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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 2 "THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATION"
III. HEALING AS RELEASE FROM FEAR
65 The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. This means that he recognizes that mind is the only creative level and that its errors are healed by the Atonement. Once he accepts this, his mind can only heal. By denying his mind any destructive potential and reinstating its purely constructive powers, he has placed himself in a position where he can undo the level confusion of others. The message he then gives to others is the truth that their minds are similarly constructive and that their miscreations cannot hurt them. By affirming this, the miracle worker releases the mind from over-evaluating its own learning device (the body) and restores the mind to its true position as the learner.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time and, if possible, in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this-you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 19
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 The idea for today is obviously the reason why your seeing does not affect you alone. You will notice that at times the ideas related to thinking precede those related to perceiving, while at other times the order is reversed. The reason is that the order does not actually matter. Thinking and its results are really simultaneous, for cause and effect are never separate.
2 Today we are again emphasizing the fact that minds are joined. This is rarely a wholly welcome idea at first, since it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility and may even be regarded as an "invasion of privacy." Yet it is a fact that there are no private thoughts. Despite your initial resistance to this idea, you will yet understand that it must be true if salvation is possible at all. And salvation must be possible because it is the Will of God.
3 The minute or so of mind searching which today's exercises require are to be undertaken with eyes closed. The idea is to be repeated first, and then the mind should be carefully searched for the thoughts it contains at that time. As you consider each one, name it in terms of the central person or theme it contains and, holding it in your mind as you do so, say:
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of
5 The requirement of as much indiscriminateness as possible in selecting subjects for the practice period should be quite familiar to you by now and will no longer be repeated each day, although it will occasionally be included as a reminder. Do not forget, however, that random selection of subjects for all practice periods remains essential throughout. Lack of order in this connection will ultimately make the recognition of lack of order in miracles meaningful to you.
6 Apart from the "as needed" application of today's idea, at least three practice periods are required, shortening the length of time involved if necessary. Do not attempt more than four.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts
Yesterday, the focus of the Lesson was on seeing. Today, it is on thinking. Thinking is cause and seeing is effect. "Thinking and its results are really simultaneous, for cause and effect are never separate." (W.19.1.4) It all happens so quickly that it is hard to recognize thought as the cause of our seeing. We don't recognize that each thought we have produces an effect that we see in the world. Every problem, every event, every situation, and everything in this world of form starts with a thought in our minds. In fact, the whole world is a projection of the thought of separation. Essentially, the world is not separate from the mind. Nothing is really outside of the mind. It does seem like the world is outside of the mind, but Jesus reminds us that ideas do not leave their source. Another way to say this is that effects do not leave their cause, and the cause is always our own minds.
An example of this for me today was when Don and I were talking about a politician who triggers reactions in us. It is someone many people love to hate, but the hate is in our own minds. We prefer not to see it there and therefore project it onto this person. All we are seeing is the effect of our own thoughts of hate that we don't want to acknowledge in ourselves so we find convenient receptacles in others.
Another way to think about this is to think of the mind as a movie projector. The Holy Spirit is like the pure light shining through the projector until a film is put in it. The film is the thought system in the mind running through the projector that we see on the screen as colors and shapes. Our minds focus on particular aspects of the movie playing on the screen, and our identification with those aspects creates an experience for us. The screen is not the cause of our experience. We are creating this experience ourselves. When we look at the movie on the screen, we get emotionally involved in the action on the screen and forget that the projector is the source of what we see and the movie is the effect. The movie is a series of neutral events that we react to. We perceive the movie as constantly changing, but what is actually changing are our thoughts about it. We believe we are on the screen, rather than back in the mind. This is how we convince ourselves that the separation is real. It is all our movie and all the characters on the screen are part of our script. When we take responsibility for the projections on the screen as coming from our own minds, we bring the guilt back to ourselves and make space for some light in the projection to shine through where guilt had previously blocked the light.
We want all of this to be real. Our desire is to have the experience of this individual existence. We are invested in our movie. On a metaphysical level, there is tremendous guilt in the mind as a result of the decision to separate from God. We project this guilt onto the world. Now we see others as having the guilt so we don't have to be responsible for it. We prefer to see others as the bad guys. We want to see them as the guilty ones who victimize us so we can see ourselves as innocent victims who are not responsible for any of it. Jesus exposes how all of this was set up because we have no memory of any of it. A veil of forgetfulness dropped across the mind when we chose the separation. Now it seems that the world was there when we were born, and we are its effect. Everyone here holds the same thought system.
