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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 11 "GOD'S PLAN FOR SALVATION"
IX. REALITY AND REDEMPTION
Because of your Father's love you can
forget Him, for no one can forget what God Himself placed in his memory. You can
it, but you cannot
it. A Voice will answer every question you ask, and a Vision will correct the perception of everything you see. For what you have made invisible is the
truth, and what you have not heard is the
answer. God would reunite you with yourself and did not abandon you in your seeming distress. You are waiting only for Him and do not know it. Yet His memory shines in your minds and cannot
obliterated. It is no more past than future, being forever always.
L e s s o n 132
I loose the world from all I thought it was.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs?
And what can save the world except your Self?
Belief is powerful indeed. The thoughts
you hold are mighty, and illusions are
as strong in their effects as is the truth.
A madman thinks the world he sees is real
and does not doubt it. Nor can he be swayed
by questioning his thoughts' effects. It is
but when their source is raised to question that
the hope of freedom comes to him at last.|
Yet is salvation easily achieved,
for anyone is free to change his mind,
and all his thoughts change with it. Now the source
of thought has shifted, for to change your mind
means you have changed the source of all ideas
you think or ever thought or yet will think.
You free the past from what you thought before.
You free the future from all ancient thoughts
of seeking what you do not want to find.|
The present now remains the only time.
Here in the present is the world set free.
For as you let the past be lifted and
release the future from your ancient fears,
you find escape and give it to the world.
You have enslaved the world with all your fears,
your doubts and miseries, your pain and tears,
and all your sorrows press upon it, and
keep it a prisoner to your beliefs.
Death strikes it everywhere because you hold
the bitter thought of death within your mind.|
The world is nothing in itself. Your mind
must give it meaning. And what you behold
upon it are your wishes, acted out
so you can look on them and think them real.
Perhaps you think you did not make the world,
but came unwillingly to what was made
already, hardly waiting for your thoughts
to give it meaning. Yet in truth you found
exactly what you looked for when you came.|
There is no world apart from what you wish,
and herein lies your ultimate release.
Change but your mind on what you want to see,
and all the world must change accordingly.
Ideas leave not their source. This central thought
is often stated in the text, and must
be borne in mind if you would understand
the lesson for today. It is not pride
which tells you that you made the world you see,
and that it changes as you change your mind.|
But it is pride that argues you have come
into a world quite separate from yourself,
impervious to what you think, and quite
apart from what you chance to think it is.
There is no world! This is the central thought
the course attempts to teach. Not everyone
is ready to accept it, and each one
must go as far as he can let himself
be led along the road to truth. He will
return and go still farther, or perhaps
step back a while and then return again.|
But healing is the gift of those who are
prepared to learn there is no world, and can
accept the lesson now. Their readiness
will bring the lesson to them in some form
which they can understand and recognize.
Some see it suddenly on point of death,
and rise to teach it. Others find it in
experience that is not of this world,
which shows them that the world does not exist
because what they behold must be the truth,
and yet it clearly contradicts the world.|
And some will find it in this course, and in
the exercises that we do today.
Today's idea is true because the world
does not exist. And if it is indeed
your own imagining, then you can loose
it from all things you ever thought it was
by merely changing all the thoughts that gave
it these appearances. The sick are healed
as you let go all thoughts of sickness, and
the dead arise when you let thoughts of life
replace all thoughts you ever held of death.|
A lesson earlier repeated once
must now be stressed again, for it contains
the firm foundation for today's idea.
You are as God created you. There is
no place where you can suffer, and no time
that can bring change to your eternal state.
How can a world of time and place exist,
if you remain as God created you?|
What is the lesson for today except
another way of saying that to know
your Self is the salvation of the world?
To free the world from every kind of pain
is but to change your mind about yourself.
There is no world apart from your ideas
because ideas leave not their source, and you
maintain the world within your mind in thought.|
Yet if you are as God created you,
you cannot think apart from Him, nor make
what does not share His timelessness and love.
Are these inherent in the world you see?
Does it create like Him? Unless it does,
it is not real and cannot be at all.
