Lesson 128
We Merely Sleep
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56 Correction is for all who cannot see. To open the eyes of the blind is the Holy Spirit's mission, for He knows that they have not lost their vision but merely sleep. He would awaken them from the sleep of forgetting to the remembering of God. Christ's eyes are open, and He will look upon whatever you see with love if you accept His vision as yours.
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  128
  The world I see has* nothing that I want.

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   The world you see has nothing that you need  
   to offer you; nothing that you can use  
   in any way, nor anything at all  
   that serves to give you joy. Believe this thought,  
   and you are saved from years of misery,  
   from countless disappointments, and from hopes  
   that turn to bitter ashes of despair.  
   No-one but must accept this thought as true  
   if he would leave this world behind, and soar  
   beyond its petty scope and little ways.|
   Each thing you value here is but a chain
   that binds you to the world, and it will serve
   no other end but this. For everything
   must serve the purpose you have given it
   until you see a different purpose there.
   The only purpose worthy of your mind
   this world contains is that you pass it by
   without delaying to perceive some hope
   where there is none. Be you deceived no more.
   The world you see has nothing that you want.|
   Escape today the chains you place upon
   your mind when you perceive salvation here.
   For what you value you make part of you
   as you perceive yourself. All things you seek
   to make your value greater in your sight
   limit you further, hide your worth from you,
   and add another bar across the door
   that leads to true awareness of your Self.|
   Let nothing that relates to body thoughts
   delay your progress to salvation, nor
   permit temptation to believe the world
   has anything you want to hold you back.
   Nothing is here to cherish. Nothing here
   is worth one instant of delay and pain;
   one moment of uncertainty and doubt.
   The worthless offer[s] nothing. Certainty
   of worth cannot be found in worthlessness.|
   Today we practice letting go all thought
   of values we have given to the world.
   We leave it free of purposes we gave
   its aspects and its phases and its dreams.
   We hold it purposeless within our minds,
   and loosen it from all we wish it were.
   Thus do we lift the chains [that] bar the door
   to freedom from the world, and go beyond
   all little values and diminished [aims].|
   [Peace] and be still a little while, and see
   how far you rise above the world when you
   release your mind from chains, and let it seek
   the level where it finds itself at home.
   It will be grateful to be free a while.
   It knows where it belongs. But free its wings,
   and it will fly in sureness and in joy
   to join its holy purpose. Let it rest
   in its Creator, there to be restored
   to sanity, to freedom and to love.|
   Give it ten minutes rest three times today.
   And when your eyes are opened afterwards,
   you will not value anything you see
   as much as when you looked at it before.
   Your whole perspective on the world will shift
   by just a little every time you let
   your mind escape its chains. The world is not
   where it belongs. And you belong where it
   would be, and where it goes to rest when you
   release it from the world. Your Guide is sure.
   Open your mind to Him. Be still and rest.|
   Protect your mind throughout the day as well.
   And when you think you see some value in
   an aspect or an image of the world,
   refuse to lay this chain upon your mind,
   [and] tell yourself with quiet certainty:
    "This will not tempt me to delay myself.  
     The world I see has nothing that I want."
        * From the Original Handscript of ACIM

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
The world I see holds* nothing that I want.
Sarah's Commentary:

