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“No one who lives in fear is really alive. His own last judgment cannot be directed toward himself because he is not his own creation. He can, however, apply it meaningfully and at any time to everything he has created and retain in his memory only what is good. This is what his right-mindedness cannot but dictate.”

Workbook for Students
Introduction Part I
1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 27
Above all else I want to see.
1 Today's idea expresses something stronger than mere determination. It gives vision priority among your desires. You may feel hesitant about using the idea on the ground that you are not sure you really mean it. This does not matter. The purpose of today's exercises is to bring the time when the idea will be wholly true a little nearer.

2 There may be a great temptation to believe that some sort of sacrifice is being asked of you when you say you want to see above all else. If you become uneasy about the lack of reservation involved, add:

3 Vision has no cost to anyone.

4 If fear of loss still persists, add further:

5 It can only bless.

6 The idea for today needs many repetitions for maximum benefit. It should be used at least every half hour, and more often if possible. You might try for every 15 or 20 minutes. It is recommended that you set a definite time interval for using the idea when you wake or shortly afterwards and attempt to adhere to it throughout the day. It will not be difficult to do this, even if you are engaged in conversation or otherwise occupied at the time. You can still repeat one short sentence to yourself without disturbing anything that is going on.

7 The real question is how often will you remember? How much do you want today's idea to be true? Answer one of these questions, and you have answered the other. You will probably miss several applications and perhaps quite a number. Do not be disturbed by this, but do try to keep on your schedule from then on. If only once during the day you feel that you were perfectly sincere while you were repeating today's idea, you can be sure that you have saved yourself many years of effort.

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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Text
Chapter 2
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND

The Illusion of Separation

VI. The Meaning of the Last Judgment
106 The Last Judgment is one of the greatest threat concepts in man's perception. This is only because he does not understand it. Judgment is not an essential attribute of God. Man brought judgment into being only because of the separation. After the separation, however, there was a place for judgment as one of the many learning devices which had to be built into the overall plan. Just as the separation occurred over many millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period and perhaps an even longer one. Its length depends, however, on the effectiveness of the present speed-up.

107  We have frequently noted that the miracle is a device for shortening but not abolishing time. If a sufficient number of people become truly miracle-minded quickly, the shortening process can be almost immeasurable. It is essential, however, that these individuals free themselves from fear sooner than would ordinarily be the case because they must emerge from the conflict if they are to bring peace to other minds.

108  The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually it will be undertaken by man with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much man may think that punishment is deserved. Punishment is a concept in total opposition to right-mindedness. The aim of the Last Judgment is to restore right-mindedness to man.

109 The Last Judgment might be called a process of right evaluation. It simply means that finally all men will come to understand what is worthy and what is not. After this, their ability to choose can be directed reasonably. Until this distinction is made, however, the vacillations between free and imprisoned will cannot but continue. The first step toward freedom must entail a sorting out of the false from the true. This is a process of division only in the constructive sense and reflects the true meaning of the Apocalypse. Man will ultimately look upon his own creations and will to preserve only what is good, just as God Himself looked upon what He had created and knew that it was good.

110 At this point, the will can begin to look with love on its own creations because of their great worthiness. The mind will inevitably disown its miscreations which, without the mind's belief, will no longer exist. The term "Last Judgment" is frightening not only because it has been falsely projected onto God, but also because of the association of "last" with death. This is an outstanding example of upside-down perception. Actually, if the meaning of the Last Judgment is objectively examined, it is quite apparent that it is really the doorway to life.

111 No one who lives in fear is really alive. His own last judgment cannot be directed toward himself because he is not his own creation. He can, however, apply it meaningfully and at any time to everything he has created and retain in his memory only what is good. This is what his right-mindedness cannot but dictate. The purpose of time is solely to "give him time" to achieve this judgment. It is his own perfect judgment of his own creations. When everything he retains is loveable, there is no reason for fear to remain with him. This is his part in the Atonement. 