If you are real the world you see is false,
for God's creation is unlike the world
in every way. And as it was His Thought
by which you were created, so it is
your thoughts which made it and must set it free,
that you may know the Thoughts you share with God.|
Release the world! Your real creations wait
for this release to give you fatherhood,
not of illusions, but as God in truth.
God shares His Fatherhood with you who are
His Son, for He makes no distinctions in
what is Himself and what is still Himself.
What He creates is not apart from Him,
and nowhere does the Father end, the Son
begin as something separate from Him.|
There is no world because it is a thought
apart from God, and made to separate
the Father and the Son, and break away
a part of God Himself and thus destroy
His Wholeness. Can a world which comes from this
idea be real? Can it be anywhere?
Deny illusions, but accept the truth.
Deny you are a shadow briefly laid
upon a dying world. Release your mind,
and you will look upon a world released.|
Today our purpose is to free the world
from all the idle thoughts we ever held
about it, and about all living things
we see upon it. They can not be there,
no more than we. For we are in the home
our Father set for us along with them.
And we who are as He created us
would loose the world this day from every one
of our illusions, that we may be free.|
Begin the fifteen minute periods
in which we practice twice today with this:
I who remain as God created me
Would loose the world from all I thought it was.
For I am real because the world is not,
And I would know my own reality."
Then merely rest, alert but with no strain,
and let your mind in quietness be changed
so that the world is freed along with you.|
You need not realize that healing comes
to many brothers far across the world
as well as to the ones you see nearby,
as you send out these thoughts to bless the world.
But you will sense your own release, although
you may not fully understand as yet
that you could never be released alone.|
Throughout the day, increase the freedom sent
through your ideas to all the world, and say
whenever you are tempted to deny
the power of your simple change of mind:
I loose the world from all I thought it was,
And choose my own reality instead."
* From Original Hand Script Notes
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
I loose the world from all I thought it was.
We are very invested in our way of seeing things. We trust in our observations and believe in what our senses tell us. We believe there is a world we came to when we were born, and it is all as we think it to be. In other words, we think the world was always in place, but we read in this Lesson this is not so. The world is a picture of what is in our own minds. "The world is nothing in itself. Your mind must give it meaning." (W.132.4.1-2) This Lesson is very clear in its statement---there is no world! Indeed, it is startling to hear this said over and over in this Lesson and throughout the Course. Our minds have a hard time accepting it, so Jesus makes a case for why this must be so. We may want to push this thought away. "Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth." (W.132.6.4) If we don't get it this time, there may be a later time, or maybe another lifetime, when we will return to learn it.
The thoughts we hold about the world make it real for us. Since the world we see is just the effect of our thoughts, Jesus gives us the analogy of a madman, hallucinating. What we call seeing is not seeing at all. It is more like image making. These images are projections of the thoughts in our minds. Yet we are told it is fruitless for us to directly question the reality of the world, for this is like trying to convince a madman his hallucinations are not real. Instead, we are encouraged to question that the thoughts in our minds produce the hallucinations of the world. What must I be thinking to see a frightening world, a sad world, a challenging world, or an exciting world? The ideas in our minds become what we picture of the external world. These ideas do not leave our minds. "Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly." (W.132.5.2) What if all we saw was a benign world? When we become willing to look at our thoughts and to question them, we start the process of healing. Everything we are thinking with the mind of the ego is wrong. We have had evidence of this in our own lives as our perspectives and judgments have changed over time.
Jesus says, "But it is pride that argues you have come into a world quite separate from yourself, impervious to what you think, and quite apart from what you chance to think it is." (W.132.6.1) In other words, we keep making the case that we are simply victims of this world and have nothing to do with it and certainly not with the making of it! We refuse to take responsibility for our minds as the cause of the world we see. Yet this is precisely what we are asked to do. We are asked to take responsibility for what seems to be happening and to recognize the power of our thoughts. As we do, we begin to accept that our stories of being victimized by the people and events of this world do not come from the world at all but from the way we choose to give meaning to these events. Our beliefs alone give the world its power. "What keeps the world in chains but your beliefs?" (W.132.1.1) They are false beliefs, and they originate with the ego. We learn that the beliefs we hold can be dismissed, recognizing they have no power except the power we choose to give them. They keep us invested in the illusion when we invest in the stories, beliefs, and thoughts we hold.
