Graphic by ©Deposit Photos  
78 There is nothing you can hold against reality. All that must be forgiven are the illusions you have held against your brothers. Their reality has no past, and only illusions can be forgiven. God holds nothing against anyone, for He is incapable of illusions of any kind. Release your brothers from the slavery of their illusions by forgiving them for the illusions which you perceive in them. Thus will you learn that you have been forgiven, for it is you who offered them illusions. In the holy instant, this is done for you in time to bring to you the true condition of Heaven.

"The End of Illusions"
Workbook for Students
Part I
Introduction to Lessons 181-200
1 Our next few lessons make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong, your scattered goals blend into one intent. You are not asked for total dedication all the time, as yet. But you are asked to practice now in order to attain the sense of peace such unified commitment will bestow, if only intermittently. It is experiencing this which makes it sure that you will give your total willingness to following the way the course sets forth.

Continue to Read Online here

Audio, Music, and Video
by CIMS SonShip Radio


Workbook for Students
Lesson 187
I bless the world
because I bless myself. 
1 No one can give unless he has. In fact, giving is proof of having. We have made this point before. What seems to make it hard to credit is not this. No one can doubt that you must first possess what you would give. It is the second phase on which the world and true perception differ. Having had and given, then the world asserts that you have lost what you possessed. The truth maintains that giving will increase what you possess.

2 How is this possible? For it is sure that if you give a finite thing away, your body's eyes will not perceive it yours. Yet we have learned that things but represent the thoughts that make them. And you do not lack for proof that when you give ideas away, you strengthen them in your own mind. Perhaps the form in which the thought seems to appear is changed in giving. Yet it must return to him who gives. Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. It must be more.

3 Ideas must first belong to you before you give them. If you are to save the world, you first accept salvation for yourself. But you will not believe that this is done until you see the miracles it brings to everyone you look upon. Herein is the idea of giving clarified and given meaning. Now you can perceive that by your giving is your store increased.

4 Protect all things you value by the act of giving them away, and you are sure that you will never lose them. What you thought you did not have is thereby proven yours. Yet value not its form. For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you try to keep it safe. No form endures. It is the thought behind the form of things that lives unchangeable.

5 Give gladly. You can only gain thereby. The thought remains and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. Thoughts extend as they are shared, for they cannot be lost. There is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. There is a giver who retains, another who will give as well. And both must gain in this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to him. What he seems to lose is always something he will value less than what will surely be returned to him.

6 Never forget you give but to yourself. Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. Nor can he fail to recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. He laughs as well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation and at death. He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.

7 Illusions recognized must disappear. Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. The thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appears to take. And sacrifice is an idea so mad that sanity dismisses it at once.

8 Never believe that you can sacrifice. There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value. If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen and correction must be made. Your blessing will correct it. Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well. No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.

9 The lilies that your brother offers you are laid upon your altar, with the ones you offer him beside them. Who could fear to look upon such lovely holiness? The great illusion of the fear of God diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on here. Be not afraid to look. The blessedness you will behold will take away all thought of form, and leave instead the perfect gift forever there, forever to increase, forever yours, forever given away.

10 Now are we one in thought, for fear has gone. And here, before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him Who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our One Self Whose innocence has joined us all as one, we stand in blessedness and give as we receive. The Name of God is on our lips. And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our reflection of our Father's Love.

11 Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world. What we have looked upon we would extend, for we would see it everywhere. We would behold it shining with the grace of God in everyone. We would not have it be withheld from anything we look upon. And to ensure this holy sight is ours, we offer it to everything we see. For where we see it, it will be returned to us in form of lilies we can lay upon our altar, making it a home for Innocence Itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours.

Read Online here

Audio, Music, and Video
by CIMS SonShip Radio


Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Text
Chapter 16
 The Forgiveness of Illusions

VIII. The End of Illusions
 par 70-81
[PAUSED FOR THE WEEKEND
70 It is impossible to let the past go without relinquishing the special relationship. For the special relationship is an attempt to reenact the past and change it. Imagined slights, remembered pain, past disappointments, perceived injustices, and deprivations all enter into the special relationship, which becomes a way in which you seek to restore your wounded self-esteem. What basis would you have for choosing a special partner without the past? Every such choice is made because of something "evil" in the past to which you cling and for which must someone else atone.

