SATURDAY June 11, 2016
Share Your Perfect Peace
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 14 BRINGING ILLUSIONS TO TRUTH
VII. THE TEST OF TRUTH

63 You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God's lesson and not yours. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your minds which hurt and hinder you and everyone around you. 
 
DAILY LESSON
Son ship Video
L e s s o n 162
I am as God created me.


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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER? 
   
   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
LESSON 162
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." (W.162.1.4) Yet, unless we really take in the meaning of these words, 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, then 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, 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, or can do, to 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 that we have accepted as the truth. All of these contribute to who we think we have become. It is where all of our suffering comes from. At a deep level of the mind, we hold the belief 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 you are as I created you and you can't do anything to change the truth, we have a hard time deeply connecting with this fact. We resist the idea 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 of this and simply honors creation as it is. What this means is 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 dispel the notion of death. Thus, accepting the truth of these words and experiencing the holy instant helps us to reach beyond the separated state 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 these words ". . . will mean far more to you as you advance." (W.162.1.3) What this implies is, 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 our selves. Yet we need these Lessons because we don't believe we are these beautiful 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 of 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, or 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 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 the thoughts are we hold about ourselves, the only truth is we still remain as we were created and can't change our reality. This is why, when we accept this single thought that I am as God created me as the truth, then 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 trying to open our minds to the truth of this statement. The whole Course is focused on getting this thought into our minds. Acceptance of this thought can bring us back to ourselves, so what 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. Any one truth in the Course leads to every other truth. When we say, "I am as God created me," (W.162) this implies there is no sin, which in turn implies I am not the thoughts I seem to think, which implies, I am not a body, which implies, the world is an illusion, which implies, I am still in the Mind of God, as ideas leave not their source. So 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 your 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 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 by 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 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 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 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, to 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 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
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
VII. The Test of Truth       
 
58 Yet the essential thing is learning that you do not know. Knowledge is power, and all power is of God. You who have tried to keep power for yourselves have lost it. You still have the power, but you have interposed so much between it and your awareness of it that you cannot use it. Everything you have taught yourselves has made your power more and more obscure to you. You know not what it is nor where. You have made a semblance of power and a show of strength so pitiful that it must fail you. For power is not a seeming strength, and truth is beyond semblance of any kind. Yet all that stands between you and the power of God in you is but your learning of the false and your attempts to undo the true.
 
59 Be willing, then, for all of it to be undone, and be glad that you are not bound to it forever. For you have taught yourselves how to imprison the Son of God, a lesson so unthinkable that only the insane, in deepest sleep, could even dream of it. Can God learn how not to be God? And can His Son, given all power by Him, learn to be powerless? What have you taught yourselves that you can possibly prefer to keep in place of what you have and what you are?
 
60 Atonement teaches you how to escape forever from everything that you have taught yourselves in the past by showing you only what you are now. Learning has been accomplished before its effects are manifest. Learning is therefore in the past, but its influence determines the present by giving it whatever meaning it holds for you. Your learning gives the present no meaning at all. Nothing you have ever learned can help you understand the present or teach you how to undo the past. Your past is what you have taught yourselves. Let it all go. Do not attempt to understand any event or anything or anyone in its light, for the light of darkness by which you try to see can only obscure.
 
61 Put no confidence at all in darkness to illuminate your understanding, for if you do, you contradict the light and thereby think you see the darkness. Yet darkness cannot be seen, for it is nothing more than a condition in which seeing becomes impossible. You who have not yet brought all of the darkness you have taught yourselves unto the light in you can hardly judge the truth and value of this course. Yet God did not abandon you. And so you have another lesson sent from Him, already learned for every Child of light by Him to Whom God gave it. This lesson shines with God's glory, for in it lies His power, which He shares so gladly with His Son.
 
62 Learn of His happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take. Every dark lesson that you bring to Him Who teaches light He will accept from you because you do not want it. And He will gladly exchange each one for the bright lesson He has learned for you. Never believe that any lesson you have learned apart from Him means anything.
 
63 You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God's lesson and not yours. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your minds which hurt and hinder you and everyone around you. The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: you think you do not will for God's Son what His Father wills for him. Every dark lesson teaches this in one form or another. And each bright lesson, with which the Holy Spirit will replace the dark ones you do not accept and hide, teaches you that you will with the Father unto His Son.
 
