Lesson 192
Only What You Have Not Given is Missing
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67 Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation. But remember this: the goal of holiness was set for your relationship and not by you. You did not set it because holiness cannot be seen except through faith, and your relationship was not holy because your faith in one another was so limited and little. Your faith must grow to meet the goal that has been set. The goal's reality will call this forth, for you will see that peace and faith will not come separately. What situation can you be in without faith and remain faithful to each other?
    ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 17.VIII         AUDIO: TEXT CH 17, VIII         
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Introduction 181-200
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 

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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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  192
I have a function God would have me fill.  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
It is your Father's holy Will that you
complete Himself and that your Self shall be
His sacred Son, forever pure as He,
of love created and in love preserved,
extending love, creating in Its Name,
forever one with God and with your Self.
Yet what can such a function mean within
a world of envy, hatred and attack?|
Therefore you have a function in the world
in its own terms. For who can understand
a language far beyond his simple grasp?
Forgiveness represents your function here.
It is not God's creation, for it is
the means by which untruth can be undone.
And who would pardon Heaven? Yet on earth
you need the means to let illusion go.
Creation merely waits for your return
to be acknowledged, not to be complete.|
Creation cannot even be conceived
of in the world. It has no meaning here.
Forgiveness is the closest it can come
to earth. For being Heaven-born, it has
no form at all. Yet God created One
Who has the power to translate [into] form
the wholly formless. What He makes are dreams,
but of a kind so close to waking that
the light of day already shines in them.
  And eyes already opening behold
the joyful sights their offerings contain.|
Forgiveness gently looks upon all things
unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear,
and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate
on which the Word of God can now replace
the senseless <symbols> written there before.
Forgiveness is the means x-you-x by which the fear
of death is overcome, because it holds
no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone.
Forgiveness lets the body be perceived
as what it is; a simple teaching aid
to be laid by when learning is complete,
but hardly changing him who learns at all.|
The mind without the body cannot make
mistakes. It cannot think that it will die
nor be the prey of merciless attack.
Anger becomes impossible, and where
is terror then? What fears could still assail
those who have lost the source of all attack;
the core of anguish and the seat of fear?
Only forgiveness can relieve the mind
of thinking that the body is its home.
Only forgiveness can restore the peace
that God intended for His holy Son.
Only forgiveness can persuade the Son
to look again upon his holiness.|
With anger gone, you will indeed perceive
that for Christ's vision and the gift of sight
no sacrifice was asked, and only pain
was lifted from a sick and tortured mind.
Is this unwelcome? Is it to be feared?
Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks
and joyously accepted? We are one,
and therefore give up nothing. But we have
indeed been given everything by God.|
Yet do [we] need forgiveness to perceive
that this is so. Without its kindly light
we grope in darkness, using reason but
to justify our rage and our attack.
Our understanding is so limited
that what we think we understand is but
confusion born of error. We are lost
in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts,
our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds
engaged in worshiping what is not there.|
Who can be born again in Christ but him
who has forgiven everyone he sees
or thinks of or imagines? Who could be
set free while he imprisons anyone?
A jailer is not free, for he is bound
together with his prisoner. He must
be sure that he does not escape, and so
he spends his time in keeping watch on him.
The bars [which] limit him become the world
in which [his] jailer lives, along with him.
And it is on his freedom that the way
to liberty depends for both of them.|
Therefore hold no-one prisoner. Release
instead of bind. For thus are you made free.
The way is simple. Every time you feel
a stab of anger, realize you hold
a sword above your head. And it will fall
or be averted as you [chose] to be
condemned or free. Thus does each one who seems
to tempt you to be angry represent
your Saviour from the prison-house of death.
And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.|
Be merciful today. The Son of God
deserves your mercy. It is he who asks
that you accept the way to freedom now.
Deny him not. His Father's Love for him
belongs to you. Your function here on earth
is only to forgive him, that you may
accept him back as your identity.
He is as God created him. And you
are what he is. Forgive him now his sins,
and you will see that you are one with him.

   ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
I have a function God would have me fill.

