Lesson 188
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Relationship has been Reborn as Holy
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 17 "FORGIVENESS AND HEALING" 
VI. THE HEALED RELATIONSHIP     

49 Now the ego counsels thus-substitute for this another relationship to which your former goal was quite appropriate. You can escape from your distress only by getting rid of each other. You need not part entirely if you choose not to do so. But you must exclude major areas of fantasy from each other to save your sanity. Hear not this now! Have faith in Him Who answered you. He heard. Has He not been very explicit in His answer? You are not now wholly insane. Can you deny that He has given you a most explicit statement? Now He asks for faith a little longer, even in bewilderment. For this will go, and you will see the justification for your faith emerge to bring you shining conviction. Abandon Him not now, nor each other. This relationship has been reborn as holy.

    ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 17.VI         AUDIO: TEXT CH 17, VI         
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I
INTRODUCTION to LESSONS 181-200
Introduction 181-200
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Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
 
*IAMBIC PENTAMETER

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.     

Our lessons now are geared specifically
to widening horizons and direct
approaches to the special blocks which keep
your vision narrow and too limited
to let you see the value of our goal.
We are attempting now to lift these blocks,
however briefly. Words alone can not
convey the sense of liberation which
their lifting brings. But the experience
of freedom and of peace that comes as you
give up your tight control of what you see
speaks for itself. Your motivation will
be so intensified that words become
of little consequence. You will be sure
of what you want and what is valueless.     

And so we start our journey beyond words
by concentrating first on what impedes
our progress still. Experience of what
exists beyond defensiveness remains
beyond achievement while it is denied.
It may be there, but you cannot accept
its presence. So we now attempt to go
past all defenses for a little while
each day. No more than this is asked because
no more than this is needed. It will be
enough to guarantee the rest will come.    

  ~ The Original Handscript Notes


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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  188
The peace of God is shining in me now. 
 
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER
 
   Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light  
   are merely covering their eyes. The light
   is in you now. Enlightenment is but
   a recognition, not a change at all.
   Light is not of this world, yet you who bear
   the light in you are alien here as well.
   The light came with you from your native home,
   and stays with you because it is your own.
   It is the only thing you bring with you
   from Him Who is your Source. It shines in you
   because it lit your home, and leads you back
   to where it came from and you are at home.
 
   This light can not be lost. Why wait to find
   it in the future, or believe it has
   been lost already or was never there?
   It can so easily be looked upon
   that arguments which prove it is not there
   become ridiculous. Who can deny
   the presence of what he beholds in him?
   It is not difficult to look within,
   for there all vision starts. There is no sight,
   be it of dreams or from a truer source,
   that is not but the shadow of the seen
   through inward vision. There perception starts
   and there it ends. It has no source but this.
 
   The peace of God is shining in you now,
   and from your heart extends around the world.
   It pauses to caress each living thing,
   and leaves a blessing with it which remains
   forever and forever. What it gives
   must be eternal. It removes all thoughts
   of the ephemeral and valueless.
   It brings renewal to all tired hearts
   and lights all vision as it passes by.
   All of its gifts are given everyone,
   and everyone unites in giving thanks
   to you who give and you who have received.
 
   The shining in your mind reminds the world
   of what it has forgotten. And the world
   restores the memory to you as well.
   From you salvation radiates with gifts
   beyond all measure, given and returned.
   To you, the giver of the gifts, does God
   Himself give thanks. And with His blessing does
   the light in you shine brighter, adding to
   the gifts you have to offer to the world.
 
   The peace of God can never be contained.
   Who recognizes it within himself
   must give it. And the means for giving it
   are in his understanding. He forgives
   because he recognized the truth in him.
   The peace of God is shining in you now
   and in all living things. In quietness
   is it acknowledged universally.
   For what your inward vision looks upon
   is your perception of the universe.|
 
   Sit quietly and close your eyes. The light
   within you is sufficient. It alone
   has power to give the gift of sight to you.
   Exclude the outer world, and let your thoughts
   fly to the peace within. They know the way.
   For honest thoughts, untainted by the dream
   of worldly things outside yourself, become
   the holy messengers of God Himself.|
   These thoughts you think with Him. They recognize
   their home. And they point surely to their Source,
   where God the Father and the Son are one.
 