What we need to do is take responsibility for our thoughts and recognize their power. "Belief is powerful indeed." (W.132.1.3) Bringing our thoughts to awareness and taking responsibility for the meaning we give to everything that shows up will start the process of shifting our perspective about the world. "Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly." (W.132.5.2) That is why Jesus also says, "Yet is salvation easily achieved, for anyone is free to change his mind, and all his thoughts change with it." (W.132.2.1) As our thought system shifts from sin, guilt, fear, suffering, and death to forgiveness, peace, healing, innocence, and holiness, everything changes. We give power to the world, but it is not there. The power is in our own minds. Our minds are where the source of our freedom lies. This is good news, because we are now no longer at the mercy of events outside of our own minds!
Don asked me to follow him to the body shop to have his car fixed. I told him I did not know the way there and asked him not to lose me. As we were driving, he chose to run a yellow light, leaving me to sit at the red light. I felt angry that he had not stopped to wait for me and judged him for being inconsiderate of me. Fear set in, as I did not know how to get there on my own. All kinds of thoughts crossed my mind as I worried about what to do now, and why would he do this to me. The voice of the ego can get very obsessive. Watching my mind, I recognized I was, in this moment, creating my reality. Then I asked myself these questions: "Will what I am thinking and feeling impede my path or enhance it?" "Will it solidify the ego's dream or help me awaken from it?" and "Do I really want to hold onto a thought that is hurting me?" Holy Spirit, help me to see it differently. I realized I could choose peace and reminded myself that my goal was peace. I actively resisted buying into the ego harangue and instead trusted all would be well. As I kept driving, I spotted his car up ahead with several cars driving slowly in front of me, which prevented me from catching up with him. I smiled as I thought about how it was my dream and therefore completely malleable. As this thought came, the cars all moved away to the side and there I was right behind him! Our part is to make space in our minds for the shift to take place from murder to miracles. When we do, the world shifts accordingly. This is what the miracle does. Do you believe in miracles?
In holding thoughts of attack, I actually seek for what I ". . . do not want to find." (W.132.2.4) When I change my mind, all my thoughts change with it. Now, I no longer want anger and attack and I'm motivated to find what I truly want, which is peace. Stubbornly holding onto our positions keeps us in hell. If we don't want to suffer, we need to change our minds. The idea is to close the gap between the time spent in holding onto grievances and in choosing forgiveness. Jesus reminds us that we are not stuck with the way things are. We are free to change our minds, and recognize that when we change our minds, we change the source of our beliefs. This means the source of our thoughts has shifted from the ego mind to the true Source in the mind, which is Love, God, or Divine Self. With this shift, we experience miracles. This takes willingness and determination not to buy into how things appear based on our senses, but to question our perspectives and ask for help of our inner Teacher. It brings us to the present moment, which is the only time there is. Here is where we are set free. (W.132.3.1-2) When we are willing to undertake the healing of our own minds, healing extends to the world through us, as there is only one mind. "For as you let the past be lifted and release the future from your ancient fears, you find escape and give it to the world." (W.132.3.3)
"You have enslaved the world with all your fears, your doubts and miseries, your pain and tears; and all your sorrows press on it, and keep the world a prisoner to your beliefs." (W.132.3.4) We think our pain and tears are our own personal experience, yet he begs to differ, claiming our pain bodies, as Eckhart Tolle calls them, keeps the world prisoner to our sorrows. We enslave the world with our thoughts and beliefs and force death on it. Thus, we hold the world in bondage to the ego thought system. It is held in place by the illusion of time, with the beginning and end of this thought system being death. The reason he says the world began with death is because God had to die if we were to exist separate from Him. In other words, God had to give up His life for us to live. It is a belief of 'one or the other.' There cannot be both in Oneness.
