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CH 21 "THE INNER PICTURE"
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
II. THE IMAGINED WORLD
11 This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you know well. Here is the sight of him who knows his Father. Here is the memory of what you are-a part of this, with all of it within and joined to all as surely as all is joined in you. Accept the vision which can show you this and not the body. You know the ancient song and know it well. Nothing will ever be as dear to you as is this ancient hymn [of love] the Son of God sings to his Father still.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
WHAT IS SALVATION
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Salvation is a promise, made by God,
that you would find your way to Him at last.
It cannot but be kept. It guarantees
that time will have an end, and all the thoughts
that have been born in time will end as well.
God's Word is given every mind that thinks
that it has separate thoughts, and will replace
these thoughts of conflict with the Thought of peace.
The Thought of peace was given to God's Son
the instant that his mind had thought of war.
There was no need for such a Thought before,
for peace was given without opposite,
and merely was. But when the mind is split,
there is a need of healing. So the Thought
Which has the power to heal the split became
a part of every fragment of the mind
which still was one, but failed to recognize
its oneness. Now it did not know itself,
and thought its own identity was lost.
Salvation is undoing in the sense
that it does nothing, failing to support
the world of dreams and malice. Thus it lets
illusions go. By not supporting them,
it merely lets them quietly go down
to dust. And what they hid is now revealed;
an altar to the holy Name of God,
whereon His Word is written, with the gifts
of your forgiveness laid before It, and
the memory of God not far behind.
Let us come daily to this holy place,
and spend a while together. Here we share
our final dream. It is a dream in which
there is no sorrow, for it holds a hint
of all the glory given us by God.
The grass is pushing through the soil, the trees
are budding now, and birds have come to live
within their branches. Earth is being born
again in new perception. Night has gone,
and we have come together in the light.
From here we give salvation to the world,
for it is here salvation was received.
The song of our rejoicing is the call
to all the world that freedom is returned,
that time is almost over, and God's Son
has but an instant more to wait until
his Father is remembered, dreams are done,
eternity has shined away the world,
and only Heaven now exists at all.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM October 1, 1970
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 232
Be in my mind, my Father,
through the day.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Be in my mind, my Father, when I wake,
and shine on me throughout the day today.
Let every minute be a time in which
I dwell with You. And let me not forget
my hourly thanksgiving that You have
remained with me, and always will be there
to hear my call to You and answer me.
As evening comes, let all my thoughts be still
of You and of Your Love, and let me sleep
sure of my safety, certain of Your care,
and happily aware I am Your Son.
This is as every day should be. Today
practice the end of fear. Have faith in Him
Who is your Father. Trust all things to Him.
Let Him reveal all things to you, and be
you undismayed, because you are His Son.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Be in my mind, my Father, through the day.
When I was living in Sedona, Arizona and taking a year of study of the Course with the Circle of Atonement, I memorized this Lesson. Our group started the morning in the red rocks with a sunrise meditation and concluded the day with a sunset meditation while we devoted the rest of the day to rock climbing and stopping every half hour for meditation during the day. In revisiting this Lesson today, it brings back many fond reflections of a very memorable year devoted to the study and practice of the Course.
This is a beautiful prayer and such a personal appeal to our Father to be in our minds. It is not really a request to our Father because He is already in our minds, although we are not aware of this. So the request is one we make to the decision-making mind. It is an appeal to strengthen our own decision to know the truth already in our right minds. There is nothing to seek, as the truth is already within. All we want is to strengthen our own willingness and desire. Willingness to know the truth about ourselves is important because there is no value in simply watching our minds if we continue to cling to the errors. If we sincerely want to release them, we need to do more than just notice the distressing thoughts. We actually need to want to have them healed. This is where willingness comes in to do the healing so we can come to recognize the vastness of our own holy minds beyond the ego.
In our morning time, spent with God, we affirm that our Father is with us in every moment, and thus we can greet the day with joy instead of dread, anxiety, or concern of any kind. Everything in our day is there to help us to awaken by showing us what is in our own minds. If we saw it this way, what is there we could judge as bad or wrong? If we truly devote our day to healing, we can be constantly grateful for everything that shows up in our day. The reality is that His Love shines on us in every moment, even when we are turning away from It. Thus, we can choose to experience His sure protection, regardless of what comes up in our day that we judge as a problem. These things have no reality except for how we experience them in the dream. Outside of the dream, we can see this is so. The only real thing is the constancy of His Love. Our experience in the illusion, which seems so real and solid to us, is not the truth. It is a dream we are dreaming.
