Lesson 157
HEADER
Aspects by Karen Casey Smith
Graphic by Karen Casey Smith

  
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 14 "BRINGING ILLUSIONS TO TRUTH"
V. THE RECOGNITION OF HOLINESS
      
42 In this world you can become a spotless mirror in which the Holiness of your Creator shines forth from you to all around you. You can reflect Heaven here. Yet no reflections of the images of other gods must dim the mirror that would hold God's reflection in it. Earth can reflect Heaven or hell; God or the ego. You need but leave the mirror clean and clear of all the images of hidden darkness you have drawn upon it. God will shine upon it of Himself. Only the clear reflection of Himself can be perceived upon it. Reflections are seen in light. In darkness they are obscure, and their meaning seems to lie only in shifting interpretations rather than in themselves.     
 
Divider Line
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
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


LESSON AUDIO RECORDINGS
Click this Heart and then click heart
on SoundCloud page
to LIKE Us
   
Divider Line
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 as a result of 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 experiencing a moment of beautiful release.
 
In whatever way it is experienced, the intent is to enter for an instant into the eternal now, if only for a moment, where the past and future are gone. The reflection of Heaven that 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 that each step on this journey is heavily reinforced by 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 and that has never changed as a result of our imagined sins. It is a Self that we are, currently, but only somewhat aware of. When the blocks to love are brought to the truth, we experience the holy instant. Forgiveness is the means that we are given to experience the holy instant.
 
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 all around them, and of being very present and mindful of it all. This is not what Jesus is talking about when he talks of entering "His Presence." (W.157) It is an experience of true perception, outside of the dream, where there is no identification with the image we think of as ourselves in the dream. It is an experience of the perfection of being One with the All, with no words to adequately describe it.
 
"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 that is an aspect of duality. Jesus attempts to describe what the mystical experience may actually look like to the extent that 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 that we bring back to the world. He tells us, "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." (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.i.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; however, in God, everything is shared and no one loses.
 
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) Now, 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 continuing to bring 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 desire 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 that we have been faithful to 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) This takes faithful determination because the Course is about helping us to unlearn all that 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 that 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 ever 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 that we can learn this simple Course. "How simple is salvation! All it says is 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.1.1-5) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1) The challenge is the undoing of what we have learned, which is all false. Fortunately, we are not responsible for the undoing ourselves. We simply bring everything to the Holy Spirit, who will correct our misperceptions. It is a mistake to think that we could fix ourselves because all we would be doing is trying to fix the image of who we think we are.
 
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, although we may not be in touch with the depth of the pain; we have covered it over so thoroughly and continually by distracting ourselves from it. The only way out is to be willing to consider that 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 don't feel that you fit here, don't feel that you belong here, and don't feel at home, be happy that 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. "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." (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 experience ourselves as being in this world but not of this world.
 
No matter how many accounts one reads of the mystical experience, it can only be known through our own experience. It is totally transformative, but it is not just for ourselves. "A 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 Section, "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 and beyond the body, time, and space, where we experience the true Self with no sensory input. There are many accounts of the mystical experience, although everyone struggles to put it into words. You have probably read about this experience described in various ways, but words always fail in spite of the effort made to describe the indescribable. Here is one such anonymous 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 of 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 ' that 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 that can be given 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" (W.156) by remembering what we always knew and then taking this reflection of His Love back into the world. That is our ministry. It is certainly not about preaching and teaching anyone about the Course, or about spirituality. The important thing that we communicate is His love coming through us. It is a transformation of our own minds and with it "all goals but this become of little worth." (W.157.7.1) Notice that Jesus is not telling us that we will no longer have goals in the world but only that, as our experience of the holy instant increases, the importance of our own goals diminishes. He recognizes that 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 that instant, and will surely know again. " (W.157.9.1-4)

Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Fourteen

Bringing Illusions to Truth    

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

V. The Recognition of Holiness                           
 
38 The Atonement does not make holy. You were created holy. It merely brings unholiness to holiness, or what you made to what you are. The bringing together of truth and illusion, of the ego to God, is the Holy Spirit's only function. Keep not your making from your Father, for hiding it has cost you knowledge of Him and of yourselves. The knowledge is safe, but wherein is your safety apart from it? The making of time to take the place of timelessness lay in the decision to be not as you were. Thus, truth was made past, and the present was dedicated to illusion. And the past, too, was changed and interposed between what always was and now. The past which you remember never was and represents only the denial of what always was.
 
