Lesson 210
Set Your Brother's Spirit Free
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2 Every situation properly perceived becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. And he is healed because you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him. Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share. And since He shares it, He has given it, and so He heals through you. It is this joining Him in a united purpose which makes this purpose real because you make it whole. And this is healing. The body is healed because you came without it and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.

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Part I Review V
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

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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 210
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
I choose the joy of God instead of pain.
Pain is my own idea. It is not
a thought of God, but one I thought apart
from Him and from His Will. His Will is joy
and only joy for His beloved Son.     
And that I choose instead of what I made.   

I am not a body. I am free. 
For I am still as God created me .

~ Original Handscript of ACIM
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 210 Review VI

[190] I choose the joy of god instead of pain.

Sarah's Commentary:   

According to the Course, we are actively choosing the pain when we use anything in the world to try to gain happiness. While we think we are taking a road to happiness, Jesus describes it as a road to nowhere. Yes, we might experience moments of "pleasure", but they ultimately bring pain. The Course is clear---some of what we perceive as our biggest setbacks may actually offer our biggest gains on this spiritual path. We just do not know the difference.
"What pleasures could there be that will endure? Are not the frail entitled to believe that every stolen scrap of pleasure is their righteous payment for their little lives? Their death will pay the price for all of them, if they enjoy their benefits or not. The end of life must come, whatever way that life be spent. And so take pleasure in the quickly passing and ephemeral." (T27.I.7.4-8) (ACIM OE T.27.II.8) "These are not sins, but witnesses unto the strange belief that sin and death are real, and innocence and sin will end alike within the termination of the grave. If this were true, there would be reason to remain content to seek for passing joys and cherish little pleasures where you can." (T27.I.8.1-2) (ACIM OE T.27.II.9)
In other words, we feel justified in finding whatever pleasure we can in the world. We say we owe it to ourselves. We deserve it. We justify a hedonistic lifestyle with the idea that life is short and then we die, so why not eat, drink, and be merry? Whichever we choose, we will still die, yet our idea of pleasure is actually bringing us more pain. This is kept hidden from our awareness, which is why it needs to be exposed. There are many references in the Course to the confusion of pleasure with pain.
"It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and not find pain." (T.19.IV.B.12.1) (ACIM OE T.19.V.b.71)
"While you believe that it can give you pleasure, you will also believe that it can bring you pain." (T.19.IV.A.17.11) (ACIM OE T.19.V.a.57)
"It will share the pain of all illusions, and the illusion of pleasure will be the same as pain." (T.19.IV.B.12.7) (ACIM OE T.19.b.71)
"And to convince you this is possible, it bids the body search for pain in attack upon another, calling it pleasure and offering it to you as freedom from attack."
(T.19.IV.B.15.4) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.b.74)
"Ruled by this perception the body becomes the servant of pain, seeking it dutifully and obeying the idea that pain is pleasure." (T.19.IV.B.13.4) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.b.72)
"Think on the many offerings made for its pleasure, and remember all these were made to make seem lovely what you hate." (T.20.II.1) (ACIM OE T.20.III.5)
"What pleasures could there be that will endure?"
(T.27.I.7.4) (ACIM OE T.27.II.8)
Having said this, it is important to remember that we need not feel guilty when we do choose what we think will bring pleasure. It is not helpful nor should we judge ourselves for our pursuits in the world. When we judge ourselves, the ego is in the forefront, once again, in its attempts to make us guilty. This Lesson is only about recognizing that the source of pleasure is not where we think it is, and, in fact, ultimately brings more pain. Thus, when we make our decision for what we wish to pursue, we ask the question---What it is for? What is the purpose of what we are pursuing? If we know the result is ultimately more pain, do we still want to pursue it?
Once we understand "Pain is my own idea" (W.210.1.2) and is something we actively choose on our own, independent of God's Will for us, we can make another choice. We can change our minds about the mistaken idea that we can find happiness in the world. Those of us on this path have some glimmer of awareness that our independence, our reliance on our small self, and our seeking for pleasure in fame, recognition, money, and relationships in the world, have brought us pain. Anything we seek through the body is seeking for more pain. Today, we affirm again, our reality is not a body, and true joy comes from our awareness of the love we are, which we have denied in ourselves.
It seems like it takes a lot of learning to realize our choices in the world bring us pain. We are confused about what brings joy. We are so certain we know what we need. We believe if we had more money, a special person in our lives, or the right job, we would know joy. We believe our bodies can give us pleasure. On the other hand, we worry about the things in the world that we believe will bring us pain. This Lesson is clear that pain is our own idea. It is an invention in our minds---an imaginary idea. Pain comes from thinking the body and the world are real and can offer us something of value. It seems to take great learning to loosen our beliefs about this. As Jesus reminds us, "It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give." (M.13.2.1) The choice for God is the choice to know the love that we are. Our only other choice is painful and unreal, which makes it not much of a choice. It is why Jesus tells us choice too is really an illusion. Indeed, there are not two alternatives to choose between. There is only one real alternative. It is the truth of our being. Anything else we think we are choosing is nothing at all.
Anything I think I want in this world is my own idea when I am thinking apart from God. I seek and seek for happiness where it does not exist. It is the ego's mantra. "Seek but do not find, remains this world's stern decree, and no one who pursues the world's goals can do otherwise." (M.13.5.8) This keeps us very busy in this seeming world and completely distracted from the true joy God offers us, found in the quietness of our right minds. We have taught ourselves we are separate from Him and have to figure our own way through this world. Jesus teaches that going on our own is to rely on the ego as our guide, and this will continue to bring us pain. We will ultimately give up the ego when we turn to the Holy Spirit and ask with humility to see everything differently. It takes great desire and willingness. "Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough. But trust implicitly your willingness, whatever else may enter." (T.18.IV.1-3) (ACIM OE T.18.V.33)
We are now halfway through our Review Lessons, and I just want to reinforce the importance of the central idea, "I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me." Lessons 94, 110, 162 and 199 all repeat the same thought. There is great importance put on the idea that God, as our Cause, has the only power over our identity. Everything we think we have done or seem to have done has had no real effect. None of it can, or has, changed the truth of who we are. We think we have the power to affect who we are, but we are being liberated from this false idea, as we apply these Lessons. We are not enslaved by our bodies or their evil deeds, nor are we prisoners to the body's instincts, vulnerabilities, infirmities, or illnesses. Jesus really wants us to get this, so we can be free of all the limitations of the body. He wants us to recognize our reality is outside the body. Now we immerse ourselves in these reviews so that our current way of thinking can be undone. When we approach the practice with investment, willingness, and sincerity, we will receive the gifts of grace.

