MONDAY June 6, 2016
Exchange Dark for Light
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 14 BRINGING ILLUSIONS TO TRUTH
III. OUT OF DARKNESS

16 The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding. Nothing you understand is fearful. It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and you shrink away from it to further darkness. And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for its hiddenness. The obscure is frightening because you do not understand its meaning. If you did, it would be clear, and you would be no longer in the dark. Nothing has hidden value, for what is hidden cannot be shared, and so its value is unknown. The hidden is kept apart, but value always lies in joint appreciation. What is concealed cannot be loved, and so it must be feared.

DAILY LESSON
Son ship Video
L e s s o n 157
Into His Presence would I enter now.

<AUDIO><VIDEO>

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER? 
 
   This is a day of silence and of trust.
   It is a special time of promise in
   your calendar of days. It is a time
   Heaven has set apart to shine upon,
   and casts a timeless light upon this day
   when echoes of eternity are heard.
   This day is holy, for it ushers in
   a new experience, a different kind
   of feeling and awareness. You have spent
   long days and nights in celebrating death.
   Today you learn to feel the joy of life.
 
   This is another crucial turning point
   in the curriculum. We add a new
   dimension now, a fresh experience
   which sheds a light on all that we have learned
   already, and prepares us for what we
   have yet to learn. It brings us to the door
   where learning ceases, and we catch a glimpse
   of what lies past the highest reaches it
   can possibly attain. It leaves us here
   an instant, and we go beyond it, sure
   of our direction and our only goal.
 
   Today it will be given you to gain
   a touch of Heaven, though you will return
   to paths of learning. Yet you have come far
   enough along the way to alter time
   sufficiently to rise above its laws
   and walk into eternity a while.
   This you will learn to do increasingly,
   as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed,
   brings you more swiftly to this holy place
   and leaves you, for a moment, with your Self.
 
   He will direct your practicing today,
   for what you ask for now is what He wills.
   And having joined your will with His this day,
   what you are asking must be given you.
   Nothing is needed but today's idea
   to light your mind and let it rest in still
   anticipation and in quiet joy
   wherein you quickly leave the world behind.
 
   From this day forth, your ministry takes on
   a genuine devotion and a glow
   that travels from your fingertips to those
   you touch, and blesses those you look upon.
   A vision reaches everyone you meet,
   and everyone you think of, or who thinks
   of you. For your experience today
   will so transform your mind that it becomes
   the touchstone for the holy Thoughts of God.
 
   Your body will be sanctified today,
   its only purpose being now to bring
   the vision of what you experience
   this day to light the world. We cannot give
   experience like this directly. Yet
   it leaves a vision in our eyes which we
   can offer everyone, that he may come
   the sooner to the same experience
   in which the world is quietly forgot
   and Heaven is remembered for a while.|
 
   As this experience increases and
   all goals but this become of little worth,
   the world to which you will return becomes
   a little closer to the end of time,
   a little more like Heaven in its ways,
   a little nearer its deliverance.
   And you who bring it light will come to see
   the light more sure; the vision more distinct.
 
   The time will come when you will not return
   in the same form in which you now appear,
   for you will have no need of it. Yet now
   it has a purpose, and will serve it well.|
   Today you will embark upon a course
   you have not dreamed of. But the Holy One,
   the Giver of the happy dreams of life,
   Translator of perception into truth,
   the holy Guide to Heaven given you,
   has dreamed for you this journey which you make
   and start today, with the experience
   this day holds out to you, to be your own.|
 
   Into Christ's Presence will you enter now,
   serenely unaware of everything
   except His shining Face and perfect Love.
   The vision of His Face will stay with you,
   but there will be an instant which transcends
   all vision, even this, the holiest.
   This you will never teach, for you attained
   it not through learning. Yet the vision speaks
   of your remembrance of what you knew
   that instant, and will surely know again.

    ~ The Original Handscript Notes
 
 
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 157
Into His Presence would I enter now.

Sarah's Commentary: 
 
In this Lesson, Jesus starts by saying, "It brings us to the door where learning ceases, and we catch a glimpse of what lies past the highest reaches it can possibly attain. It leaves us here an instant, and we go beyond it, sure of our direction and our only goal." (W.157.2.3-4) It is an experience of the holy instant, which is free of sin and guilt with no body or world to intrude on this experience of the mystical. The holy instant is also talked about in the Course as the final, eternal instant at the end of our learning process. This Lesson is all about entering an instant of release and then returning to the world with a glow that is brought with us from this experience. It can be a very powerful experience or simply an instant of respite from guilt and fear. It comes as a result of looking at the darkness in our minds, bringing it to the inner radiant light, and thus experiencing a moment of beautiful release.
 
