Lesson 172
See Me IN EveryONE
Photo by Laurie Soward

93 The holy instant is truly the time of Christ. For in this liberating instant, no guilt is laid upon the Son of God, and his unlimited power is thus restored to him. What other gift can you offer me, when only this I will to offer you? And to see me is to see me in everyone and offer everyone the gift you offer me. I am as incapable of receiving sacrifice as God is, and every sacrifice you ask of yourself, you ask of me. Learn now that sacrifice of any kind is nothing but a limitation imposed on giving. And by this limitation, you have limited acceptance of the gift I offer you.   
              ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 15.X         AUDIO: TEXT CH 15, X    
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Part I Review V
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   Now we review again. This time we are
   ready to give more effort and more time
   to what we undertake. We recognize
   we are preparing for another phase
   of understanding. We would take this step
   completely that we may go on again
   more certain, more sincere, with faith upheld
   more surely. Our footsteps have not been
   unwavering, and doubts have made us walk
   uncertainly and slowly on the road
   this course sets forth. But now we hasten on,
   for we approach a greater certainty,
   a firmer purpose and a surer goal.
   " Steady our feet, our Father; let our doubts   
   be quiet and our holy minds be still,
   and speak to us. We have no words to give
   to You. We would but listen to Your Word
   and make it ours. Lead our practicing
   as does a father lead a little child
   along a way he does not understand.
   Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe
   because his father leads the way for him.
   "So do we bring our practicing to You.
   And if we stumble, You will raise us up.
   If we forget the way, we count upon
   Your sure remembering. We wander off,
   but You will not forget to call us back.
   Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk
   more certainly and quickly unto You.
   And we accept the Word You offer us
   to unify our practicing as we
   review the thoughts that You have given us ."
   This is the thought which should precede the thoughts
   that we review. Each one but clarifies
   some aspect of this thought, or helps it be
   more meaningful, more personal and true,
   and more descriptive of the holy Self
   we share and now prepare to know again:
   " God is but love, and therefore so am I."
   This Self alone knows love. This Self alone
   is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts;
   knows Its Creator, understands Itself,
   is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love,
   and never changes from Its constant state
   of union with Its Father and Itself.
   And it is This that waits to meet us at
   the journey's ending. Every step we take
   brings us a little nearer. This review
   will shorten time immeasurably, if
   we keep in mind that This remains our goal,
   and as we practice it is This to which
   we are approaching. Let us raise our hearts
   from dust to life as we remember This
   is promised us, and that this course was sent
   to open up the path of light to us,
   and teach us, step by step, how to return
   to the Eternal Self we think we lost.
   I take the journey with you. For I share
   your doubts and fears a little while, that you
   may come to me who recognize the road
   by which all doubts and fears are overcome.
   We walk together. I must understand
   uncertainty and pain, although I know
   they have no meaning. Yet a Saviour must
   remain with those he teaches, seeing what
   they see, but still retaining in his mind
   the way which led him out, and now will lead
   you out with him. God's Son is crucified
   until you walk along the road with me.
   My resurrection comes again each time
   I lead a brother safely to the place
   at which the journey ends and is forgot.
   I am renewed each time a brother learns
   there is a way from misery and pain.
   I am reborn each time a brother's mind
   turns to the light in him and looks for me.
   I have forgotten no-one. Help me now
   to lead you back to where your journey was
   begun, and make another choice with me.
   Release me as you practice once again
   the thoughts I brought to you from Him Who sees
   your bitter need, and knows the answer God
   has given Him. Together we review
   these thoughts. Together we devote our time
   and effort to them. And together we
   will teach them to our brothers. God would not
   have Heaven incomplete. It waits for you,
   as I do. I am incomplete without
   your part in me. And as I am made whole,
   we go together to our ancient home,
   prepared for us before time was and kept
   unchanged by time, immaculate and safe,
   as it will be at last, when time is done.
   Let this review be then your gift to me.
   For this alone I need; that you will hear
   the words I speak, and give them to the world.
   You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands,
   through which I save the world. The Self from Which
   I call to you is but your Own. To Him
   we go together. Take your brother's hand,
   for this is not a way we walk alone.
   In him I walk with you and you with me.
   Our Father wills His Son be One with Him.
   What lives but must not then be one with you?
   Let this review become a time in which
   we share a new experience for you,
   yet one as old as time and older still.
   Hallowed your name. Your glory undefiled
   forever. And your wholeness now complete,
   as God established it. You are His Son,
   completing His extension in your own.
   We practice but an ancient truth we knew
   before illusion seemed to claim the world.
   And we remind the world that it is free
   of all illusion every time we say,
   " God is but love, and therefore so am I."

