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17 In reality, you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be either from yourself and others or from yourself to others or from others to you. Peace is an attribute in you. You cannot find it outside.
ACIM OE TEXT
CH 2 THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATION
Workbook for Students
Part I
Introduction
1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.

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Workbook for Students
Part I
Lesson 15
My thoughts are images
which I have made.
1 It is because the thoughts you think you think appear as images that you do not recognize them as nothing. You think you think them, and so you think you see them. This is how your "seeing" was made. This is the function you have given your body's eyes. It is not seeing. It is image-making. It takes the place of seeing, replacing vision with illusions.

2 This introductory idea to the process of image-making which you call seeing will not have much meaning for you. You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

3 As we go along, you may have many "light episodes." They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. These exercises will not reveal knowledge to you. But they will prepare the way to it.

4 In practicing the idea for today, repeat it first to yourself, and then apply it to whatever you see around you, using its name and letting your eyes rest on it as you say:

5 This _____ is an image which I have made. That _____ is an image which I have made.

6 It is not necessary to include a large number of specific subjects for the application of today's idea. It is necessary, however, to continue to look at each subject while you repeat the idea to yourself. The idea should be repeated quite slowly each time.

7 Although you will obviously not be able to apply the idea to very many things during the minute or so of practice that is recommended, try to make the selection as random as possible. Less than a minute will do for the practice periods, if you begin to feel uneasy. Do not have more than three application periods for today's idea unless you feel completely comfortable with it, and do not exceed four.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
TEXT
Chapter 2
The Illusion of Separation

I. Introduction par 1-17
1 This section deals with a fundamental misuse of knowledge, referred to in the Bible as the cause of the "fall," or separation. There are some definitions which I asked you to take from the dictionary which will be helpful here. They are somewhat unusual since they are not the first definitions which are given. Nevertheless, the fact that each of them does appear in the dictionary should be reassuring.

2 Project (verb): to extend forward or out.
 Project (noun): a plan in the mind.
 World: a natural grand division.

3 We will refer later to projection as related to both mental health and mental illness. We have already observed that man can create an empty shell, but he cannot create nothing at all. This emptiness provides the screen for the misuse of projection.

4 The Garden of Eden, which is described as a literal garden in the Bible, was not an actual garden at all. It was merely a mental state of complete need-lack. Even in the literal account, it is noteworthy that the pre-separation state was essentially one in which man needed nothing. The "tree of knowledge" is also an overly literal figure. These concepts need to be clarified before the real meaning of the separation, or the "detour into fear," can be fully understood.

5 To "project," as defined above, is a fundamental attribute of God which He gave to His Son. In the creation, God projected His creative ability from Himself to the Souls He created, and He also imbued them with the same loving will to create. The Soul has not only been fully created but has also been created perfect. There is no emptiness in it. Because of its likeness to its Creator, it is creative. No Child of God can lose this ability because it is inherent in what he is, but he can use it inappropriately. Whenever projection is used inappropriately, it always implies that some emptiness or lack exists and that it is in man's ability to put his own ideas there instead of truth.

6 If you consider carefully what this entails, the following will become quite apparent:

7 First, the assumption is implicit that what God created can be changed by the mind of man.

8 Second, the concept that what is perfect can be rendered imperfect or wanting is accepted.

9 Third, the belief that man can distort the creations of God, including himself, is accepted.

10 Fourth, the idea that since man can create himself, the direction of his own creation is up to him is implied.

11 These related distortions represent a picture of what actually occurred in the separation. None of this existed before, nor does it actually exist now. The world was made as "a natural grand division," or a projecting outward of God. That is why everything that He created is like Him. Projection, as undertaken by God, is very similar to the kind of inner radiance which the Children of the Father inherit from Him. It is important to note that the term "project outward" necessarily implies that the real source of projection is internal. This is as true of the Son as of the Father.

12 The world, in the original connotation of the term, included both the proper creation of man by God and the proper creation by man in his right mind. The latter required the endowment of man by God with free will because all loving creation is freely given. Nothing in these statements implies any sort of level involvement or in fact anything except one continuous line of creation in which all aspects are of the same order.

13 When the "lies of the serpent" were introduced, they were specifically called "lies" because they are not true. When man listened, all he heard was untruth. He does not have to continue to believe what is not true unless he chooses to do so. All of his miscreations can literally disappear in "the twinkling of an eye" because they are merely visual misperceptions. Man's Spiritual eye can sleep, but a sleeping eye can still see. What is seen in dreams seems to be very real. The Bible mentions that "a deep sleep fell upon Adam," and nowhere is there any reference to his waking up.

14 The history of man in the world as he sees it has not yet been marked by any genuine or comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. This is impossible as long as man projects in the spirit of miscreation. It still remains within him, however, to project as God projected His own Spirit to him. In reality, this is his only choice because his free will was given him for his own joy in creating the perfect.

15 All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that man has the ability to usurp the power of God. It can only be emphasized that he neither can nor has been able to do this. In this fact lies the real justification for his escape from fear. The escape is brought about by his acceptance of the Atonement, which places him in a position to realize that his own errors never really occurred. When the "deep sleep" fell upon Adam, he was in a condition to experience nightmares because he was asleep. If a light is suddenly turned on while someone is dreaming a fearful dream, he may initially interpret the light itself as a part of his own dream and be afraid of it. However, when he awakens the light is correctly perceived as the release from the dream, which is no longer accorded reality.

16 It is quite apparent that this release does not depend on the kind of "knowledge" which is nothing more than deceiving lies. The knowledge which illuminates rather than obscures is the knowledge which not only sets you free, but which also shows you clearly that you are free. Whatever lies you may believe are of no concern to the miracle, which can heal any of them with equal ease. It makes no distinctions among misperceptions. Its sole concern is to distinguish between truth on the one hand and all kinds of errors on the other. Some miracles may seem to be of greater magnitude than others. But remember the first point in this course—that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.

17 In reality, you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be either from yourself and others or from yourself to others or from others to you. Peace is an attribute in you. You cannot find it outside. All mental illness is some form of external searching. Mental health is inner peace. It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without and capable through your own miracles of correcting the external conditions which proceed from lack of love in others.
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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 15
My thoughts are images
which I have made.


Sarah's Commentary:
 
It is interesting to talk to those of you who are now going through the Lessons for the second, third, or fourth time and getting so much more out of them. These Lessons are so challenging to the ego that undoing our investment in it is indeed a moment-by-moment process, but this does not matter since we are merely using time for its intended purpose.

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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:

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