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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.

Workbook for Students
Part II
What is Salvation?
1Salvation is a promise made by God that you would find your way to Him at last. It cannot not 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 which thinks that it has separate thoughts and will replace these thoughts of conflict with the Thought of peace.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 236
I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.
1 I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me and tell me what to think and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.

2 Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.
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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 21
 The Inner Picture

III. The Responsibility for Sight
par 13-28
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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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 236
I rule my mind,
which I alone must rule.
Sarah's Commentary:
With separation came the decision to identify with the wrong mind and with it the false self. This is the mind ruled by the ego. Now, "It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel." (W.236.1.3) The kingdom of the ego is one based on sin, guilt, and fear which constitute linear time. This means that we think we sinned in the past, feel guilty in the present, and fear the future. The thoughts that reflect this unholy trinity of sin, guilt, and fear are so intolerable to us that the ego has devised a plan for us to project them out. How we know we are projecting is that we have a reaction to what we perceive, and we see the cause of our distress outside of our own mind. It is the reversal of cause and effect. We have forgotten that cause is always in the mind and not anything in the world. Thoughts do not leave our minds, and as long as we are in the service of the ego, we are tortured by our thoughts that seemingly rule us.
Now it seems the ego triumphs over us. We feel at the mercy of our body or of other bodies that affect our state of happiness. We feel victimized by situations and circumstances that seem to be coming from outside our own minds. Yet Jesus is saying that we are not at the mercy of these thoughts. We can serve whatever purpose we choose. We are the rulers of our kingdom. In other words, we can put our minds in the service of the Holy Spirit, rather than the ego thought system. We are the decision makers, and we are the ones who decide for God or the ego. "I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule." (W.236.1.7)
How do we rule our minds? We do it by taking responsibility for our projections. We make space for the Holy Spirit to come through the right mind when we bring our thoughts and feelings to His healing light. We accept the Atonement for ourselves by accepting His Love as the only truth. We step aside from our own wishes, fantasies, fears, desires, and judgments and surrender to the One that knows our true will. Now our minds are open to His Thoughts. We deny the power of our own thoughts to rule over us. What can bring us pain or sorrow except for our own belief in our unworthiness?
In the passage, "The Little Garden," (ACIM OE "The Purpose of the Body") Jesus talks of how cruelly the ego rules within its kingdom, which is a part of our minds dominated by the ego. The ego-dominated mind sees its kingdom as the body. "It draws a circle, infinitely small, around a very little segment of Heaven, splintered from the whole, proclaiming that within it is your kingdom, where God can enter not." (T.18.VIII.2.6) (ACIM OE T.18.IX.72)
"Within this kingdom the ego rules, and cruelly. And to defend this little speck of dust it bids you fight against the universe. This fragment of your mind is such a tiny part of it that, could you but appreciate the whole, you would see instantly that it is like the smallest sunbeam to the sun, or like the faintest ripple on the surface of the ocean. In its amazing arrogance, this tiny sunbeam has decided it is the sun; this almost imperceptible ripple hails itself as the ocean. Think how alone and frightened is this little thought, this infinitesimal illusion, holding itself apart against the universe." (T.18.VIII.3.1-5) (ACIM OE T.18.IX.73)
What we are doing is keeping out of our awareness the vast unknown—the Call in our minds to remember who we are. When we join, we experience the holiness of our One Self. We recognize that we are not these little ripples on the ocean, but, in fact, we are the ocean itself---One with all there is. We recognize our Oneness with all of our brothers. This is where our peace, joy, and freedom reside. We have a choice. We do not have to be at the mercy of our baser instincts, drives, hormones, emotional patterns, and habits that seem to rise up and tell us what to think and feel and do. We fight against certain urges and addictions, doing things against our own better judgment. These things may seem to plague our lives, as we try to overcome these urges and addictions with willpower, yet our own will is mostly powerless against them. It is our fight with fear. We cannot heal ourselves without Help from outside of this matrix. When we give it over to the Holy Spirit, healing happens on its own. None of what we experience as having power over us has any real effects. "Who could be made fearful by a power that can have no real effects at all?" (T.30.IV.5.7) (ACIM OE T.30.V.53) We are called to deny the power of the ego over us. It is not our enemy. We just need not give it any power. It cannot be sustained if we do not invest belief in it.
