Lesson 282
Ancient Hate has become Love
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82 The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love. And They come quickly to the living temple, where a home for Them has been set up. There is no place in Heaven holier. And They have come to dwell within the temple offered them, to be Their resting-place as well as yours. What hatred has released to love becomes the brightest light in Heaven's radiance. And all the lights in Heaven brighter grow, in gratitude for what has been restored.   
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CHAPTER 26 X-XI, 77-91
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ACIM What is the Holy Spirit
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   The Holy Spirit mediates between
   illusions and the truth. As He must bridge
   the gap between reality and dreams,
   perception leads to knowledge through the grace
   that God has given Him, to be His gift
   to everyone who turns to Him for truth.
   Across the bridge that He provides, are dreams
   all carried to the truth, to be dispelled
   before the light of knowledge. There are sights
   and sounds forever laid aside. And where
   they were perceived before, forgiveness has
   made possible perception's tranquil end.
   The goal the Holy Spirit's teaching sets
   is just this end of dreams. For sights and sounds
   must be translated from the witnesses
   of fear to those of love. And when this is
   entirely accomplished, learning has
   achieved the only goal it has in truth.
   For learning, as the Holy Spirit guides
   it to the outcome He perceives for it,
   becomes the means to go beyond itself,
   to be replaced by the Eternal Truth.
   If you but knew how much your Father yearns
   to have you recognize your sinlessness,
   you would not let His Voice appeal in vain,
   nor turn away from His replacement for
   the fearful images and dreams you made.
   The Holy Spirit understands the means
   you made, by which you would attain what is
   forever unattainable. And if
   you offer them to Him, He will employ
   the means you made for exile to restore
   your mind to where it truly is at home.
   From knowledge, where He has been placed by God,
   the Holy Spirit calls to you, to let
   forgiveness rest upon your dreams, and be
   restored to sanity and peace of mind.
   Without forgiveness will your dreams remain
   to terrify you. And the memory
   of all your Father's Love will not return
   to signify the end of dreams has come.
   Accept your Father's gift. It is a call
   from Love to Love, that It be but Itself.
   The Holy Spirit is His gift, by Which
   the quietness of Heaven is restored
   to God's beloved Son. Would you refuse
   to take the function of completing God,
   when all He wills is that you be complete.
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 282
I will not be afraid of love today.
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   If I could realize but this today,
   salvation has been reached for all the world.
   This the decision not to be insane,
   and to accept myself as God Himself,
   my Father and my Source, created me.
   This the determination not to be
   asleep in dreams of death, while truth remains
   forever happy in the joy of life.
   And this the choice to recognize the Self
   Whom God created as the Son He loves,
   and Who remains my one Reality.
    Father, Your Name is Love, and so is mine.
    Such is the truth. And can the truth be changed
    by merely giving it another name?
    The name of fear is simply a mistake.
    Let me not be afraid of truth today.
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
I will not be afraid of love today.

Sarah's Commentary:  
My true Self is love. Why would I be afraid of love? Why do I not want to know my Self? Isn't love something we all want? Yet we resist its presence. Why? We resist love because the ego is the embodiment of the fear of love and has given us substitutes for love. We made the ego and we love what we have made. Clearly, we don't fear what we call love in the world, but this "love" is only a substitute for the real thing. The real thing would mean the end of the ego, and that is why we are afraid because we value the self we made. In fact, we see love as weak and give it the attributes of fear. We rely on fear to protect us. "Fear looks on guilt with just the same devotion that love looks on itself." (T.19.IV.A.i.10.9) (ACIM OE T.19.V.a.49) Fear is familiar to us and thus seen as our friend, but even though we identify with the ego, the ego does not love us. "You who identify with your ego cannot believe God loves you." (T.4.III.4.1) (ACIM OE T.4.IV.49) "You made the ego without love, and so it does not love you." (T.6.IV.2.3) (ACIM OE T.6.V.46)
The ego rejects love as its Source. It wants to maintain the separate self, housed in a body, seeing everyone else as different. It holds onto grievances, sees itself as an innocent victim, sees itself unfairly treated, and uses its power to support its own specialness. To give this up for love seems dangerous. It feels like a sacrifice of all we value to surrender our will to a more powerful will.
Jesus asks, "And can the truth be changed by merely giving it another name?" (W.282.2.3) In other words, we already are Love and can't change that fact. We are simply hiding from the truth. The Holy Spirit, Who abides in our right minds, is the memory of the Self we are. The Holy Spirit is the Call within us that we have responded to, which is why we are taking this journey to the place we never left.
