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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 25 THE REMEDY
VII. THE SPECIAL FUNCTION
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
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.
L e s s o n 270
I will not use my body's eyes today.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Father, Christ's vision is Your gift to me,
and it has power to translate all that
the body's eyes behold into the sight
of a forgiven world. How glorious
and gracious is this world! Yet how much more
will I perceive in it than sight can give.
The world forgiven signifies Your Son
acknowledges his Father, lets his dreams
be brought to truth, and waits expectantly
the one remaining instant more of time,
which ends forever as Your memory
returns to him. And now his will is one
with Yours. His function now is [one with Yours],
and every thought except Your own is gone.
The quiet of today will bless our hearts,
and through them peace will come to everyone.
Christ is our eyes today. And through His sight
we offer healing to the world through Him,
the holy Son whom God created whole;
the holy Son whom God created one.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
I will not use my body's eyes today.
What Jesus is talking about here is a different way of seeing. It is seeing through the eyes of Christ. It is an internal experience of the mind. Everything we see with our body's eyes brings us back information about the world, where we see what is not there and is not real. It is a world of form and sickly images with meaning given them by our minds. When we see with Christ's vision, everything is translated into a forgiven world that is both glorious and gracious. It is not the way we see when we see with the body's eyes. We see differences. We make comparisons. We see that which we judge beautiful and which we judge ugly, that which we like and we don't like, and whatever will promote our own ego at the expense of others.
In Chapter 31 VI, "Recognizing the Spirit," Jesus says we see the body or we recognize Spirit. There is no compromise between the two. Our whole world depends on this choice. There is no escape from this illusion if we choose to maintain the ego thought system as true. It is not that we won't see the body anymore when the mind is healed, but Christ's vision will have replaced our judgments. In other words, we see the forgiven world---a world of innocence and holiness not seen by the body's eyes. What the body's eyes see and the wrong mind interprets, obscures this forgiven world because now we see a world of attack, defense, competition, and differences.
How can we see the forgiven world? How do we get to this kind of seeing through Christ's vision given to us as a gift from our Father? We commit to watching our thoughts and bringing them to the Holy Spirit so our wrong-minded perceptions can be undone. Everywhere we look with the body's eyes, we see our own thoughts reflected back at us. Jesus is asking us to survey our inner world, letting whatever thoughts cross the mind to come into awareness, and watch these thoughts without attaching to them or judging ourselves for them. Throughout the day, whenever anything upsets us, we are asked to take responsibility for our upsets, to look at them honestly, and to be willing to have them released by turning them over to the Holy Spirit/Jesus (whichever symbol of love in the mind we turn to for help). When we willingly give these thoughts over to the Holy Spirit, our minds will be washed of the perceptions we hold, and now space is made for the light when interferences have been removed.
Mostly, we believe there are no options to our state of mind. We accept the way we see things and the way we feel, which is as a victim of this world to whom things are done, with no choice on our part. We succumb to our wrong-minded thinking about the situation as if our reactions were all natural and normal. We may react with anger, frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, sadness, and any number of emotions we consider to be normal responses to a disappointing world. We justify our reactions with explanations as to why they are perfectly reasonable!
Our state of consciousness is actually just an execution of an option. It is a choice. As David Hawkins says in "The Eye of the I," we are not ruled by the mind. What the mind reveals is an endless stream of options all disguised as memories, fantasies, fears, and concepts. See it all as a cafeteria of selections, wending their way across the screen of the mind. Thus, we are not forced to feel resentment by a negative memory, and we don't have to buy into a fearful thought about the future. These are just options. The secret attraction of the option is the inner payoff or secret satisfaction. We just need to refuse these payoffs. Behind this screen of thoughts is the free space of joy, available to us above all the other tempting options.
It is important to recognize how much we love the payoffs. We hang onto the negativity because we want the payoffs. We feel justified in our resentments, self-pity, anger, martyrdom, and jealousy, but there is another choice when we are willing to give up the payoffs. One payoff is that we get to be right about ourselves. We can also make others responsible for how we feel, and, above all, we make God wrong about who we are. Yet it is when we recognize the actual payoff is suffering that we will become more willing to give up being right. Perception (as a result of our eyes and senses) tells us the world is large, powerful, and permanent, while our self is small, weak, and transitory. In fact, the opposite is true. Who we are is all-powerful and the world is nothing.