We can be so thankful that He has never left us and remains with us. He will always hear our call, and will always answer. We are One with the Father, having never left Him. Now, as we watch the mind, we clearly discern the interference of the ego. When we bring our attention to our thoughts of distress about anything that comes up in our day and look at it through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, we can see it for what it is---nothing. To see in this way is to look without judgment and recognize that there is no need for guilt. Everything in our day is just another opportunity to remember the truth about ourselves.
Healing comes from looking at the thoughts that block the truth and placing them on the inner altar, giving them over to the light already in our right minds. When darkness meets the light, the darkness is dissolved in that instant. When we stubbornly hold onto our opinions, our judgments, our perspectives, and the things we think we want and need, we cannot experience peace. We believe that something is lacking in us or there is something that we need from others. Neediness and lack are not of God. Anytime I think I am lacking in anything, I am putting value where there is none. When we ask God, "How would you have me see this?", we acknowledge that perhaps there is another way of looking at this situation or person. Perhaps we have been mistaken. We will always know that we have chosen the ego when we are not at peace.
We increasingly come to the realization that all distress is simply holding onto our mistaken ideas. It is all about our interpretations of situations that are, in themselves, neutral, and thus they are never the truth. This requires admitting that our interpretations are always wrong. Our perceptions are never true. Yet we cling to them because we believe they define us. We value our thoughts and opinions. We defend them vigorously. Yet when we realize we are clinging to suffering, our hold on our thoughts is loosened. To know the truth is to let go of what we believe and value in the moment and surrender it all. It is to be willing to be taught by One Who does know. It is a moment-by-moment undertaking and requires constant mind-watching.
There is no greater gift than to know that no matter what is happening in our day, we can always depend on Him, and He will always hear our call and always answer. It is the call of our hearts to be home with Him, to know His love, and to be completely understood. We are never alone. We may not always feel, or believe, that He is always with us, and we may not always trust that He hears our call, yet Jesus continually assures us that God has never left us. The moment we had the thought of separation, the Thought of God (the Atonement) was placed in our minds.
We continue this prayer into the evening, as we still our thoughts and settle into sleep, sure of our safety. Jesus reminds us that this is how every day should be. We just need to focus on the truth each day, awakening every morning by connecting with God and setting our purpose for the day. Now our gratitude becomes a daily experience, not for having our needs met, but for the joy of knowing everything in our day is for our healing. When we see it this way, we are indeed a happy learner regardless of what is happening.
We continue with our daily reading of the section, "What is Salvation?" (W.PII.Q2) We focus today on God's Word, which we are told is in our mind. "God's Word is given every mind which thinks that it has separate thoughts, and will replace these thoughts of conflict with the Thought of peace." (W.PII.Q2.1.4) Thus, with every irritation, problem, and distress in our minds today, the Answer is always there. It is still and actually does nothing except to shine away the illusion. Behind every grievance is a miracle, waiting to be born. The truth lies right behind our self-deceptions, quietly waiting for our acceptance. We are saved from nothing else but our mistaken thoughts and our belief in sin and guilt. Thus, like the miracle and forgiveness, salvation actually does nothing but waits for our acceptance. It is the reminder in our right minds that we have been mistaken about who we are. When our mistaken thoughts are brought to the truth, the light of God shines them away. His light, like the sun behind the clouds, has always been there, waiting for our decision.
This is an encouraging thought for me today, as my mind has been so occupied with all kinds of unsettling thoughts. My feelings of impatience, anticipation, and seeming pressures of the day plague me even as I write this. I remind myself that peace is always available to me. As I give up each unsettling thought, peace is waiting to replace the thought I am holding onto. I only need to be willing to release them all. While they seem justified, I remind myself that anger is never justified. Thank you, God. The mind needs to be "re-minded" constantly. The Answer is always in my mind, always available, having been put there at the instant of separation. I have been given a remedy to every disturbing thought. I must choose it, which is what I have the power to do in each moment of distress. All that is required is my willingness to bring my troubling thoughts and lay them at the feet of my brother, Jesus.
