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CH 21 "THE INNER PICTURE"
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
IV. FAITH, BELIEF AND VISION
40 The body was made to be a sacrifice to sin, and in the darkness so it still is seen. Yet in the light of vision, it is looked upon quite differently. You can have faith in it to serve the Holy Spirit's goal and give it power to serve as means to help the blind to see. But in their seeing, they look past it, as do you. The faith and the belief you gave it belongs beyond. You gave perception and belief and faith from mind to body. Let them now be given back to what produced them and can use them still to save itself from what it made.
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 234
Father, today I am Your Son again.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Today we will anticipate the time
when dreams of sin and guilt are gone, and we
have reached the holy peace we never left.
Merely a tiny instant has elapsed
between eternity and timelessness.
So brief the interval there was no lapse
in continuity, nor break in thoughts
which are forever unified as one.
Nothing has ever happened to disturb
the peace of God the Father and the Son.
This we accept as wholly true today.
We thank you, Father, that we cannot lose
the memory of You and of Your Love.
We recognize our safety, and give thanks
for all the gifts You have bestowed on us,
for all the loving help we have received,
for Your eternal patience, and the Word
that You have given us that we are saved.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Father, today I am Your Son again.
Jesus reminds us today of the importance of gratitude. We thank our Father that we have not lost, and indeed cannot lose, the memory of Him and of His Love. We read in the section, "What is Salvation," (W.PII.Q2) that we took the memory of God into the dream. "The Thought of peace was given to God's Son the instant that his mind had thought of war." (W.PII.Q2.2.1) The peace of God in our right minds was given us the instant the thought of separation entered the mind. And this is why, "Merely a tiny instant has elapsed between eternity and timelessness." (W.234.1.2) Now there is only one decision to be made. "And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?" (T.21.VII.5.14) (ACIM OE T21.VIII.75) We still have resistance to the truth, and this question still seems fearful to us; yet when we come to the place where we want nothing but the truth, it is given in that instant because we already have it in us.
While we are asleep in the world of separation, we seem to have lost the memory of God and His Love. However, the Atonement Principle is our assurance that while we can forget the truth about ourselves, we can never change our reality. We still remain as we were created---in the perfect Oneness of the Christ Self. Separation is just illusion. Though the world does seem very real to us, it actually has no reality at all. And though we have lost the awareness of the love of God, we have not lost it in reality because He has ensured us that its place is in our minds.
Today, my three-year-old niece asked her mother, "Mommy, what was there before all of this? What was there where the trees are now? Where did they come from?" They are really profound questions from the mind of a child. It seems she remembers something quite forgotten yet faintly remembered. It is because the memory of "The Forgotten Song" (T.21.I) (ACIM OE T.21.II "The Imagined World") is in us all and that memory continues unabated throughout the dreams of many seeming lifetimes. When we awaken, all of these seeming lifetimes will seem like merely a tiny instant when the Son of God remembered not to laugh at the idea that He could separate from God.
"Today we will anticipate the time when dreams of sin and guilt are gone, and we have reached the holy peace we never left."
(W.234.1.1) That is our purpose now and the reason we are given time. We now use time for healing so we can reach the holy place within that we have never left. When we come to remember who we are, we will know the peace that is still in us. Everything that happens in our day provides us with another opportunity to come closer to our awakening. We must live our lives as if everything that seems to happen to us was chosen by us for our highest good.
Jesus reminds us that we may not be sure we really mean the words of these Lessons, but he tells us, "This does not matter. The purpose of today's exercises is to bring the time when the idea will be wholly true a little nearer." (W.27.1.4-5)
It appears to us that a lot is happening in this seeming reality, as we struggle with the problems we perceive personally and those on the world stage. Yet we are assured that none of this has even happened. Behind all of our perceptions is the peace and stillness of God. It is what we are avoiding with our distractions. The peace in our right minds is totally undisturbed when we identify with the ego thought system, no matter what it looks like to us. The truth about ourselves simply cannot be changed. When we awaken from this dream, we will know that we have never left our home in God. The memory of God is in our minds and cannot be lost. All of our dreams of sin and guilt are just that---dreams. In the holy instant, we connect with the truth and have a glimpse of the fact that we are still God's Son.
