Lesson 194
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World Rests on One Error
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 18 "THE DREAM AND THE REALITY"
II. SUBSTITUTION AS A DEFENSE

4 You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution. It has taken many forms because it was the substitution of illusion for truth, of fragmentation for wholeness. It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one and still is what it was. That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. Your whole world rests upon it. Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship which you have ever made is part of it. 
 
    ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 18.II         AUDIO: TEXT CH 18, I-II           
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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  194
I place the future in the hands of God. 
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Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
 
*IAMBIC PENTAMETER* 
   
     Today's idea takes another step
   toward quick salvation, and a giant stride
   it is indeed. So great the distance is
   which it encompasses, it sets you down
   just short of Heaven, with the goal in sight
   and obstacles behind. Your foot has reached
   the lawns that welcome you to Heaven's gate;
   the quiet place of peace where you await
   in certainty the final step of God.
   How far are we progressing now from earth!
   How close are we approaching to our goal!
   How short the journey still to be pursued!
  
   Accept today's idea, and you have
   passed all anxiety, all pits of hell,
   all blackness of depression, thoughts of sin,
   and devastation brought about by guilt.
   Accept today's idea, and you have
   released the world from all imprisonment
   by loosening its heavy chains that locked
   the door to freedom on it. You are saved,
   and your salvation thus becomes the gift
   you give the world because you have received.
 
   In no one instant is depression felt,
   or pain experienced or loss perceived.
   In no one instant sorrow can be set
   upon a throne and worshipped faithfully.
   In no one instant can one even die.
   And so each instant given unto God
   in passing, with the next one given Him
   already, is a time of your release
   from sadness, pain and even death itself.
 
   God holds your future as He holds your past
   and present. They are one with Him, and so
   they should be one to you. Yet in this world
   the temporal progression still seems real.
   And so you are not asked to understand
   the lack of sequence really found in time.
   You are but asked to let the future go,
   and place it in God's hands. And you will see
   by your experience that you have laid
   the past and present in His hands as well,
   because the past will punish you no more,
   and future dread will now be meaningless.
 
   Release the future. For the past is gone,
   and what is present, freed from its bequest
   of grief and misery, of pain and loss,
   becomes the instant in which time escapes
   the bondage of illusions where it runs
   its pitiless, inevitable course.
   Then is each instant, which was slave to time,
   transformed into a holy instant when
   the light that was kept hidden in God's Son
   is freed to bless the world. Now is he free,
   and all his glory shines upon a world
   made free with him, to share his holiness.
 
   If you can see the lesson for today
   as the deliverance it really is,
   you will not hesitate to give as much
   consistent effort as you can to make
   it be a part of you. As it becomes
   a thought that rules your mind, a habit in
   your problem-solving repertoire, a way
   of quick reaction to temptation, you
   extend your learning to the world. And as
   you learn to see salvation in all things,
   so will the world perceive that it is saved.
 
   What worry can beset the one who gives
   his future to the loving hands of God?
   What can he suffer? What can cause him pain,
   or bring experience of loss to him?
   What can he fear? And what can he regard
   except with love? For he who has escaped
   all fear of future pain has found his way
   to present peace, and certainty of care
   the world can never threaten. He is sure
   that his perception may be faulty, but
   will never lack correction. He is free
   to choose again when he has been deceived;
   to change his mind when he has made mistakes.
 
   Place, then, your future in the hands of God.
   For thus you call the memory of Him
   to come again, replacing all your thoughts
   of sin and evil with the truth of love.
   Think you the world could fail to gain thereby,
   and every living creature not respond
   with healed perception? Who entrusts himself
   to God has also placed the world within
   the hands to which he has himself appealed
   for comfort and security. He lays
   aside the sick illusions of the world
   along with his, and offers peace to both.
 
   Now are we saved indeed. For in God's hands
   we rest untroubled, sure that only good
   can come to us. If we forget, we will
   be gently reassured. If we accept
   an unforgiving thought, it will be soon
   replaced by love's reflection. And if we
   are tempted to attack, we will appeal
   to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice
   for us that leaves temptation far behind.
   No longer is the world our enemy,
   for we have chosen that we be its friends.  
 
~ Original Handscript of ACIM ~ August 3, 1970
      
   
 
ACIM OE WORKBOOK LESSON 194

CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT ~ COMMENTARY

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 194
AI place the future in the hands of God.

  
Sarah's Commentary:
 
When we get this Lesson, even to some extent, it brings forth a sigh of happiness. To recognize there is nothing to worry about when the future is wholly placed in the Hands of God is to rest in a state of trust where there is no need for anxiety, worry or depression. It brings about a sense resting in God that is always a delicious feeling of being absolutely carefree. Imagine what it would be like to have no fear of the future and with it comes the release from sadness, anxiety, despair, pain, death, or any kind of loss. Such a sense of freedom comes through the experience of the holy instant in which we release the past and let go of all thoughts of guilt, loss, and pain of any kind. It truly is a lesson of deliverance from the ego's use of time.
 
