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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 11 "GOD'S PLAN FOR SALVATION"
VIII. THE GUIDE FOR MIRACLES
When you are tempted to yield to the desire for death,
remember that I did not die
. You will realize that this is true when you look within and
me. Would I have overcome death for myself alone? And would eternal life have been given me of the Father
He had also given it to you? When you learn to make
will never see death. For you will have looked upon the deathless in
, and you will see only the eternal as you look out upon a world that
L e s s o n 129
Beyond this world there is a world I want.
IAMBIC PENTAMETER BEGINS*
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
This is the thought which follows from the one
we practiced yesterday. You cannot stop
with the idea the world is worthless, for
unless you see that there is something else
to hope for you will only be depressed.
Our emphasis is not on giving up
the world, but on exchanging it for what
is far more satisfying, filled with joy,
and capable of offering you peace.
Think you this world can offer that to you?
It might be worth a little time to think
once more about the value of this world.
Perhaps you will concede there is no loss
in letting go all thought of value here.
The world you see is merciless indeed,
unstable, cruel, unconcerned with you,
quick to avenge and pitiless with hate.
It gives but to rescind, and takes away
all things that you have cherished for a while.
No lasting love is found, for none is here.
This is the world of time, where all things end.
Is it a loss to find a world instead
where losing is impossible? Where love
endures forever, hate cannot exist,
and vengeance has no meaning? Is it loss
to find all things you really want and know
they have no ending, and they will remain
exactly as you want them throughout time?
Yet even they will be exchanged at last
for what we cannot speak of, for you go
from there to where words fail entirely,
into a silence where the language is
unspoken and yet surely understood.
and plain as day, remains unlimited
for all eternity. And God Himself
speaks to His Son as His Son speaks to Him.
Their language has no words, for what they say
cannot be symbolized. Their knowledge is
direct and wholly shared and wholly one.
How far away from this are you who stay
bound to this world. And yet how near are you
when you exchange it for the world you want.
Now is the last step certain; now you stand
an instant's space away from timelessness.
Here can you but look forward, never back
to see again the world you do not want.
Here is the world that comes to take its place
as you unbind your mind from little things
the world sets forth to keep you prisoner there.
Value them not, and they will disappear.
Esteem them, and they will seem real to you.
Such is the choice. What loss can be for you
in choosing not to value nothingness?
This world holds nothing that you really want,
but what you choose instead you want indeed!
Let it be given you today. It waits
but for your choosing it to take the place
of all the things you seek but do not want.
Practice your willingness to make this change
ten minutes in the morning and at night,
and once more inbetween. Begin with this:
Beyond this world there is a world I want.
I choose to see that world instead of this,
For here is nothing that I really want."
Then close your eyes upon the world you see,
and in the silent darkness watch the lights
that are not of this world light one by one
until where one begins, another ends,
loses all meaning as they blend in one.
Today the lights of Heaven bend to you,
to shine upon your eyelids as you rest
beyond the world of darkness. Here is light
your eyes cannot behold. And yet your mind
can see it plainly, and can understand.
A day of grace is given you today,
and we give thanks. This day we realize
that what you feared to lose was only loss.
Now do we understand there is no loss,
for we have seen its opposite at last,
and we are grateful that the choice is made.
Remember your decision hourly,
and take a moment to confirm your choice
by laying by whatever thoughts you have,
and dwelling briefly only upon this:
The world I see has nothing that I want.
Beyond this world there is a world I want."
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Beyond this world there a world I want.
This Lesson presents us with a choice between the world we see and a better alternative. Jesus describes the world we see as merciless, unstable, cruel, unconcerned with us, with no lasting love, and with no certainty. It is a place where all things end, a place which is ". . . quick to avenge and pitiless with hate." (W.129.2.3) How readily do you agree with this statement? Certainly, we can agree that all things end. Perhaps what is most cruel is that the world is a transitory place, but Jesus reminds us today, there is another choice to be made. He leaves us with the assurance that there is something else available for us beyond this hopeless world. He says that we need more than just the idea that the world is worthless. We need hope for a better alternative. Otherwise, it would leave us depressed, with no hope for something better.
