Lesson 233
I Am Responsible
PRINTS available at Miracle Distribution Center   
14 This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain, and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you. Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:
15 I am responsible for what I see. 
    I chose the feelings I experience, and I decided 
    on the goal I would achieve. 
    And everything that seems to happen to me 
    I asked for and received as I had asked.
16 Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear.
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What is Salvation
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   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

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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 233
I give my life to God to run* today.

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   Father, I give You all my thoughts today.
    I would have none of mine. In place of them
    give me Your own. I give You all my acts
    as well, that I may do Your Will instead
    of seeking goals which cannot be obtained,
    and wasting time in vain imaginings.
    Today I give to You. I will step back
    and merely follow You. Be You the Guide,
    and I the follower who questions not
    the wisdom of the Infinite, nor Love
    Whose tenderness I cannot comprehend,
    but which is yet Your perfect gift to me.

   Today we have one Guide to lead us on.
   And as we walk together, we will give
   this day to Him with no reserve at all.
   This is His day. And so it is a day
   of countless gifts and mercies unto us.
      ~ Original Handscript of ACIM

*Course in Miracles Society [CIMS] follows the original handscript:
"I give my life to God to run today." (*Some editions have "guide")  

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
I give my life to God to guide* today.

Sarah's Commentary:  

Today's Lesson is all about surrender and the willingness to listen and submit to His Will, rather than relying on our own will. It is about trusting in Divine Wisdom, rather than the "wisdom" of our past learning. It reminds me of one of my favorite Lessons where we must release control over our own lives. "I will step back and let Him lead the way." (W.155) It is about giving over the thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that block our awareness of His presence---a presence which is always in our minds, closer than our own breath. We keep His thoughts away from us when we are determined to have it our way, when we hold grievances, when we think we know what would make us happy, when we believe we know our own best interests, when we hold onto our identity as an individual self, and when we invest in our specialness, believing we can gain at our brother's expense. We attempt to take from others what we believe would make us complete. When we believe that they no longer have anything to offer our specialness, we discard them.
Separation comes from the belief that we are something that others are not, and we have seized what others could never get. Others are despised while we are praised. While others suffer, we are happy. We cling to differences, rather than recognizing the sameness in everyone. We hold the belief that if others have more, it is because they have taken what we failed to get. It is the basis for all our grievances.
When we give Him all our thoughts, holding onto none of our own, He will direct all our acts and all we do and think and say. We then naturally and easily withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from works not of God, from the glory of our own ambitions, from confusion, conflict, and competition, and from the burden of our own opinions. It does not happen all at once. It is indeed a process of being in the flow of God's eternal Love where all comes easily and naturally. There is now no more conflict between the wrong-minded voice of the ego and the Voice of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus assures us that we can fully trust the Holy Spirit's guidance while there is no reason to trust our own. With God, we can be certain. If we rely on our own "wisdom," we can never be certain. We cannot possibly know all of the outcomes, nor the impact of our decisions on everyone. We cannot rely on our own judgments because they are based on very limited information. Possibilities are infinite in number, and we cannot know them all, but the Holy Spirit can and does. We can rely on Him for everything. More and more, I notice how much I go through life, determining things on my own and simply forgetting to stop and to ask. It is a reflection of resistance and of the fear of truth, which is the fear of our own reality. We are still attached to our own captivity. We are still invested in the prison house of this world. There is still a desire for things of this world---for what is familiar to us.
As we recognize that our own pursuits have hurt us, we yield more and more to God. We stay open to His guidance in what we are to do and where we are to go. And in our daily routines, we invite His Presence to be with us. We are not asked to detach from the world, but only from the false self by recognizing our cherished illusions and letting them go. It is not easy because we do not always see what we are valuing. For me right now, I am trying more and more to step away from having opinions about everything. When I want to speak, I stop and reflect as to whether it is important to say anything at all. Also, I am increasingly asking myself why I am undertaking an activity. What is it for? I recognize how I have used my life for experiences, for power, and for pleasure. It is not helpful to judge myself for this and feel guilty, but it is very helpful to look at it and question it all. Only in this way can we give our life to God.
If we think we are not getting the answers we are seeking, believing He is not speaking to us, it is only because we are still listening to our own specialness. Part of the problem is that we are still wrapped up in our own thoughts and not willing to surrender our way. We think we know. Our wrong minds resist the truth. Our mantra is, "Don't tell me what to do." We feel weak when we do not know, or when we surrender to another seeming will. Yet it is only through this kind of surrender that our minds are open to being taught and to being guided. We can start by acknowledging that maybe we have been wrong about everything. In fact, we can be assured that we are wrong about everything because we have relied on the wrong teacher. This is difficult for us because we are so invested in our worldly identity. We are uncertain about trusting what, to us, is yet unseen and unknown.