   With this we start each day of our review.
   With this we start and end each period
   of practice time. And with this thought we sleep,
   to waken once again with these same words
   upon our tongue to greet another day.
   No thought that we review but we surround
   with it, and use the thoughts to hold it up
   before our minds and keep it clear in our
   remembrance throughout the day. And thus
   when we have finished this review, we will
   have recognized the words we speak are true.
   Yet are the words but aids, and to be used,
   except at the beginning and the end
   of practice periods, but to recall
   the mind, as needed, to its purpose. We
   place faith in the experience that comes
   from practice, not the means we use. We wait
   for the experience, and recognize
   that it is only here conviction lies.
   We use the words, and try and try again
   to go beyond them to their meaning, which
   is far beyond their sound. The sound grows dim
   and disappears, as we approach the Source
   of meaning. It is here that we find rest.
        ~ The Original Handscript Notes

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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  172 ~ Review V
[Lesson 153 and Lesson 154]  

 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
   [153] In my defenselessness my safety lies.   
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
   [154] I am among the ministers of God.
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.    

                            ~ The Original Handscript Notes

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Review V  ~ Lesson 153 and Lesson 154
Sarah's Commentary:

[153] In my defenselessness my safety lies.
[154] I am among the ministers of God.
If I accept that I am Love, why would I ever need to defend myself? If I feel that I need to defend myself, it is because I am asserting that I am vulnerable and weak, that my reality is this body and personality, and that I can be attacked and hurt. The truth of who I really am is unassailable. Further, if I know myself as Love, I share that experience with the world through my example. What this means is that I must undertake the function of forgiveness so as not to use anyone or anything to attack myself and separate myself from God's Love.
As love is extended through me to my brothers, I know it is in me. Do not mistake this for preaching or proselytizing. I am simply being an example of love so others will want to make the same choice I have made. It is not something that we do, but something that comes through us, as the blocks to love are brought to the light. In other words, we simply become channels for His Love. The unifying thought, "God is but Love, and therefore so am I," (W.RV.4.3) reflects the one truth of our reality as God's Son. It is a statement of the Atonement Principle, which is that we haven't changed what we are as God's perfect Son.
In the introduction to this review, Jesus appeals to us to take the practice more seriously now by giving more effort and more time, as "We recognize we are preparing for another phase of understanding." (W.RV.1.3) The effectiveness of the second half of the workbook depends on this effort. We are trying to go beyond the words to the meaning. We are awaiting the experience. We place our faith in the power of this practice. When our minds wander, we bring them back with the central thought, "God is but Love, and therefore so am I." (W.RV.4.3) Jesus is not pushing us. He is inviting us to make this choice on behalf of our own happiness because he knows this is our bitter need---to wake up to the glorious truth of who we are.
Our efforts are aimed at reclaiming the knowledge of the Self we thought we had lost. "This Self alone knows Love." (W.RV.4.4) What would it be like to really know that we are love and nothing else? This is not possible in this world, but God's Love can indeed be reflected here through forgiveness.
The goal of the Course is to experience the real world of peace and joy. Heaven and the state of knowledge can't be known here, but we come closer to reflecting God's Love when we are willing to accept the sameness in all our brothers. We are all equal. We share the same divinity. Jesus also reminds us of our equality with him. He walks beside us, not ahead nor behind. He is our elder brother, showing us the way home. We are called to do the same with our brothers. We share the same need to remember who we are.
Forgiveness is the closest we come to God's Love in this world. When we have the experience of this Love, we increasingly walk in trust. We have a strong sense of our purpose and our function. We recognize that nothing in the world that we have ever sought has brought us joy. We see this world as a classroom where all events and circumstances of our lives are helpful for our awakening. We live by guidance, letting Him lead the way. We recognize that there are no problems except for the one problem of separation. We give freely, recognizing that to give and to receive are the same. Our bodies are seen as vehicles for extending love, and thus they are used for a holy purpose.
"This Self alone knows Love." (W.RV.4.4) In other words, it is not the ego that knows love. Though we may try to be loving, the ego's version of love is always to get for itself. Through our special relationships, we try to get our needs met because we feel that we are lacking, and so we look to others to complete us. The Christ Self, however, is consistent and never changes; it only extends love. This is not our consistent experience right now. The personal self is about ever-changing emotions. Our self-esteem seems to rise and fall, depending on each event, circumstance, or person that we encounter. When we take any attack personally, we feel we must defend ourselves, but when we defend ourselves, we are making the attack real in the mind. It means that we have lost sight of our true Source---the Christ Self---and now we see ourselves as our own source. We are seeing ourselves as the authors of our own lives.
