Lesson 245
Reason Sees Beyond
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31 Reason is not salvation in itself, but it makes way for peace and brings you to a state of mind in which salvation can be given you. Sin is a block, set like a heavy gate, locked and without a key, across the road to peace. No one who looks on it without the help of reason would try to pass it. The body's eyes behold it as solid granite, so thick it would be madness to attempt to pass it. Yet reason sees through it easily because it is an error. The form it takes cannot conceal its emptiness from reason's eyes.          
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What is the World
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   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
   that 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 that 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.
   The world was made as an attack on God.
   It symbolizes fear. And what is fear
   except love's absence? Thus the world was meant
   to be a place where God could enter not,
   and where His Son could be apart from Him.
   Here was perception born, for knowledge could
   not cause such insane thoughts. But eyes deceive,
   and ears hear falsely. Now mistakes become
   quite possible, for certainty has gone.
   The mechanisms of illusion have
   been born instead. And now they go to find
   what has been given them to seek. Their aim
   is to fulfill the purpose which the world
   was made to witness and make real. They see
   in its illusions but a solid base
   where truth exists, upheld apart from lies.
   Yet everything which they report is but
   illusion which is kept apart from truth.
   As sight was made to lead away from truth,
   it can be redirected. Sounds become
   the call of God. And all perception can
   be given a new purpose, by the One
   Whom God appointed Saviour to the world.
   Follow His light, and see the world as He
   beholds it. Hear His Voice alone in all
   that speaks to you. And let Him give you peace
   and certainty, which you have thrown away,
   but Heaven has preserved for you in Him.
   Let us not rest content until the world
   has joined our changed perception. Let us not
   be satisfied until forgiveness has
   been made complete. And let us not attempt
   to change our function. We must save the world.
   For we who made it must behold it through
   the eyes of Christ, that what was made to die
   can be restored to everlasting life.
         ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  

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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 245
Your peace is with me, Father.
I am safe.

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    Your peace surrounds me, Father. Where I go,
    Your peace goes there with me. It sheds its light
    on everyone I meet. I bring it to
    the desolate and lonely and afraid.
    I give Your peace to those who suffer pain,
    or grieve for loss, or think they are bereft
    of hope and happiness. Send me to them,
    my Father. Let me bring Your peace with me,
    for I would save Your Son, as is Your Will,
    that I may come to recognize my Self.
   And so we go in peace. To all the world
   we give the message that we have received.
   And thus we come to hear the Voice of God,
   Who speaks to us as we relate His Word;
   Whose Love we recognize because we share
   the Word that He has given unto us.
      ~ Original Handscript of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
Your peace is with me, Father.
I am safe.

Sarah's Commentary:  
How would you feel if you really knew that God's peace was with you? Let yourself feel that now. Your peace surrounds me, Father. Feel it surrounding you, hovering over you, and holding you up. "Where I go, Your peace goes there with me. It sheds its light on everyone I meet." (W.245.1.2-3) The truth is, the peace in our right minds is always there, and when it is no longer blocked, it shines on everyone who we think about or who crosses our path. Clearly, this is not something we do, but it is something done through us. What is required is for us to surrender our way, including our expectations, demands, and requirements. The radiance of the Holy Spirit shines through us when we bring awareness to the debris of the ego mind and are willing to surrender the thoughts that block the light in us. The light of our Being always extends to our brothers in just the form that is most helpful. When judgment arises in my mind, I look at it and recognize that I have thought wrongly about a situation or a brother, and now I can choose again.
I had an instance recently of being very angry with a brother and the justification for this anger seemed very strong, but I was willing to take responsibility for it and accept that it was my mind, projecting my own guilt onto someone who seemed "deserving" of it. We always find the perfect target for our own guilt. It is why the world and specifics were made. I asked for help to see my brother as he really is. I asked for help to loosen my mind and give up my own judgments so I could know peace. I used this experience to inquire more deeply as to what was underneath my upset. I allowed the mind to rest and I breathed in slowly and softened into the question, without attacking myself. When I looked more deeply at the belief that I had been betrayed by this person, I found a place in me where I had left my center and felt abandoned. Out of this place where I felt abandoned, I noticed the expectations I was holding of her. I recognized that I felt unfairly treated. I believed the situation should be different than it was. I willingly gave over the belief that I could be unfairly treated and that I could ever be abandoned by love. This kind of inquiry assists me to put on the inner altar these painful beliefs that I uncover. It is not up to us to fix ourselves. Putting our fears, our guilt, and our beliefs on the inner altar allows the Holy Spirit to do His part.