Yesterday, as I did my meditation, I saw my body as if it were a robot, going through a variety of seeming experiences. It reminded me of the experience of a friend from Montana, who recounted a time when he was driving his car, and all of a sudden, he found his awareness hovering above the car, watching his body driving it, as he was looking down and wondering how this was possible. The body is outside of the mind and simply a projection of the mind, showing up on the screen of this world. Such experiences demonstrate that we are the dreamer of this dream and not the dream figure.
Everything is about desire. This world is a projection of the desire to be separate from God. From that desire arose all of our beliefs, our thoughts, our emotions, and our perceptions. When the desire is focused on wanting to know our true Self, everything else aligns with that desire. Desire is where the inner altar is. When our desire is to know God, then everything works in harmony with that desire.
By stepping aside from our story, not justifying our anger, and instead, fully investigating our feelings, we come to see what is kept hidden in the unconscious mind. Then, we willingly give it over and trust that healing will happen, which is the nature of forgiveness. Our beliefs, our thoughts, our emotions, and our perceptions are all the effect of our desire.
Regardless of our determination to heal, we can be assured that thoughts of guilt and fear will arise and will continue to be part of our experience as the day proceeds until we come into the real world where we recognize this world is unreal. While we will be inclined to judge our brothers and accept our judgments as the truth, our responsibility is always to bring these judgments back to our own minds. They are our projections seen outside of our own minds. It does not mean our brothers do not make mistakes, but our condemnation of them speaks only about what is unhealed in our own minds. It is a projection of our own self-condemnation, which is about our own self-attacking thoughts. We have been called to every situation in our lives for the purpose of forgiveness. Now we can choose again to remember who our brother is and thus to know our own innocence. We remember that all of our brother's mistakes are his call for love and understanding. Healing our mistaken thoughts and our misperceptions is the only way we can know, "Father, today I am Your Son again." (W.234)
When a judgment crosses my mind, I can remind myself that this thought is not true. The truth is that I have never left my home in God. When I feel fear about anything today, I can remind myself that there is another way of looking at this. Nothing real is happening. Holy Spirit---Help me to see this through Your eyes. This is how we can quickly do a restorative, replace the programming in our minds that seems to run our day, and reprogram our thoughts with the one true Thought of God. This reprogramming comes as we willingly dedicate ourselves to learning the truth of what Jesus teaches and experiencing his teaching by undoing everything that is not the truth. Thus, the place in our minds where truth abides can shine forth. As Rupert Spira
When the seeking and resisting, that characterize the apparently separate self, comes to an end, our essential nature of peace and happiness shines as it truly is.
Today, we are called to dismiss the thoughts in our minds that are not the truth. We can do this with firmness and gentleness, and without judging ourselves. Only the spiritual ego believes it should be beyond such thoughts. This is just another judgment of ourselves that is not helpful.
"Nothing has ever happened to disturb the peace of God the Father and the Son. This we accept as wholly true today."
Chapter Twenty One
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
The Inner Picture
IV. Faith, Belief and Vision
29 All special relationships have sin as their goal. For they are bargains with reality, toward which the seeming union is adjusted. Forget not this-to bargain is to set a limit, and any brother with whom you have a limited relationship
you hate. You may attempt to keep the bargain in the name of "fairness," sometimes demanding payment of yourself, perhaps more often of the other. Thus in the "fairness" you attempt to ease the guilt that comes from the accepted purpose of the relationship. And that is why the Holy Spirit must change its purpose to make it useful to
him and harmless unto
30 If you accept this change, you have accepted the idea of making room for truth. The
source of sin is gone. You may imagine that you still experience its effects, but it is not your purpose, and you no longer
want it. No one allows a purpose to be replaced while he desires it, for nothing is so cherished and protected as is a goal the mind accepts. This it will follow, grimly or happily, but always with faith and with the persistence that faith inevitably brings. The power of faith is
never recognized if it is placed in sin. But it is
always recognized if it is placed in love.