Jesus says that the way we perceive does not affect us alone. It seems to us that we can have private thoughts that are ours alone, but Jesus tells us that this is not so. If my thoughts affect others, as was discussed yesterday, this puts a lot of responsibility on me. Jesus says it is not always a welcome idea at first because ". . . it seems to carry with it an enormous sense of responsibility, and may even be regarded as an 'invasion of privacy'." (W.19.2.2) Later, we will see that we welcome this idea because it is the essence of the power we have to change our minds. That is what makes salvation (healing) possible. "Despite your initial resistance to this idea, you will yet understand that it must be true if salvation is possible at all." (W.19.2.4) It means each of us can choose peace and healing and are not victims of outside circumstances. We choose it, not only for ourselves but for everyone because we are one Self.
This is the basis for forgiveness. As I release the dark thoughts in my mind, I heal my relationships. A few years ago, I was going through some difficult issues with my mother's seniors' residence. The company that owns the residence doubled the rent and put her, and all of us, in financial jeopardy. We were troubled and wondered what we could do. I met with company officials and berated them for treating vulnerable seniors in this way. I judged that they lacked concern or consideration for these seniors in their care.
I then spoke with the media and received good coverage. Finally, I approached a lawyer to see what action could be taken. These were all ego strategies, and they did not result in resolution of the issue. I saw in retrospect that I had gone about trying to fix things on the screen, forgetting that the work was to look at my projection of guilt on others. With the realization of how I was on the wrong track, I committed to healing my mind by releasing my anger and frustration. When I was able to see my seeming "enemies" in a different light, everything started to change. Solutions were found to make this work for my mother. No, the company did not reverse their decision, but they were prepared to work with us to try to find some solutions, and in the process, they demonstrated a depth of understanding and support that was quite amazing.
"I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts."
(W.19) Indeed, this fact makes salvation possible when we take responsibility for our thoughts and are willing to bring them to the light. Only then can the miracle show up. This certainly does not mean there are not things we need to attend to in the illusion. However, the real cause is in the mind, and that is the only place salvation is possible. It is a call to choose again. This teaching is very practical. Yes, the metaphysics do seem to be complex to our complex thinking minds, but they help us see how we have everything here backward. There is such power in the application of these teachings. We will only know that power when we do this work with the mind.
As in other Lessons, we are asked to be indiscriminate in selecting subjects to use in practicing this Lesson. This is important in all Lessons, as we are learning that all illusions are the same. There is no hierarchy in illusions. There are no differences in thoughts. There are not some that are better, worse, bigger, or more powerful than others. All of them are actually nothing. None of them are the truth. They are all meaningless, as we learned in previous Lessons. It is all a random series of thoughts that cross our minds that we are now being asked to look at. The ego likes to order everything, but there is no order of difficulty in miracles. As such, we are learning that some things are not more important than others. Whether we lose our job or lose our keys, it makes no difference in terms of the magnitude of the problem, except to the ego of course. Each problem is like every other problem. All problems are just reflections of the belief that we are on our own and separate from everyone else, with our own private thoughts and our own unique problems. If this were the case, separation would be real and not the illusory dream we have constructed.
At least three times today, and four if you feel no strain, for one minute or shorter if necessary, search your mind for the thoughts there. "As you consider each one, name it in terms of the central person or theme it contains, and holding it in mind as you do so, say:
"I am not alone in experiencing the effects of this thought about_____."
Finally, if there were no secrets and no private thoughts, why would we need to hide behind all our defenses? We only imagine we are safe in our walled-off private selves. We work hard to manage the chaos, putting on a bravado of confidence and certainty. Now we are called to take down these defenses and see how silly our thoughts are. We can laugh at the foolishness of the thoughts we have taken so seriously. When we choose forgiveness and give our grievances over to the Holy Spirit, healing is guaranteed. Our part is just to be willing to look at our thoughts. The Holy Spirit does the rest. With our choice for healing, the world becomes a gentler place. It does not mean everything in the world changes since the world was made as an imperfect place, but it does mean we will see it all differently. The responsibility is ours. It carries an opportunity that can take us out of the ego game of being the victim of events and situations. All that is required of us is to keep looking at our thoughts and bring them to the light. We can access our thoughts from our thinking mind or look at how we feel. Behind our feelings are our thoughts, beliefs, and the concepts we hold that keep us bound to the illusion, but it need not be!
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
Chapter Two: The Illusion of Separation
III. Healing as Release from Fear
61 It is essential to remember that
only the mind can create. Implicit in this is the corollary that correction belongs at the
thought level. To repeat an earlier statement and to extend it somewhat, the Soul is already perfect and therefore does not require correction. The body does not really exist except as a learning device for the mind. This learning device is
not subject to errors of its own because it was created but is
not creating. It should be obvious, then, that correcting the creator or inducing it to give up its miscreations is the only application of creative ability which is truly meaningful.