   God's peace is shining on them, but they must
   remain with you as well, for they were born
   within your mind, as yours was born in God's.
   They lead you back to peace, from where they came
   but to remind you how you must return.|
   They heed your Father's Voice when you refuse
   to listen. And they urge you gently to
   accept His Word for what you are, instead
   of fantasies and shadows. They remind
   you that you are the co-creator of
   all things that live. For as the peace of God
   is shining in you, it must shine on them.|
 
   We practice coming nearer to the light
   in us today. We take our wandering thoughts,
   and gently bring them back to where they fall
   in line with all the thoughts we share with God.
   We will not let them stray. We let the light
   within our minds direct them to come home.
   We have betrayed them, ordering that they
   depart from us. But now we call them back,
   and wash them clean of strange desires and
   disordered wishes. We restore to them
   the holiness of their inheritance.
 
   Thus are our minds restored with them, and we
   acknowledge that the peace of God still shines
   in us and from us to all living things
   that share our life. We will forgive them all,
   absolving all the world of what we thought
   it did to us. For it is we who make
   the world as we would have it. Now we choose
   that it be innocent, devoid of sin,
   and open to salvation. And we lay
   our saving blessing on it as we say:
 
   "The peace of God is shining in me now.
    Let all things shine upon me in that peace,
    and let me bless them with the light in me."
 
           
~ Original Handscript of ACIM June 3, 1970
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 188
The peace of God is shining in me now.

  
Sarah's Commentary:

The focus now is on entering the holy instant. It is to experience moments of stillness and a withdrawal from the world into the quiet center of the mind. Only in the holy instant do we have the experience of deep peace. What is needed to come to this experience is for us to look at our blocks to love reflected in all our judgments and attitudes toward others. In releasing them, we experience the reflection of Heaven. It is a feeling of deep peace and a sense of being at home. It requires a willingness to take responsibility for our thoughts and a recognition that everything we perceive starts within our own minds.
 
The world is a projection of the guilt in our wrong minds. When the blocks to love are healed, the love in us extends from our heart to everyone. "It pauses to caress each living thing, and leaves a blessing with it that remains forever and forever. What it gives must be eternal. It removes all thoughts of the ephemeral and valueless. It brings renewal to all tired hearts, and lights all vision as it passes by. All of its gifts are given everyone, and everyone unites in giving thanks to you who give, and you who have received." (W.188.3.2-6) Now the gifts we give are returned to us ". . . beyond all measure." (W.188.4.2)
 
How we know whether we have chosen the ego or the Holy Spirit comes from what we perceive. Jesus says, "It is not difficult to look within, for there all vision starts." (W.188.2.5) Yet the ego tells us not to look within. It says that all is dark there, and God will destroy us because of the sin in us. So, we are afraid to go there. "Loudly the ego tells you not to look inward, for if you do your eyes will light on sin, and God will strike you blind. This you believe, and so you do not look." (T.21.IV.2.3-4) (ACIM OE T.21.V.42) As a result of this belief that we hold, we feel safer in our distractions. Yet when we are willing to look at these false beliefs, we can go beyond them to the light. That light is already in us, blocked by our dark thoughts. Willingness is required to go beyond our defenses. We set up defenses against the love we are because of our fear of God. When we are willing to look past our defenses with honesty and courage, it is the beginning of vision.
 
The world is an outward picture of our inward condition. Thus, we can clearly see what we have aligned with, whether it is with the dark thoughts of the ego or with the love of the Holy Spirit. Both the problem and the solution are in our own minds. This is where all healing takes place. What we see with our eyes and take in with our ears and other senses is designed to deceive us that there is actually a world out there, acting on us. But the world is in our own minds. Everything we see starts and ends there. That is what is beautiful about this process because all power is in us. "The power of decision is your one remaining freedom as a prisoner of this world." (T.12.VII.9.1) (ACIM OE T.11.VIII.70) Nothing outside of us can take our peace and joy. If we do not feel the peace and joy that are ours, it is because we have chosen the ego thought system of judgment, condemnation, and specialness.
 
We cannot release what we refuse to acknowledge in ourselves. Our beliefs, opinions, concepts, values, and thoughts are what we need to acknowledge as keeping us from love, as we are tempted to deny or project our guilt onto others. It is important to resist this temptation if we are to heal what stands in the way of the love we are. "Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all." (W.188.1.4) It is not light we need to seek because we already have it. To find this light, simply look within. It is not about struggling with the ego or struggling against our obsessive thoughts. To do so is to give them reality. It is not even about trying "hard" but only about surrendering. It is to give up our way and follow His way.
 
"Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The light is in them now." (W.188.1.1-3) To seek for a future state of enlightenment is what many of us try to do, yet this is precisely what keeps it at bay. We are in the past or future and not accepting the present moment. The moment of the holy instant, where there is an authentic knowing that floods our minds, is the moment of knowing that it is all here now. Chasing the goal of enlightenment is just another ego ploy to "seek and do not find." (T.12.V.7.1) (ACIM OE T.11.VI.49)
 
We need to give up control, as everything has already been determined. The end is certain, so what do we do now? The answer is to choose love in every moment. In every circumstance that is in front of us, we can stay aware of our thoughts and choose how to respond, whether from the ego or from the Spirit. Let your life be guided by Love in each moment. No matter what you are facing, keep asking how Love would have you respond to the situation. The Answer is within you. It requires tuning into the Voice of the Holy Spirit. The ego will tend to speak first, but it is never the truth. When we turn to the Holy Spirit, He will always offer His guidance, which is in direct opposition to the ego.
 
If the peace of God is shining in us now, there is nowhere to go to find it and nothing to seek for. It is indeed humorous to seek for the light while covering our eyes, refusing to see it is here now. "Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes." (W.188.1.2) In other words, Jesus says, although we seek it, there is also a part of us keeping it from our awareness. How do we do that? We defend against it by holding it apart from us, believing we will find it some day in the future. "Why wait to find it in the future, or believe it has been lost already, or was never there?" (W.188.2.2) Jesus calls these arguments "ridiculous." (W.188.2.3) "The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own." (W.188.1.6) There is no reason to delay our peace and joy. There is no reason to indulge in the belief that we have to atone for our sins and clean up our act in order to know Heaven. There is no need to suffer any longer. We think it is hard to find and that we need to struggle with our ego. We think that this is a difficult process, but Jesus keeps assuring us that to struggle with the ego is to make it real. Recognition of the light in us is all that is needed. The light is there now. This light cannot be lost. We do not need to try hard to find where it is. We have just forgotten who we are. It is always present, yet we deny its presence.
 
Everything that seems to happen in this illusion can contribute to our journey if given over to the Holy Spirit. Every event, every circumstance, every mistake, and every situation can be seen as an opportunity to release our self-condemnation, self-attacks, and judgments that we project onto the world. None of these things are a reason for guilt. No mistake should be used for crucifying ourselves or others. It is all there for our learning. It is just another opportunity to release our own self-condemnation that we project onto others. "In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, 'My brother, choose again'." (T.31.VIII.3.2) (ACIM OE T.31.VIII.87)
 
Jesus is not denying that we experience difficulty, distress, or perplexity in our lives. We all have a lot of stuff that occupies our thoughts, but all these challenges hamper our spiritual growth if we deny and resist them. As Ken Wapnick writes, in The Healing Power of Kindness, pp.38-39: "Rather than feel guilty, angry or depressed about a problem--physical or psychological--we need to accept it as a classroom, telling ourselves this is the form in which we will learn what we need to learn: whatever the distress, it is our choosing. This is not because we are neurotic, psychotic or bad, but because we want to prove we are who we are not; that the separated, sinful, and guilty self is real, and our glorious Self an illusion."
 
When you feel discouraged on this journey, do not fight yourself. Nothing is wrong. Nothing is out of place. I recently heard Adyashanti say that the world is "benevolently ruthless." In other words, we all get exactly what we need for our awakening. It can be grace, even though it may look like ruthless grace. Whatever you may think that you have done wrong and whatever you may feel frustrated with or sad about, do not resist it or deny it. It is in the opposition of it that we suffer. Allow yourself to accept wherever you are. Allow yourself to be defeated or discouraged. Experience the feeling, instead of trying to manage or control it. It is about absolute acceptance. The truth is that we are perfect, innocent, complete, and always in the Presence of God's Love, but our minds convince us otherwise. When we accept whatever the situation is in front of us and fully accept what we are feeling, we can immediately turn to the Holy Spirit and open our minds to His interpretation.
 
