Lesson 156
Link to Father Never Dissolves
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37 The link with which the Father joins Himself to those He gives the power to create like Him can never be dissolved. Heaven itself is union with all of creation and with its One Creator. And Heaven remains the Will of God for you. Lay no gifts other than this upon your altars, for nothing can coexist beside it. Here your meager offerings are brought together with the gift of God, and only what is worthy of the Father will be accepted by the Son, for whom it was intended. To whom God gives Himself, He is given. Your little gifts will vanish on the altar where He has placed His Own.    
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  156
I walk with God in perfect holiness.  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   Today's idea but states the simple truth
   which makes the thought of sin impossible.
   It promises there is no cause for guilt,
   and being causeless it cannot exist.
   It follows certainly from the idea
   so often mentioned in the text; that thoughts
   leave not their source. If this be true, how can
   you be apart from God? How could you walk
   the world alone and separate from your Source?
   We are not inconsistent in the thoughts
   that we present in our curriculum.
   Truth must be true throughout if it be true.
   It cannot contradict itself, nor be
   in parts uncertain and in others sure.
   You cannot walk the world apart from God
   because you could not be without Him. He
   is what your life is. Where you are He is.
   There is one life. That life you share with Him.
   Nothing can be apart from Him and live.
   Yet where He is there must be holiness
   as well as life. No attribute of His
   remains unshared by everything that lives.
   What lives is holy as Himself, because
   what shares His Life is part of holiness,
   and could no more be sinful than the sun
   could choose to be of ice; the sea elect
   to be apart from water, or the grass
   to grow with roots suspended in the air.
   There is a Light in you Which cannot die,
   Whose Presence is so holy that the world
   is sanctified because of you. All things
   that live bring gifts to you, and offer them
   in gratitude and gladness at your feet.
   The scent of flowers is their gift to you.
   The waves bow down before you, and the trees
   extend their arms to shield you from the heat
   and lay their leaves before you on the ground
   that you may walk in softness, while the wind
   sinks to a whisper round your holy head.
   The Light in you is what the universe
   longs to behold. All living things are still
   before you, for they recognize Who walks
   with you. The Light you carry is their own,
   and thus they see in you their holiness,
   saluting you as Saviour and as God.
   Accept their reverence, for it is due
   to Holiness Itself Which walks with you,
   transforming in its gentle Light all things
   into its likeness and its purity.
   This is the way salvation works. As you
   step back, the Light in you steps forward and
   encompasses the world. It heralds not
   the end of sin in punishment and death.
   In lightness and in laughter is it gone
   because its quaint absurdity is seen.
   It is a foolish thought, a silly dream,
   not frightening, ridiculous perhaps,
   but who would waste an instant in approach
   to God Himself for such a senseless whim?
   Yet you have wasted many, many years
   on just this foolish thought. The past is gone,
   with all its fantasies. They keep you bound
   no longer. The approach to God is near.
   And in the little interval of doubt
   that still remains, you may perhaps lose sight
   of your Companion, and mistake Him for
   the senseless ancient dream that now is past.
   "Who walks with me?" This question should be asked
   a thousand times a day, till certainty
   has ended doubting and established peace.
   Today let doubting cease. God speaks for you
   in answering your question with these words:
   "I walk with God in perfect holiness.
    I light the world, I light my mind and all
    the minds which God created one with me."

       ~ The Original Handscript Notes

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
I walk with God in perfect holiness.