Sarah's Commentary:
Jesus tells us that we can't even begin to understand Heaven where our Sacred Self is as pure as God Himself, "extending love, creating in its name, forever one with God and with your Self." (W.192.1.1) In this world, we don't experience this now. Our true Identity cannot be known here, but we can experience the reflection of it through forgiveness. Forgiveness reflects the love of God in this world and thus, "I have a function God would have me fill." (W.192)
Jesus knows that "within a world of envy, hatred and attack," (W.192.1.2) we can't understand this heavenly function of creating and extending. "Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. It has no meaning here." (W.192.3.1-2) The best we can do is reflect it by offering forgiveness "in the world in its own terms." (W.192.2.1) Forgiveness is the "means by which untruth can be undone," (W.192.2.4) and thus we are called to undertake this function here. It is not needed in Heaven where all is perfect, but it is needed where we think we are as bodies, seemingly living in the world. Undoing what is not true is the only way to restore the memory of who we are.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can awaken from this illusion and experience what the Course calls the happy dream. "What He [the Holy Spirit] makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain." (W.192.3.6) This journey we take to the real world will be difficult at first and will entail a great deal of conflict while we hold two mutually exclusive thought systems. Once we step on this path, we will experience the split mind more acutely.
We increasingly see everything we have made is false, and this is painful for us. The split mind has made the physical world for just one purpose---to escape from the guilt in the mind and project it onto the world. As was said in Lesson 161, "Thus were specifics made." (W.161.3.1) We need bodies on which to project our hate. This applies to our body and those of others we love to hate. Now we can attack them and justify our attack and anger. We think this keeps us innocent and deserving of Heaven, while our "evil" brothers can pay the cost for our sin. We thus think that we can purchase our innocence by seeing others as guilty, but now we are called to use those specific relationships for healing. "And now it is specifics we must use in practicing." (W.161.3.2)
Jesus constantly reminds us that the world of the ego is the nightmare, whereas the world we see with the Holy Spirit is the happy dream that precedes our experience of Heaven. The means by which we can experience the happy dream is through forgiveness. Forgiveness is ultimately not just about letting go of grievances but also about letting go of "all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself." (W.189.7.1) Forgiveness is about letting go of anything we think is "either true or false, or good or bad." (W.189.7.2) We let go of our shame and guilt, all of what we have believed about the past, and all our beliefs. That is what forgiveness entails. It is a process that facilitates our transition from the world of ego perception to the world of the happy dream. Our perspectives of the world are replaced by what the Holy Spirit would have us see. We do this by keeping no thought hidden from the light of healing. Jesus asks us not to hide anything, because only by bringing our thoughts to truth can they be healed. The energy we put into defending ourselves against the truth of who we are is enormous. How willing are you to let these unforgiving thoughts go? As long as we justify why we should feel the way we do, we hold onto our perspectives to use them to justify our feelings and our attacks on others. The only way to let them go is with willingness; nothing more, but nothing less.
I love the quote by Anthony Greenwald, a contemporary social psychologist, who says: "The ego is a self-justifying historian which seeks only that information that agrees with it, rewrites history when it needs to, and does not even see the evidence that threatens it." I can relate to this, as I see in my own life how I justify why I am a certain way by telling my story of the past without revealing all the details in complete honesty. It is how the ego maintains itself. Complete honesty dismantles the ego.
Yesterday, I said something unkind to Don. It was subtle, so I did not immediately notice how my comment might be hurtful. But I felt uneasy and looked more deeply at my intention. I recognized a bigger grievance hiding under my comment. While I was willing to admit my error to myself, pride kept me from wanting to say anything to him to unveil the nature of my thoughts. It can be difficult for us to step through the barrier of pride; yet, for me, when I confessed my error, I felt I had taken another step in dismantling the ego. The ego is not me! When I am willing to look at it honestly, without justifying my perspective, it literally dissolves.
Forgiveness shifts our perception in several ways. It leaves the world clean of the senseless symbols we have given it. It ends our guilt and overcomes our fear of death. It helps us see our body only as a simple teaching aid that will be laid down when learning is complete. The body is not our home; we really are just a mind without the body. The peace of God is restored to us through forgiveness, and then we become aware of our holiness. (W.192.4.1-7) "The mind without the body cannot make mistakes." (W.192.5.1) And of course, the mistake we have made is to believe we are a body that can suffer attack and can die.
The attraction of death, covered over with the fear of death, is the basis for our denial of our identity as the Son of God. Only through forgiveness can both the attraction and fear be overcome. When guilt is undone, the fear of God's punishment is also undone. The ultimate punishment we fear is death. Our belief in death is undone when the guilt is undone, as now there is no more fear. We are now relieved of thinking we need a body and a world as a place to hide from the fear of God's punishment. Forgiveness returns us from identification with the body to identification with the mind and thus restores "the peace that God intended for His holy Son." (W.192.5.6) We can see why forgiveness is the core of the teaching of the Course because this is the only way we can be persuaded to look again upon our holiness. (W.192.5.7)
When we let go of our identity as an ego, we let go of our anger too. In the world of form, we are constantly in competition. It is all about the principle of one or the other. You must lose for me to gain. It is all about special relationships, where anger is a condition of this world of bodies because we are always having to compromise, letting go of what we want in order to maintain the relationship. It is an investment in being right about who we think we are as separate individuals. Now we use reason to "justify our rage and our attack." (W.192.7.2) We are invested in what is actually not there at all. Our understanding of everything is severely limited. "We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there." (W.192.7.4) While we imprison others with our demands, requirements, expectations, needs, lacks, and ultimately with our anger, we are not free. We are the ones hurt by the judgments, although we think they are being punished by the hate and blame we cast onto them. Only through forgiveness are we released from this bondage. "Therefore, hold no one prisoner. Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free." (W.192.9.1-2)
