Lesson 258
How Lovingly HE Walks Beside
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42 Where could your peace arise but from forgiveness? The Christ in you looks only on the truth and sees no condemnation that could need forgiveness. He is at peace because He sees no sin. Identify with Him, and what has He that you have not? He is your eyes, your ears, your hands, your feet. How gentle are the sights He sees, the sounds He hears. How beautiful His hand that holds His brother's, and how lovingly He walks beside him, showing him what can be seen and heard and where he will see nothing and there is no sound to hear.

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CHAPTER 24 V-VI, 34-48
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What is Sin
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   Sin is insanity. It is the means
   by which the mind is driven mad, and seeks
   to let illusions take the place of truth.
   And being mad, it sees illusions where
   the truth should be, and where it really is.
   Sin gave the body eyes, for what is there
   the sinless would behold? What need have they
   of sights or sounds or touch? What would they hear
   or reach to touch? What would they sense at all?
   To sense is not to know. And truth can be
   but filled with knowledge, and with nothing else.
   The body is the instrument the mind
   made in its striving to deceive itself.
   Its purpose is to strive. Yet can the goal
   of striving change. And now the body serves
   a different aim for striving. What it seeks
   for now is chosen by the aim the mind
   has taken as replacement for the goal
   of self-deception. Truth can be its aim
   as well as lies. The senses then will seek
   instead the witnesses to what is true.
   Sin is the home of all illusions, which
   but stand for things imagined, issuing
   from thoughts which are untrue. They are the "proof"
   that what has no reality is real.
   Sin "proves" God's Son is evil; timelessness
   must have an end; Eternal Life must die.
   And God Himself has lost the Son He loves,
   with but corruption to complete Himself,
   His Will forever overcome by death,
   love slain by hate, and peace to be no more.
   A madman's dreams are frightening, and sin
   appears indeed to terrify. And yet
   what sin perceives is but a childish game.
   The Son of God may play he has become
   a body, prey to evil and to guilt,
   with but a little life that ends in death.
   But all the while his Father shines on him,
   and loves him with an Everlasting Love
   which his pretenses cannot change at all.
   How long, oh Son of God, would you maintain
   the game of sin? Shall we not put away
   these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you
   be ready to come home? Perhaps today?
   There is no sin. Creation is unchanged.
   Would you still hold return to Heaven back?
   How long, oh holy Son of God, how long?
         ~ Original Hand Script  
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 258
Let me remember that my goal is God.
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   All that is needful is to train our minds
   to overlook all little, senseless aims,
   and to remember that our goal is God.
   His memory is hidden in our minds,
   obscured but by our pointless little aims
   which offer nothing, and do not exist.
   Shall we continue to allow God's grace
   to shine in unawareness, while the toys
   and trinkets of the world are sought instead?
   God is our only goal, our only love.
   We have no aim but to remember Him.

    Our goal is but to follow in the way
    that leads to You. We have no goal but this.
    What could we want but to remember You?
    What could we seek but our Identity?
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
Let me remember that my goal is God.

Sarah's Commentary:  
There are several Lessons here in a row that start with, "Let me remember." W.257-260) Our issue is that we do forget our true purpose. We have forgotten our true identity and instead have chosen our individual, special, and separate identity. Resistance to knowing our true identity shows up daily, even with our commitment to this path. We forget our Lesson for the day. We forget to call upon the Holy Spirit when we are tempted by some situation or circumstance to throw away our peace. We forget to stop in the midst of conflict and ask for help. We forget to take the time to listen to the inner guidance, and instead, we listen to the demands of our egos.
How often do we get up in the morning and forget to set our goal for the day or go to bed at night and distract ourselves with TV, a novel, or listening to the radio? Or perhaps, we cannot sleep because we are obsessively focusing on disturbing thoughts from our day and strategizing our responses; or we may be trying to solve some problem we have encountered during the day. That is why we are reminded to open daily to the truth in the morning and turn our thoughts over to the Holy Spirit before we go to sleep. This is how we ensure that our days, as well as our nights, are focused on peace. We are the ones who have chosen to forget, and now, we are the ones who can choose to return our minds to the truth.