What is our source? Where did we come from? Jesus says, "Now the source of thought has shifted, for to change your mind means you have changed the source of all ideas you think or ever thought or yet will think." (W.132.2.2) Isn't it interesting to contemplate our source? How did we get here? The collision of egg and sperm is said to be the beginning of us, yet Jesus assures us, we are eternal and always have been. There is no beginning or end. "Perhaps you think you did not make the world, but came unwillingly to what was made already, hardly waiting for your thoughts to give it meaning. Yet in truth you found exactly what you looked for when you came." (W.132.4.4-5) Don't we all have the experience of wondering what we are doing here? We may, as children, have said to our parents, "I didn't ask to be born." I certainly challenged my parents with this thought! I clearly believed it was not my choice to be born. I had thoughts of being a victim of my circumstances, thinking I had been placed in the wrong home. I did not feel like I belonged in this family. The fact is we did choose to come. We chose all the circumstances of our lives. It is our dream. We are the dreamer and we write the script for the dream we choose to experience. A veil of amnesia fell across our minds when we arrived here. We wanted a home for our individuality and specialness, and a separate self. We got the experience we wanted, which was a world that would prove we are innocent victims of circumstances beyond us.
"There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly. Ideas leave not their source. This central theme is often stated in the text, and must be borne in mind if you would understand the lesson for today. It is not pride which tells you that you made the world you see, and that it changes as you change your mind." (W.132.5.1-5) What an important paragraph! Our release lies in recognizing the world is a projection of our minds. We read here and in the text, "Ideas leave not their source." (W.132.5.3) The guilt in the mind is projected out and now it is seen as forms in the world that we have come to believe are external realities.
To us, the world seems to exist as independent of our minds. Thus, we think the cause of our problems comes from the world, which is acting upon us. In other words, we see the world as cause, and we are its effect. If this were the case, we could only be released from our pain if the world were to change in our favor, but we have it backwards. In actual fact, the world is an effect of our thoughts, but those thoughts can be changed by choosing against the ego thought system. This requires looking at our thoughts and beliefs with great honesty, taking responsibility for everything that seems to happen to us, seeing it all started with our own thoughts, and being willing to bring them to the truth. This is the recognition that the world is nothing but ". . . the outside picture of an inward condition." (T.21.IN.1.5)(ACIM OE T.21.I.1) All it does is mirror to us what is unhealed within. Therefore, it is very helpful to our healing. It is the only way we can see what is unhealed within us.
We don't have power over what seems to be done to us, but we do have power over our thoughts. "The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world. You can decide to see it right." (T.12.VII.9.1-2) (ACIM OE T.11.VIII.70) When we experience the world attacking us, we have an opportunity to look within at our own self-attack, our unworthiness, our anger and our guilt. When our mind is healed and our perception is free of guilt, we will see a benign world where there is no blame, attack or pain. It is not about anything changing in our external world. There will likely be changes in our outward condition as the mind is healed, but it is more about how our perception of everything will change. No matter what is happening, with our changed perception, we will only see everything as either love or a call for love. We can't see a guilty world without having guilt in the mind. The world we see is only a projection of the world we made real inside. We are not all ready to accept the thought the world does not exist outside our own minds, but we will go as far as we can in each seeming incarnation. The more we can accept this Lesson, Jesus tells us, the more we receive the benefits of healing.
This requires humility. Jesus tells that to believe there is a world outside our minds is arrogance. In other words, we insist we know better than God. If the world were real, it would have to be God who is responsible for the problems of the world. We think it is humble to proclaim we could not have made the world. We think only God has that power. Jesus says it is humility to acknowledge we made the world. To believe there is a world outside our minds is to insist we are right about what reality is and what God is. How can there be a separate world if there is nothing outside the Mind of God, just as there is nothing outside our own minds? Ideas leave not their source! If the world were real, the reality of God's Oneness must have been destroyed. While Jesus assures us we are powerful indeed, we don't have the power to change who we are as eternal beings or who God is. We can be truly thankful that we can't change the truth of ourselves or our reality as One with God.
