Lesson 294
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You Dreamed A Dream
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 28 "THE UNDOING OF FEAR"
III. REVERSING EFFECT AND CAUSE

18 Always in sickness does the Son of God attempt to make himself his cause and not allow himself to be his Father's Son. For this impossible desire, he does not believe that he is Love's effect and must be cause because of what he is. The cause of healing is the only Cause of everything. It has but one effect. And in that recognition, causelessness is given no effects and none are seen. A mind within a body and a world of other bodies, each with separate minds, are your "creations," you the "other" mind, creating with effects unlike yourself. And as their "father," you must be like them. Nothing at all has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep and dreamed a dream in which you were an alien to yourself and but a part of someone else's dream.       
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CHAPTER 28 III, 16-27
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
WHAT IS THE REAL WORLD?
What is the Real World
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER
 
   The real world is a symbol, like the rest
   of what perception offers. Yet it stands
   for what is opposite to what you made.
   Your world is seen through eyes of fear, and brings
   the witnesses of terror to your mind.
   The real world cannot be perceived except
   through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see
   a world where terror is impossible,
   and witnesses to fear can not be found.
 
   The real world holds a counterpart for each
   unhappy thought reflected in your world;
   a sure correction for the sights of fear
   and sounds of battle which your world contains.
   The real world shows a world seen differently,
   through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace.
   Nothing but rest is here. There are no cries
   of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing here
   remains outside forgiveness. And the sights
   are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds
   can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.
 
   What need has such a mind for thoughts of death,
   attack and murder? What can it perceive
   surrounding it but safety, love and joy?
   What is there it would choose to be condemned,
   and what is there that it would judge against?
   The world it sees arises from a mind
   at peace within itself. No danger lurks
   in anything it sees, for it is kind
   and only kindness does it look upon.
 
   The real world is the symbol that the dream
   of sin and guilt is over, and God's Son
   no longer sleeps. His waking eyes perceive
   the sure reflection of his Father's Love;
   the certain promise that he is redeemed.
   The real world signifies the end of time,
   for this perception makes time purposeless.
  
   The Holy Spirit has no need of time
   when it has served His purpose. Now He waits
   but that one instant more for God to take
   His final step, and time has disappeared,
   taking perception with it as it goes,
   and leaving but the Truth to be Itself.
   That instant is our goal, for it contains
   the memory of God. And as we look
   upon a world forgiven, it is He
   Who calls to us and comes to take us home,
   reminding us of our Identity
   Which our forgiveness has restored to us.
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 294
My body is a wholly neutral thing.
 
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   I am a Son of God. And can I be
   another thing as well? Did God create
   the mortal and corruptible? What use
   has God's beloved Son for what must die?
   And yet a neutral thing does not see death,
   for thoughts of fear are not invested there,
   nor is a mockery of love bestowed
   upon it. Its neutrality protects
   it while it has a use. And afterwards,
   without a purpose, it is laid aside.
   It is not sick or old or hurt. It is
   but functionless, unneeded and cast off.
   Let me not see it more than this today;
   of service for a while and fit to serve,
   to keep its usefulness while it can serve,
   and then to be replaced for greater good.
 
    My body, Father, cannot be Your Son,
    and what is not created cannot be
    sinful or sinless; neither good nor bad.
    Let me, then, use this dream to help Your plan
    that we awaken from all dreams we made.
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 294
My body is a wholly neutral thing.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  
 
Most of us have a relationship with our body of either loving it or hating it or loving and hating parts of it. Yet Jesus says that the body is neither good nor bad. (W.294.2.2) In fact, it is just an instrument---a communication device---and like everything else in our world, it can be put to a useful purpose. What is it for? What use might we put it to? Will it be given to the ego for its use or used for a holy purpose by the Holy Spirit?
 
This Lesson says that God did not create what is mortal and corruptible, which tells us that He did not create the body. Yet the body can serve the purpose of supporting our awakening. And when we awaken, its usefulness is over, and it can simply be laid down. Thus, it can be of service for a while and "then to be replaced for greater good." (W.294.1.10)
 
The important thing is to come to the recognition that the body is not what we are. It was not created by God, "And what is not created cannot be sinful nor sinless; neither good nor bad." (W.294.2.2) It is simply a useful tool for a while.
 
We are, however, urged to "use this dream[the body] to help Your plan [the plan of the Holy Spirit] that we awaken from all dreams we made." (W.294.2.3) The body is useful as a vehicle to extend the message of love to our brothers and sisters. When in the service of the Holy Spirit, the body becomes a means and not an end in itself. It is also a useful indicator as a witness to what is in the mind as it can inform us in ways that our thinking mind cannot. As such, it is not helpful to deny what we are seeing or what we are feeling. Without this witness, we would not see what is in our minds to be forgiven.
 
As we commit to forgiveness, we increasingly recognize that our reality is a mind and with it, our identification with the body is loosened. When our main focus is the body, we remain vigilant of its care and protection, and we fear what can go wrong with it. When we mistakenly think that the body is what we are, we become very concerned about its well-being. This is not to say we should not pay attention to taking care of the body, as to do our function requires that we keep it serviceable. We can take care of the body and still keep God in the forefront of our minds. For me, being in the shower, for example, is a wonderful place to allow the mind to be washed of any concerns and to set the direction for the day. It is not important what the body is doing, but it is important where the mind is in the doing.
 
