Lesson 284
We are not healed alone
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19 How just are miracles! For they bestow an equal gift of full deliverance from guilt upon your brother and yourself. Your healing saves him pain as well as you, and you are healed because you wished him well. This is the law the miracle obeys; that healing sees no specialness at all. It does not come from pity but from love. And love would prove all suffering is but a vain imagining, a foolish wish with no effects. Your health is a result of your desire to see your brother with no blood upon his hands nor guilt upon his heart made heavy with the proof of sin. And what you wish is given you to see.      
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CHAPTER 27 III, 13-28
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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.
    ~ Original Hand Script  
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 284
I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
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   Loss is not loss when properly perceived.
   Pain is impossible. There is no grief
   with any cause at all. And suffering
   of any kind is nothing but a dream.
   Such is the truth; at first to be but said,
   and then repeated many times; and next,
   to be accepted as but partly true,
   with many reservations. Then to be
   considered seriously more and more,
   and finally accepted as the truth.
   I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
   And I would pass beyond the words today,
   go past all reservations, and arrive
   at full acceptance of the truth in them.
    Father, what You have given cannot hurt,
    and grief and pain must be impossible.
    Let me not fail in trust in You today,
    accepting but the joyous as Your gifts;
    accepting but the joyous as the truth.
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.

Sarah's Commentary:  
I accept that I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt, yet so often my mind seems to want to justify all kinds of reasons for the hurt that I am feeling and to hold onto grievances. There is always some kind of payoff or "juice" we get from our suffering. For example, suffering can be used to project guilt onto others for what they have seemingly done to us. This brings a kind of "pleasure," which is not something we readily want to admit, nor are we always consciously aware that this is what we are doing. "The ' reasoning ' by which the world is made, on which it rests, by which it is maintained, is simply this: ' You are the cause of what I do. Your presence justifies my wrath, and you exist and think apart from me. While you attack I must be innocent. And what I suffer from is your attack. ' " (T.27.VII.3.1-4) (ACIM OE T.27.VIII.64) We are clearly making the case that the world is hurting us and that there is a certain underlying glee in making others responsible for our condition.
Yet the cause of our problems and their solutions is never outside of ourselves, but in our own minds. Yet we stubbornly protest, "I have been hurt by what you did!" Well, if that is the case, it means that we have given meaning and power to a situation that is, in itself, neutral. We are hurt and betrayed because that is what we want. Why would we want it? We want it because it proves that the cause of our problems is outside of our own minds. It proves that the world is real, we are victims of what it has done to us, and this is what we want. Identifying with the ego is the wish to prove God wrong and insist on the correctness of our perception. This is our tantrum against God, in which we insist that we are who we say we are, and therefore God is wrong about us.
The truth is that the cause of everything that we experience and the solution to our situation are both in our own minds and nowhere else. This is actually good news. If the power is outside of our own minds, we are then caught in victimhood with no escape. Of course, that is exactly how the ego has set it up, but it has kept its program from our awareness. The ego's purpose is always to keep us invested in this illusory world. This world is ruled by the Laws of Chaos where God is one of the characters in the dream which makes it impossible to turn to Him. "For now He has become the 'enemy' Who caused it, to Whom appeal is useless." (T.23.II.7.3) (ACIM OE T.23.III.25) Jesus shows us exactly how the ego has set everything up and what it has made is foolproof and very ingenious to keep us locked in its matrix. But Jesus shows us the matrix and how it works and asks us to look at it calmly rather than be upset by it. Once we are able to see it, we can be released from it. He shows us that we can now make another choice. We are being shown that everything starts in our own minds, where our power is. We can actually step out of this circus and enter the quietness of the meadow, which is our own right mind outside of the matrix.
Regina Dawn Akers writes, in The Teachings of Inner Ramana, that the thinking mind is very active. "If you watch it, you will see it is much like acrobats in a circus. It is always jumping this way and that, bending and turning, and it has some very amazing moves." She goes on to say what it does is distract us from reality. If we continue to focus on the circus, we will not notice reality, but we can choose to lose interest in our thoughts. Yes, she acknowledges, it is very tempting to pay attention to them, but our deep desire is to settle in the quietness of the meadow. Now we must learn to see our addiction to the hype of the circus. It will continue to be there, but what we lose is our attachment to it. Grief and suffering are based on our investment in the reality of this world. When we enter the meadow, we will smile gently at the idea that we are at the mercy of forces outside of ourselves.