Sarah's Commentary

Jesus is assuring us that wherever we go, we "walk" with God because we simply cannot be apart from Him. This Lesson says, "ideas leave not their source." (W.156.1.3) As an idea in the Mind of God, how is it possible we could be separate from Him, or He from us? We are an idea in His Mind and cannot be separate and alone, even if we believed we could be. "Nothing can be apart from Him and live." (W.156.2.9) Why is it that we don't completely realize this? Why don't we feel His presence more? Jesus tells us that it is because of our foolish dreams, which we have come to believe are true. We believe we have sinned and are guilty. Yet sin has no effect. If a thought has no effect, then how could it be the cause of anything? That is why we can look past illusions because they have no real effects. It is all a dream, coming from the mind that is dreaming it. What is not real is not caused by anything. If this is the case, how can there be sin when it is just a story made up by the mind? Only what comes from the mind of God has an effect and is real. Thus, God is the only Cause. Anything else that we believe about ourselves is truly a foolish dream. When we realize this, all illusions will be gone "with nothing left to keep the truth apart from God's completion, holy as Himself." (W.155.10.2)
We frighten ourselves with our thoughts. When we accept our fear and attack thoughts as real, we don't believe God walks with us. We feel alone, abandoned, vulnerable, and totally responsible for figuring out how to live and survive in this world. We think we have a long way to go before we can be holy or innocent, so we put it off to some future time. We don't accept ourselves as we truly are, right at this moment, --holy and innocent and nothing else. We struggle to keep ourselves from this knowledge to maintain the separate existence of the unique, individual self we hold onto.
There are not two selves in conflict, though it seems that way to us. The ego has no substance and is just a puff of nothingness. It is nothing but a bundle of concepts, thoughts, beliefs, and values that we hold about ourselves, none of which are true. It is the part of the mind that is deceived about itself. There is only the one Self, created by God, in all its innocence and glory. The self we identify with has no existence. It is just a figure in the dream we are dreaming. It is like a character in a movie, playing a role with other characters in supporting roles. The world was made as a defense against the truth of who we really are as the Son of God, but the world has no cause; and as said earlier, when there is no cause, there can be no effect. The world does not exist except as a thought in our own minds.
Jesus assures us, the thoughts presented in this curriculum that he has laid out for us in this Course are not inconsistent. Certainly, if truth is true then, "Truth must be true throughout." (W.156.2.2) There can be no uncertainty in truth and no contradictions. Truth can't leave the mind and thus is always present, so everything being taught by Jesus in this Course is already in our minds. That is why, when we read and hear this truth, there is a resonance because we already know it. It is our natural language. Though the mind seems to resist and struggle and defend against it, there is nevertheless a recognition of something we have always known. Yet it brings up fear in us because it challenges what we have made and still cling to, which is our existence as we have defined it. Jesus assures us that there is no life apart from Him. What we call our life here is nothing but a dream. It can't be otherwise, for ideas leave not their Source, and we are an idea in the Mind of God. Thus, if we have not left God, how could we be apart from Him?
Somewhere in us, we know that we do not belong here. We have spent a long time seeking pleasure and defending against the pain in our lives. Along the way, we have come to realize that nothing in the world has brought us the deep peace and happiness we have been seeking. We have responded to the Call within to wake up to our true Selves. As we increasingly become aware of how we block the truth, we experience more and more peace. By placing our misperceptions on the inner altar, space is made for truth to emerge. We are called to look at our misperceptions with great honesty. It means letting go of our defenses and being willing to look at our own darkness. It takes courage to go into the darkness, but when we invite Jesus to go there with us, he assures us that he will bring the light and hold our hand so we know that we don't go there alone.
Just because we are not aware of the truth of what we are, it does not mean that the truth is not always there in our minds. Ideas leave not their Source. It is impossible that we could have actually left God. Since every one of us yearns to know the truth of our existence, then at the right time and the right place, the decision will be made to find our way to where we never left. It is "The light in you the universe longs to behold." (W.156.5.1) Jesus asks, "How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin?" (W.PII. What Is Sin Q4.5.1) He asks us, in the name of our own happiness, to consider that this game of sin is hurting us, and that we could give it up anytime we choose.
The light in us, put there by God in our creation, simply cannot die. The healed mind reflects God's holiness. Others feel this presence in us that is not of us. "All living things are still before you, for they recognize Who walks with you. The light you carry is their own." (W.156.5.2-3) Thus, others see "in you their holiness, saluting you as savior and as God." (W.156.5.4) Jesus asks us to accept their reverence, though it is not for us personally. It is not for self-aggrandizement because this light is not of us. It is an expression of reverence and gratitude for the love and light experienced by others through us. Thus, we need not be falsely humble but only grateful that the truth is with us and for us as well.