"And yet a neutral thing does not see death, for thoughts of fear are not invested there, nor is a mockery of love bestowed upon it." (W.294.1.5) This is an interesting thought, which basically says that guilt and fear, projected on the body, bring the experience of sickness and death. Without guilt, we would not fear death. Yes, the body would die and decay, but it would not be experienced as punishment. It would be simply laid down when our journey of forgiveness is complete. "This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. We thank the body, then, for all the service it has given us." (Song Of Prayer.3.II.2)
 
We may love the body because it is working well for us. We may like its appearance and what and who it attracts into our lives. We dress it up and we love aspects of it. It may be particularly strong or healthy, and we may find the body functions well for us so we think it is pretty good, but it is still a mockery of who we are as pure love. It is symbolic of the sin that has been accepted into the mind, although buried in the unconscious, and now seen all around us. "The mind that thinks it is a sin has but one purpose; that the body be the source of sin, to keep it in the prison house it chose and guards and holds itself at bay, a sleeping prisoner to the snarling dogs of hate and evil, sickness and attack; of pain and age, of grief and suffering." (T.31.III.5.1) (ACIM OE T.31.III.30)
 
"My body, Father, cannot be Your Son. And what is not created cannot be sinful nor sinless; neither good nor bad." (W.294.2.1-2) We are being asked to recognize that, although the body is corruptible, it is not who we are. We are eternal. "And afterwards, without a purpose, it is laid aside." (W.294.1.7)
 
There are several passages in the Course that speak of our hatred for the body when it is not used as a tool for purposes of awakening. We are right to question why a loving Father would create that which is corruptible and has a short lifespan with intervening years of suffering and pain. This is simply not consistent with Who our Father is. If He has the power to create only what is perfect, why would His power not be used for only that? To create such corruptibility, as bodies in a decaying, destructible world, cannot be conceived as coming from a loving Creator. Thus, it is not possible that God could be the source of our bodies and this world. The image of a god made by the ego is the source of all this.
 
In the experience of the real world, we know ourselves as eternal. Our Identity is restored to us through forgiveness. Forgiveness is the means by which we cross the bridge from this world to the real world. Jesus reminds us, "Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel. It sets the limits on what he can do; Its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach. Would you be this, if Christ appeared to you in all His glory, asking you but this: Choose again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there. For He has come, and He is asking this." (T.31.VIII.1.1-6) (ACIM OE T.31.VIII.83)
 
He tells us not to fear temptation but to see it as an opportunity to choose again. In every difficulty, Christ calls to us to make this choice. It is just another chance to remember who we are. When we make this choice, the Holy Spirit does all the heavy lifting for us. Trying to do anything on our own to change ourselves is not helpful. In fact, it is just an intrusion on His role. Let His strength prevail. Let His Will be done.
 
Tomorrow morning, as I go to have my shower, wash my body, dress it up, paint the lips, and highlight the hair, I will remember that the body's urges, its requirements, its demands for food, pleasure, and rest can all be seen as just tuning up an instrument to be neither loved nor hated but used for His purposes. In that is its perfect protection. Jesus asks for our hands, our eyes, and our feet to be used in his service of being truly helpful. As the prayer in Chapter 2 reminds us, in each and every encounter:
 
"I am here only to be truly helpful
I am here to represent Him who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do,
because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal." (T.2.V.A.18.2-6) (ACIM OE T.4.IX.106)
 
It is interesting that Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, who brought the Course into the world, both left their bodies not long after the Course was published. Helen wrote down the Course starting in 1965 and finished it in 1972. She died in 1981, while Bill continued on with the teaching and then left his body in 1988. Helen was 72 and Bill 65 at the time of their deaths. It seems that when our function is completed here on earth, there is no reason to continue on. Of course, we don't know the state of their minds at death, but the day before he died, Bill Thetford said that he felt his function was finished and that he had forgiven everyone. The next day he left his body.
 
While the body is not made by love, it can be lovingly used as an instrument for healing. It is not to be denied while we still believe in its reality. It is still a useful witness to our state of mind. The people that trigger us are the gifts that help us return to the holy Self we are.

Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca 

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A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Eight

The Undoing of Fear 
 
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CHAPTER 28 III, 16-27
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III. Reversing Effect and Cause 
 
16 Without a cause there can be no effects, and yet without effects there is no cause. The cause a cause is made by its effects; the Father is a father by His Son. Effects do not create their cause, but they establish its causation. Thus, the Son gives fatherhood to his Creator and receives the gift that he has given Him. It is because he is God's Son that he must also be a father who creates as God created him. The circle of creation has no end. Its starting and its ending are the same. But in itself it holds the universe of all creation, without beginning and without an end.
 