The alternative is the real world. "Is it a loss to find a world instead where losing is impossible; where love endures forever, hate cannot exist and vengeance has no meaning." (W.129.3.1) This is the real world, as described in the Course. It is not a place but a state of mind revealed to us through forgiveness. When we no longer listen to the voice of the ego and hear only the Holy Spirit, the love we are is reflected back to us and seen everywhere. Love is experienced when the thought system of sin, guilt, and fear that brought us to the world is healed. Now, we are in a world of joy and peace. "Yet even they [the gifts of the real world] will be exchanged at last for what we cannot speak of, [Heaven] for you go from there to where words fail entirely, into a silence where the language is unspoken and yet surely understood." (W.129.3.3) This is a place of direct knowledge and is beyond the real world. Thus, the Lesson covers the three worlds: the ego's world of loss, hate, vengeance, suffering and death; the real world, which reflects Heaven's love and is the bridge to Heaven; and Heaven itself, where God takes the last step and lifts us up.
This world of separation can never make us happy, and whatever happiness we think we can find in it is only transitory. Oh yes, we might argue that there are lovely things in this world, things to enjoy, beautiful sunsets, mountains, lakes, and flowers, but they are still all subject to time. This Lesson helps us to recognize that the things of this world fall so very short of what is given in the real world, and somewhere in our minds, we know that this is so. If we choose to see this world as wonderful, at some level there is a denial of the guilt in the mind because the nature of the world we see is not lovely. It is a world of beauty but also of murder, torture, war, famine, disease, and death. Yet when the guilt in our minds is brought up for healing, joy and beauty are indeed reflected everywhere. This happens not in the world but only in the mind. It becomes an outside reflection of our inner, healed condition, where there is no more guilt. Please don't think this all has to come at some time in the future, which was a mistake I made for a long time. The decision for Heaven is made in each moment. There is no linear time, so our salvation is now with each decision we make. Heaven is here now.
The real world is a much more valuable option than the most wonderful things in the world that we currently experience. We must be honest and ask ourselves if we really believe that the world we see can offer us nothing but joy and peace. (W.129.1.4) Clearly, this is not a world where ". . . love endures forever, hate cannot exist and vengeance has no meaning." (W.129.3.1) We see loss, vengeance, and death every day. That is the nature of this world of guilt and fear, but it is not the truth. When we say that we want joy and peace but want the things of this world as well, we are not being entirely honest with ourselves. Instead, we need to see how much we don't want joy and peace and how much we substitute the things of this world in the place of what we say we want.
We still hold onto some hope that we might find something of value in the world. We think there is something here still worth striving for. For us, to give up the hope of finding value in the world may feel like a loss. Jesus anticipates this when he says, "What loss can be for you in choosing not to value nothingness?" (W.129.6.2) In truth, there is nothing here we really want. Our real heart's desire lies beyond the things of this world. All we need to do is to realize this. It awaits our choice. As we read yesterday, Jesus is not saying we must refuse pleasure and resist temptation no matter how appealing it looks to us right now. Instead, he is reminding us that our happiness can never be found in the things of this world. He asks us again to be very honest about this and realize, "This world holds nothing that you really want, but what you choose instead you want indeed!" (W.129.6.3) Then, he urges us not to delay and reminds us that it is all about our choice for what is important to us. When we seek things that we still think we want in the world, we are delaying this decision. Jesus is urging us not to delay on behalf of our own happiness. He reminds us that all we are sacrificing when we give up the pleasures of this world is our own pain. "Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children's toys?" (Manual for Teachers.13.4.2-3)
There is something even more satisfying awaiting us than the things of this world. The possibility of finding the changeless and eternal is not about anything physical. It is really about connecting with Oneness or Love. We are here to find and experience the eternal. We are slowly learning to let go of our investment in the changeable, and instead, we are learning to value that which is changeless. When we ask for guidance, listen, and follow him, we get a sense of the real world that Jesus speaks about.
"Here is the world that comes to take its place, as you unbind your mind from little things the world sets forth to keep you prisoner."
