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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 18 THE DREAM AND THE REALITY
VII. DREAMS AND THE BODY
The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is internal. [It is not made up of different parts which reach each other.] Mind reaches to itself. It does not go out. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. [It encompasses everything.] It encompasses you entirely; you within it, and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
With this review, we take but one idea
each day, and practice it as often as
is possible. Besides the time we give
morning and evening, which should not be less
than fifteen minutes, and the hourly
remembrances we make throughout the day,
use the idea as often as you can
between them. Each of these ideas alone
would be sufficient for salvation, if
it is learned truly. Each would be enough
to give release to you and to the world
from every form of bondage, and invite
the memory of God to come again.
With this in mind, we start our practicing
in which we carefully review the thoughts
the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us
in our last twenty lessons. Each contains
the whole curriculum, if understood,
practiced, accepted and applied to all
the seeming happenings throughout the day.
One is enough. But for that one there must
be no exceptions made. And so we need
to use them all, and let them blend as one
as each contributes to the whole we learn.
These practice lessons, like our last review,
are centered round a central theme with which
we start and end each lesson. It is this:
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me."
The day begins and ends with this. And we
repeat it every time the hour strikes,
or we remember, in between, we have
a function that transcends the world we see.
Beyond this and a repetition of
the special thought we practice for the day,
no form of exercise is urged, except
a deep relinquishing of everything
that clutters up your mind, and makes it deaf
to reason, sanity and simple truth.
We will attempt to get beyond all words
and special forms of practicing for this
review. For we attempt this time to reach
a quickened pace along a shorter path
to the serenity and peace of God.
We merely close our eyes, and then forget
all that we thought we saw and understood.
For thus is freedom given us from all
we did not know and failed to understand.
There is but one exception to this lack
of structuring. Permit no idle thought
to go unchallenged. If you notice one,
deny its hold and hasten to assure
your mind that this is not what it would have.
Then gently let the thought which you denied
be given up in sure and quick exchange
for the idea we practice for the day.
When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim
your freedom from temptation, as you say:
This thought I do not want. I choose instead..."
And then repeat the idea for the day,
and let it take the place of what you thought.
Beyond such special applications of
each day's idea, we will add but few
formal expressions for specific thoughts
to aid your practicing. Instead we give
these times of quiet to the Teacher Who
instructs in quiet, speaks of peace, and gives
our thoughts whatever meaning they may have.
To Him I offer this review for you.
I place you in His charge, and let Him teach
you what to do and say and think each time
you turn to Him. He will not fail to be
available to you each time you call
to Him to help you. Let us offer Him
the whole review we now begin, and let
us also not forget to Whom it has
been given, as we practice, day by day,
advancing toward the goal He set for us;
allowing Him to teach us how to go,
and trusting Him completely for the way
each practice period can best become
a loving gift of freedom to the world.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM September 1, 1970
L e s s o n 204
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
 The name of God is my inheritance.
God's name reminds me that I am His Son,
not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule
the world of sick illusions, free in God,
forever and forever one with Him.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
LESSON 204 Review VI
 The name of God is my inheritance.
The idea in the Lesson today is that when we name things in the world, we assume a space between things that does not exist in the unity behind all forms, and unity is the only truth. Thus, naming things is further validation of the separation. The reality that is there is just Oneness, and we are all part of that One. "God's Name reminds me that I am His Son, not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions, free in God, forever and forever one with Him." (W.204.1.2)
This means everything God is I am: purely loving, non-judging, perfect, unchanging, exquisite, pure, unlimited, free, totally innocent, and any other attribute of God we are called to accept for ourselves. Of course, to the ego it all sounds very arrogant. Who do you think you are? Well, most of the time it seems we think we are this image we made and which we try to change and improve on because it does not feel innocent. Yet Jesus tells us we are wrong.
Arrogance is of the ego, which argues with God and says "I am not what you, God, say I am; look at me, I am lowly, guilty, judging, unworthy, bad, angry, special self, alone, doing the best I can in a challenging world." The truth is we are perfect, unlimited, and not lacking in anything. It is not the reality of this bodily identity, but it is the truth about who we really are as God's Son. Can we allow God His truth today and affirm it for ourselves? Can we accept that maybe we have made something of ourselves we are not? When we awaken from this dream, we will know the truth about ourselves and everyone else. Can we acknowledge that maybe we have been wrong about everything, and now we are willing to learn what Jesus is teaching?
