Lesson 162
A New Birth
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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.       
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  162
I am as God created me.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   This single thought, held firmly in the mind,
   would save the world. From time to time we will
   repeat it, as you reach another stage
   in learning. It will mean far more to you
   as you advance. These words are sacred, for
   they are the words God gave in answer to
   the world you made. By them it disappears,
   and all things seen within its misty clouds
   and vaporous illusions vanish as
   these words are spoken. For they come from God.
   Here is the Word by which the Son became
   His Father's happiness, His Love, and His
   completion. Here creation is proclaimed,
   and honored as it is. There is no dream
   these words will not dispel; no thought of sin
   and no illusion that the dream contains
   that will not fade away before their might.
   They are the trumpet of awakening
   that sounds around the world. The dead awake
   in answer to its call. And those who live
   and hear this sound will never look on death.
   Holy indeed is he who makes these words
   his own; arising with them in his mind,
   recalling them throughout the day, at night
   bringing them with him as he goes to sleep.
   His dreams are happy and his rest secure,
   his safety certain and his body healed,
   because he sleeps and wakens with the truth
   before him always. He will save the world
   because he gives the world what he receives
   each time he practices the words of truth.
   Today we practice simply. For the words
   we use are mighty, and they need no thoughts
   beyond themselves to change the mind of him
   who uses them. So wholly is it changed
   that it is now the treasury in which
   God places all His gifts and all His Love
   to be distributed to all the world,
   increased in giving, kept complete because
   its sharing is unlimited. And thus
   you learn to think with God. Christ's vision has
   restored your sight by salvaging your mind.
   We honor you today. Yours is the right
   to perfect holiness you now accept.
   With this acceptance is salvation brought
   to everyone, for who could cherish sin
   when holiness like this has blessed the world?
   Who could despair when perfect joy is yours,
   available to all as remedy
   for grief and misery, for sense of loss,
   and for complete escape from sin and guilt?
   And who would not be brother to you now;
   you his redeemer and his saviour? Who
   could fail to welcome you into his heart
   with loving invitation, eager to
   unite with one like him in holiness?
   You are as God created you. These words
   dispel the night, and darkness is no more.
   The light is come today to bless the world,
   for you have recognized the Son of God,
   and in your recognition is the world's.

       ~ The Original Handscript Notes

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
I am as God created me.
Sarah's Commentary

Right off the bat, Jesus tells us, "This single thought, [I am as God created me] held firmly in the mind, would save the world." (W.162.1.1) We are also told, "These words are sacred, for they are the words God gave in answer to the world you made." (W.162.1.4) Yet, they are just words to us until we experience the deep significance they actually have. When we experience the deep meaning of this single thought, it is indeed powerful because these words point to the truth of what we are. When we are told these words are sacred and given us by God, it is not because God actually gave these words to us, but because they reflect the truth of the Atonement principle, reminding us it is impossible to be separate from God, and indeed we are not separate, except in our dreams.
The power is in what these words convey, which is that we did not make ourselves. We have not stained our very being by our actions, and there is nothing we have done, nor could do, that could change the truth about ourselves. Why would we have resistance to this idea? And yet, we do. We believe we are: what we have made of ourselves, how we think about ourselves, what we believe our parents have made of us, and what the world has told us we are, and we have accepted all of it as true. All of this contributes to who we think we have become. It is all in the past, and it is where all our suffering comes from.
At a deep level of the mind, we hold the belief that we have turned ourselves from the pure, pristine beings created by God into something sinful. Guilt and shame accompany these beliefs. Therefore, when God's Word says that you are as I created you and you can't do anything to change the truth, we have a hard time deeply connecting with these facts. We resist these ideas because we have invested, instead, in what we think about ourselves. We value what we have made, even if we don't like ourselves. Yet these words reflect the absolute truth of what we are through the symbol of Jesus in our minds. He negates our ideas of who we think we are and how we see ourselves.
