Lesson 279
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Now is the Only Time
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 26 "THE TRANSITION"
IX. THE IMMEDIACY OF SALVATION  
 
76 Be not content with future happiness. It has no meaning and is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now. What profits freedom in a prisoner's form? Why should deliverance be disguised as death? Delay is senseless, and the "reasoning" which would maintain effects of present cause must be delayed until a future time is merely a denial of the fact that consequence and cause must come as one. Look not to time but to the little space between you still to be delivered from. And do not let it be disguised as time and so preserved because its form is changed and what it is cannot be recognized. The Holy Spirit's purpose now is yours. Should not His happiness be yours as well?   
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CHAPTER 26 IX, 68-76
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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.
  
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L e s s o n 279
Creation's freedom promises my own. 
 
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   The end of dreams is promised me, because
   God's Son is not abandoned by His Love.
   Only in dreams is there a time when he
   appears to be in prison, and awaits
   a future freedom, if it be at all.
   Yet in reality his dreams are gone,
   with truth established in their place. And now
   is freedom his already. Should I wait
   in chains which have been severed for release,
   when God is offering me freedom now?
 
    I will accept Your promises today,
    and give my faith to them. My Father loves
    the Son Whom He created as His Own.
    Would You withhold the gifts You gave to me?
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 279
Creation's freedom promises my own.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  
 
"The end of dreams is promised me, because God's Son is not abandoned by His Love." (W.279.1.1) It is a promise that God makes because His Love is with us now. We have not been abandoned in the dream. Whenever we are ready to accept that we are at home in God now, we will awaken. This dream has had no effect on our reality. We may be feeling impatient and discouraged along the way if peace and ultimately enlightenment still seems to be a long way off, but Jesus urges patience. He says in the Manual for Teachers, "Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome, at a time perhaps unknown to him as yet, but not in doubt. The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes; nothing that did not serve to benefit the world, as well as him to whom it seemed to happen. Perhaps it was not understood at the time." (M.4.VIII.Patience.1.1-7)
 
Isn't that a terrific reminder? I especially love that nothing that happens is wrong in our seeming journey through time. Everything along the way is exactly as it needs to be for our awakening. Jesus tells us that the past held no mistakes, and where we are, right now, is perfect! This world is all a perfect classroom, with everything and everyone in our lives perfectly orchestrated for our healing. And it has all been orchestrated by our own minds. There is nothing and no one outside of us. Where there seem to be setbacks or events that are painful to the ego, they are actually taking us deeper to another layer that is being brought up for healing. This is so perfectly illustrated in the movie, Thank You for Sharing.
 
I am currently reading, I Married a Mystic, and something that struck me and related to the above was that when the author, Kirsten Buxton, doubted the value of her contribution, the Holy Spirit assured her that it was perfect by saying, "You don't know what kind of effect your reply (to a question) has had on others, and I can assure you that what was said was perfect. Trust in divine order. When you doubt, you block your awareness of me---even doubting after an event blocks your awareness. Every moment is an opportunity to ask me for guidance. Trust that all things work together for good."
 
This is a good reminder when we start to become impatient or even discouraged, when we get angry about our current situation, or when we critique or second guess ourselves about what we should have said or done. We can rest in the knowledge that there is no doubt the dream will end when the time is right, which is when our minds are ready. And our readiness comes as we learn that anything we think we have done or have not done has had any impact on the truth of who we really are. In fact, this dream that we are dreaming has no reality at all! Yes, it does seem to have an impact on us while we still believe we are in it; but we have a choice---to move outside of the dream, above the battleground. When we do this, we leave the battleground of our own thoughts and look at the dream as if we were watching a movie in which we play a character, but it is not who we are but simply a role we have assumed. From this place of awareness, we become the observers of the dream figures. When we identify with the dream and the dream figures, we believe we are imprisoned in the world and in this body. The truth is that our only reality is the Christ Self. This is the source of our freedom that we experience in the holy instant.
 