There are three related Lessons here, starting with the one today and continuing with the next two. The Lesson tomorrow reads, "Beyond this world there is a world I want," (W.129) and Lesson 130 says, "It is impossible to see two worlds," (W.130) meaning we are making a choice in each moment and with each decision as to which world we value---the world of the ego or the world of the Holy Spirit.
We are advised not to mistake the message of this Lesson by thinking Jesus is saying that the things of this world are wrong, bad, or even forbidden. If we interpret it in this way, it would suggest that he is asking us to give up what we still value and hold as important. He does not intend for us to live as an ascetic by giving up things in form while still being attached to them. To do so is to confuse form and content; it reflects our fear of surrendering to God in the belief that we will be left with very little. We fear the loss of our creature comforts and the people and places we still want in our lives. The ego warns us that if we give everything over to God, we will have to live with deprivation and scarcity. Yet Jesus continually assures us that there is nothing to give up except our fear and our guilt, and in their place, we are given abundance and limitless love. When we value the things of this world, we give importance to that which has no value, but until we see this and experience it for ourselves, it would indeed feel like a sacrifice to let these things go.
All we are being asked to do is look at the things of this world that we currently turn to for relief of our pain and suffering. Jesus is asking us to see how we believe there are special people, material things, and substances we turn to in order to fill what we think is lacking in us. He does not say we are prohibited from going after these things in the belief it is spiritual to do so, but he makes it very clear that the things we pursue in the world do not compare to the gifts that come from connecting with our true Self. Our toys and treasures are not being taken away from us. He is only asking us to question why we would want to continue to seek for happiness where it does not exist. This is the question we need to investigate. With everything we do, we can ask one simple question. "Will what I am pursuing bring me closer to my goal of awakening?"
When we read, "The world I see holds nothing that I want," (W.128.9.4) it may not be entirely true for us. It is important to remember that the focus of this Lesson is about the purpose we give to the things of the world, not the things themselves. Each thing we value binds us to the world. While we continue to believe that the things of this world will bring happiness, we will pursue them until we recognize that they only keep us bound to guilt. The only purpose the world has is to help us learn that there is nothing here of intrinsic value for us. Yet everything can be used by the Holy Spirit to help us learn the Lesson of forgiveness.
We are learning to undo our investment in our bodily identity. Even if we think of ourselves as very spiritually advanced because we have been with the Course for a long time or because we think we get it, we need to look with honesty at the "body thoughts" that still tempt us. What are these? They relate to our mistaken notion that the body is who we are, and thus we focus on pursuing pleasure, safety, protection, longevity, beauty, comfort, food, sex, sleep, power, material things, substances, and whatever we think is the source of our happiness. We believe there are things, substances, and people in the world that are the source of our pleasure and make us feel good about ourselves. It is a belief that we are lacking and need these things, as well as our special relationships. When we really come to accept that none of the things of this world are the source of our happiness, our attachments to them will diminish until they fall away.
We have blocked our awareness of the Christ Self that we are, and thus, we experience pain, believing we have turned ourselves into these needy, lacking beings who now need to fill up the emptiness with specialness. We think we are the body, and as such, it rules us with all its needs and wants. This journey is about releasing our minds from the demands we have placed on them. This is the purpose for everything in this world, and nothing else. It is not about letting the world go but about using the world as a classroom for letting the guilt in our minds be released.
Jesus says, "Believe this thought, and you are saved from years of misery, from countless disappointment, and from hopes that turn to bitter ashes of despair." (W.128.1.2) We need to look with great honesty at our investments, which are the places we have determined that our happiness can be found. If we really look at them, we can see that the promise they held for our happiness fell far short of our expectations. I was thinking about this when I went out today to find another birdhouse. Is this where my happiness is? To have another birdhouse? Is it wrong to buy birdhouses? Of course not! As the Lesson says, we only need to disconnect our belief that happiness can be found in our worldly collections, whatever they may be.