71 The special relationship takes vengeance on the past. By seeking to remove suffering in the past, it overlooks the present in its preoccupation with the past and its total commitment to it. No special relationship is experienced in the present. Shades of the past envelop it and make it what it is. It has no meaning in the present, and if it means nothing now, it cannot have any real meaning at all. How can you change the past except in fantasy? And who can give you what you think the past deprived you of? The past is nothing. Do not seek to lay the blame for deprivation on it, for the past is gone. You cannot really not let go what has already gone. It must be, therefore, that you are maintaining the illusion that it has not gone because you think it serves some purpose that you want fulfilled. And it must also be that this purpose could not be fulfilled in the present, but only in the past.

72 Do not underestimate the intensity of the ego's drive for vengeance on the past. It is completely savage and completely insane. For the ego remembers everything that you have done which offended it and seeks retribution of you. The fantasies it brings to the special relationships it chooses in which to act out its hate are fantasies of your destruction. For the ego holds the past against you, and in your escape from the past, it sees itself deprived of the vengeance it believes that you so justly merit. Yet without your alliance in your own destruction, the ego could not hold you to the past.

73 In the special relationship, you are allowing your destruction to be. That this is insane is obvious. But what is less obvious to you is that the present is useless to you while you pursue the ego's goal as its ally. The past is gone; seek not to preserve it in the special relationship, which binds you to it and would teach you that salvation is past and that you must return to the past to find salvation. There is no fantasy which does not contain the dream of retribution for the past. Would you act out the dream or let it go?

74 In the special relationship, it does not seem to be an acting out of vengeance which you seek. And even when the hatred and the savagery break briefly through into awareness, the illusion of love is not profoundly shaken. Yet the one thing which the ego never allows to reach awareness is that the special relationship is the acting out of vengeance on yourself. But what else could it be? In seeking the special relationship, you look not for glory in yourself. You have denied that it is there, and the relationship becomes your substitute for it. And vengeance becomes your substitute for Atonement, and the escape from vengeance becomes your loss.

75 Against the ego's insane notion of salvation, the Holy Spirit gently lays the holy instant. We said before that the Holy Spirit must teach through comparisons and uses opposites to point to truth. The holy instant is the opposite of the ego's fixed belief in salvation through vengeance for the past. In the holy instant, it is accepted that the past is gone, and with its passing the drive for vengeance has been uprooted and has disappeared. The stillness and the peace of now enfolds you in perfect gentleness. Everything is gone except the truth.

76 For a time you may attempt to bring illusions into the holy instant to hinder your full awareness of the complete difference in all respects between your experience of truth and illusion. Yet you will not attempt this long. In the holy instant, the power of the Holy Spirit will prevail because you joined Him. The illusions you bring with you will weaken the experience of Him for a while and will prevent you from keeping the experience in your mind. Yet the holy instant is eternal, and your illusions of time will not prevent the timeless from being what it is nor you from experiencing it as it is.

77 What God has given you is truly given and will be truly received. For God's gifts have no reality apart from your receiving them. Your receiving completes His giving. You will receive because it is His Will to give. He gave the holy instant to be given you, and it is impossible that you receive it not, because He gave it. When He willed that His Son be free, His Son was free. In the holy instant is His reminder that His Son will always be exactly as he was created. And everything the Holy Spirit teaches you is to remind you that you have received what God has given you.

78 There is nothing you can hold against reality. All that must be forgiven are the illusions you have held against your brothers. Their reality has no past, and only illusions can be forgiven. God holds nothing against anyone, for He is incapable of illusions of any kind. Release your brothers from the slavery of their illusions by forgiving them for the illusions which you perceive in them. Thus will you learn that you have been forgiven, for it is you who offered them illusions. In the holy instant, this is done for you in time to bring to you the true condition of Heaven.

