Lesson 200
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The Happy Dream
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 18 "THE DREAM AND THE REALITY"
VI. THE HAPPY DREAM   

44 Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy. And so they must be loving. Their message is, "Thy Will be done," and not, "I want it otherwise." The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. You do not even realize you have accepted the Holy Spirit's purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them.  
 
ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 18.VI

AUDIO: TEXT CH 18, VI
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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  200
There is no peace except the peace of God. 

<
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER* 
     
   Seek you no farther. You will not find peace
   except the peace of God. Accept this fact,
   and save yourself the agony of yet
   more bitter disappointments, bleak despair,
   and icy sense of hopelessness and doubt.
   Seek you no farther. There is nothing else
   for you to find except the peace of God,
   unless you seek for misery and pain.
  
   This is the final point to which all men
   must come at last, to lay aside all hope
   of finding happiness where there is none;
   of being saved by what can only hurt;
   of making peace of chaos, joy of pain
   and heaven out of hell. Attempt no more
   to win through losing, nor to die to live.
   You cannot but be asking for defeat.
  
   Yet you can ask as easily for love,
   for happiness, and for eternal life
   in peace that has no ending. Ask for this,
   and you can only win. To ask for what
   you have already must succeed. To ask
   that what is false be true can only fail.
   Forgive yourself for vain imaginings,
   and seek no longer what you cannot find.
   For what could be more foolish than to look
   and seek and seek again for hell, when you
   have but to look with open eyes to find
   that Heaven lies before you, through a door
   which opens easily to welcome you?
 
   Come home. You have not found your happiness
   in alien places and in foreign forms
   which have no meaning to you, though you seek
   to make them meaningful. This world is not
   where you belong. You are a stranger here.
   And it is given you to find the means
   by which the world no longer seems to be
   a prison house nor jail for anyone.
  
   Freedom is given you where you beheld
   but chains and iron doors. For you must change
   your mind about the purpose of the world,
   if you would find escape. You will be bound
   till all the world is seen by you as blessed,
   and everyone made free of your mistakes
   and honored as he is. You made him not;
   no more yourself. And as you free the one,
   the other is accepted as he is.
 
   What does forgiveness do? In truth it has
   no function and does nothing, for it is
   unknown in Heaven. It is only hell
   where it is needed, and where it must serve
   a mighty function. Is not the escape
   of God's beloved Son from evil dreams
   which he imagines, yet believes are true,
   a worthy purpose? Who could hope for more
   while there appears to be a choice to make
   between success and failure; love and fear?
 
   There is no peace except the Word of God
   because He has one Son, who cannot make
   a world in opposition to God's Will
   and to his own, which is the same as His.
   What could he hope to find in such a world?
   It cannot have reality because
   it never was created. Is it here
   that he would seek for peace? Or must he see
   that, as he looks on it, the world can but
   deceive? Yet can he learn to look on it
   another way, and find the peace of God.
 
   Peace is the bridge which everyone will cross
   to leave this world behind. But it begins
   within the world perceived as different,
   and leading from this fresh perception to
   the Gate of Heaven and the way beyond.
   Peace is the answer to conflicting goals,
   to senseless journeys, frantic vain pursuits
   and meaningless endeavors. Now the way
   is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge
   where freedom lies within the peace of God.
 
   Let us not lose our way again today.
   We go to Heaven, and the path is straight.
   Only if we attempt to wander can
   there be delay and needless waste of time
   on thorny byways. God alone is sure,
   and He will guide your footsteps. He will not
   desert His Son in need, nor let him stray
   forever from his home. The Father calls;
   the Son will hear. And that is all there is
   to what appears to be a world apart
   from God, where bodies have reality.
 
   Now is there silence. Seek no further. You
   have reached to where the road is carpeted
   with leaves of false desires fallen from
   the trees of hopelessness you sought before.
   Now are they underfoot. And you look up
   and look toward Heaven, with the body's eyes
   but serving for an instant longer now.
   Peace is already recognized at last,
   and you can feel its soft embrace surround
   your heart and mind with comfort and with love.
 
   Today we seek no idols. Peace can not
   be found in them. The peace of God is ours,
   and only this will we accept and want.
   Peace be to us today. For we have found
   a simple, happy way to leave the world
   of ambiguities, and to replace
   our shifting goals and solitary dreams
   with single purpose and companionship,
   for peace is union if it be of God.
   We seek no further. We are close to home,
   and draw still nearer every time we say:
 
   There is no peace except the peace of God,
    And I am glad and thankful it is so .
 
~ Original Handscript of ACIM ~ August 26, 1970

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 200
There is no peace except the peace of God.

