Lesson 167
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 15 "THE PURPOSE OF TIME" 
VII. THE HOLY INSTANT AND LAWS OF GOD
      
64 In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source, exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source and that of all your brothers to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this, you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is and what His creation is along with Him.         
         
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  167
There is one life, and that I share with God. 
<AUDIO><VIDEO>
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 

* IAMBIC PENTAMETER
 
   There are not different kinds of life, for life
   is like the truth. It does not have degrees.
   Life is the one condition in which all
   that God created share. Like all His Thoughts,
   it has no opposite. There is no death
   because what God created shares His Life.
   There is no death because an opposite
   to God does not exist. There is no death
   because the Father and the Son are One.
 
   In this world there appears to be a state
   that is life's opposite. You call it death.
   Yet we have learned that the idea of death
   takes many forms. It is the one idea
   which underlies all feelings that are not
   supremely happy. It is the alarm
   to which you give response of any kind
   that is not perfect joy. All sorrow, loss,
   anxiety and suffering and pain,
   even a little sigh of weariness,
   a slight discomfort or the merest frown,
   acknowledge death. And thus deny you live.
 
   You think that death is of the body. Yet
   it is but an idea, irrelevant
   to what is seen as physical. A thought
   is in the mind. It can be then applied
   where mind directs it, but its origin
   is where it must be changed if change occurs.
   Ideas leave not their source. The emphasis
   this course has placed on that idea is due
   to its centrality in our attempts
   to change your mind about yourself. It is
   the reason you can heal. It is the source
   of healing. It is why you cannot die.
   Its truth established you as part of God.
 
    Death is the thought that you are separate
   from your Creator. It is the belief
   conditions change, emotions alternate
   because of causes you cannot control,
   you did not make, and you can never change.
   It is the fixed belief ideas can leave
   their source, and take on qualities the source
   does not contain, becoming different
   from their own origin, apart from it
   in kind as well as distance, time and form.
 
   Death cannot come from life. Ideas remain
   united to their source. They can extend
   all that their source contains. In that they can
   go far beyond themselves. But they can not
   give birth to what was never given them.
   As they were made, so will their making be.
   As they were born, so will they then give birth.
   And where they come from, there will they return.
 
   The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all.
   It cannot change what is its waking state.
   It cannot make a body, nor abide
   within a body. What is alien to
   the mind does not exist because it has
   no source. For mind creates all things that are,
   and cannot give them attributes it lacks,
   nor change its own eternal, mindful state.
   It cannot make the physical. What seems
   to die is but the sign of mind asleep.
 
   The opposite of life can only be
   another form of life. As such, it can
   be reconciled with what created it,
   because it is not opposite in truth.
   Its form may change; it may appear to be
   what it is not. Yet mind is mind awake
   or sleeping. It is not its opposite
   in anything created, nor in what
   it seems to make when it believes it sleeps.
 
   God creates only mind awake. He does
   not sleep, and His creations cannot share
   what He gives not, nor make conditions which
   He does not share with them. The thought of death
   is not the opposite to thoughts of life.
   Forever unopposed by opposites
   of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain
   forever changeless, with the power to
   extend forever changelessly but yet
   within Themselves, for They are everywhere.
 
   What seems to be the opposite of life
   is merely sleeping. When the mind elects
   to be what it is not, and to assume
   an alien power which it does not have,
   a foreign state it cannot enter, or
   a false condition not within its Source,
   it merely seems to go to sleep a while.
   It dreams of time; an interval in which
   what seems to happen never has occurred,
   the changes wrought are substanceless, and all
   events are nowhere. When the mind awakes,
   it but continues as it always was.
 
   Let us today be children of the truth,
   and not deny our holy heritage.
   Our life is not as we imagine it.
   Who changes life because he shuts his eyes,
   or makes himself what he is not because
   he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite
   to what he is? We will not ask for death
   in any form today. Nor will we let
   imagined opposites to life abide
   even an instant where the Thought of Life
   Eternal has been placed by God Himself.
 
   His holy home we strive to keep today
   as He established it, and wills it be
   forever and forever. He is Lord
   of what we think today. And from His Thoughts,
   Which have no opposite, we understand
   there is one life, and that we share with Him;
   with all creation, with their thoughts as well,
   whom He created in a Unity
   of life which cannot separate in death
   and leave the Source of Life from where It came.
 
   We share our life because we have one Source,
   a Source from Which perfection comes to us,
   remaining always in the holy minds
   which He created perfect. As we were,
   so are we now, and will forever be.
   A sleeping mind must waken as it sees
   its own perfection mirroring the Lord
   of Life so perfectly it fades into
   what is reflected there. And now it is
   no more a mere reflection. It becomes
   the thing reflected and the light which made
   reflection possible. No vision now
   is needed. For the wakened mind is one
   that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness.
    
