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CH 21 "THE INNER PICTURE"
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
VII. REASON AND CORRECTION
67 You are your brother's savior. He is yours. Reason speaks happily indeed of this. This gracious plan was given love by Love. And what Love plans is like Itself in this: being united, It would have you learn what you must be. And being one with It, it must be given you to give what It has given and gives still. Spend but an instant in the glad acceptance of what is given you to give your brother, and learn with him what has been given both of you. To give is no more blessed than to receive. But neither is it less.
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 237
Now would I be as God created me.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Today I will accept the truth about
myself. I will arise in glory, and
allow the light in me to shine upon
the world throughout the day. I bring the world
the tidings of salvation that I hear
as God my Father speaks to me. And I
behold the world that Christ would have me see,
aware it ends the bitter dream of death;
aware it is my Father's call to me.
Christ is my eyes today, and His the ears
which listen to the Voice of God today.
Father, I come to You through Him Who is
Your Son and my true Self as well. Amen
~ Original Handscript of ACIM October 10, 1970
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Now would I be as God created me.
Jesus reminds us that the Self we are is the Christ---the One Son of God. For two thousand years, this has exclusively been used in Christian theology to denote Jesus---God's only begotten Son. Jesus' specialness was further accentuated by St. Paul, relegating the rest of humanity to the status of "adopted sons" of God. (Galatians 4:4) In the Course, Jesus wants us to really embrace him as our equal and, therefore, he uses the term "Son of God" for all of us as the One Self. He makes it clear that we are not excluded from this designation. He presents himself as no different from any of us. He is the symbol of the truth of our own reality, buried deep in our minds. Again, we see the usage of the same form as in traditional Christianity, but with a totally different content.
Jesus reminds us that we are God's children, who believe we are bodies and separate from our Source and, therefore, different from him; but this is not the truth. We are the Christ, not this person we think of as our current self. We are mistaken in our identity as a body and personality. I am the Christ, convinced that I am something else. This need not be. "Now would I be as God created me." (W.237)
We heal the mistaken perceptions we hold about ourselves by changing our minds. In Chapter 21, there is a much-quoted line, "Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." (T.21.IN.1.7) (ACIM OE T.21.I) In the same way, we can choose to change our minds about the reactions we have to anything concerning us today. We can also change our minds about any negative reaction we hold about words used in the Course. For example, you may have a negative reaction to Christian terminology or to symbols like "Jesus" and "Christ," or words like "salvation," "Last Judgment," and "sin." Some react to the male terminology used in the Course. Yet just like anything else where we have a reaction, we can take what triggers us and use it for forgiveness. Any reaction we have reflects what we are projecting onto these words, based on past associations.
The important thing we are reminded of is that we are not what we think we are. We have made a choice for the ego and have run away from the truth. Yet we are as God created us. This thought frightens us because we have become invested in the self we have made and the world we still value; but the power is in our minds to choose again. "Now would I be as God created me." (W.237)
God did not create this body that I identify as myself. It is the result of choosing the ego thought system. The truth is that we are the Christ, the Self that all of us share as the One Son. We are created in perfection. We are given the means (forgiveness) to undo what we have made. The Atonement Principle is our absolute guarantee that it is impossible to mar our perfection as we were created, no matter what we do or have done. We have simply become unaware of our true nature and our inherent innocence.
The truth seems elusive when we identify with our ego. This world and our belief in bodies seem more real and solid than what is truly real. The ego is the choice for sin, guilt, and fear reflected in the differences, uniqueness, and specialness that we prize. When we get on the spiritual path, the ego can even make this experience one of spiritual specialness. We love our uniqueness and love to see ourselves as special, even if that specialness involves suffering.
We value our perceptions, our thoughts, and our feelings. When we do not doubt them or question them, they run our lives. While our reactions feel natural to us, Jesus assures us that what we have learned is unnatural. Our nature is peace, joy, and innocence. We justify our positions and our perspectives, but they can only be maintained by denying reality. Jesus tells us that this is not an easy thing to do. He says that what we have taught ourselves is an amazing learning feat. "What you have taught yourself is such a giant learning feat it is indeed incredible." (T.31.I.2.7) (ACIM OE T.31.I.2)
Since we have achieved such an amazing feat in teaching ourselves that we are something we are not, the simplicity of this Course should be easy for us. Why it is not easy, he says, is because of our twisted thought system. "His message is not indirect, but He must introduce the simple truth into a thought system which has become so twisted and so complex you cannot see that it means nothing." (T.14.I.5.2) (ACIM OE T.13.VI.53) Even though it is twisted and complex, we still cling to it and fear what will become of us if we release our beliefs about ourselves and the world.