If we don't let people off the hook for what they have seemingly done to us, we remain with them as their jailor. We demand they stay in the jail we put them in, to do their time for what we hold they have done to us. Now we are bound with them because we must make sure they pay for their sins against us and don't escape from the punishment we have imposed on them. Some of them we have put in that jail cell for a long, long time, and we are thus simply on the other side of the bars, holding them to the debt we feel they owe us. This then becomes our world. Can you see how there is no escape in this scenario? Can you see how we keep ourselves imprisoned and how our own minds are condemned with them? When you are angry and you keep your brother in the prison of your hate, you are not aware of how you are the one imprisoned by that hate. This is illustrated so well in a movie I saw recently called, "The Secret in Their Eyes," where a criminal court investigator is haunted by a twenty-five-year-old unresolved rape and murder case. His search for truth puts him in the center of a judicial nightmare, where the mystery unfolds in the present and keeps everyone captivated. Only through forgiveness can we release those we have bound. We have that choice and we have that power.
A few years ago, I had an accidental fall on a slippery floor in a grocery store that resulted in a broken nose, but more significant, I had many broken teeth. The dental costs were enormous. The store was unwilling to take any responsibility for the fall, so I checked with a lawyer about trying to retrieve some of the costs. The lawyer indicated that this particular grocery chain rarely settled any claims. Several of his clients had fought for years in court. Even when a client won the settlement, the grocery chain would appeal the decision. Nevertheless, he urged me to proceed with the claim. I looked at the years of court action and how it would keep me chained to my grievances against the store and decided my peace was worth more than a settlement that might come years down the road.
"Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death." (W.192.9.6) These very people who seem to cause us pain are actually there to help us see what is unhealed in us. We are called to forgive them, so we can be released from the world of the ego. These are people who not only seem to be our "enemies," but they are the people in our lives whom we seem to love, yet they irritate and frustrate us daily. In each situation where these kinds of feelings are aroused, we have a choice. Will we use the situation as an opportunity to escape this prison house and free ourselves, or will we become the jailor and the jailed? We have an opportunity to be released from our own tortured minds every time we feel a stab of anger. Thus, we owe them our thanks for being in our lives. We don't need to be grateful for their behavior, but only for the opportunity these situations provide us to see what is unhealed in our own minds.
We justify our anger, but it only hurts us. "Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free." (W.192.9.4-5) Would we attack anyone if we really believed we were just attacking ourselves? It is unlikely we can currently get through a day without some anger or even mild annoyance, but, this is not a reason for guilt. We can use these situations to realize we are keeping ourselves from the peace of Heaven. Then, we don't notice the anger but release it to the light of the Holy Spirit. We are mistaken if we think we can attack and keep ourselves safe from having that attack boomerang back to us in the same instant. When we attack anyone, we exclude ourselves from the joy and peace available all the time. The attack can take many forms, some of which can be very subtle but equally disturbing to our peace of mind. Every judgment we hold in our minds is a judgment against ourselves and will hurt us.
Increasingly, as we do the healing work, we recognize our invulnerability. We can't be hurt because our reality is not these bodies nor personalities. The belief that we could be hurt is the belief in an image of ourselves that we have made and try to protect and defend, but it is not the truth of who we are. When we fully embrace the truth, we will know our invulnerability because our reality is revealed to us. When anger is gone and pain is lifted from our sick and tortured minds (W.192.6.1) through forgiveness, we experience our innocence.
Today, we are asked to look at whoever we believe owes us a debt for what we believe they have done to us. Who is it that we keep on the hook for this debt and thus keep ourselves imprisoned with them? Today is our opportunity to be born again, which is simply our release from our self-made hell. Whenever you are tempted to become angry today, realize the sword is over your own head, but it can be averted anytime you choose. The power to choose is in our own minds. As you choose to forgive your thoughts about what you think your brother has done to you, you can leave the prison house together with him. Forgive your brother for what he has not done, as what seems to be has only been done in dreams. When we wake up from this illusion, we will see nothing real has happened.
We are asked to be merciful today. (W.192.10.1) Will we choose our freedom or stay in prison? It is our choice. Forgiveness is our function that God would have us willingly undertake. I suspect we will each have opportunities to exercise our function today if it is like any other day in our lives. Each brother we encounter is crying out for mercy. Make a commitment to show mercy to your brothers today so you can receive it for yourself. We are what our brother is---loved by God equally. Our brothers' interests are our own.
I find if I make a commitment in the morning and dedicate my day to peace and forgiveness, I see everything in my day as a classroom for learning to be peaceful and merciful. Nothing is wrong. Everything is just another opportunity to look at my mind. What I see in anyone is just a reflection of what I see in myself. Today is another opportunity to watch how often the sword is against my own throat and to investigate why I would want this for myself.
Our only function here is to forgive so we can know our Identity as the Christ Self. We are our brother, and we recognize our sameness as we let go of our judgments. Our judgments of our brothers are only those we hold against ourselves.
Love and blessings, Sarah 