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 27
Above all else I want to see.
In Lesson 20, we proclaimed, "I am determined to see." (W.20) Today, we are expressing something stronger. "Above all else I want to see." (W.27) With this, we are saying that having vision is more important than our worldly attachments. It makes waking up from this dream and remembering who we are our primary goal. It means recognizing that we no longer wish to put the ego in charge of our lives. It puts our desire for awakening from this dream in first place. "It gives vision priority among your desires." (W.27.1.2)
 
Clearly, we still have other desires, and Jesus has no intention in making us feel guilty about them. In fact, he says that it does not matter if this is not the absolute truth for us. He acknowledges that he does not expect that we are entirely sincere yet in affirming our desire for vision. "The purpose of today's exercises is to bring the time when the idea will be wholly true a little nearer." (W.27.1.5) Our motivation is not yet sufficiently strong. We are still defended against the truth. "There may be a great temptation to believe that some sort of sacrifice is being asked of you when you say you want to see above all else." (W.27.2.1) We still believe that we have to pay for our sins, atone for our mistakes, give up something we value, and become such serious students that we give up our idea of happiness and what we deem as our best interests. We really believe that God demands something from us, and so we keep Him out of parts of our lives, even if that brings more suffering. Until we see that God's Will for us is only happiness and we recognize that the ego is attached to suffering, we will resist these Lessons. Jesus wants happiness for us.
 
He is trying to motivate us to see that our happiness depends on vision, not on reliance on the ego. Happiness is mentioned in the Course almost as many times as forgiveness so it is literally synonymous. It is our own thinking and analyzing that keep us locked into the ego. Doing these Lessons is about surrendering our ideas and letting the thoughts presented here wash over us. It is about opening our minds and our hearts to the truth that is already in us. There is nothing to seek, only to allow.
 
As Jesus says in the introduction to the Workbook, it does not matter if we currently do not accept these thoughts. We don't need to believe the ideas nor accept or welcome them for the Lessons to have value for us. In fact, he says that we may even resist them; but he says, that will not decrease their efficacy. Practicing them and applying them will bring us closer to the day when this is completely true for us.
 
The purpose of this Lesson is to strengthen our motivation and our desire for the truth. We have to want to learn what Jesus is teaching us, at least to some extent, or his efforts will fail. It is all about readiness and willingness to learn. Jesus is helping us with this by showing us that our way has not brought the happiness that we have longed for. When we see that our own strategies don't work to bring us the peace and joy we had hoped for, we become more motivated to learn the Lessons that Jesus gives us. However, he knows we have resistance to his teaching, so he keeps reminding us that the reason to learn what he is teaching us is that it will make us blissfully happy.
Jesus tells us, "The Holy Spirit needs a happy learner, in whom His mission can be happily accomplished. You who are steadfastly devoted to misery must first recognize that you are miserable and not happy. The Holy Spirit cannot teach without this contrast, for you believe that misery is happiness. This has so confused you that you have undertaken to learn to do what you can never do, believing that unless you learn it you will not be happy." (T.14.II.1.1-4) (ACIM OE T.13.VII.54) It is a process. We will not immediately take this to heart. We still think that we will be sacrificing our own best interests, as we define them, and we still need to be convinced that this journey entails only gain, not loss for us.
 
We still experience fear in the belief that if we learn his Lessons, we will have to give up something we value. We don't yet recognize that there is nothing in the illusion to value because it is nothing. "Nothing real can be threatened." (T.IN.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.IN.4) If fear comes up and resistance is strong, don't fight yourself. We can simply remind ourselves, "Vision has no cost to anyone." (W.27.2.3) And if that is not enough to allay our fears, we are reminded, "It can only bless." (W.27.2.5)
 
Today, we affirm that vision is a gift that will allow us to see beyond the forms of this world to the holiness that is forever shining there as a reflection of the holiness in our minds. "The desire and the willingness to let it [the holy instant] come precede its coming. You prepare your mind for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more." (T.18.IV.1.3-5) (ACIM OE T.18.V.32) All that is asked is that we practice the Lesson with some degree of willingness and as much sincerity as possible at least every half hour.
 
Set your intention on the frequency of practice for yourself so that the pressures and demands of the day don't just wash out the Lesson from your awareness. We want to do the practice to the extent that we want vision. Set your goal so that you have a way of assessing the extent of your resistance. Jesus knows that we will likely not stick entirely to our intention, and he does not want us to feel guilty about that. He does not chastise us for forgetting because he already knows we probably will. Beating up on ourselves is not helpful and will probably result in our giving up on the Course. It can also just serve to increase our guilt, which is the last thing we need. Be gentle, but be firm with yourself in the practice. Looking at how much we stayed with our intention is helpful to assess our level of resistance. "The real question is, how often will you remember? How much do you want today's idea to be true?" (W.27.4.1-2)
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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