By the same token, when we receive praise or approval, our false sense of ourselves may feel elevated. Our self-esteem appears to come from the things that seem to happen to us in the world that send us messages about ourselves. It also comes from our own efforts to strengthen those things about us that we believe need to be given our attention. We diet, take courses, engage in training activities, work to create an image, and try to smooth out the rough edges of our personalities, but the Self that Jesus is talking about is not an image of our own making. It is not an image at all and has absolutely nothing to do with the opinions of others. When those opinions find a place to land in us, we know we are holding a judgment against ourselves, and we now have an opportunity to bring it to the light where it is dissolved.
Today, in our practice of this Lesson, we remind ourselves that our worth is not established by anything that we believe is necessary such as getting things done on time, doing things perfectly, never making mistakes, never being angry, or whatever else we hold as a virtue. My worth is established by God. As you go through your day, watch your thoughts and be willing to look at them with light of truth and be willing to maintain vigilance over the ego, since "This review will shorten time immeasurably." (W.RV.5.3) We remember today that an untrained mind can accomplish nothing. Our commitment and dedication to the practice are therefore very important if we want to achieve our goal of peace and joy in our lives.
We are given the curriculum and the daily practices. All we need to do is be willing to practice watching our thoughts and be willing to take responsibility for them so they can be healed. We do this by recognizing that there is no world outside our own minds. The world is simply an outside picture of our inward condition. This is what makes it such a useful classroom, which reflects the state of our minds and helps us to see our judgments.
Even though Jesus sees our wavering, unsteady footsteps on this path, he is encouraging us to move steadily forward and commit to the practice. If we knew that the practice would bring more joy, peace, and happiness until we finally opened in welcoming the Self we are, wouldn't we commit to doing it more diligently? Yes, there is resistance, and fear still shows up, but it can all be given over to the Holy Spirit Who shows us its unreality.
None of us likes the self that feels small and defended, attacks, betrays, suffers, and feels needy and lacking. We all want the experience of the innocent, glorious Self given to us in our creation. It is still with us, having never left our minds. We are not aware of this Self because we have set up blocks to the awareness of what we are in truth. Now we must do the practice in order to undo these blocks and access the truth. This Course was given in order to show us the path of light and provide the means to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost.
Jesus says that he takes this journey with us. "For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome." (W.RV.6.2) Some of us are uncomfortable with the idea of Jesus. We may have some shadow figures projected onto him because of our past. This is discussed in The Clarification of Terms, in which Jesus says he is not the only helper. There are others; even if, in reality, they are just one. "Jesus became what all of you must be. He led the way for you to follow him." (C.5.3.1-2) He is leading us from the hell we have made. "Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you." (C.5.5.7-8) He offers to share all our pain and fear. He is aware of our fears and our illusions. He is a gentle guide, helper, and elder brother who lovingly leads us out of our hell because he has finished the journey.
He says he is renewed each time he leads someone to where the journey ends. This is how we are renewed---as we see anyone "getting it," moving forward, or experiencing a miracle. It enriches us all because there is only One Mind, and we all receive the gift received anywhere in the Kingdom. Jesus needs our participation if we are to be released. He is actually leading us back to the moment when we chose our individuality, but now we can make another choice. "The power of decision is my own." (W.152) Nothing we have chosen is irrevocable.
"For you have barely started to allow your first, uncertain steps to be directed up the ladder separation led you down. The miracle alone is your concern at present. Here is where we must begin." (T.28.III.1.2-4) (ACIM OE T.28.IV.28) The Holy Spirit sees "your bitter need," (W.RV.8.1) even though, in reality, we have no needs. Yet He knows that, for us, this world of illusion is real. Jesus, as a symbol of the Love that we are, joins us in our practice. It is a collaborative venture. "Together we review these thoughts. Together we devote our time and effort to them. And together we will teach them to our brothers." (W.RV.8.2-4) There is no such thing as an "individual" salvation because to be an individual is an illusion. We are One Mind.
"Identify with Him, and what has He that you have not? He is your eyes, your ears, your hands, your feet. How gentle are the sights He sees, the sounds He hears. How beautiful His hand that holds His brother's, and how lovingly He walks beside him, showing him what can be seen and heard, and where he will see nothing and there is no sound to hear." (T24.V.3.4-7) (ACIM OE T.24.VI.42)

