Lesson 273
He is Renewed
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8 And as he is in Heaven, so must he be eternally and everywhere. He is the same forever-born again each instant, untouched by time, and far beyond the reach of any sacrifice of life or death. For neither did he make, and only one was given him by One Who knows His gifts can never suffer sacrifice and loss. God's justice rests in gentleness upon His Son and keeps him safe from all injustice the world would lay upon him. Could it be that you could make his sins reality and sacrifice his Father's Will for him?         
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CHAPTER 26 I-II, 1-9
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   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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L e s s o n 273
The stillness of the peace of God is mine. 
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   Perhaps we are now ready for a day
   of undisturbed tranquility. If this
   is not yet feasible, we are content
   and even more than satisfied to learn
   how such a day can be achieved. If we
   give way to a disturbance, let us learn
   how to dismiss it, and return to peace.
   We need but tell our minds with certainty,
   "The stillness of the peace of God is mine,"
   and nothing can intrude upon the peace
   that God Himself has given to His Son.
    Father, Your peace is mine. What need have I
    to fear that anything can rob me of
    what You would have me keep? I cannot lose
    Your gifts to me. And so the peace You gave
    Your Son is with me still, in quietness
    and in my own eternal love of You.
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
The stillness of the peace of God is mine.

Sarah's Commentary:  

Isn't it beautiful how Jesus gently reminds us that even if we don't feel the undisturbed tranquility talked about here, we can still be content to "learn how such a day can be achieved." (W.273.1.2) We don't need to be dismayed if we don't feel a deep peace in our meditation time and throughout the day because we are assured we simply cannot lose the gifts of God already in us. (W.273.2.3) We have them now! The peace, joy, and stillness are already in us. There is nothing to be done to find peace. We need only participate in the process of undoing all of our interfering thoughts, standing in the way of peace. Peace is being offered to us in each moment by the Holy Spirit. His Light shines unabated in our minds, waiting for our willingness to give over our darkness to Him.
Even though a day of undisturbed tranquility may not yet be here, we can still be content. There is no need to chastise ourselves when we think we are not where we should be. In fact, it is only the ego that we listen to when we get upset with ourselves. Jesus urges us to be content with where we are. We are to be happy learners. It would make no sense to throw away our peace because we are not where we "should" be based on expectations we put on ourselves. The idea is to be content, even though we may not yet know peace consistently.
We can be content because everything that shows up in our lives is absolutely perfect for our healing. Everything and everyone in our lives reveals to us places where we hold judgments about ourselves. We can simply invite the Holy Spirit to shine away all pain. It is not necessarily instantaneous, although it can be. We go as fast or as slow as our fear and resistance will allow. We are not being hurled into Heaven. It is a process of willingness to recognize that all things truly work together for good. We are in charge of welcoming Spirit into our lives to the extent that we are ready, open, and willing. Although it is generally not comfortable or peaceful to go through the darkness, willingness to look at our ego preservation strategies is the only way to release them.
When we are in a state of distress or emotional upheaval, it is not to make ourselves wrong or judge ourselves for not being sufficiently spiritual. Instead, try to stay open to welcome the feelings that come up and go deeper into them for the purpose of uncovering what has been hidden from awareness. When we are open and willing to look at the thoughts and feelings that arise, we can then release them to the Holy Spirit. He does the rest. Healing is assured. Any feelings we harbor, project, blame, hold, stuff down, or deny is what is kept from healing. We keep ourselves from healing when we judge ourselves for not being good enough or ready to look at what we have denied. Not looking is what keeps our defenses in place when our thoughts rule our experience.
It is not our job to make ourselves holy. We already are holy, complete, innocent, and whole. There is nothing wrong with us. We are as God created us in our loveliness, but it is not how we experience ourselves. Our experience is one of self-judgment and self-attack. Because of this, we do not consistently feel our purity. In fact, the mind is addicted to darkness and experiences the distortions of the ego. We listen to our own thoughts and believe in our own stories and by doing so, we give them power.
To make space for the miracle we must let our dark thoughts be washed away. It means they first must be exposed. The ego tells us not to go there, saying that there is so much darkness in us that we are better off to keep it contained. This is how we keep the self-attack going. Our holy will has been enslaved by the ego, but this need not be. We can ask for the miracle, which aligns us with the truth of our creation. The miracle offers us moments of joyful opening with no particular reason for that experience. Thus, we see the contrast between the suffering that comes from investing in our own thoughts versus the joy brought about by miracle-mindedness when judgments are released.