We have bought into the myth that we have sinned in the past, and now we experience guilt in the present and look with apprehension to the future where we are awaiting punishment for our sins. This is the projection of the thoughts of sin, guilt, and fear into form and constitutes linear time. Linear time is illusion. We are invested in it until we are freed in the holy instant, even for a moment, to recognize our eternal state. In the ego thought system, everything here comes to an end. Everything dies. Thus, the ego tries to prove that only its reality is real and true, and God has been defeated.
 
This is the fairy tale we replay in our minds over and over. It is based on the insane thought system that we have sinned and are now guilty and deserve punishment. The witnesses to sin are the feelings we have that we have done something terribly wrong, and now we feel we are inherently bad. We believe that we must atone for our sin. We hold the belief that we deserve to suffer because of what we have done, so we expect punishment in the future. We expect others to betray us, abandon us, and hurt us, so we set up defenses against what will surely befall us. We believe it is a cruel world that will ultimately forsake us. We hold the belief that we have sinned against God, so He is to be feared. How this shows up in our lives is that we believe that we don't deserve happiness and that we must suffer. If we punish ourselves enough, perhaps God will go easy on us. Jesus continually and persistently invites us to question these false beliefs.
 
In the Lesson yesterday, Jesus spoke of how we might free each hour from the one before by forgiving whatever events were brought forth from the previous hour. This is how he says we can loosen the chains of time. "Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it." (W.193.12.4) Let us start the next moment with a new perspective in which the past is wiped clean. We then release ourselves from the imprisonment of the past and instead choose the holy instant. Jesus reminds us, "The ego has a strange notion of time, and it is with this notion that your questioning might well begin. The ego invests heavily in the past, and in the end believes that the past is the only aspect of time that is meaningful. Remember that its emphasis on guilt enables it to ensure its continuity by making the future like the past, and thus avoiding the present." (T.13.IV.4.1-3) (ACIM OE T.12.IV.26) In this view, the past determines the future.
 
In the holy instant, we step away from this insane thought system. Jesus invites us to question what we have come to believe. Underlying all our unhappiness is our fight with God and our need to prove that He cannot be trusted. When we feel events in our lives conspire against our happiness, we use this as proof that God is not who He says He is. Whenever we feel miserable and suffer, we are actually defending against His Love. As we learned in Lesson 136, "Sickness is a defense against the truth." (W.136) We are invested in our separate existence. Proving God wrong is the basis for our misery. It proves that we are who we say we are---unique individuals.
 
We need to be aware, at any moment, of what we are holding in our thoughts in order to see when we have mistakenly chosen the ego as guide. In the Lesson yesterday, Jesus says that it is quite simple. You know you are seeing wrong if pain seems real in your perception. (W.193.7.1) It means that we need to be vigilant in mind watching. We need to question the values and beliefs we hold. "To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning." (T.24.IN.2.1-2) (ACIM OE T.24.IN.2)
 
One of the ways apprehension about the future shows up is when we hold the belief that happiness does not last. The natural state of this world is one of suffering, betrayal, loss, depression, sadness, anxiety, sickness, worry, and all kinds of upsets, with moments of pleasure and happiness incorporated here and there. These beliefs are part of the ego thought system built on the idea of sin, guilt, and fear, projected in linear time. Once we accept that thought system, it becomes our reality; but now we are given an opportunity to examine what we have chosen and to question its reality.
 
I was listening to a spiritual leader last night who said that if we feel sad, we see this as a state or condition, but it can also be seen as such in this moment. Thus, we might say that, in this moment, I feel sad. In other words, we are not denying that sadness is showing up, but we don't have to accept it as the truth of our condition or describe ourselves as sad. He says that we suffer because we tend to think it is a condition, rather than a moment. In the moment, when the feeling of sadness comes up, we can question what we believe. For example, I may feel sad because someone has said something or done something to me. This may have triggered a belief in my unworthiness. Jesus invites me to question why I make myself unhappy when there is another choice I could make. Why do I give over my power to this situation? Why do I throw away my peace? No one has the power to make me sad. I chose to be sad because I am proving the ego is right about me. This proves to my mind that God is wrong and can't be believed. Can we, for a moment, question this and wonder if God might be right, and we are wrong? Can we consider God's Will for us is perfect happiness, and that when we are unhappy, we are buying into the ego thought system?
 
