Lesson 28
Mind Awakes and Remembers
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19 Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his Spirit into the hands of his Father. By doing this, the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. All sense of separation disappears, and level confusion vanishes. The Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity, but the Trinity itself is One. There is no confusion within its levels because they are of One Mind and One Will. This single purpose creates perfect integration and establishes the peace of God. Yet this vision can be perceived only by the truly innocent.    
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Workbook Introduction
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1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
2 The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
3 The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time and, if possible, in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
4 Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
5 Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this-you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM       


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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 28
Above all else I want to see things differently.

 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
1 Today we are really giving specific application to the idea for yesterday. In these practice periods, you will be making a series of definite commitments. The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them. And we are still at the beginning. 
2 You may wonder why it is important to say, for example, "Above all else I want to see this table differently." In itself it is not important at all. Yet what is by itself? And what does "in itself" mean? You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all. You either see or not. When you have seen one thing differently, you will see all things differently. The light you will see in any one of them is the same light you will see in them all. 
3 When you say, "Above all else I want to see this table differently," you are making a commitment to withdraw your preconceived ideas about the table and open your mind to what it is and what it is for. You are not defining it in past terms. You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is. You are not binding its meaning to your tiny experience of tables, nor are you limiting its purpose to your little personal thoughts. 
4 You will not question what we have already defined. And the purpose of these exercises is to ask questions and receive the answers. In saying, "Above all else I want to see this table differently," you are committing yourself to seeing. It is not an exclusive commitment. It is a commitment which applies to the table just as much as to anything else, neither more nor less. 
5 You could, in fact, gain vision from just that table if you could withdraw all your own ideas from it and look upon it with a completely open mind. It has something to show you-something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope. Hidden under all your ideas about it is its real purpose, the purpose it shares with all the universe. 
6 In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe. You will be making this same request of each subject which you use in the practice periods. And you are making a commitment to each of them to let their purpose be revealed to you instead of placing your own judgment upon them. 
7 We will have six two minute practice periods today in which the idea for the day is stated first and then applied to whatever you see in looking about you. Not only should the subjects be chosen randomly, but each one should be accorded equal sincerity as today's idea is applied to it in an attempt to acknowledge the equal value of them all in their contribution to your seeing. 
8 As usual, the applications should include the name of the subject which your eyes happen to light on, and you should rest your eyes on it while saying: 
9 Above all else, I want to see this ______ differently
10 Each application should be made quite slowly and as thoughtfully as possible. There is no hurry
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
  Above all else I want to see things differently .  

Sarah's Commentary:

This Lesson follows up on the Lesson yesterday, but now he is asking us to make ". . . a series of definite commitments." (W.28.1.2) Jesus is not asking us to be concerned right now as to whether we are going to keep them; only that we make them, and it is only the willingness to make them that starts us on the way to keeping them. "The question of whether you will keep them in the future is not our concern here. If you are willing at least to make them now, you have started on the way to keeping them." (W.28.1.3-4) He recognizes that this is just a beginning step. You may wonder, "Why would I make this commitment if I won't keep it?" Think about it. When you make a commitment, even if you don't keep it right away, it is still there, waiting for completion. It is setting an intention. We are simply asked to take this first step. Clearly, we have made a commitment to our false identity, and now, we are taking a step toward committing to seeing differently. What that does is it helps us to recognize that we have been wrong in the way we have seen everything. Now we make this commitment to open to another way of looking at the world. Jesus recognizes our resistance and is just asking us to look at our willingness to make this commitment today as a beginning step. He does not want us to feel guilty when we break the commitment that we set today. He continues to make this an invitation to us, and in no way does he want us to feel coerced.