        ~ The Original Handscript Notes
   

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 167
There is one life, and that I share with God.
 
Sarah's Commentary

Like Lesson 163, "There is no death. The Son of God is free," this Lesson says the same thing, but now the focus is more on the nature of our one life. Life does not have degrees. It is like truth. Since God is Life, what He creates can only be life, as there can be no opposite to God. Certainly, in this world, there seems to be an opposite to life, and we call it death. As was said in Lesson 163, death is apparent to us, as we see it all around. It seems certain and real to us. As a result, the illusion of this body and this world seem more real than perfect Oneness, which has no opposite. Yet Jesus says, "There is no death because what God created shares His life." (W.167.1.5) Nothing outside of God exists. If this is the case, death must be illusory and thus has no reality. Life is all there is. What to us depicts life is quite simply illusion. "There is no death because the Father and the Son are one." (W.167.1.7)
 
There are those who hold the belief that when we die we go to Heaven; for some, there is the belief we go to hell, and for others, it is the end of everything. The truth is that we can only know the state of Heaven through awakening. As said in the discussion on death in Lesson 163, nothing happens when we die because it is all part of the dream. Dying is of bodies, but bodies are not real. Our reality is eternal. There is only life. The hereafter is only the present eternal now. Recognizing the unreality of death assists us to see that awakening from this dream is a decision we can make now.
 
"In this world, there appears to be a state that is life's opposite. You call it death." (W.167.2.1-2) Death seems to show up in many forms, as we learned in Lesson 163. Yet whether it is the death of the body, or death in the form of sorrow, loss, anxiety, sickness, pain, weariness, anger, or suffering of any kind, none of it is true. Indeed, any state where we are not supremely happy cannot be real. The experience of the individual self, seemingly living in a body, is an illusory state of a character in a dream. Our true state is actually perfect joy and peace. (W.167.2.5) When we respond to anything in this world with anxiety and fear or even ". . . a slight discomfort or the merest frown," (W.167.2.6) Jesus tells us that we are actually denying the life we are. If God is all there is and He is Life, what we experience, including death, simply cannot be true.
 
Ultimately, death is a thought in the wrong mind. If our natural state of extreme happiness can be changed to a state of sadness, misery, and suffering, it must be because we are holding onto a false thought. In fact, it can be said that all of our problems are a result of the wrong-minded thoughts we are holding. These wrong-minded thoughts have come about with the seeming separation from what we really are. With separation comes our separate identity as a body and personality, but it is an identity that is illusory. It is just an image projected onto the screen of the world. If that is the case, then who we think we are does not live, and therefore, it does not die.
 
Whether we experience sickness, pain, sorrow, or fear, they all come from the choice for the wrong mind and are non-existent. They start with the belief that the ego is true, the body and the world are real, and problems we experience are caused by events and circumstances outside the mind. In response to our perceived problems, we try to fix them with remedies that can never work. This is because we try to fix problems where there are none, outside the mind and on the screen of this world, but problems all originate in our own minds. For example, I may be holding thoughts of conflict and distress in my mind, but now I see the conflict in my relationships because what is in my mind will be manifested in the world.
 
Working with the outside picture of my inward condition will not solve my problems in my relationships. The only solution is to take responsibility for the inner conflict in me and bring it to the healing light of the Holy Spirit. Then my seemingly external problems will not be experienced as conflict regardless of what seems to be happening. I will see everything as love or a call for love, and I will experience joy and peace. Healing requires that I return to the real source of my problem, which is the guilt in my mind. "Ideas leave not their source." (W.167.3.6) This is a central idea in the Course, meaning, to understand anything in the Course, we must understand that everything originates in the mind. Therefore, it only makes sense to go back to the mind, which is the only place healing can occur. We have the power within to choose to see every situation, including death, differently.
 
When we are not supremely happy, peaceful, and joyful, we have denied the life we are. We have denied God. We have affirmed death. We have affirmed that there is something other than God and other than His perfect Oneness. We hold the belief that there could be something other than Life and that there could be something other than Love. How could there be something other? We need to see that anything unlike supreme happiness is not the truth. However, when we don't experience happiness, it is important not to deny our feelings and emotions. In fact, to sit with our feelings and investigate what we must be thinking and believing is very important to our healing. To ignore our feelings is an inappropriate form of denial and not helpful. Nevertheless, Jesus invites us to see the unreality of our experience.
 
We have the power to choose to see everything from a different perspective. We are not victims of external circumstances. While we experience the many forms of death on a regular basis in our seemingly human condition, we have an opportunity to bring our thoughts and feelings to awareness and to go through fear to the love within. When we change the cause (our minds), the effects are gone.
 