Jesus wonders why we would still want to waste time in our foolish games when we could simply laugh them away. Within the dream, the events of our lives are painful and seem to have serious consequences. Yet when we realize their unreality, which we do when we look at everything without judgment from outside of the dream, we can overlook them all with lightness and laughter. We can then see how absurd the story of sin is that we have bought into. "It is a foolish thought, a silly dream, not frightening, ridiculous perhaps," (W.156.6.5) but, ultimately, it is a senseless whim, keeping us away from the happiness given us as our inheritance.
From above the battleground of this world, where we look at everything through the eyes of Jesus, we see everything made by the ego as the absurdity that it is. Every difficult situation provides us with another opportunity to choose against the temptation to see that something real is going on. When we take it all seriously, it is all very disturbing to our peace of mind. But it is important not to dismiss it all as an illusion when we are not at peace. Instead, we need to look at our reactions, emotions, and interpretations of our experiences. It is not about denying anything we feel, but instead, being willing to look at everything coming up in our minds and give it over for healing, recognizing that we have a choice as to how to see it. We have the Holy Spirit in our own Right Minds, Who will help us to see every situation differently when we ask for his Help. While it seems like we walk alone with our sins, he asks, today, that we let doubting cease and waste no more time in this fantasy that has kept us bound to our beliefs that we are alone, guilty, and separate.
While we have been at this game for a very long time, having wasted many years, it does not matter because we are here now and "The past is gone, with all its fantasies. They keep you bound no longer." (W.156.7.2-3) There is nothing to keep us from the truth except our own decision. The world has no ability to imprison us. We need not be bound by anything that seems to have happened in the past because the past is over, unless we choose to give it power. The situations in our lives imprison us only to the extent we give them power.
When we think of the past as real and hold onto our stories of what happened, we are giving them the reality that they don't have. The miracle releases us from these stories of pain. The Holy Spirit will reinterpret every story we hold as true, as long as we ask for His help to do so. When we are not at peace, we can be assured that we are listening to our own thoughts about a situation, and those thoughts are not the truth. Truth brings only peace and joy into our minds. When I feel upset about anything, I find that if I ask the Holy Spirit how I should see the situation from His perspective, I immediately recognize my perspective is wrong. He always shows me another way to see it.
When we feel challenged by events in our lives, we may blame ourselves for "manifesting" them. We make ourselves wrong and guilty when everything is, in fact, just an opportunity for releasing the guilt in the mind. Everything is for our healing. It is not helpful to judge ourselves, as this only perpetuates the guilt in our minds. Being willing to look through the eyes of non-judgmental Love is how we heal. Our holiness is guaranteed. We have not left our Source. There is a light in us, which cannot die and truly is a light "the universe longs to behold." (W.156.5.1)
We are not aware of the light of our holiness because we put up all kinds of barriers to the truth of who we are. We look at our lives and believe that we have a long way to go. This is why, today, we ask the question, "'Who walks with me'?" (W.156.8.1) a thousand times. We ask it simply because we need to hear the answer from the Holy Spirit, over and over, that we are holy, we are not alone, and we are protected and loved beyond measure. The Mind, which knows that I and the Father are One, knows Absolute Happiness. Today, as you ask the question over and over, "Who walks with me?" (W.156.8.1) we hear the answer over and over, "I walk with God in perfect holiness. I light the world, I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me." (W.156.8.5-6)
It is our negative thoughts that block our awareness of this love. We need this constant reminder that we walk with God. Be willing today to bring all your mistaken thoughts to the truth by looking at them with Jesus, and thus, they will be corrected. We don't do the correcting. We just need to bring our awareness of these mistaken thoughts about ourselves and allow for His correction. It is not our job to fix ourselves. Our part is only to recognize and accept where we have been mistaken.
