Lesson 191
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 17 "FORGIVENESS AND HEALING" 
VII. PRACTICAL APPLICATION      

57 The practical application of the Holy Spirit's purpose is extremely simple, but it is unequivocal. In fact in order to be simple, it must be unequivocal. The simple is merely what is easily understood, and for this it is apparent that it must be clear. The setting of the Holy Spirit's goal is general. Now He will work with you to make it specific[, for application is specific]. There are certain very specific guidelines He provides for any situation, but remember that you do not yet realize their universal application. Therefore it is essential at this point to use them in each situation separately, until you can more safely look beyond each situation in an understanding far broader than you now possess.
 
58 In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is, "What do I want to come of this? What is it for?" The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome. In the ego's procedure, this is reversed. The situation becomes the determiner of the outcome, which can be anything. The reason for this disorganized approach is evident. The ego does not know what it wants to come of it. It is aware of what it does not want, but only that. It has no positive goal at all.
 
    ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 17.VII         AUDIO: TEXT CH 17, VII         
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I
INTRODUCTION to LESSONS 181-200
Introduction 181-200
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*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  191
I am the holy Son of God Himself. 
 
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Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
 
*IAMBIC PENTAMETER
 
   Here is your declaration of release
   from bondage of the world. And here as well
   is all the world released. You do not see
   what you have done by giving to the world
   the role of jailer to the Son of God.
   What could it be but vicious and afraid,
   fearful of shadows, punitive and wild,
   lacking all reason, blind, insane and sad?|
   What have you done that this should be your world?
   What have you done that this is what you see?
 
   Deny your own identity and this
   is what remains. You look on chaos and
   proclaim it as yourself. There is no sight
   that fails to witness this is you. There is
   no sound that does not speak of frailty
   within you and without, no breath you draw
   that does not seem to bring you nearer death,
   no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.|
  
   Deny your own identity and you
   will not escape the madness which induced
   this weird, unnatural and ghostly thought
   which mocks creation and which laughs at God.
   Deny your own identity and you
   assail the universe, alone, without
   a friend, a tiny particle of dust
   against the legions of your enemies.
   Deny your own identity and look
   on evil, sin and death. And watch despair
   snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope,
   leaving you nothing but the wish to die.
 
   Yet what is it except a game you play
   in which identity can be denied?
   You are as God created you. All else
   but this one thing is folly to believe.
   In this one thought is everything set free.
   In this one truth are all illusions gone.
   In this one fact is sinlessness proclaimed
   to be forever part of everything;
   the central core of its existence and
   its guarantee of immortality.
 
   But let today's idea find a place
   among your thoughts and you have risen far
   above the world and all the worldly thoughts
   that hold it prisoner. And from this place
   of safety and escape you will return
   and set it free. For he who can accept
   his true identity is truly saved.
   And his salvation is the gift he gives
   to everyone in gratitude to Him
   Who pointed out the way to happiness
   that changed his whole perception of the world.
 
   One holy thought like this and you are free;
   You are the holy Son of God Himself.
   And with this holy thought you learn as well
   that you have freed the world. You have no need
   to use it cruelly and then perceive
   this savage need in it. You set it free
   of your imprisonment. You will not see
   a devastating image of yourself
   walking the world in terror with the world
   twisting in agony because your fears
   have laid the mark of death upon its heart.|
 
   Be glad today how very easily
   is hell undone. You need but tell yourself:
   "I am the holy Son of God Himself.
    I cannot suffer; cannot be in pain,
    I cannot lose, nor can I fail to do
    All that salvation asks."  And in that thought
   is everything you look on wholly changed.|
   A miracle has lighted up all dark
   and ancient caverns where the rites of death
   echoed since time began. For time has lost
   its hold upon the world. The Son of God
   has come in glory to redeem the lost,
   to save the helpless and to give the world
   the gift of his forgiveness. Who could see
   the world as dark and sinful when God's Son
   has come again at last to set it free?|
 
   You who perceive yourself as weak and frail,
   with futile hopes and devastated dreams,
   born but to die, to weep and suffer pain,
   hear this: All power is given unto you
   in earth and Heaven. There is nothing that
   you cannot do. You play the game of death,
   of being helpless, pitifully tied
   to dissolution in a world which shows
   no mercy to you. Yet when you accord
   it mercy will its mercy shine on you.
 
   Then let the Son of God awaken from
   his sleep, and opening his holy eyes
   return again to bless the world he made.
   In error it began. But it will end
   in the reflection of his holiness.
   And we will sleep no more and dream of death.
   Then join with me today. Your glory is
   the light which saves the world. Do not withhold
   salvation longer. Look about the world
   and see the suffering there. Is not your heart
   willing to bring your weary brothers rest?
 
