Lesson 300
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God Shared His Will
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES

CH 28 THE UNDOING OF FEAR  
VI. THE ALTERNATE TO DREAMS OF FEAR
 
47 What is a sense of sickness but a sense of limitation? Of a splitting off and separating from? A gap perceived between yourselves and what is seen as health? The good is seen outside; the evil, in. And thus is sickness separating off the self from good and keeping evil in. God is the alternate to dreams of fear. Who shares in them can never share in Him. But who withdraws his mind from sharing them is sharing Him. There is no other choice. Except you share it, nothing can exist. And you exist because God shared His Will with you, that His creation might create.  
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
What is the Real World
WHAT IS THE REAL WORLD?

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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER* Example MP3
 
   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.
 
    ~ Original Hand Script  
 
  
CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT ~ COMMENTARY
          
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 300
Only an instant does this world endure.


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   This is the thought that can be used to say
   that death and sorrow are the certain lot
   of all who come here. For their joys are gone
   before they are possessed, or even grasped.
   Yet this is also the idea that lets
   no false perception keep you in its hold,
   nor represent more than a passing cloud
   of upon a sky eternally serene.
   And it is this serenity we seek,
   unclouded, obvious and sure, today.
 
    We seek Your holy world today. For we,
    Your loving Sons, have lost our way a while.
    But we have listened to Your Voice, and learned
    exactly what to do to be restored
    to Heaven and our true Identity.
    And we give thanks today the world endures
    but for an instant. We would go beyond
    that tiny instant to eternity.
     
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 300
Only an instant does this world endure.

Sarah's Commentary:  
   
Here we are at Lesson 300 and quickly nearing the end of the year. In these Lessons, we continue to focus on going deep within to the still quiet place where we open up with confidence to the invitation of His presence. It is a place where our inner Teacher dwells. It is the inner knowing with which we connect. We attempt to maintain this devotion throughout the day. We live in contemplation of the truth and watch the mind throughout the day.
 
This is a time of deep communion with our Father, where we experience the certainty of His Truth and His Promise. We want to remember the Lesson throughout the day as we stop our activities, breathe in holy air, release all thoughts of death and sorrow, and remember the truth of who we are. We do this through willingness and devotion. There is nothing to seek. We already are what we are seeking. When I am truly willing to be shown what the truth is, it will be revealed. It is not about resisting what we don't want but recognizing that nothing except love exists. Everything else is not true.
 
This is the last Lesson in the section called, "What is the Real World." (W.PII.Q8) What a way to end this section with the reminder that the world we think we live in is an illusion, which lasts but an instant. What this means is, this world has no reality. Jesus tells us this is so, and, increasingly, physicists are proving the same thing. They are showing us that what we are seeing has no substance.
 
What we seek today is the holy world, (W.300.2.1) which is the real world. The ego tells us this life is brief and quickly over, ending in death, where ". . . joys are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped." (W.300.1.1) That is mostly how we experience our lives here, isn't it? It feels like nothing lasts, and life goes by so very quickly. It is precisely how the ego misinterprets the world of time, telling us there is no hope of eternal joy, and at the end, it is all over and death comes to claim us.
 
This is the opposite of what Jesus teaches, which is that nothing has happened to change our reality. The world endures only for an instant because the thought that produced it can change in an instant. The world is only a projection of a wrong-minded thought that we could be separate from God and His Love. In reality, the separation never happened at all. Of course, for us, it seems to have happened and this world and our bodily identity seem to be real and solid, but as Jesus tells us, it is just a shabby substitute for our real Identity and does not exist at all.
 
However, it seems we still want to prove the reality of this dream. We have made a substitute reality and want it to be true. It is how we try to hold onto time and whom we think we are. Jesus tells us this world has no substance and, indeed, is nothing more than a "passing cloud upon a sky eternally serene." (W.300.1.2) It is brief and temporary and does not and has not changed who we are. It means the thoughts we hold that seem to make everything here real and serious, including death, are only thoughts that can be changed in an instant; and then everything is seen differently.
 
