Lesson 226
Heralds of Eternity
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42 You look upon each holy instant as a different point in time. It never changes. All that it ever held or will ever hold is here right now. The past takes nothing from it, and the future will add no more. Here, then, is everything. Here is the loveliness of your relationship, with means and end in perfect harmony already. Here is the perfect faith that you will one day offer to each other already offered you. And here the limitless forgiveness you will give each other already given; the face of Christ you yet will look upon already seen.

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What is Forgiveness
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   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 226
My home awaits me.
I will hasten there.

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If I so choose, I can depart this world
entirely. It is not death which makes
this possible. But it is change of mind
about the purpose of the world. If I
believe it has a value as I see
it now, so will it still remain for me.
But if I see no value in the world
as I behold it, nothing that I want
to keep as mine or search for as a goal,
it will depart from me. For I have not
sought for illusions to replace the truth.

Father, my home awaits my glad return.
Your arms are open, and I hear Your Voice.
What need have I to linger in a place
of vain desires and of broken dreams
when Heaven can so easily be mine?   

~ Original Handscript of ACIM

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
My home awaits me. I will hasten there.

Sarah's Commentary:  
We have wandered a seemingly long way along the pathways of the world, looking for safety, peace, love, belonging, nurturing, acceptance, happiness, and love. It is all that we associate with home and happiness, as we long it to be. We have made many substitutes in this world for our true home, which is Heaven. We became disillusioned when we recognized that we do not have any control over the world we made. Things have not turned out as we had hoped. No matter how much we seek in the world, "Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown. Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here. Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again." (W.182.1.4-6)
Who has not longed for the home of his childhood if indeed it was perceived as a place of refuge? "Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again. The childhood of your body, and its place of shelter, are a memory now so distorted that you merely hold a picture of a past that never happened. Yet there is a Child in you Who seeks His Father's house, and knows that He is alien here." (W.182.4.1-3) We eventually all come to this place where the things of the world can no longer cover over this deep call for home, which is in all of us.
"There is a risk of thinking death is peace, because the world equates the body with the Self which God created. Yet a thing can never be its opposite. And death is opposite to peace, because it is the opposite of life. And life is peace. Awaken and forget all thoughts of death, and you will find you have the peace of God." (T.27.VII.10.2-6) (Not in ACIM OE)
Death is not what takes us home. Fear of death is one of our basic fears. Jesus puts these questions to us: "What would you see without the fear of death? What would you feel and think if death held no attraction for you?" (T.19.IV.D.1.1-2) (ACIM OE T.19.V.d.90) He is telling us that while we fear death, we have an attraction to it, which we see as a final solution. What we fear is also what we are attracted to; but, we cannot die. Our attraction to death comes from the belief that we have sinned. Sin requires punishment. The sentence of death becomes our final punishment as determined by the ego. It is what we deserve for what we have seemingly done to God. Death is the proof given by the ego that separation is real and that we are not eternal. It is a brilliant defense established by the ego to prove the existence of the separate self.
The truth is---we cannot die. We are eternal. There is no death. None of the ego's story is true. Now we can choose to dismiss it by accepting the truth of our reality. Our reality is not a body and the end of the body is not the end of what we are as the Son of God. Our reality is a mind and minds do not die. We were created eternal. Life does not end. When we make separation real, we also believe in the reality of the ego and of death. There is essentially only one death, and it is the death of the ego. Yet all that the ego is is fear and "Fear is really nothing and love is everything." (T.2.VII.5.3) (ACIM OE T.2.V.99)
" See how the belief in death would seem to ' save ' you. For if this is gone, what can you fear but life? It is the attraction of death that makes life seem to be ugly, cruel and tyrannical. You are no more afraid of death than of the ego. These are your chosen friends. For in your secret alliance with them you have agreed never to let the fear of God be lifted, so you could look upon the face of Christ and join Him in His Father. " (T.19.IV.D.4.1-6) (ACIM OE T.V.d.93)
" Every obstacle that peace must flow across is surmounted in just the same way; the fear that raised it yields to the love beneath, and so the fear is gone. And so it is with this. " (T.19.IV.D.5.1-2) (ACIM OE T.V.d.94)
In reality, we have never been able to accomplish separation from God or from our own reality as the eternal Son of God. There is no punishment. We are completely loved now and forever. So when the fear of God is gone, there is only life. Jesus says it is the attraction of death that makes life "seem to be ugly, cruel and tyrannical." (T.19.IV.D.4.3) (ACIM OE T.V.d.93)Certainly, it is what we experience, as all things here come to an end.
Our attraction to death is the attraction to our separate identity. Death is a defense against the truth, and as our defenses are slowly undone, we finally come to death as the final defense against the truth of who we are. We need to see the attraction to death that we hold so we can see it is what we are unconsciously choosing. When we see how it operates in our lives, we can choose life which has no opposite in death. Life has nothing to do with the body, which does not exist. The choice we make for life is a moment-by-moment decision. For example, this morning I woke up feeling discomforted and upset. These feelings maintain separation from love. They are a form of death, seemingly killing all feelings of joy, which is my natural state. Holding onto upsets is another way we hold onto death, but we have a choice we can make. We can inquire into these feelings that we are holding by looking at the thoughts and beliefs they cover over. Who is being blamed by how we are feeling? What do we believe we can get for being right? We can then take it a step further and look at our deepest desire. Do I desire separation, or to feel the joy and peace in me? Which is true? I choose to ask for help to release these feelings so the love I am is revealed to me. To indulge these feelings of distress is to keep choosing to align with the ego.
