Lesson 278
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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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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
What is the Christ_
WHAT IS THE CHRIST?

<AUDIO><VIDEO>
 
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER* Example MP3
 
   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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DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook
 L e s s o n 278
If I am bound,
my Father is not free.


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    If I accept that I am prisoner
   within a body, in a world in which
   all things that seem to live appear to die,
   then is my Father prisoner with me.
   And this do I believe, when I maintain
   the laws the world obeys must I obey;
   the frailties and the sins which I perceive
   are real, and cannot be escaped. If I
   am bound in any way, I do not know
   my Father or my Self. And I am lost
   to all reality. For truth is free,
   and what is bound is not a part of truth.
 
    Father, I ask for nothing but the truth.
    I have had many foolish thoughts about
    myself and my creation, and have brought
    a dream of fear into my mind. Today
    I would not dream. I choose the way to You
    instead of madness, and instead of fear.
    For truth is safe, and only love is sure.
                 
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
  
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA

LESSON 278
If I am bound, my Father is not free.

Sarah's Commentary:  
  
In Chapter 30, we read the following, which relates to this Lesson: "What cause have you for anger in a world that merely waits your blessing to be free? If you be prisoner, then God Himself could not be free. For what is done to him whom God so loves is done to God Himself. Think not He wills to bind you, Who has made you co-creator of the universe along with Him. He would but keep your will forever and forever limitless. This world awaits the freedom you will give when you have recognized that you are free." (T.30.II.4.1) (ACIM OE T.30.III.36-37)
 
We are not separate from God or from our brothers. We believe we are imprisoned in our body and our body is our reality. We think it contains us and defines us. Jesus says that if this were really the case, God must be a prisoner with us and, just like us, will die. If God could be imprisoned, the ". . . frailties and the sins which I perceive are real, and cannot be escaped." (W.278.1.2) In other words, if sin is real, we can never wake up from this dream of fear, which would be made real too. The dream of separation would be a fact instead of just an illusion.
 
The true power of our will is in our Oneness with God. We experience a reflection of this Oneness when we see that we are not different from each other. There is only mind. When I see separation and differences, I make the illusion real. I believe in the separation, and I no longer experience the love that I am. To love our brothers is to love God. To hate a brother is to hate a part of myself. I take the part that I am judging in myself and see it in my brother and then hate it and judge it there.
 
We limit ourselves by the laws we believe in. We are not asked to deny our belief that we are bodies living in this world and obeying its laws. What we are being asked to do is to investigate our beliefs so we will learn to see that we are only bound by the state of our minds. Fear motivates us to invest in these laws. For example, look at how much fear there is around what we eat. All of the focus on organics, GMO's, pesticides, meat, sugar, food safety, and vitamins can become a religion, increasingly based on fear. It is where we invest our faith. "And would you not have faith in what you have so diligently taught yourself to believe?" (T.16.III.2.7) (ACIM OE T.16.IV.22) "Are you really safer in maintaining the reality of illusions than you would be in joyously accepting truth for what it is, and giving thanks for it?" (T.16.II.5.2) (ACIM OE T.16.III.15) We are dreaming this dream of fear and limiting ourselves by our investment in it and our belief in our bodily existence. In this way, we keep ourselves imprisoned to what is outside of the mind. We are not guilty because we believe in any of these laws, but we need to recognize they keep us bound to certain beliefs about who we are and where our safety lies.
 
We now have a choice as to which voice we will listen to. The ego is the choice for fear. We made this choice when we believed we had separated from love and left our home in Heaven. This was the choice for separation, which we continue to make in each moment we turn to the ego. We are not guilty for turning to the ego, and we are not called to suffer for our decision. Jesus simply urges us to see we are making a mistake that can be corrected, and we can choose the Correction, which we will want to do when we see it is the Source of our happiness.
 
The simplicity of salvation is that there are only two choices. "The Holy Spirit and the ego are the only choices open to you. God created one, and so you cannot eradicate it. You made the other, and so you can. Only what God creates is irreversible and unchangeable. What you made can always be changed because when you do not think like God, you are not really thinking at all. Delusional ideas are not real thoughts, although you can believe in them. But you are wrong." (T.5.V.6.8-14) (ACIM OE T.5.VII.67)
 
Jesus reminds us, "The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself. And you are worthy that your will be done!" (T.31.VI.7.4) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.67) How beautiful is that? We have covered up this truth and this radiance with our false beliefs about ourselves, with our fear thoughts, with our false self-concepts, and with the laws we uphold. It is about seeing what we are thinking and believing, and bringing these beliefs to the light of truth, where they will dissipate. It is about staying vigilant of the thoughts we think apart from God and reminding ourselves they are not the truth. All we are asked to recognize is what is false. Kirsten Buxton writes in her book, I Married a Mystic, thatthe Holy Spirit told her she should put everything she sees into opposing categories-true or false, the real or the unreal. It is something we can practice throughout the day. He explains, "The body's eyes may report differences in shape, size, and actions, so these are put in the false or unreal category. The experience of the present moment-seeing the Christ, feeling the connection of love between you and your brother-is put in the true or real category." Kirsten used the example of her cat, with its body, size, movements, and sounds as unreal but the enjoyment and bliss she felt in its presence as real.
 
When we say today, "Father, I ask for nothing but the truth," (W.278.2.1) they are just words unless we truly mean them. How much do I want the truth? How strong is my desire for it? If we really wanted the truth, we would have it now because the Kingdom of God is here now. We are just more interested in our egos than in the truth. The dream of fear has become our reality as bodies living in this world. We have forgotten who we are and keep choosing to forget every time we turn to the ego. We have invited a stranger (the ego) in and adjusted to its insanity, but we are reminded that this stranger, who came without a purpose, cannot remain ". . . before the shining light the Holy Spirit offered and you accepted." (T.20.III.7.3) (ACIM E T.20.IV.22) We have agreed to choose a better way and to be set free with the help of the Holy Spirit. We do this step-by-step as the fear of being hurled into reality would be too overwhelming for us. We are now choosing truth instead of madness and love instead of fear with each decision we make. Truth is the only place of safety. This is the only place in our minds where we are totally secure, totally free of fear, and released from beliefs in lack and needs. And it is from this place within us, where truth resides, that we can be taught what we are. "This is a course in how to know yourself. You have taught what you are, but have not let what you are teach you." (T.16.III.4.2) (ACIM OE T.16.IV.24) The truth is within. Turn to that truth daily. We do not need gurus, although teachers, who point us to the truth, are helpful.
 
"I sought for many things, and found despair." (W.251.1.1) We think we wanted the things we sought for, but these things were all just substitutes for truth. We will seek them until we recognize they bring us nothing. Peace can only be found when dreams are gone. In this awareness, we are free, but we don't know it yet. We still think our reality is a body, living in this world. As long as this seems to be the case, we are not asked to deny our bodily needs nor change our behaviors. While we continue to obey the laws of this world, we increasingly bring awareness to the fact that our true need is to obey the law of love. This requires all false beliefs that keep us bound to this dream be brought to truth. We choose to take this course of action on behalf of our own happiness. It is how our suffering is released when we live in the flow of inspiration rather than the demands and requirements of the ego. It is not about adding spirituality to our ego but rather undoing the false. It is not about trying to change ourselves to become a better person but about undoing our identification with personhood through forgiveness and recognizing we are only limitless mind, bound by nothing.
 
How do we do this? Jesus tells us, "If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you back to God." (T.4.I.4.7) (ACIM OE T.4.II.11) We must first see that we are wrong about everything we currently think, because only then will we be willing to give over the "I know mind" and be open to receive the truth.

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
ACIM Original Edition
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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