Jesus tells us that it is quite an amazing feat to think we can change the Son of God into something so unholy. Now, we need some serious relearning and reprogramming. Thank God we have this teaching and each other for support. It is not easy to do this alone. In fact, one of the easiest ways to recognize our holiness is to see our brothers and sisters with Christ's vision. The gift we give them is one we give to ourselves. In Lesson 154, "I am among the ministers of God," Jesus challenges us not to wait to give the message to our brothers so we can know we have received it. In other words, this Course is about application. It is ultimately practical and profound in showing us how we can use every relationship for healing. Everyone is a mirror for my own mind.
Through the process of forgiveness, we are learning the truth of who we are and who our brothers are. It is only by extending this truth to everyone, with no exception, that we learn it. To give and to receive are one in truth. What we give is what we receive. It is only in our daily practice and application, seeing our lives as a classroom for forgiveness, that the miracle happens where we experience the light in us "the universe longs to behold." (W.156.5.1)
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Fourteen

Bringing Illusions to Truth    

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

IV. Perception Without Deceit                          
24 What do you want? Light or darkness, knowledge or ignorance are yours, but not both. Opposites must be brought together and not kept apart. For their separation is only in your mind, and they are reconciled by union, as you are. In union, everything that is not real must disappear, for truth is union. As darkness disappears in light, so ignorance fades away when knowledge dawns. Perception is the medium by which ignorance is brought to knowledge. Yet the perception must be without deceit, for otherwise it becomes the messenger of ignorance rather than a helper in the search for truth. 

The search for truth is but the honest searching out of everything that interferes with truth. Truth is. It can be neither lost nor sought nor found. It is there, wherever you are, being within you. Yet it can be recognized or unrecognized, real or false to you. If you hide it, it becomes unreal to you because you hid it and surrounded it with fear. Under each cornerstone of fear on which you have erected your insane system of belief, the truth lies hidden. Yet you cannot know this, for by hiding truth in fear, you see no reason to believe the more you look at fear, the less you see it, and the clearer what it conceals becomes.
26 It is not possible to convince the unknowing that they know. From their point of view, it is not true. Yet it is true because God knows it. These are clearly opposite viewpoints of what the "unknowing" are. To God, unknowing is impossible. It is therefore not a point of view at all but merely a belief in something that does not exist. It is only this belief that the unknowing have, and by it they are wrong about themselves. They have defined themselves as they were not created. Their creation was not a point of view, but rather a certainty. Uncertainty brought to certainty does not retain any conviction of reality.
27 You must have noticed that the emphasis has been on bringing what is undesirable to the desirable; what you do not want to what you do. You will realize that salvation must come to you this way if you consider what dissociation is. Dissociation is a distorted process of thinking whereby two systems of belief which cannot coexist are both maintained. It has been recognized that if they were brought together their joint acceptance would become impossible. But if one is kept in darkness from the other, their separation seems to keep them both alive and equal in their reality. Their joining thus becomes the source of fear, for if they meet, acceptance must be withdrawn from one of them.
28 You cannot have them both, for each denies the other. Apart, this fact is lost from sight, for each in a separate place can be endowed with firm belief. Bring them together, and the fact of their complete incompatibility is instantly apparent. One will go because the other is seen in the same place. Light cannot enter darkness when a mind believes in darkness and will not let it go. Truth does not struggle against ignorance, and love does not attack fear. What needs no protection does not defend itself. Defense is of your making. God knows it not. The Holy Spirit uses defenses on behalf of truth only because you made them against it. His perception of them, according to His purpose, merely changes them into a call for what you have attacked with them.
29 Defenses, like everything you made, must be gently turned to your own good, translated by the Holy Spirit from means of self-destruction to means of preservation and release. His task is mighty, but the power of God is with Him. Therefore, to Him it is so easy that it was accomplished the instant it was given Him for you. Do not delay yourselves in your return to peace by wondering how He can fulfill what God has given Him to do. Leave that to Him Who knows. You are not asked to do mighty tasks yourself. You are merely asked to do the little He suggests you do, trusting Him only to the small extent of believing that if He asks it, you can do it. You will see how easily all that He asks can be accomplished.