The chains have been severed. Jesus offers us freedom now, but he reminds us, "Prisoners bound with heavy chains for years, starved and emaciated, weak and exhausted, and with eyes so long cast down in darkness they remember not the light, do not leap up in joy the instant they are made free. It takes a while for them to understand what freedom is. You groped but feebly in the dust and found your brother's hand, uncertain whether to let it go or to take hold on life so long forgotten. Strengthen your hold and raise your eyes unto your strong companion, in whom the meaning of your freedom lies. He seemed to be crucified beside you. And yet his holiness remained untouched and perfect, and with him beside you, you shall this day inter with him to Paradise, and know the peace of God." (T.20.III.9.1-6) (ACIM OE T.20.IV.25)
 
Our way to freedom is by freeing our brothers. We take a brother's hand and release him from the prison in which he sees himself by recognizing his innocence, which is how we can know our own. Thus, we go home together. We do it on this worldly plane by forgiving what our brother did not do. In giving, we receive. In loving, we know love. In healing, we are healed, and in seeing the innocence and perfection in our brother, we know our own. In other words, we see the Christ in our brother and thus come to know the Self we truly are. We can only see the Christ in him when we bring to awareness our own blocks to love that we hold in our own minds. We ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to reinterpret our misperceptions so we can see truly. We take responsibility for our misperceptions, recognizing that we are wrong about the way we see our brother, but we are willing to be taught.
 
There was a time when I felt superior on this journey, believing that those who did not embrace spirituality as I did were shallow and superficial. I had a limited interest in engaging with them. It was a way I kept myself in judgment. Now I see that it was a projection of my own superficiality and just another mistake. Any concept we hold about ourselves, including the concept of being spirituality elevated, has a shadow, which is what we project. The shadow in this instance was my fear of seeing my own superficiality. It was my own self-attack that was being projected rather than courageously being brought to the light. Bringing it back into my own mind was what needed to happen if it were to be healed. True, I feel more at home with my mighty companions on this journey and do seek them out for support, but our minds can never be healed as long as we choose to see ourselves as separate or different from any brother. There can be no exceptions in this.
 
Freedom is in joining, not in separating. We have been model prisoners for a very long time. We are now using the Course teaching to learn what real freedom is and how to achieve it. We need to be patient in the process and have faith that the end is certain. Salvation is simply to become aware that we are dreaming and are keeping ourselves bound to this dream by the belief in sin and guilt. We do so by keeping ourselves bound by our own thoughts and by holding onto our conditioned beliefs. Unwinding the mind is a process of taking responsibility for our minds. We have been given the means for undoing all that is false. We now need to apply them by being vigilant and mindful in watching our thoughts and taking responsibility for them. Nothing is outside of our own minds.
 
"Brother, take not one step in the descent to hell. For having taken one, you will not recognize the rest for what they are. And they will follow. Attack in any form has placed your foot upon the twisted stairway that leads from Heaven. Yet any instant it is possible to have all this undone. How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven or the way to hell? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness? Are you certain which way you go? And are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask, then, your Friend [the Holy Spirit] to join with you, and give you certainty of where you go." (T.23.II.22.1-13) (ACIM OE T.23.III.40)
It is important to watch our minds and not indulge the story, which takes us down many steps into hell. When we notice the first few thoughts of anger or distress, it is much easier to release them than when we build a case. Let us commit to being vigilant today. Let us focus on the certainty of God's promise. Let us remember that all is perfect for our awakening. We are exactly where we need to be at this moment and can choose peace in whatever situation we find ourselves.
 
Practically then, how does this look? Well, imagine an event, circumstance, or person that you deem to be the cause of your upset. You feel a lot of conflict or experience fear. What do you do? The first thing is to stop, take a breath, and come into the present moment, inviting the Holy Spirit in. This may require removing yourself from the person or situation. Now, look at what has happened by inquiring what this is about for you. It is not about analyzing or beating up on yourself or making yourself guilty, but quietly looking at what is being triggered in you.
 
The answers may not come right away, but the inquiry is helpful. Why? It is helpful because identifying the issues that have resulted in the upset within you helps to bring them to your awareness so you can then turn them over to the Holy Spirit for healing. They are just mistaken notions about yourself. In every situation, we are being called to remember the truth of who we are. Ask for help from the Holy Spirit. This is a time to do the Lesson and be reminded of the truth. The truth will resonate with you because it is already in your mind. You can be at peace even with your upset because you are not your upset. You are the observer that sees the character in the dream that you identify as yourself. When you look at the character without judgment but with love and compassion, you are freed from the dream. In acceptance of the truth are we set free, and this always starts by simply looking at the ego from above the battleground.
  