"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 knows we will experience all kinds of difficulties, distress, and perplexity in our lives. That is the nature of our experience in this world. In fact, that is why we came. We get distressed, and we get perplexed, and our peace flies out the window. Rather than feel guilty, angry, or depressed about whatever problem seems to confront us, can we learn to accept it as part of our learning curriculum in this classroom of our lives? In whatever form our issues come, they are ultimately of our own choosing. It is part of the ego thought system to prove that we are these limited beings, living in a body. Now we are invited to let these experiences serve another purpose and use whatever seems to be happening for the healing of our minds. When we see it this way, everything that shows up is helpful.
 
If we were able to accept today's idea completely, it would take us past all anxiety, pits of hell, blackness of depression, and thoughts of sin and guilt. This powerful thought, when accepted totally, will release us from the imprisonment of the world. It is a process of questioning the ego's beliefs that we have accepted as true about ourselves and the world. We question every aspect of our lives, which are based on the belief that God can't be trusted. The heavy chains that seem to imprison us will loosen, as we accept the truth into our minds and the door to freedom is recognized. "Then is each instant which was slave to time transformed into a holy instant, when the light that was kept hidden in God's Son is freed to bless the world." (W.194.5.3) Just as we were told in the Lesson yesterday---we have the key to our freedom. The key is forgiveness. Now we must learn to apply it in every situation by being willing to see all of our dark thoughts are false.
 
Let's not despair about anything going on in our lives, recognizing it can all serve the purpose of healing our minds. There may be someone who is attacking you, and you may wonder how these attacks can be helpful. What they do is help us to see our own self-attack and the guilt we are holding in our own mind. That is why everyone who attacks us is actually our savior from guilt because we are given another opportunity to see what is hidden in the mind so it can be released.
 
Jesus recognizes that we won't see this all the time and will return to the ego often. We will listen to its stories that tell us we have been betrayed and that our anger and hatred are justified. While the perception of God's Son is faulty at such times, it "will never lack correction. He is free to choose again when he has been deceived; to change his mind when he has made mistakes." (W.194.7.7-8) It is such a loving perspective. Jesus does not judge us for making mistakes. He understands we do make them. We must not feel guilty when the ego tempts us to luxuriate in grievances. We can simply remember that we can now make another choice. Love can't replace our thoughts of sin and guilt if we see them outside of ourselves.
 
What a glorious day we can have today when we apply forgiveness to every thought that is not supremely happy. Let us maintain vigilance of all our thoughts and bring those that disturb our peace to the Holy Spirit for healing. Recognize that none of these thoughts come to us without our choice. Why would we choose them? We choose them because we still are invested in being right about ourselves as separate beings. Every time we choose a thought contrary to the truth of what we are, we affirm that we are right about ourselves. Yet when we give these thoughts over, Jesus says that only then can we "rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us." (W.194.9.2)
 
"No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its friend." (W.194.9.6) The goal of this Lesson, and every other Lesson, is to use time to heal our minds so the holiness we are is revealed to us. Our part is to bring our attention to the blocks that keep holiness from our awareness, without judging ourselves in this process. We chose to take this path of deliverance, and Jesus says that this giant stride places our feet on the lawns that welcome us to Heaven. In other words, our consciousness is of joy and peace, which are inevitable when the sin, guilt, and fear are removed from the mind. Now we recognize that we have another choice. "Place, then, your future in the Hands of God. For thus you call the memory of Him to come again, replacing all your thoughts of sin and evil with the truth of love." (W.194.8.1-2)
 
Love and blessings, Sarah 
huemmert@shaw.ca 

  A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Eighteen

The Dream and the Reality  
   
   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

I. Introduction  

1 To substitute is to accept instead. If you would but consider exactly what this entails, you would perceive at once how much at variance this is with the goal the Holy Spirit has given you and would accomplish for you. To substitute is to choose between, renouncing one in favor of the other. For this special purpose, one is judged more valuable and the other is replaced by him. The relationship in which the substitution occurred is thus fragmented and its purpose split accordingly. To fragment is to exclude, and substitution is the strongest defense the ego has for separation.
 
2 The Holy Spirit never uses substitutes. Where the ego perceives one person as a replacement for another, the Holy Spirit sees them joined and indivisible. He does not judge between them, knowing they are one. Being united, they are one because they are the
same. Substitution is clearly a process in which they are perceived as different. One would unite; the other separate. Nothing can come between what God has joined and what the Holy Spirit sees as one. But everything
seems to come between the fragmented relationships the ego sponsors to destroy.
 
3 The one emotion in which substitution is impossible is love. Fear involves substitution by definition, for it is love's replacement. Fear is both a fragmented and a fragmenting emotion. It seems to take many forms, and each seems to require a different form of acting out for satisfaction. While this appears to introduce quite variable behavior, a far more serious effect lies in the fragmented perception from which the behavior stems. No one is seen complete. The body is emphasized, with special emphasis on certain parts, and used as the standard for comparison for either acceptance or rejection of suitability for acting out a special form of fear.
 

