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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 26 THE TRANSITION
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
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.
L e s s o n 277
Let me not bind Your Son
with laws I made.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Your Son is free, my Father. Let me not
imagine I have bound him with the laws
I made to rule the body. He is not
subject to any laws I made, by which
I try to make the body more secure.
He is not changed by what is changeable.
He is not slave to any laws of time.
He is as You created him, because
he knows no laws except the Law of Love.
Let us not worship idols, nor believe
in any laws idolatry would make
to hide the freedom of the Son of God.
He is not bound except by his beliefs.
Yet what he is is far beyond his faith
in slavery or freedom. He is free
because he is his Father's Son, and he
can not be bound unless God's Truth can lie,
and God could will that He deceive Himself.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Let me not bind Your Son with laws I made.
We have all kinds of rules and laws with regard to the way we live our lives in this world, all related to the body and maintaining our specialness. These are rules or laws about our nutritional requirements, the vitamins we rely on, whether we follow rules of what we will and won't eat, the kind of sleep requirements we have, rules about money, possessions, acquisitions, relationships, friendships, reciprocity, environment, religion, economics, politics, sex, manners, beauty, and on and on. We literally live by thousands of rules and laws. The Lesson harkens back to one we covered before, which is "I am under no laws but God's." (W.76)
We look to these laws for our salvation. They seem to keep everything secure and intact as we see it, yet Jesus reminds us that these laws imprison us. They are ultimately senseless. They have no meaning. Yet in the dream, we give them a lot of meaning, always looking to these laws to keep us safe and secure, both physically and psychologically, but our salvation is not to be found in these laws. In other words, we think our happiness depends on these laws and requirements, that we hold, being met, yet it is not to be found there. We only have the illusion of safety and happiness in maintaining these laws. The truth is that we are unlimited minds and only in this recognition will we find our safety, happiness, security, and refuge.
What the laws we set up for ourselves do is to give us the illusion of control. The reason we look outside ourselves for protection, safety, and happiness is because we believe what is outside of ourselves is the source of everything that we are experiencing. Yet Jesus asks us to consider that we have reversed cause and effect. The mind is the cause and the world is the effect, not the other way around. We are not bound by anything outside of us. He asks us to deeply question the possibility that we have it all backward. We are beyond all of these laws and are bound only by one thing, which is our mistaken idea of who we are. "The body is endangered by the mind that hurts itself," (W.76.5.2) and nothing else. Our laws are only about saving the body and personal identity and giving power to the things of this world to affect us. While laws have a place in the world of form, in reality, there are no laws but God's, where no loss of any kind is possible, and we are always and forever safe.
Clearly, when we identify with the body and believe in the reality of this world, there are laws we live by. These laws seem to govern our world. We hold beliefs in the way things must be in our lives for our safety, protection, and well-being. We spend a lot of our time and energy protecting and preserving our bodies and our psyches. We bind others to these laws by making them responsible for our happiness. We feel our happiness is secured when others respond to our requirements. But while we enjoy the power we hold over others, Jesus reminds us, all we are doing is keeping ourselves imprisoned in the seeming reality of this world.
What are we to do? We can start by looking at the laws we deem important to our well-being. We can reflect on our beliefs about their importance and begin to question them. This will loosen our attachment to them. I started looking at my rules around reciprocity. I felt that if I did something for someone, I was owed something in return. It may be their gratitude, their money, their love, their admiration, or their gifts in kind. It was all about giving to get. As I question my relationship to money and to the idea of reciprocity, there is a freedom I feel as I am no longer bound to how someone responds to what I give. This also applies to people who live in our home. We have many Course students who have often occupied our home. Initially, I had grievances about "my" stuff, but over the years I have come to recognize more and more that none of it is mine. We have given our house over to the Holy Spirit to be used by Him. Yes, issues still arise, but it is all for the healing of our minds.
Jesus reminds us again and again that when we give, we have already received in the giving. We can only give to ourselves. As I grew in this awareness, I increasingly found that I was releasing my expectations for what others needed to do for me. I continue to heal any disappointments that arise around any expectations I hold of anyone. These expectations are the source of my many judgments and grievances. I have come to see more and more that my giving is my gift to myself. I see that when I give, I can only gain. Questioning all of our laws strengthens our appreciation of the power and freedom of our minds.