Peace is given us in our creation and is always there, behind every thought of despair, worry, distress, concern, jealousy, depression, anger, rejection, sadness, and feelings of abandonment and unworthiness. When such thoughts and feelings are released to the Holy Spirit, space opens up in the mind for the light to shine through. It requires discipline and vigilance. It can't be bestowed on us by some power or some guru. We must do this work ourselves by watching our own minds. While there is no answer outside of our own minds, our mighty companions can hold sacred space for us in our healing. "You whose hand is joined with your brother's have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourself, to reach your shared Identity together." (T.18.VI.10.2) (ACIM OE T.18.VII.58) We cannot know Oneness in this world, but we can see our sameness, which is a reflection of the Oneness.
God's Voice calls to us, but we don't hear it because of the cacophony of our own thoughts. We all experience how relentless and obsessive these thoughts can be. When our focus is on personal problems, on problems of the world, on grievances, on what others think about us, on future plans, on past betrayals, on our addictions to sex and food, on fears and doubts, on regrets, on plans for our future, and on money concerns, there can be no peace of mind. So yes, it does take vigilance to see what grabs our attention and distracts us, but we must also be gentle and easy with ourselves in this process. It is not helpful to condemn ourselves for any seeming lack of progress because if we do, we experience more guilt. It is a daily, if not moment by moment, reminder that this world is just a classroom, and every day and every moment, we can choose again. We can offer our brothers a blessing instead of a judgment or curse, and with each blessing, we receive one for ourselves.
When we see sin in our brother and rejoice in what we see in him, we are cutting ourselves off from peace. We are crucifying the brother that God has given us as a teacher of peace. Yes, it may indeed be the one who seems to be attacking us, but we can never be the judge of who provides us with the biggest gift. Each one offers us another opportunity to go deeper into our own feelings and uncover what we have hidden from awareness. Each one who crosses our path brings with him or her the function of salvation because each one offers us a mirror of our own inner condition. They reflect for us the guilt or the innocence in our own minds. Each one thus becomes a portal through which we can see what we could not access in ourselves by ourselves. Yet how often we refuse to see the gift because it does not always appear to be a gift. It may, in fact, look like rejection, betrayal, judgment, or attack. Where this is the case, it is harder to see our brother's need is as great as our own and the blessing we offer him can bless us both and bring the miracle of healing.
We may be tempted to beat up on ourselves for not meeting expectations of ourselves on this path. It is important to remind ourselves that there is nothing to strive for. When we strive, we are anxious. We are struggling with our ego and fighting it instead of just looking at it. Again, it is important to remain gentle with ourselves in this learning process. We already have it all. We just need to keep reminding ourselves that the peace is already ours. "We need but tell our minds, with certainty, 'The stillness of the peace of God is mine,' and nothing that can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son." (W.273.1.4) If we don't have it, we have actively chosen to throw it away and then blame our brother for taking it from us.
Today, we set a goal for peace and tranquility and remind ourselves with any upset that disturbs us that the stillness of the peace of God is ours. With willingness to look at the upset and bring it to the stillness within, peace is returned to the mind. Nothing can take away our peace. If we don't have it, it is a signal that we are listening to the ego. For me, it is always remembering to ask for guidance in everything. It is to stop the instant I recognize I am disturbed by anything and to take a moment in stillness to look at what I am thinking and be willing to ask for help to see the situation differently. Often, I find I have to withdraw from the conflict by walking away, stepping back from it in order to find a place of sanity in my mind so that I don't take the bait offered me to engage in the insanity.
The belief that we will never "get there" is just another way the ego keeps us feeling stuck. In each moment, we can just start again, and with each mistake, we can ask for the correction, rather than feeling unworthy and guilty. We are called to be a happy learner, meaning to be happy with whatever shows up in our day, knowing it is all for our awakening. We sometimes stubbornly hold onto distressing thoughts because we actually prefer to blame our brother for our lack of peace. This is a conspiracy the ego has set up to keep us imprisoned, wanting revenge on our brother for what he has presumably done. In truth, nothing has happened. We forgive him for what he has not done. Wanting revenge is just an excuse to hold onto our unhappiness and blame our brother for it. It is a picture of the crucified Christ that we hold up to our brother to show him what he has done to us. "Death seems an easy price, if they can say, 'Behold me, brother, at your hand I die'." (T.27.I.4.6) (ACIM OE T.27.II.4)
The Lesson today is more about watching our minds and watching our resistance, than pretending we are always peaceful. We need to remain vigilant if we truly want to see how much we are threatened by true peace and happiness. The underlying motivation for our conflicts is the desire to be rid of peace. We read in the Obstacles to Peace that the first obstacle is our desire to be rid of it. "If you would make it (peace) homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God?" (T.19.IV.A.1.5) (ACIM OE T.19.V.A.40) Today, we are called to stay vigilant as we look at the remnants of attack that we still cherish against our brothers. This is how we keep ourselves limited. With vigilance and willingness, we turn over each remnant of attack to the Holy Spirit so He can shine them away and return our minds to the peace that is our inheritance.