I have been extremely overwhelmed lately with all the requirements I put on myself to meet expectations. When I don't get everything done, I feel guilty. I looked at what this guilt was about and noticed it was all about deciding what makes me good. When I judge I have not been good, I feel guilty. For me to determine what is good and bad is something that I can't judge. I have to admit that I simply don't know. When I do judge myself, I am holding a concept of myself that is false. Jesus reminds us that we are good in our very nature, and our goodness has nothing to do with what we do or don't accomplish. When we measure what is good about ourselves by our accomplishments, we judge ourselves whenever we do not meet our own expectations. These judgments keep us locked in the trap of the ego. It keeps us focused outside of ourselves to assess how we are doing. The only way out of this trap is to release ourselves from our self-judgments and to recognize that our inherent nature is goodness. There is no opposite to love. We need to release our self-concepts by recognizing they do not serve us. It takes willingness to let go of what no longer serves us.
Everyone who shows up in our lives, even those who cross our minds, offers us another opportunity to wake up from this dream. "Send them to me, my Father. Let me bring Your peace with me." (W.245.1.6-7) Our brothers are our saviors. Think of the benefits to you of the role each brother has in your life as your savior. They are our saviors because they help us to see the guilt and self-attack in our own minds that we project onto them. In other words, they provide us with a helpful mirror of what is unhealed in our own minds.
Those brothers are part of our movie script and are precisely the ones we need in order to help us wake up from this dream. By forgiving ourselves for how we see them and for what we perceive they have done or not done, we learn of our own innocence. Through our relationships, we come to recognize that we are all innocent. Our brothers are there to reflect perfectly for us what is in our own minds. Whatever we have come to believe about ourselves, the truth is that we have not done anything to deserve God's wrath, and thus there is nothing we need to atone for.
Peace is an attribute in us. It is always there, but it is not consistently our experience. Peace seems to be dependent on how things are going for us in the world. We are peaceful when things go our way and not peaceful when they don't. Thus, it seems our peace is determined by outside circumstances, but this is not true peace. Peace is an attribute in us, and it is changeless. It is not dependent on what is going on around us. Peace seems to be gone when we choose to listen to the ego, but it is only gone in our awareness. When I am not at peace, it is because I have turned to the ego as my guide.
Today, I started my day in peace only to have a conversation that resulted in conflict. My peace vanished in that instant. Peace is an attribute in me, so if I do not have peace, it is only because I chose to throw it away. I gave power to this situation to take my peace from me. It is only my thoughts about the situation that hurt me. It is ultimately a neutral event. How often do we throw our peace away for the most trivial of reasons? Someone cuts us off in traffic and our peace is gone. When we are not at peace, further opportunities to stay distressed seem to show up. Have you noticed how this happens in your day? This is because when we attack anyone, we experience guilt; and in our minds, we believe guilt requires punishment. When we betray anyone, we expect betrayal. It is not a conscious process, yet we can bring it to consciousness and choose again by giving over our interpretation of the situation to the Holy Spirit. When we turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation in place of our own, He reminds us that our attacks have no effect, and we simply have failed to learn, which is a mistake that can be corrected. The only requirement is for us to change our minds.
This is where the practice of our Lessons assists us to return to peace by choosing forgiveness. I am not always successful in making this choice instantly. It helps to remind myself that I am not guilty because I am not at peace. I have only made a mistake. When I simply look at the ego without judgment, it loses its power. Mistakes can be corrected when they are seen for what they are. This is how we learn.
The Holy Spirit teaches us through contrasts. I feel I am making progress when the upsets are no longer there for very long. What might have kept me out of peace for days, does so now for a considerably shorter time. It may now take a few hours, although more often it is minutes or even seconds. We are just a thought away from the miracle. When we stubbornly resist and refuse to release the thought, we keep ourselves in hell. How long we stubbornly hold onto our position is up to us. If we tell ourselves it is hard and that we will never make it, then this becomes the truth for us. It means we are listening to the ego. When we withdraw our interest in what the ego has to say, it no longer has any power over us. The Holy Spirit waits patiently for our decision to release and surrender to Him what no longer serves us. He cannot heal what we hold back from Him.