The ego is devious, self-serving, and narcissistic. It is addicted to external sources of happiness, compares itself to others, is convinced it knows where its happiness lies, is afraid of true love and joining, is devious and a liar, and is arrogant in its insistence that it is right about the way it has set up reality. All of the ego is false. It is all part of our twisted thinking. The only way to release it all is to get very, very honest about ourselves. It is to look at the ego with honesty and courage. It is to inquire deeply into its motivations. It is to look with courage at the beliefs upholding these patterns and be willing to release them to the Holy Spirit.
It takes considerable introspection, courage, and honesty to admit our motives. What was I trying to gain? For whose benefit was it? What was the purpose? What am I projecting onto others that reflects my own secret sins? Everything that comes up offers us another opportunity to open up to deeper levels of the ego thought system that we are holding onto. It all needs to be brought to awareness because we cannot heal what we do not acknowledge in ourselves and what we are not willing to take responsibility for.
The turning point for many of us on this spiritual path is when our lives go off track. It may be a divorce, infidelity, car accident, cancer, depression, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, financial loss, general malaise, or betrayal of some kind. At such times, we may initially want to escape into some form of safety or security that we believe will mitigate our situation, but these are often the kind of circumstances that motivate us to find another way. Such events may be what brought us to this spiritual path. When we are brought to our knees, we become motivated to find a more solid foundation for our lives, as delivered in our work with this Course. Our own solutions for our problems only bring more pain and loss. They are generally focused on fixing the forms of this world, based on our need for control. We despair when our "fixes" do not work, and they never will. In this place of deep despair, our motivation is significantly heightened to find a new direction. It takes us inward, where we call on God in our desire to join with His Will, rather than to keep relying on our own.
As the dark cornerstones of the ego are turned over to the Holy Spirit, we come to know the Self that we are. It is a process of stepping back and allowing "the light in me to shine upon the world throughout the day." (W.237.1.2) It is to allow the glory, the radiance, the love, and the light of what we are to radiate through us. It is not something we do. It is what we are. There is nothing we need to do to become what we already are. "The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself."(T.31.VI.7.4) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.67) It came with our specifications given by God. There is nothing we can do to change the truth. Can we really allow this thought to take hold? Can we accept the grandeur and magnificence, as we release our belief in our unworthiness? Can we end this bitter dream of death today? Perhaps our readiness is not yet strong, but we can make choices moment by moment to bring the blocks to the inner altar for healing. It is a process of undoing, as we sort the valuable from the valueless, until we are ready to relinquish all of the ego thought system.
When I enter the silence and connect with the Truth in my mind, I "behold the world that Christ would have me see," (W.237.1.4) and not the one I made. So, today, as it is every day that we do our practice, we are urged to go beyond the words to experience the love that we are. These are not just beautiful thoughts and beautiful words to be contemplated, but they are to be lived. To do so, we not only need to connect with the silence within us, but also to apply these thoughts in our day to day activities and encounters whenever we are tempted to get upset about anything. This is a very practical Course, reminding us of the truth when we forget our reality and forget who walks with us in every moment.
Love and blessings, Sarah
Chapter Twenty One
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
The Inner Picture
VII. Reason and Correction
59 Reason cannot see sin but
can see errors and leads to their correction. It does not value them, but their correction. Reason will also tell you when you think you sin, you call for help. Yet if you will not accept the help you call for, you will not believe that it is yours to give. And so you will not give it, thus
maintaining the belief. For uncorrected error of any kind deceives you about the power that is in you to
make correction. If it can correct and you allow it not to do so, you deny it to yourself and to your brother. And if he shares this same belief, you both will think that you are damned. This you could spare him and
yourself. For reason would not make way for correction in you alone.
60 Correction cannot be accepted or refused by you
without your brother. Sin would maintain it can. Yet reason tells you that you cannot see your brother or yourself as sinful and still perceive the other innocent. Who looks upon himself as guilty and sees a sinless world? And who can see a sinful world and look upon himself apart from it? Sin would maintain you must be separate. But reason tells you that this must be wrong. If you are joined, how could it be that you have private thoughts? And how could thoughts that enter into what but seems like yours alone have no effect at all on what
is yours? If minds are joined, this is impossible.