When we perceive our happiness coming from something in the world, it puts another chain across our minds. It hides our awareness of the Divine Self we are and the knowledge that this Self is the source of our true happiness. (W.128.2.1) Jesus is not asking us to sacrifice anything we still want or to feel guilty when we pursue something that has no value. He is only asking us to look at the guilt in the mind that has projected this world of form. He is asking us to see, "The only purpose worthy of your mind this world contains is that you pass it by, without delaying to perceive some hope where there is none." (W.128.2.3) Ultimately, we are being shown that there is no world. It has no reality. The only thing real is God's Love and not what the world has to offer. However, everything in the world can be used by the Holy Spirit for our awakening when we choose to use it in this way.
When we value something, it becomes part of our identity, which is what he means when he says, "For what you value you make part of you as you perceive yourself." (W.128.3.2) Clearly, we value our bodily identity and thus believe it is our reality. We surround the body with whatever we value. For example, I think my home is a reflection of me, and, in my estimation, I think it defines me and makes me valuable for what I have. For many of us, we think our jobs, our connection with our special partners, or important people we know define us. Yet Jesus says that this is not so. The exact opposite occurs, because "All things you seek to make your value greater in your sight limit you further, hide your worth from you, and add another bar across the door that leads to true awareness of your Self." (W.128.3.3) When I give value to the body and what it does and who it knows, I am seeing my reality as a body rather than recognizing the Christ Self as what I really am.
I had an interesting experience with this last night. I had the most severe case of food poisoning that I have ever known. When the body is in such a state of discomfort, it does feel like it is my entire identity. It becomes the focus of all our attention. As I was lying in bed, I asked for the Holy Spirit to help me to see this experience of the body as not my reality. My reality is my Christ Self. I was determined not to use the body's sickness to keep me from the love that I am. I started to witness the bodily experience and saw it as separate from what I am. While the character in the dream was not well, the Self, observing the character, was at peace. I felt this with deep conviction and knew all was well, regardless of the state of the body. The body is not who I am. I affirmed that there is no sickness in God's Kingdom and His Kingdom is the only reality. The world of bodies and sickness cannot be the truth.
We fall in love with a special person and think we are at the height of happiness, only to be at the depths of despair when things don't go as we had hoped. Anything we value binds us to the world because of the purpose we have given it to make us happy. Why would we value a world that keeps us bound and chained to it? Why would we want to use it to hide the truth about ourselves? Why would we continue to look for our happiness where it does not exist? Why would we want to continue to seek for anything we deem valuable outside of ourselves when this keeps us imprisoned? We continue to look for fulfillment where it does not exist. It is not about asking for help to give up our attachments to the things of this world but only asking for help in understanding the purpose our attachments serve. They serve the ego's purpose as a defense against the truth of who we are. They affirm our reality as bodies, separate from others, and living in the world.
Last night, I was at a function where someone posed a question. They asked us what was our biggest and best dream and then asked us to visualize ourselves achieving it. My mind struggled with the question because I was reminded of this Lesson. What dream in this world could I want? There is nothing wrong with dreams. There is nothing wrong with our worldly achievements. There is nothing wrong with wanting them. Yet, ultimately, we will want to come to the place where we recognize that staying bound to the world will never bring us the joy, love, and peace, which is our inheritance because of what we are. When we value the things of this world that we think will make us happy, it keeps us from looking for happiness where it truly can be found. "All things you seek to make your value greater in your sight limit you further, hide your worth from you, and add another bar across the door that leads to true awareness of your Self." (W.128.3.3)
Today, let us examine the attachments we have that keep us chained to the world. What do we still believe about where our happiness lies? When we see how unhappy we are and see the suffering inherent in being attached to this world, we will no longer want it and choose instead the peace of God as our priority above all things. We will no longer pursue what we once valued. I love the comment Jim Carey made when he said, "I hope you get everything you wish for in this world so that you will see it is not what you ever wanted." As long as we are here, we can experience what we came to experience as a body until we no longer want it and come to a state of readiness to choose God. A seeker once said to Krishnamurti, "I want to experience God." Krishnamurti asked, "What is stopping you?" Can we itemize what is stopping us? Krishnamurti then said, "Drop it." Fear comes up. Why? Because these things seem to define who we think we are.
