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The power of the Son of God's desire remains the proof that he is wrong who sees himself as helpless. Desire what you will, and you will look on it and think it real. No thought but has the power to release or kill. And none can leave the thinker's mind or leave him unaffected.

Workbook for Students
Part II
What is the World?
1 The world is false perception. It is born of error, and it has not left its source. It will remain no longer than the thought which gave it birth is cherished. When the thought of separation has been changed to one of true forgiveness will the world be seen in quite another light, and one which leads to truth, where all the world must disappear and all its errors vanish. Now its source has gone, and its effects are gone as well.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 243
Today I will judge nothing
that occurs.
1 I will be honest with myself today. I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp. I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see. Today I recognize that this is so. And so I am relieved of judgment which I cannot make. Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us.

2 Father, today I leave creation free to be itself. I honor all its parts, in which I am included. We are one because each part contains Your memory, and truth must shine in all of us as one.
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VIDEO L243 Video

Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 21
 The Inner Picture

VIII. Perception and Wishes
par 70-84
70 Do you not see that all your misery comes from the strange belief that you are powerless? Being helpless is the cost of sin. Helplessness is sin's condition—the one requirement that it demands to be believed. Only the helpless could believe in it. Enormity has no appeal save to the little. And only those who first believe that they are little could see attraction there. Treachery to the Son of God is the defense of those who do not identify with him. And you are for him or against him; either you love him or attack him, protect his unity or see him shattered and slain by your attack.

71 No one believes the Son of God is powerless. And those who see themselves as helpless must believe that they are not the Son of God. What can they be except his enemy? And what can they do but envy him his power and by their envy make themselves afraid of it? These are the dark ones, silent and afraid, alone and not communicating, fearful the power of the Son of God will strike them dead and raising up their helplessness against him. They join the army of the powerless, to wage their war of vengeance, bitterness, and spite on him to make him one with them. Because they do not know that they are one with him, they know not whom they hate. They are indeed a sorry army, each one as likely to attack his brother or turn upon himself as to remember they thought they had a common cause.

72 Frantic and loud and strong the dark ones seem to be. Yet they know not their enemy, except they hate him. In hatred they have come together but have not joined each other. For had they done so, hatred would be impossible. The army of the powerless must be disbanded in the presence of strength. Those who are strong are never treacherous because they have no need to dream of power and to act out their dream. How would an army act in dreams? Any way at all. It could be seen attacking anyone with anything. Dreams have no reason in them. A flower turns into a poisoned spear, a child becomes a giant, and a mouse roars like a lion. And love is turned to hate as easily. This is no army, but a madhouse. What seems to be a planned attack is bedlam.

73 The army of the powerless is weak indeed. It has no weapons, and it has no enemy. Yes, it can overrun the world and seek an enemy. But it can never find what is not there. Yes, it can dream it found an enemy, but this will shift even as it attacks, so that it runs at once to find another and never comes to rest in victory. And as it runs, it turns against itself, thinking it caught a glimpse of the great enemy which always eludes its murderous attack by turning into something else. How treacherous does this enemy appear, who changes so it is impossible even to recognize him!

74 Yet hate must have a target. There can be no faith in sin without an enemy. Who that believes in sin would dare believe he has no enemy? Could he admit that no one made him powerless? Reason would surely bid him seek no longer what is not there to find. Yet first he must be willing to perceive a world where it is not. It is not necessary that he understand how he can see it. Nor should he try. For if he focuses on what he cannot understand, he will but emphasize his helplessness and let sin tell him that his enemy must be himself. But let him only ask himself these questions, which he must decide to have it done for him:

75 Do I desire a world I rule instead of one which rules me?

Do I desire a world where I am powerful instead of helpless?

Do I desire a world in which I have no enemies and cannot sin?

And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth? 

