Lesson 272
Withhold Nothing
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63 The Holy Spirit can use all that you give to Him for your salvation. But He cannot use what you withhold, for He cannot take it from you without your willingness. For if He did, you would believe He wrested it from you against your will. And so you would not learn it is your will to be without it. You need not give it to Him wholly willingly, for if you could, you'd have no need of Him. But this He needs---that you prefer He take it than that you keep it for yourself alone and recognize that what brings loss to no one you would not know. This much is necessary to add to the idea no one can lose for you to gain. And nothing more.

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What is the Christ_

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   Christ is God's Son as He created him.
   He is the Self we share, uniting us
   with one another, and with God as well.
   He is the Thought Which still abides within
   the Mind Which is His Source. He has not left
   His holy home, nor lost the innocence
   in which He was created. He abides
   unchanged forever in the Mind of God.
   He is the link that keeps you one with God,
   and guarantees that separation is
   no more than an illusion of despair,
   for hope forever will abide in Him.
   Your mind is part of His, and His of yours.
   He is the part in Which God's Answer lies;
   where all decisions are already made,
   and dreams are over. He remains untouched
   by anything the body's eyes perceive.
   For though in Him His Father placed the means
   for your salvation, yet does He remain
   the Self Who, like His Father, knows no sin.
   Home of the Holy Spirit, and at home
   in God alone, does Christ remain at peace,
   within the Heaven of your holy mind.
   This is the only part of you that has
   reality in truth. The rest is dreams.
   Yet will these dreams be given unto Christ,
   to fade before His glory, and reveal
   your holy Self, the Christ, to you at last.
   The Holy Spirit reaches from the Christ
   in you to all your dreams, and bids them come
   to Him to be translated into truth.
   He will exchange them for the final dream
   which God appointed as the end of dreams.
   For when forgiveness rests upon the world
   and peace has come to every Son of God,
   what could remain to keep things separate,
   for what remains to see except Christ's face?
   And how long can this holy face be seen,
   when it is but the symbol that the time
   for learning now is over, and the goal
   of the Atonement has been reached at last?
   So therefore let us seek to find Christ's face,
   and look on nothing else. As we behold
   His glory, will we know we have no need
   of learning or perception or of time,
   or anything except the holy Self,
   the Christ Whom God created as His Son.
    ~ Original Hand Script  
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SonShip Workbook
 L e s s o n 272
How can illusions satisfy God's Son?

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
     Father, the truth belongs to me. My home
    is set in Heaven by Your Will and mine.
    Can dreams content me? Can illusions bring
    me happiness? What but Your memory
    can satisfy Your Son? I will accept
    no less than You have given me. I am
    surrounded by Your Love, forever still,
    forever gentle and forever safe.
    God's Son must be as You created him.
   Today we pass illusions by. And if
   we hear temptation call to us to stay
   and linger in a dream, we turn away
   and ask ourselves if we, the Sons of God,
   could be content with dreams, when Heaven can
   be chosen just as easily as hell,
   and love can happily replace all fear.
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA

How can illusions satisfy God's Son?

