Lesson 223
Ark of Safety
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34 This is the purpose given you. Think not that your forgiveness of each other serves but you two alone. For the whole new world rests in the hands of every two who enter here to rest. And as they rest, the face of Christ shines on them, and they remember the laws of God, forgetting all the rest and yearning only to have His laws perfectly fulfilled in them and all their brothers. Think you when this has been achieved that you will rest without them? You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you and forget part of myself.   

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   Words will mean little now. We use them but
   as guides on which we do not now depend,
   for now we seek direct experience
   of truth alone. The lessons which remain
   are merely introductions to your times
   in which you leave the world of pain and go,
   and enter into peace. Now we begin
   to reach the goal this course has set, and find
   the end towards which our practicing was geared.
   Now we attempt to let the exercise
   be merely a beginning. For we wait
   in quiet expectation for our God
   and Father. He has promised He will take
   the final step Himself. And we are sure
   His promises are kept. We have come far
   along the road. And now we wait for Him.
   We will continue spending time with Him
   each morning and at night, as long as makes
   us happy. We will not consider time
   a matter of duration now. We use
   as much as we will need for the result
   that we desire. Nor will we forget
   our hourly remembrance, in between
   calling to God when we have need of Him
   as we are tempted to forget our goal.
   We will continue with a central thought
   for all the days to come. And we will use
   that thought to introduce our times of rest,
   and calm our minds at need. Yet we will not
   content ourselves with simple practicing
   in the remaining holy instants which
   conclude the year that we have given God.
   We say some simple words of welcome, and
   expect our Father to reveal Himself
   as He has promised. We have called on Him,
   and He has promised that His Son will not
   remain unanswered when he calls on Him.
   Now do we come to Him with but His Word
   upon our minds and hearts. And wait for Him
   to take the step to us that He has told
   us, through His Voice, He would not fail to take
   when we invited Him. He has not left
   His Son in all his madness, nor betrayed
   His trust in him. Has not His faithfulness
   earned Him the invitation that He seeks
   to make you happy? We will offer it,
   and it will be accepted. So our times
   with Him will now be spent. We say the words
   of invitation that His Voice suggests,
   and then we wait for Him to come to us.
   Now is the time of prophesy fulfilled.
   Now are all ancient promises upheld
   and fully kept. No step remains for time
   to separate from its accomplishment.
   For now we cannot fail. Sit silently
   and wait upon your Father. He has willed
   to come to you when you had recognized
   it is your will He do so. And you could
   have never come this far unless you saw,
   however dimly, that it is your will.
   I am so close to you we cannot fail.
   Father, we give these holy times to You
   in gratitude to Him Who taught us how
   to leave the world of sorrow, in exchange
   for its replacement given us by You.
   We look not backward now. We look ahead,
   and fix our eyes upon the journey's end.
   Accept these little gifts of thanks from us,
   as through Christ's vision we behold a world
   beyond the world we made, and take that world
   to be the full replacement for our own.
   And now we wait in silence, unafraid,
   and certain of Your coming. We have sought
   to find our way by following the Guide
   You sent to us. We did not know the way,
   but You did not forget us. And we know
   that You will not forget us now. We ask
   but that Your ancient promises be kept
   which are Your Will to keep. We will with You
   in asking this. The Father and the Son,
   Whose holy Will created all that is,
   can fail in nothing. In this certainty,
   we undertake these last few steps to You,
   and rest in confidence upon Your Love,
   Which will not fail Your Son, who called to You.
   And so we start upon the final part
   of this one holy year, which we have spent
   together in the search for truth and God,
   Who is its its one Creator. We have found
   the way He chose for us, and made the choice
   to follow it as He would have us go.
   His hand has held us up. His Thoughts have lit
   the darkness of our minds. His Love has called
   to us unceasingly since time began.
   We had a wish that God would fail to have
   the Son whom He created in Himself.
   We wanted God to change Himself, and be
   what we would make of Him. And we believed
   that our insane desires were the truth.
   Now we are glad that this is all undone,
   and we no longer think illusions true.
   The memory of God is shimmering
   across the wide horizons of our minds.
   A moment more, and It will rise again.
   A moment more, and we who are God's Son
   are safely home, where He would have us be.
   Now is the need for practice almost done.
   For in this final section we will come
   to understand that we need only call
   to God, and all temptations disappear.
   Instead of words, we need but feel His Love.
   Instead of prayers, we need but call His Name.
   Instead of judging, we need but be still
   and let all things be healed. We will accept
   the way God's plan will end, as we received
   the way it started. Now is it complete.
   This year has brought us to eternity.
   One further use for words we still retain.
   From time to time, instructions on a theme
   of special relevance will intersperse
   our daily lessons and the periods
   of wordless, deep experience which should
   come afterwards. These special thoughts should be
   reviewed each day, each one of them to be
   continued till the next is given you.
   They should be slowly read and thought about
   a little while, preceding one of the
   holy and blessed instants in the day.
   We give the first of these instructions now.
      ~ Original Handscript of ACIM