We have shown a willingness to undo the blocks to love by putting our foot on this path, however tentatively, and to wake up from this dream. We are choosing to use the means provided us to remember the love we are, so we can experience the freedom, peace, joy wholeness, creativity, beauty, abundance, and harmony which is our inheritance. To know this Self requires that we release the resentments, specialness, judgments, grievances, self-concepts, and blame that keep love away. In other words, we must look at all of our false perceptions and bring them to the Holy Spirit's healing light. If we truly want our suffering to end, we can't continue to cling to our judgments, our opinions, and our interpretations. We must be willing to learn what Jesus is showing us. We must be willing to no longer cling to the past and the pain of past unhealed hurts. Yes, it does take determination. It is the "determination not to be asleep in dreams of death." (W.282.1.3) It is the determination to watch our thoughts, to lose interest in our stories, to walk through the darkness with Jesus, to keep choosing Heaven in the place of hell in each moment, and to consistently turn to the truth within for another interpretation of how to see everything.
When we affirm, "I will not be afraid of love today," (W.282) we are really saying we are willing to be taught how to bring more peace and joy into our lives. As I willingly look at my misperceptions and admit I have been wrong about who I am, space is made for the miracle to shine through. Thus, while we still have a lot of resistance, every step we take toward the truth is strongly reinforced. If we completely got this one Lesson, or indeed any Lesson, we could wake up from the dream. But fear comes up. We wonder what will I be without the self I currently hold onto as my identity? Will I no longer be accepted by my family and friends? Will I have anything to talk about? If I am not joining in the drama, what is there that will connect me with others? Will others leave me? Will I be judged and considered weird? There is a pull to awaken yet a push away from it.
The ego is insanity whose only purpose is to keep us away from our true reality. I remember when I was in my preteen years, I would get upset with my parents and give them the silent treatment. I thought I was really hurting them, which I probably was, but more important, my ego strategy was keeping me in hell. Yet I stubbornly refused to give up the program that gave me the illusion of power over them. I told myself they deserved the guilt for what they had done to me, and I would punish them with my withdrawal, even if it hurt me. I continued that pattern long into adulthood until a memorable day when I chose to forgive instead of projecting guilt, after a hurtful incident with my husband. In that moment, I recognized the payoff or juice I was getting from how I was hurting myself in order to project my guilt onto the seeming victimizer. This is the pleasure we get from suffering! In that moment of realization, I asked to see my brother as innocent. Instead of condemning him, my grievances disappeared, and we joined in healing. It was such a relief to let go of a long-held story and a pattern of manipulation, holding me in chains while also holding my brothers as prisoners with me while getting the perverse pleasure of making them wrong.
It took a lot of determination to go past the ranting of the ego, urging me to punish my brother for what he seemingly did to me. The ego was saying, "He does not deserve my immediate forgiveness, but should suffer more and longer." Each time I released this long-held pattern, it got easier and easier, and as a result, there was much more joy in the relationship. It was just another demonstration that the ego never has our best interests in mind. It urges us to prolong our suffering rather than admit we are wrong. We so often choose to be right rather than to be happy. Yet with forgiveness, the only thing I "sacrificed" was my own suffering!
We have substituted special love for the real love we are. In this world, every relationship, whether we call it love or we call it hate, is special. Why? This is because the ego uses every relationship as a bargain to try to extract love while projecting guilt onto another. It is the guilt of separation from God. Now we want to make someone else responsible for it so we can buy our innocence at their expense. We can blame them for our condition. If we use a relationship in this way, it is actually a relationship of hate. Special love relationships are actually hate relationships camouflaged as love! "Be not afraid to look upon the special hate relationship, for freedom lies in looking at it. It would be impossible not to know the meaning of love, except for this. For the special love relationship, in which the meaning of love is hidden is undertaken solely to offset the hate, but not to let it go." (T.16.IV 1.1-3) (ACIM OE T.16.V.30) The first time I came across this statement in the course, I must say, I was outraged at the thought. Of course---it was a blasphemous thought to the ego!
To limit others to the body is an attack because we are keeping them bound to the false self. In our special relationships, we are always trying to get something from the other that we feel is missing in us. Yet we resent the other because we believe they are withholding from us what they could, and should, be giving us. We also resent that we are dependent on them for having to get what we want from them. Therefore, any love relationship in this world will always have ambivalence in it, with a combination of attraction and hatred. And the hatred in the relationship is all our own self-hatred reflected back at us.
