THURSDAY June 9, 2016
A Call for Help is Given
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 14 BRINGING ILLUSIONS TO TRUTH
VI. THE SHIFT TO MIRACLES

The power of God, and not of you, engenders miracles. The miracle itself is but the witness that you have the power of God in you. That is the reason why the miracle gives equal blessing to all who share in it, and that is also why everyone shares in it. The power of God is limitless. And being always maximal, it offers everything to every call from anyone. There is no order of difficulty here. A call for help is given help. 
DAILY LESSON
Son ship Video
L e s s o n 160
I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.


<AUDIO>

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER? 
   
   Fear is a stranger to the ways of love.
   Identify with fear, and you will be
   a stranger to yourself. And thus you are
   unknown to you. What is your Self remains
   an alien to the part of you which thinks
   that it is real, but different from yourself.
   Who could be sane in such a circumstance?
   Who but a madman could believe he is
   what he is not, and judge against himself?|
 
   There is a stranger in our midst, which comes
   from an idea so foreign to the truth
   it speaks a different language, looks upon
   a world truth does not know, and understands
   what truth regards as senseless. Stranger yet,
   it does not recognize to whom it comes
   and yet maintains his home belongs to it,
   while he is alien now who is at home.
 
   And yet how easy it would be to say,
   "This is my home. Here I belong, and will
   not leave because a madman says I must."|
   What reason is there for not saying this?
   What could the reason be except that you
   had asked this stranger in to take your place,
   and let you be a stranger to yourself?
   No-one would let himself be dispossessed
   so needlessly, unless he thought there was
   another home more suited to his tastes.|
 
   Who is the stranger? Is it fear or you
   that is unsuited to the home which God
   provided for His Son? Is fear His own,
   created in His likeness? Is it fear
   that love completes and is completed by?
   There is no home can shelter love and fear.
   They cannot coexist. If you be real,
   then fear must be illusion. And if fear
   is real, then you do not exist at all.
 
   How simply, then, the question is resolved.
   Who fears has but denied himself and said,
   "I am the stranger here. And so I leave
   my home to one more like me than myself,
   and so I leave to him all that is mine."
   Now is he exiled of necessity,
   not knowing who he is, uncertain of
   all things but this; that he is not himself,
   and that his home has been denied to him.
 
   What does he search for now? What can he find?
   A stranger to himself can find no home
   wherever he may look, for he has made
   return impossible. His way is lost
   except a miracle will search him out,
   and show him that he is no stranger now.
   The miracle will come. For in his home
   his Self remains. It asked no stranger in,
   and took no alien thought to be Itself.
   And It will call Its Own unto Itself,
   in recognition of what is Its Own.
 
   Who is the stranger? Is he not the one
   your Self calls not? You are unable now
   to recognize the stranger in your midst,
   for you have given him your rightful place.
   Yet is your Self as certain of Its Own
   as God is of His Son. He cannot be
   confused about creation. He is sure
   of what belongs to Him. No stranger can
   be interposed between His knowledge and
   His Son's reality. He does not know
   of strangers. He is certain of His Son.
 
   His certainty suffices. Whom he knows
   to be His Son belongs where He has set
   His Son forever. He has answered you
   who ask, "Who is the stranger?" Hear His Voice
   assure you, quietly and sure, that you
   are not a stranger to your Father, nor
   is your Creator stranger made to you.
   Whom God has joined remains forever one,
   at home in Him, no stranger to Himself.
 
   Today we offer thanks that Christ has come
   to search the world for what belongs to Him.
   His vision sees no strangers, but beholds
   His Own, and joyously unites with them.
   They see Him as a stranger, for they do
   not recognize themselves. Yet when they give
   Him welcome, they remember. And He leads
   them gently home again where they belong.
 
   Not one does He forget. Not one He fails
   to give you to remember, that your home
   may be complete and perfect, as it was
   established. He has not forgotten you.
   But you will not remember Him until
   you look on all as He does. Who denies
   his brother is denying Him, and thus
   refusing to accept the gift of sight
   by which his Self is clearly recognized,
   his home remembered, and salvation come.
 
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes
 
 
          
LESSON AUDIO RECORDINGS
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 160
I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.