"Loss is not loss when properly perceived. Pain is impossible. " (W.284.1.1) Jesus says that we are mistaken in the way we see things and what we have come to believe. To us, loss and pain are part of our experience here. We have a big investment in suffering, and we get very invested in empathizing with the suffering of others. It proves to us, indeed, that loss, pain, grief, and suffering are very real. It proves that our existence as bodies is real and that we can be sick and die. It makes what God says about us, as eternal beings, wrong. But again, Jesus tells us that there is another way of seeing. When loss is perceived properly, we no longer see it as a loss. We see that it has all been made up, but it is not something we will see right away. It is a process we go through in loosening our mind from our wrong perceptions of ourselves and of the world. All that is required is willingness and openness to accept the truth of what we are being taught.
Early in my years with the Course, my husband died suddenly. We were traveling in Europe and he was flown from Germany to London, England for emergency surgery. Many angels showed up on my trip home, which showed me I was truly being supported in miraculous ways. Yet the pain of loss and grief were very evident. I kept turning to the Course for solace. Its words soothed me and brought me peace, but there were many moments of tears and sadness. I was alone one evening, in bed, late at night, sobbing, when a very gentle loving voice spoke to me with the question, "How much longer do you need to cry?" I was startled by the question, but I felt it deserved an answer. I replied, saying perhaps I would be willing to give up my tears after another ten minutes. My response felt so silly that I could not continue to cry. Instead, I burst out laughing. Why ten minutes, I wondered? Why not thirty, sixty, or the rest of my life? I was not being admonished for crying. I felt that I was being supported by this gentle voice in whatever I needed to experience. However, it became very clear that I could make a choice. I was not a victim. I did not know what anything was for. How could I know why my husband had died? How could I possibly know what was in my best interests? All things truly do work together for good.
This did not mean that I never again felt the grief of this loss. I had many more meltdowns, yet increasingly, I could experience the grief while still remain the observer of it from outside of the dream and not judge myself for it. The loving presence was there, supporting me as I cried. I could experience the deep longing and sadness as long as I wanted to, all the time knowing the power of decision was my own, and the willingness to do the healing was very strong. The healer was Divine Love, and it was in my mind. Whenever I aligned with the Divine within and whenever I chose to leave the circus and enter the meadow, the healing and joy that came with it were immediate. I realized that not one single thought of grief and loss was true. Freedom was in the releasing my attachments to my story of loss and victimhood.
Grief, pain, hurt, loss, and suffering are impossible because God would not hurt us and there is no other Source. If He gives us only peace and joy, anything else we experience must come from what we are making up and not from Him. If I suffer, I am believing a thought that something should be different than it is. When we accept what is, without the stories we tell about the situation, we experience the freedom of our Being. What we have made has no real source except in the wrong mind. If I am experiencing pain, I alone am the one choosing these hurtful thoughts. They are nothing but a dream. When we wake up, we realize the nothingness of it all. This is not unlike our nighttime dreams.
Last night, I dreamt of someone who died and I was wrapping up the body and feeling the pain of the loss of this person in my life. Where did this thought come from? Obviously, it originated in my own mind and was projected into the dream. It was no more real than my experience in this worldly dream. With this projection came all the feelings of loss and grief, but were they real? Did they have a real source? Or were they just manufactured thoughts with no substance? Where did they go when I woke up? These thoughts are nothing and nowhere and no different than the thoughts I am conjuring up in this moment. They are all thoughts chosen by me. If I am the one holding these thoughts, I can elect to change them.
OK, perhaps I can subscribe to that, but there does seem to be pain in my life. I do experience grief and loss, and it does seem these feelings come from real events in my life or in the lives of others. Clearly, Jesus is not asking us to deny our experience. He is only letting us know that in all of us the truth is there and untouched by anything we might be thinking. All we are doing is blocking it with our thoughts. Now he instructs us on how we can come to accept the truth already in us and how to change the thoughts that hurt us.