79 Remember that you always choose between truth and illusion—between the real Atonement which would heal and the ego's "atonement" which would destroy. The power of God and all His Love, without limit, will support you as you seek only your place in the plan of Atonement arising from His Love. Be an ally of God and not the ego in seeking how Atonement can come to you. His help suffices, for His Messenger understands how to restore the Kingdom to you and to place all your investment in salvation in your relationship with Him.

80 Seek and find his message in the holy instant, where all illusions are forgiven. From there the miracle extends to bless everyone and to resolve all problems, be they perceived as great or small, possible or impossible. There is nothing that will not give place to Him and to His majesty. To join in close relationship with Him is to accept relationships as real and through their reality to give over all illusions for the reality of your relationship with God. Praise be to your relationship with Him and to no other. The truth lies here and nowhere else. You choose this or nothing

  81 Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You in which there are no illusions and where none can ever enter. Our holiness is Yours. What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect? The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love. Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will. And let us receive only what you have given and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love. Amen.

Online here
Audio, Music, and Video
by CIMS SonShip Radio


ONLINE SEARCHABLE Original Edition
Current Schedule of
ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 187
I bless the world
because I bless myself.
Sarah's Commentary:
 
This whole Lesson is about giving and receiving. "Never forget you give but to yourself." (W.187.6.1) It is not hard to understand that we must first have something in order to give it. To give salvation (love, forgiveness, blessings,) we must first accept for ourselves what is already in us. Yet how do we know that we have it unless we give it away? Only by giving a gift do I know I have it to give! This Lesson is not only about extending the love that we are to the world, but it is also about giving of things in form that carry the content of love. The content behind the form is the only thing we really can give. The content is a thought. "Yet we have learned that things but represent the thoughts that make them." (W.187.2.3) What is really being given is a thought that is either ego-based, meaning it reflects the guilt in the mind, or a right-minded thought that reflects the love in the mind. If it is a thought that carries guilt and fear, I will get for myself what I am giving, meaning more guilt and fear. Yet extending a thought of love strengthens it in my own mind, and thus I have gained. Behind the form, whether it is money or material things, what is given is either love or guilt. When it is guilt, we expect something in return, which becomes a bargain because the giving has strings attached.
 
This Lesson puts forth the startling thought that the only way to protect anything we value is to give it away. By giving it away, we have the assurance that we will never lose it. (W.187.4.1) When we value peace and happiness, we can only keep them by giving them away. It is how we protect them and how we know they are in us. We can feel it when peace and joy are extended through us. By continuing to give, we will continue to have. (W.187.6.1)  "Yet it must return to him who gives. Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. It must be more." (W.187.2.6-8)
 
If we are giving just to get something back, whether it is gratitude or something material, we are bargaining, rather than extending. We actually want more than we have given. This is the underlying dynamic behind the special relationship. It is about giving as little as possible to get more than what we have given. It is about giving with the idea of getting something better for what we give. Obviously, this is not what true giving entails. Instead, what this process reflects is the ego thought system of giving to get. When we want something in return for what we are giving, it is not about giving at all, but it is about bargaining in order to get. Jesus says that we would much rather just take what we want, but we recognize this would not get us very far, so we have learned the art of bargaining instead.
 
It is clearly apparent that when we give love, encouragement, and blessings that are genuine and heartfelt, it gives us great joy. Anything shared is strengthened in our own minds. When I share ideas from the Course, I am reinforcing those ideas in my mind and gaining from this experience. It is not just about the form, meaning the thoughts I share, but it is about the experience of joining with my brothers and sisters that I find so precious and affirming. I also get great pleasure from giving a material gift that I think is perfect for someone. I get joy from the experience. The joy is already in me, but it becomes known to me through the expression of giving. When there are no expectations for anything in return, not even gratitude, it is true giving. In the giving, I have already received.
 