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What is Forgiveness


Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 


   Forgiveness recognizes what you thought
   your brother did to you has not occurred.
   It does not pardon sins, and make them real.
   It sees there was no sin. And in this view
   are all your sins forgiven. What is sin
   except a false idea of God's Son?
   Forgiveness merely sees its falsity,
   and therefore lets it go. What then is free
   to take its place is now the Will of God.
   An unforgiving thought is one which makes
   a judgment that it will not raise to doubt,
   although it is untrue. The mind is closed,
   and will not be released. The thought protects
   projection, tightening its chains, so that
   distortions are more veiled and more obscure;
   less easily accessible to doubt,
   and further kept from reason. What can come
   between a fixed projection and the aim
   that it has chosen as its needed goal?
   An unforgiving thought does many things.
   In frantic action it pursues its goal,
   twisting and overturning what it sees
   as interfering with its chosen path.
   Distortion is its purpose, and the means
   by which it would accomplish it as well.
   It sets about its furious attempts
   to smash reality without concern
   for anything that would appear to pose
   a contradiction to its point of view.
   Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still
   and quietly does nothing. It offends
   no aspect of reality, nor seeks
   to twist it to appearance that it likes.
   It merely looks and waits and judges not.
   He who would not forgive must judge, for he
   must justify his failure to forgive.
   But he who would forgive himself must learn
   to welcome truth exactly as it is.
   Do nothing, then, and let forgiveness show
   you what to do through Him Who is your Guide,
   your Saviour and Defender, strong in hope
   and certain of your ultimate success.
   He has forgiven you already, for
   such is His function, given Him by God.
   Now must you share His function, and forgive
   whom He has saved, whose sinlessness He sees,
   and whom He honors as the Son of God. "

      ~ Original Handscript of ACIM September 21, 1970

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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 223
God is my life.
I have no life but His. 

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  Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
I was mistaken when I thought I lived
apart from God, a separate entity  
which moved in isolation, unattached,
and housed within a body. Now I know
my life is God's, I have no other home,
and I do not exist apart from Him.
He has no Thoughts that are not part of me,
and I have none but Those which are of Him.

Our Father, let us see the face of Christ   
instead of our mistakes. For we who are   
Your holy Son are sinless. We would look   
upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims   
that we are not Your Son. And we would not   
forget You longer. We are lonely here,   
and long for Heaven, where we are at home.   
Today we would return. Our name is Yours,   
and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM September 23, 1970
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
God is my life. I have no life but His.

Sarah's Commentary:  

