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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 24 SPECIALNESS AND SEPARATION
IV. THE FORGIVENESS OF SPECIALNESS
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
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 be 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?
L e s s o n 260
Let me remember God created me.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Father, I did not make myself, although
in my insanity I thought I did.
Yet as Your Thought, I have not left my Source,
remaining part of What created me.
Your Son, my Father, calls on You today.
Let me remember You created me.
Let me remember my identity.
And let my sinlessness arise again
before Christ's vision, through which I would look
upon my brothers and myself today.
Now is our Source remembered, and Therein
we find our true Identity at last.
Holy indeed are we, because our Source
can know no sin. And we who are His Sons
are like each other and alike to Him.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Let me remember God created me.
Today, we are reminded again that there is no need to look for answers to the question of "Who am I?" We keep wondering about our identities because we have made up a self that is not who we are. We are convinced we are bodies, and then our false self-concepts, beliefs, values, and perceived needs uphold this false identity. The beliefs we hold are both personal and cultural and are deeply ingrained in us. In fact, Jesus tells us they have been overlearned, which is why it takes a lot of discipline, constant mind training, and a lot of practice to undo what we have accepted as true about who we are. "Now does your ancient overlearning stand implacable before the Voice of truth, and teach you that Its lessons are not true; too hard to learn, too difficult to see, and too opposed to what is really true." (T.31.I.5.4) (ACIM OE T.31.I.5) Jesus tells us, "You have exerted great effort to preserve what you made because it was not true." (T.6.V.C.10.5) (ACIM OE T.6. V.c.95) Now we defend our image, our body, and our belief system, always staying vigilant in its protection.
We could choose instead to be vigilant on behalf of truth so we could remember the truth of who we really are. "Your vigilance is the sign that you want Him to guide you. Vigilance does require effort, but only until you learn that effort itself is unnecessary." (T.6.V.C.10.3-4) (ACIM OE T.6. V.c.95) "Only this can cancel out the need for effort, and call upon the being which you both have and are." (T.6.V.C.10.7) (ACIM OE T.6. V.c.95)
When we recognize we have been mistaken, and we are still as God created us, there is no more effort to be made. Until then, we have to remind ourselves that we are like the sunbeam to the sun. The sun has determined the nature of the sunbeam, just as God has determined our nature as pure and sinless. It cannot be otherwise. We are still part of our Source. (W.260.1.2) In our insanity, we thought we made ourselves. The important thing is to ask for help in undoing all that stands in the way of our true identity as we say, "Let me remember my Identity." (W.260.1.5) There is nothing to pay for or atone for. The door to Heaven is open. We have never left our Source. "Ideas leave not their source." (W.132.5.3) We are an idea in the Mind of God.
The way I remember who I am as God's Son is through forgiveness. One brother is all brothers. We are all the same---all from the same Source. We all share the same interests and same nature as the One Self. If I attack you, I am only attacking myself. God's love blesses all equally. If I hate my brothers or judge them, I am declaring my will as different from God's. I ask for help because I want to see who my brother really is and to know my own identity.
Healing the separation comes through healing our relationships. "Peace to your holy relationship, which has the power to hold the unity of the Son of God together." (T.20.V.2.5) (ACIM OE T.20.VI.38) Jesus goes on to say our healing lies only in recognizing our joint will. When we recognize our one need, which is to awaken from this dream, we recognize our sameness. Our differences only appear to conceal the goal we all share. It is in forgiving our brothers that we find our true identity. "Now our Source is remembered, and Therein we find our true Identity at last." (W.260.2.1)
In every situation that seems to bring distress, pain, difficulty, conflict, or confusion, there is a gift of grace and liberation. In bringing the problem to the solution, God's grace comes to our awareness. Thus, every problem can bring us a gift when we refrain from trying to solve it independent of the help of the Holy Spirit. When we look at every issue that comes up in our lives without judgment, it means we are looking with Jesus instead of with the ego. When we are willing to be defenseless in investigating our fears and allowing the Holy Spirit to reinterpret them for us, grace will shine through. We are worth the effort to give the time and the discipline it takes to unlock our defenses so that Love can enter. When we set up defenses against feeling our pain and discomfort, we are defending against God's Love.
Father, I did not make myself, although in my insanity I thought I did. Yet as Your Thought, I have not left my Source, remaining part of Who created me."
(W.260.1.1-2) We are not our past, our mistakes, our upbringings, nor the stories we tell about our lives. We are awesome and glorious beings created by Love, and through forgiveness, we will see everyone else in the same way so we can know our brothers as our Self. "And we who are His Sons are like each other, and alike to Him. " (W.260.2.3)
Today, I heard of a man who was climbing in Jasper and felt he just could not go on. He had been hurt, seemed to be out of his range, and not sure of his whereabouts. In the midst of his fear and pain, he kept reminding himself he was invulnerable, created by God, not his body but safe and protected. It gave him strength, courage, and hope. If we could bring our fears to the truth in every circumstance, our minds could be returned to peace, which is our natural state. In releasing our fears and reminding ourselves of the truth, we can find peace in the midst of turmoil, whether climbing a mountain in dangerous circumstances or in the midst of conflict with our partner. Remembering the truth will take us out of the rant, out of our tantrums, and out of our need to be right. Is it easy? No indeed, only because we make it difficult, but when we surrender and commit to peace, the way through any circumstance is always available to us.