All of our feelings, whether anxiety, sadness, anger, anxiety, any kind of suffering, or feelings of loss and pain, can be traced to the beliefs that we hold. It is not helpful to just dismiss these feelings with the statement, "It is all an illusion." It is true that these feelings are part of the dream of death, but as long as we experience pain, suffering, and loss, our minds are still attracted to guilt. By denying our thoughts and feelings, we actually choose to keep them. They are calling for our attention, and to do the healing, we must not run away from them. Bringing them to the loving light of truth is how healing happens. Holy Spirit is the Healer in our minds. We don't do the healing. He does it all. Anything we conceal or deny, we are actively choosing to hold back from healing and to insist that we are right about the way we see the situation and that our thoughts and feelings are justified.
 
I quite often stubbornly hold onto my anger and justify my suffering. Jesus says that this is what our attraction to death and our investment in being right is all about. These thoughts seem to have a life of their own, but this is not so, since, in order to experience them, they need our consent and agreement. The thoughts we hold can feel tenacious and obsessive as if we do not have a choice about what we are experiencing. They seem to have quite a hold on our minds especially when we experience events that are distressful. Yet the events are, in and of themselves, just neutral. It is our thoughts about them and the interpretations we give them that bring the distress. The whole point of this teaching is to recognize that we have the power within us through the Holy Spirit to change our minds about the way we see anything that seems to be happening to us. The miracle is behind every seemingly distressing situation, waiting for our acceptance. And with the miracle, our perception of the events we previously found distressful is shifted.
 
Our distressing thoughts are the veil keeping us from knowing the truth about ourselves. The truth is already in us. Our own dark thoughts keep the truth of who we are from our awareness. When we are willing to be honest and have the courage to look at them, only then can they be released. This undeniably requires tremendous honesty, openness, non-defensiveness, courage, and most of all, willingness. We are masters at denial. As long as we identify with the self that we think we are, we will continually defend this character in the mistaken belief that we need to protect this false image.
 
We have not left the mind of God since we are still an idea in His mind. It is not possible that we can take on different characteristics than those of God, except in the illusion. We think we can take on qualities apart from our Source (God) and that we can be different from our original design specs. It seems to us that we have qualities that God does not. We experience ourselves as a body and personality, separate from God, but this cannot be. We cannot be victims of outside circumstances. There are no outside circumstances. Everything originates in our minds. By the same token, we originate in God's Mind. Therefore, we cannot be anything He is not.
 
Jesus tells us that we can't really be asleep in this dream since God is awake. How could we be something God is not? Yet we seem to be asleep, unaware of the truth of our Being. Thus, the whole journey is about awakening from this sleep into which we seem to have fallen. Yet because we are in God's Mind, which is not asleep, our seeming state of sleep cannot be true. Since ideas leave not their source, and God is awake Mind, this has to be our state as well. To be in a state of sleep is to take on properties that God does not have.
 
Jesus says that ideas ". . . can go far beyond themselves. But they can not give birth to what was never given them." (W.167.5.4-5) Ideas in the mind can only seem to wander beyond the mind and seem to exist outside the mind. In this dream, ideas seem to have gone beyond themselves by making this world, but that does not make them real. The ego has no life and cannot give birth to life. This is not easy for us to understand. Our experience seems different from this, yet the reality is "It [the mind] cannot make a body, nor abide within a body." (W.167.6.3)
 
We experience ourselves as separate from God, seemingly living in a body and living in the world. We believe that all of this is real, but thinking this is true does not make it so. We can think what we want, but we cannot establish reality. Within the dream, the mind can make a body, but it cannot make the body real, any more than we can make the characters real that show up in our nighttime sleep. When we are dreaming, the figures and the situations in the dream seem to be real. If we never woke up from our nighttime dream, it would seem to be our reality. When we do awaken, we know that the people and events in the dream were not real, even though we thought they were while we were dreaming. The source of the body is the ego, but it is not a real source. What seems to die is the body, but the body is just a thought in the mind. Since the body and the physical world were not made by Spirit, which is the only real Source there is, they can have no reality.
 
"The opposite of life can only be another form of life." (W.167.7.1) The body is just the symbol of the sleeping mind. Through forgiveness, what has been made that is untrue is released. When forgiveness is complete, we experience the real world, which is a reflection of Heaven. Forgiveness is still part of the illusion, as there is nothing that needs to be forgiven in truth. Yet it is a helpful illusion, as it takes us to the end of illusions. The truth is---there is nothing to forgive because nothing has happened. To our minds, something has happened, and now we seem to be sleeping. Through forgiveness, the mind is awakened to the reflection of God's truth.
 