"Forget not that the healing of God's Son is all the world is for. That is the only purpose the Holy Spirit sees in it, and thus the only one it has. Until you see the healing of the Son as all you wish to be accomplished by the world, by time and all appearances, you will not know the Father nor yourself. For you will use the world for what is not its purpose, and will not escape its laws of violence and death. Yet it is given you to be beyond its laws in all respects, in every way and every circumstance, in all temptation to perceive what is not there, and all belief God's Son can suffer pain because he sees himself as he is not ." (T.24.VI.4.1-5) (ACIM OE T.24.VII.52)
Everyone and every circumstance we encounter in this world can be used by the Holy Spirit to unwind the mind from attachment to the world. Each one is an opportunity to look at how we keep ourselves in chains and how each circumstance can be used for healing and release. Everything we experience in this moment is an invitation for healing. Everything is totally perfect for this purpose, no matter what judgment of good or bad we might put on it. When the Lesson says, "We leave it [the world] free of purposes we gave its aspects and its phases and its dreams," (W.128.5.2) Jesus is telling us that the ultimate problem is the value we have bestowed on the world; it is the value we have placed on the many things we think the world offers us and all about what purpose does it serve.
Leaving everything in the world free of our own purpose is to accept "what is." Only our resistance to "what is" creates suffering in our minds. When "We hold it [the world] purposeless within our minds, and loosen it from all we wish it were," (W.128.5.3) we are freed from this world. "Pause and be still a little while, and see how far you rise above the world, when you release your mind from chains and let it seek the level where it finds itself at home." (W.128.6.1) Jesus tells us that when we do this, our mind will be grateful.
Imagine the freedom of allowing your mind to soar. This reminds me of the book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Jonathan Livingston, the seagull, refuses to be invested in what was readily available in the garbage dump where all his buddies seek for treasures. Instead, he is like the mind that ". . . knows where it belongs" [with God in Heaven] (W.128.6.3) and simply wants to fly free. One day, Jonathan---standing on the shore, closing his eyes and concentrating, all in a flash---knew what Chiang, the wisest gull, had been telling him. "Why, it is true! I am a perfect, unlimited gull!" He felt a great shock of joy at this recognition. It is the same joy we long to know and to experience.
"Your mind cannot be stopped in this unless you choose to stop it ." (W.44.7.3) We are the ones who have chained the mind, "But free its wings, and it will fly in sureness and in joy to join its holy purpose." (W.128.6.4) The decision-making mind can make this choice, but the ego will never choose for this freedom. It is what keeps us chained. Its mantra is for us to keep seeking, but never find. We have Mighty Help in us to free our mind so it can soar and ". . . fly in sureness and in joy to join its holy purpose." (W.128.6.4)
With this practice, Jesus assures us, "And when your eyes are opened afterwards, you will not value anything you see as much as when you looked at it before." (W.128.7.2) Each time we free our mind and let it soar, our perspective will shift, meaning that the value we put on the world will change. Rather than giving up anything in the world, we just shift our perspective in how we see it and what we give value to.
Protect your mind throughout the day as well. When you think you see some value in an aspect or an image of the world, refuse to lay this chain upon your mind, but tell yourself with quiet certainty, "This will not tempt me to delay myself. The world I see holds nothing that I want." (W.128.8.3-4) Our investment in the world is our investment in guilt. Be willing to admit that you don't know where your happiness lies. By doing so, your perspective will change just a little each time you bring awareness to your worldly temptations. Be willing to stop and step back and look with the Holy Spirit. He will give you a new way to see everything. Every time you are upset by anything in your day, ask for His help to see it differently. Be willing to ask for guidance in everything. Be willing to be led by giving up the "I know" mind.
Ken Wapnick, a magnificent teacher of this Course, has told us that there is one simple question we can ask that consolidates all the teachings and will help us unify our learning. It illustrates for us what Jesus calls the simplicity of salvation. Ken said, anytime we are confronted with a situation, an event, a relationship, or a bodily condition where we feel anguish, guilt, fear, pain, or judgment, we can ask ourselves, "Is what I am doing, feeling, thinking, or saying helping me in my awakening from this dream or impeding my path and solidifying my ego?" Ask this question consistently of yourself regarding everything in your day.