With each difficulty we experience with a brother, another opportunity is being offered to us to see the innocence in him and know it for ourselves. Any irritation or frustration can quickly be identified and turned over to the Holy Spirit. My gratitude for this teaching increases with each moment of recognition of the power in it. Where would we be without awareness of this power within us, except lost in the world of the ego where there is no hope?
It is not for us to try to superimpose peace on any situation. That is not our job. It is what the ego tells us to do, but the ego does not have a clue. Our only responsibility is to be like the inventory manager, who watches the mind and brings to the attention of the Holy Spirit all judgments, frustrations, and thoughts that disrupt our peace. We need to maintain awareness when our need for specialness arises and our desire to win at someone else's expense. Take responsibility willingly for these thoughts, and lay them at the feet of the Holy Spirit, Who waits to offer you the miracle of grace instead.
We cannot be the ones to fix ourselves. The ego will never undo itself. The problem is that we have spent our lives trying to make a nicer, kinder, and sweeter ego, but it is only a concept of a self we think we are. It is the face of innocence. We need to look under the face and uncover our real motivation, which is to benefit at someone's expense and to get for ourselves what we believe is lacking in us. It is why we need the Holy Spirit. When we go within, we learn that we still remain as God created us. Nothing we have done can change what we are. I'm sure you have noticed how much resistance comes up and how much self-honesty is called for. Our part is simply to bring awareness to our egoic thoughts and be willing to have our minds healed by not interfering with His function.
What gets in the way is stubborn pride, defensiveness, specialness, and our belief in a unique self with special characteristics that we try to maintain. We now need to do the work of deconstructing this self-made identity and be willing to look beneath the surface. We need to be willing to give up our spiritual pride and allow the light of the Holy Spirit to shine away the dark places in our minds. We must be willing to go into these dark places with courage and honesty to uncover all the aspects of the self we have kept from awareness as part of the unconscious mind. We need not go alone. Jesus invites us to take him with us.
The ego thought system is the program that continually runs under the surface of our minds. It is the basis of all our judgments, our plans, our wishes, our comparisons, and our categorizations. As a result, we react or feel a certain way, which seems "natural" to us. We have become habituated to a way of being that creates a lot of pain for us. We are so habituated to the pain that we no longer recognize the extent of it until we experience something that triggers it. For example, the immense pain that comes from separation may be triggered by someone leaving us. The pain was already there, but it came into our awareness only when there was an experience of separation in our lives.
How do we recognize the thoughts that keep us out of peace? We simply need to look with willingness, vigilance, and total responsibility, knowing that everything comes from our own minds. We are not used to mind watching, but by looking at our thoughts without judging ourselves, we can become very practiced at acknowledging them and turning them over. We can learn to question every thought that shows up and choose not to invest it with truth. The ego lies. The people and situations in our lives provide us many opportunities to see what is unhealed in us when we are willing to take full responsibility for our thoughts about every situation that arises. Everything and everyone becomes a symbol of the thoughts we hold in our minds.
In a storm, there is a quiet place in the center where all is still. That is the place in our minds where peace resides. It is always there despite what is going on around us. It is always available. We know what we need to do to remove the blocks to light, yet sometimes we obsessively cling to being right about the way we see things, rather than giving them up and choosing peace instead. This kind of stubborn resistance is the purview of the ego. Yet today we are reminded that we are continually surrounded by God's peace. It goes with us wherever we go. "It sheds its light on everyone I meet." (W.245.1.3) Every meeting is truly a holy encounter.
There are no accidents in salvation. Every difficult encounter can be given over to the Holy Spirit. There is a reason behind every encounter and there is the potential in every one of them for our healing. "There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other." (Manual for Teachers 3.1.3-7)
Mostly, we leave this potential unfulfilled because we think we know what the relationship is for, or we have our own objectives interposed on it, rather than asking the Holy Spirit what it is for. As Jesus said, "No one is sent by accident to anyone. Relationships are always purposeful. Whatever their purpose may have been before the Holy Spirit entered them, they are always His potential temple; the resting place of Christ and home of God Himself. Whoever comes has been sent." (Psychotherapy Pamphlet 3.III.6.2-5)
Today, we pray, "Send them to me, my Father," (W.245.1.6) or the prayer of St. Francis, "Let me be an instrument of thy peace." Jesus reminds us in Chapter 6, "To have peace, teach peace to learn it," (T.6.V.B) (ACIM OE T.6.V.b) Every encounter today can offer an opportunity to teach peace to learn it, thus we can know we have it in us. We will know it is in us when it is extended through us. In giving, we receive; and in this place of peace, we know where our safety lies.

