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29 No mind is sick until another mind agrees that they are separate. And thus it is their joint decision to be sick. If you withhold agreement and accept the part you play in making sickness real, the other mind cannot project its guilt without your aid in letting it perceive itself as separate and apart from you. Thus is the body not perceived as sick by both your minds, from separate points of view. Uniting with a brother's mind prevents the cause of sickness and perceived effects. Healing is the effect of minds which join, as sickness comes from minds which separate.

IV. The Agreement to Join
Workbook for Students
Part II
What is the Real World?
1 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.

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Lesson 300
Only an instant
does this world endure.
1 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 us in its hold nor represent more than a passing cloud upon a sky eternally serene. And it is this serenity we seek, unclouded, obvious, and sure today.

2 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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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 28
 The Undoing of Fear

IV. The Agreement to Join
par 28-36
28 What waits in perfect certainty beyond salvation is not our concern. For you have barely started to allow your first uncertain steps to be directed up the ladder separation led you down. The miracle alone is your concern at present. Here is where we must begin. And having started, will the way be made serene and simple in the rising up to waking and the ending of the dream. When you accept a miracle, you do not add your dream of fear to one that is already being dreamed. Without support, the dream will fade away without effects. For it is your support that strengthens it.

29 No mind is sick until another mind agrees that they are separate. And thus it is their joint decision to be sick. If you withhold agreement and accept the part you play in making sickness real, the other mind cannot project its guilt without your aid in letting it perceive itself as separate and apart from you. Thus is the body not perceived as sick by both your minds, from separate points of view. Uniting with a brother's mind prevents the cause of sickness and perceived effects. Healing is the effect of minds which join, as sickness comes from minds which separate.

30 The miracle does nothing just because the minds are joined and cannot separate. Yet in the dreaming has this been reversed, and separate minds are seen as bodies which are separated and which cannot join. Do not allow your brother to be sick, for if he is, have you abandoned him to his own dream by sharing it with him. He has not seen the cause of sickness where it is, and you have overlooked the gap between you, where the sickness has been bred. Thus are you joined in sickness, to preserve the little gap unhealed, where sickness is kept carefully protected, cherished, and upheld by firm belief, lest God should come to bridge the little gap that leads to Him. Fight not His coming with illusions, for it is His coming that you want above all things that seem to glisten in the dream.

31 The end of dreaming is the end of fear, and love was never in the world of dreams. The gap is little. Yet it holds the seeds of pestilence and every form of ill because it is a wish to keep apart and not to join. And thus it seems to give a cause to sickness which is not its cause. The purpose of the gap is all the cause that sickness has. For it was made to keep you separated in a body which you see as if it were the cause of pain.

32 The cause of pain is separation, not the body, which is only its effect. Yet separation is but empty space, enclosing nothing, doing nothing, and as unsubstantial as the empty place between the ripples that a ship has made in passing by. And covered just as fast, as water rushes in to close the gap and as the waves in joining cover it. Where is the gap between the waves when they have joined and covered up the space which seemed to keep them separate for a little while? Where are the grounds for sickness when the minds have joined to close the little gap between them where the seeds of sickness seemed to grow?

33 God builds the bridge, but only in the space left clean and vacant by the miracle. The seeds of sickness and the shame of guilt He cannot bridge, for He cannot destroy the alien will that He created not. Let its effects be gone and clutch them not with eager hands, to keep them for yourself. The miracle will brush them all aside and thus make room for Him Who wills to come and bridge His Son's returning to Himself.

34 Count, then, the silver miracles and golden dreams of happiness as all the treasures you would keep within the storehouse of the world. The door is open, not to thieves but to your starving brothers who mistook for gold the shining of a pebble and who stored a heap of snow that shone like silver. They have nothing left behind the open door. What is the world except a little gap perceived to tear eternity apart and break it into days and months and years? And what are you who live within the world except a picture of the Son of God in broken pieces, each concealed within a separate and uncertain bit of clay?

35 Be not afraid, but let your world be lit by miracles. And where the gap was seen to stand between you, join your brother there. And sickness will be seen without a cause. The dream of healing in forgiveness lies and gently shows you that you never sinned. The miracle would leave no proof of guilt to bring you witness to what never was. And in your storehouse it will make a place of welcome for your Father and your Self. The door is open that all those may come who would no longer starve and would enjoy the feast of plenty set before them there. And they will meet with your invited Guests the miracle has asked to come to you.

36 This is a feast unlike indeed to those the dreaming of the world has shown. For here, the more that anyone receives, the more is left for all the rest to share. The Guests have brought unlimited supply with Them. And no one is deprived or can deprive. Here is a feast the Father lays before His Son and shares it equally with him. And in Their sharing there can be no gap in which abundance falters and grows thin. Here can the lean years enter not, for time waits not upon this feast, which has no end. For Love has set Its table in the space that seemed to keep your Guests apart from you.

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Sarah's Reflections
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. We continue to focus on meditation and contemplation of the meaning of the Lessons. With meditation, we go deep within to the still quiet place where we open up with confidence to His presence. It is a place where our inner Teacher dwells. It is here that we connect with our inner knowing. We attempt to maintain this devotion throughout the day, applying the Lesson to the decisions we make and to any temptation to become disturbed that we experience. We stay vigilant in watching 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 we are truly willing to be shown what the truth is, it is revealed. It is not about resisting what we don't want, but choosing what serves our highest good. Only love exists. Everything else is not the truth.
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 that this world has no reality. Jesus tells us that this is so and, increasingly, quantum physicists are proving the same thing. Their research confirms that what we see has no substance.
What we seek today is the holy world, (W.300.2.1) which is the real world. The ego tells us that 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? 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 a projection of a wrong-minded thought that we can 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 to the false image of ourselves. Jesus tells us that 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 that 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 that 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. A loving God would not have left us here to figure it all out by ourselves. Jesus reminds us that 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 that is 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 based on beliefs that were not true. I was feeding myself a diet of fear thoughts before the day even started. Jesus invites us to bring these fear thoughts to the light of the Holy Spirit within the right mind. The only thing that matters is that 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 our beliefs over with complete trust and willingness, healing happens without any investment by us. Instead of feeding 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 is just the willingness to investigate and let go of thoughts that don’t serve us.
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 the mind, but we will never turn back once we have taken these steps in healing. The end is certain. The script is written. Our purpose is clear and all the seemingly persistent ego patterns endure for only an instant no matter how intractable they seem to be.
Oh yes, we can and do delay. We can and do procrastinate. We can resist for a time, but we will return and be grateful for the progress we have made. The process is clearly laid out for us. There are 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 and comes through many books and teachers, but this is the Course that has specifically come to us, so we need to look no further. "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, do we have the willingness to do the practice. Nothing happens without some effort on our part. Our monkey minds, with their persistent, obsessive thoughts, resist the discipline and attempt to impose themselves on us. 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 recognize that the things of this world do not bring us any lasting value, so they increasingly 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 that 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, pleasures, 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 people say this often or haven’t you said it to 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 referenced 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 that they are simultaneous. It is not that one thing 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, plan, hate, fear, get distressed, feel pain, or feel pleasure). While there is only this single moment, for us it seems that 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 that 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 hold onto the whole of time, how we hold onto suffering, and how we hold onto this tiny tick of time in which 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 that 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)
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Love and blessings, Sarah


Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is:

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