In Chapter 25 II, "The Savior from the Dark," (ACIM OE CH 25 III) Jesus asks us, "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." (T.25.II.1.1-8.) (ACIM OE T.25.III.12) Without the motivation to heal our thoughts and come to peace, we will continue to cling to the hope that there is something in the world to bring us some measure of satisfaction.
Vision comes with a willingness to forgive instead of hate or condemn and the desire to understand rather than judge. Peace is preferred over stimulation and excitement. Humility is valued as we realize we have been wrong about everything we perceive. It is the realization that nothing in the world brings a deep level of satisfaction, not our special relationships, money, power, nor fame. And there is no seeking or striving by the personal self to become enlightened. In other words, the motivation to be taught is very compelling.
What our eyes show us is the ego's interpretation of the world we see. Thus, we see differences. We see those we like and those we dislike. We see victims and victimizers. We see those we judge as good and those we judge as evil. And we see those who are sick and suffer. We misperceive everything we see when we look through the body's eyes. When we realize we are only seeing error, we can ask for help to see through His eyes. We can ask for His interpretation, recognizing that our own will always be wrong.
Now we can overlook the error. "To forgive is to overlook." (T.9.IV.1.2) (ACIM OE T.9.III.9) Jesus tells us, "Look, then, beyond error and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds." (T.9.IV.1.3) (ACIM OE T.9.III.9) And we certainly do. We say things like "seeing is believing," but the only way we can know ourselves as the Christ is to see our brothers as sinless and to do so is to overlook all error. Yet Jesus tells us we don't know how to overlook errors or we would not make them. We can't correct ourselves. What we are asked to do instead is to bring awareness to our errors and turn them over to the Holy Spirit, Who will shine them away. The ego will never undo itself. We must let our dreams be brought to truth. This requires willingness and humility. For only when we are willing to surrender our way will we turn to Him.
Our willingness today is demonstrated in our determination and discipline to apply the Lesson. Recognize that what you see with your eyes and the meaning you give to your seeing blocks Christ's vision. Be willing to be shown another way. We can't do it on our own, for "on our own" means we are aligning with the ego and putting the ego in charge. It will be done through us as we surrender our way. I affirm today, Christ's vision is how I choose to see this person, this event, and this situation. I am willing to release what my eyes show me as true. I am willing to hand over my own interpretation of what I see and ask for help to have this situation reinterpreted by One Who does know. I am willing to ask for help that I might see with the eyes of Christ.
Love and blessings, Sarah
VI. The State of Sinlessness
37 The state of sinlessness is merely this: the whole desire to attack is gone, and so there is no reason to perceive the Son of God as other than he is. The need for guilt is gone because it has no purpose and is meaningless without the goal of sin. Attack and sin are bound as one illusion, each the cause and aim and justifier of the other. Each is meaningless alone, but seems to draw a meaning from the other. Each depends upon the other for whatever sense it seems to have. And no one could believe in one unless the other were the truth, for each attests the other
must be true.
38 Attack makes Christ your enemy and God along with Him. Must you not be afraid with "enemies" like these? And must you not be fearful of
yourself? For you have hurt yourself and made your Self your "enemy." And now you must believe you are not you but something alien to yourself and "something else," a "something" to be feared instead of loved. Who would attack whatever he perceives as wholly innocent? And who,
because he wishes to attack, can fail to think it must be guilty to deserve the wish and leave him innocent? And who would see the Son of God as innocent and wish him dead? Christ stands before you both each time you look on one another. He has not gone because your eyes are closed. But what is there to see by searching for your savior, seeing Him through sightless eyes?
39 It is not Christ you see by looking thus. It is the "enemy" confused with Christ you look upon. And hate because there is no sin in him for you to see. Nor do you hear his plaintive call, unchanged in content in whatever form the call is made, that you unite with him and join with him in innocence and peace. And yet beneath the ego's senseless shrieks, such
is the call that God has given him that you might hear in him His Call to you and answer by returning unto God what is His own.
40 The Son of God asks only this of you---that you return to him what is his due that you may
share in it with him. Alone does neither have it. So must it remain useless to both. Together, it will give to each an equal strength to save the other and save himself along with him. Forgiven by you, your savior offers you salvation. Condemned by you, he offers death to you. In everyone you see but the reflection of what you chose to have him be to you. If you decide against his proper function, the only one he has in truth, you are depriving him of all the joy he would have found if he fulfilled the role God gave to him. But think not Heaven is lost to him alone. Nor can it be regained unless the way is shown to him through you that you may find it, walking by his side.