The Lesson is quite explicit and offers us some clear steps to do this. In Lesson 187, Jesus invited our gentle laughter at the idea of sacrifice, which takes many forms such as pain, loss, sickness, grief, poverty, starvation, and death. Is it really a sacrifice to give up all these forms of pain and to see their unreality? Why would we want to hold onto them? He invites our laughter at the idea that pain and suffering are something we would want to keep just to prove that we are right about ourselves and this world of separation. In this Lesson, Jesus lays out five steps to help us recognize how ingrained our thinking is and how much investment we have in the illusion.
When we look at the idea, "I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt," we are told "This is the truth, at first to be but said, and then repeated many times; and next to be accepted as partly true, with many reservations. Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as the truth." (W.284.1.5-6) Jesus sees our resistance to having our thoughts changed. To us, it may seem to take a long time. It is a form of cognitive therapy, where we substitute our thoughts for His Thoughts. Jesus has infinite patience with us and will never coerce us. He continues to urge us to be patient and gentle with ourselves. The undoing of our current thought system is a process.
Step 1. "This is the truth, at first to be but said..." (W.284.1.5) We are basically just repeating a thought and trying to understand it and considering the possibility that it may be true.
Step 2. "...and then repeated many times." (W.284.1.5) We are now trying to accept the truth of the statements and are still not sure that this is so. We will struggle with Course teachings like, "There is no world," or "I am not a body." These thoughts argue with what we are perceiving. The mind resists these ideas, so we need to be convinced of the truth of them. We may intellectually accept the truth of this thought system, but still not apply it consistently to our lives.
Step 3. "...and next to be accepted as but partly true, with many reserve-tions." (W.284.1.5) Sometimes, we will have an experience of the truth presented to us. We may experience a shift and a deeper sense of this idea. Or, we may do the forgiveness practice and receive a miracle. We get an insight where the truth is revealed to us in some "aha" moment of recognition, or we might see innocence in someone in a moment of true joining. While we accept the ideas, we still have many reservations and put forth many arguments and raise many questions.
Step 4. "Then to be considered seriously more and more." (W.284.1.6) Now we have increasing experiences, proven to be true, in which we apply the idea. We are now validating the experience in more and more situations. This builds trust that when we let go of our way of thinking about ourselves and the world and simply try out a new way, the shift happens. With each shift, our confidence that we are being guided in this process grows until we stop relying on our own thinking mind. We have never had answers that got us out of our pain and suffering and brought lasting happiness. As we recognize the truth of this, we are more motivated to turn to the Holy Spirit, Who does have the answers for us.
Step 5 "...and finally accepted as the truth." (W.284.1.6) At this stage, we now see the idea is applied to every situation equally. There is no more order of difficulty seen in miracles and so there are no more reservations and no more exceptions. The transfer of training has been accomplished, so the Lessons are applied to all areas of one's life.
Yes, the process takes effort and practice, determination and choice, commitment and dedication. It takes effort to get to a place of total effortlessness. In the use of the words offered to us, we get in touch with the deeper meaning and recognize the content being offered here, until we go "beyond these words today, and past all reservations and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them." (W.284.1.8)
These steps actually lay out the whole process of this Course. It applies not only to this Lesson but to the entire teaching. We have all had this experience, where we start by repeating the words and then go deeper with our understanding. We all still have many reservations, though our acceptance of the truth of this teaching is growing, as we apply the lessons and see the results in our lives. It is all a process that for most of us takes place over many years of doing this work until we come to the end of the journey. Our resistance still comes from the fear of giving up our investment in our identity as an individual. We need to recognize how the truth is terrifying to our separated egos. Yet we are gently led through this process of recognizing that what God has given us cannot hurt. Thus, grief and pain must be impossible.

