Lesson 267
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Forgiveness Blesses Both
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 25 THE REMEDY
III. THE SAVIOR FROM THE DARK

21 Forgive your brother, and you cannot separate yourself from him nor from his Father. You need no forgiveness, for the wholly pure have never sinned. Give then what He has given you that you may see His Son as one and thank his Father as He thanks you. Nor believe that all His praise is given not to you. For what you give is His, and giving it you learn to understand His gift to you. And give the Holy Spirit what He offers unto the Father and the Son alike. Nothing has power over you except His Will and yours, who but extend His Will. It was for this you were created and your brother with you and at one with you.
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
What is the Body
WHAT IS THE BODY?

<AUDIO><VIDEO>
 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
 
   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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DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook
 L e s s o n 267
My heart is beating in the peace of God.


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   Surrounding me is all the life that God  
   created in His Love. It <calls to> me
   in every heartbeat and in every breath;
   in every action and in every thought.
   Peace fills my heart, and floods my body with
   the purpose of forgiveness. Now my mind
   is healed, and all I need to save the world
   is given me. Each heartbeat [gives] me peace;
   each breath infuses me with strength. I am
   a messenger of God, directed by
   His Voice, sustained by Him in love, and held
   forever quiet and at peace within
   His <loving> arms. Each heartbeat calls His Name,
   and every one is answered by His Voice,
   [directing me to be] at home in Him.
 
    Let me attend Your Answer, not my own.
    Father, my heart is beating in the peace
    the Heart of Love created. It is there
    and only there that I can be at home.
 
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
  
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA

LESSON 267      
My heart is beating in the peace of God.

Sarah's Commentary:  
     
All ten Lessons we are doing now follow the section, "What is the Body?" (W.II.Q5) It is recommended that this section be read daily together with the Lesson. The body is described as impermanent and "proof" that God's eternal Son can be destroyed and made to be fearful within a dream of fear. Yet, in spite of this, Jesus says, "The body is the means by which God's Son returns to sanity." (W.PII.Q5.4.1) This means the body can be turned to a new purpose, no longer taking its orders from the wrong mind. When we are no longer using it on behalf of the ego, it becomes our way back to the mind. "Though it was made to fence him into hell without escape, yet has the goal of Heaven been exchanged for the pursuit of hell." (W.PII.Q5.4.2)
 
What, we may wonder, is the pursuit of hell? It is to use the body lovelessly. To use it lovelessly is to use it for attack and take on more guilt. We send it on missions to bring us what we believe will serve us, yet what we get is more pain and suffering. When we turn to the Holy Spirit and listen to His Voice to guide our actions, the body becomes an instrument for expressing and extending love in the world. "Health is the result of relinquishing all attempts to use the body lovelessly." (T.8.VIII.9.9) (ACIM OE T.8.VIII.79) To use it in service to the Holy Spirit is to use it for the purpose of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a reflection of God's Love in this world and is the closest we come to knowing love. Only in complete forgiveness do we feel our hearts beating in the peace of God. We can never feel deep peace while we are sending the body on quests that serve the ego.
 
"I am a messenger of God, directed by His Voice, sustained by Him in love, and held forever quiet and at peace within His loving Arms." (W.267.1.6) This raises the question about behavior. The Course does not give any guidelines for behavior on the level of form. Rather, it is teaching us to expose our attacking and judgmental thoughts so the mind can be healed. Only then will the characteristics of a teacher of God, described in the Manual, flow naturally from the healed mind. These characteristics are not meant to be "exercised" or "practiced" while there are underlying beliefs in opposition to them. In other words, the Course is only about the healing of our false concepts and beliefs. When they are healed, behavior follows naturally. As Jesus tells us, "You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly." (T.1.III.6.5) (ACIM OE T.1.I.64)
 
Further, he says, "I have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind." (T.4.IV.2.1) (ACIM OE T.4.V.57)
 
"I have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same Mind to do this. This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose Will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result." (T.5.II.12.1-3) (ACIM OE T.5.IV.30)
 
"Yet we have learned that behavior is not the level for either teaching or learning, since you can act in accordance with what you do not believe." (T.7.V.2.4) (ACIM OE T.7.VI.40)
 
And later in the text, "Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." (T.21.in.1.7) (ACIM OE T.21.I.1)
 