II. Substitution as a Defense

4 You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution. It has taken many forms because it was the substitution of illusion for truth, of fragmentation for wholeness. It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one and still is what it was. That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. Your whole world rests upon it. Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship which you have ever made is part of it.
 
5 You have expressed surprise at hearing how very different is reality from what you see. You do not realize the magnitude of that one error. It was so vast and so completely incredible that from it a world of total unreality had to emerge. What else could come of it? Its fragmented aspects are fearful enough, as you begin to look at them. But nothing you have seen begins to show you the enormity of the original error, which seemed to cast you out of Heaven, to shatter knowledge into meaningless bits of disunited perceptions, and to force you to further substitutions.
 
6 That was the first projection of error outward. The world arose to hide it and became the screen on which it was projected and drawn between you and the truth. For truth extends inward, where the idea of loss is meaningless and only increase is conceivable. Do you really think it strange that a world in which everything is backwards and upside-down arose from this? [ It was inevitable.] For truth brought to this could only remain within in quiet and take no part in all the mad projection by which this world was made. Call it not sin but madness, for such it was, and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. And above all, be not afraid of it. When you seem to see some twisted form of the original error rise to frighten you, say only, "God is not fear, but love," and it will disappear.
 
7 The truth will save you. It has not left you to go out into the mad world and so depart from you. Inward is sanity; insanity is outside you. You but believe it is the other way; that truth is outside and error and guilt within. Your little senseless substitutions, touched with insanity and swirling lightly off on a mad course like feathers dancing insanely in the wind, have no substance. They fuse and merge and separate in shifting and totally meaningless patterns which need not be judged at all. To judge them individually is pointless. Their tiny differences in form are no real differences at all. None of them matters. That they have in common and nothing else. Yet what else is necessary to make them all the same?
 
8 Let them all go, dancing in the wind, dipping and turning till they disappear from sight, far, far outside you. And turn you to the stately calm within, where in holy stillness dwells the living God you never left and Who never left you. The Holy Spirit takes you gently by the hand and retraces with you your mad journey outside yourself, leading you gently back to the truth and safety within. He brings all your insane projections and your wild substitutions which you have placed outside you to the truth. Thus He reverses the course of insanity and restores you to reason.
 
9 In your relationship, where He has taken charge of everything at your request, He has set the course inward to the truth you share. In the mad world outside you, nothing can be shared but only substituted, and sharing and substituting have nothing in common in reality. Within yourselves you love each other with a perfect love. Here is holy ground in which no substitution can enter and where only the truth about each other can abide. Here you are joined in God, as much together as you are with Him. The original error has not entered here, nor ever will. Here is the radiant truth to which the Holy Spirit has committed your relationship. Let Him bring it here, where you would have it be. Give Him but a little faith in each other, to help Him show you that no substitute you made for Heaven can keep you from it. In you there is no separation, and no substitute can keep you from each other. Your reality was God's creation and has no substitute.
 
10 You are so firmly joined in truth that only God is there. And He would never accept something else instead of you. He loves you both, equally and as one. And as He loves you, so you are. You are not joined together in illusions but in the Thought so holy and so perfect that illusions cannot remain to darken the holy place in which you stand together. God is with you, my brothers. Let us join in Him in peace and gratitude and accept His gift as our most holy and perfect reality, which we share in Him.
 
11 Heaven is restored to all the Sonship through your relationship, for in it lies the Sonship, whole and beautiful, safe in your love. Heaven has entered quietly, for all illusions have been gently brought unto the truth in you and love has shined upon you, blessing your relationship with truth. God and His whole creation have entered it together. How lovely and how holy is your relationship, with the truth shining upon it! Heaven beholds it and rejoices that you have let it come to you. [And God Himself is glad that your relationship is as it was created.] The universe within you stands with you, together. And Heaven looks with love on what is joined in it, along with its Creator.
 
12 Whom God has called should hear no substitutes. Their call is but an echo of the original error which shattered Heaven. And what became of peace in those who heard? Return with me to Heaven, walking together out of this world and through another to the loveliness and joy the other holds within it. Would you still further weaken and break apart what is already broken and hopeless? Is it here that you would look for happiness? Or would you not prefer to heal what has been broken and join in making whole what has been ravaged by separation and disease?
 
13 You have been called together to the most holy function that this world contains. It is the only one which has no limits and reaches out to every broken fragment of the Sonship with healing and uniting comfort. This is offered you in your holy relationship. Accept it here, and you will give as you have accepted. The peace of God is given you with the glowing purpose in which you join. The holy light that brought you together must extend, as you accepted it.
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