Sarah's Commentary: 
 
This Lesson describes in a very stark manner the insanity of the choice made by the Son of God for the ego, which is referred to here as the stranger. In this choice, we have made our home one of fear. We are now a stranger to the Self that is still at home with God. We have identified with fear and now we don't know our own reality as love. So now we are confused about our identity and question who we are. "Who could be sane in such a circumstance?" (W.160.1.5) When we align with the ego as our identity, confusion reigns. Once we have made a choice for the ego, we automatically become a stranger to the Christ Self we are, "And thus you are unknown to you." (W.160.1.3) Who I really am has become alien to me.

We have come to believe we are the home of sin, guilt, and fear. With the choice we made to separate from love came the belief we are sinful, guilty, and now fear God's punishment. We feel lost and so we search for a place we can feel at home again. Jesus asks us to consider what we are searching for? "What can he find? A stranger to himself can find no home wherever he may look, for he has made return impossible." (W.160.6.2-3) What we are desperately searching for is the love we think we have lost. Now we are looking for it outside ourselves in the world, which is exactly where the ego would have us look. It knows we will never find it there. The peace, fulfillment, and happiness we think is out there somewhere can't be found in the world because it doesn't exist there. When we follow the ego's mantra, we keep seeking, but never finding. Until we seek where our happiness truly is, which is in our right minds, we will be going on a futile search, looking for happiness where it can't be found. Under these conditions, return becomes impossible.
 
When I have fear thoughts, I say, "I am afraid," as if the fear thoughts were me. When I have thoughts of anger, sadness, and jealousy, I say I am angry, sad, worried, or jealous, but these thoughts are not descriptive of anything true about me. They are just thoughts I have chosen to believe, and as I hold them, I am a stranger to the Self that is in a constant state of peace. I am actually blocking this state with my reliance on my senses, which aim to prove to me that I am who I say I am. As I hold these thoughts, I suffer because my misperceptions block the truth of who I am.
 
Why do we choose to identify with thoughts that are not true? "What could the reason be except that you had asked this stranger in to take your place, and let you be a stranger to yourself? No one would let himself be dispossessed so needlessly, unless he thought there were another home more suited to his tastes." (W.160.3.2-3) Yes, we still believe the world and body give us what we want and as long as we think this, we will pursue our spiritual goals, while still holding onto to the belief there is something to be gained from the world. This is a reflection of our split minds. True, we suffer as a result of the thoughts and beliefs we hold, but there is a payoff without which we would not continue to hold these thoughts. First and foremost, it keeps us invested in the separate self, which we still value. Secondly, we believe we can make others responsible for our suffering and let them take the anticipated punishment for the separation, while maintaining our innocence. We give the attributes of fear to love, meaning, we now look to fear to keep us safe. So we give our allegiance to the body, our individuality, and our independence, where we feel our happiness lies. We think we know our own best interests and what will keep us safe.
 
This is how we establish our barricades to protect us from God's wrath, which is why Jesus says the world was made as a place to hide from God. In fact, he describes it as a place where God can enter not. "The 'attack on God' made His Son think he was fatherless, and out of his depression he made the god of depression." (T.10.V.4.2)(ACIM OE T.9.XI.96) What a sad substitute for our true happiness, yet until we see what we have done, we will not know there is another way to see all this. Eventually, we come to see how the ego has set all this up. It is not our friend. In fact, it is the stranger that has taken over our pristine home and made himself comfortable at our invitation. This is the height of insanity.
 
The stranger we have invited into our home is fear. Now we no longer feel safe. We feel dispossessed from ourselves. We live with a sense of underlying anxiety, worry, anger, depression, restlessness, frustration, unworthiness, helplessness, confusion, sadness, and hurt. These, and myriad of other feelings, are what have taken up residence in our wrong minds. Truth regards these feelings as senseless. They are alien to our real nature. We have chosen littleness over our magnitude. But this need not be. All that is required is to recognize we can tell the madman to leave! "What reason is there for not saying this?" (W.160.3.1) Why do we continue to entertain these feelings? Why do we continue to listen to the counsel of the ego that does not have our best interests in mind? Until we recognize what we have done and release our allegiance to this thought system, we remain a stranger to ourselves. We don't have to listen to the ego any longer, but in order to realize we don't want the ego thought-system, we must be very vigilant in seeing its game. Jesus is helping us with this by unveiling the ego strategy very clearly to us. He is showing us how we have been duped by the ego and will continue to live in a state of underlying fear until we choose against it. We are called to recognize the power of the mind to choose whether we will continue to invite the stranger in or will choose to turn to the Holy Spirit.
 