The experience of this world is only a dream, during which we seem to have lost our way. We will reclaim our eternal reality when we are ready to do so. It is God's promise to us that we will find our way back to Him. We need have no doubt about this because we have never left Him. The time we have in this experience of space-time is to be used for the purpose of remembering the truth. We have not been dropped here in this matrix with no rules on how to leave it. A loving God would not have left us here to figure it all out. Jesus reminds us we have ". . . learned exactly what to do to be restored to Heaven and our true Identity." (W.300.2.3) All we need to do is recognize how we are blocking the love always available to us. Looking at our thoughts with the Holy Spirit means we look at them without judgment, and thus, they are forgiven.
 
I woke up this morning and I started to rehearse my day. I had thoughts about what I would wear, what I had to accomplish, how I would respond to a difficult situation in front of me, and so on. As these thoughts came up, I looked at the content of what I was believing. I felt the stress of what appeared to be too many things to accomplish today. The content of all these thoughts was fear. I was feeding myself a diet of fear thoughts before the day even started. Jesus invites us to bring these fear thoughts to the Love within the right mind. The symbol of love may be called by any name---Love, Holy Spirit, or Jesus. It does not matter. What does matter is, I am willing to heal what does not serve me---fear. If I want peace above all else, I will have it, but it won't come by resisting the thoughts in the mind. If I say I don't want the thoughts I am thinking, I am attracting them because what I resist will persist. Instead, as we investigate them, through a process of radical inquiry we will come to see more clearly what we are holding in the unconscious mind. When we give them over with complete trust and willingness, the healing will happen without any investment by us. Instead of feeding ourselves thoughts of fear, peace reigns. We have done nothing. The Holy Spirit is the Healer and He has done all the heavy lifting. We have made room for His function. Our part was just the willingness to investigate and let go of thoughts that don't serve us by giving them over to Him.
 
Each Lesson in this Course is a step in undoing our false perceptions. We may not have done the Lessons exactly as proposed, but we have made progress even with our small efforts, our wavering commitment, and our little willingness. Yes, we have sometimes become discouraged with the persistence of the ego. We have had doubt thoughts galore. We may even have more conflict than before we started the Course because now we are aware of two thought systems in our minds, but we will never turn back once we have taken these steps to our healing. The end is certain. The script is written. Our purpose is clear and all these persistent ego patterns endure for only an instant no matter how intractable they seem to us.
 
Oh yes, we can and do delay. We can procrastinate. We can resist for a time, but we will return and be grateful for the progress we have made. The process is clear. Many of us have read many wonderful spiritual books, but in my experience, there are none that have laid this path out as clearly as this Course. Truth has only one Source. It comes through many books and teachers. This is not the only Course, but it has found us . " Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt. Seek you no further. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain. " (W.200.1.1-5)
 
We are reminded in Lesson 284 that at first we will just repeat the ideas, then accept them as partly true with many reservations before we consider them seriously more and more; until finally, we get to a point of complete acceptance. It is a process. The only question is our willingness to do the practice. Nothing happens without some effort on our part. Our monkey minds with their persistent, obsessive thoughts resist the discipline we are attempting to impose on ourselves. Distractions still attract us like shiny baubles that get our attention, but none of them will last. No matter how many we pursue, they all ". . . are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped." (W.300.1.1)
 
We increasingly observe that the things of this world do not bring us any lasting value, so they just drop away without any effort on our part. It reminds me of when my son was young and wanted to spend his money on flimsy toys that I assured him would not last. After three or four such purchases, he quickly learned the truth of my warnings; but he first needed to experience this for himself. Everything in the world we want is exactly like that. We eventually come to our own experience of disillusionment with all the things we think we want and all that we thought would bring us happiness.
 
We are asked to apply the Lesson to whatever comes up in our day, whether it is a resentment, grievance, attachment, addiction, worry, or temptation of any kind to become upset. We can say, "Only an instant does this world [my grievances, attachments, etc.] endure." (W.300) In the scheme of things, our frustrations here are minuscule if the world of time is only an instant.
 