  
Sarah's Commentary: 

The last 20 Lessons were there to "make a special point of firming up your willingness to make your weak commitment strong; your scattered goals blend into one intent." (Intro to Lessons 181-200.1.1) Total dedication is not asked of us as yet, but the practice of the Lessons leads us to greater peace. It is a journey that is now taking us beyond words. We continue to look at how we defend ourselves against the truth. We continue to apply these Lessons to our daily lives. Great willingness and vigilance are called for in watching our thoughts and going past them to the light of truth. Perhaps you have become aware of more moments of peace, glimpses of the holy instant, awareness of miracles, a profound decision to no longer place blame outside of your own mind, and more willingness to let go of grievances.
 
Perhaps you are also aware of the resistance that shows up as you get closer to the truth. We still fear the perceived sacrifice and we fear where this path may lead. The voice of madness tells us of the folly of using our time for this purpose. We may feel discouraged and wonder if we will ever "get it." Jesus assures us that the outcome is certain. The power of decision is ours to choose our experience. We all have the power of forgiveness. The darkness has no power. Our task is only to remove the blocks set up by our belief in sin and guilt. When we bring these dark thoughts to the Holy Spirit, they are gently dissolved, freeing the love that was imprisoned behind the darkness of those thoughts.
 
We are now at a stage in the process where we are listening both to the voice of the ego and to the Voice of the Holy Spirit. As long as these two conflicting voices are there, we will feel the inner conflict and confusion, which will continue until we choose to step more fully into right- mindedness and ultimately come to listen only to the Voice of the Holy Spirit. The ego will keep talking, but we need no longer attend to it. Until its power in our lives is significantly diminished, we will still tune into it.
 
Jesus tells us that when God calls His Son to "Come home," (W.200.4.1) "the Son will hear" (W.200.9.6) because he cannot "stray forever from his home." (W.200.9.5) The body is not our home. "You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms that have no meaning to you, though you sought to make them meaningful. This world is not where you belong. You are a stranger here." (W.200.4.2-4) There is no certainty in this world, only hopelessness and despair, but the Call in our minds is certain, and within that certainty, we come to know this world is not our home.
 
This Lesson is a beautiful conclusion to Part I of the Workbook. The theme of this Lesson is the remembrance of who we are as beings of light and love, given us in our creation by our Father. This is where our true peace and joy come from. They come from remembering there is nothing to seek of any value in the world. The world brings pain and misery, no matter how "intermittent pleasures" distract us. We must remember that the world is a place for about seeking and never finding. It keeps us on this gerbil wheel of incessant activity with no real purpose. "But it is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house or jail for anyone." (W.200.4.5) The only purpose or any value of the world is as a classroom to bring us to the recognition of what we are. When we use everything in our lives for the purpose of awakening to the truth, it all has value. Now we must realize that we have been wrong about everything and become willing to be taught so we no longer see ourselves imprisoned.
 
We do stray in this world, taking this path and that path, always looking for our happiness in idols, but Jesus says that it is all to no avail. We will finally come to the realization that everything we seek in the world ultimately ends in despair, hopelessness, and doubt because we are looking for happiness and fulfillment where it can never be found. "This is the final point to which each one must come at last, to lay aside all hope of finding happiness where there is none; of being saved by what can only hurt; of making peace of chaos, joy of pain, and Heaven out of hell." (W.200.2.1)
 
We put a lot of time and effort in pursuits that ultimately end in defeat. No matter how effusive we may feel at the time about that new car, new job, new relationship, new friends, recognition, new romance, new home, good sex, or great holiday, it all ultimately ends in misery and pain and the certainty of death. No matter how successful we may feel, what course of action we follow, or how hard we try to hang onto the health and well-being of this body, it will fail. "Attempt no more to win through losing, nor to die to live. You cannot but be asking for defeat." (W.200.2.2-3)
 
"Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt." (W.200.1.1-3) How often have we come to this place of deep disappointment? The unhappiest times in my life have been when I have looked to a relationship to fulfill me and make me happy. All the promise of happiness that seemed to be there at the beginning evaporated over time no matter how hard I tried. We suffer because of the loss of our dream, with all the expectations of how things should look in form. If we could turn those times into opportunities to forgive and to find the answer to our inner sense of lack, which we try to fill from the outside, we could make great gains. It is a process of exchanging specialness for holiness through forgiveness. Relationships can now take on a whole new purpose and meaning. Instead of using them to try to get our needs met, we now use them for an entirely new purpose. The setbacks I have experienced in my relationships are what have motivated me to engage in deeper inquiry and to have more willingness to do this work. Everything that happens in our lives is perfectly orchestrated for our highest good, even if it does not look that way at the time.
 