Love and blessings, Sarah

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Six

The Transition  
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CHAPTER 26 I-II, 1-9
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I. Introduction 
1 In the "dynamics" of attack is sacrifice a key idea. It is the pivot upon which all compromise, all desperate attempts to strike a bargain, and all conflicts achieve a seeming balance. It is the symbol of the central theme that somebody must lose. Its focus on the body is apparent, for it is always an attempt to limit loss. The body is itself a sacrifice---a giving up of power in the name of saving just a little for yourself. To see a brother in another body separate from yours is the expression of a wish to see a little part of him and sacrifice the rest. Look at the world, and you will see nothing attached to anything beyond itself. All seeming entities can come a little nearer or go a little farther off but cannot join.
II. The "Sacrifice" of Oneness 
2 The world you see is based on "sacrifice" of oneness. It is a picture of a complete disunity and total lack of joining. Around each entity is built a wall so seeming solid that it looks as if what is inside can never reach without, and what is out can never reach and join with what is locked away within the wall. Each part must sacrifice the other part to keep itself complete. For if they joined, each one would lose its own identity, and by their separation are their selves maintained.
3 The little that the body fences off becomes the self, preserved through sacrifice of all the rest. And all the rest must lose this little part, remaining incomplete to keep its own identity intact. In this perception of yourself, the body's loss would be a sacrifice indeed. For sight of bodies becomes the sign that sacrifice is limited and something still remains for you alone. And for this little to belong to you are limits placed on everything outside, just as they are on everything you think is yours. For giving and receiving are the same. And to accept the limits of a body is to impose these limits on each brother whom you see. For you must see him as you see yourself.
4 The body is a loss and can be made to sacrifice. And while you see your brother as a body, apart from you and separate in his cell, you are demanding sacrifice of him and you. What greater sacrifice could be demanded than that God's Son perceive himself without his Father? And his Father be without His Son? Yet every sacrifice demands that they be separate and without the other. The memory of God must be denied if any sacrifice is asked of anyone. What witness to the wholeness of God's Son is seen within a world of separate bodies, however much he witnesses to truth? He is invisible in such a world. Nor can his song of union and of love be heard at all. Yet is it given him to make the world recede before his song and sight of him replace the body's eyes.
5 Those who would see the witnesses to truth instead of to illusion merely ask that they might see a purpose in the world that gives it sense and makes it meaningful. Without your special function has this world no meaning for you. Yet it can become a treasure house as rich and limitless as Heaven itself. No instant passes here in which your brother's holiness cannot be seen, to add a limitless supply to every meager scrap and tiny crumb of happiness that you allot yourself.
6 You can lose sight of oneness, but can not make sacrifice of its reality. Nor can you lose what you would sacrifice nor keep the Holy Spirit from His task of showing you that it has not been lost. Hear then the song your brother sings to you. And let the world recede and take the rest his witness offers on behalf of peace. But judge him not, for you will hear no song of liberation for yourself nor see what it is given him to witness to that you may see it and rejoice with him. Make not his holiness a sacrifice to your belief in sin. You sacrifice your innocence with his and die each time you see in him a sin deserving death.
7 Yet every instant can you be reborn and given life again. His holiness gives life to you, who cannot die because his sinlessness is known to God and can no more be sacrificed by you than can the light in you be blotted out because he sees it not. You who would make a sacrifice of life and make your eyes and ears bear witness to the death of God and of His holy Son, think not that you have power to make of them what God willed not they be. In Heaven God's Son is not imprisoned in a body nor is sacrificed in solitude to sin.
8 And as he is in Heaven, so must he be eternally and everywhere. He is the same forever---born again each instant, untouched by time, and far beyond the reach of any sacrifice of life or death. For neither did he make, and only one was given him by One Who knows His gifts can never suffer sacrifice and loss. God's justice rests in gentleness upon His Son and keeps him safe from all injustice the world would lay upon him. Could it be that you could make his sins reality and sacrifice his Father's Will for him?
9 Condemn him not by seeing him within the rotting prison where he sees himself. It is your special function to ensure the door be opened that he may come forth to shine on you and give you back the gift of freedom by receiving it of you. What is the Holy Spirit's special function but to release the holy Son of God from the imprisonment he made to keep himself from justice? Could your function be a task apart and separate from His Own?
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