What are we making a commitment to do? We are committing to withdrawing our preconceived ideas about everything we see. It is a recognition of how wrong we have been about our perceptions. Incredible as it may seem, if we are able to withdraw our preconceived notions about just one thing, then ". . . you will see all things differently." (W.28.2.7) For example, if we withdraw all the ideas we have about a table based on our past associations, then it can reveal the truth to us. How is that possible? Well, it is our ideas about everything that clouds our mind. We have our ideas about what everything in this world is for. This harkens back to Lesson 25, which affirms that we don't know what anything is for. The purpose of the world is to obscure the truth. It was made as an attack on God. Everything in this illusory world was made to hide the truth of who we are as eternal beings. It is to keep us focused on the forms of this world, investing them all with our meaning. Thus, everything in the world serves the purpose of keeping us invested in the illusion. When the veil that is drawn across our minds is lifted, we see everything through His eyes and not our own. Now we can use everything in the illusion for a different purpose, which is to heal our minds.
Right now, we don't see that all forms share the same purpose. We think that everything is different from everything else. Thus, we have different names for everything in the world and all with different purposes. Yet when given to the Holy Spirit, the purpose for everything becomes unified. When we see differences, we make the separation real. "You see a lot of separate things about you, which really means you are not seeing at all." (W.28.2.5) Strange as that may sound, we don't need to understand it. He just asks that we commit ourselves to seeing. How much do I want to see things differently? How much do I want to let go of all my past associations, all my ideas, and all my thoughts about tables or anything else in this world?
It is thinking that we know what everything is for that keeps us from the truth. What is the truth? The truth is that God is in our minds, and when the beliefs, values, and concepts that we hold are given over to the Holy Spirit, our way of seeing will be replaced by His vision. Nothing changes outside, but what does change is how we see everything. When we look with the ego, what we see is a world of vengeance. When we turn to our inner Teacher, our interpretation will be shifted, and we will see with vision. Vision is a way of seeing that has nothing to do with the eyes. It is more of an attitude of accepting and embracing all that is. It is how we see when there is no judgment.
We are all invested in being right about the way we see things and the way we have set up reality. We have convinced ourselves of the truth of what we have learned to see and believe. We resist giving up our hard-won meanings and opening our mind to what some call a "beginner's mind", which is like the mind of a child--- open, innocent, and full of awe and wonder. "You are asking what it is, rather than telling it what it is." (W.28.3.3) When we look at a table or anything else in that way, he says, "It has something to show you; something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope." (W.28.5.2) When we look at it that way, we are asking to see the purpose, not only of the table but of everything! All forms in the world are different to the ego mind and all have different purposes, but they all have the same purpose on the level of content, which is to reveal to us what lies beyond what our eyes show us.
The ways of the world have not encouraged us to seek the ultimate truth. Instead, we are taught by our family and by our culture how to view the world and what the meaning is of everything we see. This becomes our reality, but it is all made-up concepts that we hold to be true. Billions of people may share in those beliefs, but it does not make them true. It just becomes part of the shared illusion that has made this world. Our way is different.
I recently watched a movie, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, that reflects so beautifully the pressures of the group to maintain the status quo. Jonathan would not go along with these pressures but responded to a deeper calling to soar and to go beyond the traditional life of the sea gulls whose whole goal was for scraps of food in the garbage. He wanted instead to experiment with new and daring flying techniques. He did not fit in with the clan so the elders expelled him, but his quest for wisdom was more important to him than fitting in. Of course, there is always a price to pay when we choose to follow our calling. When I initially read this book by Richard Bach many years ago, I really resonated with it. I felt deeply lonely in the recognition that I really did not want to fit into the world. Today, thankfully, we have so many mighty companions who walk this journey with us. We no longer have to feel alone on this quest.
As I look around me today, I ask in everything I look upon to ". . . let its purpose be revealed" (W.28.6.3) to me. To do this I have to withdraw all my judgments and look with openness and innocence. Of particular importance in doing the Lessons today is to apply "equal sincerity" (W.28.7.2) to everything we look at. Everything that we look at is equal in the contribution it makes to our seeing. Everything I have learned about this world and what it is for obscures the truth. It is my conditioned mind, full of facts and information, that sees in this way since it has been programmed by everything I have learned so far. Letting it go is what humility is about. It is about recognizing that maybe what I have learned is precisely that which keeps me from really knowing Truth.