What we think the world is is not what it is at all. We come from the formless, and as we loosen our thoughts from all we think the world of form is, we become a channel of energy from the invisible field of love, which is truly our Source. We are all God's thoughts, individualized by our belief in separation from our Source. The only reason we don't live from this place of Oneness is because of our belief in separation and our investment in the truth of our own thoughts. Now we are called to question those beliefs and recognize we don't know anything and, as little children, are willing to be taught. We are not what we have, what we do, what others think of us, separated from everyone else, and separated from God. We are a part of our Source. God is not apart from our minds.
Our real nature does not fit this world. Our false thoughts made this world. They can't be our real thoughts because we are told, "Yet if you are as God created you, you cannot think apart from Him, nor make what does not share His timelessness and Love." (W.132.11.1) Our real thoughts could not have made this world because the world is unlike God. There is no time and space in God's reality, and we are as God created us. Our reality is outside of time and space as well. Therefore, we do not even inhabit this world nor this body. Jesus says, to know this you must ". . . change your mind about yourself." (W.132.10.3)
When we are ready to know the truth about ourselves, the Lesson will be given us ". . . in some form which they can understand and recognize." (W.132.7.2) Some have come to this understanding through near-death experiences. Some have had experiences of a mystical nature, "And some will find it in this course, and in the exercises that we do today." (W.132.8.1) As we discover who we truly are by allowing love to move through us, we realize, increasingly, that the world of illusion is incompatible with the truth of who we are. Loosing the world is all about freeing ourselves from guilt through the Holy Spirit and extending healing. As our thoughts are transformed, we transform the world. The world is simply the effect of our thoughts. "I loose the world from all I thought it was, and choose my own reality instead." (W.132.17.2) The one who chooses is the one this Course is aimed at. When we turn away from the voice of the ego and ask for help from Jesus, we are willing to be taught.
It is up to us to choose whether we will resign as our own authority, believing our own thoughts and opinions, and instead, turn to the Holy Spirit. This means we must stay vigilant of our thoughts and ask to be shown another way of seeing. This is what forgiveness is all about. It is about watching our thoughts and taking responsibility for our projections. Every grievance, every expectation, every wish, every plan, every worry, frustration, and anxiety, when seen, can be released. We can let our minds be changed, quietly, when we are ready, and it does not matter where and when this happens. We might be on our deathbed, in prison, in a holiday resort, at our workplace, or in our homes. We do not have to try to escape our current situation. The setting is irrelevant. It is the decision that is important. When we bring our illusions to the truth, our thoughts are healed. When we let go of our grievances, peace and joy prevail.
The world of time---of past, present, and future---does not exist. It is the present that ". . . now remains the only time" (W.132.3.1) where the healing takes place. "Here in the present is the world set free. For as you let the past be lifted and release the future from your ancient fears, you find escape and give it to the world." (W.132.3.2-3)
The only way to experience the truth is to be vigilant in watching our minds, being willing to let go of our perceptions, and opening ourselves to the truth. Our experience of release, of peace and joy, convinces us of our Source, and we increasingly recognize that we did not create ourselves. We are not our own source. Remember, the focus today is not on denying the reality of the world or simply dismissing it as illusion, but looking instead at what we are projecting onto it and how we are defending ourselves against perceived dangers.
What do we want to believe about ourselves today? What is real? The ego? The body? Or do we believe in our Identity as God created us? We get constant affirmation from the world of who we are as separate individuals, but this is a false self. Our being is not what the world has told us it is. What we have come to believe about ourselves, as a result, is completely false. Isn't this a liberating idea? Yet it is also an idea that brings up fear and resistance, which we need to be aware of and also bring forth for healing. Remember, courage and honesty is needed to look at all our false perceptions. As we do this healing work today, ". . . healing comes to many brothers across the world, as well as to the ones you see nearby, as you send out these thoughts to bless the world." (W.132.16.1) We are still in God. We have never left our Source. It is not an easy concept to get, yet Jesus says when we get it, we will know our own reality. Whenever we have the experience today of feeling victimized by something or someone outside of ourselves, or we feel distress of any kind, it is a trigger for us to notice we are looking outside ourselves to feel better.