Love and blessings, Sarah

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Seven

The Body and the Dream
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CHAPTER 27 III, 13-28
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III. The Fear of Healing   
13 Is healing frightening? To many, yes. For accusation is a bar to love, and damaged bodies are accusers. They stand firmly in the way of trust and peace, proclaiming that the frail can have no trust and that the damaged have no grounds for peace. Who has been injured by his brother and could love and trust him still? He has attacked and will attack again. Protect him not, because your damaged body shows that you must be protected from him. To forgive may be an act of charity, but not his due. He may be pitied for his guilt, but not exonerated. And if you forgive him his transgressions, you but add to all the guilt that he has really earned.
14 The unhealed cannot pardon. For they are the witnesses that pardon is unfair. They would retain the consequences of the guilt they overlook. Yet no one can forgive a sin which he believes is real. And what has consequences must be real because what it has done is there to see. Forgiveness is not pity which but seeks to pardon what it knows to be the truth. Good cannot be returned for evil, for forgiveness does not first establish sin and then forgive it. Who can say and mean, "My brother, you have injured me, and yet because I am the better of the two, I pardon you my hurt." His pardon and your hurt cannot exist together. One denies the other and must make it false.
15 To witness sin and yet forgive it is a paradox which reason cannot see. For it maintains what has been done to you deserves no pardon. And by giving it, you grant your brother mercy but retain the proof he is not really innocent. The sick remain accusers. They cannot forgive their brothers and themselves as well. For no one in whom true forgiveness reigns can suffer. He holds not the proof of sin before his brother's eyes. And thus he must have overlooked it and removed it from his own. Forgiveness cannot be for one and not the other. Who forgives is healed. And in his healing lies the proof that he has truly pardoned and retains no trace of condemnation that he still would hold against himself or any living thing.
  16 Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself. You must attest his sins had no effect on you to demonstrate they were not real. How else could he be guiltless? And how could his innocence be justified unless his sins have no effect to warrant guilt? Sins are beyond forgiveness just because they would entail effects which cannot be undone and overlooked entirely. In their undoing lies the proof that they were merely errors. Let yourself be healed that you may be forgiving, offering salvation to your brother and yourself. A broken body shows the mind has not been healed. A miracle of healing proves that separation is without effect. What you would prove to him, you will believe. The power of witness comes from your belief. And everything you say or do or think but testifies to what you teach to him.
17 Your body can be means to teach that it has never suffered pain because of him. And in its healing can it offer him mute testimony of his innocence. It is this testimony which can speak with power greater than a thousand tongues. For here is his forgiveness proved to him. A miracle can offer nothing less to him than it has given unto you. So does your healing show your mind is healed and has forgiven what he did not do. And so is he convinced his innocence was never lost and healed along with you.
18 Thus does the miracle undo all things the world attests can never be undone. And hopelessness and death must disappear before the ancient clarion call of life. This call has power far beyond the weak and miserable cry of death and guilt. The ancient calling of the Father to His Son, and of the Son unto his own, will yet be the last trumpet that the world will ever hear. Brother, there is no death. And this you learn when you but wish to show your brother that you had no hurt of him. He thinks your blood is on his hands, and so he stands condemned. Yet it is given you to show him by your healing that his guilt is but the fabric of a senseless dream.
19 How just are miracles! For they bestow an equal gift of full deliverance from guilt upon your brother and yourself. Your healing saves him pain as well as you, and you are healed because you wished him well. This is the law the miracle obeys; that healing sees no specialness at all. It does not come from pity but from love. And love would prove all suffering is but a vain imagining, a foolish wish with no effects. Your health is a result of your desire to see your brother with no blood upon his hands nor guilt upon his heart made heavy with the proof of sin. And what you wish is given you to see.
20 The "cost" of your serenity is his. This is the "price" the Holy Spirit and the world interpret differently. The world perceives it as a statement of the "fact" that your salvation sacrifices his. The Holy Spirit knows your healing is the witness unto his and cannot be apart from his at all. As long as he consents to suffer, you will be unhealed. Yet you can show him that his suffering is purposeless and wholly without cause. Show him your healing, and he will consent no more to suffer. For his innocence has been established in your sight and his. And laughter will replace your sighs because God's Son remembered that he is God's Son.