64 Do not be concerned how you can learn a lesson so completely different from everything you have taught yourselves. How would you know? Your part is very simple. You need only recognize that everything you learned you do not want. Ask to be taught and do not use your experiences to confirm what you have learned. When your peace is threatened or disturbed in any way, say to yourself,
 
65 I do not know what anything, including this, means.
    And so I do not know how to respond to it.
    And I will not use my own past learning as the light to
    guide me now.
 
66 By this refusal to attempt to teach yourself what you do not know, the Guide Whom God has given you will speak to you. He will take His rightful place in your awareness the instant you abandon it and offer it to Him.
 
67 You cannot be your guide to miracles, for it is you who made them necessary. And because you did, the means on which you can depend for miracles has been provided for you. God's Son can make no needs His Father will not meet if he but turn to Him ever so little. Yet He cannot compel His Son to turn to Him and remain Himself. It is impossible that God lose His Identity, for if He did, you would lose yours. And being yours, He cannot change Himself, for your identity is changeless. The miracle acknowledges His changelessness by seeing His Son as he always was and not as he would make himself. The miracle brings the effects which only guiltlessness can bring and thus establishes the fact that guiltlessness must be.
 
68 How can you, so firmly bound to guilt and committed so to remain, establish for yourself your guiltlessness? That is impossible. But be sure that you are willing to acknowledge that it is impossible. It is only because you think that you can run some little part or deal with certain aspects of your lives alone that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is limited. Thus would you make Him undependable and use this fancied undependability as an excuse for keeping certain dark lessons from Him. And by so limiting the guidance that you would accept, you are unable to depend on miracles to answer all your problems for you.
 
69 Do you think that what the Holy Spirit would have you give He would withhold from you? You have no problems which He cannot solve by offering you a miracle. Miracles are for you. And every fear or pain or trial you have has been undone. He has brought all of them to light, having accepted them instead of you and recognized they never were. There are no dark lessons He has not already lightened for you. The lessons you would teach yourselves He has corrected already. They do not exist in His Mind at all. For the past binds Him not and therefore binds not you. He does not see time as you do. And each miracle He offers you corrects your use of time and makes it His.
 
70 He Who has freed you from the past would teach you are free of it. He would but have you accept His accomplishments as yours because he did them for you. And because he did, they are yours. He has made you free of what you made. You can deny Him, but you cannot call on Him in vain. He always gives what He has made in place of you. He would establish His bright teaching so firmly in your mind that no dark lessons of guilt can abide in what He has established as holy by His Presence. Thank God that He is there and works through you. And all His works are yours. He offers you a miracle with every one you let Him do through you.
 
71 God's Son will always be indivisible. As we are held as one in God, so do we learn as one in Him. God's Teacher is as like to His Creator as is His Son, and through His Teacher does God proclaim His Oneness and His Son's. Listen in silence, and do not raise your voice against Him. For He teaches the miracle of oneness, and before His lesson division disappears. Teach like Him here, and you will remember that you have always created like your Father. The miracle of creation has never ceased, having the holy stamp of immortality upon it. This is the Will of God for all creation, and all creation joins in willing this.
 
72 Those who remember always that they know nothing, but who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know. Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone. Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate. They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.
 
73 Only those who see they cannot know unless the effects of understanding are with them can really learn at all. And for this, it must be peace they want and nothing else. Whenever you think you know, peace will depart from you because you have abandoned the Teacher of Peace. Whenever you fully realize that you know not, peace will return, for you will have invited Him to do so by abandoning the ego on behalf of Him. Call not upon the ego for anything. It is only this that you need do. The Holy Spirit will, of Himself, fill every mind that so makes room for Him.
 
74 If you want peace, you must abandon the teacher of attack. The Teacher of peace will never abandon you. You can desert Him, but He will never reciprocate, for His faith in you is His understanding. It is as firm as is His faith in His Creator, and He knows that faith in His Creator must encompass faith in His creation. In this consistency lies His holiness, which He cannot abandon, for it is not His Will to do so. With your perfection ever in His sight, He gives the gift of peace to everyone who perceives the need for peace and who would have it. Make way for peace, and it will come. For understanding is in you, and from it peace must come.
 
75 The power of God, from which they both arise, is yours as surely as it is His. You think you know Him not only because, alone, it is impossible to know Him. Yet see the mighty works that He will do through you, and you must be convinced you did them through Him. It is impossible to deny the Source of effects so powerful they could not be of you. Leave room for Him, and you will find yourself so filled with power that nothing will prevail against your peace. And this will be the test by which you recognize that you have understood. 

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