  A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Seventeen

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

VIII. The Need for Faith

There is no problem in any situation that faith will not solve. There is no shift in any aspect of the problem but will make solution impossible. For if you shift part of the problem elsewhere, the meaning of the problem must be lost, and the solution to the problem is inherent in its meaning. Is it not possible that all your problems have been solved, but you have removed yourself from the solution? Yet faith must be where something has been done and where you see it done. A situation is a relationship, being the joining of thoughts. If problems are perceived, it is because the thoughts are judged to be in conflict. But if the goal is truth, this is impossible. Some idea of bodies must have entered, for minds cannot attack.
66 The thought of bodies is the sign of faithlessness, for bodies cannot solve anything. And it is their intrusion on the relationship, an error in your thoughts about the situation, which then becomes the justification for your lack of faith. You will make this error, but be not at all concerned with that. The error does not matter. Faithlessness brought to faith will never interfere with truth. But faithlessness used against truth will always destroy faith. If you lack faith, ask that it be restored where it was lost and seek not to have it made up to you elsewhere as if you had been unjustly deprived of it.
67 Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation. But remember this: the goal of holiness was set for your relationship and not by you. You did not set it because holiness cannot be seen except through faith, and your relationship was not holy because your faith in one another was so limited and little. Your faith must grow to meet the goal that has been set. The goal's reality will call this forth, for you will see that peace and faith will not come separately. What situation can you be in without faith and remain faithful to each other?
68 Every situation in which you find yourself is but a means to meet the purpose set for your relationship. See it as something else, and you are faithless. Use not your faithlessness. Let it enter and look upon it calmly, but do not use it. Faithlessness is the servant of illusion and wholly faithful to its master. Use it and it will carry you straight to illusions. Be tempted not by what it offers you. It interferes not with the goal, but with the value of the goal to you. Accept not the illusion of peace it offers, but look upon its offering and recognize it is illusion.
69 The goal of illusion is as closely tied to faithlessness as faith to truth. If you lack faith in anyone to fulfill, and perfectly, his part in any situation dedicated in advance to truth, your dedication is divided. And so you have been faithless to each other and used your faithlessness against each other. No relationship is holy unless its holiness goes with it everywhere. As holiness and faith go hand in hand, so must its faith go everywhere with it. The goal's reality will call forth and accomplish every miracle needed for its fulfillment. Nothing too small or too enormous, too weak or too compelling, but will be gently turned to its use and purpose. The universe will serve it gladly, as it serves the universe. But do not interfere.
70 The power set in you in whom the Holy Spirit's goal has been established is so far beyond your little conception of the infinite that you have no idea how great the strength that goes with you. And you can use this in perfect safety. Yet for all its might, so great it reaches past the stars and to the universe that lies beyond them, your little faithlessness can make it useless if you would use the faithlessness instead.
71 Yet think on this, and learn the cause of faithlessness: You think you hold against the other what he has done to you. But what you really blame him for is what you did to him. It is not his past but yours you hold against him. And you lack faith in him because of what you were. Yet you are as innocent of what you were as he is. What never was is causeless and is not there to interfere with truth. There is no cause for faithlessness, but there is a Cause for faith. That Cause has entered any situation which shares Its purpose. The light of truth shines from the center of the situation and touches everyone to whom the situation's purpose calls. It calls to everyone. There is no situation which does not involve your whole relationship in every aspect and complete in every part. You can leave nothing of yourself outside it and keep the situation holy. For it shares the purpose of your whole relationship and derives its meaning from it.
72 Enter each situation with the faith that you give to each other, or you are faithless to your own relationship. Your faith will call the others to share your purpose, as this same purpose called forth the faith in you. And you will see the means you once employed to lead you to illusions transformed to means for truth. [Truth calls for faith, and faith makes room for truth.] When the Holy Spirit changed the purpose of your relationship by exchanging yours for His, the goal He placed there was extended to every situation in which you enter or will ever enter. And every situation was thus made free of the past, which would have made it purposeless.
73 You call for faith because of Him Who walks with you in every situation. You are no longer wholly insane, nor no longer alone. For loneliness in God must be a dream. You whose relationship shares the Holy Spirit's goal are set apart from loneliness because the truth has come. Its call for faith is strong. Use not your faithlessness against it, for it calls you to salvation and to peace.
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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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