(W.129.5.3) Of course, in our minds, we don't always see things in the world as little things. These are often what we think of as big and important things that we value. "Value them not, and they will disappear. Esteem them, and they will seem real to you." (W.129.5.4-5) The world we see is a reflection of the thought system of the ego. This is a thought system based on guilt and fear and projected out onto the world, so how could we expect anything else reflected back to us except what is projected out? There truly is no world. It is just a massive defense system against the guilt and fear in our minds. It keeps us from seeing that we have a choice and can, indeed, dismiss the ego. When we see that God's love holds more value for us than the ego's fear-based specialness of separation and individuality, we will make this choice; and this is when we come to the crossroads in our lives and admit that the life we have lived does not nurture us in a deep way.
As long as we still fear God's love, we will defend against it. The world has been made as a place where we can hide from the punishment we fear God has in store for us. The ego has convinced us that we have sinned against God and that we are guilty of destroying our home in Heaven. The world was made to exclude God and to protect the thought that God's love was not enough. We wanted more. We wanted specialness, uniqueness, and our individuality. Since He can't give us more than everything, we decided to be our own god instead and make a world for ourselves in which we could get everything we think we want. This was the ego's promise to us. What it did not tell us is that the pain we experience as a result of the separation from God is part of its package.
We came to believe that we don't need God anymore. This thought engenders so much guilt. Now we are terrified that God will destroy us, and so, the ego gave us the answer for our guilt. The ego's answer was to make up a world and make up a body where we could hide. Jesus says that we think we made a place of safety for ourselves and a power that we think could save us from all the fearful things we see in dreams, (M.16.6.3-4) yet it is a place that teaches only despair. "Everyone who follows the world's curriculum, and everyone here does follow it until he changes his mind, teaches solely to convince himself that he is what he is not. Herein is the purpose of the world. What else, then, would its curriculum be? Into this hopeless and closed learning situation, which teaches nothing but despair and death, God sends His teachers. And as they teach His lessons of joy and hope, their learning finally becomes complete." (M.IN.4.4-8)
We have the power and are given the help to change our minds about where our safety and protection really lie. They do not lie in the world. The things we think will protect us and bring us pleasure in the world ultimately fail to deliver. We already know this is true when we look honestly at the outcomes of our lives for ourselves. We have a false sense of safety when we take our vitamins, lock our doors, take out insurance policies, count on enduring relationships, and rely on our bank accounts. They are all illusions of safety and protection, and they all, ultimately, fail us because they can never protect us from the pain of our own guilt. Jesus asks us, "Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice. Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the 'hero' to whom all these things belong? Could they mean anything except to a body?" (M.13.2.5-6) They keep us prisoner to the world. "Value them not, and they will disappear. Esteem them, and they will seem real to you." (W.129.5.4-5) Again, we are not asked to give up what we still value. That would seem like a sacrifice, and sacrifice is not asked of us. Jesus is only urging us to see the choice available to us and to see the nothingness of what the ego offers us, recognizing that there is only pain in pursuing what will never deliver joy and peace to us.
What makes the world lovely, though, is when we shift our purpose and no longer look at the world and body as a place to hide but as a classroom in which we learn to look at what we don't want to look at (guilt) in ourselves. The people, events, and situations we encounter in our day allow us to get in touch with our unconscious guilt by mirroring for us what is in our minds that we don't otherwise readily see. These unconscious beliefs rule our lives, yet we are unaware of the program running in the background of our conscious minds. Healing can only occur when we are willing to look at the darkness with the light that Jesus holds for us as he goes through the darkness with us. We need not go alone. He does not judge what we see and asks us not to judge ourselves for our dark thoughts. When we use the world and our relationships, which are filled with specialness, need, lack, expectations, hate, judgment, and pain as the curriculum and use Jesus as the teacher, we have a hope of achieving the real world, which shines bright with peace and joy.
I have been telling Don lately about someone we see from time to time on a news program that I don't like. The Holy Spirit prompted me to write down what it is I see in her that brings about the judgments. The words I wrote were: know it all, controlling, impatient, not listening, and superior. Clearly, I was seeing the false self, the persona of Sarah that I willingly give over to Spirit. There is no need for self-judgment but only for appreciation for the mind that is willing to acknowledge that which blocks the truth. We are always only seeing our own mind reflected back to us since nothing is outside of the mind.
Our purpose today is to decide for what we really want by practicing willingness. Take ten minutes, three times today, to affirm, "Beyond this world there is a world I want. I choose to see that world instead of this, for here is nothing that I really want," (W.129.7.3-4) but don't let this thought escape you throughout the day.