Our part is to bring to awareness our thoughts and beliefs and to be willing to let them go. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Our journey of awakening to who we are is about denying the ego's denial of the truth. That is quite a statement. It simply means we chose to listen to the ego's story, which told us we have messed up and therefore need to run from God's punishment. We thus bought into the belief we have sinned in the past, are guilty now, and must fear punishment in the future. It is the thought system Jesus describes as the first shield of oblivion from the truth of our reality. In other words, we can't hold this thought system and still remember who we are. When we took these thoughts into the mind, the ego quickly created another shield of oblivion, which is the body and the world. We believe we have been cast out from the Kingdom, on our own, separate from everyone else, and struggling for whatever scraps of happiness we can find. Now we feel that we must get for ourselves, at the expense of everyone else. It is a state of competition.
At some point, we heard the Call and agreed to look at the guilt we projected outside ourselves. This started the healing that is taking us back to our right minds where truth resides. By looking at our thoughts with honesty, not denying our feelings of distress, we can now choose to let them go. By bringing them to awareness and looking at them without judgment from outside of this dream from above the battleground, they are dissolved. When our thoughts are brought to Love and dissolved, the truth can shine through. When we express our upsets, without attack and are honest about our fears, we are authentic. Jesus does not ask us to deny our emotions. On the contrary, he asks us to look at them and take responsibility for them. We are not what we seem to have made of ourselves. We are eternal spirits. The Name of God is truly our inheritance. We can't change this about ourselves. The Atonement principle is our guarantee. We have only seemed to lose awareness of this truth when we bought into the ego's myth.
We are not the product of our past. We are not slaves to time. We do not have to put off our awakening. It does not have to be a long road if we truly desire to awaken from the dream. We do not have to buy into the laws of this world, which seem to dictate its requirements and our well-being. We are slave to them only because we have given power to the wrong mind. This came about when we made the choice to align with the ego, but it is a power we can choose to withdraw. We are not bodies. We are free of the limitations placed on our minds. We are in the process of releasing our false beliefs and choosing to open our eyes to the truth of who we really are.
We start our day by reminding ourselves of the truth, withdrawing from the world in meditation, letting thoughts go by without attaching to them, and entering into the stillness where the truth abides. This is an experience of leaving the prison house of this world of illusion and breathing holy air as we spend time in stillness. It is here where the truth abides, and when we return, we recognize "There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before." (W.155.1.1-5)
It is important to remember to start each day right with quiet time. Keep the thought for the day at the forefront and set the goal of peace; so, when there is any temptation to get upset about anything in the day, we can remember to ask for help to see it differently. Remember this world is a classroom to undo what we have come to believe we are, and if that is the case, everything showing up in our day is a perfect learning opportunity for undoing the wrong mind.
Love and Blessings, Sarah
VII. Dreams and the Body
49 There is
nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is in that realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling-place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness and nothing else within.
50 What could God give but knowledge of Himself? What else is there to give? The belief that you could give and get something else, something outside yourself, has cost you the awareness of Heaven and the loss of your Identity. And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize. You have displaced your guilt to your bodies from your minds. Yet a body
cannot be guilty, for it can do nothing of itself. You who think you hate your bodies deceive yourselves. You hate your
minds, for guilt has entered into them, and they would remain separate, which they cannot do.
are joined; bodies are not. Only by assigning to the mind the properties of the body does separation seem to be possible. And it is
mind that seems to be fragmented and private and alone. Its guilt, which keeps it separate, is projected to the body, which suffers and dies because it is attacked, to hold the separation in the mind and let it not know its identity. Mind cannot attack, but it
can make fantasies and direct the body to act them out. Yet it is never what the body does that seems to satisfy. Unless the mind believes the body is actually acting out its fantasies, it will attack the body by increasing the projection of its guilt upon it.
52 In this, the mind is clearly delusional. It cannot attack, but it maintains it can and uses what it does to hurt the body to
prove it can. The mind cannot attack, but it
can deceive itself. And this is all it does when it believes it has attacked the body. It can project its guilt, but it will not lose it through projection. And though it clearly can misperceive the function of the body, it cannot change its function from what the Holy Spirit establishes it to be. The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.
53 Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation and used for purposes of love? Would you not welcome and support the shift from fantasies of vengeance to release from them? Your perception of the body can clearly be sick, but project not this upon the body. For your wish to make destructive what cannot destroy can have no real effect at all. And what God created is only what He would have it be, being His Will. You cannot make His Will destructive. You can make fantasies in which your will conflicts with His, but that is all.