76 You have already answered the first three questions but not yet the last. For this one still seems fearful and unlike the others. Yet reason would assure you they are all the same. We said this year would emphasize the sameness of things that are the same. This final question, which is indeed the last you need decide, still seems to hold a threat the rest have lost for you. And this imagined difference attests to your belief that truth may be the enemy you yet may find. Here, then, would seem to be the last remaining hope of finding sin and not accepting power.

77 Forget not that the choice of truth or sin, power or helplessness, is the choice of whether to attack or heal. For healing comes of power and attack of helplessness. Whom you attack you cannot want to heal. And whom you would have healed must be the one you chose to be protected from attack. And what is this decision but the choice whether to see him through the body's eyes or let him be revealed to you through vision? How this decision leads to its effects is not your problem. But what you want to see must be your choice. This is a course in cause and not effect.

78 Consider carefully your answer to the last question you have left unanswered still. And let your reason tell you that it must be answered and is answered in the other three. And then it will be clear to you that, as you look on the effects of sin in any form, all you need do is simply ask yourself,

79 Is this what I would see? Do I want this?

80 This is your one decision; this the condition for what occurs. It is irrelevant to how it happens but not to why. You have control of this. And if you choose to see a world without an enemy in which you are not helpless, the means to see it will be given you.

81 Why is the final question so important? Reason will tell you why. It is the same as are the other three except in time. The others are decisions which can be made and then unmade and made again. But truth is constant and implies a state where vacillations are impossible. You can desire a world you rule which rules you not, and change your mind. You can desire to exchange your helplessness for power, and lose this same desire as a little glint of sin attracts you. And you can want to see a sinless world and let an "enemy" tempt you to use the body's eyes and change what you desire.

82 In content, all the questions are the same. For each one asks if you are willing to exchange the world of sin for what the Holy Spirit sees, since it is this the world of sin denies. And therefore those who look on sin are seeing the denial of the real world. Yet the last question adds the wish for constancy in your desire to see the real world, so the desire becomes the only one you have. By answering the final question "yes," you add sincerity to the decisions you have already made to all the rest. For only then have you renounced the option to change your mind again. When it is this you do not want, the rest are wholly answered.

83 Why do you think you are unsure the others have been answered? Could it be necessary they be asked so often, if they had? Until the last decision has been made, the answer is both "yes" and "no." For you have answered "yes" without perceiving that "yes" must mean "not no." No one decides against his happiness, but he may do so if he does not see he does it. And if he sees his happiness as ever changing, now this, now that, and now an elusive shadow attached to nothing, he does decide against it.