In perhaps the clearest discussion of this point in the Course, Jesus says, "You would not excuse insane behavior on your part by saying you could not help it. Why should you condone insane thinking? There is a confusion here that you would do well to look at clearly. You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think." (T.2.VI.2.2-5) (ACIM OE T.2.IV.73) "It is pointless to believe that controlling the outcome of misthought can result in healing." (T.2.VI.3.1) (ACIM OE T.2.IV.74) "You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness. You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where change is possible. Change does not mean anything at the symptom [behavioral] level, where it cannot work." (T.2.VI.3.4-7) (ACIM OE T.2.IV.74)
 
Everything in us yearns for God. "Each heartbeat calls His Name," (W.267.1.7) and with each call, we are answered. We continually have His Answer, and if we don't hear it, we are listening to our own voice. We are surrounded by ". . . all the life that God created in His Love." (W.267.1.1) Somewhere in us, we know this is true. We know any substitute we try to find in the world to make us happy invariably does not completely fill our longing for our home. We yearn for peace, and "It is there and only there that I can be at home," (W.267.2.3) in the "Heart of Love." (W.267.2.2)
 
Jesus reminds us that there is nothing God can give us except the knowledge of Himself. "What else is there to give? The belief that you could give and get something else, something outside yourself, has cost you the awareness of Heaven and of your Identity." (T.18.VI.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.18.VII.50) We have made the body. "Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation, and used for purposes of love?" (T.18.VI.5.1) (ACIM OE T.18.VII.53)
 
With desire comes an expansion of awareness, which ". . . calls to you to be yourself, within its safe embrace." (T.18. VI.14.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VII.62) This really resonates with me. Don't we all experience how exhausting it is to hold up the image and the self-concept we have made? Bringing shame and guilt to the surface and bringing our secret thoughts out of the darkness creates space for the light we are to shine through. We don't easily do this because we judge some thoughts and some beliefs to have more value than others. We think a small irritation is more acceptable than murderous thoughts, but thoughts are all the same. They all take away our peace. There is no order of differences in the illusion.
 
A release is offered in the holy instant when we experience safety in the Arms of Love. Of course, this is a metaphor, as God has no arms and is not even outside of us. Yet we feel the comfort of His presence when all that interferes with peace is released through forgiveness. Peace is not found in our memories of the past nor in some future goals. Jesus says, "Perhaps you think it is your childhood home that you would find again. The childhood of your body, and its place of shelter, are a memory now so distorted that you merely hold a picture of a past that never happened. Yet there is a Child in you Who seeks His Father's house, and knows that He is alien here. This childhood is eternal, with an innocence that will endure forever." (W.182.4.1-4)
 
"It is this Child in you your Father knows as His Own Son. It is this Child Who knows His Father. He desires to go home so deeply, so unceasingly, His voice cries unto you to let Him rest a while. He does not ask for more than just a few instants of respite; just an interval in which He can return to breathe again the holy air that fills His Father's house." (W.182.5.1-4)
 
Can you feel the deep yearning in your heart for the rest only to be found in the holy air of our Father's house? Our deep yearning and deep desire keep us on this path. This yearning keeps us motivated to do the mind watching. With every breath today and with every heartbeat, let us remember why we are here and put our minds to this holy purpose of extending the love we are to our brothers. Now the body is made holy by how it is being used by the right mind rather than how we treat it to try to maintain its well-being. Our healed thoughts are expressed through the body and thus reinforce the sanity in the mind. Thus, the behaviors will follow naturally from our healed thoughts.
 
Let peace fill your heart and flood your body with the purpose of forgiveness today (W.267.1.3) so your healed mind can extend to all. Thus, our call to Him is answered and our own thoughts are cleared away so we can hear the still quiet Voice of Truth. Today, we choose God's Answer in everything rather than our own.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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ACIM Original Edition
III. The Savior from the Dark   
 
12 Is it not evident that what the body's eyes perceive fills you with fear? Perhaps you think you find a hope of satisfaction there. Perhaps you fancy to attain some peace and satisfaction in the world as you perceive it. Yet it must be evident the outcome does not change. Despite your hopes and fancies, always does despair result. And there is no exception, nor will there ever be. The only value that the past can hold is that you learn it gave you no rewards that you would want to keep. For only thus will you be willing to relinquish it and have it gone forever.
 
13 Is it not strange that you should cherish still some hope of satisfaction from the world you see? In no respect at any time or place has anything but fear and guilt been your reward. How long is needed for you to realize the chance of change in this respect is hardly worth delaying change that might result in better outcome? For one thing is sure-the way you see, and long have seen, gives no support to base your future hopes and no suggestions of success at all. To place your hopes where no hope lies must make you hopeless. Yet is this hopelessness your choice, while you would seek for hope where none is ever found.
 