To keep looking outside for our happiness is to waste a lot of time on trivial pursuits. Jesus is not trying to deny us happiness by telling us it is not in the things of this world. He is simply reminding us that we will never find peace until we look within. While he is encouraging and supporting us on this journey, we are never being coerced by him to buy into this thought system. We can continue to exhaust all possibilities in the world and keep looking and trying to find happiness in our own way for as long as we want; but, why keep seeking for answers where they don't exist? Jesus wants happiness for us that we may save time spent in misery. All we have to do is look honestly at our lives and realize, "To ask that what is false be true can only fail." (W.200.3.4) Yet "To ask for what you have already must succeed." (W.200.3.3) Peace and joy are already in us, and they are what we really want. We have just blocked them from our awareness.
 
"There is a tendency to think the world can offer consolation and escape from problems that its purpose is to keep. Why should this be? Because it is a place where the choice among illusions seems to be the only choice. And you are in control of outcomes of your choosing. Thus do you think, within the narrow band from birth to death, a little time is given you to use for you alone; a time when everyone conflicts with you, but you can choose which road will lead you out of conflict, and away from difficulties that concern you not." (T.31.IV.1-5) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.33)
 
We never do leave these concerns behind. Wherever we go, the same concerns go with us because they are in our minds. The world does nothing to us. We are the ones manifesting our own experience based on the thoughts we hold. As long as we continue to choose among illusions, "All its roads but lead to disappointment, nothingness and death." (T.31.IV.2.3) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.34) Jesus acknowledges that some of the roads we travel seem to bring happiness for a while. "On some you travel gaily for a while, before the bleakness enters. And on some the thorns are felt at once. The choice is not what will the ending be, but when it comes." (T.31.IV.2.12-14) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.34) In somewhat of a tongue-in-cheek way, he says: "Perhaps you would prefer to try them all, before you really learn they are but one." (T.31.IV.3.2) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.35)
 
This is how we "win through losing," (W.200.2.2) by trying so hard to make our time in this illusion one of fulfillment of our hopes and dreams. Can we ever win at a game that keeps us seeking and seeking for peace and joy where they could never be found? It is the ego's game, but so skillfully camouflaged that we don't see it for what it is until it is exposed.
 
It seems to us that we have a lot of choices in the world. "The roads this world can offer seem to be quite large in number, but the time must come when everyone begins to see how like they are to one another." (T.31.IV.3.3) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.35) Eventually, we all get world weary, some to the point of choosing suicide as a result of deep despair. It comes from trying every which way to find happiness until it becomes apparent that there are no other paths to take and what has been tried has not worked. Jesus urges us not to despair about the fact that there is "no hope of answer in the world." (T.31.IV.4.3) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.36) When we come to see this, we start our search for a better way. For all of us, it has put us on this path. "For from this lowest point will learning lead to heights of happiness, in which you see the purpose of the lesson shining clear, and perfectly within your learning grasp." (T.31.IV.4.8) (ACIM OE T.31.IV.36) Yet giving up searching for happiness in the world is not something we do readily. We are not easily convinced and so we cling to some semblance of hope that happiness can still be found here.
 
There is no point in continuing to look for the light in the darkness. We are on the wrong track when we look for happiness in the world. We look at what is false and hope to find truth there. What we try to get is our own version of peace and happiness, which is just another useless journey; but, we don't have to give it up. We are not asked to sacrifice the little we have. We will ultimately see that what we valued previously has no value, and it just falls away. We are encouraged to ask in everything, "What is it really for?" And in everything we do, "What is the purpose?"
 
Having said all of this, there is a purpose in the world, which does bring peace and happiness. Our ego's purpose is to keep us rooted in this dream, but we can choose to serve the Holy Spirit's purpose, which is to wake up from the dream, by doing the healing work and choosing forgiveness. Thus, we come to see the world as a classroom for the undoing of the ego thought system. Every relationship now is a perfect mirror for what needs to be healed in us. Whatever we are projecting onto anyone is an opportunity to see where healing is needed in our own minds. "But you must change your mind about the purpose of the world, if you would find escape." (W.200.5.2)
 
Free everyone of your mistaken perceptions of them. "You will be bound till all the world is seen by you as blessed, and everyone made free of your mistakes and honored as he is." (W.200.5.3) Freedom comes from setting our brothers free by taking back the projections we have placed onto them and taking responsibility for our own healing. As we give blessings instead of judgments, we receive them for ourselves. "But peace begins within the world perceived as different, and leading from this fresh perspective to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond." (W.200.8.2) Now, everything in the world can be used to heal our misperceptions through forgiveness, and we can experience the miracle that ultimately takes us back to our true Self.
 
