Lesson 160
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Holy Spirit Transcends Time
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 15 "THE PURPOSE OF TIME" 
II. USE OF TIME
      
15 Time is your friend if you leave it to the Holy Spirit to use. He needs but very little to restore God's whole power to you. He Who transcends time for you understands what time is for. Holiness lies not in time but in eternity. There never was an instant in which God's Son could lose his purity. His changeless state is beyond time, for his purity remains forever beyond attack and without variability. Time stands still in his holiness and changes not. And so it is no longer time at all. For, caught in the single instant of the eternal sanctity of God's creation, it is transformed into forever. Give the eternal instant that eternity may be remembered for you in that shining instant of perfect release. Offer the miracle of the holy instant through the Holy Spirit and leave His giving it to you to Him.       
         
          ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 15.II         AUDIO:TEXT CH 15, I-II 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
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


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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 that is referred here as the stranger. With this choice, our home is now invaded by fear. Now, we are 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. We are confused about our identity and wonder, "What am I?" "Who could be sane in such a circumstance?" (W.160.1.5) When we align with the ego as our identity, confusion reigns. Once you have made a choice for the ego, you automatically become a stranger to the Christ Self that you 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 that we are the home of sin, guilt, and fear. With the separation comes the belief in sin, guilt, and the fear of God's punishment. We feel lost, and so we keep searching for a place where we can feel at home. 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, and now we are looking for it outside of ourselves in the world, which is exactly where the ego would have us look for it, knowing we will never find it there. The peace, fulfillment, and happiness that we think are "out there" somewhere can't be found in the world because it doesn't exist out 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 will never be found. Under these conditions, truth will not be found.
 
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 that 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 when I hold onto them, I become a stranger to the Self that is in a constant state of peace. I am actually blocking this state with my reliance on what my senses report back to me. Their aim is to prove to me that I am what I say I am. As I hold these thoughts, I suffer because my misperceptions block the truth of my reality.
 
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 the belief that 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 that 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 that we now look to fear to keep us safe. We give our allegiance to our body, our individuality, and our independence where we believe 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 that the world was made as a place to hide from God. In fact, he describes it as a place where God could 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 it all. 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. As a result, 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 a 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 that we could tell the madman to leave at any moment! "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 shows 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 turn to the Holy Spirit instead.
 
On a practical level, this requires watching our thoughts, since 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 know our own best interests, we are lacking, we are unworthy, 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 in God's creation. We have all the attributes of God and fear is not part of Him. 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 and have given it power over us. 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.
 
But we don't have to give fear a safe place to exist. This stranger (fear) has become comfortable to 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 they are familiar, and thus we know what to expect. As Byron Katie asks, "Who would you be without this fear?" "Fear is a stranger to the ways of love." (W.160.1.1) Fear and love can't 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 can't 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 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 that we are, it has not left us. This is the Call within our right minds that we have heard and responded to by coming to this Course. While we feel lost, a miracle has searched us out and is showing us that 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)
 
As a result of our decision to invite the stranger in, we think our home is denied to us and that someone else is to blame for our condition. But because we are the ones responsible, we can now choose again in each situation and every circumstance that 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. Why would we continue to hurt ourselves when there is a way out of our pain? Our happiness depends on our decision to watch our minds and let fear thoughts be placed on the altar where they are exchanged for the miracle. The Truth is still in our minds. We need not be stuck in our fear, nor 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 of 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 that we are and does not see the ego at all. He does not know of this illusion. How could 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 that "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 of our fears, our worries, our feelings of aloneness and separateness, our angst and our 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 that we take on this path. It is through forgiveness of our brothers that we come to know the love that we are.
 
"But 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, 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. Now the world can become a classroom where the Christ Self we share can be born again and reflect the Oneness of Heaven. In the world, Oneness is reflected by seeing everyone the same.
 
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 forgiveness in every situation. 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 how much of the time you are not accepting your brothers, 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 to 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
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Fifteen

The Purpose of Time

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

I. Introduction                              
    
1 Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time? Yet that is what time is for-to learn just that and nothing more. God's Teacher cannot be satisfied with His teaching until it constitutes all your learning. He has not fulfilled His teaching function until you have become such a consistent learner that you learn only of Him. When this has happened, you will no longer need a teacher or time in which to learn.
 
2 One source of perceived discouragement from which you suffer is your belief that this takes time, and that the results of the Holy Spirit's teaching are far in the future. This is not so. For the Holy Spirit uses time in His own way and is not bound by it. [Time is His friend in teaching. It does not waste Him as it does you.] And all the waste that time seems to bring with it is due but to your identification with the ego, which uses time to support its belief in destruction. The ego, like the Holy Spirit, uses time to convince you of the inevitability of the goal and end of teaching. To the ego the goal is death, which is its end. But to the Holy Spirit the goal is life, which has no end.  

II. Uses of Time        
 
3 The ego is an ally of time, but not a friend. For it is as mistrustful of death as it is of life, and what it wants for you it cannot tolerate. The ego wants you dead, but not itself. The outcome of its strange religion must therefore be the conviction that it can pursue you beyond the grave. And out of its unwillingness for you to find peace even in the death it wants for you, it offers you immortality in hell. It speaks to you of Heaven but assures you that Heaven is not for you. How can the guilty hope for Heaven? The belief in hell is inescapable to those who identify with the ego. Their nightmares and their fears are all associated with it.
 