61 No one can think but for himself, as God thinks not without His Son. Only were both in bodies could this be. Nor could one mind think only for itself unless the body
were the mind. For only bodies can be separate and therefore unreal. The home of madness cannot be the home of reason. Yet it is easy to leave the home of madness if you see reason. You do not leave insanity by going somewhere else. You leave it simply by accepting reason where madness was. Madness and reason see the same things, but it is certain that they look upon them differently.
62 Madness is an attack on reason that drives it out of mind and takes its place. Reason does not attack but takes the place of madness quietly, replacing madness if it be the will of the insane to listen to it. But the insane know not their will. For they believe they see the body and let their madness tell them it is real. Reason would be incapable of this. And if you would defend the body against your reason, you will not understand the body or yourself.
63 The body does not separate you from your brother, and if you think it does, you are insane. But madness has a purpose and believes it also has the means to make its purpose real. To see the body as a barrier between what reason tells you
must be joined must be insane. Nor could you see it if you heard the voice of reason. What can there be that stands between what is continuous? And if there is nothing in between, how can what enters part be kept away from other parts? Reason would tell you this. But think what you must recognize if it be so.
64 If you choose sin instead of healing, you would condemn the Son of God to what can never be corrected. You tell him by your choice that he is damned---separate from you and from his Father forever and without a hope of safe return. You teach him this, and you will learn of him
exactly what you taught. For you can teach him only that he is as you would have him, and what you choose he be is but your choice for
you. Yet think not this is fearful. That you are joined to him is but a fact, not an interpretation. How can a fact be fearful unless it disagrees with what you hold more dear than truth? Reason will tell you that this fact is your
release. Neither your brother nor yourself can be attacked alone. But neither can accept a miracle instead
without the other being blessed by it and healed of pain.
65 Reason, like love, would reassure you and seeks not to frighten you. The power to heal the Son of God is given you because he
must be one with you. You
are responsible for how he sees himself. And reason tells you it is given you to change his whole mind, which is one with you, in just an instant. And any instant serves to bring complete correction of his errors and make him whole. The instant that you choose to let
yourself be healed, in that same instant is his whole salvation seen as complete with yours. Reason is given you to understand that this is so. For reason, kind as is the purpose for which it is the means, leads steadily away from madness toward the goal of truth. And here you will lay down the burden of denying truth.
This is the burden that is terrible, and not the truth.
66 That you are joined is your salvation---the gift of Heaven, not the gift of fear. Does Heaven seem to be a burden to you? In madness, yes. And yet what madness sees must be dispelled by reason. Reason assures you Heaven is what you
all you want. Listen to Him Who speaks with reason and brings your reason into line with His. Be willing to let reason be the means by which He would direct you how to leave insanity behind. Hide not behind insanity in order to escape from reason. What madness would conceal, the Holy Spirit still holds out for everyone to look upon with gladness.
are your brother's savior. He is
yours. Reason speaks happily indeed of this. This gracious plan was given love by Love. And what Love plans is like Itself in this: being united, It would have you learn what
you must be. And being one with It, it must be given you to give what It has given and gives still. Spend but an instant in the glad acceptance of what is given you to give your brother, and learn with him what has been given
both of you. To give is no more blessed than to receive. But neither is it less.
68 The Son of God is
always blessed as one. And as his gratitude goes out to you who blessed him, reason will tell you that it cannot be you stand apart from blessing. The gratitude he offers you reminds you of the thanks your Father gives you for completing Him. And here alone does reason tell you that you can understand what you must be. Your Father is as close to you as is your brother. Yet what is there that could be nearer you than is your Self?
69 The power that you have over the Son of God is not a threat to his reality. It but
attests to it. Where could his freedom lie but in himself if he be free already? And who could bind him but himself if he deny his freedom? God is not mocked; no more His Son can be imprisoned save by his own desire. And it is by his own desire that he is freed. Such is his strength and not his weakness. He
is at his own mercy. And where he chooses to be merciful, there is he free. But where he chooses to condemn instead, there is he held a prisoner, waiting in chains his pardon on himself to set him free.
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