"I who remain as God created me would loose the world from all I thought it was. For I am real because the world is not, and I would know my own reality." (W.132.15.2-3) "Then merely rest, alert but with no strain, and let your mind in quietness be changed so that the world is freed, along with you." (W.132.15.4) This requires stopping, looking, and bringing our thoughts to the light of truth.
Love and blessings, Sarah
IX. Reality and Redemption
77 Do you
really believe that you can kill the Son of God? The Father has hidden His Son safely within Himself and kept him far away from your destructive thoughts, but
you know neither the Father nor the Son because of them. You attack the real world every day and every hour and every minute, and yet you are surprised that you cannot see it. If you seek love in order to attack it, you will
never find it. For if love is sharing, how can you find it except through
itself? Offer it and it will come to you because it is drawn to itself. But offer attack and it will remain hidden, for it can live only in peace.
78 God's Son is as safe as his Father, for the Son knows his Father's protection and
cannot fear. His Father's love holds him in perfect peace, and needing nothing, he
asks for nothing. Yet he is far from you whose Self he is, for you chose to attack him, and he disappeared from your sight into his Father.
He did not change, but
you did. For a split mind and all its works were not created by the Father and could not live in the knowledge of Him.
79 When you made what is
not true visible, what
is true became invisible. Yet it cannot be invisible in
itself, for the Holy Spirit sees it with perfect clarity. It is invisible to you because you are looking at something
else. Yet it is no more up to you to decide what is visible and what is invisible than it is up to you to decide what reality is. What can be seen is what the
Holy Spirit sees. The definition of reality is God's, not yours.
He created it, and
He knows what it is. You who knew have forgotten, and unless He had given you a way to remember, you would have condemned yourselves to oblivion.
80 Because of your Father's love you can
never forget Him, for no one can forget what God Himself placed in his memory. You can
deny it, but you cannot
lose it. A Voice will answer every question you ask, and a Vision will correct the perception of everything you see. For what you have made invisible is the
only truth, and what you have not heard is the
only answer. God would reunite you with yourself and did not abandon you in your seeming distress. You are waiting only for Him and do not know it. Yet His memory shines in your minds and cannot
be obliterated. It is no more past than future, being forever always.
81 You have but to ask for this memory, and you
will remember. Yet the memory of God cannot shine in a mind which has
made it invisible and wants to
keep it so. For the memory of God can dawn only in a mind that wills to remember and that has relinquished the insane desire to control reality. You who cannot even control yourselves should hardly aspire to control the universe. But look upon what you have made of it and rejoice that it is not so. Son of God, be not content with nothing! What is not real cannot
be seen and
has no value. God could not offer His Son what has no value, nor could His Son receive it. You were redeemed the instant you thought you had deserted Him.
82 Everything you made has never been and is invisible because the Holy Spirit does not see it. Yet what He
does see is yours to behold, and through His vision your perception is healed. You have made the invisible the only truth that this world holds. Valuing nothing, you have sought nothing and
found nothing. By making nothing
real to you, you have
But it is not there. And Christ is invisible to you because of what you have made visible to
yourselves. Yet it does not matter how much distance you have tried to interpose between your awareness and truth. God's Son
can be seen because his vision is shared. The Holy Spirit looks upon him and sees nothing else in
you. What is invisible to you is perfect in His sight and encompasses
all of it. He has remembered you because He forgot not the Father.
83 You looked upon the unreal and found despair. Yet by seeking the unreal, what else
could you find? The unreal world
is a thing of despair, for it can never be. And you who share God's Being with Him could never be content without reality. What God did not give you has no power over you, and the attraction of love for love remains irresistible. For it is the function of love to unite all things unto itself, and to hold all things together by extending its wholeness.
84 The real world was given you by God in loving exchange for the world
you made and which
you see. But take it from the hand of Christ and look upon it. Its reality will make everything else invisible, for beholding it is
total perception. And as you look upon it, you will remember that it was always so. Nothingness will become invisible, for you will at last have seen truly. Redeemed perception is easily translated into knowledge, for
only perception is capable of error, and perception has never been. Being corrected, it gives place to knowledge, which is forever the
only reality. The Atonement is but the way back to what was never lost. Your Father could not cease to love His Son.
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