   They must await your own release. They stay
   in chains till you are free. They cannot see
   the mercy of the world until you find
   it for yourself. They suffer pain until
   you have denied its hold on you. They die
   till you accept your own Eternal Life.
   You are the holy Son of God Himself.
   Remember this and all the world is free.
   Remember this and earth and Heaven are one.
 
~ Original Handscript of ACIM July 17, 1970
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 191
I am the holy Son of God Himself.

  
Sarah's Commentary:
 
There is a sense of urgency in this Lesson, but it is not to make us feel bad about where we believe we are now. Jesus is only encouraging us not to delay our happiness. He makes a strong plea for our release so we can release our brothers and sisters. Our brothers and sisters are released when our minds are released because there is only one holy Son of God. We have imprisoned the mind as a result of our belief in sin and guilt that we project onto the world, and now we see the world as imprisoning us. We don't think of ourselves as the holy Son of God because we have denied our own identity, choosing instead to align with the ego mind. We think that the only holy Son is Jesus. Yet in the Course, Jesus says that he is our elder brother, who took this journey we are now taking, and thus he can show us the way. He showed us by his resurrection that we are not bodies but eternal, spiritual beings. He demonstrated the invulnerability that is ours as well, given us in our creation. Jesus says he is no different than we are, and where he is, we are too, as we have the same nature.
 
When we awaken from this dream, we too will realize that we have all power (W.191.9.1) and have had it all along. It has always been with us. "There is nothing that you cannot do." (W.191.9.2) Jesus is relying on us to escape from this hell that we have made; (W.191.7.1) and when we are released, everyone will be released with us. How can they not when the world is just a dream projected from our minds?
 
Jesus is helping us to release the dream we are dreaming. By turning to him for help, rather than worshiping him, which he asks us not to do, we can reclaim our own identity that is the same as his. We do this by giving him the thoughts that block our awareness of who we are as God's holy Son. This means we are called to look at the thoughts that we are holding of shame, anger, betrayal, embarrassment, grievance, victimhood, specialness, jealousy, competition, need, lack, desire, and any other self-attacking thought that blocks our realization of the Self we are. He asks us to lay our thoughts of guilt and shame at his feet. To do so, we must be honest and have the courage to look behind our defenses.
 
The thoughts we hold in the mind are projected onto the world and mirror a world that is chaotic in which we feel cast about by events we can't control and where we see evidence of our frailty, sadness, hopelessness, disappointments, and ultimately death. "There is no sound that does not speak of frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you nearer death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears." (W.191.2.6)
 
"What have you done that this should be your world? What have you done that this is what you see?" (W.191.2.1-2) We have denied our reality as the Son of God, and now, what we see around us is a witness to the chaos within. We have chosen to identify with the ego and with that choice, we see ourselves as more powerful than God. The mind is powerful and has made a choice to believe it is now an individual body and personality, living in a world of bodies. We can choose to be unaware of what we are, but we can't change the truth of who we really are.
 
When we look at the world, it reflects a denial of our magnificence. The world reflects back to us our judgments, fears, and chaotic thinking. Is it any wonder that in this closed system, and after a lifetime in a world that keeps reinforcing our ego thoughts, it is hard to believe we are anything but what we have come to think of ourselves---as a body and personality? We certainly don't think of ourselves as the holy Son of God, but this seeming bondage we experience in this world can't hold us. Today, we declare our release. "For he who can accept his true Identity is truly saved. And his salvation is the gift he gives to everyone, in gratitude to Him Who pointed out the way to happiness that changed his whole perspective of the world." (W.191.5.3-4)
 
Jesus pleads with us to join with him in the holy instant where he is. Outside of this dream, the memory of who we are can be found. He is in our minds and pleads with us to leave the darkness for a while so we can have some respite and recall our holiness. He asks that we rise above the world and "all the worldly thoughts that hold it prisoner." (W.191.5.1) We hold ourselves prisoner when we pursue idols of specialness that we think will bring us what we want in the dream. He wants us to see that they bring us nothing but despair. The ego tells us, while we have not yet understood the right combination of events for our happiness, if we just keep on looking, maybe one day we will find that combination. Perhaps a different home, a new relationship, another job, or more money would bring us what we want. However, seeking for substitutes that we believe will make us happy binds us to the illusion and keeps us in a state of despair, as we keep seeking for what we will never find in idols.
 
When we see the world as a classroom for healing instead of a place to fulfill our dreams that can never be fulfilled, everything in our lives becomes a backdrop to expose the mind through simple honesty. Now, nothing that happens is seen as good or bad but only as a curriculum to show us what is in the mind, all to be given over to the Holy Spirit. Look at your life with Him, who offers us His help so we can look at our dark thoughts without condemnation. He is a symbol of God's love in our minds.
 