We are mistaken when we think that life is the experience we seem to be having in our bodily existence. We cannot live apart from God, yet it appears it is exactly what we believe is happening. I do think I am a separate entity, moving in isolation, unattached, and housed in a body, yet the Lesson says that this is not the case at all. Regardless of how we experience our lives, it is not our existence because "I do not exist apart from Him." (W.223 1.2) Today, we let the idea sink in that we have no life apart from God. I function as if I am a body, separate from others, and trying to find my way in the world. I'm trying to be a success, to be happy, to be as good as I know how to be to people around me, and to find my way back to God. Yet I have never left Him! We are still with God, while dreaming of exile in this so-called "life."
This is a beautiful prayer, where we ask our Father that we might see and know the truth about ourselves, rather than focus on our problems and our mistakes. It is our own deep desire of the heart that is reflected in this prayer. "And we would not forget You longer. We are lonely here, and long for Heaven where we are at home. Today we would return." (W.223.2.4-6) We are innocent, but we don't know it, and so we long for our innocence. In fact, all our tears, no matter what we think they are about, are only there because we believe that we have lost our innocence, can't regain it, and are beyond redemption. "And who could weep but for his innocence?" (Psychotherapy Pamphlet.2.IV.1.7 ) The truth is that we have not lost our innocence. We only believe that we have because our innocence is not in our awareness while we hold thoughts that obscure it.
Today, we turn to God in all sincerity, recognizing that we are his beloved Son. We have never left our home in Heaven. We are only dreaming of exile. We are the Prodigal Son, afraid to go home, but our Father calls us incessantly to return. Of course, this is a metaphor because our Father knows we are already at home with Him. The Holy Spirit's Voice, the Voice for God, is the Call in the mind for us to wake up and realize that we are with our Father and have never left Him. We have no life apart from Him. This life is a dream that we are dreaming while asleep with our Father. It is illusory. It is a dream from which we are called to awaken, but these are only words until we have an experience where we feel the safety of God's loving embrace. We get closer to that experience every time we ask with sincerity, "Our Father, let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes." (W.223.2.1) When we see the innocence in our brothers, we come to know our own. We project guilt onto our brothers as a way of buying our innocence at their expense. If we can blame others, we think we can remain innocent of the wrongdoings we ascribe to them, but this is just a way to keep the guilt in our own minds, hidden from our awareness.
We are reminded in Chapter 19, Sections II "Sin versus Error" (ACIM OE T.19.III) and III "The Unreality of Sin" (ACIM OE T.19.IV) that the world is constant proof that our sin has overpowered God, we have stolen our identity from Him, and thus defeated Him, corrupted our nature, and now we are guilty. We continue to be invested in our separate identity and the world and thus resist God's Love, believing it will annihilate us. Thus, we have turned the power of our mind against ourselves, believing we have changed reality. "If sin is real both God and you are not." (T.19.III.6.1) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.31) "Sin is perceived as mightier than God, before which God Himself must bow, and offer His creation to its conqueror." (T.19.III.7.6) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.32) We are assured by Jesus that this is an arrogant thought because we cannot change reality and we cannot change the truth about ourselves. To think that we have is simply madness, not humility. (T.19.III.7) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.32) We can only think we have done it. The only thing that has happened is that we have become unaware of what we are, and through forgiveness, the barriers to the truth are removed.
We need to stay vigilant in our willingness to look at how we defend against God's Love and how we keep Him out of our awareness. We defend against the truth through sickness, control, anger, intellect, victimhood, planning, distraction, addiction, arrogance, and ultimately death. Defenses keep us from receiving the love of God. God is fully present all the time. We are the ones not present to Him. It is up to us to invite Him in. The ego has convinced us that we cannot trust God. We fear His retribution for our assumed sins. We believe that the foundation of our lives would collapse, but Jesus assures us that love can have no opposite. God is only Love. There is no time, no space, no sin, no guilt, no fear, and no death. We are eternal beings who have never left our home. We are just having a dream of living in exile from Him, yet Jesus assures us that God goes with us wherever we go and speaks to us all through the day.
Forgiveness undoes the false, so what remains is true. Forgiveness requires that we look at our false perceptions, our grievances, and our specialness and see them all as nothing. In the process, we may feel disoriented, as the ego is being deconstructed. We need to recognize how much we want to protect our thought system and our certainty that we are right. We are choosing to be right about what we believe, rather than to let it all go and be happy. When we question everything we hold as true, we increasingly see the unreality of our unconscious beliefs. The whole point is to doubt the accuracy of how we perceive ourselves and others. We need to recognize that the guilt we see in others is in our own minds. While we might feel there is someone outside of ourselves whom we need to forgive, the truth is that we only need to forgive the guilt in our own minds that we have projected onto others. In reality, there is no one to forgive. It does not mean others have not made mistakes just as we have, but mistakes call for correction, not punishment.
We are set on preserving our individuality, which is to maintain ourselves as separated beings. Our attraction to guilt is all about our investment in what we have made. We are reluctant to give up our investment in our identity; but with forgiveness, we access the truth in our right minds, and then the love we are can be reflected through us. As it is shared with others, it is reinforced in us.
Today in our prayer, we remind ourselves that we have not sinned and therefore are not guilty. Yet because we believe that we have committed a crime, we are called to recognize that we have been mistaken about ourselves. Our mistaken perceptions can all be undone with a willingness to look at our projections, take responsibility for them, and bring them to the Holy Spirit so they can be undone.
We have so many thoughts running through our minds that are based on fear. They may be related to money, relationships, lack, expectations, demands, requirements, and uncertainties. We give value to what has no value and that is where our suffering comes from. Thus, today I choose to withdraw my beliefs from thoughts that have no power. The only power they have is the power I have given them. Today, let us be vigilant in mind-watching and release the thoughts that do not serve our peace and happiness. Peace and joy are our natural inheritance. The desire to awaken motivates us to let all interfering thoughts be seen as the nothingness they are. "What God did not give you has no power over you, and the attraction of love for love remains irresistible." (T.12.VIII.7.10) (ACIM OE T.11.IX.83)
To illustrate this point, I recently met with a friend who was very distressed about her boss who she perceived as harassing and bullying her. She identified her feelings of sadness, anger, shame, tightness in her body and oppression. She blamed the boss for how she was feeling and believed if she could get away from him or if he would change, she could be happy. Her fear was that this would continue in some form wherever she went. The belief she held about herself was that she was a mistake and should never have been born. She felt that her life was a waste and that she had nothing helpful or useful to contribute to the world. However, she was ready to consider the possibility that the way she saw the situation was not as it really was. She was willing to question the beliefs she was holding about herself. She was willing to accept that the cause of her upset was not about what the boss was doing but about the beliefs she was holding and projecting onto him. In her decision for peace, she willingly gave her beliefs over to the Holy Spirit.
Our days are perfectly orchestrated for our highest good when we choose to use everything that happens in our day for healing purposes. Everything that shows up is perfect for the undoing of our wrong-minded perceptions. Now, everything in the day becomes a joyous opportunity for undoing our wrong-minded perceptions and following the Holy Spirit. Today, we see the face of Christ in every brother, instead of our mistakes projected onto them, "For we who are Your holy Son are sinless." (W.223.2.2)
Love and blessings, Sarah 
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A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty

