Lesson 269
To Each a Special Function
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50 And if the Holy Spirit can commute each sentence that you laid upon yourself into a blessing, then it cannot be a sin. Sin is the one thing in all the world that cannot change. It is immutable. And on its changelessness the world depends. The magic of the world can seem to hide the pain of sin from sinners and deceive with glitter and with guile. Yet each one knows the cost of sin is death. And so it is. For sin is a request for death, a wish to make this world's foundation sure as love, dependable as Heaven, and as strong as God Himself. The world is safe from love to everyone who thinks sin possible. Nor will it change. Yet is it possible what God created not should share the attributes of His creation when it opposes it in every way?  

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CHAPTER 25 VIII, 50-62
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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 269
My sight goes forth to look upon
Christ's face.
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     I ask Your blessing on my sight today.
    It is the means which You have chosen to
    become the way to show me my mistakes,
    and look beyond them. It is given me
    to find a new perception through the Guide
    You gave to me. And through His lessons to
    <surpass> perception and return to truth.
    I ask for the illusion which transcends
    all those I made. Today I choose to see
    a world forgiven, in which everyone
    shows me the face of Christ, and teaches me
    that what I look upon belongs to me;
    that nothing is except Your holy Son.
   Today our sight is blessed indeed. We share
   one vision, as we look upon the face
   of Him Whose Self is ours. We are one
   because of Him Who is the Son of God;
   of Him Who is our own Identity.
         ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
My sight goes forth to look upon Christ's face.

Sarah's Commentary:  
The illusion that transcends all those I made is the illusion of forgiveness. "I ask for the illusion which transcends all those I made." (W.269.1.4) It is an illusion because there is nothing to forgive, but it is an illusion that ends all illusions we have made because through forgiveness, we see beyond illusions to the truth. Through forgiveness, we see our mistakes and are helped to "look beyond them" (W.269.1.2) to the truth. Our sight is blessed so that we can see the Christ in our brothers instead of seeing our guilt in them. It is based on a choice we must make as it is not thrust upon us. We must desire to see our brothers' innocence, but first, we must want to see our own mistakes. We won't see the Christ in our brother without first recognizing our own judgments about him. What I want to see in my brother "belongs to me." (W.269.1.5) For as I see the Christ in my brother and see his innocence and his holiness, I will know my own. It is now a very familiar process to us and yet we need to be reminded again and again of the power of forgiveness. Whatever we give, we receive for ourselves as we give it.
If we understood that "All that I give is given to myself," (W.126) forgiveness would be effortless. We would be highly motivated to see innocence in everyone. There would be nothing to forgive. It is not about overlooking the terrible things someone has done. There is no gain to us in this kind of "charity." In fact, if I think you have done something to hurt me and yet I am required to forgive it, I am trying to forgive something I have made real. By bringing the error to the truth, the Holy Spirit heals our misperceptions, and we will then see that what we made real in our minds is not so. "It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts." (Manual for Teachers.17.4.2)
"If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified." (M.17.8.6) Ultimately, all of our anger comes only from our interpretations and that is what needs to be forgiven. "Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact." (M.17.4.1) The cause of my distress is never in the situation, but in my thoughts about it. It is only my thoughts that need to be brought to the truth.
When I am angry, irritated, confused, and disappointed with someone or simply don't like them, when I want them to change in some way so I can be happy, when I look at what someone should do or should not be doing, when I think about what I need from anyone for me to be happy, when I judge anyone, when I think about things I don't want to experience with someone, and when I want to win at someone's expense, then in all of these situations, I need to see: the projection of my own anger, my irritation, my confusion, my disappointment, my expectations, my judgments, my jealousies, and my own hatred. All of it is a projection of what is in my own mind. "Perception is a mirror, not a fact." (W.304.1.3) It is why it only takes one to heal any relationship. It does not require that we continue to be with the person in form for the relationship to be healed. It is only about what we are choosing in our own minds. The choice for truth requires the decision to forgive, "which You have chosen to become the way to show me my mistakes, and look beyond them." (W.269.1.2) The question is, "Am I willing?" And yes, it does take a lot of willingness when the ego is shouting for retribution.
Hate needs a target. "Thus were specifics made." (W.161.3.1) If I condemn others for gossiping about me or betraying me, I can be certain the judgment has started with my own unconscious guilt. Projecting it outward is a defense that protects us from looking within. We are convinced by our senses that what we see in the world is reality. The problem is that we have reversed cause and effect. Thus, we see events of the world as the cause of what we are feeling when, in fact, everything begins in our own minds. In other words, we have guilt in the mind that we don't want so we project it out and the world delivers the punishment we believe we have coming to us. Projection is how we disown responsibility for our own inward condition. Now, instead of unity and Oneness, we see a world of sickly forms.
