19 " [Miracles make Souls one in Christ.] They depend on cooperation because the Sonship is the sum of all the Souls God created. Miracles therefore rest on the laws of eternity, not of time. " ACIM OE T.1.I.19
Workbook for Students
Introduction Part I
1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 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.

5 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.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 2
I have given everything I see in this room
[on this street, from this window, in this place]
all the meaning that it has for me.
1 The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is to either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything in an area or you will introduce strain. Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you.

2 Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
1 This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you may elect what you want to take at a given time.

2 The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

3 This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

4 Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.

5 Herein lies the peace of God.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 1
Introduction to Miracles

I. Principles of Miracles 1-24
1. 1 There is no order of difficulty among miracles. One is not "harder" or "bigger" than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.

2. 2 Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, Which is far beyond human evaluation.

3. 3 Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.

4. 4 All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His Voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know.

5. 5 Miracles are habits and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.

6. 6 Miracles are natural. When they do not occur, something has gone wrong.

7. 7 Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first.

8. 8 Miracles are [a form of] healing because they supply a lack in that they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.

9. 9 Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.

10. 10 The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is wrong, or better, is a misunderstanding of their purpose. They are really used for and by believers.

11. 11 Prayer is the medium of miracles. Prayer is the natural communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.

12. 12 Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent lower-order or higher-order reality. This is the basic distinction between intellectualizing and thinking. One makes the physical and the other creates the spiritual, and we believe in what we make or create.

13. 13 Miracles are both beginnings and endings. They thus alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth which seem to go back but really go forward. They undo the past in the present and thus release the future.

14. 14 Miracles bear witness to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless and therefore destructive, or rather the uncreative use of mind.

15. 15 Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable man to learn to use it constructively. Time is thus a teaching device and a means to an end. It will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.

16. 16 Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating that it is more blessed to give than to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.

17. 17 Miracles are the transcendence of the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility, away from a sense of lower-order reality. That is why they heal.

18. 18 A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service one individual can render another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. The doer recognizes his own and his neighbor's inestimable worth simultaneously.

19. 19 [Miracles make Souls one in Christ.] They depend on cooperation because the Sonship is the sum of all the Souls God created. Miracles therefore rest on the laws of eternity, not of time.

20. 20 Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.

21. 21 Miracles are natural expressions of total forgiveness. Through miracles, man accepts God's forgiveness by extending it to others.

22. 22 Miracles are associated with fear only because of the fallacious belief that darkness can hide. Man believes that what he cannot see does not exist, and his physical eyes cannot see in the dark. This is a very primitive solution and has led to a denial of the Spiritual eye. [1] The escape from darkness involves two stages:

A. 23 The recognition that darkness cannot hide. This step usually entails fear.

B. 24 The recognition that there is nothing you want to hide, even if you could. This step brings escape from fear.

23. 25 Miracles rearrange perception and place the levels of perception in true perspective. This heals at all levels because sickness comes from confusing the levels.

26 When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy. Your commitment is not yet total, and that is why you still have more to learn than to teach. When your equilibrium stabilizes, you will be able to teach as much as you learn, which will give you the proper balance. Meanwhile, remember that no effort is wasted, for unless you remember this, you cannot avail yourselves of my efforts, which are limitless. Only eternity is real. Why not use the illusion of time constructively?

24. 27 Miracles enable man to heal the sick and raise the dead because he made sickness and death himself and can abolish both. You are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator. Everything else is only your own nightmare and does not exist. Only the creations of light are real.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 2
I have given everything I see in this room
[on this street, from this window, in this place]
all the meaning that it has for me.
We now continue from the previous lesson. Each lesson builds on the one that comes before. We now focus the mind on the fact that nothing has meaning except that which we give it. No thing has meaning in and of itself. Each of us looks at the forms of this world and gives them meaning based on past associations, unique for each of us. None of us sees anything in exactly the same way because our past associations and experiences are different from each other. For this practice, we look at what is around us and declare that what we see is given meaning by our own minds. This means we have the power to change the meaning it has for us. Thus, the meaning that we give to what we see is ever changing.
I have many albums of photographs of my life, activities, and travels that I have taken around the world. At one time, they were all very important to me. Someone asked me what I would take in the event of a fire and the answer at that time was my albums. Then one day, I asked myself: What is it all for? Why are these albums so important? Clearly, there are obvious responses I could make to these questions, but when I went deeper than the obvious, I found that this, and many other things I had given meaning to, had shifted for me. Their importance had fallen away. Now, as I watch events in my life and what seems to be happening around the world, I can use the same process to help me see that I have given everything the meaning it has for me. In applying this lesson, we can see that it is a very empowering idea. If we have given everything the meaning that it has for us, then we can also withdraw that meaning. The power of decision is our own.
Early in our reading of the Text, Jesus asks, "Do you really believe you can devise a thought system that can separate you from Him [God] ? " (T.5.VII.1.2) (ACIM OE T.5.IX.90) Now we are learning that the process of undoing our thought system that seems to have separated us from God is within us. The Holy Spirit waits for us to decide for God when we are ready. He is there to help us, and the more we accept His help, the more help is available to us. When we are not at peace, we can decide:
"I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me." (T.5.VII.6.7-11) (ACIM OE T.5.VII.96)
When we understand purpose, we understand everything. The only thing we should ask of anything is, "What is it for ?" (T.17.VI.2) (ACIM OE T.17.VII.58) It is amazing that just by asking this question many things have changed in my life. For example, think of some activity in which you are engaged such as going to the gym every day or eating only vegetarian. Look at all the expectations you put on it and all the things that are considered important in this process. When we look at it all and ask this question of everything, it is interesting how this starts to open us to questioning all the forms of this world. What is the meaning we have given them? What do we want to come from them? What grievances do we hold if our demands and requirements are not met? What is it that we really want from this situation?
Here, on day two, we continue to question our conditioned minds. Our minds have been held in the bondage of years and years of programming about what we have come to believe is real and important. Now we are going through a step-by-step process of thought reversal. We are learning to watch our minds and bring a gentle discipline to our thoughts. The Course starts on this process slowly and demands very little of us. We are asked not to strain, but to stay relaxed in applying the Lesson today.
This Lesson may appear to be very simple, but simple does not mean meaningless or trivial. We have indicated a willingness to open ourselves to this process of being released from the bondage of the ego and the prison of this world. It is about opening to the possibility that what we assign meaning to is what creates all our stress, disappointments, anguish, pain, and pleasure. Perhaps there is another way of seeing. I honor the decision you have made to commit to a better way.
"The body's eyes see only form. They cannot see beyond what they were made to see. And they were made to look on error and not see past it. Theirs is indeed a strange perception, for they can see only illusions, unable to look beyond the granite block of sin, and stopping at the outside form of nothing." (T.22.III.5.3-6) (ACIM OE T.22.IV.33) There is a world of forms, standing between us and the truth. It is like a veil drawn over our eyes behind which is the true meaning. Many places in the Course talk about how our eyes were made to see without seeing and ears to hear without hearing, and brains to think without thinking. We have been programmed not to see past the forms to the content. This will become clearer as we proceed, yet this is a lesson that helps us in the undoing of our investment in form.
In the practice today, we are told not to discriminate by telling ourselves that one thing is more important than another, or that one thing does not mean anything but another does. Yet we are not to include everything, as that would be a strain. So, in other words, it is not to ritualize these Lessons. He wants us to see that all things are equally meaningless and that we are really looking at content and not the form. We are beginning to look at the fact that there is nothing real in this material world.

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Love and blessings, Sarah
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