However it is experienced, the intent is we enter an instant of the eternal NOW if only for a moment. The reflection of Heaven we experience in that moment will motivate us to keep going forward on this path. This is what Jesus means when he says in the Manual for Teachers, each step on this journey is heavily reinforced in the development of trust. In the holy instant, we experience true perception, which is beyond form, time, and space. It is the experience of the Self that we are, in truth, which has never changed as a result of our imagined sins. It is a Self we are currently only somewhat aware of. When the blocks to love are brought to the truth, we experience the holy instant. The means we are given to achieve this is through forgiveness.
 
Sometimes, when people speak of the experience of being in the now, they describe it as being very aware of the sensory world, experiencing the touch, feel, and smell of what is around them and being very present and mindful of all of it. This is not what Jesus is talking about when he talks of entering His Presence. It is an experience of true perception outside of the dream, where there is no identification with the image of who we think we are in the dream. It is an experience of the perfection of being one with the All.
 
"Today it will be given you to feel a touch of Heaven, though you will return to paths of learning. Yet you have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws, and walk into eternity a while." (W.157.3.1-2) This Lesson is all about experiencing the reflection of Heaven. It is a mystical state where we have an experience of the Christ Self. It is not Heaven, which the Course calls knowledge, for there is still consciousness of something, which is an aspect of duality. Jesus attempts to describe what the mystical experience may actually look like to the extent we can imagine it. This is obviously difficult because it is an experience that goes beyond perception, beyond concepts of all kinds, and leaves us with a new kind of vision, which we bring back to the world. This ". . . vision reaches everyone you meet, and everyone you think of, or who thinks of you. For your experience today will so transform your mind that it becomes the touchstone for the holy Thoughts of God." (W.157.5.2-3) It is all inclusive, where no one can be left behind, because we are one. Jesus teaches in the text, "And you and he will raise your eyes in faith together, or not at all." (T.19.IV.D.12.8)(ACIM OE T.19.V.d.101) It is a trans-formation of the mind that recognizes the Oneness that is shared with all our brothers and sisters. In the ego world, in order for one to get, the other must lose, but in God everything is shared and no one loses.
 
And with this experience comes ". . . another crucial turning point in the curriculum." (W.157.2.1) Jesus describes it as ". . . a fresh experience that sheds a light on all that we have learned already, and prepares us for what we have yet to learn." (W.157.2.2) This is a touch of Heaven, where we experience the love of God. It is a holy place, for we ". . . have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws, and walk into eternity a while," (W.157.3.2) and we can know the Self we are. Yet we can only get to this place by being vigilant in watching our thoughts, doing the Lessons, and by continually bringing our misperceptions to the truth. When you ask truly and make Heaven your one goal, ". . . what you are asking must be given you." (W.157.4.2) It is all about our choice to join our will with His today. When we do, nothing else is needed except this one Lesson. To come to this place in the mind means we have been faithful with our practice, which will bring us ". . . more swiftly to this holy place." (W.157.3.3)
 
"This you will learn to do increasingly, as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings you more swiftly to this holy place and leaves you, for a moment, to your Self." (W.157.3.3) It takes faithful rehearsal because the Course is about helping us to unlearn all we have learned about who we think we are. All the concepts we hold about ourselves, all our beliefs and values, and everything our senses report to us, are false. Jesus acknowledges it has been quite a learning feat to teach ourselves what we are not, "No one who understands what you have learned, how carefully you learned it, and the pains to which you went to practice and repeat the lessons endlessly, in every form you could conceive of them, could every doubt the power of your learning skill. There is no greater power in the world." (T.31.I.3.1-2)(ACIM OE T.31.I.3) Because we have achieved this extremely challenging task in learning what we are not, he affirms we can learn this simple Course that teaches, ". . . what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred and can have no effects. And that is all. Can this be hard to learn by anyone who wants it to be true?" (T.31.I.2-5)(ACIM OE T.31.I.1) The challenge is the undoing of what we have learned, which is all false but fortunately we do not do the undoing ourselves, but simply bring everything to the Holy Spirit, who will correct our misperceptions about ourselves.
 
