Lesson 265
Love sees Love
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23 To the extent to which you value guilt, to that extent will you perceive a world in which attack is justified. To the extent to which you recognize that guilt is meaningless, to that extent will you perceive attack cannot be justified. This is in strict accord with vision's fundamental law: you see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there. Perception has no other law than this. The rest but stems from this, to hold it up and offer it support. This is perception's form adapted to this world of God's more basic law that love creates itself and nothing but itself.

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CHAPTER 25 IV-V, 23-36
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What is the Body
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   The body is a fence the Son of God
   imagines he has built to separate
   parts of his Self from other parts. It is
   within this fence he thinks he lives, to die
   as it decays and crumbles. For within
   this fence he thinks that he is safe from love.
   Identifying with <its safety>, he
   regards himself as <what his safety is>.
   How else could he be certain he remains
   within the body, keeping love outside?
   The body will not stay. Yet this he sees
   as double safety. For the Son of God's
   impermanence is "proof" his fences work,
   and do the task his mind [assigned] to them.
   For if his oneness still remained untouched,
   who could attack and who could be attacked?
   Who could be victor? Who could be his prey?
   Who could be victim? Who the murderer?
   And if he did not die, what proof is there
   that God's eternal Son [has] been destroyed?
   The body is a dream. Like other dreams,
   it sometimes seems to picture happiness,
   but can quite suddenly revert to fear,
   where every dream is born. For only love
   creates in truth, and truth can never fear.
   Made to be fearful, must the body serve
   the purpose given it. But we can change
   the purpose [which] the body will obey
   by changing what we think that it is for.
   The body is the means by which God's Son
   returns to sanity. Though it was made
   to fence him into hell without escape,
   yet has the goal of Heaven been exchanged
   for the pursuit of hell. The Son of God
   extends his hand to reach his brother, and
   to help him walk along the road with him.
   Now is the body holy. Now it serves
   to heal the mind that it was made to kill.
   You will identify with what you think
   will make you safe. Whatever it may be,
   you will believe that it is one with you.
   Your safety lies in truth and not in lies.
   Love is your safety. Fear does not exist.
   Identify with love, and you are safe.
   Identify with love, and you are home.
   Identify with love, and find your Self.
    ~ Original Hand Script  
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 265
Creation's gentleness is all I see.
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   I have indeed misunderstood the world,
   because I laid my "sins" on it, and saw
   them looking back at me. How fierce they seemed!
   And how deceived was I to think that what
   I feared was in the world, instead of in
   my mind alone. Today I see the world
   in the celestial gentleness with which
   creation shines. There is no fear in it.
   Let no appearance of my "sins" obscure
   the light of Heaven, shining on the world.
   What is reflected [here] is in God's Mind.
   The images I see reflect my thoughts.
   Yet is my mind at one with God's. And so
   I can perceive creation's gentleness.
    In quiet would I look upon the world,
    which but reflects Your Thoughts and mine as well.
    Let me remember that they are the same,
    and I will see creation's gentleness.
       ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
Creation's gentleness is all I see.

Sarah's Commentary:  
When gentleness is all I see, I recognize gentleness is all I am. This is a new kind of projection or, more appropriately, an extension of the gentleness in the mind. Everything we see in the world is simply a reflection of our own minds. This is why the Course constantly reminds us, "projection makes perception." (T.13.V.3.5) (ACIM OE T.12.V.35) In other words, all we look at in the world is what is in our own minds. Either guilt or our innocence is reflected back at us. In the Introduction to Chapter 21, Jesus quite clearly says that the world we see is "the outside picture of an inward condition." (T.21.IN.1.5) (ACIM OE T.21.I.1) We only see our own sins in another and fool ourselves into thinking they are not in our own minds but are, in fact, in others. We think we need to forgive someone else, when in fact, forgiveness is about releasing our own sins. "I have indeed misunderstood the world, because I laid my sins on it and saw them looking back at me." (W.265.1.1) It puts all of the responsibility for healing onto ourselves where all the power is.
In the Song of Prayer, Jesus tells us, "It is impossible to forgive another, for it is only your own sins you see in him. You want to see them there, and not in you. That is why the forgiveness of another is an illusion. Yet it is the only happy dream in all the world; the only one that does not lead to death. Only in someone else can you forgive yourself, for you have called him guilty of your sins, and in him must your innocence now be found. Who but the sinful need to be forgiven? And do not ever think you can see sin in anyone except yourself." (S.2.B.4)
When we are seeing sin in our brothers, we need to bring it back to our own minds and release the judgments we are holding there. Our brothers are just a reflection of our own minds. When we take responsibility for our projections, we are given an opportunity to see our self-attacking thoughts. Our thoughts create the battleground where we find ourselves when we are not at peace. To come to peace is to step out of this battleground by looking at the thoughts that keep us invested in the world.
