Lesson 276
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Dream Himself Across
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 26 "THE TRANSITION"
VI. THE LITTLE HINDRANCE 
 
  36* [Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. Madness speaks no more. There is no other teacher and no other way. For what has been undone no longer is. And who can stand upon a distant shore and dream himself across an ocean to a place and time that have long since gone by? How real a hindrance can this dream be to where he really is? For this is fact and does not change whatever dreams he has. Yet can he still imagine he is elsewhere and in another time. In the extreme, he can delude himself that this is true and pass from mere imagining into belief and into madness, quite convinced that where he would prefer to be, he is.]

*Paragraph 36 does not appear in the Original Edition manuscript. This content was restored in the 2009 Revision from an earlier manuscript and was numbered 35a. However, starting with the 2012 Revision, paragraph 35a was changed to 36 and therefore all of the following paragraphs, through the end of Chapter 26, have been renumbered. -Ed.
 
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CHAPTER 26 V-VI, 25-43
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WHAT IS THE CHRIST?
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER
 
   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 276
The Word of God is given me to speak. 
 
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   What is the Word of God? "My Son is pure,
   and holy as Myself." And thus did God
   become the Father of the Son He loves,
   for thus was he created. This the Word
   His Son did not create with Him, because
   in this His Son was born. Let us accept
   His Fatherhood, and all is given us.
   Deny we were created in His Love,
   and we deny our Self, to be unsure
   of who we are, of who our Father is,
   and for what purpose we have come. And yet,
   we need but to acknowledge Him Who gave
   His Word to us in our creation, to
   remember Him and so recall our Self.
 
    Father, Your Word is mine. And it is this
    that I would speak to all my brothers, who
    are given me to cherish as my own,
    as I am loved and blessed and saved by You.
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 276
The Word of God is given me to speak.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  

What is the word of God given me to speak today? It is this: "My Son is pure and holy as Myself." (W.276.1.2) That is what Jesus wants us to understand---we all share the Oneness of the Christ Self, have never separated from Oneness, and our reality is as pure and holy as God Himself. The word of God is a reflection of the Atonement Principle. It is the assurance that we could never separate from our Source. Jesus wants us to see that what we have made of ourselves is not the truth. We are as God created us in His image and with all His attributes. No matter what we think we have done, we simply cannot change the truth. Now we just have to learn to accept it. "Let us accept His Fatherhood, and all is given us." (W.276.1.5) To accept all that is given us is to accept the truth of the Christ Self that we are, the truth about our brothers, and the truth that God is our Father. We resist God's Will in the belief that His Will is not in our best interests. We fear that He will require us to sacrifice what we think we want and need for our happiness. This reflects not only our problem with authority, but our mistrust of God and of the love we are. Thus, we maintain control rather than surrender our ideas and trust in His Love for us.
 
This reminds me of the movie, The Horse Whisperer. The horse named Pilgrim has been crippled in a riding accident, as is the girl whose leg is badly injured and must be amputated. Robert Redford, as the Horse Whisperer, approaches these two with great patience, just as Jesus works with us when we don't trust that he only wants our own highest good. Booker (Redford) approaches both with a very gentle touch, recognizing the only way he will win their trust is with total love and acceptance. He is also dealing with the mother, who feels her safety lies in controlling everything, even though she herself, an alcoholic, is not in control of her own life. Pilgrim, the horse, finally succumbs to Booker, though it requires that he exert some gentle force in hobbling Pilgrim until he finally gives in. It is a reflection of our own stubborn egos and our resistance to giving in and surrendering. We dig in our heels and insist, "I want it thus!" (T.18.II.4.1) (ACIM OE T.18.III.17), which is the ego's mantra in life. We insist on being right about who we are rather than choosing happiness.
 
We think we are independent of God and have made ourselves what we are and continue to shape and mold our personalities. We prefer to live with our own crippling thoughts of unworthiness and self-attack rather than fall into the arms of Love. It seems insane, and it is. There is a familiarity and a comfort in staying with what we have always believed. Change frightens us because the first change we experienced was the separation. Yet Jesus reminds us that we were created as an extension of God's Love, and we cannot make ourselves over into something we are not. Once we completely submit to this truth, we will have overcome our investment in our independence. It is a process of undoing and everything is given us to support this process. It can be painful to the ego, but always glorious to the spirit.
 