30 The Holy Spirit asks of you but this---bring to Him every secret you have locked away from Him. Open every door to Him and bid Him enter the darkness and lighten it away. At your request He enters gladly. He brings the light to darkness if you make the darkness open to Him. But what you hide He cannot look upon. For He sees for you, and unless you look with Him, He cannot see. The vision of Christ is not for Him alone but for Him with you. Bring, therefore, all your dark and secret thoughts to Him and look upon them with Him. He holds the light, and you the darkness. They cannot coexist when both of you together look on them. His judgment must prevail, and He will give it to you as you join your perception to His. Joining with Him in seeing is the way in which you learn to share with Him the interpretation of perception that leads to knowledge.
31 You cannot see alone. Sharing perception with Him Whom God has given you teaches you how to recognize what you see. It is the recognition that nothing you see means anything alone. Seeing with Him will show you that all meaning, including yours, comes not from double vision but from the gentle fusing of everything into one meaning, one emotion, and one purpose. God has one purpose which He shares with you. The single vision which the Holy Spirit offers you will bring this oneness to your mind with clarity and brightness so intense you could not wish for all the world not to accept what God would have you have. Behold your will, accepting it as His, with all His love as yours. All honor to you through Him, and through Him unto God.
32 In the darkness you have obscured the glory God gave you and the power He bestowed upon His guiltless Son. All this lies hidden in every darkened place shrouded in guilt and in the dark denial of innocence. Behind the dark doors which you have closed lies nothing, because nothing can obscure the gift of God. It is the closing of the doors that interferes with recognition of the power of God that shines in you. Banish not power from your mind, but let all that would hide your glory be brought to the judgment of the Holy Spirit and there undone. Whom He would save for glory is saved for it. He has promised the Father that through Him you would be released from littleness to glory. To what He promised God He is wholly faithful, for He shared with God the promise that was given Him to share with you.
33 He shares it still, for you. Everything that promises otherwise, great or small, however much or little valued, He will replace with the one promise given unto Him to lay upon the altar to your Father and His Son. No altar stands to God without His Son. And nothing brought there that is not equally worthy of both but will be replaced by gifts wholly acceptable to Father and to Son. Can you offer guilt to God? You cannot, then, offer it to His Son. For they are not apart, and gifts to one are offered to the other.
34 You know not God because you know not this. And yet you do know God and also this. All this is safe within you, where the Holy Spirit shines. He shines not in division, but in the meeting place where God, united with His Son, speaks to His Son through Him. Communication between what cannot be divided cannot cease. The holy meeting place of the unseparated Father and His Son lies in the Holy Spirit and in you. All interference in the communication that God Himself wills with His Son is quite impossible here. Unbroken and uninterrupted love flows constantly between the Father and the Son, as both would have it be. And so it is.
35 Let your minds wander not through darkened corridors, away from light's center. You may choose to lead yourselves astray, but you can only be brought together by the Guide appointed for you. He will surely lead you to where God and His Son await your recognition. They are joined in giving you the gift of oneness, before which all separation vanishes. Unite with what you are. You cannot join with anything except reality. God's glory and His Son's belong to you in truth. They have no opposite, and nothing else can you bestow upon yourselves.
36 There is no substitute for truth. And truth will make this plain to you as you are brought into the place where you must meet with truth. And there you must be led, through gentle understanding which can lead you nowhere else. Where God is, there are you. Such is the truth. Nothing can change the knowledge given you by God into unknowingness. Everything God created knows its Creator. For this is how creation is accomplished by the Creator and by His creations. In the holy meeting place are joined the Father and His creations, and the creations of His Son with them together. There is one link which joins them all together, holding them in the oneness out of which creation happens.
37 The link with which the Father joins Himself to those He gives the power to create like Him can never be dissolved. Heaven itself is union with all of creation and with its One Creator. And Heaven remains the Will of God for you. Lay no gifts other than this upon your altars, for nothing can coexist beside it. Here your meager offerings are brought together with the gift of God, and only what is worthy of the Father will be accepted by the Son, for whom it was intended. To whom God gives Himself, He is given. Your little gifts will vanish on the altar where He has placed His Own.
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