Lesson 277
God's Answer is Eternal
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49 Perception's laws are opposite to truth, and what is true of knowledge is not true of anything that is apart from it. Yet has God given answer to the world of sickness which applies to all its forms. God's answer is eternal, though it operates in time where it is needed. Yet because it is of God, the laws of time do not affect its workings. It is in this world, but not a part of it. For it is real and dwells where all reality must be. Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out and seems to be external to the mind is not outside at all but an effect of what is in and has not left its source. 
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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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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 277
Let me not bind Your son with laws I made. 
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    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  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
Let me not bind Your Son with laws I made.

Sarah's Commentary:  

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 made to maintain our specialness. These are rules or laws about nutritional requirements, vitamins we rely on, what we will and won't eat, sleep requirements, rules about money, possessions, acquisitions, relationships, friendships, reciprocity, environment, our surroundings, 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 all fear-based and 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. The fact is, however, that our salvation is not to be found in these laws. In other words, we think our happiness depends on these laws and the requirements that we hold, yet it is not to be found there. We only have the illusion of safety and happiness by doing the best we can to maintain these laws. The rules and commandments we hold are there to keep the ego in check. We rely on an external authority to guide behavior. The truth is that the mind is unlimited, and only in this recognition can 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 that we look outside ourselves for protection, safety, and happiness is that we believe that what is outside of ourselves is the source of everything that we experience. Yet Jesus asks us to consider the fact 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 what we are. It is this idea that has imprisoned us. "The body is endangered by the mind that hurts itself," (W.76.5.2) and nothing else. Consider the fact that all of our laws are made to keep the body safe and to maintain our personal identity. By holding these laws, we give power to the events 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 about how things must be 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 our 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 that we hold over others, Jesus reminds us that 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 observe our beliefs about the importance of the laws and rules we hold 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 began to question my relationship to money, and other forms of giving, and to the idea of reciprocity, I felt a freedom and joy in giving with no strings attached. 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 I can now welcome it, knowing that it is all for healing. No, it is not always easy, yet as much as, I can I choose to be a happy learner.
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 were to depart from our investment in these laws and recognize that we truly are not bound by anything but our beliefs? What if we were to recognize that these beliefs have kept us bound in slavery to them? What if we were to question every rule we held, every law we live by, and every belief holding them in place? Finally, what if we were to really recognize 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." (Manual for Teachers.27.What is Death.1.1-7)
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 that we no longer 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 that in reality, we are free, we imagine that 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 truth resides. Does this mean that we should 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 that 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.7.1-10) (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 do 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. "Do you want freedom of the body or of the mind? For both you cannot have. Which do you value? Which is your goal?" (T.22.VI.1.1-4) (ACIM OE T.22.VII.51) "Where the freedom of the body has been chosen, the mind is used as means whose value lies in its ability to contrive ways to achieve the body's freedom." (T.22.VI.2.1) (ACIM OE T.22.VII.52)
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 forth 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 that unhappiness can only come from the choice to listen to the false self.
"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) Do not 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 cannot 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. Bring all of your secret sins and hidden fears 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 bring all the blocks that hide 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)
What is the Christ? You are. I am. Our only purpose here is to heal so we can remember what we are. We never hate our brother for what he does 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 on him. Now we can see him as a reflection of our self-hate, 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