Sarah's Commentary:  
What keeps us invested in the wrong mind, believing dreams can content us? It seems while our continuing problems, challenges, and difficulties tire us, there are parts of the illusion that we consider the happier aspects of the dream so they tempt us. "What is a temptation but a wish to make illusions real? It does not seem to be the wish that no reality be so. Yet it is an assertion that some forms of idols have a powerful appeal that makes them harder to resist than those you would not want to have reality. Temptation, then, is nothing more than this; a prayer the miracle touch not some dreams, but keep their unreality obscure and give them reality instead." (T.30.VIII.3.1-4) (ACIM OE T.30.IX.91) We still have some niggling hope there is something here that will satisfy us. The ego continues to entice us with substitutes for Heaven. These substitutes are called idols and are based on our belief something lacking in us can be filled with these substitutes for God. We pursue these substitutes because we think they will address our cravings, needs, and lacks. The substitutes are also referred to as "distorted perceptions." (T.1.VII.1.1) (ACIM OE T.1.II.102) Our distorted miracle impulses may be for food, money, sex, closeness, attention, and power. This is the miracle impulse, which has been distorted by our belief that we are bodies. So the miracle impulse, which comes from the love we are, is unconsciously distorted into physical needs.
Our attraction to guilt, pain, and death is dressed up by the ego to make us think it is pleasure that we are attracted to. If we really saw that our substitutes for the miracle were made to keep us in duality, and what we are choosing is pain, it would not be hard to release these substitutes. But pain and pleasure don't seem the same in this world because the ego has made guilt look attractive to us. We are being asked to work with our attachments, preferences, and investments so they can be loosened. The ego would have us keep from awareness our investments in the world so the miracle cannot shine through. When we realize this is the way the ego keeps us in the game of suffering, we will increasingly let go of our attachments to the things of the world.
Sex can have a big draw in the belief that joining can come by connecting bodies. This is not to say there is anything wrong with sex, but to realize what is behind the sexual drive is what we truly want---true joining and reconnection to Oneness. In fact, in the Urtext (which is the original of the material taken down by Helen Schucman before the edited material of the Course), Jesus says, "Sex was intended as an instrument for physical creation [for producing new bodies] to enable Souls to embark on new chapters in their experience, and thus improve their record. The pencil was NOT an end in itself (See earlier section)." ( URText T.1.B.40d ) It is a misguided miracle impulse. Although sex was made for ego purposes, like everything of the ego, it can be used by the Holy Spirit for a holy purpose. Thus, it is all about purpose. We know by now that we do not under­stand what love is, since we often confuse and equate romance, specialness, and sexual attraction, with love. The best reflection of God's love in this world is forgiveness. This is how we make space in our minds for the miracle to shine forth. As Leonard Cohen says, "There is a crack in everything. That is how the light gets in."
Jesus teaches that no substitute will ever satisfy the Son of God. Our illusions of security achieved through family, home, and financial stability, our illusions of love achieved through special relationships, our illusions of safety achieved by taking vitamins, locking doors, and buying insurance, and our illusions of specialness achieved by seeking recognition, attention, and glory, all of them and more, will never be enough. It is why we are never satisfied. "Yet you do not recognize them because you have raised their substitutes to such predominance that, when truth calls to you, as it does constantly, you answer with a substitute." (T.17.IV.3.2) (ACIM OE T.17.V.29) We keep on seeking and seeking, wondering why we don't ever feel the deep peace and joy that only forgiveness can offer. We don't recognize that all of these substitutes are forms of fear.
Jesus asks us to consider how can any of these things satisfy God's Son? How can we ever want less than everything? Today, we are asked to take a moment and ask ourselves if we really want this illusion that tempts us but brings nothing of value. "Heaven can be chosen just as easily as hell, and love will happily replace all fear." (W.272.2.2) All illusion is fear. Everything we think we want in the illusion has a tinge of fear in it. If I have money, I fear losing it. If I have a special relationship, I have all kinds of fears about the person leaving, no longer loving me, hurting me, and much more. Fear is behind our focus on safety. The body is a fearful thing in itself---vulnerable and fragile. But it is important to remember that none of what we do in this seeming reality is wrong. This is not a course in behavior. Only what is being held in the mind as we go about our day is what we need to give attention to.