The only power is the power of love. The ego will never undo itself. We will never change ourselves without help from outside of this seemingly closed system of the ego. The only real change comes from bringing our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and concepts to the Holy Spirit. Through forgiveness, our true power is felt. This is the kingdom that is always available to us. There is nothing else to choose, as it is the only reality. To choose anything else is to choose nothing. The power of decision is the only true power we have. We are not limited by the body and our experiences in this world. Our reality is boundless. "The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea." (T.18.VIII.2.5) (ACIM OE T.18.IX.72)
Jesus is telling us in this Lesson that the decision-making mind is in charge. The purpose being served is whatever we decide. Either our purpose is to continue to be rooted in the body and the world, or our purpose is to wake up. We are not at the mercy of the drives that seem to rule us with such persistence. We can choose the Will of God instead of our own will. We are not the victims of our bodies or the world. We are under no laws but God's. We have heard the Call, and love has entered at our weak request.
As we watch our thoughts and turn them over to the Holy Spirit, we loosen the bricks of this wall of protection that we have built around the part of the mind ruled by the ego. Our own decision-making mind chose the ego, and now we can make a choice for the Holy Spirit. Thus, we are still in charge and can give up the belief that we are at the mercy of the body and the world.
Everything is about purpose. If we decide to awaken from this dream, everything in the dream can serve that purpose. If we choose to serve our interests and bodily needs as defined by the ego, everything serves the purpose of keeping us rooted in the world of illusion. Today, we are asked to put our minds in the service of the Holy Spirit, and when we do, everything we have made to serve the ego can be used for our awakening.
Jesus tells us, "You have a Guide to how to develop them [your abilities] , but you have no commander except yourself." (T.6.IV.9.4) (ACIM OE T.6.V.53) The Holy Spirit can only guide. We are the ones who must choose. We are the ruler---the king. No one has power over us but ourselves. A guide merely invites, leaving us to choose whether to follow or not. In this Course, God is described as a loving Father of infinite tenderness and patience. He has no power over us. This is where the Course is not in line with traditional religious thinking. It is up to us to freely choose to accept what is being offered us through guidance. God's power is Love. His Love only affirms one thing---we cannot change the truth of who we are as God's Son. We have been created with all of our Father's attributes. Thus, the only thing that we cannot change is the truth about ourselves, which is that we are holy, innocent, pure, and perfect in our creation. Thank goodness for this restriction placed on us through the Atonement Principle.
The place where no one can enter, not even God, is the secret, untouchable place we rule with our thoughts. It is protected by our judgments. All of our self-concepts, beliefs, and values are formed here. In our work with the Course, we are urged to bring these judgments forward to awareness and raise them to doubt. "If you raise what fear conceals to clear-cut unequivocal predominance, fear becomes meaningless." (T.12.I.9.9) (ACIM OE T.11.III.12) We are releasing our need to be right in this process and thus raising to doubt the ego mind that thinks it knows everything. In other words, we are willing to give up the "I know" mind.
Our part in the process of releasing the ego is simply to look at what we have denied. We have denied the truth about ourselves, but it is given to us when we truly want it . "And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?" (T.21.VII.5.14) (ACIM OE T.21.VIII.75) Jesus calls this the last unanswered question because we are still afraid of God’s Love. We are not yet ready to make a total commitment to the truth. Yet since there is only this one decision to be made, it can be made anytime. Everything leads us to this place of readiness.
 The ego tells us, if we look at the truth, we will be destroyed. The ego wants to maintain the separation. The road to Heaven, to the happy dream, will not circumvent the darkness of our personal hell, since we cannot heal what we hide from ourselves. Our minds can be very deceptive. Today, let us take the hand of our beloved friend and elder brother, look at the judgments, and be willing to question them. Our bodies and the world have no effect on us. They have no power to take away our peace, nor to destroy the love in our minds. By ruling my mind, which I alone can rule, I come to know the love I am as my only reality.
Today, we direct our minds in a holy direction and give them to the Holy Spirit to use. I choose today which voice I shall follow. I decide today which teacher my mind serves. I need not be ruled by the ego, and its identification with the body, to tell me what to feel. It is up to me what purpose I give to everything in my day. When the choice is for the ego, we cannot know the love, joy, and peace that are our natural inheritance. In fact, in our confusion, we are constantly reaching out for pleasure, yet ultimately getting pain. Today, we take charge and consciously acknowledge our power to choose. Let us not pretend that we are powerless. Today, we choose to open our minds to His Thoughts and close them to every thought but His.
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Love and blessings, Sarah


Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is:

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