Forgiveness requires that we look at our thoughts without judgment. It is to recognize that nothing outside of the mind can take away our peace. We need to uncover the beliefs that we are holding so we can release them and experience the truth. We hold onto our beliefs and opinions because we think that they keep us safe and secure. The truth of our magnificent Self is always available, but covered over and protected by our defenses. We can be grateful to have everything exposed, as this is where our healing lies. Yes, it can get pretty rough as we go through the darkness, but we don't go alone. We hold the hand of Jesus, who willingly goes there with us.
All meaning we give any situation comes from our own minds. So when a brother seems to attack us or creates situations or events that seem difficult for us to overlook, he is offering us an opportunity to look within at what we are holding in the mind that does not serve us. When we determine he is unworthy of love and deserving of punishment and we blame him for what we are feeling, we are missing the opportunity to heal what is being revealed to us in this encounter. Everyone is a mirror in which we see our own unhealed minds.
We are called to see that we are all the same. We all make mistakes. Yet we are all still the innocent Son of God, worthy of love. When we don't want to take responsibility for the guilt in our minds, we project it onto someone we think is more deserving of it. Thus, we believe we have gotten rid of it. Now we see them as guilty, and we believe we are off the hook. What this attempts to do is to buy our innocence at the expense of our brothers, the guilty ones. We hope God is watching and will see their guilt and punish them rather than us; but of course, this does not work. True innocence is not bought at the expense of our brothers.
We prefer to see the guilt outside ourselves because then we don't have to take responsibility for it as coming from our own minds. Yet what the ego has kept from our awareness is that by seeing the guilt in others, we keep it. By holding attack thoughts, we expect to be attacked back. We expect punishment as the cycle of sin, guilt, and fear continues, but we can choose to stop it, look at it, and release it to the Holy Spirit. As we do this practice, we come to remember who we are and who our brothers are in truth. The beauty of this shift in the mind is such a gift! We are all worth this effort.
The many opportunities we have to watch our own minds and take responsibility for our projections can all be welcomed because now we can see that everything "out there" is only a reflection of our own thoughts. (W.265.1.8) So much of our own guilt is buried, which is why we need this outward picture of our inward condition in order to uncover the guilt from which we have become disassociated. Every upsetting situation is just a misperception on our part. We need to look at why we are calling this witness to our guilt and fear. If we want to know our own divinity, we need to look at it all and ask to see how every situation has the potential in it to support our awakening if we choose to use it for that purpose. So when we start to embrace it all, we become happy learners and the world provides us with a perfect classroom and many opportunities for forgiveness. It is an inner journey.
Through healing, we can come to a place where only Creation's gentleness is seen everywhere. When we are seeing through true perception, no matter what the situation looks like, we can see beyond appearances to the innocence behind everything our eyes report. We then look on everyone with "holy eyes."
I love the word gentleness. It comes up very often in the Course with nearly 200 references. Most of the references are about the gentleness of the Holy Spirit working with us. We need the experience of His gentleness because of our terror of where He is leading us. Our fear is that He will take us to our own destruction, but Jesus assures us otherwise. We wake up to the reality that we are immortal beings of love and light.
We shy away from the idea of gentleness because it seems ineffectual in the face of attack. We may think of it as weakness. Yet we are told in the Manual for Teachers that true might lies in gentleness. In the Manual, gentleness is described as a characteristic of all the teachers of God. Harm is considered a weakness and keeps us in hell, whereas gentleness is called "limitless strength." (M.4.IV.2.7) It is where our might comes from because it comes from joining our will with our Source. It is the recognition, "Harm is impossible for God's teachers." (M.4.IV.1.1) It is a feeling of total safety. From this place of safety, there is nothing to defend. While gentleness may be seen as weakness in the world, true gentleness is total strength. The harmless are mighty, not wimpy because they fear nothing. They know their reality is not the body but the eternal Self.
What makes the gentle so strong is the realization that attacking, harmful, intolerant, and hurtful thoughts do not come from our Source--- God---and therefore they have no power. Only by joining our thoughts with Him, Who is our Source, does our true will, which has always been one with God's, have unlimited power. Today, we have the opportunity to "see the world in the celestial gentleness with which creation shines." (W.265.1.4) To do so, we look past the forms and past the dream figures (other bodies) to see the truth of who our brother is. Yet this is not possible if we let our sins "obscure the light of Heaven shining on the world." (W.265.1.6) Because our minds are one with God, (W.265.1.10) we have the capacity to see everyone as God does. "And so I can perceive creation's gentleness." (W.265.1.10) If I don't, it is only because I am holding thoughts of judgment and condemnation. Judging myself for the thoughts I hold is not helpful. We must feel everything and allow the hatred in the mind to be exposed.