41 It is no sacrifice that he be saved, for by his freedom will you gain your own. To let his function be fulfilled is but the means to let yours be. And so you walk toward Heaven or toward hell, but not alone. How beautiful his sinlessness will be when you perceive it! And how great will be your joy, when he is free to offer you the gift of sight God gave to him for you! He has no need but this---that you allow him freedom to complete the task God gave to him. Remembering but this---that what he does you do along with him. And as you see him, so do you define the function he will have for you until you see him differently and
let him be what God appointed that he be to you.
42 Against the hatred that the Son of God may cherish toward himself is God believed to be without the power to save what He created from the pain of hell. But in the love he shows himself is God made free to
let His Will be done. In each of you, you see the picture of your own belief in what the Will of God must be for you. In your forgiveness will you understand His love for you; through your attack believe He hates you, thinking Heaven must be hell. Look once again upon your brother, not without the understanding that he is the way to Heaven or to hell as you perceive him. But forget not this---the role you give to him is given
you, and you
will walk the way you pointed out to him because it is your judgment on yourself.
43 The grace of God rests gently on forgiving eyes, and everything they look on speaks of Him to the beholder. He can see no evil, nothing in the world to fear, and no one who is different from himself. And as he loves them, so he looks upon himself with love and gentleness. He would no more condemn himself for his mistakes than damn another. He is not an arbiter of vengeance nor a punisher of sin. The kindness of his sight rests on himself with all the tenderness it offers others. For he would only heal and only bless. And being in accord with what God wills, he has the power to heal and bless all those he looks on with the grace of God upon his sight.
44 Eyes become used to darkness, and the light of brilliant day seems painful to the eyes grown long accustomed to the dim effects perceived at twilight. And they turn away from sunlight and the clarity it brings to what they look upon. Dimness seems better-easier to see and better recognized. Somehow, the vague and more obscure seems easier to look upon; less painful to the eyes than what is wholly clear and unambiguous. Yet this is not what eyes are
for. And who can say that he prefers the darkness and maintain he
wants to see? The
wish to see calls down the grace of God upon your eyes and brings the gift of light that makes sight possible.
45 Will you behold your brother? God is glad to have you look on him. He does not will your savior be unrecognized by you. Nor does He will that he remain without the function that He gave to him. Let him no more be lonely, for the lonely ones are those who see no function in the world for them to fill, no place where they are needed, and no aim which only they can perfectly fulfill.
46 Such is the Holy Spirit's kind perception of specialness---His use of what you made, to heal instead of harm. To each He gives a special function in salvation he alone can fill---a part for only him. Nor is the plan complete until he finds his special function and fulfills the part assigned to him to make himself complete within a world where incompletion rules.
47 Here, where the laws of God do not prevail in perfect form, can he yet do
one perfect thing and make
one perfect choice. And by this act of special faithfulness to one perceived as other than himself, he learns the gift was given to himself, and so they
must be one. Forgiveness is the only function meaningful in time. It is the means the Holy Spirit uses to translate specialness from sin into salvation. Forgiveness is for all. But when it rests on all, it is complete and every function of this world completed with it. Then is time no more.
48 Yet while in time, there is still much to do. And each must do what is allotted him, for on his part does
all the plan depend. He
has a special part in time, for so he chose, and choosing it, he made it for himself. His wish was not denied but changed in form to let it serve his brother
and himself and thus become a means to save instead of lose. Salvation is no more than a reminder this world is not your home; its laws are not imposed on you; its values are not yours. [And nothing that you
think you see in it is
really there at all.] And this is seen and understood as each one takes his part in its undoing, as he did in making it. He has the means for either, as he always did. The specialness he chose to hurt himself did God appoint to be the means for his salvation from the very instant that the choice was made. His special sin was made his special grace. His special hate became his special love.
49 The Holy Spirit
needs your special function that His may be fulfilled. Think not you lack a special value here. You wanted it, and it
is given you. All that you made can serve salvation easily and well. The Son of God can make no choice the Holy Spirit cannot employ on his behalf and
not against himself. Only in darkness does your specialness appear to be attack. In light, you see it as your
special function in the plan to save the Son of God from
all attack and let him understand that he is safe, as he has always been and will remain in time and in eternity alike. This is the function given each of you for one another. Take it gently then from one another's hand, and let salvation be perfectly fulfilled in both of you. Do this
one thing, that everything be given you.
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