To be willing to ask the Holy Spirit in everything requires that we stay vigilant with noticing how much we hold onto the belief that we can handle some parts of our lives on our own. It is about trying to maintain control, but what are we trying to control? We are actually using control to resist the Will of God and resist being drawn into the unknown. This reflects the final obstacle to peace, which is the fear of God. This fear shows up in areas of our lives where we are attached to keeping things as they are. The fear shows up when we think that God will require us to sacrifice our happiness, as we define it.
How does guidance come? For each of us, it will be unique. It has been helpful for me to realize that the voice of the Holy Spirit is actually my own voice. There was a time that I actually thought it was a voice apart from me. It requires discernment to recognize whether we are hearing the voice of the ego or of the Holy Spirit. Not everyone hears an actual voice. It may be just an inner prompt that comes from inspiration. If it is of the Holy Spirit, it will feel right and true. Perhaps it was this impulse that prompted you to pick up the Course, to join a particular study group, or to call a friend. We may receive prompts from "outside" sources as well. They may come through a book, a person, a sign of some kind, an inner nudge, a TV or radio program, or even a song. It does not come through our efforts, but through synchronicity. Through it, we feel mightily helped and supported in our journey. It is a sense of living in the flow where we allow the flow without interfering with it. We receive some outward sign of the gentle communication of Spirit and with it comes a sense of the tenderness and deep sense of security in which we are held. We sense that we are not alone in the world, but we are supported by the infinite organizing power of the Divine. We connect with it when we quiet our ego chatter and enter into His Presence in the silence of our hearts and the openness of our minds.
One thing I have found helpful at times in my process is to sit in meditation with pen in hand, listen in silence, and begin to write as thoughts come up, sometimes in answer to a situation in front of me. Some of this writing makes little sense initially, and yet, on rereading the notes, there are gems of truth that are perfect to address the questions in my mind. I have also found, if I open the Course book randomly, I have been given just the right guidance in answer to a question plaguing me. I simply ask to be helped and let it fall open and read what my eyes light on. Sometimes the answers have seemed quite obscure, but other times they have totally turned me in a whole new direction and have brought me back to sanity.
The key for me has been to ask and expect an answer. Whatever works for you is what is important. The guidance may seem very subtle at times; while at other times, it will be very apparent. "When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you are being carried down a quiet path in summer." (T.14.IV.6.1-2) (ACIM OE T.13.IX.92)
"Today we have one Guide to lead us on. And as we walk together, we will give this day to Him with no reserve at all. This is His day. And so it is a day of countless gifts and mercies unto us." (W.233.2.1-2) His guidance carries not only His wisdom but His love for us, the tenderness of which we cannot comprehend. An important thing to remember about guidance, however, is that the ego can use it for its own ends, and as such, it can become a manipulative tool. I might, for example, give someone advice under the guise that it was guided, or I might want to ignore a request made by a brother on the basis it was "guidance" when, in fact, I did not want to help. I may even use "guidance" as a way to elevate my status as someone with a special relationship with the Divine. It is subtle, yet important, to recognize how the ego likes to elevate itself and use the idea of "guidance" to enhance its own specialness.
Also, it is important to remember that this Course is not about making our prison house of this world more attractive as a substitute for Heaven. Our goal is to awaken from the dream, not to try to make it more attractive. Therefore, if we are trying to bring the Holy Spirit into the dream by asking for guidance about options that will just make for a happier dream, it is serving the goals of the ego.
We are told, "Salvation is an undoing in the sense that it does nothing, failing to support the world of dreams and malice. Thus it lets illusion go. By not supporting them, it merely lets them quietly go down to dust." (W.PII.Q2.3.1-3) Then, the love beyond them will be revealed, which is what illusions hide. We let illusions go by looking at them. Look at the pleasures we seek that we think will make us happy and realize the pain that was brought to us instead. Be willing to accept that offerings of the body bring only guilt for which we think we deserve punishment and death. Yet by recognizing that it is only God's Love that will bring us eternal peace and joy, a new perspective dawns on our minds. Ask in everything: What is it really for? What is being served by my pursuits in this moment? Is it to enhance the ego and my specialness, or to recognize I have been wrong about everything? As we release our way and listen to a different Teacher, He will help us to remember what we are.
In our relationships, when we do not join with another's pain and when we do not let our peace be upset by someone's anger, we are demonstrating that we need not support anyone's dream of malice, including our own. While we are still called to act with kindness, compassion, help, and support, our minds remain at peace, remembering who our brother is in truth. And when we are not able to see our brother's innocence, we bring our own self-attacking thoughts that we projected onto our brother to the Holy Spirit for healing. It is how we bring our life to God to run today.
Love and blessings, Sarah 
Printable Document  

*Course in Miracles Society [CIMS] follows the original handscript: 
"I give my life to God to run today." ( *Some editions have "guide")   