To give up this world is to give up nothing while gaining everything. It means that we let go of upsets as they arise during the day. If we let go of the small upsets as they arise and stay vigilant throughout the day, then when the seemingly big disturbances show up, our daily practice will put us in good stead. By giving up our judgments and grievances as they arise, the day proceeds more smoothly. When we give up planning for all the perceived needs we think we have, we increasingly learn to trust and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As we look at things in the world that we cherish and withdraw the value we have placed on them, we learn that they don't define us.
Feel the confidence the Holy Spirit has in you today. "Tell Him you know you cannot fail because you trust in Him. And tell yourself you wait in certainty to look upon the world He promised you. From this time forth you will see differently." (W.75.8.1-3)
Try to get in touch with your desire to see a world of meaning. This world is totally harmless, peaceful, benign, and loving, without a trace of pain or loss. Visualize the lights of Heaven shining on your eyelids as you rest beyond the world of darkness; it is a light your eyes cannot behold, but your mind can see plainly. Today is a day of grace.
Whenever you become aware of thoughts of judgment, specialness, or attack, bring them to the Holy Spirit and recognize that you can look at any situation with Him and know peace today instead of pain. To keep ego thoughts is to defend against the purpose of forgiveness and awakening from this dream. Ask yourself if you want to use this situation, this event, or this problem to stay invested in the illusion or awaken to who you are.
Love and blessings, Sarah
God's Plan for Salvation
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
VIII. The Guide for Miracles
61 Miracles demonstrate that learning has occurred under the right guidance, for learning is invisible, and what has been learned can be recognized only by its
results. Its generalization is demonstrated as you use it in more and more situations. You will recognize that you have learned there is no order of difficulty in miracles when you have applied them to
all situations. There
is no situation to which miracles do not apply, and by applying them to all situations, you will gain the real world. For in this holy perception, you will be made whole, and the Atonement will radiate from
your acceptance of it for
yourself to everyone the Holy Spirit sends you for your blessing. In every Child of God His blessing lies, and in
your blessing of the Children of God is His blessing to
62 Everyone in the world must play his part in the redemption of the world to recognize that the world
has been redeemed. You cannot see the invisible. Yet if you see its effects, you
know it must be there. By perceiving what it
does, you recognize its being. And by
what it does, you learn what it
is. You cannot
see your abilities, but you gain confidence in their existence as they enable you to
act. And the
results of your actions you
63 The Holy Spirit is invisible, but you can see the
results of His Presence, and through them you will learn that He is there. What He enables you to do is clearly
not of this world, for miracles violate every law of reality as this world judges it. Every law of time and space, of magnitude and mass, of prediction and control is transcended, for what the Holy Spirit enables you to do is clearly beyond
all of them. Perceiving His results, you will understand
where He must be and finally
know what He is.
64 You cannot see the Holy Spirit, but you can see His manifestations. And unless you do, you will not realize He is there. Miracles are His witnesses and speak for His Presence. What you cannot see becomes real to you only through the witnesses who speak for it. For you can be
aware of what you cannot see, and it can become compellingly real to you as its presence becomes manifest
through you. Do the Holy Spirit's work, for you
share in His function. As your function in Heaven is creation, so your function on earth is healing. God shares His function with you in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit shares His with you on earth.
65 As long as you believe you have two functions, so long will you need correction. For this belief is the
destruction of peace, a goal in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit's purpose. You see what you
expect, and you expect what you
invite. Your perception is the result of your invitation, coming to you as you sent for it. Whose manifestations would you see? Of whose presence would you be convinced? For you will believe in what you
manifest, and as you look out, so will you see in. Two ways of looking at the world are in your mind, and your perception will reflect the guidance you chose.
66 I am the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and when you see me, it will be because you have invited Him. For He
will send you His witnesses if you will but look upon them. Remember always that you see what you seek, for what you seek you
will find. The ego finds what
it seeks and
only that. It does not find love, for that is
not what it is seeking. Yet seeking and finding are the same, and if you seek for two goals you will find them, but you will
recognize neither. For you will think they are the same because you
want them both. The mind always strives for integration, and if it is split and wants to
keep the split, it will believe it has one goal by
making it one.