"What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping." (W.167.9.1) We have simply fallen asleep, dreaming of what has never occurred. This is why forgiveness in the Course is about seeing that what you think your brother did to you has never happened. Nothing here is real. What forgiveness does is reflect God's Love in this world. In the world of time, things seem to happen and people seem to hurt us, but when we realize that nothing has really happened and it is only our dream, then all forms of death are put in perspective as having no real meaning. They are all actually nothing. This puts everything into a renewed perspective when we take in what is being said. It means that everything we think and believe about our lives here and what we are is wrong. Admitting that we are wrong in the way we perceive is a big step in our learning.
 
Jesus asks us to accept our heritage. "Let us today be children of the truth, and not deny our holy heritage. Our life is not as we imagine it." (W.167.10.1-2) These are actually encouraging thoughts. All of our seeming problems are of our imagination. All of our sadness, suffering, and distress of any kind is just a form of death and not the truth. He asks us not to let ". . . imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the Thought of life eternal has been set by God Himself." (W.167.10.5) Our practice today is all about remembering this truth and keeping our minds in a state of holiness as "He established it." (W.167.11.1) With vigilance, we can watch the thoughts that are forms of death and be willing to have them released, remembering that they are not the truth about us, and that they do not define who we are. The ultimate goal is to know our own perfection that mirrors "the Lord of Life" (W.167.12.3) until the illusion is no more.
 
Today, when you are tempted to see someone as separate and to believe that the thought system of the ego is real, recognize that you are mistaken. When you attack, criticize, get angry, or blame anyone, it is just an attempt to see your own guilt outside of your own mind, believing ideas can leave their source. Today is another opportunity to choose to release these blocks to the Holy Spirit until the illusion is no more.
 
"The song of freedom, which sings the praises of another world, brings to it hope of peace. For it remembers Heaven, and now it sees that Heaven has come to earth at last, from which the ego's rule has kept it out so long. Heaven has come because it found a home in your relationship on earth. And earth can hold no longer what has been given Heaven as its own." (T.21.IV.7.4-7) (ACIM OE T.21.V.47)
   
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

VII. The Holy Instant and the Laws of God 
      
58 All separation vanishes as holiness is shared. For holiness is power, and by sharing it, it gains in strength. If you seek for satisfaction in gratifying your needs as you perceive them, you must believe that strength comes from another, and what you gain he loses. Someone must always lose if you perceive yourself as weak. Yet there is another interpretation of relationships which transcends the concept of loss of power completely.
 
59 You do not find it difficult to believe that, when another calls on God for love, your call remains as strong. Nor do you think that, by God's answer to him, your hope of answer is diminished. On the contrary, you are far more inclined to regard his success as witness to the possibility of yours. That is because you recognize, however dimly, that God is an idea, and so your faith in Him is strengthened by sharing. What you find difficult to accept is the fact that, like your Father, you are an idea. And like Him, you can give yourself completely, wholly without loss, and only with gain.
 
60 Herein lies peace, for here there is no conflict. In the world of scarcity, love has no meaning, and peace is impossible. For gain and loss are both accepted, and so no one is aware that perfect love is in him. In the holy instant, you recognize the idea of love in you and unite this idea with the Mind that thought it and could not relinquish it. By holding it within itself, there was no loss. The holy instant thus becomes a lesson in how to hold all of your brothers in your mind, experiencing not loss, but completion. From this it follows you can only give. And this is love, for this alone is natural under the laws of God.
 
61 In the holy instant, the laws of God prevail, and only they have meaning. The laws of this world cease to hold any meaning at all. When the Son of God accepts the laws of God as what he gladly wills, it is impossible that he be bound or limited in any way. In this instant, he is as free as God would have him be. For the instant he refuses to be bound, he is not bound.
 
62 In the holy instant, nothing happens that has not always been. Only the veil that has been drawn across reality is lifted. Nothing has changed. Yet the awareness of changelessness comes swiftly as the veil of time is pushed aside. No one who has not yet experienced the lifting of the veil and felt himself drawn irresistibly into the light behind it can have faith in love without fear. Yet the Holy Spirit gives you this faith because He offered it to me and I accepted it. Fear not the holy instant will be denied you, for I denied it not. And through me the Holy Spirit gave it unto you, as you will give it. Let no need that you perceive obscure your need of this. For in the holy instant, you will recognize the only need the aspects of the Son of God share equally, and by this recognition you will join with me in offering what is needed.
 
63 It is through us that peace will come. Join me in the idea of peace, for in ideas minds can communicate. If you would give yourself as your Father gives His Self, you will learn to understand selfhood. And therein is love's meaning understood. But remember that understanding is of the mind and only of the mind. Knowledge is therefore of the mind, and its conditions are in the mind with it. If you were not only an idea and nothing else, you could not be in full communication with all that ever was. Yet as long as you prefer to be something else, or would attempt to be nothing else and something else together, the language of communication, which you know perfectly, you will not remember.
 
64 In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source, exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source and that of all your brothers to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this, you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is and what His creation is along with Him.
   
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes

 
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