What takes us home is the desire to remember the truth about ourselves. Choosing this as the purpose of our lives makes our lives here meaningful. The purpose of the ego is to keep us invested in the dream. Its goal is to keep itself going and to kill us (the host) in the process. In other words, the ego is about the crucifixion of the Son of God. Our joy can only come with the resurrection. When we see what the ego is up to, we will naturally choose against it and align with the truth.
The world we see is not a place where we will ever feel at home or find the peace and joy we desperately long for; but when we change our purpose and use time for healing and forgiveness, we are released from the hell we have made, and we experience true joy, peace, and love, which is always there, waiting for us. As Jesus reminds us, "When anything threatens your peace of mind, ask yourself, 'Has God changed His Mind about me ' ?" (T.10.IN.3.9) (ACIM OE T.9.VIII.62) It is we who keep changing our minds about God. When we face challenges, losses, and sickness, we wonder how can God do this to us? Why would He allow this to happen? We lose trust and when we do, we tend to develop our own strategies to prevent the situation from ever occurring again. They are strategies to protect ourselves from pain, but these strategies can only have temporary effects. They will never work to undo the source of the problem. God's love is still there, although it cannot come through because we have chosen to align with the ego. Heaven can be ours this very instant when we turn toward the light and trust in His grace.
Jesus speaks of the resurrection as the awakening from the dream of death, a process that occurs in the mind, not the body, since it is the mind alone that sleeps. Jesus gives Helen an explanation of what happened in his resurrection in "Absence from Felicity," written by Ken Wapnick.
"This is the message of the crucifixion: There is no order of difficulty in miracles. This is the message of the resurrection: Illusions are illusions. Truth is true. Illusions vanish. Only truth remains. These lessons needed to be taught but once, for when the stone of death is rolled away, what can be seen except an empty tomb? And that is what you see who follow me into the sunlight and away from death, past all illusions, on to Heaven's gate, where God will come Himself to take you home." He reminds us that death is the last illusion to be overcome.
It is a poignant reminder that there is no death. Jesus asks us, "Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality and dying in the end?" (Manual for Teachers.27.1.2) We do think this way about our lives here. It seems obvious, as it appears to be such a certainty in this world. Yet Jesus says that we need to consider this belief carefully and raise it to question. He tells us that this is not what a benign Creator has in store for us, or we would not be able to see Him as loving. If we thought that God decreed that "all things pass away, ending in dust and disappointment and despair," (M.27.2.2) indeed we would have grounds to fear Him. If indeed, "He holds your little life in his hand but by a thread, ready to break it off without regret or care," (M.27.2.8) we could not possibly love Him. Ultimately, "Where there is death is peace impossible." (M.27.2.8)
God did not create bodies. If he had, death would be real. He created us as a pure and loving Mind. The body is a projection of the mind that separated from God. "And the last to be overcome will be death." (M.27.6.1) Jesus demonstrated this in his own example of the crucifixion. "The inconsistencies, the compromises and the rituals the world fosters in its vain attempts to cling to death and yet to think love real are mindless magic, ineffectual and meaningless." (M.27.6.9) God created only the eternal. Yes, form does seem to change and people we love do seem to leave us, but it is only an aspect of this dream. When we wake up from this dream, we will know nothing happened. It was all a dream.
Our part is now to forgive our misperceptions. Our unforgiving thoughts reinforce the separation and feelings of aloneness in the world. By entering the present moment, the holy instant, we come to the presence of Love. Our Father awaits our return and welcomes us with open arms. We are like the Prodigal Son, who is afraid he will be punished for squandering his Father's treasure, but the Father assures him on his return that he has always been His treasure, and nothing he could ever do would change that.
"My home awaits me. I will hasten there." (W.226) How quickly we return depends on how intensely we want to know who we are. It is about the power of our desire. It is how much attachment we still have when we give value to our goals and plans. In the movie, "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter," I was struck by the fact that even with the simplicity of life, with significantly few distractions, and few material possessions, the human struggle is still the same for all of us. We have longings, desires, wants, and wishes that we come into the world to experience. What we still attach value to will hold us to this illusion. We would not be here in this illusory world without this desire for experience. And we will do what we came here to do until we are at the end of our interest, have suffered enough pain, and have realized that we have been pursuing nothing of value.
Now it is all about our purpose of awakening from this dream. Today, we remind ourselves, "Father, my home awaits my glad return. Your Arms are open and I hear Your Voice. What need have I to linger in a place of vain desires and of shattered dreams, when Heaven can so easily be mine." (W.226.2.1-3) Heaven is not reached through death, but through the awareness of truth.
Love and blessings, Sarah 
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Chapter Twenty