As long as we hold onto our judgments and grievances and as long as we are unwilling to take responsibility for them, we cannot know the peace of God that is shining in us now. That is why burying, hiding, or avoiding taking responsibility for our dark thoughts keeps them from being purified and washed clean by the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, "We have betrayed them, ordering that they depart from us. But now we call them back, and wash them clean of strange desires and disordered wishes. We restore to them the holiness of their inheritance." (W.188.9.5-7) Actually, we do not do that because the ego will never undertake to undo itself. The Holy Spirit does it when we turn our strange desires and disordered wishes over to Him by putting them on the inner altar. This is the miracle. "We will forgive them all, absolving all the world from what we thought it did to us." (W.188.10.2) That is what forgiveness does; it washes away what no longer serves us.
 
"We practice coming nearer to the light in us today. We take our wandering thoughts, and gently bring them back to where they fall in line with all the thoughts we share with God. We will not let them [ our wandering thoughts] stray. We let the light within our minds direct them to come home." (W.188.9.1-4) Today, we practice watching our thoughts by calling them to our attention so they can be washed clean by the Holy Spirit. Thus, they leave room for only God's Thoughts. In the light that has never left us, we find God's peace.
 
Rather than blaming the world, "Now we choose that it be innocent, devoid of sin and open to salvation." (W.188.10.4) We lay our blessing on it today instead of cursing and blaming it for the conditions we have chosen for ourselves. We say, "The peace of God is shining in me now. Let all things shine upon me in that peace, and let me bless them with the light in me." (W.188.10.6-7)

Love and blessings, Sarah 
huemmert@shaw.ca 

A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Seventeen

Forgiveness and Healing 
   
   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

VI. The Healed Relationship 

43
The holy relationship is the expression of the holy instant in living in this world. Like everything about salvation, the holy instant is a practical device, witnessed to by its results. The holy instant never fails. The experience of it is always felt. Yet without expression, it is not remembered. The holy relationship is a constant reminder of the experience in which the relationship became what it is. And as the unholy relationship is a continuing hymn of hate in praise of its maker, so is the holy relationship a happy song of praise to the Redeemer of relationships.
 
44 The holy relationship, a major step toward the perception of the real world, is learned. It is the old unholy relationship transformed and seen anew. The holy relationship is a phenomenal teaching accomplishment. In all its aspects, as it begins, develops, and becomes accomplished, it represents the reversal of the unholy relationship. Be comforted in this-the only difficult phase is the beginning. For here, the goal of the relationship is abruptly shifted to the exact opposite of what it was. This is the first result of offering the relationship to the Holy Spirit to use for His purposes.
 
45 This invitation is accepted immediately, and the Holy Spirit wastes no time in introducing the practical results of asking Him to enter. At once His goal replaces yours. This is accomplished very rapidly, but it makes the relationship seem disturbed, disjunctive, and even quite distressing. The reason is quite clear. For the relationship as it is is out of line with its own goal, and clearly unsuited to the purpose which has been accepted for it. In its unholy condition, your goal was all that seemed to give it meaning. Now it seems to make no sense. Many relationships have been broken off at this point, and the pursuit of the old goal reestablished in another relationship. For once the unholy relationship has accepted the goal of holiness, it can never again be what it was.
 
46 The temptation of the ego becomes extremely intense with this shift in goals. For the relationship has not as yet been changed sufficiently to make its former goal completely without attraction, and its structure is "threatened" by the recognition of its inappropriateness for meeting its new purpose. The conflict between the goal and the structure of the relationship is so apparent that they cannot coexist. Yet now the goal will not be changed. Set firmly in the unholy relationship, there is no course except to change the relationship to fit the goal. Until this happy solution is seen and accepted as the only way out of the conflict, the relationship seems to be severely strained.
 
47 It would not be kinder to shift the goal more slowly, for the contrast would be obscured and the ego given time to reinterpret each slow step according to its liking. Only a radical shift in purpose could induce a complete change of mind about what the whole relationship is for. As this change develops and is finally accomplished, it grows increasingly beneficent and joyous. But at the beginning, the situation is experienced as very precarious. A relationship undertaken by two individuals for their unholy purposes suddenly has holiness for its goal. As these two contemplate their relationship from the point of view of this new purpose, they are inevitably appalled. Their perception of the relationship may even become quite disorganized. And yet, the former organization of their perception no longer serves the purpose they have agreed to meet.
 