Jesus tells us that whatever is missing in any relationship is what we are not giving. "Every brother you meet becomes a witness for Christ or for the ego depending on what you perceive in him." (T.11.V.18.1) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.58) "If he speaks not of Christ to you, you spoke not of Christ to him. You hear but your own voice, and if Christ speaks through you, you will hear Him." (T.11.V.18.6-7) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.58) Nothing can come to us from outside of ourselves. Others can't upset us or rob us of our peace. When we make sin and guilt real in our own minds, we make others responsible for how we feel. We see them robbing us of our peace, yet we have actually set it up this way, so we can blame them for our condition. True, they may say and do unkind things, but if we react personally to what someone has said, we have interpreted their call for love and understanding as an attack, and this interpretation comes from our own unhealed minds.
Now we are called to take our misperceptions to the Holy Spirit and be willing to have them reinterpreted. For any relationship to be healed the purpose for it must be changed so the relationship now has a different goal. Instead of using it to extract love from the other, the only purpose it now has is for healing our minds. Only in this way can the love we are be remembered. In other words, it is only about our own minds. In special relationships, we join with the ego, but the holy relationship is about joining with the Holy Spirit.
"Father, Your Name is Love and so is mine ." (W.282.2.1) This is not a statement about our Father as a Being that loves us, but that we are essentially Love itself and One with Him. If our Father is seen as Someone who is a Being that loves, He has the option also not to love. I think this is an important distinction and, while subtle, recognizes our true nature and Oneness with the love that can never change nor be separate from what we are.
While we have given ourselves the name of fear and forgotten who we are, it is not a reason for guilt and self-attack. It is only a mistake to be undone. It is not a sin, nor is it about denying the pain, distress, grief, and other emotions that show up. In fact, it is not about fighting ourselves at all but recognizing these emotions arise from thoughts and beliefs that we hold that are not the truth. It is not to deny our feelings but go into them fully and inquire what is fueling them so we can let them go as they are brought to awareness. They do not define us. It is just all mistaken perception that needs willingness and readiness to turn to the Holy Spirit for His Correction. Choosing to see the emotions from above the battleground and smiling at their unreality without judging them will dissipate them into the nothingness from which they came. I love the simplicity of it all. Our stubbornness and resistance and our identification with this false self is the only thing that stands in the way, but we have the power of decision in us to choose again.

Love and blessings, Sarah

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Six

The Transition  
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CHAPTER 26 X-XI, 77-91
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X. For They Have Come 
77 Think but how holy you must be from whom the Voice for God calls lovingly unto your brother, that you may awake in him the Voice that answers to your call! And think how holy he must be when in him sleeps your own salvation with his freedom joined! However much you wish he be condemned, God is in him. And never will you know He is in you as well, while you attack His chosen home and battle with His host. Regard him gently. Look with loving eyes on him who carries Christ within him, that you may behold His glory and rejoice that Heaven is not separate from you.
78 Is it too much to ask a little trust for him who carries Christ to you, that you may be forgiven all your sins and left without a single one you cherish still? Forget not that a shadow held between your brother and yourself obscures the face of Christ and memory of God. And would you trade Them for an ancient hate? The ground whereon you stand is holy ground because of Them Who, standing there with you, have blessed it with Their innocence and peace.
79 The blood of hatred fades to let the grass grow green again and let the flowers be all white and sparkling in the summer sun. What was a place of death has now become a living temple in a world of light. Because of Them. It is Their Presence which has lifted holiness again to take its ancient place upon an ancient throne. Because of Them have miracles sprung up as grass and flowers on the barren ground which hate had scorched and rendered desolate. What hate has wrought have They undone. And now you stand on ground so holy Heaven leans to join with it and make it like itself. The shadow of an ancient hate has gone, and all the blight and withering have passed forever from the land where They have come.
80 What is a hundred or a thousand years to Them, or tens of thousands? When They come, time's purpose is fulfilled. What never was passes to nothingness when They have come. What hatred claimed is given up to love, and freedom lights up every living thing and lifts it into Heaven, where the lights grow ever brighter as each one comes home. The incomplete is made complete again, and Heaven's joy has been increased because what is its own has been restored to it. The bloodied earth is cleansed, and the insane have shed their garments of insanity to join Them on the ground whereon you stand.
81 Heaven is grateful for this gift of what has been withheld so long. For They have come to gather in Their Own. What has been locked is opened; what was held apart from light is given up, that light may shine on it, and leave no space nor distance lingering between the light of Heaven and the world.