Love and Blessings, Sarah 
ACIM Original Edition
I. Introduction

1 We said before that when a situation has been dedicated wholly to truth, peace is inevitable. Its attainment is the criterion by which the wholeness of the dedication can be safely assumed. Yet we also said that peace without faith will never be attained, for what is wholly dedicated to truth as its only goal is brought to truth by faith. This faith encompasses everyone involved, for only thus the situation is perceived as meaningful and as a whole. And everyone must be involved in it, or else your faith is limited and your dedication incomplete.
2 Every situation properly perceived becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. And he is healed because you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him. Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share. And since He shares it, He has given it, and so He heals through you. It is this joining Him in a united purpose which makes this purpose real because you make it whole. And this is healing. The body is healed because you came without it and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.
II. Healing and the Mind

3 The body cannot heal because it cannot make itself sick. It needs no healing. Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it and the purpose which the mind would use it for. And it is obvious that a segment of the mind can see itself as separated from the Universal Purpose. When this occurs, the body becomes its weapon used against this Purpose to demonstrate the "fact" that separation has occurred. The body thus becomes the instrument of illusion, acting accordingly; seeing what is not there, hearing what truth has never said, and behaving insanely, being imprisoned by insanity.
4 Do not overlook our earlier statement that faithlessness leads straight to illusions. For faithlessness is the perception of a brother as a body, and the body cannot be used for purposes of union. If, then, you see your brother as a body, you have established a condition in which uniting with him becomes impossible. Your faithlessness to him has separated you from him and kept you both apart from being healed. Your faithlessness has thus opposed the Holy Spirit's purpose and brought illusions centered on the body to stand between you. And the body will seem to be sick, for you have made of it an "enemy" of healing and the opposite of truth.
5 It cannot be difficult to realize that faith must be the opposite of faithlessness. Yet the difference in how they operate is less apparent, though it follows directly from the fundamental difference in what they are. Faithlessness would always limit and attack; faith would remove all limitations and make whole. [Faithlessness would destroy and separate; faith would unite and heal.] Faithlessness would interpose illusions between the Son of God and his Creator; faith would remove all obstacles that seem to rise between them. Faithlessness is wholly dedicated to illusions; faith wholly to truth. Partial dedication is impossible. Truth is the absence of illusion; illusion the absence of truth.
6 Both cannot be together nor perceived in the same place. To dedicate yourself to both is to set up a goal forever impossible to attain, for part of it is sought through the body, thought of as a means for seeking out reality through attack, while the other part would heal and therefore calls upon the mind and not the body. The inevitable compromise is the belief that the body must be healed, and not the mind. For this divided goal has given both an equal reality, which could be possible only if the mind is limited to the body and divided into little parts of seeming wholeness but without connection. This will not harm the body, but it will keep the delusional thought system in the mind.
7 Here then is healing needed. And it is here that healing is. For God gave healing not apart from sickness, nor established remedy where sickness cannot be. They are together, and when they are seen together, all attempts to keep both truth and illusion in the mind, where both must be, are recognized as dedication to illusion and given up when brought to truth and seen as totally irreconcilable with truth in any respect or in any way.
8 Truth and illusion have no connection. This will remain forever true, however much you seek to connect them. But illusions are always connected, as is truth. Each is united, a complete thought system, but totally disconnected to each other. Where there is no overlap, there separation must be complete. And to perceive this is to recognize where separation is and where it must be healed. The result of an idea is never separate from its source. The idea of separation produced the body and remains connected to it, making it sick because of its identification with it. You think you are protecting the body by hiding this connection, for this concealment seems to keep your identification safe from the "attack" of truth.