84 Elusive happiness, or happiness in changing form that shifts with time and place, is an illusion which has no meaning. Happiness must be constant because it is attained by giving up the wish for the inconstant. Joy cannot be perceived except through constant vision. And constant vision can be given only those who wish for constancy. The power of the Son of God's desire remains the proof that he is wrong who sees himself as helpless. Desire what you will, and you will look on it and think it real. No thought but has the power to release or kill. And none can leave the thinker's mind or leave him unaffected.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 243
Today I will judge nothing
that occurs.
Sarah's Commentary:
This Lesson follows on what was said yesterday, which is a reminder that we do not understand anything. We do not know, and thus, we must come to Someone Who does know, which requires humility on our part. How do we know when we are wrong about what we think we know? We know we are wrong because we feel anxious, depressed, upset, uncertain, frustrated, angry, worried, impatient, agitated, or any other state that is not peaceful. These are signals to us that we are relying on the wrong teacher, the false self that we believe has answers for us. It is our own inner voice, and it reflects the thought system of separation and individuality. It is based on the belief that we are on our own and have to rely on ourselves alone. In this belief, we try to figure out the answers to problems that we perceive, and thus our minds are closed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
When I read, "Today I will judge nothing that occurs, " (W.243) I am reminded of Section 10 of the Manual for Teachers, "How is judgment relinquished?" (M.10) We are told that in the world, we seem to be capable of "good" and "bad" judgment, which we arrive at through our education and experience. We rely on them to help us make more good judgments than bad judgments. Yet we learn in this section, "It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot." (M.10.2.1) "As the world uses the term, an individual is capable of 'good' and 'bad' judgment, and his education aims at strengthening the former and minimizing the latter. There is, however, considerable confusion about what these categories mean. What is 'good' judgment to one is 'bad' judgment to another. Further, even the same person classifies the same action as showing 'good' judgment at one time and 'bad' judgment at another time." (M.10.1.3‑4)
When we recognize that we simply cannot judge, we become more honest with ourselves. Until we do, we are just fooling ourselves, believing we can know anything at all. Jesus reminds us that the most we have on which to judge anything is "bits of my perception, which are all that I can see." (W.243.1.3) From these bits of our perception, we come to a conclusion, but it will always be wrong. Why do we continue to rely on ourselves? Why not just give it up? It isn't that we should not judge, or that it is wrong to judge, but only that we cannot judge any situation adequately. To think we can judge anything is the arrogance of the ego, based on our idea that we understand. We do judge, but Jesus invites us to recognize when judgments are being made and then give them over to the Holy Spirit.
The gateway to our freedom is to surrender the "I know" mind. "Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us." (W.243.1.6) What this says to me is that, by my constant judgments, I am actually keeping myself out of peace and tiring myself. When I do not give an event my interpretation, it is then just a neutral event, and it will not give rise to an emotional experience. In other words, it is just being observed with no judgment.
Without judgment, I do not know who you are, and I do not know who I am. While that can bring up some fear, it is also a freeing. In each of us is the whole, the Oneness of Heaven. When I honor the whole, I am leaving it free to be Itself. On the other hand, judgments separate everything into good and bad parts. It is what the ego does. It wants to keep us separate from the whole, and thus, it judges everything as separate from everything else. This maintains the separation and is the purpose of judgment.
Because I cannot know the whole of everything, "I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp." (W.243.1.2) Our judgments are simply a shot in the dark and always wrong, but more than that, they keep reinforcing our limited perceptions. We can spend a lifetime hating someone only to find that we really did not understand them. We not only did not have all the information, we made up our own story, based on our projections that came from our own guilt and self-attack. Yet it is also not helpful to judge ourselves for having been wrong. Whether it is ourselves we judge as guilty, or anyone else, we are still caught in the same trap of the ego.
We can start by watching our thoughts and recognizing the judgments as they come up and be willing to release them. If the willingness is not there, we can ask for help to strengthen our motivation to forgive. When we are willing to take responsibility for our judgments, we give them over to the Holy Spirit. We recognize that we have been mistaken in categorizing anything or anyone as either good or bad. We can give up our evaluations of what others look like, say, or do, and we can watch our judgments as we make them, seeing them as the projections of our own unhealed thoughts. To bring awareness to our thoughts is all that is asked of us. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We cannot fix ourselves. We cannot make ourselves spiritual. All we can do is observe our judgmental thoughts and put them on the inner altar.
We love to compare, categorize, and condemn because we love our own specialness. Until the ego is undone, we will continue to make judgments. Yet with awareness, we can bring attention to them and release them as they come up. Just being aware of how much we judge others and ourselves is helpful because then we can make a choice. We can turn our judgments over to the Holy Spirit and ask for His help by asking Him to look on the situation, event, or person and judge it for us.
As Jesus tells us, we need to give up judgment in order to see with vision. "Truth is restored to you through your desire, as it was lost to you through your desire for something else. Open the holy place that you closed off by valuing the 'something else,' and what was never lost will quietly return. It has been saved for you. Vision would not be necessary had judgment not been made. Desire now its whole undoing, and it is done for you." (T.20.VIII.1.2-6) (ACIM OE T.20.IX.67)
If you want to free yourself from the wearying habit of constant judgment and know the truth of your own Identity, then "Would you not happily exchange your doubts for certainty?" (T.20.VIII.2.2) (ACIM OE T.20.IX.68) That is what the Holy Spirit can do for us. All we need to do is have the willingness and desire today to watch our judgments as we make them and turn them over to Him. He does the rest.
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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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