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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.

IV. FAITH, BELIEF, and VISION
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 238
On my decision
all salvation rests.
1 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.

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

IV. Faith, Belief, and Vision
par 29-40
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 you.

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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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 238
On my decision all salvation rests.
Sarah's Commentary:
 
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.
 
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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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