67 We said before that
what you project is up to you, but it is
not up to you
whether to project, for projection is a law of mind. Perception
is projection, and you look in
before you look out. As you look in you choose the guide for seeing, and
then you look out and behold his witnesses. This is
why you find what you seek. What you want in
yourself, you will make manifest by projection, and you will accept it
from the world because you put it there
by wanting it.
68 When you think you are projecting what you do
not want, it is still because you
do want it. This leads directly to dissociation, for it represents the acceptance of two goals, each perceived in a
different place, separated from each other
because you made them different. The mind then sees a divided world
outside itself but not
within. This gives it an illusion of integrity and enables it to believe that it is pursuing one goal. As long as you perceive the world as split,
you are not healed. For to be healed is to pursue one goal because you have
accepted only one and
want but one.
69 When you want
only love you will see nothing else. The contradictory nature of the witnesses you perceive is merely the reflection of your conflicting invitations. You have looked upon your minds and accepted opposition there, having
sought it there. But do not then believe that the witnesses for opposition are true, for they attest only to
your decision about reality, returning to you the message you
gave them. Love is recognized by its messengers. If you make love manifest, its messengers will come to you because you
70 The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world.
You can decide to see it right. What
you made of it is
not its reality, for its reality is only what you
gave it. You cannot really give anything but love to anyone or anything, nor can you really
receive anything else from them. If you think you have received anything else, it is because you have looked within and thought you saw the power to give something else
within yourself. It was only this decision that determined what you found, for it was the decision of what you
71 You are afraid of me because you looked within and are afraid of what you saw. Yet you could not have seen reality, for the reality of your mind is the loveliest of God's creations. Coming only from God, its power and grandeur could only bring you peace
if you really looked upon it. If you are afraid, it is because you saw something
that is not there. Yet in that same place, you could have looked upon me and all your brothers in the perfect safety of the Mind which created us. For we are there in the peace of the Father, Who wills to project His peace through
72 When you have accepted your mission to
project peace, you will
find it, for by
making it manifest, you will
see it. Its holy witnesses will surround you because you
called upon them and they will come to you. I have heard your call and I have answered it, but you will not look upon me nor
hear the answer which you sought. That is because you do not yet want
only that. Yet as I become more real to you, you will learn that you
do want only that. And you will see me as you look within, and we will look upon the world as God created it together. Through the eyes of Christ,
only the real world exists and can
be seen. As you decide, so will you see. And all that you see but witnesses to your decision.
73 When you look within and see me, it will be because you have decided to manifest truth. And as you manifest it, you will see it both without
and within, for you will see it without
because you saw it first within. Everything you behold without is a judgment of what you beheld within. If it is
your judgment, it will be wrong, for judgment is not your function. If it is the judgment of the Holy Spirit, it will be right, for judgment
is His function. You share His function only by judging as
He does, reserving no judgment at all unto yourselves. For you will judge
against yourselves, but
He will judge
74 Remember, then, that whenever you look without and react unfavorably to what you see, you have judged yourself unworthy and have condemned yourself to death. The death penalty is the ego's ultimate goal, for it fully believes that you are a criminal, as deserving of death as God knows you are deserving of life. The death penalty never leaves the ego's mind, for that is what it always reserves for you in the end. Wanting to kill you as the final expression of its feeling for you, it lets you live but to await death. It will torment you while you live, but its hatred is not satisfied until you die. For your destruction is the one end toward which it works, and the only end with which it will be satisfied.
75 The ego is not a traitor to God to Whom treachery is impossible, but it
is a traitor to you who believe
you have been treacherous to your Father. That is why the
undoing of guilt is an essential part of the Holy Spirit's teaching. For as long as you feel guilty, you are listening to the voice of the ego, which tells you that you
have been treacherous to God and therefore
deserve death. You will think that death comes from God and
not from the ego because, by confusing yourself
with the ego, you believe that
you want death. And from what you want, God does
not save you.
76 When you are tempted to yield to the desire for death,
remember that I did not die. You will realize that this is true when you look within and
see me. Would I have overcome death for myself alone? And would eternal life have been given me of the Father
unless He had also given it to you? When you learn to make
you will never see death. For you will have looked upon the deathless in
yourself, and you will see only the eternal as you look out upon a world that
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