31 Why is it strange to you that faith can move mountains? This is indeed a little feat for such a power. For faith can keep the Son of God in chains as long as he believes he
is in chains. And when he is released from them, it will be simply because he no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold him and placing it in his freedom instead. It is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions. What faith you give to sin you
take away from holiness. And what you offer holiness has been
removed from sin.
32 Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of holiness is reached. Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world and away from all illusions where your faith was laid. This is His direction, the only one He ever sees. And when you wander, He reminds you there
is but one. His faith and His belief and vision are all for you. And when you have accepted them completely instead of yours, you will have need of them no longer. For faith and vision and belief are meaningful only
before the state of certainty is reached. In Heaven they are unknown. Yet Heaven is reached through them.
33 It is impossible that the Son of God lack faith, but he can choose where he would have it
be. Faithlessness is not a
lack of faith, but faith in
nothing. Faith given to illusions does not lack power, for by it does the Son of God believe that he is powerless. Thus is he faithless to himself, but strong in faith in his illusions
about himself. For faith, perception, and belief
you made as means for losing certainty and finding sin. This mad direction was your choice, and by your faith in what you chose, you made what you desired.
34 The Holy Spirit has a use for all the means for sin by which you sought to find it. But as He uses them, they lead
away from sin because His purpose lies in the opposite direction. He sees the
means you use but not the
purpose for which you made them. He would not take them from you, for He sees their value as a means for what
He wills for you. You made perception that you might choose among your brothers and seek for sin with them. The Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the vision of a holy relationship is all you
want to see. Then will you give your faith to holiness, desiring and believing in it
because of your desire.
35 Faith and belief become attached to vision, as all the means that once served sin are redirected now toward holiness. For what you think is sin is
limitation, and whom you try to limit to the body you hate because you fear. In your refusal to forgive him, you would condemn him to the body because the means for sin are dear to you. And so the body has your faith and your belief. But holiness would set your brother free, removing hatred by removing fear, not as a symptom, but at its source.
36 Those who would free their brothers from the body can
have no fear. They have renounced the means for sin by choosing to let all limitations be removed. Desiring to look upon their brothers in holiness, the power of belief and faith goes far beyond the body,
supporting vision, not obstructing it. But first they chose to recognize how much their faith had limited their understanding of the world, desiring to place its power elsewhere should another point of view be given them. The miracles which follow this decision are also born of faith. For all who choose to look away from sin are given vision and are led to holiness.
37 Those who believe in sin
must think the Holy Spirit asks for sacrifice, for this is how they think
their purpose is accomplished. Brothers, the Holy Spirit knows that sacrifice brings
nothing. He makes no bargains. And if you seek to limit Him, you will hate Him because you are afraid. The gift that He has given you is more than anything that stands this side of Heaven. The instant for its recognition is at hand. Join your awareness to what has been
already joined. The faith you give each other can accomplish this. For He Who loves the world is seeing it for you without one spot of sin upon it and in the innocence which makes the sight of it as beautiful as Heaven.
38 Your faith in sacrifice has given it great power in your sight, except you do not realize you cannot see
because of it. For sacrifice must be exacted of a body and by another body. The mind could neither ask it nor receive it of itself. And no more could the body. The intention is in the mind, which tries to use the body to carry out the means for sin in which the
mind believes. Thus is the joining of mind and body an inescapable belief of those who value sin. And so is sacrifice invariably a means for limitation and thus for hate.
39 Think you the Holy Spirit is concerned with
this? He gives not what it is His purpose to lead you
from. You think He would deprive you for your good. But "good" and "deprivation" are opposites and cannot meaningfully join in any way. It is like saying that the moon and sun are one because they come with night and day, and so they
must be joined. Yet sight of one is but the sign the other has disappeared from sight. Nor is it possible that what gives light be one with what depends on darkness to be seen. Neither demands the sacrifice of the other. Yet on the
absence of the other does each depend.
40 The body was made to be a sacrifice to sin, and in the darkness so it still is seen. Yet in the light of vision, it is looked upon quite differently. You
can have faith in it to serve the Holy Spirit's goal and give it power to serve as means to help the blind to see. But in their seeing, they look
past it, as do you. The faith and the belief you gave it
belongs beyond. You gave perception and belief and faith from mind to body. Let them now be given back to what produced them and can use them still to save itself from what it made.
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