If I am feeling insecure, fearful, unworthy, needy, angry, full of pride, and special, I need to look at what I am holding in my mind without condemning myself. I need to look without analyzing or judging myself. The thoughts I hold about myself are not what I am. They may take up only one percent of my mind, but this is the part the ego has claimed---the part with which I identify. This little corner of the mind we keep away from our grandeur, and instead we "keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die." (W.190.6.6) We think that this small part is what defines us because this image of ourselves is reinforced by the world. The world is now seen as the cause of what we are, yet only our own minds are the cause. We have reversed cause and effect. We are the ones who have used the world cruelly to meet our needs, all the while projecting responsibility onto the world for treating us badly. Because we prefer to see the cruelty in the world, rather than within ourselves, we think that in this way we can maintain our innocence.
 
To heal and awaken, we need to learn to look at the ego mind without fear. Any uncertainty or confusion that arises needs to be looked at in the same way. When we are looking at our thoughts in this way, we are looking with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Who hold the lamp so we can look at the darkness. It is not what we are. We don't need to seek for what is true, but only for the false, which are all the thoughts we hold that block the truth. When we can look at our thoughts without fear, healing can take place. To look at our thoughts is to allow everything to be brought to awareness without telling stories about the meaning of these thoughts and emotions nor to deny or justify them. We don't need to try to be compassionate or loving because that is the very nature of our minds. What we need to do is relinquish our investment in the thoughts that block the love and compassion in us. When the blocks are put on the altar, "All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing." (T.5.IV.8.2) (ACIM OE T.5.VI.58) That is the outcome of forgiveness.
 
This Lesson describes us as small, fragile beings who are here for a short while, assailed by the world, only to be rewarded at the end by death. It is a pretty discouraging picture of "life." When we align with the ego, we believe we are guilty and victims of this world. Of course, the ego can't afford for us to see the world as bleakly as described in this Lesson, so it throws in some special love relationships and dreams and hopes and small pleasures to keep us believing there is a possibility of true happiness in the world. Then, we resent the world for shattering our dreams, and we blame ourselves, or others, for having kept us from the happiness we have been seeking in the world. Denial of our true reality has kept us in this prison. Now we are called to forgive the world and everyone in it for what it did not do to us.
 
By accepting who we really are, we release ourselves and our brothers from the bondage of the world. We become a demonstration of the choice for peace. Others will be attracted to the peace they see in us and will choose it for themselves. We offer the world mercy (W.191.9.4) so its mercy will shine on us. We can't just look at the suffering of others and say it does not matter because it is all an illusion. While it is an illusion, we are not currently experiencing it this way, and therefore, we must not deny our experience.
 
We are called to join with Jesus today. (W.191.10.4) He tells us, "Your glory is the light that saves the world." (W.191.10.5) "Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?" (W.191.10.8) How willing are we? How important have we made this goal for ourselves? How big is our commitment to do this healing work? "There is nothing that you cannot do." (W.191.9.2) The power is in us to make this choice. "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)
 
We keep ourselves in hell when we hold grievances and forget that we are the ones dreaming the dream. How small are the events that can disturb us! How insignificant are our complaints! Yet the ego hangs onto them like a dog with a bone! "I am the holy Son of God Himself. I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain; I cannot suffer loss, nor fail to do all that salvation asks." (W.191.7.3-4) Do we believe this? Perhaps not yet, but it is the truth because we were created holy.
 
Jesus says that much of our time is spent in playing "the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you." (W.191.9.3) It is a game of victimhood. We tell pitiful tales of our lives and take these stories so seriously, believing we will then be seen as innocent victims of what others have done to us. It is a role we play in this dream, and we want others to sympathize with us. "This sickly picture of yourself is carefully preserved by the ego, whose image it is and which it loves, and placed outside you in the world. And to this world must you adjust as long as you believe this picture is outside, and has you at its mercy." (T.20.III.5.6-7) (ACIM OE T.20.IV.20) He goes on to say that if this were indeed the merciless world outside of us, then we should be fearful, but we are the ones who made it merciless by projecting our own thoughts onto it. Now it can all be corrected when we ask to see through the eyes of Christ instead of our own.
 
We are called to extend mercy and not to look for it in the world. "Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you." (W.191.9.4) That is how we find our way out of this cycle of grievance and retaliation, control and despair, with Jesus showing us there is a way out. In fact, he tells us that hell is easily undone. (W.191.7.1) We just need to truly believe one thought, such as "I am as God created me," (W.94) and not what we have made of ourselves.
 
All of our experiences are helpful, even if we seem to fall into a black hole. I find that when I am experiencing painful situations in my life, they drive me further into this work and motivate me to heal my mind. Don't resist any of it. To resist is to say it should not be happening. The world gives us everything we need for our awakening because our thoughts have brought it all into being. Often, our greatest leaps forward spiritually are made at our most difficult times. These can offer us a certain kind of grace, even if, at the time, the experience feels ruthless. Our greatest advances are often made when we are brought to our knees. Sometimes it seems like that is what it takes. If we see these as opportunities to go deeper into our pain and learn to go past our defenses through deep inquiry, these events truly become huge gifts. When we accept that we don't know how to do any of this on our own anymore, the ego is unhinged, and we reach a true state of humility.
 