82 The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love. And They come quickly to the living temple, where a home for Them has been set up. There is no place in Heaven holier. And They have come to dwell within the temple offered them, to be Their resting-place as well as yours. What hatred has released to love becomes the brightest light in Heaven's radiance. And all the lights in Heaven brighter grow, in gratitude for what has been restored.
83 Around you angels hover lovingly, to keep away all darkened thoughts of sin and keep the light where it has entered in. Your footprints lighten up the world, for where you walk forgiveness gladly goes with you. No one on earth but offers thanks to one who has restored his home and sheltered him from bitter winter and the freezing cold. And shall the Lord of Heaven and His Son give less in gratitude for so much more?
84 Now is the temple of the Living God rebuilt as host again to Him by Whom it was created. Where He dwells, His Son dwells with Him, never separate. And They give thanks that They are welcome made at last. Where stood a cross stands now the risen Christ, and ancient scars are healed within His sight. An ancient miracle has come to bless and to replace an ancient enmity that came to kill. In gentle gratitude do God the Father and the Son return to what is Theirs and will forever be. Now is the Holy Spirit's purpose done. For They have come! For They have come at last!
XI. The Remaining Task 
85 What then remains to be undone for you to realize Their Presence? Only this-you have a differential view of when attack is justified and when you think it is unfair and not to be allowed. When you perceive it as unfair, you think that a response of anger now is just. And thus you see what is the same as different. Confusion is not limited. If it occurs at all, it will be total. And its presence, in whatever form, will hide Their Presence. They are known with clarity or not at all. Confused perception will block knowledge. It is not a question of the size of the confusion or how much it interferes. Its simple presence shuts the door to Theirs and keeps Them there unknown.
86 What does it mean if you perceive attack in certain forms to be unfair to you? It means that there must be some forms in which you think it fair. For otherwise, how could some be evaluated as unfair? Some then are given meaning and perceived as sensible. And only some are seen as meaningless. And this denies the fact that all are senseless-equally without a cause or consequence and cannot have effects of any kind. Their Presence is obscured by any veil which stands between Their shining innocence and your awareness it is your own and equally belongs to every living thing along with you. God limits not. And what is limited can not be Heaven. So it must be hell.
87 Unfairness and attack are one mistake, so firmly joined that where one is perceived, the other must be seen. You cannot be unfairly treated. The belief you are is but another form of the idea you are deprived by someone not yourself. Projection of the cause of sacrifice is at the root of everything perceived to be unfair and not your just deserts. Yet it is you who ask this of yourself in deep injustice to the Son of God. You have no enemy except yourself, and you are enemy indeed to him because you do not know him as yourself. What could be more unjust than that he be deprived of what he is, denied the right to be himself, and asked to sacrifice his Father's love and yours as not his due?
88 Beware of the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated. In this view, you seek to find an innocence which is not Theirs but yours alone and at the cost of someone else's guilt. Can innocence be purchased by the giving of your guilt to someone else? And is this innocence which your attack on him attempts to get? Is it not retribution for your own attack upon the Son of God you seek? Is it not safer to believe that you are innocent of this and victimized despite your innocence? Whatever way the game of guilt is played, there must be loss. Someone must lose his innocence that someone else can take it from him, making it his own.
89 You think your brother is unfair to you because you think that one must be unfair to make the other innocent. And in this game do you perceive one purpose for your whole relationship. And this you seek to add unto the purpose given it. The Holy Spirit's purpose is to let the Presence of your holy Guests be known to you. And to this purpose, nothing can be added, for the world is purposeless except for this. To add or take away from this one goal is but to take away all purpose from the world and from yourself. And each unfairness that the world appears to lay upon you, you have laid on it by rendering it purposeless, without the function that the Holy Spirit sees. And simple justice has been thus denied to every living thing upon the earth.
90 What this injustice does to you who judge unfairly and who see as you have judged, you cannot calculate. The world grows dim and threatening, and not a trace of all the happy sparkle that salvation brought can you perceive to lighten up your way. And so you see yourself deprived of light, abandoned to the dark, unfairly left without a purpose in a futile world. The world is fair because the Holy Spirit has brought injustice to the light within, and there has all unfairness been resolved and been replaced with justice and with love. If you perceive injustice anywhere, you need but say:
91 By this do I deny the Presence of the Father and the Son.
   And I would rather know of Them than see injustice,
   which Their Presence shines away.
   not be the cost the Holy Spirit asks for what He gave without a cost at all.
*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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