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CH 21 "THE INNER PICTURE"
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
VII. REASON AND CORRECTION
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.
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 238
On my decision all salvation rests.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Father, Your trust in me has been so great,
I must be worthy. You created me,
and know me as I am. And yet You placed
Your Son's salvation in my hands, and let
it rest on my decision. I must be
beloved of You indeed. And I must be
steadfast in holiness as well, that You
would give Your Son to me in certainty
that He is safe Who still is part of You,
and yet is mine because He is my Self.
And so again today we pause to think
how much our Father loves us, and how dear
His Son, created by His Love, remains
to Him Whose Love is made complete in him.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM October 13, 1970
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
On my decision all salvation rests.
I look at the words in this Lesson and reflect on how much trust is invested in me to choose on behalf of my brother and the whole of the Sonship. The power I have to choose Heaven or hell is a theme throughout the Course. It is the only power we have in this world. We have chosen separation and everything that comes with this choice, but now we can choose again. "Until that point is reached you have no choice, and you can but decide how you would choose the better to deceive yourself again." (T.31.IV.8.2) (ACIM OE T.31.IV. 40) We have decided who we are and who our brothers are and in that decision, we have limited them, as well as ourselves, to the body. We are mistaken in our decision. "You who believe that you can choose to see the Son of God as you would have him be, forget not that no concept of yourself will stand against the truth of what you are." (T.31.VI.5.1) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.66) Now we are called to give up all concepts so we can know the Self we are, as our Father knows us. "You created me, and know me as I am." (W.238.1.2) Because He knows who we really are, He can put His total trust in us.
The self I know as me, Sarah, cannot be invested with His trust. When I identify with the ego, I see unworthiness and lack in me. Yet He says that I am worthy. What does this say about what I think about myself? It says I am wrong about myself. It says that because He created me, He knows the truth of who I really am, as the perfect Son of God. He knows the light and glory that is my reality. "Today I will accept the truth about myself." (W.237.1.1) I willingly release any thoughts and beliefs about myself that stand in the way of that truth by placing them on the inner altar.
The ego is devious, self-serving, and wants everything for itself, but the truth is that we are not the ego. This false self is not our reality. The truth is that we are grand and glorious beings, who have forgotten what we are. We are called to remember and accept our reality. This acceptance comes through the process of becoming aware of the blocks in the mind that hide the truth. We see them when we project our own self-attacks onto our brothers. Now we are called to take responsibility for these projections and see that what we see in our brothers comes from our own minds. For example, I see someone criticizing me and I get triggered by what they are saying to me. If I am willing to look behind my defenses I can see that it is my own self-judgment that triggers my reaction. Thus, there is only my own mind to heal.
We forgive our brothers for what they have not done. We forgive ourselves for using our brothers to sustain our egos and keep ourselves from the love we are. When we see our brothers as responsible for how we feel, we are projecting our guilt onto them, instead of accepting responsibility for it in ourselves. We are investing them with the power to take our peace from us; but now we are called to reclaim responsibility for being the ones to throw away our peace and blame them for taking it from us. Peace is already in us. It is our natural inheritance. We make our brothers responsible for our lack of peace when we choose to be victimized and betrayed by them. Yes, the cause is always in our own minds and not in the world.
The Holy Spirit is part of every fragment of the One Self and is quietly waiting for our readiness to replace our thoughts of conflict with His Thought of peace. It means that we must be vigilant in looking at the ego thought system and bringing the darkness in the mind to the light. Any thought of conflict, despair, frustration, bitterness, specialness, competition, and attack can be remedied by the Holy Spirit. There is no order of difficulty in the illusion. Go past the turbulence in the mind, and turn within to the quiet center where peace resides.
All that stands in the way of peace must be given over for the Holy Spirit's healing. Nothing more is needed from us but to recognize the meaninglessness of all conflicts and all desire for specialness. By stepping outside of the dream, we observe the conflict from outside of the dream. We look at the actions of the characters in the dream from above the battleground and recognize that the world is nothing more than an outward picture of the thoughts in our own minds. We can change our minds about everything we currently believe. Every moment can be a new beginning.