54 It is insane to use the body as the scapegoat for guilt, directing its attack and blaming it for what you wished it to do. It is impossible to act out fantasies. For it is still the fantasies you want, and they have nothing to do with what the body does. It does not dream of them, and they but make it a liability where it could be an asset. For fantasies have made your body your "enemy," weak, vulnerable, and treacherous, worthy of the hate which you invest in it. How has this served you? You have
identified with this thing you hate, the instrument of vengeance and the perceived source of your guilt. You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, proclaiming it to be the dwelling-place of the Son of God and turning it against him.
55 This is the host of God that
you have made. And neither God nor His most holy Son can enter an abode which harbors hate and where you have sown the seeds of vengeance, violence, and death. This thing you made to serve your guilt stands between you and other minds. The minds
are joined, but you do not identify with them. You see yourself locked in a separate prison, removed and unreachable, incapable of reaching out as being reached. You hate this prison you have made and would destroy it. But you would not escape from it, leaving it unharmed, without your guilt upon it.
56 Yet only thus
can you escape. The home of vengeance is not yours; the place you set aside to house your hate is not a prison but an illusion of yourself. The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is internal. [It is
not made up of different
parts which reach each other.] Mind reaches to
itself. It does not go
out. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. [It encompasses
everything.] It encompasses you entirely; you within it, and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever.
57 The body is outside you, and but
seems to surround you, shutting you off from others and keeping you apart from them [and them from you]. It is not there. There
is no barrier between God and His Son, nor can His Son be separated from himself except in illusions. This is not his reality, though he believes it is. Yet this could only be if God were wrong. God would have had to create differently and to have separated Himself from His Son to make this possible. He would have had to create different things and to establish different orders of reality, only some of which were love. Yet love must be forever like itself, changeless forever and forever without alternative. And so it is. You cannot put a barrier around yourself because God placed none between Himself and you.
58 You can stretch out your hand and reach to Heaven. You whose hands are joined have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourselves, to reach your shared Identity together. Could this be
outside you? Where God is
He a body, and did He create you as He is not and where He cannot be? You are surrounded only by
Him. What limit can there be on you whom He encompasses? Everyone has experienced what he would call a sense of being transported beyond himself. This feeling of liberation far exceeds the dream of freedom sometimes experienced in special relationships. It is a sense of actual escape from limitations.
59 If you will consider what this "transportation" really entails, you will realize that it is a sudden unawareness of the body and a joining of yourself and something else in which your mind enlarges to encompass it. It becomes part of you as you unite with it. And both become whole as neither is perceived as separate. What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness and lost your fear of union. The love that instantly replaces it extends to what has freed you and unites with it. And while this lasts, you are not uncertain of your Identity and would not limit it. You have escaped from fear to peace, asking no questions of reality but merely accepting it. You have accepted this instead of the body and have let yourself be one with something beyond it simply by not letting your mind be
limited by it.
60 This can occur regardless of the physical distance which seems to be between you and what you join, of your respective positions in space, and of your differences in size and seeming quality. Time is not relevant; it can occur with something past, present, or anticipated. The "something" can be anything and anywhere-a sound, a sight, a thought, a memory, and even a general idea without specific reference. Yet in every case, you joined it without reservation because you love it and would be with it. And so you rush to meet it, letting your limits melt away, suspending all the "laws" your body obeys and gently setting them aside.
61 There is no violence at all in this escape. The body is not attacked, but simply properly perceived. It does not limit you merely because you would not have it so. You are not really "lifted out" of it; it cannot
contain you. You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of self. In these instants of release from physical restrictions, you experience much of what happens in the holy instant; the lifting of the barriers of time and space, the sudden experience of peace and joy, and, above all, the lack of awareness of the body and of the questioning whether or not all this is possible.
62 It is possible because you
want it. The sudden expansion of the self which takes place with your desire for it is the irresistible appeal the holy instant holds. It calls to you to be yourself within its safe embrace. There are the laws of limit lifted
for you, to welcome you to openness of mind and freedom. Come to this place of refuge, where you can be yourself in peace. Not through destruction, not through a "breaking out," but merely by a quiet "melting in." For peace will join you there simply because you have been willing to let go the limits you have placed upon love and joined it where it is and where it led you in answer to its gentle call to
be at peace.
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