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
A Course in Miracles
Chapter Twenty One
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
The Inner Picture
1 Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but will to change your mind
about the world. Perception is a
result, not a cause. And that is why order of difficulty in miracles is meaningless. Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived without it means anything. And where there is no meaning, there is chaos.
2 Damnation is your judgment on yourself, and this you
will project upon the world. See it as damned, and all you see is what you did to hurt the Son of God. If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him. If you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him free. There is no choice that lies between these two decisions. And you
will see the witness to the choice you made and learn from this to
recognize which one you chose. [The world you see but shows you how much joy
you have allowed yourself to see in you and to accept as
yours. And if this
is its meaning, then the power to
give it joy
3 Never forget the world the sightless "see" must be imagined, for what it really looks like is unknown to them. They must infer what could be seen from evidence forever indirect and reconstruct their inferences as they stumble and fall because of what they did not recognize, or walk unharmed through open doorways which they thought were closed. And so it is with you. You do not see. Your cues for inference are wrong, and so you stumble and fall down upon the stones you did not recognize, but fail to be aware you
can go through the doors you thought were closed but which stand open before unseeing eyes, waiting to welcome you.
4 How foolish it is to attempt to judge what could be seen instead. It is not necessary to imagine what the world must look like. It must be seen before you recognize it for what it is. You can be shown which doors are open, and you can see where safety lies and which way leads to darkness, which to light. Judgment will
always give you false directions, but vision
shows you where to go. Why should you guess?
5 There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness you
want to learn and not forget. It is not this you would deny.
Your question is whether the means by which this course is learned will
bring to you the joy it promises. If you believed it would, the learning of it would be no problem. You are not happy learners yet because you still remain uncertain that vision gives you
more than judgment does, and you have learned that
both you cannot have.
6 The blind become accustomed to their world by their adjustments to it. They think they know their way about in it. They learned it, not through joyous lessons, but through the stern necessity of limits they believed they could not overcome. And still believing this, they hold those lessons dear and cling to them
because they cannot see. They do not understand the lessons
keep them blind. This they do not believe. And so they keep the world they learned to "see" in their imagination, believing that their choice is that or nothing. They hate the world they learned through pain. And everything they think is in it serves to remind them that they are incomplete and bitterly deprived.
7 Thus they
define their life and where they live, adjusting to it as they think they must, afraid to lose the little that they have. And so it is with all who see the body as all they have and all their brothers have. They try to reach each other, and they fail and fail again. And they adjust to loneliness, believing that to keep the body is to save the little that they have. Listen and try to think if you remember what we will speak of now.
8 Listen---perhaps you catch a hint of an ancient state not quite forgotten; dim, perhaps, and yet not altogether unfamiliar, like a song whose name is long forgotten, and the circumstances in which you heard completely unremembered. Not the whole song has stayed with you, but just a little wisp of melody, attached not to a person or a place or anything particular. But you remember from just this little part how lovely was the song, how wonderful the setting where you heard it, and how you loved those who were there and listened with you.
9 The notes are nothing. Yet you have kept them with you, not for themselves, but as a soft reminder of what would make you weep if you remembered how dear it was to you. You could remember, yet you are afraid, believing you would lose the world you learned since then. And yet you know that nothing in the world you learned is half so dear as this. Listen and see if you remember an ancient song you knew so long ago and held more dear than any melody you taught yourself to cherish since.
10 Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches as you look into a great and shining circle. And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it is no longer contained at all. The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity, forever shining and with no break or limit anywhere. Within it everything is joined in perfect continuity. Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside, for there is nowhere that this light is not.
11 This is the vision of the Son of God, whom you know well. Here is the sight of him who knows his Father. Here is the memory of what you are---a part of this, with all of it within and joined to all as surely as all is joined in you. Accept the vision which can show you
this and not the body. You know the ancient song and know it well. Nothing will ever be as dear to you as is this ancient hymn [of love] the Son of God sings to his Father still.
12 And now the blind can see, for that same song they sing in honor of their Creator gives praise to them as well. The blindness which they made will not withstand the memory of this song. And they will look upon the vision of the Son of God, remembering who he is they sing of. What is a miracle but this remembering? And who is there in whom this memory lies not? The light in one awakens it in all. And when you see it in each other, you
are remembering for everyone.
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