In fact, the gift can be given anonymously and there will be pure joy just in the giving of it. I can also see where there are expectations attached to my giving or where giving feels like a sacrifice. Here we have reflected the principle of "one or the other". This is where one wins and the other loses. Thus, through giving and receiving, we are always teaching ourselves what it is that we believe we are. We are reinforcing the beliefs that we hold about ourselves, as beings of love and light or as needy, grasping egos. Thus, we are either affirming love or fear within. Either way, we are strengthening whatever beliefs that we are holding onto at the time. If I project guilt onto someone, I feel even more guilt. I receive what I give. "Thoughts increase by being given away. The more who believe in them the stronger they become." (T.5.I.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.5.II.8)
 
"What you thought you did not have is thereby proven yours. Yet value not its form. For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you try to keep it safe. No form endures. It is the thought behind the form of things that lives unchangeable." (W.187.4.2-6) In our special relationships, we value form. We value our own bodies, and we value the bodies of others. Jesus encourages us not to put our value onto form, "For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time. . . " (W.187.4.4) Form will not endure, but the content of love will endure forever. It is eternal and changeless. "The special relationship is a ritual of form, aimed at raising the form to take the place of God at the expense of content." (T.16.V.12.2) (ACIM OE T.16.VI.54) We see it in our world, where we celebrate long-term marriage as something wonderful in and of itself. In other words, the form is what we see as most important, regardless of the content.
 
Jesus tells us that there is no point in valuing the form, as it has no value. It is nothing. But, as long as we do value it, giving it away will feel like a sacrifice. We can readily see this when we think about the value we put on money or material possessions. Only when we see no value in form will we recognize what is real and truly has value, which is God's Love. We experience being more loving and more peaceful when we extend love and peace. Isn't that the goal we want for ourselves? We all want to be happy and have peace in our lives, but we have been misguided in where our happiness lies when we look for it in form.
 
Bring awareness to where in your life you are holding back on giving and where you feel like you are sacrificing when you give. Sacrifice takes many forms, including grief, poverty, pain, starvation, and death. Any time we experience pain and loss, we are in sacrifice. Nothing truly can be lost to us because we already have everything. As Jesus tells us, " To Have, Give All to All. " (T.6.V.A) (ACIM OE T.6.V.a.) This is the only way we will know what we already have.
 
If someone whom we love has left us through separation in form (death, desertion, divorce) and we feel we have lost the relationship, then according to this Lesson, we can laugh gently at the idea of sacrifice, as we recognize that nothing real has happened. We can only experience pain when we identify with the figure in the dream whom we see as a form that we value. When we recognize that we are the dreamer of this dream, rather than the dream figure, we can see there is nothing tragic in the situation. It is a neutral event to which we have given meaning. Holding this perspective allows us to smile gently at the dream and see that there is no meaning in form. However, this is not an invitation to be unkind or dismissive to others who may be experiencing the pain of loss. When others are suffering, it is important to realize that what we see is not real, yet in the world, it does seem real and tragic, and so we are called to be kind.
 
"Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is." (W.187.7.2-3) We can bring sanity to the suffering by not joining with our brother's dream of sickness. This is true empathy. When we look at the illusion and realize it is not real, it must disappear. If we don't get taken in by the world's dream of suffering and we stand outside of the dream, we won't experience our brother as suffering. "Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is." (W.187.7.3) We do not minimize their experience; we simply do not identify with it. When we get distressed by someone's pain, we cannot be of any help. If we jump into the pit with our brother, we have tried to join with their pain and it is now incumbent on us to heal our own upset by bringing it to the Holy Spirit. As Gerald Jampolsky said, "Physician heal thyself." Our misperceptions of our brother must now be healed in our own minds; otherwise, we cannot be truly helpful. When we have been mistaken in how we see another, it is because we have forgotten who we are. When we become a demonstration of the light within us and allow it to shine through us, we extend a blessing to our brother. What we give, we receive.
 