This is our blasphemous sight. All of our self-attacks are seen in the sickly forms. With vision, we see the formless, divine nature of all beings. We see beyond the body and the personality to the essence of Being. None of this can happen by our own willpower. No matter how much we may want to see the Christ in our brother, it can only happen with the help of our Guide. Our part is to be willing to bring the blocks to true perception to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation.
Am I willing to let go of the way I set up the situation? Am I willing to allow a shift in my perception? It is simply a choice---a decision. The Holy Spirit is there in our minds, and help is available upon our sincere request. Notice how the ego resists. It yells loudly, "I am entitled to my way of seeing this situation. I am justified in my anger! And I am right!" Yet if someone says something to me that is painful, I can only be hurt if I believe this about myself. Otherwise, it would have no effect. The world is a mirror that shows me the state of my mind. How else would I ever know what is in my mind? How do I know the person who has just left me is not meant to be with me any longer? Simple. That person is no longer there! Our relationships are "the means which You have chosen to become the way to show me my mistakes, and look beyond them." (W.269.1.2)
Recently, I posted something on Facebook that reflected my thoughts about a political situation. The posting resulted in a comment that challenged my view. I immediately wanted to defend my position. Instead, I inquired as to what upset me about the comment. My first thought was of shame and guilt that I had done something that was not spiritual and thus did not live up to the concept I held of myself. I smiled as I noticed this thought and was grateful to see how I was trying to hold up a concept that blocked the truth of my Self. Earlier in the day, I had listened to Byron Katie who talked about the gift of criticism and how much she welcomed it into her life. I inquired about the gift that was there for me and recognized how what I saw as criticism was an opportunity to see the false self and see no value in it. It was another opportunity to give up the idea that we are separate.
Thus, it was a miracle that brought about a shift in perception to a place of peace, innocence, truth, and love, which can only happen when we are willing to bring our blocks to the Holy Spirit. The miracle allows for a change in the way we perceive now. Without thoughts of guilt, who would we be? How would we feel? What would we see? Only innocence! We would see the face of Christ (W.269.1.5) in everyone, and this is all there really is. What obscures it are the perceptions we have about the situation, the forms we see, the personalities we think define who others are and therefore ourselves. When the veil that keeps our sight focused on bodies, personalities, and behaviors of others, is lifted, the full glory of our Being is revealed to us in our brothers and in ourselves. "We are one because of Him Who is the Son of God; of Him Who is our own Identity." (W.269.2.3)
In practicing this Lesson today, think of people in your life with whom you have difficulties or challenges, and as you see them with your usual sight, recognize that this is not the truth of who they are, regardless of what they have done. Ask for help in releasing your judgments of them to see beyond "flesh and bone, and recognize that Christ has come to you." (W.161.12.3) Let the shining face of Christ be revealed to you and infuse you with peace and joy at the sight of holiness. This is who everyone is beyond the veil. This is the forgiven world. This is the truth about you. Allow forgiveness to show you the way to truth today. Take responsibility for what you are projecting onto others so you can know them for what they are in the light of Truth. Remember that others are not apart from you and are not "able to behave in ways which have no bearing on your thoughts, nor yours on theirs." (W.126.2.2) We are One Self.
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 VIII, 50-62
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VIII. Commuting the Sentence   
50 And if the Holy Spirit can commute each sentence that you laid upon yourself into a blessing, then it cannot be a sin. Sin is the one thing in all the world that cannot change. It is immutable. And on its changelessness the world depends. The magic of the world can seem to hide the pain of sin from sinners and deceive with glitter and with guile. Yet each one knows the cost of sin is death. And so it is. For sin is a request for death, a wish to make this world's foundation sure as love, dependable as Heaven, and as strong as God Himself. The world is safe from love to everyone who thinks sin possible. Nor will it change. Yet is it possible what God created not should share the attributes of His creation when it opposes it in every way?
51 It cannot be the "sinner's" wish for death is just as strong as is God's Will for life. Nor can the basis of a world He did not make be firm and sure as Heaven. How could it be that hell and Heaven are the same? And is it possible that what He did not will cannot be changed? What is immutable besides His Will? And what can share Its attributes except Itself? What wish can rise against His Will and be immutable? If you could realize nothing is changeless but the Will of God, this course would not be difficult for you. For it is this that you do not believe. Yet there is nothing else you could believe if you but looked at what it really is.
52 Let us go back to what we said before and think of it more carefully. It must be so that either God is mad or is this world a place of madness. Not one Thought of His makes any sense at all within this world. And nothing that the world believes as true has any meaning in His Mind at all. What makes no sense and has no meaning is insanity. And what is madness cannot be the truth. If one belief so deeply valued here were true, then every Thought God ever had is an illusion. And if but one Thought of His is true, then all beliefs the world gives any meaning to are false and make no sense at all. This is the choice you make. Do not attempt to see it differently nor twist it into something it is not. For only this decision can you make. The rest is up to God and not to you.