Jesus says, "I am teaching you to associate misery with the ego and joy with the spirit. You have taught yourself the opposite. You are still free to choose, but can you really want the rewards of the ego in the presence of the rewards of God?" (T.4.VI.5.6-8)(ACIM OE T.4.VII.93) Our ego thoughts torment us with their dark stories and fanciful wishes. With each forgiving thought, we experience more and more of the world of love, the real world beyond this world of illusion. We have taught ourselves that we have to compete and get for ourselves by taking from others. The ego's counsel continues to keep us in deep misery, though we may not be in touch with the depth of the pain in us because we have covered it over so thoroughly and continually try to distract from it. The only way out is to be willing to consider there is a world beyond this world of illusion that we can experience if we are willing to look at the darkness and release our blocks to love.
 
If you feel you don't fit here, don't feel you belong here, and don't feel at home, be happy this is so. It is our suffering that motivates us to find another way. It has motivated us to pick up this Course. You have a higher calling than to be invested in this world. Now all our special relationships can be used for healing. They are the basis for our special function. The body's only purpose now is to ". . . bring the vision of what you experience this day to light the world." (W.157.6.1) When the body is used in this way, it is sanctified because it is put to a holy purpose. We then find a way of being in this world, but not of this world.
 
No matter how many accounts one reads of mystical experiences, it can only be known through our own experience. It is totally transformative, but it is not just for ourselves. Our vision, as a result of this experience, ". . . reaches everyone you meet, and everyone you think of, or who thinks of you." (W.157.5.2) It is like the passage from the Test of Truth in Chapter 14, where he says, "You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God's lesson, and not your own. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your mind that hurt and hinder you, and everyone around you. The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: You think you do not will for God's Son what his Father wills for him." (T.14.XI.5.1-4)(ACIM OE T.14.VII.63)
 
What Jesus is talking about here is an experience that goes beyond the realm of learning. It is beyond the perceptual realm, beyond the body, and beyond time and space, where we experience the true Self and where there is no sensory input. There are many accounts of the mystical experiences, though everyone struggles to put them into words. You have probably read about these experiences described in various ways, but words always fail in spite of the effort made to describe the indescribable. Here is one such account.
 
"Here is my experience to the best of my recollection and vocabulary: Again, everything was connected---God, humanity and the Universe-were all one. I had the sense that my heart was the place of the Immaculate Conception, I had given birth to the Christ Child within my heart, and I was like Christ, all at once. I had the sense that all human beings at the deepest level were also Christ. In other words, the Christ experience was not just a historical story, but a reality that each soul can experience in order to understand life's purpose and God's divine plan. I regret not having the words to describe this experience as it actually occurred. Only those who have had glimpses of this level of consciousness will understand. Again, I saw that all living things came from the exact same source of light, divine love and immeasurable compassion. Also, that deep within each soul, there is an innate desire and ability to heal the world. Of Course, each soul is unique in that it possesses different gifts and aspects of the divine source."
 
"I have tried to write about this experience for years, but words do not convey the magnitude of it. In the midst of this experience, I was gazing at the sky and I heard a voice that seemed to come from somewhere deep within. The voice said, "You are the Earth Star." When I heard this voice, I had a sense that I was being crucified with Christ. It was as if the entire Universe swept through my body. Yet I had the sense that I was also part of the Universe simultaneously. As all this was occurring, I felt as if my body were going to die. Because of my early Christian training, I called out, 'Jesus, save me.' At that moment, I felt a gentle breeze and again, from somewhere deep within, came a fragrance that is beyond anything I have ever experienced. It was the most beautiful combination of flowers, incense and perfume one could imagine. This experience lasted for 12 or more hours. By daylight, I had returned to my normal conscious self. It has taken me many years to understand that this was, indeed, a mystical experience that brought with it some knowledge of the meaning and purpose of life. It was as if I had walked through a doorway in my mind that led somewhere beyond my little self. This doorway led to a place of divine love, deep compassion and truth that is currently present, but not realized and acknowledged (not by most people, anyway). Also, I believe the part of me that was being crucified signified the fact that each living soul, in some way, must die to the "shadow side," for lack of a better word, or the ego, or "false self" is actually only an illusion and not eternal." [Anonymous]
 
Whatever level of experience we have of the holy instant, our learning still continues. It is not an experience we can give to anyone directly. It is intensely personal, yet it has an impact on everyone.
 
