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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.

III. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SIGHT
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 237
Now would I be
as God created me.
1 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.

2 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.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Text
Chapter 21
 The Inner Picture

III. The Responsibility for Sight
par 13-28
[TEXT READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
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 237
Now would I be as God created me.
Sarah's Commentary:
 
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.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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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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