Independence is a conspiracy against our own best interests. In order to get away from painful emotions brought about by guilt, we learned to dissociate from them, pretending not to care. We try to maintain control instead and to have things our way so we won't be hurt again. We build a protective defense system around ourselves, both physically and psychologically. Now, we are afraid of true partnership and joining, where our vulnerabilities will be exposed. We no longer trust those whom we believe are the cause of our painful emotions. When we are willing to see that the pain comes from our own unhealed minds, we welcome the opportunity to look behind our defenses and to bring our issues forward for healing, which is the only way to remember who we are.
 
I remember how it was for me as a five-year-old, living in Sweden in a refugee camp, feeling the chaos of life around me, and feeling the lack of protection from the adults in my life. It seems I made a decision, at that point, that I would only rely on myself. It seemed to me there was no protection in this dangerous world. It was as if I made a decision to kick God off the throne and instead decided that I was now taking over and managing my life myself. It was a process of dissociation from the pain of sadness and rejection. My need for love and protection was lacking in my perception. When we dissociate, we pretend it does not matter. The pain and heartbreak do not get expressed, and thus there is no healing. The emotions get buried until circumstances contrive to bring them to our attention and we commit to doing the healing work. It was not until I recognized and acknowledged that I had chosen this whole story of victimhood at the hands of those seemingly uncaring adults that I could choose to start the process of forgiveness.
 
We all have our own version of our stories of victimization and thus justify our anger and attack and project the guilt. We feel guilty for having made ourselves, believing we are separate from God, all the while making others responsible for our condition. "A concept of the self is made by you. It bears no likeness to yourself at all. It is an idol, made to take the place of your reality as Son of God." (T.31.V.2.1-3) (ACIM OE T.31.V.44) The guilt we hold in the mind over having left the love we are is now projected out. We need those who have hurt us and betrayed us to be there so we can hold them responsible for our pain instead of ourselves. Thus, they are seen as the guilty ones whom we hope will be punished, while God will see us as the innocent victims we believe we are. Seeing others as guilty justifies our attacks on them in our minds.
 
You may notice that there is a kind of satisfaction in telling our stories of victimhood. It is the satisfaction of expressing revenge for what others have done to us. But notice, too, that none of these strategies get rid of the guilt in our minds. In fact, they do the opposite. They bring on more guilt because every time we attack, we feel guiltier. The ego's ploy is to keep the guilt intact in our minds while projecting it onto others. "'I am the thing you made of me, and as you look on me, you stand condemned because of what I am'." (T.31.V.5.3) (ACIM OE T.31.V.47) What is now required for our healing is to take responsibility for our own guilt rather than holding others responsible for our pain. We are able to see what we are holding in our wrong minds, against ourselves, by looking at what we are projecting and how we are holding others responsible for our lack of peace. Thus, projection can serve a very useful purpose in our healing as it allows us to see in our brother what is unhealed in ourselves, and thus he is our savior.
 
We are not what we have made of ourselves. We are not these bodies and personalities that we think we are. We are the Son of God, pure and holy. That is our true reality as the Christ. As we are told over and over again by Jesus---we are as God created us. The Atonement Principle assures us that we cannot and have not changed ourselves. We cannot separate from God. We can believe that we have separated and have forgotten the truth of our Being, but we cannot change it. It seems arrogant to accept the magnificence and the mightiness of the Self we are, yet Jesus says it is arrogant not to accept God's word about what we are. Do we really know better than God?
 
We are reliving the original "tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made." (T.26.V.3.5) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.32) It is when we chose the ego; but now we can see the consequences of that choice, and we can choose again in each instant. Do we want to attack or do we want to forgive? Do we want to give our brother a gift of thorns or lilies? The choice is ours, and with each choice that we make for Heaven, we open more deeply to the truth of who we are. The truth has never left us and is waiting for our acknowledgment. The ball is in our court.
 
"Deny we were created in His Love and we deny our Self, to be unsure of Who we are, of Who our Father is, and for what purpose we have come." (W.276.1.6) Isn't this how we feel? We feel uncertain of who we are and wonder what meaning there is to our existence, how we got here, and what our purpose is. The only reason for we have this uncertainty is because of our denial of our Creator, Who is the Author of our existence. We have not made ourselves. When we recognize how wrong we have been about everything, we can start on the path of asking to be taught. We now turn to the Holy Spirit, Who is in our right minds, and we ask for His help in how to respond to everyone in our lives. When we turn to the ego, we respond with anger and attack, justifying our behavior with the belief that those we attack caused our reactions. The Holy Spirit sees every attack as a call for love and understanding. Now we are called to hear beyond the words and listen to the heart of our brothers to hear their call for love and understanding. We are called to share that which we would learn. We are called to embrace everything coming to us, effortlessly, recognizing it is all there for our healing. This allows us to be in the flow of the Spirit.
 