Jesus is pointing us to the truth of our Being by helping us to ask in everything, "What is it for?" In other words, what purpose is being served? What we do for our personal safety and for our bodily pleasure is not important. What are important are the choices we make in our minds for peace or war, for forgiveness or attack, for Heaven or for hell. We might, for example, need to physically defend ourselves from attack in this world, but the mind training helps us to defend ourselves while still holding a defenseless thought. Or we might try to be helpful by visiting someone who is sick because we think it is the right or spiritual thing to do, but in our minds, we are experiencing sacrifice. Thus, our minds are split and, "This produces conflicted behavior, which is intolerable to you because the part of the mind that wants to do something else is outraged." (T.2.VI.5.3) (ACIM OE T.2.IV.77)
Ultimately, we come to realize there is no meaning and no fulfillment in the things of this world no matter how much we try to make it so or how well we have made our adjustments to it. We finally get disillusioned by it all, which is a good thing, otherwise, we would never seek the truth. We would never be motivated to see beyond the veil to the real world. While there are seeming temporary pleasures in the dream, none of them last and, ultimately, can only bring pain and misery. Everything we seek in the world reflects our belief that we can exist outside the mind of God. Only the eternal can satisfy. Only the peace of God offers us real peace. Any temporary pleasure we seek is a choice for hell.
We think we are choosing something that will satisfy us and fulfill our dreams, but there can be no fulfillment here because we are asking for what is not real. No real satisfaction is possible here. What we are going for is always out of reach when we seek the things of this world. The toys and trinkets of the world just keep the gifts of God out of our awareness. "Shall we continue to allow God's grace to shine in unawareness, while the toys and trinkets of the world are sought instead?" (W.258.1.3)
Seeking is what we came here to do, which does not make it wrong. What is important, again, is not what we are doing, but what is in our minds. It is all about purpose. The world can serve the purpose of the ego, which is to keep us rooted in this dream, seeking for what will never satisfy, or we can turn it to the purpose of waking up to what we really are. Thus, everything we have made can be used by the Holy Spirit for our awakening. All it takes is our decision to watch our minds and bring our misperceptions to Him.
The separation from God is only our dream. It never happened. We are still innocent. Nothing we think we have done to make ourselves guilty has happened. When the things which tempt us in the world call to us ". . . to stay and linger in a dream, we turn aside and ask ourselves if we, the Sons of God, could be content with dreams, when Heaven can be chosen just as easily as hell, and love will happily replace all fear." (W.272.2.2)
"I am surrounded by Your Love, forever still, forever gentle and forever safe." (W.272.1.7) When we seek for substitutes, it is because we think they will deliver safety, love, and peace. Our disillusionment comes when we see they never deliver what we had hoped. What is tempting you right now? Look at what you really want? Ask yourself if you think your list of wants will bring happiness and contentment to you. If we were aware that we were asking for more guilt, suffering, and sorrow instead, would we still be tempted to pursue these things and further delay our journey to God? It is a journey to the peace and joy that is our inheritance.
Yesterday, I sent off a box full of clothes to charity. As I was packing them up, I was taken aback by how much I had invested in buying clothes that I did not need. Yet it offered me another opportunity to look at the perceived needs and lacks I was trying to fill. It is not helpful just to change the behavior while the desire is still there. It is helpful, however, to look at the deeper issues and feelings of unworthiness. When these feelings are fully given over to the Holy Spirit, the behaviors just fall away. Then, there is no sense of sacrifice.
Jesus says we will never be satisfied in this world because we will never find peace here. Yes, our illusions will seem to work some of the time, but the only thing that consistently brings joy is connecting with the Christ Mind. The realization that our way has not worked to bring true joy is the first step. Yes, the temptations are still there, but the realization that they will ultimately just bring more suffering, rather than the happiness, peace, and satisfaction we really want, will motivate us to look at our attachments and surrender them joyfully.

