A Course in Miracles
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Daily Lesson 160
Sarah's Reflections
TEXT CH 14, 46-57



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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.   



Son ship Video 

L e s s o n  160

I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.

 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio



   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



    ~ Original Handscript of ACIM


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

I am at home. Fear is the stranger here. 
*Quotes in this article are from Foundation for Inner Peace edition; To locate the same quotes in the 'Original Edition', use this link:  http://www.jcim.net/acim_us/Acim.php 
[Use 'Advanced Search' and 'Exact Phrase' option]

Sarah's Commentary:

There is such insanity described in this lesson where we as the Son of God made the choice for the ego and now have made our home one of fear. We are now a stranger to the Self that we are. We have identified with fear and now we don't know that we are only love. 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 choose 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 that we are, "And thus you are unknown to you." ( 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 because that is what we identify with. These are the characteristics of the ego thought system that has come about with the choice we have made to separate from love. Now we search, but 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." (6.2-3) What we are desperately searching for is the love that we think we have lost, and we are now 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 is there for us, 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 look 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.


When I have fear thoughts, I say 'I am afraid', as if the fear thoughts are me. When I have thoughts of anger, sadness, and jealousy, I say that I am angry, sad, or jealous, but these thoughts are not descriptive of anything true about me. They are just thoughts that 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, choosing not to bring my misperceptions to the truth. I am making a decision to suffer by holding onto such thoughts as these.


So 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." (3.2-3) Yes, we still believe that the world and body give us what we want  and as long as we think this, we will pursue our spiritual goals while at the same time still holding onto to the belief that there is something to be gained from the world. Thus our minds are split. True, we suffer as a result of the thoughts and beliefs we hold, but we get 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 that we can make others responsible for our suffering and separation and for the guilt in our minds. In our identification with the body, our individuality and our independence, we think it gives us what we want. We think we know our own best interests and what will keep us safe.


We feel that we are now safe from God's wrath. That is why Jesus said that 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) What a sad substitute that is for our true happiness, yet until we see what we have done we will not know that there is another way to see all of this. Eventually we come to see how the ego has set all of 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 bidding.


The stranger that entered our home is fear and when we experience these feelings of being dispossessed we no longer feel safe. Anxiety, worry, anger, depression, restlessness, frustration, unworthiness, helplessness, confusion, sadness, and hurt are all examples of feelings that 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. All that is required is to recognize that we can tell the madman to leave. "What reason is there for not saying this?" (3.1) Until we do, we have become a stranger to ourselves. We don't have to listen to the ego any longer, but in order to realize that we don't want the ego thought system, we must understand what it is up to. That is why Jesus unveils the ego very clearly to us so that we can see that it does not serve us except to deliver more fear. Now we can focus on the mind's power to choose whether we will continue to invite the stranger in or will choose, instead, the thought system of love.


On a practical level, this requires watching our thoughts because we can't dismiss what we don't see. It means that we look at how we believe that we need to know what to do, that we think we know our own best interests, that we believe we are lacking, that we are unworthy, that 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 that we believe and value. 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?" (4.1-2) How can fear have any part of God's creation if we were created in His likeness? So if fear is not part of God's creation then it is not real even though it seems that way 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 it seems to be banished from the mind. In other words, the dream of this illusory world seems more real than God's reality, which seems more illusory.


Our mind has become a place of fear, worry, and anxiety because this is the part of the mind that the ego has taken over. It is raising havoc with the peace and joy that are our natural inheritance from God, but we have a choice. We don't have to give fear a safe place to exist. This stranger that has become comfortable in this place in our minds, cannot coexist with love. "Fear is a stranger to the ways of love." (1.1) Fear and love can't coexist. "There is no home can shelter love and fear." (4.5) "If you are real, then fear must be illusion. And if fear is real, then you do not exist at all." (4.7-8) Thus it is one or the other. Both can't be true.


That should get our attention. 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 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. But 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 listened to and responded by coming to this Course. While our way is lost, a miracle has searched us out and is showing us that we are not this stranger. "The miracle will come." (6.5)  


So who is it that is being called forth? It is the 'you' that is the decision-maker who can 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 that decision we think our home is denied to us and someone else is to blame for our condition, but we are the ones that are responsible. It is now up to us to choose again in each situation and every circumstance. Love is still there in our right minds waiting for our choice. 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 this world to choose forgiveness instead of attack. The moments are presented daily. Why would we continue to hurt ourselves when there is a way out of our pain? It is our salvation available by our choice. The Truth is still in our minds. We need not be stuck in our fear and our stories of pain.


We can distance ourselves from the stranger by looking at what it is up to. When the thoughts and feelings that don't 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. We continue this process until we no longer identify with this stranger at all and recognize instead 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." (8.4) God knows us as the Christ Self that we are, total love as we were created and does not even 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." (9.2)


So we can be truly thankful that "Christ has come to search the world for what belongs to Him"(9.1) and that 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 this 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 the thoughts of fear. We can know that this stranger is not the truth of who we are. Thus, its hold on us lessens with each step we take on this path. It is through forgiveness of those brothers that are on our path that we "will not remember Him (the Christ Self) until you look on all (your brothers) as He does." (10.4) When we accept our brothers as part of our one Self seeing no differences, then the love that we are is extended through us and we join in oneness in our true home where we all belong. Seeing that we all share the same ego thought system and the same Christ Self is a reflection in this world of the oneness of Heaven.


Let us be determined to reclaim our home. It is not here. Our home is "complete and perfect as it was established." (10.2) We have not been forgotten by Him as He is in our minds waiting for 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. Look at how much of the time you are not accepting of your brothers, judging them or being insensitive to them. This is the awareness that is called for if we are to heal our mistaken perceptions. 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 the love. We won't remember that we are at home in Christ until we see everyone with His vision. That is our goal.


Love and blessings, Sarah 



Quotes in this article are from Foundation for Inner Peace edition; To locate the same quotes in the 'Original Edition', use this link:  http://www.jcim.net/acim_us/Acim.php    

[Use 'Advanced Search' and Exact Phrase' option]

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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