62 Magic is essentially mindless or the miscreative use of the mind. Physical medications are forms of "spells." Those who are afraid to use the mind to heal should not attempt to do so. The very fact that they are
afraid has made them vulnerable to miscreation. They are therefore likely to misunderstand any healing they might induce and, because egocentricity and fear usually occur together, may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing. Under these conditions, it is safer for them to rely
temporarily on physical healing devices because they cannot misperceive them as their own creations. As long as their sense of vulnerability persists, they should be preserved from even attempting miracles.
63 We have already said that the miracle is an expression of miracle-mindedness. Miracle-mindedness merely means right-mindedness in the sense that we are now using it. The right-minded neither exalt nor depreciate the mind of the miracle worker
or the miracle receiver. However, as a creative act, the miracle need not await the right-mindedness of the receiver. In fact, its purpose is to
restore him to his right mind. It is essential, however, that the miracle
worker be in his right mind or he will be unable to reestablish right-mindedness in someone else.
64 The healer who relies on his
own readiness is endangering his understanding. He is perfectly safe as long as he is completely unconcerned about
his readiness but maintains a consistent trust in
mine. If your miracle working propensities are not functioning properly, it is
always because fear has intruded on your right-mindedness and has literally upset it (or turned it upside-down). All forms of not-right-mindedness are the result of refusal to accept the Atonement
for yourself. If the miracle worker
does accept it, he places himself in a position to recognize that those who need to be healed are simply those who have not realized that right-mindedness
sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. This means that he recognizes that mind is the only creative level and that its errors
are healed by the Atonement. Once he accepts this, his mind can
only heal. By denying his mind any destructive potential and reinstating its purely constructive powers, he has placed himself in a position where he can undo the level confusion of others. The message he then gives to others is the truth that
their minds are similarly constructive and that
their miscreations cannot hurt them. By affirming this, the miracle worker releases the mind from over-evaluating its own learning device (the body) and restores the mind to its true position as the learner.
66 It should be emphasized again that the body does not learn any more than it creates. As a learning device, it merely follows the learner, but if it is falsely endowed with self-initiative, it becomes a serious obstruction to the very learning it should facilitate.
Only the mind is capable of illumination. The Soul is already illuminated, and the body in itself is too dense. The mind, however, can bring
to the body by recognizing that density is the opposite of intelligence and therefore unamenable to independent learning. It is, however, easily brought into alignment with a mind which has learned to look beyond density toward light.
67 Corrective learning always begins with the awakening of the Spiritual eye and the turning away from the belief in physical sight. The reason this so often entails fear is because man is afraid of what his Spiritual eye will see. We said before that the Spiritual eye cannot see error and is capable only of looking beyond it to the defense of Atonement. There is no doubt that the Spiritual eye
does produce extreme discomfort by what it sees. Yet what man forgets is that the discomfort is
not the final outcome of its perception. When the Spiritual eye is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, it also looks
immediately toward the Atonement.
Nothing the Spiritual eye perceives can induce fear.
Everything that results from accurate spiritual awareness is merely channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the
need for correction forcibly into awareness. What the physical eye sees is
not corrective nor can it be corrected by
any device which can be seen physically. As long as a man believes in what his physical sight tells him,
all his corrective behavior will be misdirected. The
real vision is obscured because man cannot endure to see his own defiled altar. But since the altar
has been defiled, his state becomes doubly dangerous unless it
69 The fear of healing arises, in the end, from an unwillingness to accept the unequivocal fact that healing is necessary. Man is not willing to look on what he has done
to himself. Healing is an ability lent to man after the separation, before which it was completely unnecessary. Like all aspects of the space-time belief, healing ability is temporary. However, as long as time persists, healing is needed as a means for human protection. This is because healing rests on charity, and charity is a way of perceiving the perfection of another even if he cannot perceive it himself.
70 Most of the loftier concepts of which man is capable now are time-dependent. Charity is really a weaker reflection of a much more powerful love-encompassment which is
far beyond any form of charity that man can conceive of as yet. Charity is essential to right-mindedness in the limited sense in which right-mindedness can now be attained. Charity is a way of looking at another
as if he had already gone far beyond his actual accomplishments in time. Since his own thinking is faulty, he cannot see the Atonement for himself or he would have no need for charity. The charity which is accorded him is both an acknowledgment that he
is weak and a recognition that he
could be stronger.
71 The way in which both of these perceptions are stated clearly implies their dependence on time, making it quite apparent that charity lies within the human limitations, though toward its higher levels. We said before that only revelation transcends time. The miracle, as an expression of true human charity, can only shorten time at most. It must be understood, however, that whenever a man offers a miracle to another, he is shortening the suffering of
both. This introduces a correction into the whole record which corrects retroactively as well as progressively.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
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