Today, I was feeling neglected by Don, who had plans for the day involving other people he was reaching out to help. His motives were kind and giving, but I felt upset and put upon. After he left, I investigated my feelings and uncovered the fear of not being in control and feeling left out. I came across a vision of a little girl who was left on her own to find her way to the bomb shelter during the war. I did not have the support of my mother since she was carrying my sister who was 11 months younger. I felt the fear of being left on my own. I knew I did not have to hold onto these beliefs in victimhood. I could choose to be present and grateful for the kindness of my brother. I could make a deliberate decision to be happy. While there was initial resistance to giving up my story, there was a stronger pull to know God. The truth could set me free if I chose to embrace it. I want peace more than I want my story.
Our belief is that all this takes time and that time seems long to us, but the fact is that we are already home with God. We just need to work through the process of letting go of the drama of our lives and recognize that we have made up this dream. To be saved is simply to withdraw our belief from the illusion. Salvation does not require that we do anything. It is only about undoing what we are believing and letting go of what we are holding onto. By withdrawing our power of belief from the dream, the illusions "quietly go down to dust." (W.PII.Q2.3.3) (What is Salvation)
We do not have to go along with the ego. We have the power to choose not to listen to its invitation to go along with its dictates. The ego says, "Keep looking to the world for your happiness. There is always a new relationship, a new car, a better job, a vacation, a winning the lottery, or anything in the world you could pin your happiness on." Yet Jesus reminds us, "You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms that have no meaning to you, though you sought to make them meaningful." (W.200.4.2) Yet this does not make what we do in the world wrong. We seem to be in this world for now, and while we see ourselves as bodies, we will undertake some kind of work, make money, and engage in special relationships. Yet while we are occupied with these and other activities, the thing to do is to withdraw the belief that our happiness lies outside ourselves. It is still all about our thoughts. In other words, we need to withdraw our attachment to the things of this world and recognize that the way back to our true happiness is to forgive ourselves and others. Through the process of bringing the blocks to His healing light, we experience a glimpse of our Eternal Self.
What do we do when we are not feeling accepting, joyful, loving, and peaceful? The process will be somewhat different for each of us. We may take time to notice our thoughts and simply choose to see that they have no meaning. We may inquire as to what is underneath our upset. We may notice what we are projecting and investigate what is going on in our own minds that we prefer not to see. We may sit in prayer and meditation. Jesus says our problem is that the Son of God remembered not to laugh at the foolishness of this dream. Have the courage to honestly look at the darkness and see it as nothing. There is nothing to defend. When we surrender our opinions, perspectives, and positions and admit that we do not know, we become willing to be shown what to do. Allow whatever comes up to come up, and look at it with Spirit, knowing you are the dreamer of this dream and not a character in the dream. From this perspective, we look at our foibles with love and happy laughter.
A friend was recently sharing with me that she did not attend workshops because her husband did not want her to go. She believed that he was threatened by her attendance. One day after reading a relevant passage in the Course, she came to the sudden awareness that her husband was the reflection of her own fears projected outward. When she came to this awareness, she could look at her own mind, instead of blaming him. This is a perfect example of how we project our own guilt and fear onto others, who will act it out for us. Our responsibility is to own it and to heal it. What we are seeing in any brother is the split-off part of our own minds. Saving the world is simply about bringing together the fragments of the Sonship, which we do when we recognize that the holiness that is in us is in everyone. All the fragments of the Sonship look different, but the content of holiness is the same in each. When we recognize the sameness, we see holiness in each part.
Jesus tells us that we are completely free to choose to listen to the ego or the Holy Spirit in our minds. We make the decision on our own to accept salvation for ourselves or not. The truth about us is held for us in our minds until we are ready to know it. The importance of readiness and willingness cannot be understated. In the end, we will choose to know ourselves and to know God. It is just a matter of time. When we have gone down every road in the world, looking for happiness, and find that it is not to be found there, we will finally conclude: "There must be a better way." As Jesus tells us, we may have a high tolerance for pain, but it is not without limit. For some of us, our unwillingness to suffer a high degree of pain brings us to this spiritual work before life totally brings us to our knees.
The outcome is inevitable, but the time is of our own choosing. Today, take in the thought of how deeply loved you are and do not refuse to turn to Him as often as possible to ask: "What would you have me do?" "How would you have me see this brother?" "Where would you have me go?" Let us approach the Lesson with the confidence in ourselves that we are totally worthy of this effort. You are needed to demonstrate peace wherever you go. Take this peace into the battleground and share it with everyone you encounter. All that is required of us is that we put aside our desire to judge and attack, and instead be willing to transcend all conflict. On this decision, all salvation rests.
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
A Course in Miracles
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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