4 The ego teaches that hell is in the future, for this is what all its teaching is directed to. Hell is its goal, for although the ego aims at death and dissolution as an end, it does not believe it. The goal of death, which it craves for you, leaves it unsatisfied. No one who follows the ego's teaching is without the fear of death. Yet if death were thought of merely as an end to pain, would it be feared? We have seen this strange paradox in the ego's thought system before, but never so clearly as here. For the ego must seem to keep fear from you to keep your allegiance. Yet it must engender fear in order to maintain itself.
 
5 Again the ego tries and all too frequently succeeds in doing both by using dissociation for holding its contradictory aims together so that they seem to be reconciled. The ego teaches thus: Death is the end as far as hope of Heaven goes. Yet because you and itself cannot be separated, and because it cannot conceive of its own death, it will pursue you still because guilt is eternal. Such is the ego's version of immortality. And it is this the ego's version of time supports.
 
6 The ego teaches that Heaven is here and now because the future is hell. Even when it attacks so savagely that it tries to take the life of someone who hears it temporarily as the only voice, it speaks of hell even to him. For it tells him hell is here and bids him leap from hell into oblivion. The only time the ego allows anyone to look upon with some amount of equanimity is the past. And even there its only value is that it is no more.
 
7 How bleak and despairing is the ego's use of time! And how terrifying! For underneath its fanatical insistence that the past and future be the same is hidden a far more insidious threat to peace. The ego does not advertise its final threat, for it would have its worshipers still believe that it can offer the escape from it. But the belief in guilt must lead to the belief in hell, and always does. The only way in which the ego allows the fear of hell to be experienced is to bring hell here, but always as a foretaste of the future. For no one who considers himself as deserving hell can believe that punishment will end in peace.
 
8 The Holy Spirit teaches thus: There is no hell. Hell is only what the ego has made of the present. The belief in hell is what prevents you from understanding the present, because you are afraid of it. The Holy Spirit leads as steadily to Heaven as the ego drives to hell. For the Holy Spirit, Who knows only the present, uses it to undo the fear by which the ego would make the present useless. There is no escape from fear in the ego's use of time. For time, according to its teaching, is nothing but a teaching device for compounding guilt until it becomes all-encompassing and demands vengeance forever.
 
9 The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now. Fear is not of the present but only of the past and future, which do not exist. There is no fear in the present when each instant stands clear and separated from the past, without its shadow reaching out into the future. Each instant is a clean, untarnished birth, in which the Son of God emerges from the past into the present. And the present extends forever. It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there. No darkness is remembered, and immortality and joy are now.
 
10 This lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past and future? It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but it takes no time at all to be what you are. Begin to practice the Holy Spirit's use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace. Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time. Nothing can reach you here out of the past, and it is here that you are completely absolved, completely free, and wholly without condemnation. From this holy instant wherein holiness was born again, you will go forth in time without fear and with no sense of change with time.
 
11 Time is inconceivable without change, yet holiness does not change. Learn from this instant more than merely hell does not exist. In this redeeming instant lies Heaven. And Heaven will not change, for the birth into the holy present is salvation from change. Change is an illusion, taught by those who could not see themselves as guiltless. There is no change in Heaven because there is no change in God. In the holy instant in which you see yourself as bright with freedom, you will remember God. For remembering Him is to remember freedom.
 
12 Whenever you are tempted to be dispirited by the thought of how long it would take to change your mind so completely, ask yourself, "How long is an instant?" Could you not give so short a time to the Holy Spirit for your salvation? He asks no more, for He has no need of more. It takes far longer to teach you how to be willing to give Him this than for Him to use this tiny instant to offer you the whole of Heaven. In exchange for this instant, He stands ready to give you the remembrance of eternity.
 
13 You will never give this holy instant to the Holy Spirit on behalf of your release while you are unwilling to give it to your brothers on behalf of theirs. For the instant of holiness is shared, and cannot be yours alone. Remember, then, when you are tempted to attack a brother, that his instant of release is yours. Miracles are the instants of release you offer and will receive. They attest to your willingness to be released and to offer time to the Holy Spirit for His use of it. How long is an instant? It is as short for your brother as it is for you. Practice giving this blessed instant of freedom to all who are enslaved by time and thus make time their friend for them. The Holy Spirit gives their blessed instant to you through your giving it. As you give it, He offers it to you.
 
14 Be not unwilling to give what you would receive of Him, for you join with Him in giving. In the crystal cleanness of the release you give is your instantaneous escape from guilt. You must be holy if you offer holiness. How long is an instant? As long as it takes to reestablish perfect sanity, perfect peace, and perfect love for everyone, for God, and for yourself. As long as it takes to remember immortality and your immortal creations who share it with you. As long as it takes to exchange hell for Heaven. Long enough to transcend all of the ego's making and ascend unto your Father.
 
15 Time is your friend if you leave it to the Holy Spirit to use. He needs but very little to restore God's whole power to you. He Who transcends time for you understands what time is for. Holiness lies not in time but in eternity. There never was an instant in which God's Son could lose his purity. His changeless state is beyond time, for his purity remains forever beyond attack and without variability. Time stands still in his holiness and changes not. And so it is no longer time at all. For, caught in the single instant of the eternal sanctity of God's creation, it is transformed into forever. Give the eternal instant that eternity may be remembered for you in that shining instant of perfect release. Offer the miracle of the holy instant through the Holy Spirit and leave His giving it to you to Him. 
 
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes

 
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