On a practical level, this requires watching our thoughts because we can't bring forward for healing what we don't see. It means looking at our beliefs, our values, our feelings, our thoughts, and our self-concepts. We believe we need to know what to do. We think we know our own best interests. We believe we are lacking. We feel unworthy. We believe we have been abandoned, and that people are judging us. These and other beliefs we hold must now all be brought to question. We have been wrong about everything we value and believe. All of our self-concepts are part of the stranger's identity.
 
Jesus asks us to consider, "Who is the stranger? Is it fear or you who are unsuited to the home which God provided for His Son?" (W.160.4.1-2) How could fear have any part of God's creation if we were created in His likeness? If fear is not part of God's creation, it cannot be real, even though it seems real to us because we have made it real in our minds. When we identify with the fear, it does seem like it is love that is the stranger, because the love in the mind is not apparent to us. Fear seems more real. In other words, the dream of this illusory world seems more real than God's reality, which to us seems more illusory.
 
We don't have to give fear a safe place to exist. This stranger, fear, has become comfortable with us. We no longer recognize it as fearful, as we have become very familiar with these fear-based thoughts and feelings. We may not like them, but we know what to expect. As Byron Katie asks, "Who would you be without this fear?" What we do know is fear has taken the place of the love we are. "Fear is a stranger to the ways of love." (W.160.1.1) Fear and love cannot coexist. "There is no home can shelter love and fear." (W.160.4.5) "If you are real, then fear must be illusion. And if fear is real, then you do not exist at all." (W.160.4.7-8) Thus, it is one or the other. Both cannot be true.
 
As was discussed in Lesson 152, "As God created you, you must remain unchangeable, with transitory states by definition false. And that includes all shifts in feeling, alterations in conditions of the body and the mind; in all awareness and in all response." (W.152.5.1-2) Anything other than a state of love, peace, and joy, is our own contribution and not given by God. What is created in the image and likeness of God is love, not fear. If we are real, then fear must be unreal. If we are in fear and it is illusion not given by God, then it is nothing and does not exist. Yet while we can seem to abandon the Self we are, it has not left us. This is the Call within our right minds that we have listened to and responded to by coming to this Course. While our way is lost, a miracle has searched us out and is showing us we are not this stranger. "No stranger can be interposed between His knowledge and His Son's reality. He does not know of strangers. He is certain of His Son." (W.160.7.7-9 "The miracle will come." (W.160.6.5-9)
 
We have the power in us to choose the ego or the Holy Spirit in every circumstance. It was our choice to throw away our true home and let this stranger in. As a result of our decision to invite the stranger in, we think our home is denied to us and someone else is to blame for our condition. Yet because we are the ones responsible, we can now choose again, in each situation and every circumstance we encounter. We are choosing to no longer listen to the stranger. Love is still there in our right minds, waiting for our acceptance. The memory of who we are has never left. We can reverse our decision for separation each time we are willing to forgive our misperceptions and ask for a new interpretation from the Holy Spirit. We have so many opportunities in the situations and events of our lives to choose forgiveness instead of attack. The moments to choose again are presented daily. Why would we continue to hurt ourselves when there is a way out of our pain? Our happiness depends on the choice we make for forgiveness. The Truth is still in our minds. We need not be stuck in our fear and no longer hang onto our stories of pain and betrayal.
 