As I look around me, I see my computer, my calendar, my chair, the gray sky, a picture of me standing on a mountain top, a bookshelf, and my Course book. In each thing I look at, I see a separate purpose, but this Lesson is taking us to the recognition of a shared purpose for everything. It is about stepping back and giving up my usual and automatic responses, which I think I know, and releasing these preconceived ideas. My thoughts are all about sifting, sorting, categorizing, and labeling everything. If I can commit today to withdraw these preconceived notions, then I have started the process of opening my mind to be taught.
In fact, you might look at this Lesson as a prayer. When he says, "In using the table as a subject for applying the idea for today, you are therefore really asking to see the purpose of the universe." (W.28.6.1) We can ask for help to see it differently. We can say, "Father, I am willing to withdraw my ideas from what I am seeing. I am willing to withdraw my ideas from any situation or relationship so that You can show me how to see it. What is its purpose? Show me that I may achieve vision and see the truth. Show me that I can see beyond the forms of this world, which block my vision."
Jesus challenges us with the question, "Would God have left the meaning of the world to your interpretation? If He had, it has no meaning. For it cannot be that meaning changes constantly, and yet is true." (T.30.VII.1.1-3) (ACIM OE T.30.VIII.82) Our experience is constantly changing meaning because we give everything our interpretation and it is a constantly changing one. Is it not? We get new information, and what we thought before, we no longer think. "The Holy Spirit looks upon the world as with one purpose, changelessly established." (T.30.VII.1.4) (ACIM OE T.30.VIII.82) And that purpose is that everything in the world we currently see and experience can be used as a classroom for awakening. It is no wonder we experience great instability in this seemingly shifting world, where even the meaning of a table keeps shifting in our experience. Stability comes from only one purpose as does meaning, which is established by purpose.
In the practice period today, we are asked to repeat the idea and then look randomly at each subject, letting our eyes rest on it long enough to affirm, "Above all else I want to see this _____differently." (W.28.8.2) In doing so, remind yourself that the reason you want to withdraw your purpose from it and see the purpose God has given is so that you may achieve vision. If I could withdraw all my ideas from this object and look at it with a completely open mind, it has something beautiful, clean, and of infinite value full of happiness and hope, to show me. Our purpose is to forgive, which means clearing away our judgments. That is where happiness and hope come from---not from the table itself but from the purpose. When we choose Jesus as our teacher, then we choose to bring our preconceived ideas to the light of truth. We are asking to give up being right about who we are and how we have determined what reality is. Make this a sincere and profound prayer.
In the movie, The Last Samurai, the wise man said to his protégé that if he really saw the lotus blossom, then he would be enlightened. All we see now are our thoughts about lotus blossoms. We are asked today to release our perceptions about what we are looking at and to do this Lesson for six times for two minutes each time, as thoughtfully as possible, rather than hurrying through it.

Love and blessings, Sarah  
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
III. Atonement Without Sacrifice
11 There is another point which must be perfectly clear before any residual fear which may still be associated with miracles becomes entirely groundless. The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement. The resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. No one who is free of the scarcity-error could possibly make this mistake. If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of his Sons to suffer because he was good. Many ministers preach this every day.
12 This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which arose out of the combined misprojections of a large number of my would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept enters into many religions, and this is neither by chance nor by coincidence. Yet the real Christian would have to pause and ask, "How could this be?" Is it likely that God Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His own words have clearly stated is unworthy of man?
13 The best defense, as always, is not to attack another's position but rather to protect the truth. It is unwise to accept any concept if you have to turn a whole frame of reference around in order to justify it. This procedure is painful in its minor applications and genuinely tragic on a mass basis. Persecution is a frequent result, undertaken to justify the terrible misperception that God Himself persecuted His own Son on behalf of salvation. The very words are meaningless.
14 It has been particularly difficult to overcome this because, although the error itself is no harder to overcome than any other error, men were unwilling to give this one up because of its prominent "escape" value. In milder forms a parent says, "This hurts me more than it hurts you," and feels exonerated in beating a child. Can you believe that the Father really thinks this way? It is so essential that all such thinking be dispelled that we must be very sure that nothing of this kind remains in your mind. I was not punished because you were bad. The wholly benign lesson the Atonement teaches is lost if it is tainted with this kind of distortion in any form.