To have this Lesson really come alive in our minds, we need to remember we did not make ourselves, but we are a Thought in God's mind. Yet we feel like we have shaped our identity, and we continue to shape it with our actions, values, and beliefs. We also assess how the world responds to us, which also determines how we think about ourselves. We have an identity we think we have made, and now we compare ourselves to others to see if we are more or less special. Whether we attack or do good deeds, our identity seems to keep changing. Yet the truth of ourselves is beyond all of our acts and deeds. We are not a blank slate at birth, shaped by events of our lives. We have made a choice to be here and to live out a script, chosen by the mind as are the characters that show up in our dream. The events that seem painful to the ego can be our most powerful motivators to look for another way and are thus joyous to the Spirit.
What I find helpful with this practice today is not only to try to get in touch with the truth of my Identity as a complete and perfect thought in God's Mind but throughout the day, when painful feelings or self-attacking thoughts come up, to pray: "Let me remember You created me. Let me remember my Identity." (W.260.1.4-5) It is a good antidote to thoughts of guilt, despair, and depression. When I have done something attacking and I feel down about myself, I can look at those feelings and bring them to the Holy Spirit, remembering again the truth of my creation. We cannot change ourselves. We have not made ourselves. We are God's creation---a Thought in His Mind---totally pure and untouchable. Yes, in the illusion, there are things we have done that we are ashamed of, feel guilty about, or feel unworthy as a result, but these are all part of the illusory story of our lives and the secrets we hold in darkness we need to bring to the light. We can then have an experience of the unlimited, whole, holy, beautiful, radiant, and pure creation of God that we are. This is the holy instant---a glimpse of our eternal nature.
Love and blessings, Sarah
IV. The Forgiveness of Specialness
26 Forgiveness is the end of specialness. Only illusions can be forgiven, and then they disappear. Forgiveness is release from
all illusions, and that is why it is impossible but partly to forgive. No one who clings to one illusion can see himself as sinless, for he holds one error to himself as lovely still. And so he calls it "unforgivable" and makes it sin. How can he then
give his forgiveness wholly, when he would not receive it for himself? For it is sure he would receive it wholly the instant that he gave it so. And thus his secret guilt would disappear, forgiven by himself.
27 Whatever form of specialness you cherish, you have made sin. Inviolate it stands, strongly defended with all your puny might against the Will of God. And thus it stands against yourself;
your enemy, not God's. So does it seem to split you off from God and make you separate from Him as its defender. You would protect what God created not. And yet this idol that seems to
give you power has taken it away. For you have given your brother's birthright to it, leaving him alone and unforgiven and yourself in sin beside him, both in misery before the idol that can save you not.
28 It is not
you that is so vulnerable and open to attack that just a word, a little whisper that you do not like, a circumstance that suits you not, or an event that you did not anticipate upsets your world and hurls it into chaos. Truth is not frail. Illusions leave it perfectly unmoved [and undisturbed]. But specialness is
not the truth in you.
It can be thrown off balance by anything. What rests on nothing
never can be stable. However large and overblown it seems to be, it still must rock and turn and whirl about with every breeze.
29 Without foundation nothing is secure. Would God have left His Son in such a state, where safety has no meaning? No, His Son is safe, resting on Him. It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes or creeps or crawls or even lives at all. Nothing is safe from its attack, and it is safe from nothing. It will forever more be unforgiving, for that is what it
is-a secret vow that what God wants for you will never be and that you will oppose His Will forever. Nor is it possible the two can ever be the same while specialness stands like a flaming sword of death between them and makes them "enemies."
30 God asks for your forgiveness. He would have no separation, like an alien will, rise between what He wills for you and what you will. They
are the same, for neither one wills specialness. How could they will the death of love itself? Yet they are powerless to make attack upon illusions. They are not bodies; as One Mind they wait for all illusions to be brought to them and left behind. Salvation challenges not even death. And God Himself, Who knows that death is not your will, must say, "Thy will be done" because
you think it
31 Forgive the great Creator of the universe, the Source of life, of love and holiness, the perfect Father of a perfect Son, for your illusions of your specialness. Here is the hell you chose to be your home. He chose not this for you. Ask not He enter this. The way is barred to love and to salvation. Yet if you would release your brother from the depths of hell, you have forgiven Him Whose Will it is you rest forever in the arms of peace in perfect safety and without the heat and malice of one thought of specialness to mar your rest. Forgive the Holy One the specialness He could not give and which you made instead.
32 The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see. Freedom and peace and joy stand there beside the bier on which they sleep and call them to come forth and waken from their dream of death. Yet they hear nothing. They are lost in dreams of specialness. They hate the call that would awaken them, and they curse God because He did not make their dream reality. Curse God and die, but not by Him Who made not death, but only in the dream. Open your eyes a little; see the savior God gave to you that you might look on him and give him back his birthright. It is
33 The slaves of specialness will yet be free. Such is the Will of God and of His Son. Would God condemn
Himself to hell and to damnation? And do
you will that this be done unto your savior? God calls to you from him to join His Will to save you
both from hell. Look on the print of nails upon his hands that he holds out for your forgiveness. God asks your mercy on His Son and on Himself. Deny them not. They ask of you but that your will be done. They seek your love that you may love yourself. Love not your specialness instead of them. The print of nails are on your hands as well. Forgive your Father. It was not His Will that you be crucified.
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