This does not mean we don't do anything in the world. It is not what we do, but it is about not making the body the focus of our doing. "What plans do you make that do not involve its comfort or protection or enjoyment in some way? " (T.18.VII.1.2) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.63) So much of what we do focuses on the body, but it is not so much about what we do, as it is the mindset we take in our busy doings. "This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent." (T.18.VII.8.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.70) Whose guidance are we following in our busy doings---the ego's or that of the Holy Spirit? Jesus tells us that the diversionary tactics of the ego are for the purpose of keeping us "involved with tangential issues." (T.4.V.6.4) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.75) He goes on to say, "The ego's characteristic busyness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose." (T.4.V.6.5) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.75) Thus, he says that we should be asking, "What for?" (T.4.V.6.7) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.77) in everything we do. "Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have made a decision about your future effort; a decision that will remain in effect unless you change your mind." (T.4.V.6.10-11) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.78)
To watch our minds and stay focused on our goal does take tremendous discipline and constant vigilance. Yes, in this world, we do get a temporary thrill from achieving something that we have set out to do; but when the thrill is gone, and it always goes, we feel a need to keep striving for more until the day comes when we ask ourselves the deeper questions: "What is it all for? Does what I am pursuing bring any lasting happiness, peace, and contentment?"
God's grace is shining on us all the time, but while our attention is focused on our empty, pointless goals, all His grace is obscured from our awareness. What we think is valuable to do in this world, Jesus refers to as, "the toys and trinkets of the world." (W.258.1.3) We get focused on shopping, careers, special relationships, gambling, entertainment, power, prestige, attention, vacations, and all kinds of things that we think we need and that we think will make us happy. No, they are not inherently bad, and we do not have to discard them when we are still attached to them, believing they have something valuable to deliver to us. It is that we will eventually come to recognize that they are not the source of our happiness. In fact, they keep us from our happiness because they offer us nothing. Keeping this thought in mind is helpful because then the attachment to these things is considerably lessened and eventually just falls away.
The problem is that we don't ask for too much from our lives. We ask for too little. We think the little we strive for will be the answer for our loneliness, but Jesus urges us to see that the answers for our loneliness will never be found by seeking for pointless goals. They will not bring the deep peace, abundance, and joy that can only come from getting in touch with the Love of God. His Love is already there, in our minds, waiting to deliver the gifts we yearn for. We are the ones who obscure them. It is not God Who remains in obscurity. We have made the choice to forget Him, and then we project this forgetting onto God and say He has forgotten us. "Where are you, God, when I need you?" we cry out plaintively. Yet He is right there in our right minds! "He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He." (W.125.7.3)
We need not strive for God nor seek Him. If we do not experience His love and peace and joy in our lives, we are blocking them. And how are we doing that? We block them by pursuing other goals in which we think our peace, happiness, and joy reside. Yet what happens when we get the babe or the stud, the new car, the money, the new house, the new piece of furniture, the recognition, or the power? It is all very fleeting. It does not satisfy us in a deep way. We keep looking for more and more. Can a trinket ever satisfy? Is there anything we can want more than to know the truth about ourselves? Obviously, it is clear that we think there is something better or our goals would not be so conflicted. These goals block our awareness of God's ever-present love for us. There is nothing to strive for. We carry the awareness of God with us all the time. We don't know it, though, while we find other goals more alluring and put all our attention on them.