My brothers were "given me to cherish as my own, as I am loved and blessed and saved by You," my Father. (W.276.2.2) Today, we extend God's Word to everyone we meet or think about, and we make space, through forgiveness, for blessings of light and love to shine through us. The message we want to give everyone today is that they are not separate from us. We are the same. We have not changed ourselves, and we have never left God. We give this message to everyone in whatever form we are prompted to give it. Today, we watch our minds when we resist extending this message and inquire as to what we are choosing instead so it can be healed. 
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca 

 
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Six

The Transition  
 
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CHAPTER 26 V-VI, 25-43
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V. Where Sin Has Left 
 
25 Forgiveness is this world's equivalent of Heaven's justice. It translates the world of sin into a simple world where justice can be reflected from beyond the gate behind which total lack of limits lies. Nothing in boundless love could need forgiveness. And what is charity within the world gives way to simple justice past the gate that opens into Heaven. No one forgives unless he has believed in sin and still believes that he has much to be forgiven. Forgiveness thus becomes the means by which he learns he has done nothing to forgive. Forgiveness always rests upon the one who offers it until he sees himself as needing it no more. And thus is he returned to his real function of creating, which his forgiveness offers him again.
 
26 Forgiveness turns the world of sin into a world of glory, wonderful to see. Each flower shines in light, and every bird sings of the joy of Heaven. There is no sadness, and there is no parting here, for everything is totally forgiven. And what has been forgiven must join, for nothing stands between to keep them separate and apart. The sinless must perceive that they are one, for nothing stands between to push the other off. And in the space which sin left vacant do they join as one, in gladness recognizing what is part of them has not been kept apart and separate.
 
27 The holy place on which you stand is but the space that sin has left. And here you see the face of Christ arising in its place. Who could behold the face of Christ and not recall His Father as He really is? Who could fear love and stand upon the ground where sin has left a place for Heaven's altar to rise and tower far above the world and reach beyond the universe to touch the heart of all creation? What is Heaven but a song of gratitude and love and praise by everything created to the Source of its creation? The holiest of altars is set where once sin was believed to be. And here does every light of heaven come to be rekindled and increased in joy. For here is what was lost restored to them and all their radiance made whole again.
 
28 Forgiveness brings no little miracles to lay before the gate of Heaven. Here the Son of God Himself comes to receive each gift that brings him nearer to his home. Not one is lost, and none is cherished more than any other. Each reminds him of His Father's love as surely as the rest. And each one teaches him that what he feared he loves the most. What but a miracle could change his mind, so that he understands that love cannot be feared? What other miracle is there but this? And what else need there be to make the space between you disappear?
 
29 Where sin once was perceived will rise a world which will become an altar to the truth, and you will join the lights of Heaven there and sing their song of gratitude and praise. And as they come to you to be complete, so will you go with them. For no one hears the song of Heaven and remains without a voice that adds its power to the song and makes it sweeter still. And each one joins the singing at the altar which was raised within the tiny spot that sin proclaimed to be its own. And what was tiny then has soared into a magnitude of song in which the universe has joined with but a single voice. This tiny spot of sin that stands between you still is holding back the happy opening of Heaven's gate. How little is the hindrance which withholds the wealth of Heaven from you! And how great will be the joy in Heaven when you join the mighty chorus to the love of God!
 
 
VI. The Little Hindrance 
 
30 A little hindrance can seem large indeed to those who do not understand that miracles are all the same. Yet teaching that is what this course is for. This is its only purpose, for only that is all there is to learn. And you can learn it many different ways. All learning is a help or hindrance to the gate of Heaven. Nothing in between is possible. There are two teachers only, who point in different ways. And you will go along the way your chosen teacher leads. There are but two directions you can take while time remains and choice is meaningful. For never will another road be made except the way to Heaven. You but choose whether to go toward Heaven or away to nowhere. There is nothing else to choose.
 
31 Nothing is ever lost but time, which in the end is [nothing]. [I]t is but a little hindrance to eternity, quite meaningless to the real Teacher of the world. Yet since you do believe in [its reality], why should you waste it going nowhere when it can be used to reach a goal as high as learning can achieve? Think not the way to Heaven's gate is difficult at all. Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding each other's hand and keeping step to Heaven's song, is difficult to do. But it is hard indeed to wander off, alone and miserable, down a road which leads to nothing and which has no purpose.
 
