quiet time of peace.

2 This world will change through you. No other means can save it, for God's plan is simply this: the Son of God is free to save himself, given the Word of God to be his Guide, forever in his mind and at his side to lead him surely to his Father's house by his own will, forever free as God's. He is not led by force, but only love. He is not judged, but only sanctified.

3 In stillness we will hear God's Voice today without intrusion of our petty thoughts, without our personal desires, and without all judgment of His holy Word. We will not judge ourselves today, for what we are cannot be judged. We stand apart from all the judgments which the world has laid upon the Son of God. It knows him not. Today we will not listen to the world, but wait in silence for the Word of God.

4 Hear, holy Son of God, your Father speak. His Voice would give to you His holy Word to spread across the world the tidings of salvation and the holy time of peace. We gather at the throne of God today, the quiet place within your mind where He abides forever in the holiness which He created and will never leave.

5 He has not waited until you return your mind to Him to give His Word to you. He has not hid Himself from you while you have wandered off a little while from Him. He does not cherish the illusions which you hold about yourself. He knows His Son and wills that he remain as part of Him regardless of his dreams, regardless of his madness that his will is not his own.

6 Today He speaks to you. His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word cannot be heard until your mind is quiet for a while and meaningless desires have been stilled. Await His Word in quiet. There is peace within you to be called upon today to help make ready your most holy mind to hear the Voice of its Creator speak.

7 Three times today, at times most suitable for silence, give ten minutes set apart from listening to the world and choose instead a gentle listening to the Word of God. He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is— the same as you, and you the same as He.

8 It is your voice to which you listen as He speaks to you. It is your Word He speaks. It is the Word of freedom and of peace, of unity of will and purpose, with no separation nor division in the single Mind of Father and of Son. In quiet listen to your Self today, and let Him tell you God has never left His Son, and you have never left your Self.

9 Only be quiet. You will need no rule but this to let your practicing today lift you above the thinking of the world and free your vision from the body's eyes. Only be still and listen. You will hear the Word in which the Will of God the Son joins in His Father's Will, at one with It, with no illusions interposed between the wholly indivisible and true.

10 As every hour passes by today, be still a moment and remind yourself you have a special purpose for this day—in quiet to receive the Word of God.