53 To justify one value that the world upholds is to deny your Father's sanity and yours. For God and His beloved Son do not think differently. And it is the agreement of their thought that makes the Son a co-creator with the Mind Whose Thought created him. And if he chooses to believe one thought opposed to truth, he has decided he is not his Father's Son because the Son is mad, and sanity must lie apart from both the Father and the Son. This you believe. Think not that this belief depends upon the form it takes. Who thinks the world is sane in any way, is justified in anything it thinks, or is maintained by any form of reason believes this to be true. Sin is not real because the Father and the Son are not insane. This world is meaningless because it rests on sin. Who could create the changeless if it does not rest on truth?
54 The Holy Spirit has the power to change the whole foundation of the world you see to something else-a basis not insane on which a sane perception can be based, another world perceived. And one in which nothing is contradicted that would lead the Son of God to sanity and joy. Nothing attests to death and cruelty, to separation, and to differences. For here is everything perceived as one, and no one loses that each one may gain.
55 Test everything that you believe against this one requirement. And understand that everything that meets this one demand is worthy of your faith. But nothing else. What is not love is sin, and either one perceives the other as insane and meaningless. Love is the basis for a world perceived as wholly mad to sinners who believe theirs is the way to sanity. But sin is equally insane within the sight of love, whose gentle eyes would look beyond the madness and rest peacefully on truth. Each sees a world immutable, as each defines the changeless and eternal truth of what you are. And each reflects a view of what the Father and the Son must be to make that viewpoint meaningful and sane.
56 Your special function is the special form in which the fact that God is not insane appears most sensible and meaningful to you. The content is the same. The form is suited to your special needs and to the special time and place in which you think you find yourself and where you can be free of place and time and all that you believe must limit you. The Son of God cannot be bound by time nor place nor anything God did not will. Yet if His Will is seen as madness, then the form of sanity which makes it most acceptable to those who are insane requires special choice. Nor can this choice be made by the insane, whose problem is their choices are not free and made with reason in the light of sense.
57 It would be madness to entrust salvation to the insane. Because He is not mad has God appointed One as sane as He to raise a saner world to meet the sight of everyone who chose insanity as his salvation. To this One is given the choice of form most suitable to him; one which will not attack the world he sees, but enter into it in quietness and show him he is mad. This One but points to an alternative, another way of looking at what he has seen before and recognizes as the world in which he lives and thought he understood before.
58 Now must he question this because the form of the alternative is one which he cannot deny nor overlook nor fail completely to perceive at all. To each his special function is designed to be perceived as possible and more and more desired as it proves to him that it is an alternative he really wants. From this position does his sinfulness and all the sin he sees within the world offer him less and less. Until he comes to understand it cost him his sanity and stands between him and whatever hope he has of being sane. Nor is he left without escape from madness, for he has a special part in everyone's escape. He can no more be left outside without a special function in the hope of peace than could the Father overlook His Son and pass him by in careless thoughtlessness.
59 What is dependable except God's Love? And where does sanity abide except in Him? The One Who speaks for Him can show you this in the alternative He chose especially for you. It is God's Will that you remember this and so emerge from deepest mourning into perfect joy. Accept the function that has been assigned to you in God's Own plan to show His Sons that hell and Heaven are different, not the same. And that in Heaven they are all the same, without the differences which would have made a hell of Heaven and a heaven of hell, had such insanity been possible.
60 The whole belief that someone loses but reflects the underlying tenet God must be insane. For in this world, it seems that one must gain because another lost. If this were true, then God is mad indeed! But what is this belief except a form of the more basic tenet, "Sin is real and rules the world"? For every little gain must someone lose and pay exact amount in blood and suffering. For otherwise would evil triumph and destruction be the total cost of any gain at all. You who believe that God is mad, look carefully at this and understand that it must be that either God or this must be insane, but hardly both.
61 Salvation is rebirth of the idea no one can lose for anyone to gain. And everyone must gain if anyone would be a gainer. Here is sanity restored. And on this single rock of truth can faith in God's eternal saneness rest in perfect confidence and perfect peace. Reason is satisfied, for all insane beliefs can be corrected here. And sin must be impossible if this is true. This is the rock on which salvation rests, the vantage point from which the Holy Spirit gives meaning and direction to the plan in which your special function has a part. For here your special function is made whole because it shares the function of the whole.
62 Remember all temptation is but this-a mad belief that God's insanity would make you sane and give you what you want. That either God or you must lose to madness because your aims can not be reconciled. Death demands life, but life is not maintained at any cost. No one can suffer for the Will of God to be fulfilled. Salvation is His Will because you share it. Not for you alone but for the Self which is the Son of God. He cannot lose, for if he could, the loss would be his Father's, and in Him no loss is possible. And this is sane because it is the truth. 
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