"What does forgiveness do? In truth it has no function, and does nothing. For it is unknown in Heaven. It is only hell where it is needed, and where it must serve a mighty function." (W.200.6.1-4) Forgiveness does nothing because the world is illusory and nothing real has happened. It is an illusion, but it is an illusion that undoes the illusions of this world.
 
Through forgiveness, we find the peace of God. "Yet can he learn to look on it [the world] another way, and find the peace of God." (W.200.7.6) We know that when our obsessive thoughts take over, our peace is gone. Only our thoughts keep us from peace. Our thoughts deceive us. We think we get what we want from this world, but the only thing we truly want is the peace of God. Our thoughts about how to achieve peace keep leading us into hell. Only forgiveness brings us to what we really want, which is to escape the misery, pain, and death that are part of "life" here.
 
Let's stay very aware of our thoughts today. If you are willing to see everything that seems to be happening to you as an opportunity for forgiveness, you will see everyone in your life as a teacher in helping you to unveil the happiness and peace already in you. Everyone in your life is there for a purpose. They show you the way home by revealing to you the unhealed places in your mind. A sure way to know that guilt has come up is when you are not at peace. This is the opportunity to look at what is going on in your mind, bring your awareness there, and be willing to choose otherwise.
 
When Jesus talks about leaving the world behind, he is not talking of death but of making new choices and setting a new goal for ourselves. Yes, we can continue to waste time, lose our way, delay, and wander off, but we will return because there is nowhere else to go. As long as we still hold out hope that there is something in this world that we want, we can certainly continue to pursue it. We are not being coerced. Eventually, we will all come to the place where our motivation to know the deep peace that can only be found in the truth of what we are will be so strongly reinforced that there will be no turning back.
 
"There is no peace except the peace of God. And I am glad and thankful it is so." (W.200.11.9) As Jesus told us in Lesson 185, to say these words is nothing, but to mean them is everything. Today, take a stand for peace by being vigilant with your thoughts and staying mindful. "For we have found a simple, happy way to leave the world of ambiguity, and to replace our shifting goals and solitary dreams with single purpose and companionship. For peace is union, if it be of God. We seek no further. We are close to home, and draw still nearer every time we say: There is no peace except the peace of God. And I am thankful it is so." (W.200.11.5-9) 
 
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

VI. The Happy Dream 

41
Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, your holy relationship, the Holy Spirit's teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.
 
42 Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit's help. That is His function. Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred and to be forgiven. On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfill it easily. And with Him you will build a ladder planted in the solid rock of faith and rising even to Heaven. Nor will you use it to ascend to Heaven alone.
 
43 Through your holy relationship, reborn and blessed in every holy instant which you do not arrange, thousands will rise to Heaven with you. Can you plan for this? Or could you prepare yourselves for such a function? Yet it is possible because God wills it. Nor will He change His Mind about it. The means and purpose both belong to Him. You have accepted one; the other will be provided. A purpose such as this without the means is inconceivable. He will provide the means to anyone who shares His purpose.
 
44 Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy. And so they must be loving. Their message is, "Thy Will be done," and not, "I want it otherwise." The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. You do not even realize you have accepted the Holy Spirit's purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them.
 
45 It is no dream to love your brother as yourself. Nor is your holy relationship a dream. All that remains of dreams within it is that it is still a special relationship. Yet it is very useful to the Holy Spirit, Who has a special function here. It will become the happy dream through which He can spread joy to thousands on thousands who believe that love is fear, not happiness. Let Him fulfill the function that He gave to your relationship by accepting it for you, and nothing will be wanting that would make of it what He would have it be.
 
46 When you feel the holiness of your relationship is threatened by anything, stop instantly and offer the Holy Spirit your willingness in spite of fear to let Him exchange this instant for the holy one which you would rather have. He will never fail in this. But forget not that your relationship is one, and so it must be that whatever threatens the peace of one is an equal threat to the other. The power of joining and its blessing lie in the fact that it is now impossible for either of you to experience fear alone or to attempt to deal with it alone. Never believe that this is necessary or even possible. Yet just as this is impossible, so is it equally impossible that the holy instant come to either of you without the other. And it will come to both at the request of either.
 
47 Whichever is saner at the time when the threat is perceived should remember how deep is his indebtedness to the other and how much gratitude is due him and be glad that he can pay his debt by bringing happiness to both. Let him remember this, and say:
 
48 I desire this holy instant for myself 
    That I may share it with my brother, whom I love. 
    It is not possible that I can have it without him, or he without me. 
    Yet it is wholly possible for us to share it now. 
    And so I choose this instant as the one to offer to the Holy Spirit 
    That His Blessing may descend on us and keep us both in 
    peace.
 
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