9 If you but understood how much this strange concealment has hurt your mind and how confused your own identification has become because of it! You do not see how great the devastation wrought by your faithlessness. For faithlessness is an attack which seems to be justified by its results. For by withholding faith, you see what is unworthy of it and cannot look beyond the barrier to what is joined with you.
10 To have faith is to heal. It is the sign that you have accepted the Atonement for yourself and would therefore share it. By faith you offer the gift of freedom from the past, which you received. You do not use anything your brother has done before to condemn him now. You freely choose to overlook his errors, looking past all barriers between your self and his and seeing them as one. And in that one you see your faith is fully justified. There is no justification for faithlessness, but faith is always justified.
11 Faith is the opposite of fear, as much a part of love as fear is of attack. Faith is the acknowledgment of union. It is the gracious acknowledgment of everyone as a Son of your most loving Father, loved by Him like you and therefore loved by you as yourself. It is His love that joins you, and for His love you would keep no one separate from yours. Each one appears just as he is perceived in the holy instant, united in your purpose to be released from guilt. You saw the Christ in him, and he was healed because you looked on what makes faith forever justified in everyone.
12 Faith is the gift of God, through Him Whom God has given you. Faithlessness looks upon the Son of God and judges him unworthy of forgiveness. But through the eyes of faith, the Son of God is seen already forgiven, free of all the guilt he laid upon himself. Faith sees him only now because it looks not to the past to judge him, but would see in him only what it would see in you. It sees not through the body's eyes nor looks to bodies for its justification. It is the messenger of the new perception sent forth to gather witnesses unto its coming and to return their messages to you. Faith is as easily exchanged for knowledge as is the real world. For faith arises from the Holy Spirit's perception and is the sign you share it with Him. Faith is a gift you offer to the Son of God through Him, and wholly acceptable to his Father as to him. And therefore offered you.
13 Your holy relationship, with its new purpose, offers you faith to give unto each other. Your faithlessness had driven you apart, and so you did not recognize salvation in each other. Yet faith unites you in the holiness you see, not through the body's eyes but in the sight of Him Who joined you and in Whom you are united. Grace is not given to a body, but to a mind. And the mind that receives it looks instantly beyond the body and sees the holy place where it was healed. There is the altar where the grace was given, in which it stands. Do you, then, offer grace and blessing to each other, for you stand at the same altar where grace was laid for both of you. And be you healed by grace together, that you may heal through faith.
14 In the holy instant, you stand before the altar God has raised unto Himself and both of you. Lay faithlessness aside and come to it together. There will you see the miracle of your relationship as it was made again through faith. And there it is that you will realize that there is nothing faith cannot forgive. No error interferes with its calm sight, which brings the miracle of healing with equal ease to all of them. For what the messengers of love are sent to do they do, returning the glad tidings that it was done to you who stand together before the altar from which they were sent forth.
15 As faithlessness will keep your little kingdoms barren and separate, so will faith help the Holy Spirit prepare the ground for the most holy garden which He would make of it. For faith brings peace, and so it calls on truth to enter and make lovely what has already been prepared for loveliness. Truth follows faith and peace, completing the process of making lovely which they begin. For faith is still a learning goal, no longer needed when the lesson has been learned. Yet truth will stay forever.
16 Let then your dedication be to the eternal and learn how not to interfere with it and make it slave to time. For what you think you do to the eternal you do to you. Whom God created as His Son is slave to nothing, being lord of all along with his Creator. You can enslave a body, but an idea is free, incapable of being kept in prison or limited in any way except by the mind that thought it. For it remains joined to its source, which is its jailor or its liberator, according to which it chooses as its purpose for itself.

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