Love and blessings, Sarah
ACIM Original Edition
IX. The Principle of Salvation 

63 The Holy Spirit can use all that you give to Him for your salvation. But He cannot use what you withhold, for He cannot take it from you without your willingness. For if He did, you would believe He wrested it from you against your will. And so you would not learn it is your will to be without it. You need not give it to Him wholly willingly, for if you could, you'd have no need of Him. But this He needs---that you prefer He take it than that you keep it for yourself alone and recognize that what brings loss to no one you would not know. This much is necessary to add to the idea no one can lose for you to gain. And nothing more.
64 Here is the only principle salvation needs. Nor is it necessary that your faith in it be strong, unswerving, and without attack from all beliefs opposed to it. You have no fixed allegiance. But remember salvation is not needed by the saved. You are not called upon to do what one divided still against himself would find impossible. Have little faith that wisdom could be found in such a state of mind. But be you thankful that only little faith is asked of you. What but a little faith remains to those who still believe in sin? What could they know of Heaven and the justice of the saved?
65 There is a kind of justice in salvation of which the world knows nothing. To the world, justice and vengeance are the same, for sinners see justice only as their punishment, perhaps sustained by someone else but not escaped. The laws of sin demand a victim. Who it may be makes little difference. But death must be the cost and must be paid. This is not justice but insanity. Yet how could justice be defined without insanity where love means hate and death is seen as victory and triumph over eternity and timelessness and life?
66 You who know not of justice still can ask and learn the answer. Justice looks on all in the same way. It is not just that one should lack for what another has. For that is vengeance in whatever form it takes. Justice demands no sacrifice, for any sacrifice is made that sin may be preserved and kept. It is a payment offered for the cost of sin, but not the total cost. The rest is taken from another, to be laid beside your little payment to "atone" for all that you would keep and not give up. So is the victim seen as partly you, with someone else by far the greater part. And in the total cost, the greater his, the less is yours. And justice, being blind, is satisfied by being paid, it matters not by whom. Can this be justice? God knows not of this. But justice does He know and knows it well. For He is wholly fair to everyone.
67 Vengeance is alien to God's Mind because He knows of justice. To be just is to be fair and not be vengeful. Fairness and vengeance are impossible, for each one contradicts the other and denies that it is real. It is impossible for you to share the Holy Spirit's justice with a mind that can conceive of specialness at all. Yet how could He be just if He condemns a sinner for the crimes he did not do but thinks he did? And where would justice be if He demanded of the ones obsessed with the idea of punishment that they lay it aside unaided and perceive it is not true? It is extremely hard for those who still believe sin meaningful to understand the Holy Spirit's justice.
68 They must believe He shares their own confusion and cannot avoid the vengeance that their own belief in justice must entail. And so they fear the Holy Spirit and perceive the "wrath" of God in Him. Nor can they trust Him not to strike them dead with lightning bolts torn from the "fires" of Heaven by God's own angry hand. They do believe that Heaven is hell and are afraid of love. And deep suspicion and the chill of fear comes over them when they are told that they have never sinned. Their world depends on sin's stability. And they perceive the "threat" of what God knows as justice to be more destructive to themselves and to their world than vengeance, which they understand and love.
69 So do they think the loss of sin a curse. And flee the Holy Spirit as if He were a messenger from hell sent from above in treachery and guile to work God's vengeance on them in the guise of a deliverer and friend. What could He be to them except a devil dressed to deceive within an angel's cloak. And what escape has He for them except a door to hell that seems to look like Heaven's gate?
  70 Yet justice cannot punish those who ask for punishment but have a Judge Who knows that they are wholly innocent in truth. In justice, He is bound to set them free and give them all the honor they deserve and have denied themselves because they are not fair and cannot understand that they are innocent. Love is not understandable to sinners because they think that justice is split off from love and stands for something else.
71 And thus is love perceived as weak and vengeance strong. For love has lost when judgment left its side and is too weak to save from punishment. But vengeance without love has gained in strength by being separate and apart from love. And what but vengeance now can help and save, while love stands feebly by with helpless hands, bereft of justice and vitality and powerless to save? What can Love ask of you who think that all of this is true? Could He, in justice and in love believe in your confusion you have much to give? You are not asked to trust Him far. No further than what you see He offers you and what you recognize you could not give yourself.
72 In God's own justice does He recognize all you deserve but understands as well that you cannot accept it for yourself. It is His special function to hold out to you the gifts the innocent deserve. And every one that you accept brings joy to Him as well as you. He knows that Heaven is richer made by each one you accept. And God rejoices as His Son receives what loving justice knows to be his due. For love and justice are not different. Because they are the same does mercy stand at God's right hand and give the Son of God the power to forgive himself of sin.
73 To him who merits everything, how can it be that anything be kept from him? For that would be injustice and unfair indeed to all the holiness that is in him, however much he recognize it not. God knows of no injustice. He would not allow His Son be judged by those who seek his death and could not see his worth at all. What honest witnesses could they call forth to speak on his behalf? And who would come to plead for him and not against his life? No justice would be given him by you. Yet God ensured that justice would be done unto the Son He loves and would protect from all unfairness you might seek to offer, believing vengeance is his proper due.
74 As specialness cares not who pays the cost of sin, so it be paid, the Holy Spirit heeds not who looks on innocence at last, provided it is seen and recognized. For just one witness is enough if he sees truly. Simple justice asks no more. Of each one does the Holy Spirit ask if he will be that one, so justice may return to love and there be satisfied. Each special function He allots is but for this---that each one learn that love and justice are not separate. And both are strengthened by their union with each other. Without love is justice prejudiced and weak. And love without justice is impossible. For love is fair and cannot chasten without cause. What cause can be to warrant an attack upon the innocent? In justice then does love correct mistakes, but not in vengeance. For that would be unjust to innocence.
75 You can be perfect witness to the power of love and justice if you understand it is impossible the Son of God could merit vengeance. You need not perceive in every circumstance that this is true. Nor need you look to your experience within the world, which is but shadows of all that is really happening within yourself. The understanding which you need comes not of you but from a larger Self, so great and holy that He could not doubt His innocence. Your special function is a call to Him that He may smile on you whose sinlessness He shares. His understanding will be yours. And so the Holy Spirit's special function has been fulfilled. God's Son has found a witness unto his sinlessness and not his sin. How little need you give the Holy Spirit that simple justice may be given you!
76 Without impartiality there is no justice. How can specialness be just? Judge not because you cannot, not because you are a miserable sinner too. How can the special really understand that justice is the same for everyone? To take from one to give another must be an injustice to them both, since they are equal in the Holy Spirit's sight. Their Father gave the same inheritance to both. Who would have more or less is not aware that he has everything. He is no judge of what must be another's due, because he thinks he is deprived. And so must he be envious and try to take away from whom he judges. He is not impartial and cannot fairly see another's rights because his own have been obscured to him.
77 You have the right to all the universe---to perfect peace, complete deliverance from all effects of sin, and to the life eternal, joyous and complete in every way, as God appointed for His holy Son. This is the only justice Heaven knows, and all the Holy Spirit brings to earth. Your special function shows you nothing else but perfect justice can prevail for you. And you are safe from vengeance in all forms. The world deceives, but it cannot replace God's justice with a version of its own. For only love is just and can perceive what justice must accord the Son of God. Let love decide and never fear that you in your unfairness will deprive yourself of what God's justice has allotted you.

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