21 Who then fears healing? Only those to whom their brother's sacrifice and pain are seen to represent their own serenity. Their helplessness and weakness represents the grounds on which they justify his pain. The constant sting of guilt he suffers serves to prove that he is slave but they are free. The constant pain they suffer demonstrates that they are free because they hold him bound. And sickness is desired to prevent a shift of balance in the sacrifice. How could the Holy Spirit be deterred an instant, even less, to reason with an argument for sickness such as this? And need your healing be delayed because you pause to listen to insanity?
22 [Correction is not your function. It belongs to One Who knows of fairness, not of guilt. If you assume correction's role, you lose the function of forgiveness. No one can forgive until he learns correction is but to forgive and never to accuse. Alone, you cannot see they are the same, and therefore is correction not of you. Identity and function are the same, and by your function do you know yourself. And thus, if you confuse your function with the function of Another, you must be confused about yourself and who you are. What is the separation but a wish to take God's function from Him and deny that it is His? Yet if it is not His, it is not yours, for you must lose what you would take away.
23 [In a split mind, identity must seem to be divided. Nor can anyone perceive a function unified which has conflicting purposes and different ends. Correction, to a mind so split, must be a way to punish sins you think are yours in someone else. And thus does he become your victim, not your brother, different from you in that he is more guilty, thus in need of your correction as the one more innocent than he. This splits his function off from yours and gives you both a different role. And so you cannot be perceived as one and, with a single function, that would mean a shared identity with but one end.
24 [Correction you would do must separate, because that is the function given it by you. When you perceive correction is the same as pardon, then you also know the Holy Spirit's Mind and yours are one. And so your own Identity is found. Yet must He work with what is given Him, and you allow Him only half your mind. And thus He represents the other half and seems to have a different purpose from the one you cherish and you think is yours. Thus does your function seem divided, with a half in opposition to a half. And these two halves appear to represent a split within a self perceived as two.]
25 Consider how this self perception must extend, and do not overlook the fact that every thought extends because that is its purpose, being what it really is. From an idea of self as two, there comes a necessary view of function split between the two. And what you would correct is only half the error, which you think is all of it. Your brother's sins become the central target for correction, lest your errors and his own be seen as one. Yours are mistakes, but his are sins and not the same as yours. His merit punishment, while yours in fairness should be overlooked.
26 In this interpretation of correction, your own mistakes you will not even see. The focus of correction has been placed outside yourself on one who cannot be a part of you while this perception lasts. What is condemned can never be returned to its accuser, who hated it and hates it still. This is your brother, focus of your hate, unworthy to be part of you and thus outside yourself-the other half which is denied. And only what is left without his presence is perceived as all of you. To this remaining half the Holy Spirit must represent the other half until you recognize it is the other half. And this He does by giving both of you a function that is one, not different.
27 Correction is the function given both, but neither one alone. And when it is fulfilled as shared, it must correct mistakes in both of you. It cannot leave mistakes in one unhealed and set the other free. That is divided purpose which cannot be shared, and so it cannot be the function which the Holy Spirit sees as His. And you can rest assured that He will not fulfill a function He cannot understand and recognize as His. For only thus can He keep yours preserved intact, despite your separate views of what your function is. If He upheld divided function, you were lost indeed. His inability to see His goal divided and distinct for each of you preserves your Self from being made aware of any function other than Its own. And thus is healing given both of you.
28 Correction must be left to One Who knows correction and forgiveness are the same. With half a mind, this is not understood. Leave then correction to the Mind that is united, functioning as one because It is not split in purpose, and conceives a single function as Its only one. Here is the function given It conceived to be Its own and not apart from that Its Giver keeps because it has been shared. In His acceptance of this function lies the means whereby your mind is unified. His single purpose unifies the halves of you which you perceive as separate. And each forgives the other, that he may accept his other half as part of him.   
*Paragraphs 22, 23, and 24 were in the handscript notes, but did not appear in the final typing of the Original Edition manuscript. This content was restored in the 2009 Revision from an earlier manuscript and numbered 21a, 21b and 21c. However, starting with the 2012 Revision, the paragraph were renumbered and  set off by brackets. Subsequently, all the following paragraphs, through the end of Chapter 27, have been renumbered. -Ed.   
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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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