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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 125
In quiet I receive God's Word today.
God's Word is in us because the truth is our inheritance as the Son of God. It is the Atonement Principle, the guarantee given by God that we have never separated from Him, nor have we changed ourselves because this is something we can't accomplish. His light is in our minds. Our true Self is always there in the mind silently awaiting our acknowledgment. "The memory of God comes to the quiet mind . " (T.23.I.1.1) (ACIM OE T.23.II.7) There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. We are there now in our true state, but we are not aware that this is so until we willingly agree to let go of what stands in the way. In this place of silence and peace, we connect to our one Self.
Our petty thoughts, our judgments, our plans, our constant inner chatter, and our personal desires, all keep us from awareness of the love we are. Notice the incessant thoughts of the wrong mind, which are often described in the Course as senseless shrieks, frantic, riotous thoughts, raucous screams, and senseless ravings. This constant noise-making of our obsessive thoughts keeps us from the experience of the Self we are. We are so used to this relentless noise in our minds that we may not even notice it anymore. Jesus calls on us to start noticing our thoughts and be vigilant in watching them, as much as we can, so we can recognize how the ego keeps us from peace. It does so, not because it has any power, but only that we give it power over us. We can withdraw our power whenever we choose not to listen to its demands and requirements of us.
God's Love is everything we are. There is no separation between who we really are and what God is. We are the expression of His Love. "His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He." (W.125.7.4) There is no separation. We don't have to go anywhere to reach God. We just have to accept ourselves as who we are---the Christ Self. When our will is freed, it is the same as God's Will, although our experience is that we have made another will. He has never distanced Himself from us. In fact, "He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand . " (W.125.7.2-3)
God is absolutely not watching us from a distance, as in the song by Bette Midler. We are not trying to reach Him somewhere from afar. He is our very center, our heart center. When we don't experience Him, it is because we have made a choice for the ego, and now we identify with a separate will and believe we have made a separate self. We experience ourselves as a body and identity that is separate from God and living in the world rather than living in Him. In truth, there is no body. The body is a projection of the mind. It is an image made by the mind, a figure in this dream and not what we are. Jesus reminds us that the body only exists in the past and future and never in the present. When we experience the eternal moment (the holy instant), we have the experience of no body.
The thoughts occupying our mind distract us from the truth. These thoughts keep us from hearing God's Word. Our fear is that if we give our lives over to Him, He will not have our best interests in mind. Our fear is that we will have to sacrifice our self-interests if we let go of our own will. This is the fear of the god we made, which is the god of the ego. It is a god we think will demand that we sacrifice our joys and our pleasures. Think about what fears come up if you invite God to come into your life fully. What do you think might happen if you gave over your relationships, your money, your career, your health, your material possessions, and your special interests to God to manage for you? When I took the time to write down my fears and concerns about what God might do with my life, it made me realize how much I don’t trust Him. Yes, I let Him into some areas of my life while keeping other parts for me to manage by myself. It is not the God of love that brings these fears to mind. It is the god of the ego that I am afraid to wake up to.
This exercise gives us a glimpse of the fear in our mind that we may not be aware of. This fear keeps us defended against His love. It is our fear of God and our belief He has abandoned us. We believe His love will annihilate us, but the reality is that nothing can happen against our will. Jesus describes us as the commander of our own journey. He tells us, "You have a Guide to how to develop them (your abilities) , but you have no commander except yourself. This leaves you in charge of the Kingdom, with both a Guide to find it and a means to keep it. You have a model to follow ( Jesus ) who will strengthen your command, and never detract from it in any way. You therefore retain the central place in your imagined enslavement, which in itself demonstrates that you are not enslaved." (T.6.IV.9.4‑7) (ACIM OE T.6.V.53) The goal of this Course is peace. We are well served when we focus on this goal, as it is where all our happiness lies. Our desire for peace and our devotion to God is the determining factor in how much we are willing to surrender to Him.
We are not led back to the truth by force but by love. He is a loving Father who does not control but leads us with His gentle love and counts on us to follow our own free will. There is no control and no coercion in Him. The essence of love is gentle and allowing. Our true will is ". . . forever free as God's," (W.125.2.2) but when we identify with the ego thought system, our will is bound. Though we may have wandered off and forgotten who we are, our Father has never disowned us but regards us as His beloved Son forever. He has not changed His mind about us. Our fear is that we are not good enough, not spiritual enough, and too caught up in our worldly desires to know ourselves as love. No matter what we have done, there are no consequences coming from our Father. We will be welcomed home no matter how far we have wandered from Him.
We may have wandered off, yet He is still there. He knows us and is not waiting for us to clean up our act before He reveals Himself to us. "He has not hid Himself from you, while you have wandered off a little while from Him . " (W.125.5.2) His presence is with us now. There is nothing we need to do. We are the ones who have wandered off. In this moment, we can choose not to believe our ego thoughts, see them as totally unreal, and remember the only thing real is His love for us. "He does not cherish the illusions which you hold about yourself . " (W.125.5.3) Thus, these beliefs we have of who we are, what we have done, and how we see ourselves and others, are not the truth because only love is real. Everything we experience in this world of pain, disillusionment, suffering, and distress is not real. Everything we believe is our hallucination! "All power is of God. What is not of Him has no power to do anything . " (T.11.V.3.6-7) (ACIM OE T.10.42)
I felt overwhelmed with problems recently and felt extremely distressed and out of peace. Then I heard the loving presence of the Holy Spirit in my mind remind me that God does not bring suffering. It must, therefore, be of my own choosing. I am choosing to suffer because it brings me something I want. But if I am choosing it, I can change my mind, and with this change of mind, my perception of the situation shifts from fear and worry to peace. This is the miracle. "How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred, and can have no effects." (T.31.I.1.1-3) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1)
We are asked not to ". . . judge ourselves today, for what we are cannot be judged . " (W.125.3.2) We are also asked not to let the world determine what we are. "We stand apart from all the judgments which the world has laid upon the Son of God . " (W.125.3.3) We have been deceived in thinking our identity consists of the concepts and beliefs we hold about ourselves that have been reinforced by the world. All we need to do is deny the false beliefs and recognize ". . . what is false cannot be true . . . " (T.31.I.1.7) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1) What holds the false in place is our beliefs about ourselves, none of which are true. Anything not of God is not true. He is constantly communicating His love to us, and we are listening to our own thoughts instead! "His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word cannot be heard until you mind is quiet for a while, and meaningless desires have been stilled." (W.125.6.2)
Jesus asks us to let this day be one of stillness and quiet listening. "We gather at the throne of God today, the quiet place within the mind where He abides forever, in the holiness that He created and will never leave . " (W.125.4.3) What beautiful assurance of His place in our minds. He lives in our minds and waits for our willingness to choose the truth. We don't do this by good works or good deeds but by bringing our false beliefs to the truth. That is what forgiveness is.
We are learning through application of the Lessons to clear our minds and enter into the silence. Clearly, this is difficult for the untrained mind because the ego mind is still a regular distraction. The important thing is for us to notice our reactions without feeling guilty or making ourselves wrong. Yes, it does take lots of practice and our minds will continue to wander, but putting more pressure and demands on ourselves will not help. Simply bring your mind back to peace with each experience of distress as you do the practice in the Lesson. Allow related thoughts to help you focus your attention on the teaching.
We can also ask in our meditation for help in releasing our interfering thoughts so we can hear God's Voice and assure our minds that He is One with us, closer than our very breath. It is not about trying harder but by allowing, surrendering, and melting into the experience. There is no separation. It is our own voice. "His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He." (W.125.7.4) There is no ". . . division in the single Mind of Father and of Son . " (W.125.8.3) We are basically listening to our Self. It is not an alien will. It is our own true Will, one with God's Will. Ours is the freedom to choose whether we will continue to listen to the ego or to choose love, which is to choose to forgive our thoughts and make room for the Love already in us.
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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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