Love and blessings, Sarah 
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Two

Salvation and the Holy Relationship 
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IV. Reason and the Holy Relationship 
29 The introduction of reason into the ego's thought system is the beginning of its undoing. For reason and the ego are contradictory. Nor is it possible for them to co-exist in your awareness. And reason's goal is to make plain and therefore obvious. You can see reason. This is not a play on words, for here is the beginning of a vision that has meaning. Vision is sense, quite literally. If it is not the body's sight, it must be understood. For it is plain, and what is obvious is not ambiguous. It can be understood. And here do reason and the ego separate to go their different ways.
30 The ego's whole continuance depends on its belief you cannot learn this course. Share this belief, and reason will be unable to see your errors and make way for their correction. For reason sees through errors, telling you what you thought was real is not. Reason can see the difference between sin and mistakes because it wants correction. Therefore, it tells you what you thought was uncorrectable can be corrected, and thus it must have been an error. The ego's opposition to correction leads to its fixed belief in sin and disregard of errors. It looks on nothing that can be corrected. Thus does the ego damn and reason save.
31 Reason is not salvation in itself, but it makes way for peace and brings you to a state of mind in which salvation can be given you. Sin is a block, set like a heavy gate, locked and without a key, across the road to peace. No one who looks on it without the help of reason would try to pass it. The body's eyes behold it as solid granite, so thick it would be madness to attempt to pass it. Yet reason sees through it easily because it is an error. The form it takes cannot conceal its emptiness from reason's eyes.
32 Only the form of error attracts the ego. Meaning it does not recognize and does not know if it is there or not. Everything which the body's eyes can see is a mistake, an error in perception, a distorted fragment of the whole, without the meaning that the whole would give. And yet mistakes, regardless of their form, can be corrected. Sin is but error in a special form the ego venerates. It would preserve all errors and make them sins. For here is its own stability, its heavy anchor in the shifting world it made-the rock on which its church is built and where its worshipers are bound to bodies and believe the body's freedom is their own.
33 Reason will tell you that the form of error is not what makes it a mistake. If what the form conceals is a mistake, the form cannot prevent correction. The body's eyes see only form. They cannot see beyond what they were made to see. And they were made to look on error and not see past it. Theirs is indeed a strange perception, for they can see only illusions, unable to look beyond the granite block of sin and stopping at the outside form of nothing. To this distorted form of vision, the outside of everything, the wall that stands between you and the truth, is wholly true. Yet how can sight which stops at nothingness as if it were a solid wall see truly? It is held back by form, having been made to guarantee that nothing else but form will be perceived.
34 These eyes, made not to see, will never see. For the idea they represent left not its maker, and it is their maker that sees through them. What was its maker's goal but not to see? For this the body's eyes are perfect means, but not for seeing. See how the body's eyes rest on externals and cannot go beyond. Watch how they stop at nothingness, unable to go beyond the form to meaning. Nothing's so blinding as perception of form. For sight of form means understanding has been obscured.
35 Only mistakes have different forms, and so they can deceive. You can change form because it is not true. It could not be reality because it can be changed. Reason will tell you that, if form is not reality, it must be an illusion and is not there to see. And if you see it, you must be mistaken, for you are seeing what can not be real as if it were. What cannot see beyond what is not there must be distorted perception and must perceive illusions as the truth. Could it then recognize the truth?
36 Let not the form of his mistakes keep you from him whose holiness is yours. Let not the vision of his holiness, the sight of which would show you your forgiveness, be kept from you by what the body's eyes can see. Let your awareness of your brother not be blocked by your perception of his sins and of his body. What is there in him that you would attack except what you associate with his body, which you believe can sin? Beyond his errors is his holiness and your salvation. You gave him not his holiness but tried to see your sins in him to save yourself. And yet his holiness is your forgiveness. Can you be saved by making sinful the one whose holiness is your salvation?
37 A holy relationship, however newly born, must value holiness above all else. Unholy values will produce confusion, and in awareness. In an unholy relationship, each one is valued because he seems to justify the other's sin. He sees within the other what impels him to sin against his will. And thus he lays his sins upon the other and is attracted to him to perpetuate his sins. And so it must become impossible for each to see himself as causing sin by his desire to have sin real. Yet reason sees a holy relationship as what it is-a common state of mind, where both give errors gladly to correction that both may happily be healed as one.

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