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 IX, 68-76
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
 
 
 
IX. The Immediacy of Salvation    
 
68 The one remaining problem that you have is that you see an interval between the time when you forgive and will receive the benefits of trust. This but reflects the little you would keep between yourselves that you might be a little separate. For time and space are one illusion which takes different forms. If it has been projected beyond your minds, you think of it as time. The nearer it is brought to where it is, the more you think of it in terms of space.
 
69 There is a distance you would keep apart from one another, and this space you see as time because you still believe you are external to each other. This makes trust impossible. And you cannot believe that trust would settle every problem now. Thus do you think it safer to remain a little careful and a little watchful of interests perceived as separate. From this perception you cannot conceive of gaining what forgiveness offers now. The interval you think lies in between the giving and receiving of the gift seems to be one in which you sacrifice and suffer loss. You see eventual salvation, not immediate results.
 
70 Salvation is immediate. Unless you so perceive it, you will be afraid of it, believing that the risk of loss is great between the time its purpose is made yours and its effects will come to you. In this form is the error still obscured that is the source of fear. Salvation would wipe out the space you see between you still and let you instantly become as one. And it is here you fear the loss would lie. Do not project this fear to time, for time is not the enemy that you perceive. Time is as neutral as the body is except in terms of what you see it for. If you would keep a little space between you still, you want a little time in which forgiveness is withheld a little while. This makes the interval between the time in which forgiveness is withheld and given seem dangerous, with terror justified.
 
71 Yet space between you is apparent now and cannot be perceived in future time. No more can it be overlooked except within the present. Future loss is not your fear. But present joining is your dread. Who can feel desolation except now? A future cause as yet has no effects. And therefore must it be that if you fear, there is a present cause. And it is this that needs correction, not a future state.
 
72 The plans you make for safety all are laid within the future, where you cannot plan. No purpose has been given it as yet, and what will happen has as yet no cause. Who can predict effects without a cause? And who could fear effects unless he thought they had been caused and judged disastrous now? Belief in sin arouses fear and, like its cause, is looking forward; looking back, but overlooking what is here and now. Yet only here and now its cause must be if its effects already have been judged as fearful. And in overlooking this, is it protected and kept separate from healing. For a miracle is now. It stands already here in present grace, within the only interval of time which sin and fear have overlooked but which is all there is to time. The working out of all correction takes no time at all.
 
73 Yet the acceptance of the working out can seem to take forever. The change of purpose the Holy Spirit brought to your relationship has in it all effects that you will see. They can be looked at now. Why wait till they unfold in time and fear they may not come, although already there? You have been told that everything brings good that comes from God. And yet it seems as if this is not so. Good in disaster's form is difficult to credit in advance. Nor is there really sense in this idea.
 
74 Why should the good appear in evil's form? And is it not deception if it does? Its cause is here if it appears at all. Why are not its effects apparent then? Why in the future? And you seek to be content with sighing and with "reasoning" you do not understand it now but will some day. And then its meaning will be clear. This is not reason, for it is unjust and clearly hints at punishment until the time of liberation is at hand. Given a change of purpose for the good, there is no reason for an interval in which disaster strikes, to be perceived as "good" some day but now in form of pain. This is a sacrifice of now, which could not be the cost the Holy Spirit asks for what He gave without a cost at all.
 
75 Yet this illusion has a cause which, though untrue, must be already in your mind. And this illusion is but one effect which it engenders and one form in which its outcome is perceived. This interval in time, when retribution is perceived to be the form in which the "good" appears, is but one aspect of the little space that lies between you, unforgiven still.
 
76 Be not content with future happiness. It has no meaning and is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now. What profits freedom in a prisoner's form? Why should deliverance be disguised as death? Delay is senseless, and the "reasoning" which would maintain effects of present cause must be delayed until a future time is merely a denial of the fact that consequence and cause must come as one. Look not to time but to the little space between you still to be delivered from. And do not let it be disguised as time and so preserved because its form is changed and what it is cannot be recognized. The Holy Spirit's purpose now is yours. Should not His happiness be yours as well?
 
 
*Paragraph 36 in Section VI 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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