We have often talked about the apparent difficulty of trying to understand the Course. When we read a Lesson like this, it seems to be the only one we need in order to be released. Yet because of our resistance, we need the many approaches taken by this Course to undermine the ego thought system and help us to increase our willingness and our desire.
 
We are here to bless. We are here to bring the light of our glory to everyone, and we do it by being willing to be released from our own hell. The world is waiting for each of us to find the mercy in ourselves. To give and to receive are one. In extending kindness and mercy, we are receiving this gift for ourselves.

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

VII. Practical Application  

  57 The practical application of the Holy Spirit's purpose is extremely simple, but it is unequivocal. In fact in order to be simple, it must be unequivocal. The simple is merely what is easily understood, and for this it is apparent that it must be clear. The setting of the Holy Spirit's goal is general. Now He will work with you to make it specific, [for application is specific]. There are certain very specific guidelines He provides for any situation, but remember that you do not yet realize their universal application. Therefore it is essential at this point to use them in each situation separately, until you can more safely look beyond each situation in an understanding far broader than you now possess.
 
58 In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is, "What do I want to come of this? What is it for?" The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome. In the ego's procedure, this is reversed. The situation becomes the determiner of the outcome, which can be anything. The reason for this disorganized approach is evident. The ego does not know what it wants to come of it. It is aware of what it does not want, but only that. It has no positive goal at all.
 
59 Without a clear cut positive goal, set at the outset, the situation just seems to happen and makes no sense until it has already happened. Then you look back at it and try to piece together what it must have meant. And you will be wrong. Not only is your judgment in the past, but you have no idea what should happen. No goal was set with which to bring the means in line. And now the only judgment left to make is whether or not the ego likes it-is it acceptable, or does it call for vengeance? The absence of a criterion for outcome set in advance makes understanding doubtful and evaluation impossible.
 
60 The value of deciding in advance what you want to happen is simply that you will perceive the situation as a means to make it happen. You will therefore make every effort to overlook what interferes with the accomplishment of your objective and concentrate on everything which helps you meet it. It is quite noticeable that this approach has brought you closer to the Holy Spirit's sorting out of truth and falsity. The true becomes what can be used to meet the goal. The false becomes the useless from this point of view. The situation now has meaning, but only because the goal has made it meaningful.
 
61 The goal of truth has further practical advantages. If the situation is used for truth and sanity, its outcome must be peace. And this is quite apart from what the outcome is. If peace is the condition of truth and sanity and cannot be without them, where peace is they must be. Truth comes of itself. If you experience peace, it is because the truth has come to you, and you will see the outcome truly, for deception cannot prevail against you. And you will recognize the outcome because you are at peace. Here again, you see the opposite of the ego's way of looking, for the ego believes the situation brings the experience. The Holy Spirit knows that the situation is as the goal determines it and is experienced according to the goal.
 
62 The goal of truth requires faith. Faith is implicit in the acceptance of the Holy Spirit's purpose, and this faith is all-inclusive. Where the goal of truth is set, there faith must be. The Holy Spirit sees the situation as a whole. The goal establishes the fact that everyone involved in it will play his part in its accomplishment. This is inevitable. No one will fail in anything. This seems to ask for faith beyond you and beyond what you can give. Yet this is so only from the viewpoint of the ego, for the ego believes in "solving" conflict through fragmentation and does not perceive the situation as a whole. Therefore, it seeks to split off segments of the situation and deal with them separately, for it has faith in separation and not in wholeness.
 
63 Confronted with any aspect of the situation which seems to be difficult, the ego will attempt to take this aspect elsewhere and resolve it there. And it will seem to be successful, except that this attempt conflicts with unity and must obscure the goal of truth. And peace will not be experienced except in fantasy. Truth has not come because faith has been denied, being withheld from where it rightfully belonged. Thus do you lose the understanding of the situation the goal of truth would bring. For fantasy solutions bring but the illusion of experience, and the illusion of peace is not the condition in which the truth can enter.
 
64 The substitutes for aspects of the situation are the witnesses to your lack of faith. They demonstrate that you did not believe that the situation and the problem were in the same place. The problem was the lack of faith, and it is this you demonstrate when you remove it from its source and place it elsewhere. As a result, you do not see the problem. Had you not lacked the faith it could be solved, the problem would be gone. And the situation would have been meaningful to you because the interference in the way of understanding would have been removed. To remove the problem elsewhere is to keep it. For you remove yourself from it and make it unsolvable.
 
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