The Promise of the Resurrection 
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VI. Heralds of Eternity    

37 In this world, God's Son comes closest to himself in a holy relationship. There he begins to find the certainty his Father has in him. And there he finds his function of restoring his Father's laws to what was held outside them and finding what was lost. Only in time can anything be lost, and never lost forever. So do the parts of God's Son gradually join in time, and with each joining is the end of time brought nearer. Each miracle of joining is a mighty herald of eternity. No one who has a single purpose, unified and sure, can be afraid. No one who shares his purpose with him can not be one with him.
38 Each herald of eternity sings of the end of sin and fear. Each speaks in time of what is far beyond it. Two voices raised together call to the hearts of everyone and let them beat as one. And in that single heart beat is the unity of love proclaimed and given welcome. Peace to your holy relationship, which has the power to hold the unity of the Son of God together. You give to one another for everyone, and in your gift is everyone made glad. Forget not Who has given you the gifts you give, and through your not forgetting this will you remember Who gave the gifts to Him to give to you.
39 It is impossible to overestimate your brother's value. Only the ego does this, but all it means is that it wants the other for itself and therefore values him too little. What is inestimable clearly cannot be evaluated. Do you recognize the fear that rises from the meaningless attempt to judge what lies so far beyond your judgment you cannot even see it? Judge not what is invisible to you or you will never see it, but wait in patience for its coming. It will be given you to see your brother's worth when all you want for him is peace. And what you want for him, you will receive.
40 How can you estimate the worth of him who offers peace to you? What would you want except his offering? His worth has been established by his Father, and you will recognize it as you receive his Father's gift through him. What is in him will shine so brightly in your grateful vision that you will merely love him and be glad. You will not think to judge him, for who would see the face of Christ and yet insist that judgment still has meaning? For this insistence is of those who do not see. Vision or judgment is your choice, but never both of these.
41 Your brother's body is as little use to you as it is to him. When it is used only as the Holy Spirit teaches it has no function, for minds need not the body to communicate. The sight that sees the body has no use which serves the purpose of a holy relationship. And while you look upon each other thus, the means and end have not been brought in line. Why should it take so many holy instants to let this be accomplished, when one would do? There is but one. The little breath of eternity that runs through time like golden light is all the same-nothing before it, nothing afterwards.
42 You look upon each holy instant as a different point in time. It never changes. All that it ever held or will ever hold is here right now. The past takes nothing from it, and the future will add no more. Here, then, is everything. Here is the loveliness of your relationship, with means and end in perfect harmony already. Here is the perfect faith that you will one day offer to each other already offered you. And here the limitless forgiveness you will give each other already given; the face of Christ you yet will look upon already seen.
43 Can you evaluate the giver of a gift like this? Would you exchange this gift for any other? This gift returns the laws of God to your remembrance. And merely by remembering them, the laws that held you prisoner to pain and death must be forgotten. This is no gift your brother's body offers you. The veil that hides the gift hides him as well. He is the gift, and yet he knows it not. No more do you. And yet, have faith that He Who sees the gift in both of you will offer and receive it for you both. And through His vision will you see it, and through His understanding recognize it and love it as your own.
44 Be comforted and feel the Holy Spirit watching over you in love and perfect confidence in what He sees. He knows the Son of God and shares his Father's certainty the universe rests in his gentle hands in safety and in peace. Let us consider now what he must learn, to share his Father's confidence in him. What is he, that the Creator of the universe should offer it to him and know it rests in safety? He looks upon himself not as his Father knows him. And yet it is impossible the confidence of God should be misplaced.

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

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