32 God gave His Teacher to replace the one you made, not to conflict with it. And what He would replace has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time passed and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the correction for that one and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. What God gave answer to is answered and is gone.
 
33 To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty was brought to certainty so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it to your heart as if it were before you still.
 
34 The tiny instant you would keep and make eternal passed away in Heaven too soon for anything to notice it had come. What disappeared too quickly to affect the simple knowledge of the Son of God can hardly still be there for you to choose to be your teacher. Only in the past---an ancient past, too short to make a world in answer to creation---did this world appear to rise. So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time that not one note in Heaven's song was missed.
 
35 Yet in each unforgiving act or thought, in every judgment, and in all belief in sin, is that one instant still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he is.
 
36* [Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. Madness speaks no more. There is no other teacher and no other way. For what has been undone no longer is. And who can stand upon a distant shore and dream himself across an ocean to a place and time that have long since gone by? How real a hindrance can this dream be to where he really is? For this is fact and does not change whatever dreams he has. Yet can he still imagine he is elsewhere and in another time. In the extreme, he can delude himself that this is true and pass from mere imagining into belief and into madness, quite convinced that where he would prefer to be, he is.]
 
37 Is this a hindrance to the place whereon he stands? Is any echo from the past that he may hear a fact in what is there to hear where he is now? And how much can his own delusions about time and place affect a change in where he really is? The unforgiven is a voice that calls out from a past forever more gone by. And everything which points to it as real is but a wish that what is gone could be made real again and seen as here and now in place of what is really now and here. Is this a hindrance to the truth the past is gone and cannot be returned to you? And do you want that fearful instant kept, when Heaven seemed to disappear and God was feared and made a symbol of your hate?
 
38 Forget the time of terror that has been so long ago corrected and undone. Can sin withstand the Will of God? Can it be up to you to see the past and put it in the present? You can not go back. And everything that points the way in the direction of the past but sets you on a mission whose accomplishment can only be unreal. Such is the justice your ever-loving Father has ensured must come to you. And from your own unfairness to yourself has He protected you. You cannot lose your way because there is no way but His and nowhere can you go except to Him.
 
39 Would God allow His Son to lose his way along a road long since a memory of time gone by? [This course will teach you only what is now.] A dreadful instant in a distant past, now perfectly corrected, is of no concern nor value. Let the dead and gone be peacefully forgotten. Resurrection has come to take its place. And now you are a part of resurrection not of death. No past illusions have the power to keep you in a place of death, a vault God's Son entered an instant, to be instantly restored unto His Father's perfect Love. And how can he be kept in chains long since removed and gone forever from his mind?
 
40 The Son that God created is as free as God created him. He was reborn the instant that he chose to die instead of live. And will you not forgive him now because he made an error in the past that God remembers not and is not there? Now you are shifting back and forth between the past and present. Sometimes the past seems real, as if it were the present. Voices from the past are heard and then are doubted. You are like to one who still hallucinates but lacks conviction in what he perceives. This is the borderland between the worlds, the bridge between the past and present. Here the shadow of the past remains, but still a present light is dimly recognized. Once it is seen, this light can never be forgotten. It must draw you from the past into the present, where you really are.
 
41 The shadow voices do not change the laws of time or of eternity. They come from what is past and gone and hinder not the true existence of the here and now. The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real and have existence which can be perceived. This terrible illusion was denied in but the time it took for God to give His answer to illusion for all time and every circumstance. And then it was no more, to be experienced as there.
 
42 Each day and every minute in each day and every instant that each minute holds, you but relive the single instant when the time of terror was replaced by love. And so you die each day to live again until you cross the gap between past and present, which is not a gap at all. Such is each life---a seeming interval from birth to death and on to life again, a repetition of an instant gone by long ago, which cannot be relived. And all of time is but the mad belief that what is over is still here and now.
 
43 Forgive the past and let it go, for it is gone. You stand no longer on the ground that lies between the worlds. You have gone on and reached the world that lies at Heaven's gate. There is no hindrance to the Will of God nor any need that you repeat again a journey that was over long ago. Look gently on each other and behold the world in which perception of your hate has been transformed into a world of love.
 
*Paragraph 36 does not appear in the Original Edition manuscript. This content was restored in the 2009 Revision from an earlier manuscript and was numbered 35a. However, starting with the 2012 Revision, paragraph 35a was changed to 36 and therefore all of the following paragraphs, through the end of Chapter 26, have been renumbered. -Ed.
 
 
 
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