We can distance ourselves from the stranger by looking at what it is up to. When the thoughts and feelings that no longer serve us are identified, we can look at them without judgment. We do this by stepping back from them and looking from outside this dream, where Jesus stands with us. We become the observer. We become the investigator of our feelings and emotions. We continue this process until we no longer identify with this stranger at all and attend more and more to the Holy Spirit's Voice within us. "Hear His Voice assure you, quietly and sure, that you are not a stranger to your Father, nor is your Creator stranger made to you." (W.160.8.4) God knows us as the Christ Self we are and does not see the ego at all. He does not know of this illusion. How can He when none of it is real? "His vision sees no strangers, but beholds His Own and joyously unites with them." (W.160.9.2)
 
We can be truly thankful "Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him." (W.160.9.1) He does not see anything but the truth of who we are. All our fears, our worries, our feelings of aloneness and separateness, and our angst and sadness, have been answered in His Call to which we have responded. Now we willingly follow our pathway home to the Self that is nothing but love. We no longer need to continue to identify with thoughts of fear. We can know this stranger is not who we are. Our identification with this stranger lessens with each step we take on this path. It is through forgiveness of our brothers that we come to know the love we are. You ". . . will not remember Him [the Christ Self] until you look on all [your brothers] as He does." (W.160.10.4) When we accept our brothers as part of our one Self, seeing no differences, then the love we are is extended through us, and we experience our Oneness on our journey back to our true home, where we all belong. We all share the same wrong-minded thought system that has taken us to this world, where the stranger seems to be at home. And now the world can become a classroom, where the Christ Self we share can be born again and reflect the Oneness of Heaven.
 
Let us be determined to reclaim our true home today. It is not here. Our home is ". . . complete and perfect as it was established." (W.160.10.2) We have not been forgotten by Him as He is in our minds, awaiting our acceptance. Let us today distance ourselves from the craziness of our ego thoughts and the insanity of the world and choose our reality as Love. We have asked for the light, and we are determined to see. We cannot fail to know the truth. Keep watching your thoughts and see the reflection of your mind in everything and everyone. Take responsibility for what you are projecting and bring all fear thoughts and concepts with which you identify to the Holy Spirit for healing. Notice that much of the time you are not accepting of your brothers, but you are judging them or being insensitive to them. This is the awareness called for if we are to heal our mistaken perceptions. Do not judge yourself in this. Simply be the observer. This world is a classroom where we can be set free when we use every opportunity for healing. When we exclude any brother, we are excluding ourselves from love. We won't remember our home in Christ until we see everyone with His vision.
 
"Today we offer thanks that Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him. His vision sees no stranger, but beholds His Own and joyously unites with them. They see Him as a stranger, for they do not recognize themselves. Yet as they give Him welcome, they remember. And He leads them gently home again where they belong." (W.160.9) No one is forgotten.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
VI. The Shift to Miracles      
 
46 When no perception stands between God and His creations, or between His Children and their own, the knowledge of creation must continue forever. The reflections which you accept into the mirror of your minds in time but bring eternity nearer or farther. But eternity itself is beyond all time. Reach out of time and touch it, with the help of its reflection in you. And you will turn from time to holiness as surely as the reflection of holiness calls everyone to lay all guilt aside. Reflect the peace of Heaven here and bring this world to Heaven. For the reflection of truth draws everyone to truth, and as they enter into it, they leave all reflections behind.
 
47 In Heaven reality is shared and not reflected. By sharing its reflection here, its truth becomes the only perception the Son of God accepts. And thus, remembrance of his Father dawns on him, and he can no longer be satisfied with anything but his own reality. You on earth have no conception of limitlessness, for the world you seem to live in is a world of limits. In this world, it is not true that anything without order of difficulty can occur. The miracle, therefore, has a unique function and is motivated by a unique Teacher, Who brings the laws of another world to this one. The miracle is the one thing you can do that transcends order, being based not on differences but on equality.
 
48 Miracles are not in competition, and the number of them that you can do is limitless. They can be simultaneous and legion. This is not difficult to understand, once you conceive of them as possible at all. What is more difficult to grasp is the lack of order of difficulty which stamps the miracle as something that must come from elsewhere, not from here. From the world's viewpoint, this is impossible. You have experienced lack of competition among your thoughts, which, even though they may conflict, can occur to you together and in great numbers. You are so used to this that it can cause you little surprise.
 
49 Yet you are also used to classifying some of your thoughts as more important, larger or better, wiser or more productive and valuable than others. And this is true about the thoughts which cross the mind of those who think they live apart. For some are reflections of Heaven, while others are motivated by the ego, which but seems to think. The result is a weaving, changing pattern which never rests and is never still. It shifts unceasingly across the mirror of your mind, and the reflections of Heaven last but a moment and grow dim as darkness blots them out. Where there was light, darkness removes it in an instant, and alternating patterns of light and darkness sweep constantly across your minds.
 