You can see why it is beyond anything we can imagine or dream about. Yet Jesus says it has been dreamed for us by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when our readiness is there, we will enter into His Presence, remember what we always knew, and take this reflection of His Love back into the world. This is our ministry. It is certainly not about preaching and teaching anyone about the Course or spirituality. The important thing we communicate is the love we are. It is a transformation of our own minds, and with it ". . . all goals but this become of little worth." (W.157.7.1) Notice Jesus is not telling us we will not still have goals in the world, but as our experience of the holy instant increases, the importance of our own goals diminishes. He recognizes it is still a process for us, but the value given to the world decreases with our increased investment in the undoing of the ego thought system.
 
"Into Christ's Presence will we enter now, serenely unaware of everything except His shining face and perfect Love. The vision of His face will stay with you, but there will be an instant which transcends all vision, even this, the holiest. This you will never teach, for you attained it not through learning. Yet the vision speaks of your remembrance of what you knew instant, and will surely know again." (W.157.9.1-4)
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
III. Out of Darkness   
 
16 The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding. Nothing you understand is fearful. It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and you shrink away from it to further darkness. And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for its hiddenness. The obscure is frightening because you do not understand its meaning. If you did, it would be clear, and you would be no longer in the dark. Nothing has hidden value, for what is hidden cannot be shared, and so its value is unknown. The hidden is kept apart, but value always lies in joint appreciation. What is concealed cannot be loved, and so it must be feared.
 
17 The quiet light in which the Holy Spirit dwells within you is merely perfect openness in which nothing is hidden and therefore nothing is fearful. Attack will always yield to love if it is brought to love, not hidden from it. There is no darkness that the light of love will not dispel, unless it is concealed from love's beneficence. What is kept apart from love cannot share its healing power, because it has been separated off and kept in darkness. The sentinels of darkness watch over it carefully, and you who made these guardians of illusion out of nothing are now afraid of them.
 
18 Would you continue to give imagined power to these strange ideas of safety? They are neither safe nor unsafe. They do not protect; neither do they attack. They do nothing at all, being nothing at all. As guardians of darkness and of ignorance, look to them only for fear, for what they keep obscure is fearful. But let them go, and what was fearful will be so no longer. Without protection of obscurity, only the light of love remains, for only this has meaning and can live in light. Everything else must disappear.
 
19 Death yields to life simply because destruction is not true. The light of guiltlessness shines guilt away because, when they are brought together, the truth of one must make the falsity of its opposite perfectly clear. Keep not guilt and guiltlessness apart, for your belief that you can have them both is meaningless. All you have done by keeping them apart is lose their meaning by confusing them with each other. And so you do not realize that only one means anything, and the other is wholly without sense of any kind.
 
20 You have interpreted the separation as a means which you have made for breaking your communication with your Father. The Holy Spirit reinterprets it as a means of reestablishing what has not been broken but has been made obscure. All things you made have use to Him for His most holy purpose. He knows you are not separate from God, but He perceives much in your mind that lets you think you are. All this, and nothing else, would He separate from you. The power of decision, which you made in place of the power of creation, He would teach you how to use on your behalf. You who made it to crucify yourselves must learn of Him how to apply it to the holy cause of restoration.
 
21 You who speak in dark and devious symbols do not understand the language you have made. It has no meaning, for its purpose is not communication, but rather the disruption of communication. If the purpose of language is communication, how can this tongue mean anything? Yet even this strange and twisted effort to communicate through not communicating holds enough of love to make it meaningful if its interpreter is not its maker. You who made it are but expressing conflict, from which the Holy Spirit would release you. Leave what you would communicate to Him. He will interpret it to you with perfect clarity, for He knows with Whom you are in perfect communication.
 
22 You know not what you say, and so you know not what is said to you. Yet your Interpreter perceives the meaning in your alien language. He will not attempt to communicate the meaningless. But He will separate out all that has meaning, dropping off the rest and offering your true communication to those who would communicate as truly with you. You speak two languages at once, and this must lead to unintelligibility. Yet if one means nothing and the other everything, only that one is possible for purposes of communication. The other but interferes with it.
 
23 The Holy Spirit's function is entirely communication. He therefore must remove whatever interferes with it in order to restore it. Therefore, keep no source of interference from His sight, for He will not attack your sentinels. But bring them to Him, and let His gentleness teach you that in the light they are not fearful and cannot serve to guard the dark doors behind which nothing at all is carefully concealed. We must open all doors and let the light come streaming through. There are no hidden chambers in God's temple. Its gates are open wide to greet His Son. No one can fail to come where God has called him if he close not the door himself upon his Father's welcome.

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