39 Bringing the ego to God is but to bring error to truth, where it stands corrected because it is the opposite of what it meets and is undone, because the contradiction can no longer stand. How long can contradiction stand when its impossible nature is clearly revealed? What disappears in light is not attacked. It merely vanishes because it is not true. Different realities are meaningless, for reality must be one. It cannot change with time or mood or chance. Its changelessness is what makes it real. This cannot be undone. Undoing is for unreality. And this reality will do for you.
 
40 Merely by being what it is does truth release you from everything that it is not. The Atonement is so gentle you need but whisper to it, and all its power will rush to your assistance and support. You are not frail with God beside you. Yet without Him you are nothing. The Atonement offers you God. The gift which you refused is held by Him in you. His Spirit holds it there for you. God has not left His altar, though His worshiper placed other gods upon it. The temple still is holy, for the Presence that dwells within it is Holiness.
 
41 In the temple Holiness waits quietly for the return of them that love it. The Presence knows they will return to purity and to grace. The graciousness of God will take them gently in and cover all their sense of pain and loss with the immortal assurance of their Father's Love. There, fear of death will be replaced with joy of living. For God is Life, and they abide in Life.  [Life is as holy as the Holiness by which it was created.] The Presence of Holiness lives in everything that lives, for Holiness created life and leaves not what It created holy as Itself.
 
42 In this world you can become a spotless mirror in which the Holiness of your Creator shines forth from you to all around you. You can reflect Heaven here. Yet no reflections of the images of other gods must dim the mirror that would hold God's reflection in it. Earth can reflect Heaven or hell; God or the ego. You need but leave the mirror clean and clear of all the images of hidden darkness you have drawn upon it. God will shine upon it of Himself. Only the clear reflection of Himself can be perceived upon it. Reflections are seen in light. In darkness they are obscure, and their meaning seems to lie only in shifting interpretations rather than in themselves.
 
43 The reflection of God needs no interpretation. It is clear. Clean but the mirror, and the message which shines forth from what the mirror holds out for everyone to see no one can fail to understand. It is the message that the Holy Spirit is holding to the mirror that is in him. He recognizes it because he has been taught his need for it but knows not where to look to find it. Let him, then, see it in you and share it with you.
 
44 Could you but realize for a single instant the power of healing that the reflection of God, shining in you, can bring to all the world, you could not wait to make the mirror of your mind clean to receive the image of the holiness that heals the world. The image of holiness which shines in your mind is not obscure and will not change. Its meaning to those who look upon it is not obscure, for everyone perceives it as the same. All bring their different problems to its healing light, but all their problems are met only with healing there.
 
45 The response of holiness to any form of error is always the same. There is no contradiction in what holiness calls forth. Its one response is healing, without regard for what is brought to it. Those who have learned to offer only healing because of the reflection of holiness in them are ready at last for Heaven. There, holiness is not a reflection but rather the actual condition of what was but reflected to them here. God is no image, and His creations, as part of Him, hold Him in them in truth. They do not merely reflect truth, for they are truth.

 
 
ON LINE  SEARCHABLE Original Edition
 2017 Schedule of Lessons & Text Readings 
 
 
Hope you will click Heart to LIKE Us
Click this Heart and then click heart on SoundCloud page
to LIKE Us

 
Divider Line
To make a Tax-Deductible Donation in support of the Daily Lessons
just click the "DONATION" button below.

DAILY LESSONS

  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

Presently all CIMS projects are wholly supported by free will gifts of time, talent, and money. If you would like to support any of the activities of the Society in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Because of the international character of CIMS, the internet is our primary means of communicating and collaborating.
  
CIMS is a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and donations are tax deductible.
  
ALSO, by means of your will or other estate plan, you can name "Course in Miracles Society" as the beneficiary of a portion of your estate, or of particular assets in your estate.

In this way, you are honoring your loved ones while also providing critical support to the extension of LOVE.
 
Namaste and Thank You!
Send all inquiries to:
Donation to CIMS
 
____________________________ 
COURSE IN MIRACLES SOCIETY
7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200
Omaha, NE 68114 USA
Voice: 800-771-5056
Fax: 402-391-0343

Course in Miracles Society | 800-771-5056 | http://jcim.net