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

X. The Time of Christ  
92 It is in your power in time to delay the perfect union of the Father and the Son. For in this world, the attraction of guilt does stand between them. Neither time nor season means anything in eternity. But here it is the Holy Spirit's function to use them both, though not as the ego uses them. This is the season when you would celebrate my birth into the world. Yet you know not how to do it. Let the Holy Spirit teach you, and let me celebrate your birth through Him. The only gift I can accept of you is the gift I gave to you. Release me as I will your release. The time of Christ we celebrate together, for it has no meaning if we are apart.
93 The holy instant is truly the time of Christ. For in this liberating instant, no guilt is laid upon the Son of God, and his unlimited power is thus restored to him. What other gift can you offer me, when only this I will to offer you? And to see me is to see me in everyone and offer everyone the gift you offer me. I am as incapable of receiving sacrifice as God is, and every sacrifice you ask of yourself, you ask of me. Learn now that sacrifice of any kind is nothing but a limitation imposed on giving. And by this limitation, you have limited acceptance of the gift I offer you.
94 We who are one cannot give separately. When you are willing to accept our relationship as real, guilt will hold no attraction for you. For in our union, you will accept all of our brothers. The gift of union is the only gift that I was born to give. Give it to me, that you may have it. The time of Christ is the time appointed for the gift of freedom, offered to everyone. And by your acceptance of it, you have offered it to everyone. It is in your power to make this season holy, for it is in your power to make the time of Christ be now.
95 It is possible to do this all at once because there is but one shift in perception that is necessary, for you made but one mistake. It seems like many, but it is all the same. For though the ego takes many forms, it is always the same idea. What is not love is always fear and nothing else. It is not necessary to follow fear through all the circuitous routes by which it burrows underground and hides in darkness, to emerge in forms quite different from what it is. Yet it is necessary to examine each one as long as you would retain the principle which governs all of them. When you are willing to regard them not as separate but as different manifestations of the same idea, and one you do not want, they go together. The idea is simply this-you believe that it is possible to be host to the ego or hostage to God. This is the choice you think you have, and the decision which you believe that you must make.
96 You see no other alternatives, for you cannot accept the fact that sacrifice gets nothing. Sacrifice is so essential to your thought system that salvation apart from sacrifice means nothing to you. Your confusion of sacrifice and love is so profound that you cannot conceive of love without sacrifice. And it is this that you must look upon-sacrifice is attack, not love. If you would accept but this one idea, your fear of love would vanish. Guilt cannot last when the idea of sacrifice has been removed. For if there is sacrifice, as you are convinced, someone must pay and someone must get. And the only question which remains to be decided is how much is the price for getting what.
97 As host to the ego, you believe that you can give all your guilt away whatever you think and purchase peace. And the payment does not seem to be yours. While it is obvious that the ego does demand payment, it never seems to be demanding it of you. For you are unwilling to recognize that the ego, which you invited, is treacherous only to those who think they are its host. The ego will never let you perceive this, since this recognition would make it homeless. For when this recognition dawns clearly, you will not be deceived by any form the ego takes to protect itself from your sight.
98 Each form will be recognized as but a cover for the one idea that hides behind them all-that love demands sacrifice and is therefore inseparable from attack and fear. And that guilt is the price of love, which must be paid by fear. How fearful, then, has God become to you, and how great a sacrifice do you believe His love demands! For total love would demand total sacrifice. And so the ego seems to demand less of you than God, and of the two is judged as the lesser of two evils, one to be feared a little, but the other to be destroyed. For you see love as destructive, and your only question is who is to be destroyed, you or another? You seek to answer this question in your special relationships, in which you are both destroyer and destroyed in part, but with the idea of being able to be neither completely. And this you think saves you from God, Whose total love would completely destroy you.
99 You think that everyone outside yourself demands your sacrifice, but you do not see that only you demand sacrifice and only of yourself. Yet the demand of sacrifice is so savage and so fearful that you cannot accept it where it is. But the real price of not accepting this has been so great that you have given God away rather than look at it. For if God would demand total sacrifice of you, you thought it safer to project Him outward and away from you and not be host to Him. To Him you ascribed the ego's treachery, inviting it to take His place to protect you from Him. And you do not recognize that it is what you invited in that would destroy you and does demand total sacrifice of you. No partial sacrifice will appease this savage guest, for it is an invader who but seems to offer kindness, but always to make the sacrifice complete.
100 You will not succeed in being partial hostage to the ego, for it keeps no bargains and would leave you nothing. [Nor can you be partial host to it.] You will have to choose between total freedom and total bondage, for there are no alternatives but these. You have tried many compromises in the attempt to avoid recognizing the one decision which must be made. And yet it is the recognition of the decision just as it is that makes the decision so easy! Salvation is simple, being of God and therefore very easy to understand. Do not try to project it from you and see it outside yourself. In you are both the question and the answer-the demand for sacrifice and the peace of God.
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes

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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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