50 The little sanity which still remains is held together by a sense of order which you establish. Yet the very fact that you can do this and bring any order into chaos shows you that you are not an ego and that more than an ego must be in you. For the ego is chaos, and if it were all of you, no order at all would be possible. Yet though the order which you impose upon your minds limits the ego, it also limits you. To order is to judge and to arrange by judgment. [Therefore, it is not your function, but the Holy Spirit's.] It will seem difficult for you to learn that you have no basis at all for ordering your thoughts. This lesson the Holy Spirit teaches by giving you shining examples to show you that your way of ordering is wrong, but that a better way is offered you.
 
51 The miracle offers exactly the same response to every call for help. It does not judge the call. It merely recognizes what it is and answers accordingly. It does not consider which call is louder or greater or more important. You may wonder how you who are still bound to judgment can be asked to do that which requires no judgment of your own. The answer is very simple. The power of God, and not of you, engenders miracles. The miracle itself is but the witness that you have the power of God in you. That is the reason why the miracle gives equal blessing to all who share in it, and that is also why everyone shares in it. The power of God is limitless. And being always maximal, it offers everything to every call from anyone. There is no order of difficulty here. A call for help is given help.
 
52 The only judgment involved at all is the Holy Spirit's one division into two categories-one of love and the other the call for love. You cannot safely make this division, for you are much too confused either to recognize love or to believe that everything else is nothing but a need for love. You are too bound to form and not to content. What you consider content is not content at all. It is merely form, and nothing else. For you do not respond to what a brother really offers you, but only to the particular perception of his offering by which the ego judges it.
 
53 The ego is incapable of understanding content and is totally unconcerned with it. To the ego, if the form is acceptable, the content must be. Otherwise, it will attack the form. You who believe you understand something of the dynamics of the mind, let me assure you that you know nothing of it at all. For of yourselves you could not know of it. The study of the ego is not the study of the mind. In fact, the ego enjoys the study of itself and thoroughly approves the undertakings of students who would analyze it, approving its importance. Yet they but study form with meaningless content. For their teacher is senseless, though careful to conceal this fact behind a lot of words which sound impressive but which lack any consistent sense when they are put together.
 
54 This is characteristic of the ego's judgments. Separately, they seem to hold, but put them together and the system of thought which arises from joining them is incoherent and utterly chaotic. For form is not enough for meaning, and the underlying lack of content makes a cohesive system impossible. Separation therefore remains the ego's chosen condition. For no one alone can judge the ego truly. Yet when two or more join together in searching for truth, the ego can no longer defend its lack of content. The fact of union tells them it is not true.
 
55 It is impossible to remember God in secret and alone. For remembering Him means you are not alone and willing to remember it. Take no thought for yourself, for no thought you hold is for yourself. If you would remember your Father, let the Holy Spirit order your thoughts and give only the answer with which He answers you. Everyone seeks for love as you do and knows it not unless he joins with you in seeking it. If you undertake the search together, you bring with you a light so powerful that what you see is given meaning. The lonely journey fails because it has excluded what it would find.
 
56 As God communicates to the Holy Spirit in you, so does the Holy Spirit translate His communications through you so you can understand them. God has no secret communications, for everything of Him is perfectly open and freely accessible to all, being for all. Nothing lives in secret, and what you would hide from the Holy Spirit is nothing. Every interpretation you would lay upon a brother is senseless. Let the Holy Spirit show him to you and teach you both his love and need for love. Neither his mind nor yours holds more than these two orders of thought.
 
57 The miracle is the recognition that this is true. Where there is love, your brother must give it to you because of what it is. But where there is need for love, you must give it because of what you are. Long ago we said this course will teach you what you are, restoring to you your identity. We have already learned that this identity is shared. The miracle becomes the means of sharing it. By supplying your identity wherever it is not recognized, you will recognize it. And God Himself, Who wills to be with His Son forever, will bless each recognition of His Son with all the love He holds for him. Nor will the power of all His love be absent from any miracle you offer to His Son. How, then, can there be any order of difficulty among them? 

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