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Six

The Transition  
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VII. The Appointed Friend  
44 Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing and through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions. All belief in sin, in power of attack, in hurt and harm, in sacrifice and death has come to you. For no one can make one illusion real and still escape the rest. For who can choose to keep the ones which he prefers and find the safety that the truth alone can give? Who can believe illusions are the same and still maintain that even one is best?
45 Lead not your little lives in solitude with one illusion as your only friend. This is no friendship worthy of God's Son, nor one with which he could remain content. Yet God has given him a better Friend in Whom all power in earth and Heaven rests. The one illusion that you think is friend obscures His grace and majesty from you and keeps His friendship and forgiveness from your welcoming embrace. Without Him you are friendless. Seek not another friend to take His place. There is no other friend. What God appointed has no substitute, for what illusion can replace the truth?
46 Who dwells with shadows is alone indeed, and loneliness is not the Will of God. Would you allow one shadow to usurp the throne that God appointed for your Friend if you but realized its emptiness has left yours empty and unoccupied? Make no illusion friend, for if you do, it can but take the place of Him whom God has called your Friend. And it is He who is your only Friend in truth. He brings you gifts that are not of this world, and only He to whom they have been given can make sure that you receive them. He will place them on your throne when you make room for Him on His.
VIII. Review of Principles  
47 This is a course in miracles. And as such, the laws of healing must be understood before the purpose of the course can be accomplished. Let us review the principles that we have covered and arrange them in a way that summarizes all that must occur for healing to be possible. For when it once is possible, it must occur. All sickness comes from separation. When the separation is denied, it goes. For it is gone as soon as the idea which brought it has been healed and been replaced by sanity. Sickness and sin are seen as consequence and cause in a relationship kept hidden from awareness that it may be carefully preserved from reason's light.
48 Guilt asks for punishment, and its request is granted-not in truth but in the world of shadows and illusions built on sin. The Son of God perceives what he would see, because perception is a wish fulfilled. Perception changes, made to take the place of changeless knowledge. Yet is truth unchanged. It cannot be perceived, but only known. What is perceived takes many forms, but none has meaning. Brought to truth, its senselessness is quite apparent. Kept apart from truth, it seems to have a meaning and be real.
49 Perception's laws are opposite to truth, and what is true of knowledge is not true of anything that is apart from it. Yet has God given answer to the world of sickness which applies to all its forms. God's answer is eternal, though it operates in time where it is needed. Yet because it is of God, the laws of time do not affect its workings. It is in this world, but not a part of it. For it is real and dwells where all reality must be. Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out and seems to be external to the mind is not outside at all but an effect of what is in and has not left its source.
50 God's answer lies where the belief in sin must be, for only there can its effects be utterly undone and without cause. Perception's laws must be reversed, because they are reversals of the laws of truth. The laws of truth forever will be true and cannot be reversed, yet can be seen as upside-down. And this must be corrected where the illusion of reversal lies.
51 It is impossible that one illusion be less amenable to truth than are the rest. But it is possible that some are given greater value and less willingly offered to truth for healing and for help. No illusion has any truth in it. Yet it appears some are more true than others, although this clearly makes no sense at all. All that a hierarchy of illusions can show is preference, not reality. What relevance has preference to the truth? Illusions are illusions and are false. Your preference gives them no reality. Not one is true in any way, and all must yield with equal ease to what God gave as answer to them all. God's Will is One. And any wish that seems to go against His Will has no foundation in the truth.
  52 Sin is not error, for it goes beyond correction to impossibility. Yet the belief that it is real has made some errors seem forever past the hope of healing and the lasting grounds for hell. If this were so, would Heaven be opposed by its own opposite, as real as it. Then would God's Will be split in two and all creation be subjected to the laws of two opposing powers until God becomes impatient, splits the world apart, and relegates attack unto Himself. Thus has He lost His Mind, proclaiming sin has taken His reality from Him, and brought His love at last to vengeance's heels. For such an insane picture, an insane defense can be expected but cannot establish that the picture must be true.
53 Nothing gives meaning where no meaning is. And truth needs no defense to make it true. Illusions have no witnesses and no effects. Who looks on them is but deceived. Forgiveness is the only function here and serves to bring the joy this world denies to every aspect of God's Son where sin was thought to rule. Perhaps you do not see the role forgiveness plays in ending death and all beliefs that rise from mists of guilt.
54 Sins are beliefs which you impose between your brother and yourself. They limit you to time and place and give a little space to you, another little space to him. This separating off is symbolized in your perception by a body which is clearly separate and a thing apart. Yet what this symbol represents is but your wish to be apart and separate. Forgiveness takes away what stands between your brother and yourself. It is the wish that you be joined with him and not apart. We call it "wish" because it still conceives of other choices and has not yet reached beyond the world of choice entirely.
55 Yet is this wish in line with Heaven's state and not in opposition to God's Will. Although it falls far short of giving you your full inheritance, it does remove the obstacles which you have placed between the Heaven where you are and recognition of where and what you are. Facts are unchanged. Yet facts can be denied and thus unknown, though they were known before they were denied.

56 Salvation, perfect and complete, asks but a little wish that what is true be true; a little willingness to overlook what is not there; a little sigh that speaks for Heaven as a preference to this world which death and desolation seem to rule. In joyous answer will creation rise within you to replace the world you see with Heaven, wholly perfect and complete. What is forgiveness but a willingness that truth be true? What can remain unhealed and broken from a Unity Which holds all things within Itself? There is no sin. And every miracle is possible the instant that the Son of God perceives his wishes and the Will of God are one.
57 What is the Will of God? He wills His Son have everything. And this He guaranteed when He created him as everything. It is impossible that anything be lost if what you have is what you are. This is the miracle by which creation became your function, sharing it with God. It is not understood apart from Him and therefore has no meaning in this world.
58 Here does the Son of God ask not too much but far too little. He would sacrifice his own identity with everything to find a little treasure of his own. And this he cannot do without a sense of isolation, loss, and loneliness. This is the treasure he has sought to find. And he could only be afraid of it. Is fear a treasure? Can uncertainty be what you want? Or is it a mistake about your will and what you really are? Let us consider what the error is, so it can be corrected, not protected.  
*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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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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