Truly, we are under no laws but God's. Only in this awareness can we experience freedom. We are bound only by our beliefs. The ego keeps us invested in our victimhood. As we buy into all its laws and rules, we become fearful, angry, and distressed when they are not followed. Thus, when our laws are breached, we hold grievances. When someone has messed with our rules, it is a source of contention for us. We believe that if someone acted or spoke differently, our happiness would be guaranteed. Are we really that vulnerable to the vicissitudes of what others do or don't do to influence our state of being? In the world of the ego, the answer is yes, indeed! Yet what if we departed from our investment in these laws and recognized we truly are not bound by anything but our beliefs? What if we recognized that these beliefs have kept us bound in slavery to them? What if we questioned every rule we held, every law we live by, and every belief holding them in place? Finally, what if we really recognized that we are eternal beings who cannot die?
"Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem. Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end? We have asked this question before, but now we need to consider it more carefully. It is the one fixed, unchangeable belief of the world that all things in it are born only to die. This is regarded as 'the way of nature,' not to be raised to question, but to be accepted as the 'natural' law of life. The cyclical, the changing and the unsure; the undependable and the unsteady, waxing and waning in a certain way upon a certain path,---all this is taken as the Will of God. And no one asks if a benign Creator could will this."
We come to know who we are when the obstacles to love are cleared away, and we see the Christ in our brothers. This means we will not want to bind our brothers with laws we have imposed on them, as well as on ourselves. Jesus tells us that as we bind our brothers, we bind God. We have as many ideas about Who God is as who our brothers are. In fact, in the third Law of Chaos, we not only tell God Who He is but "He must accept His Son's belief in what he is, and hate him for it." (T.23.II.6.6) (ACIM OE T.23.III.24) With this belief comes the belief in sin and guilt. While Jesus tells us in reality we are free, we imagine we are bound by our sin and guilt and must therefore live in fear. We bind our brothers by putting on them the sin we believe is in us. This is how we try to free ourselves of the terrible things we think we have done. As long as we keep our brothers bound, we keep ourselves in bondage with them. "A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends his time in keeping watch on him. The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them." (W.192.8.3-6)
Jesus keeps reminding us that we are not changed by what is changeable. What this means is that the truth about us can never be changed by anything in this world of change. We will always remain as we were created. There are no laws in truth except the law of love. All the laws of the world simply hide the truth of what we are. They keep us invested in the things of the world. They keep our focus outside of our own minds where the truth resides. Does this mean we ignore the laws of this world? As long as we still identify as a body living in this world and still believe in linear time, there will be laws we must obey. We are not asked to simply disregard all laws but to question our belief that the laws of this world are the source of our happiness, our security, and our salvation. In my life, some laws have fallen away and others I still obey while still recognizing I don't have to believe in them even as I obey them. I stop at traffic lights, brush my teeth, and eat healthy foods. The Course is not about behavior but what is going on in our minds. It is to be in the world but not of the world. Don't be afraid to question all of the rules and laws you hold about everything and to question the nature of your reality.
"Seek not to make the Son of God adjust to his insanity. There is a stranger in him, who wandered carelessly into the home of truth and who will wander off. He came without a purpose, but he will not remain before the shining light the Holy Spirit offered, and you accepted. For there the stranger is made homeless and you are welcome. Ask not this transient stranger, 'What am I?' He is the only thing in all the universe that does not know. Yet it is he you ask, and it is to his answer that you would adjust. This one wild thought, fierce in its arrogance, and yet so tiny and so meaningless it slips unnoticed through the universe of truth, becomes your guide. To it you turn to ask the meaning of the universe. And of the one blind thing in all the seeing universe of truth you ask, 'How shall I look upon the Son of God
(T-20.III.7) (ACIM OE T.20.IV.22)
In other words, the ego is the homeless stranger. It wandered into our pristine home---the mind--- and took over. Now the ego is the master of our house, and it has bound us to its laws, informing us of what we need to be happy. When we obey its requirements, it keeps us savagely bound to its demands. Only by accepting the freedom that the Holy Spirit offers will we loosen the hold the ego has on us. We think of freedom as the body's ability to do what it wants and get what it wants. Yet our true freedom is seeing that the only power is of God and His law of love.
As we read in "What is the Christ?", (W.PII.Q6) we are asked to accept that we are not wanderers, lost in the illusion. We are home in Heaven where we never left. The awful things we think we have said or done have no reality. The answer to the separation and despair that we feel is not outside of us. It is in our minds. Christ is not a small or obscure part of us. It is our reality, and Something in us knows it. We have already decided for God. The ego has taken up a minuscule part of the mind that we have made important by giving it all of our attention. Now, as we withdraw our investment in it and no longer give it importance, its control over our lives will diminish significantly. Enlightenment is already accomplished. The individual character in the dream will never become enlightened. It is the Self that emerges, which has never changed. It is from this vantage point as the observer that we look at what has been made and withdraw our investment in it.