Today, be willing to look at the judgments you are holding about anyone and be willing to recognize that you are only seeing your own sins projected outward. Be willing to be shown another way by questioning your judgments and releasing your stories about the situation. They are all false. Now the Holy Spirit can show you another way. All you have to do is willingly give over your thoughts to Him. Do not try to do what only He can do. In other words, this is not about trying to fix yourself or trying to undo your own perspectives. It is about realizing guilt is a mistake and you can smile at your misperceptions and ask to see truly. He will show you your brother's reality shining with celestial gentleness, and you will know this about yourself as well.
In the context of our reading, "What is the Body?" (W.PII.Q5), we are urged to change the purpose that we give to the body. While we are here, our purpose is not to love or hate the body but to use it for a gentle purpose, extending love and forgiveness until we can transcend it by recognizing we are not the dream figure at all but the dreamer of this dream. Through forgiveness, we can have a happier dream; and it can be now, in this very moment. It requires discipline and determination to clear the mind of our projections with the help of the Holy Spirit. Thus, space is made for the miracle. Our part is simply to look at the ego and be willing to have our judgments released.
Today, I looked at the expectations I have of my partner, who has been very involved in activities where I felt ignored and neglected. As I reflected on what I was feeling and thus demanding, I saw how I was projecting guilt onto my brother and expecting love to come from outside my own mind. I forgot that I am the love, and if I am not feeling it, I am blocking it with my judgments and expectations. Whatever is lacking in any relationship is what we are not giving to it. It is not his responsibility to meet my needs and expectations that I set up for how I should be treated in order to feel loved. Love cannot be extracted from outside of our own minds. Remembering that we are love, and we are 100% responsible for our happiness, helps us look at our own blocks to remembering the truth. The truth is, we are not lacking in love. The truth is, we are the love we are seeking in the world.
Love and blessings, Sarah

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A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Five

The Remedy 
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CHAPTER 25 IV-V, 23-36
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IV. The Fundamental Law of Perception 
23 To the extent to which you value guilt, to that extent will you perceive a world in which attack is justified. To the extent to which you recognize that guilt is meaningless, to that extent will you perceive attack cannot be justified. This is in strict accord with vision's fundamental law: you see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there. Perception has no other law than this. The rest but stems from this, to hold it up and offer it support. This is perception's form adapted to this world of God's more basic law that love creates itself and nothing but itself.
24 God's laws do not obtain directly to a world perception rules, for such a world could not have been created by the Mind to which perception has no meaning. Yet are His laws reflected everywhere. Not that the world where this reflection is, is real at all. Only because His Son believes it is, and from His Son's belief He could not let Himself be separate entirely. He could not enter His Son's insanity with him, but He could be sure His sanity went there with him so he could not be lost forever in the madness of his wish.
25 Perception rests on choosing; knowledge does not. Knowledge has but one law because it has but one Creator. But this world has two who made it, and they do not see it as the same. To each it has a different purpose, and to each it is a perfect means to serve the goal for which it is perceived. For specialness it is the perfect frame to set it off-the perfect battleground to wage its wars, the perfect shelter for the illusions which it would make real. Not one but it upholds in its perception; not one but can be fully justified.
26 There is another Maker of the world, the simultaneous Corrector of the mad belief that anything could be established and maintained without some link that kept it still within the laws of God; not as the law itself upholds the universe as God created it, but in some form adapted to the need the Son of God believes he has. Corrected error is the error's end. And thus has God protected still His Son, even in error. There is another purpose in the world that error made because it has another Maker Who can reconcile its goal with His Creator's purpose. In His perception of the world, nothing is seen but justifies forgiveness and the sight of perfect sinlessness. Nothing arises but is met with instant and complete forgiveness.
27 Nothing remains an instant to obscure the sinlessness that shines unchanged beyond the pitiful attempts of specialness to put it out of mind where it must be and light the body up instead of it. The lamps of Heaven are not for it to choose to see them where it will. If it elects to see them elsewhere from their home, as if they lit a place where they could never be, and you agree, then must the Maker of the world correct your error, lest you remain in darkness where the lamps are not. Everyone here has entered darkness, yet no one has entered it alone. [Nor need he stay more than an instant.] For he has come with Heaven's Help within him ready to lead him out of darkness into light at any time.