14 Is it not also true that you have found some hope apart from this-some glimmering, inconstant, wavering, yet dimly seen, that hopefulness is warranted on grounds that are not in this world? And yet your hope that they may still be here prevents you still from giving up the hopeless and unrewarding task you set yourself. Can it make sense to hold the fixed belief that there is reason to uphold pursuit of what has always failed on grounds that it will suddenly succeed and bring what it has never brought before?
 
15 Its past has failed. Be glad that it is gone within your mind to darken what is there. Take not the form for content, for the form is but a means for content. And the frame is but a means to hold the picture up so that it can be seen. A frame that hides the picture has no purpose. It cannot be a frame if it is what you see. Without the picture is the frame without its meaning. Its purpose is to set the picture off and not itself.
 
16 Who hangs an empty frame upon a wall and stands before it, deep in reverence, as if a masterpiece were there to see? Yet if you see your brother as a body, it is but this you do. The masterpiece that God has set within this frame is all there is to see. The body holds it for a while without obscuring it in any way. Yet what God has created needs no frame, for what He has created He supports and frames within Himself. His masterpiece He offers you to see. And would you rather see the frame instead of this? And see the picture not at all?
 
17 The Holy Spirit is the frame God set around the part of Him that you would see as separate. Yet its frame is joined to its Creator, one with Him and with His masterpiece. This is its purpose, and you do not make the frame into the picture when you choose to see it in its place. The frame that God has given it but serves His purpose, not yours apart from His. It is your separate purpose that obscures the picture and cherishes the frame instead of it. Yet God has set His masterpiece within a frame that will endure forever when yours has crumbled into dust. But think you not the picture is destroyed in any way. What God creates is safe from all corruption, unchanged and perfect in eternity.
 
18 Accept God's frame instead of yours, and you will see the masterpiece. Look at its loveliness, and understand the Mind that thought it, not in flesh and bones, but in a frame as lovely as Itself. Its holiness lights up the sinlessness the frame of darkness hides and casts a veil of light across the picture's face, which but reflects the light that shines from it to its Creator. Think not this face was ever darkened because you saw it in a frame of death. God kept it safe that you might look on it and see the holiness that He has given it.
 
19 Within the darkness, see the savior from the dark and understand your brother as his Father's Mind shows him to you. He will step forth from darkness as you look on him, and you will see the dark no more. The darkness touched him not, nor you who brought him forth for you to look upon. His sinlessness but pictures yours. His gentleness becomes your strength, and both will gladly look within and see the holiness that must be there because of what you looked upon in him. He is the frame in which your holiness is set, and what God gave him must be given you. However much he overlooks the masterpiece in him and sees only a frame of darkness, it is still your only function to behold in him what he sees not. And in this seeing is the vision shared that looks on Christ instead of seeing death.
 
20 How could the Lord of Heaven not be glad if you appreciate His masterpiece? What could He do but offer thanks to you who love His Son as He does? Would He not make known to you His love if you but share His praise of what He loves? God cherishes creation as the perfect Father that He is. And so His joy is made complete when any part of Him joins in His praise, to share His joy. This brother is His perfect gift to you. And He is glad and thankful when you thank His perfect Son for being what he is. And all His thanks and gladness shine on you who would complete His joy along with Him. And thus is yours completed. Not one ray of darkness can be seen by those who will to make their Father's happiness complete and theirs along with His. The gratitude of God Himself is freely offered to everyone who shares His purpose. It is not His Will to be alone. And neither is it yours.
 
21 Forgive your brother, and you cannot separate yourself from him nor from his Father. You need no forgiveness, for the wholly pure have never sinned. Give then what He has given you that you may see His Son as one and thank his Father as He thanks you. Nor believe that all His praise is given not to you. For what you give is His, and giving it you learn to understand His gift to you. And give the Holy Spirit what He offers unto the Father and the Son alike. Nothing has power over you except His Will and yours, who but extend His Will. It was for this you were created and your brother with you and at one with you.
 
22 You are the same, as God Himself is one and not divided in His Will. And you must have one purpose, since He gave the same to both of you. His Will is brought together as you join in will that you be made complete by offering completion to your brother. See not in him the sinfulness he sees, but give him honor that you may esteem yourself and him. To each of you is given the power of salvation that escape from darkness into light be yours to share; that you may see as one what never has been separate nor apart from all God's love as given equally.
 

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