Some of us lament that life is short. Haven't you heard that often from people, or said it yourself. I know I have. It is sometimes used as a statement to justify the "pleasures" in life. My son had a placard when he was a teenager that said, "He who has the most toys when he dies, wins." But what do we win? The good thing about the shortness of life, according to this Lesson, is that ". . . this is also the idea that lets no false perception keep us in its hold. . ." (W.300.1.2) Instead, with this practice "We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity." (W.300.2.5)
 
Chapter 26 V, "The Little Hindrance," (ACIM OE CH 26 VI) provides us with an excellent overview of the metaphysics of the instant of time talked about here. According to this section, time began when we made the choice to separate from God and Heaven. It was, in fact, a choice to die rather than to live. Jesus tells us, "The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first." (T.26.V.3.5) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.32) All time was contained in that tiny tick. In that same instant, God gave us the Holy Spirit as the Correction for this mistake. When the first error was made, it fragmented itself into millions and billions of variations. To us, it seems like events are strung out in succession, yet we are told they are simultaneous. It is not one thing that occurs after another, but a continuous and ongoing repetition of the same error (separation) over and over again.
 
I find it absolutely fascinating to see how this works in my life. In every moment and in every situation, I have the opportunity to choose Heaven (extend love and forgiveness) or hell (attack, worry, blame, plans, hate, fear, distress, pain or pleasure). While there is only this single moment, for us it seems there are many moments; but in each situation, no matter how much distress it causes us, the Holy Spirit adapts his One Correction to every version of this single error. No matter the situation, we are assured there is a way out that heals all pain. In fact, since there is no time, our story is already done. We are simply reviewing something already complete. I find that amusing and helpful. It makes me laugh sometimes when I am discussing or arguing some perspective in politics or the environment to think that this is all over. Does it matter what I think? Thinking is just another way to try to gain. Every problem comes from our desire to gain at our brother's loss. That is something to reflect on!
 
The "moral" of this whole thing is that every issue we hang onto is how we hang onto the whole of time, how we hold onto suffering, and how we keep this tiny tick of time when the first mistake was made. Yet every time we forgive, we release ourselves from this seemingly endless and wearisome journey of suffering.
 
This world is a projection of our thoughts and a witness to what is in our minds. Whatever pops up, whatever ego patterns show up, and whatever grievances are there, they are all reflected perfectly in the events showing up in our lives. With forgiveness, we experience more light, but also we become more aware of the darkness in the wrong mind. Welcome it. It need not be hard. Don't run away from it. All that is happening is, the miracle is lighting up the darkness of the unconscious mind. Bring your awareness to that darkness so that it can be put on the inner altar for healing. Remember that we have to go through fear to love.
 
"And we give thanks today the world endures but for an instant. We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity." (W.300.2.4-5)
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
 
ACIM Original Edition
VI. The Alternate to Dreams of Fear
           
47 What is a sense of sickness but a sense of limitation? Of a splitting off and separating from? A gap perceived between yourselves and what is seen as health? The good is seen outside; the evil, in. And thus is sickness separating off the self from good and keeping evil in. God is the alternate to dreams of fear. Who shares in them can never share in Him. But who withdraws his mind from sharing them is sharing Him. There is no other choice. Except you share it, nothing can exist. And you exist because God shared His Will with you, that His creation might create.
 
48 It is the sharing of the evil dreams of hate and malice, bitterness and death, of sin and suffering and pain and loss, that makes them real. Unshared, they are perceived as meaningless. The fear is gone from them because you did not give them your support. Where fear has gone, there love must come because there are but these alternatives. Where one appears, the other disappears. And which you share becomes the only one you have. You have the one which you accept, because it is the only one you wish to have. You share no evil dreams if you forgive the dreamer and perceive that he is not the dream he made. And so he cannot be a part of yours, from which you both are free. Forgiveness separates the dreamer from the evil dream and thus releases him.
 
49 Remember if you share an evil dream, you will believe you are the dream you share. And fearing it, you will not want to know your own Identity because you think that it is fearful. And you will deny your Self and walk upon an alien ground which your Creator did not make and where you seem to be a something you are not. You will make war upon your Self, which seems to be your enemy, and will attack your brother as a part of what you hate. There is no compromise. You are your Self or an illusion. What can be between illusion and the truth? A middle ground where you can be a thing that is not you must be a dream and cannot be the truth.
 
50 You have conceived a little gap between illusions and the truth to be the place where all your safety lies and where your Self is safely hidden by what you have made. Here is a world established that is sick, and this the world the body's eyes perceive. Here are the sounds it hears---the voices which its ears were made to hear. Yet sights and sounds the body can perceive are meaningless. It cannot see nor hear. It does not know what seeing is, what listening is for. It is as little able to perceive as it can judge or understand or know. Its eyes are blind; its ears are deaf. It cannot think, and so it cannot have effects.
 