The Promise of the Resurrection 
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Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio 
V. Entering the Ark   

28 Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so. For you give power as the laws of this world interpret giving---as you give you lose. It is not up to you to give power at all. Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit, Who knows that as you give you gain. He gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor to its results as this world sees them---sickness and death and misery and pain. These things have not occurred because the Holy Spirit sees them not and gives no power to their seeming source. Thus would He keep you free of them. Being without illusion of what you are, the Holy Spirit merely gives everything to God, Who has already given and received all that is true. The untrue He has neither received nor given.
29 Sin has no place in Heaven, where its results are alien and can no more enter than can their source. And therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. In him is Heaven. See sin in him instead, and Heaven is lost to you. But see him as he is, and what is yours shines from him to you. Your savior gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you. It lies in him to overlook all your mistakes, and therein lies his own salvation. And so it is with yours. [Salvation is a lesson in giving, as the Holy Spirit interprets it.] It is the reawakening of the laws of God in minds that have established other laws and given them power to enforce what God created not.
30 Your insane laws were made to guarantee that you would make mistakes and give them power over you by accepting their results as your just due. What could this be but madness? And is it this that you would see within your savior from insanity? He is as free from this as you are, and in the freedom that you see in him, you see your own. For this you share. What God has given follows His laws and His alone. Nor is it possible for those who follow them to suffer the results of any other source.
31 Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. Their power is of God, and they will give it only to what God has given to share with them. Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. And thus their freedom is established and maintained. It is upheld through all temptation to imprison and to be imprisoned. It is of them who learned of freedom that you should ask what freedom is. Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars, for those with little wings have not accepted for themselves the power to share with you.
32 The sinless give as they received. See, then, the power of sinlessness within your brother and share with him the power of the release from sin you offered him. To each who walks this earth in seeming solitude is a savior given, whose special function here is to release him and so to free himself. In the world of separation, each is appointed separately, though they are all the same. Yet those who know that they are all the same need not salvation. And each one finds his savior when he is ready to look upon the face of Christ and see Him sinless.
33 The plan is not of you, nor need you be concerned with anything except the part that has been given you to learn. For He Who knows the rest will see to it without your help. But think not that He does not need your part to help Him with the rest. For in your part lies all of it, without which is no part complete, nor is the whole completed without your part. The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of another world goes with them. Each holy relationship must enter here to learn its special function in the Holy Spirit's plan, now that it shares His purpose. And as this purpose is fulfilled, a new world rises in which sin can enter not, and where the Son of God can enter without fear, and where he rests a while to forget imprisonment and to remember freedom. How can he enter, to rest and to remember, without you? Except you be there, he is not complete. And it is his completion that he remembers there.
34 This is the purpose given you. Think not that your forgiveness of each other serves but you two alone. For the whole new world rests in the hands of every two who enter here to rest. And as they rest, the face of Christ shines on them, and they remember the laws of God, forgetting all the rest and yearning only to have His laws perfectly fulfilled in them and all their brothers. Think you when this has been achieved that you will rest without them? You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you and forget part of myself.
35 You may wonder how you can be at peace when, while you are in time, there is so much that must be done before the way to peace is open. Perhaps this seems impossible to you. But ask yourself if it is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort.
36 He will go before you making straight your path and leaving in your way no stones to trip on and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill. As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. God's guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. It rests on you. And what can be more certain than a Son of God?

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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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