When we can see the holiness, shining forth from our brothers, we recognize that "The great illusion of the fear of God diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on here." (W.187.9.3) Our fear of God is based on our belief that He will punish us for our sin of separation. We project the guilt we feel for our own sin onto our brothers. When we use our relationships for the purpose of healing the guilt in our own minds by withdrawing our projections, we then see our brothers as guiltless. We accept our own innocence as well, and now our fear of punishment from God is gone. We only fear punishment when we feel guilty. When we know who we are, the separation is healed and our divine innocence is reclaimed.
 
When we accept the blessings that are always available to us, we are reminded that loss and sacrifice cannot be the truth. As we stand together as One Son of God, ". . . we stand in blessedness, and give as we receive. The Name of God is on our lips. And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our reflection of our Father's Love." (W.187.10.3-5) This is stunningly beautiful and suggests to me that we can only know our beautiful, sinless perfection by seeing it in our brothers. How quickly we judge instead! Today, we can truly focus on setting our intent to bless, bless, bless, everyone we encounter in order to know we are blessed and to know it is in us to give. This can only happen when our grievances, judgments, and expectations are seen for what they are and given over for forgiveness and healing. Then blessing is a natural response where we see our interests as the same as our brother’s. Thus, the relationship is transformed from specialness to holiness.
 
As we give, we receive. "Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world." (W.187.11.1) There is no separation, only Oneness. We are joined at the altar where our gifts of giving and receiving are held. We bring our storehouse of blessings to the world when we accept the Atonement for ourselves. When we accept the Correction in our own minds, blessings automatically extend through us. While our guilt attacks, our peace embraces everyone. Nothing is withheld, for we only give to our Self. We now see with vision, rather than with the limitations that come with identification with the false self.
 
In the world, we speak of being blessed when everything goes according to our wishes and desires, and we feel victimized when this is not the case. Yet accepting the Correction is to see our peace is not dependent on anything outside ourselves. The blessing is there all the time because we know it is in us. Anytime you are tempted to withhold anything from anyone, recognize that you are believing in sacrifice and loss. You can now ask for help in remembering that we all share the same interests, and in giving, we know we have.
 
Today, we look at where we have reluctance in giving, and what beliefs we hold about lack and loss. We ask for help in forgiving ourselves for using these situations to keep ourselves separate from the love we are. It is important to see there is no value for us to take on more guilt when we notice our reluctance to give, or when we want to get something in return. Remember, this is a classroom for undoing the ego thought system. Noticing our blocks is what allows us to bring them to the light for healing. It is not helpful to judge ourselves. Celebrate the opportunities when you see your ego in action, for this is where the healing is. It is a mistake to try to spiritualize the form rather than to look at the content of your mind.
 
At the quiet center of our minds is where there is only the fullness of Being and the purity of our blessedness, where they have always been. When we get in touch with this purity, we bring the blessing of God's Love to embrace everything and everyone in our day, so it can be strengthened in us.
 
Read in PDF Here

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
Published in DAILY LESSON MAILING by http://www.jcim.net
JOIN MAILING LIST HERE: http://bitly.com/CIMSMailingList-Signup

Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is


Through Tina Louise Spalding
LISTEN every day to Guidance on the ACIM Lessons from Jesus.


ACIM Conference Calls
Join ACIM Students
on Free Conference Calls

Course in Miracles Society (@ACIM_Original) | Twitter

Follow us on TWITTER and join the ACIM community. Just use the hashtag #ACIM when you post! Students share Inspirational Quotes, Events, Personal Insights, ACIM News, and more.

Read more
twitter.com
COURSE IN MIRACLES SOCIETY
(non-profit)
Tax-Deductible Donation
Presently all CIMS projects are supported by free will gifts of time, talent, and money. If you would like to support any of the activities of the Society in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Because of the international character of CIMS, the internet is our primary means of communicating and collaborating.

To make a Tax-Deductible Donation in support of the Daily Lessons just click Here.

Also, by means of your will or other estate plan, you can name " Course in Miracles Society" as the beneficiary of a portion of your estate, or of particular assets in your estate. In this way, you are honoring your loved ones while also providing critical support to the extension of LOVE.

DONATE to OTHER PROJECTS
CIMS | 800-771-5056 | reja-joy@jcim.net | jcim.net