When we stepped onto the spiritual path, in addition to pursuing some goals of the world, we included our spiritual goals as well. What happens now? Clearly, the conflicted state of our minds is now increased. We no longer have a clear focus in one direction. Sometimes we are loving and other times we attack. We try to find some ways to reconcile these opposing goals. Ultimately, we must come to the place where we put our attention on what is truly important, and as we do so, we will increasingly feel less conflicted. Clearly, we cannot go back to fully stepping on the side of our worldly ambitions once we have answered the call of Spirit. So the only way out of this conflict is to more fully embrace our spiritual goals. This is what the Lesson is about. This is what we are being called to do today. We cannot continue to come to some kind of arrangement with both worlds, as this will put us in a state of significant conflict.
Our path is one of forgiveness. "Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation." (W.257.2.1) Thus, as we bring awareness to our unforgiving thoughts as they come up and we choose to release them, our will is being aligned with the truth of our Being.
Love and blessings, Sarah 
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Four

Specialness and Separation
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CHAPTER 25 V-VI, 34-48
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V. Specialness and Salvation  

34 Specialness is a lack of trust in anyone except yourself. Faith is invested in yourself alone. Everything else becomes your enemy---feared and attacked, deadly and dangerous, hated and worthy only of destruction. Whatever gentleness it offers is but deception, but its hate is real. In danger of destruction, it must kill, and you are drawn to it to kill it first. And such is guilt's attraction. Here is death enthroned as savior; crucifixion is now redemption, and salvation can only mean destruction of the world, except yourself.
35 What could the purpose of the body be but specialness? And it is this that makes it frail and helpless in its own defense. It was conceived to make you frail and helpless. The goal of separation is its curse. Yet bodies have no goal. Purpose is of the mind. And minds can change as they desire. What they are and all their attributes, they cannot change. But what they hold as purpose can be changed, and body states must shift accordingly. Of itself the body can do nothing. See it as means to hurt, and it is hurt. See it as means to heal, and it is healed.
36 You can but hurt yourself. This has been oft repeated but is difficult to grasp as yet. To minds intent on specialness, it is impossible. Yet to those who wish to heal and not attack, it is quite obvious. The purpose of attack is in the mind, and its effects are felt but where it is. Nor is mind limited; so must it be that harmful purpose hurts the mind as one. Nothing could make less sense to specialness. Nothing could make more sense to miracles. For miracles are merely change of purpose from hurt to healing.
37 This shift in purpose does "endanger" specialness but only in the sense that all illusions are "threatened" by the truth. They will not stand before it. Yet what comfort has ever been in them that you would keep the gift your Father asks from Him and give it there instead? Given to Him, the universe is yours. Offered to them, no gifts can be returned. What you have given specialness has left you bankrupt and your treasure house barren and empty with an open door inviting everything that would disturb your peace to enter and destroy.
38 Long ago we said consider not the means by which salvation is attained nor how to reach it. But do consider, and consider well, whether it is your wish that you might see your brother sinless. To specialness the answer must be "no." A sinless brother is its enemy, while sin, if it were possible, would be its friend. Your brother's sins would justify itself and give it meaning that the truth denies. All that is real proclaims his sinlessness. All that is false proclaims his sins as real. If he is sinful, then is your reality not real but just a dream of specialness which lasts an instant, crumbling into dust.
39 Do not defend this senseless dream in which God is bereft of what He loves and you remain beyond salvation. Only this is certain in this shifting world which has no meaning in reality: when peace is not with you entirely and when you suffer pain of any kind, you have beheld some sin within your brother and have rejoiced at what you thought was there. Your specialness seemed safe because of it. And thus you saved what you appointed to be your savior and crucified the one whom God has given you instead. So are you bound with him, for you are one. And so is specialness his "enemy" and yours as well.

VI. The Resolution of the Dream  
40 The Christ in you is very still. He looks on what He loves and knows it as Himself. And thus does He rejoice at what He sees because He knows that it is one with Him and with His Father. Specialness, too, takes joy in what it sees, although it is not true. Yet what you seek for is a source of joy as you conceive it. What you wish is true for you. Nor is it possible that you can wish for something and lack faith that it is so. Wishing makes real, as surely as does will create. The power of a wish upholds illusions as strongly as does love extend itself, except that one deludes; the other heals.