Love and blessings, Sarah
Printable Document

~ Course in Miracles Society chose their title for this Lesson from the scribe's original notes: "The world I see has* nothing that I want."
  A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Eleven

God's Plan for Salvation 

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

VII. The Vision of Christ     

The ego is trying to teach you how to gain the whole world and lose your own Soul. The Holy Spirit teaches that you cannot lose your Soul and there is no gain in the world, for of itself it profits nothing. To invest in something without profit is surely to impoverish yourself, and the overhead is high. Not only is there no profit in the investment, but the cost to you is enormous. For this investment costs you the world's reality by denying yours and gives you nothing in return. You cannot sell your Soul, but you can sell your awareness of it. You cannot perceive your Soul, but you will not know it while you perceive anything else as more valuable.
54 The Holy Spirit is your strength because He perceives nothing but your Soul as you. He is perfectly aware that you do not know yourselves and perfectly aware of how to teach you what you are. Because He loves you, He will gladly teach you what He loves, for He wills to share it. Remembering you always, He cannot let you forget your worth. For the Father never ceases to remind Him of His Son, and He never ceases to remind His Son of the Father. God is in your memory because of Him. You chose to forget your Father, but you did not will to do so, and therefore you can decide otherwise. As it was my decision, so is it yours.
55 You do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of it you look upon with love. This gives it the only reality it will ever have. Its value is not in itself, but yours is in you. As self-value comes from self- extension, so does the perception of self-value come from the projection of loving thoughts outward. Make the world real unto yourself, for the real world is the gift of the Holy Spirit, and so it belongs to you.
56 Correction is for all who cannot see. To open the eyes of the blind is the Holy Spirit's mission, for He knows that they have not lost their vision but merely sleep. He would awaken them from the sleep of forgetting to the remembering of God. Christ's eyes are open, and He will look upon whatever you see with love if you accept His vision as yours.
57 The Holy Spirit keeps the vision of Christ for every Son of God who sleeps. In His sight the Son of God is perfect, and He longs to share His vision with you. He will show you the real world because God gave you Heaven. Through Him your Father calls His Son to remember. The awakening of His Son begins with his investment in the real world, and by this he will learn to reinvest in himself. For reality is one with the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit blesses the real world in their name.
58 When you have seen this real world, as you will surely do, you will remember us. Yet you must learn the cost of sleeping and refuse to pay it. Only then will you decide to awaken. And then the real world will spring to your sight, for Christ has never slept. He is waiting to be seen, for He has never lost sight of you. He looks quietly on the real world, which He would share with you because He knows of the Father's love for Him. And knowing this, He would give you what is yours. In perfect peace He waits for you at His Father's altar, holding out the Father's love to you in the quiet light of the Holy Spirit's blessing. For the Holy Spirit will lead everyone home to his Father, where Christ waits as his Self.
59 Every Child of God is one in Christ, for his Being is in Christ as Christ's is in God. Christ's love for you is His love for His Father, which He knows because He knows His Father's love for Him. When the Holy Spirit has at last led you to Christ at the altar to His Father, perception fuses into knowledge because perception has become so holy that its transfer to holiness is merely its natural extension. Love transfers to love without any interference, for the situations are identical. [Only the ability to make this transfer is the product of learning.] As you perceive more and more common elements in all situations, the transfer of your training under the Holy Spirit's guidance increases and becomes generalized. Gradually you learn to apply it to everyone and everything, for its applicability is universal. When this has been accomplished, perception and knowledge have become so similar that they share the unification of the laws of God.
60 What is one cannot be perceived as separate, and the denial of the separation is the reinstatement of knowledge. At the altar of God, the holy perception of God's Son becomes so enlightened that light streams into it, and the Spirit of God's Son shines in the Mind of the Father and becomes one with it. Very gently does God shine upon Himself, loving the extension of Himself which is His Son. The world has no purpose as it blends into the purpose of God. For the real world has slipped quietly into Heaven, where everything eternal in it has always been. There the Redeemer and the redeemed join in perfect love of God and of each other. Heaven is your home, and being in God, it must also be in you.
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