17 Fatherhood is creation. Love must be extended. Purity is not confined. It is the nature of the innocent to be forever uncontained, without a barrier or limitation. Thus is purity not of the body. Nor can it be found where limitation is. The body can be healed by its effects, which are as limitless as is itself. Yet must all healing come about because the mind is recognized as not within the body, and its innocence is quite apart from it and where all healing is. Where then is healing? Only where its cause is given its effects. For sickness is a meaningless attempt to give effects to causelessness and make it be a cause.
 
18 Always in sickness does the Son of God attempt to make himself his cause and not allow himself to be his Father's Son. For this impossible desire, he does not believe that he is Love's effect and must be cause because of what he is. The cause of healing is the only Cause of everything. It has but one effect. And in that recognition, causelessness is given no effects and none are seen. A mind within a body and a world of other bodies, each with separate minds, are your "creations," you the "other" mind, creating with effects unlike yourself. And as their "father," you must be like them. Nothing at all has happened but that you have put yourself to sleep and dreamed a dream in which you were an alien to yourself and but a part of someone else's dream.
 
19 The miracle does not awaken you but merely shows you who the dreamer is. It teaches you there is a choice of dreams while you are still asleep, depending on the purpose of your dreaming. Do you wish for dreams of healing or for dreams of death? A dream is like a memory in that it pictures what you wanted shown to you. An empty storehouse with an open door holds all your shreds of memories and dreams. Yet if you are the dreamer, you perceive this much at least---that you have caused the dream and can accept another dream as well. But for this change in content of the dream, it must be realized that it is you who dreamed the dreaming that you do not like. It is but an effect which you have caused, and you would not be cause of this effect.
 
20 In dreams of murder and attack are you the victim in a dying body slain. But in forgiving dreams is no one asked to be the victim and the sufferer. These are the happy dreams the miracle exchanges for your own. It does not ask you make another---only that you see you made the one you would exchange for this. This world is causeless, as is every dream that anyone has dreamed within the world. No plans are possible and no design exists that could be found and understood.
 
21 What else could be expected from a thing that has no cause? Yet if it has no cause, it has no purpose. You may cause a dream, but never will you give it real effects. For that would change its cause, and it is this you cannot do. The dreamer of a dream is not awake but does not know he sleeps. He sees illusions of himself as sick or well, depressed or happy, but without a stable cause with guaranteed effects.
 
22 The miracle establishes you dream a dream and that its content is not true. This is a crucial step in dealing with illusions. No one is afraid of them when he perceives he made them up. The fear was held in place because he did not see that he was author of the dream, and not a figure in the dream. He gives himself the consequences which he dreams he gave his brother. And it is but this the dream has put together and has offered him to show him that his wishes have been done. Thus does he fear his own attack but sees it at another's hands. As victim, he is suffering from its effects but not their cause. He authored not his own attack, and he is innocent of what he caused. The miracle does nothing but to show him that he has done nothing. What he fears is cause without the consequences which would make it cause. And so it never was.
 
23 The separation started with the dream the Father was deprived of His effects and powerless to keep them since He was no longer their Creator. In the dream, the dreamer made himself, but what he made has turned against him, taking on the role of its creator as the dreamer had. And as he hated his Creator, so the figures in the dream have hated him. His body is their slave which they abuse because the motives he has given it have they adopted as their own. And hate it for the vengeance it would offer them. It is their vengeance on the body which appears to prove the dreamer could not be the maker of the dream. Effect and cause are first split off and then reversed, so that effect becomes a cause; the cause, effect.
 
24 This is the separation's final step with which salvation, which proceeds to go the other way, begins. This final step is an effect of what has gone before, appearing as a cause. The miracle is the first step in giving back to cause the function of causation, not effect. For this confusion has produced the dream, and while it lasts, will wakening be feared. Nor will the call to wakening be heard, because it seems to be the call to fear.
 
25 Like every lesson which the Holy Spirit requests you learn, the miracle is clear. It demonstrates what He would have you learn and shows you its effects are what you want. In His forgiving dreams are the effects of yours undone and hated enemies perceived as friends with merciful intent. Their enmity is seen as causeless now, because they did not make it. And you can accept the role of maker of their hate, because you see that it has no effects. Now are you freed from this much of the dream; the world is neutral, and the bodies which still seem to move about as separate things need not be feared. And so they are not sick.
 
26 The miracle returns the cause of fear to you who made it. But it also shows that, having no effects, it is not cause because the function of causation is to have effects. And where effects are gone, there is no cause. Thus is the body healed by miracles because they show the mind made sickness and employed the body to be victim or effect of what it made. Yet half the lesson will not teach the whole. The miracle is useless if you learn but that the body can be healed, for this is not the lesson it was sent to teach. The lesson is the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick; projecting out its guilt caused nothing and had no effects.
 
27 This world is full of miracles. They stand in shining silence next to every dream of pain and suffering, of sin and guilt. They are the dream's alternative, the choice to be the dreamer rather than deny the active role in making up the dream. They are the glad effects of taking back the consequence of sickness to its cause. The body is released because the mind acknowledges "this is not done to me, but I am doing this." And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead. Beginning here, salvation will proceed to change the course of every step in the descent to separation, until all the steps have been retraced, the ladder gone, and all the dreaming of the world undone.
 
 
 
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