41 There is no dream of specialness---however hidden or disguised the form, however lovely it may seem to be, however much it delicately offers the hope of peace and the escape from pain---in which you suffer not your condemnation. In dreams, effect and cause are interchanged, for here the maker of the dream believes that what he made is happening to him. He does not realize he picked a thread from here, a scrap from there, and wove a picture out of nothing. For the parts do not belong together, and the whole contributes nothing to the parts to give them meaning.
42 Where could your peace arise but from forgiveness? The Christ in you looks only on the truth and sees no condemnation that could need forgiveness. He is at peace because He sees no sin. Identify with Him, and what has He that you have not? He is your eyes, your ears, your hands, your feet. How gentle are the sights He sees, the sounds He hears. How beautiful His hand that holds His brother's, and how lovingly He walks beside him, showing him what can be seen and heard and where he will see nothing and there is no sound to hear.
43 Yet let your specialness direct his way, and you will follow. And both will walk in danger, each intent, in the dark forest of the sightless, unlit but by the shifting tiny gleams that spark an instant from the fireflies of sin and then go out, to lead the other to a nameless precipice and hurl him over it. For what can specialness delight in but to kill? What does it seek for but the sight of death? Where does it lead but to destruction? Yet think not that it looked upon your brother first, nor hated him before it hated you. The sin its eyes behold in him and love to look upon, it saw in you and looks on still with joy. Yet is it joy to look upon decay and madness and believe this crumbling thing, with flesh already loosened from the bone and sightless holes for eyes, is like yourself?
44 Rejoice you have no eyes with which to see, no ears to listen, and no hands to hold nor feet to guide. Be glad that only Christ can lend you His while you have need of them. They are illusions too, as much as yours. And yet because they serve a different purpose, the strength their purpose holds is given them. And what they see and hear and hold and lead is given light that you may lead as you were led.
45 The Christ in you is very still. He knows where you are going, and He leads you there in gentleness and blessing all the way. His love for God replaces all the fear you thought you saw within yourself. His holiness shows you Himself in him whose hand you hold and whom you lead to Him. And what you see is like yourself. For what but Christ is there to see and hear and love and follow home? He looked upon you first but recognized that you were not complete. And so He sought for your completion in each living thing that He beholds and loves. And seeks it still, that each might offer you the love of God.
46 Yet is He quiet, for He knows that love is in you now and safely held in you by that same hand that holds your brother's in your own. Christ's hand holds all His brothers in Himself. He gives them vision for their sightless eyes and sings to them of Heaven that their ears may hear no more the sound of battle and of death. He reaches through them, holding out His hand that everyone may bless all living things and see their holiness. And He rejoices that these sights are yours to look upon with Him and share His joy. His perfect lack of specialness He offers you that you may save all living things from death, receiving from each one the gift of life that your forgiveness offers to your Self. The sight of Christ is all there is to see. The song of Christ is all there is to hear. The hand of Christ is all there is to hold. There is no journey but to walk with Him.
47 You who would be content with specialness and seek salvation in a war with love, consider this: the holy Lord of Heaven has Himself come down to you to offer you your own completion. What is His is yours because in your completion is His Own. He Who willed not to be without His Son could never will that you be brotherless. And would He give a brother unto you except he be as perfect as yourself and just as like to Him in holiness as you must be?
48 There must be doubt before there can be conflict. And every doubt must be about yourself. Christ has no doubt, and from His certainty His quiet comes. He will exchange His certainty for all your doubts if you agree that He is one with you and that this Oneness is endless, timeless, and within your grasp because your hands are His. He is within you, yet He walks beside you and before, leading the way that He must go to find Himself complete. His quietness becomes your certainty. And where is doubt when certainty has come?
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