What do we do when we discover dark thoughts in our minds---anger, jealousy, worry, or self-pity? Often we hide these thoughts. We justify them, deny them, or project them onto others. With dedication and willingness, we can bring them to the light, where they are dispelled. We do not need to understand how the healing happens. Our part is simply to bring our dark thoughts to awareness and place them on the inner altar for healing. If we continue to hang onto them, we have not released them. If we continue to worry about when they will dissipate, we are failing to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to dissolve the darkness in His light. It takes great willingness to have the courage and trust to move through this process. We may need to rely on others to hold the space for us as we bring forward our fears. Only those who do not reflect false empathy by joining us in our tale of woe of being hurt by something outside of ourselves can be truly helpful. To be truly helpful is not to believe anyone's story but to see unhappiness can only come from the choice to listen to the voice of the ego.
"The Holy Spirit reaches from the Christ in you to all your dreams, and bids them come to Him, to be translated into truth."
(W.PII.Q6.4.1) Don't let shame, stubbornness, and humiliation keep your thoughts to yourself. Jesus tells us, "He loves what He sees within you." (T.13.V.9.6) (ACIM OE T.12.V.42) In every attack thought you have, He sees only your call for love. Nothing is beyond redemption. Nothing is outside the reach of the Atonement. He will transform it all, but if we hide it from Him, He can't help us. He is not shocked by anything we bring to Him. He sees past the illusion.
In all our fears, dreams, and expectations, He hears our call for help and our longing for completion. All of our secret sins and hidden fears, we can bring to Him for healing. "He will exchange them for the final dream which God appointed as the end of dreams." (W.PII.Q6.4.2) (This is the happy dream or the real world or true perception.) This comes when all guilt has been given over and when we have learned to bring all the blocks, that are hiding our true Self, to the Holy Spirit.
We are looking for what we already are in truth---The Christ. All we need to do is allow the obstacles to awakening to be removed by the Holy Spirit. "Your part is simply to allow all obstacles that you have interposed between the Son and God the Father to be quietly removed forever." (W.189.8.3) Ask and receive.
What is the Christ? You are. I am. Our only purpose here is to heal so we can remember who we are. We never hate our brother for what he has done to us, but we hate ourselves for what we do to him. And what we do to him is that we dump our self-hate and self-attack onto him. Now we can use him as a reflection of our self-hate and take back our projections and allow them to be healed, so we can be freed from the prison we have made.
Love and blessings, Sarah
III. The Forms of Error
10 It is not difficult to understand the reasons why you do not ask the Holy Spirit to solve
all problems for you. He has not greater difficulty in resolving some than others. Every problem is the same to Him because each one is solved in just the
same respect and through the
same approach. The aspects which need solving do not change, whatever form the problem seems to take. A problem can appear in many forms, and it will do so while the problem lasts. It serves no purpose to attempt to solve it in a special form. It will recur and then recur again and yet again until it has been answered for all time and will not rise again in any form. And only then are you released from it.
11 The Holy Spirit offers you release from
every problem that you think you have. They are the same to Him because each one, regardless of the form it seems to take, is a demand that someone suffer loss and make a sacrifice that you might gain. And when the situation is worked out so no one loses, is the problem gone because it was an error in perception which now has been corrected. One mistake is not more difficult for Him to bring to truth than is another. For there
is but one mistake---the whole idea that loss is possible and could result in gain for anyone. If this were true, then God would be unfair, sin would be possible, attack be justified, and vengeance fair.
12 This one mistake in any form has
one correction. There
is no loss; to think there is, is a mistake. You
have no problems, though you think you have. And yet you could not think so if you saw them vanish one by one without regard to size, complexity, or place and time, or any attribute which you perceive that makes each one seem different from the rest. Think not the limits you impose on what you see can limit God in any way.
13 The miracle of justice can correct
all errors. Every problem
is an error. It does injustice to the Son of God and therefore is not true. The Holy Spirit does not evaluate injustices as great or small or more or less. They have no properties to Him. They are mistakes from which the Son of God is suffering, but needlessly. And so He takes the thorns and nails away. He does not pause to judge whether the hurt be large or little. He makes but one judgment---that to hurt God's Son
must be unfair and therefore is not so.
14 You who believe it safe to give but some mistakes to be corrected while you keep the others to yourself, remember this: justice is total. There is no such thing as partial justice. If the Son of God is guilty, then is he condemned, and he deserves no mercy from the God of justice. But ask not God to punish him because
you find him guilty and would have him die. God offers you the means to see his innocence. Would it be fair to punish him because you will not look at what is there to see? Each time you keep a problem for yourself to solve or judge that it is one which has no resolution, you have made it great and past the hope of healing. You deny the miracle of justice
can be fair.