48 This is the time for faith. You let this goal be set for you. That was an act of faith. Do not abandon faith, now that the rewards of faith are being introduced. If you believed the Holy Spirit was there to accept the relationship, why would you now not still believe that He is there to purify what He has taken under His guidance? Have faith in each other in what but seems to be a trying time. The goal is set. And your relationship has sanity as its purpose. For now you find yourselves in an insane relationship, recognized as such in the light of its goal.
 
49 Now the ego counsels thus---substitute for this another relationship to which your former goal was quite appropriate. You can escape from your distress only by getting rid of each other. You need not part entirely if you choose not to do so. But you must exclude major areas of fantasy from each other to save your sanity. Hear not this now! Have faith in Him Who answered you. He heard. Has He not been very explicit in His answer? You are not now wholly insane. Can you deny that He has given you a most explicit statement? Now He asks for faith a little longer, even in bewilderment. For this will go, and you will see the justification for your faith emerge to bring you shining conviction. Abandon Him not now, nor each other. This relationship has been reborn as holy.
 
50 Accept with gladness what you do not understand, and let it be explained to you as you perceive its purpose work in it to make it holy. You will find many opportunities to blame each other for the "failure" of your relationship, for it will seem at times to have no purpose. A sense of aimlessness will come to haunt you and to remind you of all the ways you once sought for satisfaction and thought you found it. Forget not now the misery you really found, and do not now breathe life into your failing egos. For your relationship has not been disrupted. It has been saved.
 
51 You are very new in the ways of salvation and think you have lost your way. Your way is lost, but think not this is loss. In your newness, remember that you have started again together. And take each other's hand to walk together along a road far more familiar than you now believe. Is it not certain that you will remember a goal unchanged throughout eternity? For you have chosen but the goal of God from which your true intent was never absent.
 
52 Throughout the Sonship is the song of freedom heard in joyous echo of your choice. You have joined with many in the holy instant, and they have joined with you. Think not your choice will leave you comfortless, for God Himself has blessed your holy relationship. Join in His blessing, and withhold not yours upon it. For all it needs now is your blessing that you may see that in it rests salvation. Condemn salvation not, for it has come to you. And welcome it together, for it has come to join you together in a relationship in which all the Sonship is together blessed.
 
53 You undertook together to invite the Holy Spirit into your relationship. He could not have entered otherwise. Although you may have made many mistakes since then, you have also made enormous efforts to help Him do His work. And He has not been lacking in appreciation for all you have done for Him. Nor does He see the mistakes at all. Have you been similarly grateful to each other? Have you consistently appreciated the good efforts and overlooked mistakes? Or has your appreciation flickered and grown dim in what seemed to be the light of the mistakes? You are now entering upon a campaign to blame each other for the discomfort of the situation in which you find yourselves. And by this lack of thanks and gratitude, you make yourselves unable to express the holy instant, and thus you lose sight of it.
 
54 The experience of an instant, however compelling it may be, is easily forgotten if you allow time to close over it. It must be kept shining and gracious in your awareness of time but not concealed within it. The instant remains. But where are you? To give thanks to each other is to appreciate the holy instant and thus enable its results to be accepted and shared. To attack each other is not to lose the instant but to make it powerless in its effects. You have received the holy instant, but you have established a condition in which you cannot use it. As a result, you do not realize that it is with you still. And by cutting yourself off from its expression, you have denied yourself its benefit. You reinforce this every time you attack each other, for the attack must blind you to yourself. And it is impossible to deny yourself and recognize what has been given and received by you.
 
55 You stand together in the holy presence of truth itself. Here is the goal, together with you. Think you not the goal itself will gladly arrange the means for its accomplishment? It is just this same discrepancy between the purpose that has been accepted and the means as they stand now which seems to make you suffer, but which makes Heaven glad. If Heaven were outside you, you could not share in its gladness. Yet because it is within, the gladness, too, is yours. You are joined in purpose, but remain still separate and divided on the means.
 
56 Yet the goal is fixed, firm, and unalterable, and the means will surely fall in place because the goal is sure. And you will share the gladness of the Sonship that it is so. As you begin to recognize and accept the gifts you have so freely given to each other, you will also accept the effects of the holy instant and use them to correct all your mistakes and free you from their results. And learning this, you will have also learned how to release all the Sonship and offer it in gladness and thanksgiving to Him Who gave you your release, and Who would extend it through you.
  
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