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty One

The Inner Picture  
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III. Responsibility for Sight  
13 We have repeated how little is asked of you to learn this course. It is the same small willingness you need to have your whole relationship transformed to joy; the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit for which He gives you everything; the very little on which salvation rests; the tiny change of mind by which the crucifixion is changed to resurrection. And being true, it is so simple that it cannot fail to be completely understood. Rejected yes, but not ambiguous. And if you choose against it now, it will not be because it is obscure, but rather that this little cost seemed in your judgment to be too much to pay for peace.
14 This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain, and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you. Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:
15 I am responsible for what I see. 
    I chose the feelings I experience, and I decided 
    on the goal I would achieve. 
    And everything that seems to happen to me 
    I asked for and received as I had asked.
16 Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear.
17 It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him. It is impossible that the happenings that come to him were not his choice. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident. No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing. Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you. This is the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit, and even this He gave to you to give yourself. For by this gift is given you the power to release your savior that he may give salvation unto you.
18 Begrudge not, then, this little offering. Withhold it, and you keep the world as now you see it. Give it away, and everything you see goes with it. Never was so much given for so little. In the holy instant is this exchange effected and maintained. Here is the world you do not want brought to the one you do. And here the one you do is given you because you want it. Yet for this, the power of your wanting must first be recognized. You must accept its strength and not its weakness. You must perceive that what is strong enough to make a world can let it go and can accept correction if it is willing to see that it was wrong.
19 The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right. This witness is insane. You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it saw was true. You did this to yourself. See only this, and you will also see how circular the reasoning on which your "seeing" rests. This was not given you. This was your gift to you and to your brother. Be willing, then, to have it taken from him and be replaced with truth. And as you look upon the change in him, it will be given you to see it in yourself.
20 Perhaps you do not see the need for you to give this little offering. Look closer, then, at what it is. And very simply see in it the whole exchange of separation for salvation. All that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things should happen to the Son of God without his will and thus without the Will of his Creator, Whose Will cannot be separate from his own.
21 This is the Son of God's replacement for his will, a mad revolt against what must forever be. This is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless and so to take it for himself and leave himself without what God has willed for him. This is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars and which you worship. And anything which threatens this seems to attack your faith, for here is it invested. Think not that you are faithless, for your belief and trust in this is strong indeed.
22 The Holy Spirit can give you faith in holiness and vision to see it easily enough. But you have not left open and unoccupied the altar where the gifts belong. Where they should be, you have set up your idols to something else. This other will, which seems to tell you what must happen, you gave reality. And what would show you otherwise must therefore seem unreal. All that is asked of you is to make room for truth. You are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding. All you are asked to do is let it in; only to stop your interference with what will happen of itself; simply to recognize again the presence of what you thought you gave away.
23 Be willing for an instant to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see. The holy instant is not an instant of creation but of recognition. For recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment. Then only is it possible to look within and see what must be there plainly in sight and wholly independent of inference and judgment. Undoing is not your task, but it is up to you to welcome it or not. Faith and desire go hand in hand, for everyone believes in what he wants.
24 We have already said that wishful thinking is how the ego deals with what it wants to make it so. There is no better demonstration of the power of wanting, and therefore of faith, to make its goals seem real and possible. Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire you will see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.
25 When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable. The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect and make effect appear to be a cause. This seeming independence of effect enables it to be regarded as standing by itself and capable of serving as a cause of the events and feelings its maker thinks it causes. Long ago we spoke of your desire to create your own Creator and be father and not son to Him. This is the same desire. The Son is the effect, whose Cause he would deny. And so he seems to be the cause, producing real effects. Nothing can have effects without a cause and to confuse the two is merely to fail to understand them both.
26 It is as needful that you recognize you made the world you see as that you recognize that you did not create yourself. They are the same mistake. Nothing created not by your Creator has any influence over you. And if you think what you have made can tell you what you see and feel and place your faith in its ability to do so, you are denying your Creator and believing that you made yourself. For if you think the world you made has power to make you what it wills, you are confusing Son and Father, effect and Source.
27 The Son's creations are like his Father's. Yet in creating them, the Son does not delude himself that he is independent of his Source. His union with It is the Source of his creating. Apart from this he has no power to create, and what he makes is meaningless. It changes nothing in creation, depends entirely upon the madness of its maker, and cannot serve to justify the madness. Your brother thinks he made the world with you. Thus he denies creation. With you, he thinks the world he made, made him. Thus he denies he made it.
28 Yet the truth is you were both created by a loving Father Who created you together and as one. See what "proves" otherwise, and you deny your whole reality. But grant that everything which seems to stand between you keeping you from each other and separate from your Father you made in secret, and the instant of release has come to you. All its effects are gone because its source has been uncovered. It is its seeming independence of its source that kept you prisoner. This is the same delusion that you are independent of the Source by which you were created and have never left.

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

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