15 If God is just, then can there be no problems that justice cannot solve. But you believe that some injustices are fair and good and necessary to preserve yourself. It is these problems that you think are great and cannot be resolved. For there are those you
want to suffer loss and no one whom you wish to be preserved from sacrifice entirely. Consider once again your special function.
One is given you to see in him his perfect sinlessness. And you will ask no sacrifice of him because you could not will he suffer loss. The miracle of justice you call forth will rest on you as surely as on him. Nor will the Holy Spirit be content until it is received by everyone. For what you give to Him
is everyone's, and by your giving it can He ensure that everyone receives it equally.
16 Think then how great your own release will be when you are willing to receive correction for all your problems. You will not keep one, for pain in any form you will not want. And you will see each little hurt resolved before the Holy Spirit's gentle sight. For all of them
are little in His sight and worth no more than just a tiny sigh before they disappear, to be forever undone and unremembered. What seemed once to be a special problem, a mistake without a remedy, or an affliction without a cure, has been transformed into a universal blessing. Sacrifice is gone. And in its place the love of God can be remembered and will shine away all memory of sacrifice and loss.
17 God cannot be remembered until justice is loved instead of feared. He cannot be unjust to anyone or anything because He knows that everything that is belongs to Him and will forever be as He created it. Nothing He loves but must be sinless and beyond attack. Your special function opens wide the door beyond which is the memory of His love kept perfectly intact and undefiled. And all you need to do is but to wish that Heaven be given you instead of hell, and every bolt and barrier that seems to hold the door securely barred and locked will merely fall away and disappear. For it is not your Father's Will that you should offer or receive less than He gave when He created you in perfect love.
IV. The Borderland
18 Complexity is not of God. How could it be, when all He knows is one? He knows of
one truth, and but
one Son. Nothing conflicts with oneness. How, then, could there be complexity in Him? What is there to decide? For it is conflict that makes choice possible. The truth is simple---it is one, without an opposite. And how could strife enter in its simple presence and bring complexity where oneness is? The truth makes no decisions, for there is nothing to decide
between. And only if there were could choosing be a necessary step in the advance toward oneness. What is everything leaves room for nothing else.
19 Yet is this magnitude beyond the scope of this curriculum. Nor is it necessary we dwell on anything that cannot be immediately grasped. There is a borderland of thought which stands between this world and Heaven. It is not a place, and when you reach it is apart from time. Here is the meeting-place where thoughts are brought together---where conflicting values meet and all illusions are laid down beside the truth where they are judged to be untrue. This borderland is just beyond the gate of Heaven. Here is every thought made pure and wholly simple. Here
is sin denied and everything that is received instead.
20 This is the journey's end. We have referred to it as the real world. And yet there is a contradiction here in that the words imply a limited reality, a partial truth, a segment of the universe made true. This is because knowledge makes no attack upon perception. They are brought together, and only one continues past the gate where Oneness is. Salvation is a borderland where place and time and choice have meaning still, and yet it can be seen that they are temporary, out of place, and every choice has been already made.
21 Nothing the Son of God believes can be destroyed. But what is truth to him must be brought to the last comparison that he will ever make, the last evaluation that will be possible, the final judgment upon this world. It is the judgment of the truth upon illusion, of knowledge on perception---it has no meaning and does not exist. This is not your decision. It is but a simple statement of a simple fact. But in this world, there
are no simple facts because what is the same and what is different remain unclear. The one essential thing to make a choice at all is this distinction. And herein lies the difference between the worlds. In this one, choice is made impossible. In the real world is choosing simplified.
22 Salvation stops just short of Heaven, for only perception needs salvation. Heaven was never lost and so cannot be saved. Yet who can make a choice between the wish for Heaven and the wish for hell unless he recognizes they are
not the same? This difference is the learning goal this course has set. It will not go beyond this aim. Its only purpose is to teach what is the same and what is different, leaving room to make the only choice which
can be made.
23 There is no basis for choice in this complex and over-complicated world. For no one understands what is the same and seems to choose where no choice really is. The real world is the area of choice made real, not in the outcome but in the perception of
alternatives for choice. That there
is choice is an illusion. Yet within this one lies the undoing of
every illusion, not excepting this.
24 Is not this like your special function, where the separation is undone by change of purpose in what once was specialness and now is union?
All illusions are but one. And in the recognition this is so lies the ability to give up all attempts to choose between them and to
make them different. [How simple is the choice between two things so clearly
is no conflict here. No sacrifice is possible in the relinquishment of an illusion
recognized as such. Where all reality has been withdrawn from what was never true, can it be hard to give it up and choose what
must be true?
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