51 What is there God created to be sick? And what that He created not can be? Let not your eyes behold a dream, your ears bear witness to illusion. They were made to look upon a world that is not there, to hear the voices that can make no sound. Yet are there other sounds and other sights which can be seen and heard and understood. For eyes and ears are senses without sense, and what they see and hear they but report. It is not they that hear and see, but you, who put together every jagged piece, each senseless scrap and shred of evidence, and make a witness to the world you want. Let not the body's ears and eyes perceive these countless fragments seen within the gap which you imagined, and let them persuade their maker his imaginings are real.
 
52 Creation proves reality because it shares the function all creation shares. It is not made of little bits of glass, a piece of wood, a thread or two perhaps, all put together to attest its truth. Reality does not depend on this. There is no gap which separates the truth from dreams and from illusions. Truth has left no room for them in any place or time. For it fills every place and every time and makes them wholly indivisible.
 
53 You who believe there is a little gap between you, do not understand that it is here that you are kept as prisoners in a world perceived to be existing here. The world you see does not exist because the place where you perceive it is not real. The gap is carefully concealed in fog, and misty pictures rise to cover it with vague, uncertain forms and changing shapes, forever unsubstantial and unsure. Yet in the gap is nothing. And there are no awesome secrets and no darkened tombs where terror rises from the bones of death. Look at the little gap, and you behold the innocence and emptiness of sin that you will see within yourself when you have lost the fear of recognizing love.
 
 
VII. The Secret Vows

54 Who punishes the body is insane. For here the little gap is seen, and yet it is not here. It has not judged itself nor made itself to be what it is not. It does not seek to make of pain a joy and look for lasting pleasure in the dust. It does not tell you what its purpose is and cannot understand what it is for. It does not victimize because it has no will, no preferences, and no doubts. It does not wonder what it is. And so it has no need to be competitive. It can be victimized but cannot feel itself as victim. It accepts no role but does what it is told, without attack.
 
55 It is indeed a senseless point of view to hold responsible for sight a thing that cannot see and blame it for the sounds you do not like, although it cannot hear. It suffers not the punishment you give because it has no feeling. It behaves in ways you want but never makes the choice. It is not born and does not die. It can but follow aimlessly the path on which it has been set. And if that path is changed, it walks as easily another way. It takes no sides and judges not the road it travels. It perceives no gap because it does not hate. It can be used for hate, but it cannot be hateful made thereby.
 
56 The thing you hate and fear and loathe and want, the body does not know. You send it forth to seek for separation and to be a separate thing. And then you hate it, not for what it is, but for the uses you have made of it. You shrink from what it sees and what it hears and hate its frailty and littleness. And you despise its acts but not your own. It sees and acts for you. It hears your voice. And it is frail and little by your wish. It seems to punish you and thus deserve your hatred for the limitations which it brings to you. Yet you have made of it a symbol for the limitations which you want your mind to have and see and keep.
 
57 The body represents the gap between the little bit of mind you call your own and all the rest of what is really yours. You hate it, yet you think it is your self and that without it would your self be lost. This is the secret vow which you have made with every brother who would walk apart. This is the secret oath you take again, whenever you perceive yourself attacked. No one can suffer if he does not see himself attacked and losing by attack. Unstated and unheard in consciousness is every pledge to sickness. Yet it is a promise to another to be hurt by him and to attack him in return.
 
58 Sickness is anger taken out upon the body, so that it will suffer pain. It is the obvious effect of what was made in secret, in agreement with another's secret wish to be apart from you, as you would be apart from him. Unless you both agree that is your wish, it can have no effects. Whoever says, "There is no gap between my mind and yours" has kept God's promise, not his tiny oath to be forever faithful unto death. And by his healing is his brother healed.
 
59 Let this be your agreement with each one---that you be one with him and not apart. And he will keep the promise that you make with him because it is the one which he has made to God, as God has made to him. God keeps His promises; His Son keeps his. In his creation did his Father say, "You are beloved of Me and I of you forever. Be you perfect as Myself, for you can never be apart from Me." His Son remembers not that he replied "I will," though in that promise he was born. Yet God reminds him of it every time he does not share a promise to be sick but lets his mind be healed and unified. His secret vows are powerless before the Will of God, Whose promises he shares. And what he substitutes is not his will, who has made promise of himself to God.
 
 
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