These words also negate the dream of this world. "There is no dream these words will not dispel. . . " (W.162.2.3) They provide the Answer given by the Holy Spirit at the very instant the thought of separation from God entered the mind. With separation, came guilt. The world of form was projected from the mind that thought it had sinned and had to run from God and hide out in the world, but the truth dispels all this and simply honors Creation as it is. What this means is that nothing we think we have made of ourselves can change the truth of who we really are as God's perfect Son. These words are so mighty. "They are the trumpet of awakening that sounds around the world" (W.162.2.4) and dispels the notion of death. Thus, accepting the truth of these words and experiencing the holy instant helps us to reach beyond the separated state that we currently experience. These words point us to the truth and remind us of where we have always been.
We can say them over and over and feel like nothing changes in our minds, but we are assured that these words ". . . will mean far more to you as you advance." (W.162.1.3) What this implies is that, at first, we may just be repeating words, but as we deepen in our spiritual development, the meaning of these words will speak to our hearts. We will experience the love and feel the connection with our Father and accept that we are His happiness, love, and completion. Reading, discussing, and talking about our spiritual practice is not true seeking. It is in applying the Lessons, watching our thoughts in each moment, and bringing the blocks to love to the inner altar, that peace and joy become a more constant experience. As we do the work of forgiveness, we open up to the truth of what Jesus is telling us here.
We need to be reminded of the truth often. In our minds is the memory of God's perfect Love, which is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. He is the reflection of the truth that resides in our right minds. We cannot change, and have not changed, this truth about ourselves. Yet we need these Lessons because we don't believe that we are these beautiful, magnificent souls created by Love, untainted by anything we have ever done. Instead, we identify with the stranger we have invited into our pristine home and allowed to possess us. We actually believe that the fear, guilt, and anger we experience, defines who we are.
When we identify with all these emotions, the truth about ourselves is what seems like an illusion to us. Yet Jesus assures us, "There is no dream these words will not dispel; no thought of sin and no illusion which the dream contains that will not fade away before their might." (W.162.2.3) No matter what we think we have done, what guilt and shame we carry, nor what problems beset us, there truly is no order of difficulty in miracles. Everything we thought we have done must be illusory if the only truth is that we are, and remain forever, as God created us. When we experience the miracle, our perception shifts from what we think we have made of ourselves to a glimpse of the perfection of our Being as the Christ Self.
The Atonement principle is God's assurance that no matter what thoughts we hold about ourselves, the only truth is that we still remain as we were created and can't change our reality. This is why, when we accept this single thought---I am as God created me---as the truth, what we think we have made of ourselves disappears. We can be unaware of our true reality as we were created, but we can't change our reality. It is such an important thought in the Course that it comes up in three other Lessons: (94, 110 and 162) and again in Lessons 210-220, where we remind ourselves daily, "I am still as God created me." We do this, again and again, to allow it to become part of our whole thought system. We are opening our minds to the truth of this statement. The whole Course is focused on getting this thought into our minds as an experience. Acceptance of this thought can bring us back to ourselves. What beliefs, values, thoughts, and concepts are we allowing to stand in the way of our acceptance of this truth?
I received an email today, through David Hoffmeister, from someone in Spain who addressed the question of what it is that is keeping people from knowing the love they are. She itemized seven things, noted here with some editing on my part: 1) The more we hold onto personal preferences, the less we will recognize the love we are. 2) When we hold personal preferences, they interfere with our inner peace. Therefore, we must refine our ability to see how these preferences operate in our lives and let them go. 3) It is important to recognize we do not know our own best interests. 4) We need to recognize we give everything all the meaning it has for us. 5) Ultimately, nothing that seems to be happening is real, and if it does seem real, then it can be used as a prompt to release the feelings about it. 6) When the feelings of not being deserving enough, or good enough, or loveable enough, are there, then the evidence for them shows up in our world, which reinforces this false idea about ourselves. Therefore, it is important to recognize the mind as the cause. It is therefore in the mind that the work must be done to release the blocks to the awareness of the love we are. 7) Gratitude for everything that shows up is a helpful way through any situation when we are willing to see everything as a classroom for the undoing of the blocks to the presence of love.
In the Text, we learned that when we know any part of truth, we know it all. When we say, "I am as God created me," (W.162) this implies that there is no sin, which in turn implies that I am not the thoughts I seem to think, which implies that I am not a body, which implies that the world is an illusion, which implies that I am still in the Mind of God, as ideas leave not their source. When we get this one truth, stated in these mighty sacred words, it is a springboard to take us beyond them to the experience of Oneness.
"Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own. . ." (W.162.3.1) Jesus urges us to keep these words in our minds all day. Wake with them, recall them throughout the day, and go to sleep with this thought in our mind. My experience is that when I bring the power of this kind of thought into my nighttime dreaming, I actually find I am practicing the idea even in my sleep, and I wake with it in my awareness. It fundamentally changes the way I experience sleep, as well as awakening. There truly is amazing power in doing this practice consistently.
Today, accept your perfection and recognize that there is nothing you have ever done, no matter how shameful you think it may be, that has changed your reality in the slightest. There is no reason for guilt. You are still innocent. By keeping these words in our minds, our dreams are happy, our rest secure, our safety certain, our body healed, and the world is saved because we give the gifts we have received. Our experience of joy and peace affects everyone because we are One Mind. That is the power of the miracle, which is unlimited. As our minds are changed, we become channels for God's Love. Now, we have access to the treasury where it is all stored in our minds and is "increased in giving." (W.162.4.3) Any thoughts we are holding that negate the truth can be released. We must be willing to look at the interferences to the truth in our minds and be willing to release them.
As we practice the Workbook Lessons more and more without making any exceptions by excluding anyone from our love, and as we delve deeper into our purpose and accept our "right to perfect holiness," (W.162.5.2) we reflect God's Love in this world, which is forgiveness. We are given honor today, says Jesus, for our acceptance of the truth and for extending salvation and blessing to the world through our acceptance of our reality. Yet knowing the words and having the experience are not the same at all. Accepting the truth about ourselves is what is required. We can't make ourselves holy. It is our reality. We can't change that reality. Seeking to become holy is counterproductive. We just need to accept the truth of what we are by releasing all that stands in the way. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves into what we already are. Despair, grief, misery, and loss are conditions we have made and cherish, which make no sense when "perfect joy is yours." (W.162.5.4) The remedy for all our suffering has been laid out for us. It is the source of hope that we can offer to our brothers, as we learn to become a demonstration of God's Love in the world. We show them that they can make the same choice we have made, not through any teaching or preaching, but only by our very presence as an example of having made the choice for truth.
The purpose of studying the Course is not to give us an improved theology or more "knowledge" about the nature of truth, but to bring us into the actual experience of Divine Love. It requires that we apply these teachings to our day-to-day experiences and allow our thought system to be changed. It starts with a willingness and a motivation to learn. It requires great willingness to let go of all scraps of illusion and thoughts of guilt, shame, unworthiness, and fear, which serve no purpose; and instead, we allow our minds to be completely retrained from fearful thoughts to acceptance of peace and joy through forgiveness. Applying the teachings of the Course fully and consistently (with the help of the Holy Spirit) will clear our minds of duality and bring them back to their original awareness, where all is One.
"You are as God created you." (W.162.6.3) "Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own; arising with them in his mind, recalling them throughout the day, at night bringing them with him as he goes to sleep." (W.162.3.1) "You are as God created you. These words dispel the night, and darkness is no more." (W.162.6.3-4) Today, let us move to a deeper level of acceptance of the truth of this. It is a complete and total remedy for any despair, grief, misery, and loss, which is replaced by joy. It certainly motivates me not to hold onto thoughts that hurt me and to recognize that if I do continue to hold these thoughts, it is simply a decision to be miserable. When we are miserable, we are holding someone responsible for our condition. Why would we want to do this? Quite simply, we are still attached to our individual, separate self, and when we do this, someone is always to blame. Our fear of God's love keeps us in resistance.
Throughout the day, I choose to stay attentive to conflicts, judgments, pain, anger, distress, expectations, demands, and requirements that I am holding onto, and I remind myself that I have been mistaken in my choice for the ego, and in that choice, I have forgotten who I am. The only truth is ---we are as God created us. When we forget today, we can ask for help to be willing to let our untrue thoughts go so we can know the truth about ourselves. Only insanity keeps us in this hell. We have the ability to choose again, to see it all through the sanity in our right minds.
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
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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