  15 "Vengeance is Mine sayeth the Lord," is a strictly karmic viewpoint. It is a real misperception of truth by which man assigns his own "evil" past to God. The "evil conscience" from the past has nothing to do with God. He did not create it, and He does not maintain it. God does not believe in karmic retribution. His Divine Mind does not create that way. He does not hold the evil deeds of a man even against himself. Is it likely, then, that He would hold against anyone the evil that another did?
16 Be very sure that you recognize how utterly impossible this assumption really is and how entirely it arises from misprojection. This kind of error is responsible for a host of related errors including the belief that God rejected man and forced him out of the Garden of Eden. It is also responsible for the fact that you may believe from time to time that I am misdirecting you. I have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but man is very inventive when it comes to twisting symbols around.
17 God Himself is not symbolic; He is fact. The Atonement too is totally without symbolism. It is perfectly clear because it exists in light. Only man's attempts to shroud it in darkness have made it inaccessible to the unwilling and ambiguous to the partly willing. The Atonement itself radiates nothing but truth. It therefore epitomizes harmlessness and sheds only blessing. It could not do this if it arose from anything but perfect innocence. Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, which does not exist. It is, however, perfectly aware of everything that is true.
18 The Resurrection demonstrated that nothing can destroy truth. Good can withstand any form of evil because light abolishes all forms of darkness. The Atonement is thus the perfect lesson. It is the final demonstration that all of the other lessons which I taught are true. Man is released from all errors if he believes in this. The deductive approach to teaching accepts the generalization which is applicable to all single instances rather than building up the generalization after analyzing numerous single instances separately. If you can accept the one generalization now, there will be no need to learn from many smaller lessons.
19 Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his Spirit into the hands of his Father. By doing this, the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. All sense of separation disappears, and level confusion vanishes. The Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity, but the Trinity itself is One. There is no confusion within its levels because they are of One Mind and One Will. This single purpose creates perfect integration and establishes the peace of God. Yet this vision can be perceived only by the truly innocent.
20 Because their hearts are pure, the innocent defend true perception instead of defending themselves against it. Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the will to attack, and therefore they see truly. This is what the Bible means when it says, "When He shall appear (or be perceived) we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
21 Sacrifice is a notion totally unknown to God. It arises solely from fear. This is particularly unfortunate because frightened people are apt to be vicious. Sacrificing another in any way is a clear cut violation of God's own injunction that man should be merciful even as his Father in Heaven. It has been hard for many Christians to realize that this commandment (or assignment) also applies to themselves. Good teachers never terrorize their students. To terrorize is to attack, and this results in rejection of what the teacher offers. The result is learning failure.
22 I have been correctly referred to as "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." Those who represent the lamb as blood-stained, an all-too-widespread error, do not understand the meaning of the symbol. Correctly understood, it is a very simple parable which merely speaks of my innocence. The lion and the lamb lying down together refers to the fact that strength and innocence are not in conflict but naturally live in peace. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God" is another way of saying the same thing.
23 There has been some human controversy about the nature of seeing in relation to the integrative powers of the brain. Correctly understood, the issue revolves around the question of whether the body or the mind can see (or understand). This is not really open to question at all. The body is not capable of understanding, and only the mind can perceive anything. A pure mind knows the truth, and this is its strength. It cannot attack the body because it recognizes exactly what the body is. This is what "a sane mind in a sane body" really means. It does not confuse destruction with innocence because it associates innocence with strength, not with weakness.
24 Innocence is incapable of sacrificing anything because the innocent mind has everything and strives only to protect its wholeness. This is why it cannot misproject. It can only honor man because honor is the natural greeting of the truly loved to others who are like them. The lamb taketh away the sins of the world only in the sense that the state of innocence, or grace, is one in which the meaning of the Atonement is perfectly apparent. The innocence of God is the true state of mind of His Son. In this state, man's mind does see God, and because he sees Him as he is, he knows that the Atonement, not sacrifice, is the only appropriate gift to his own altar, where nothing except perfection truly belongs. The understanding of the innocent is truth. That is why their altars are truly radiant.
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM       

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