28 The time he chooses can be any time, for help is there, awaiting but his choice. And when he chooses to avail himself of what is given him, then will he see each situation that he thought before was means to justify his anger turned to an event which justifies his love. He will hear plainly that the calls to war he heard before are really calls to peace. He will perceive that where he gave attack is but another altar where he can with equal ease and far more happiness bestow forgiveness. And he will reinterpret all temptation as just another chance to bring him joy. How can a misperception be a sin? Let all your brother's errors be to you nothing except a chance for you to see the workings of the Helper given you to see the world He made, instead of yours.
29 What then is justified? What do you want? For these two questions are the same. And when you see them as the same, your choice is made. For it is seeing them as one that brings release from the belief there are two ways to see. This world has much to offer to your peace and many chances to extend your own forgiveness. Such its purpose is to those who want to see peace and forgiveness descend on them and offer them the light.
30 The Maker of the world of gentleness has perfect power to offset the world of violence and hate that seems to stand between you and His gentleness. It is not there in His forgiving eyes. And therefore it need not be there in yours. Sin is the fixed belief perception cannot change. What has been damned is damned and damned forever, being forever unforgivable. If then it is forgiven, sin's perception must have been wrong. And thus is change made possible. The Holy Spirit too sees what He sees as far beyond the chance of change. But on His vision sin cannot encroach, for sin has been corrected by His sight. And thus it must have been an error, not a sin. For what it claimed could never be has been. Sin is attacked by punishment and so preserved. But to forgive it is to change its state from error into truth.
31 The Son of God could never sin, but he can wish for what would hurt him. And he has the power to think he can be hurt. What could this be except a misperception of himself? Is this a sin or a mistake, forgivable or not? Does he need help or condemnation? Is it your purpose that he be saved or damned? Forgetting not that what he is to you will make this choice your future? For you make it now, the instant when all time becomes a means to reach a goal. Make then your choice. But recognize that in this choice the purpose of the world you see is chosen and will be justified.
V. The Joining of Minds 
32 Minds that are joined and recognize they are can feel no guilt. For they cannot attack, and they rejoice that this is so, seeing their safety in this happy fact. Their joy is in the innocence they see. And thus they seek for it because it is their purpose to behold it and rejoice. Everyone seeks for what will bring him joy as he defines it. It is not the aim as such that varies. Yet it is the way in which the aim is seen that makes the choice of means inevitable and beyond the hope of change unless the aim is changed. And then the means are chosen once again, as what will bring rejoicing is defined another way and sought for differently.
33 Perception's basic law could thus be said, "You will rejoice at what you see because you see it to rejoice." And while you think that suffering and sin will bring you joy, so long will they be there for you to see. Nothing is harmful or beneficent apart from what you wish. It is your wish that makes it what it is in its effects on you. Because you chose it as a means to gain these same effects, believing them to be the bringers of rejoicing and of joy. Even in Heaven does this law obtain. The Son of God creates to bring him joy, sharing his Father's purpose in his own creation that his joy might be increased and God's along with his.
34 You makers of a world that is not so, take rest and comfort in another world where peace abides. This world you bring with you to all the weary eyes and tired hearts that look on sin and beat its sad refrain. From you can come their rest. From you can rise a world they will rejoice to look upon and where their hearts are glad. In you there is a vision which extends to all of them and covers them in gentleness and light. And in this widening world of light, the darkness they thought was there is pushed away until it is but distant shadows, far away, not long to be remembered as the sun shines them to nothingness. And all their "evil" thoughts and "sinful" hopes, their dreams of guilt and merciless revenge, and every wish to hurt and kill and die will disappear before the sun you bring.
35 Would you not do this for the love of God? And for yourself? For think what it would do for you. Your "evil" thoughts that haunt you now will seem increasingly remote and far away from you. And they go farther and farther off because the sun in you has risen that they may be pushed away before the light. They linger for a while, a little while, in twisted forms too far away for recognition and are gone forever. And in the sunlight you will stand in quiet, in innocence, and wholly unafraid. And from you will the rest you found extend, so that your peace can never fall away and leave you homeless. Those who offer peace to everyone have found a home in Heaven the world cannot destroy. For it is large enough to hold the world within its peace.
36 In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf that falls is given life in you. Each bird that ever sang will sing again in you. And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you. What aim can supersede the Will of God and of His Son that Heaven be restored to him for whom it was created as his only home? Nothing before and nothing after it. No other place, no other state nor time. Nothing beyond nor nearer. Nothing else. In any form. This can you bring to all the world and all the thoughts that entered it and were mistaken for a little while. How better could your own mistakes be brought to truth than by your willingness to bring the light of Heaven with you as you walk beyond the world of darkness into light?  
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