A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 28 THE UNDOING OF FEAR
VIII. THE BEAUTIFUL RELATIONSHIP
62 Either there is a gap between you and your brother, or you are as one. There is no in between, no other choice, and no allegiance to be split between the two. A split allegiance is but faithlessness to both and merely sets you spinning round, to grasp uncertainly at any straw that seems to hold some promise of relief. Yet who can build his home upon a straw and count on it as shelter from the wind? The body can be made a home like this because it lacks foundation in the truth. And yet, because it does, it can be seen as not your home but merely as an aid to help you reach the home where God abides.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
WHAT IS THE SECOND COMING?
~ Original Hand Script
Christ's Second Coming, which is sure as God,
is merely the correction of mistakes
and the return of sanity. It is
a part of the condition which restores
the never-lost, and re-establishes
what is forever and forever true.
It is the invitation to God's Word
to take illusion's place; the willingness
to let forgiveness rest upon all things
without exceptions and without reserve.
It is this all-inclusive nature of
Christ's Second Coming that permits it to
embrace the world, and hold you safe within
its gentle advent, which encompasses
all living things with you. There is no end
to the release the Second Coming brings,
as God's creation must be limitless.
Forgiveness lights the Second Coming's way
because it shines on everyone as well.
*And thus is oneness recognized at last.
*this line is not in Notes
The Second Coming ends the lessons which
the Holy Spirit teaches, making way
for the Last Judgment, in which learning ends
in one last summary which will extend
beyond itself, and reaching up to God.
The Second Coming is the time in which
all minds are given to the hands of Christ,
to be returned to Spirit in the Name
of true creation and the Will of God.
The Second Coming is the one event
in time which time itself can not affect.
For everyone who ever came to die,
or yet will come or who is present now,
is equally released from what he made.
In this equality is Christ restored
as one Identity, in Which all Sons
of God acknowledge that they all are one.
And God the Father smiles upon His Son,
His one creation and His only joy.
Pray that this Second Coming will be soon,
but do not rest with that. It needs your eyes
and ears and hands and feet. It needs your voice,
and most of all it needs your willingness.
Let us rejoice that we can do God's Will,
and join together in Its holy light.
Behold, the Son of God is one in us,
and we can reach our Father's Love through him.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 301
And God Himself shall wipe away all tears.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
Father, unless I judge I cannot weep.
Nor can I suffer pain, or feel I am
abandoned and unneeded in the world.
This is my home, because I judge it not.
And therefore is it only what You will.
Let me today behold it uncondemned,
through happy eyes forgiveness has released
from all distortion. Let me see Your world
instead of mine. And all the tears I shed
will be forgotten, for their source is gone.
Father, I will not judge Your world today.
God's world is happy. Those who look on it
can only add their joy to it, and bless
it as a cause of further joy in them.
We wept because we did not understand.
But we have learned the world we saw was false,
and we will look upon God's world today.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
And God Himself shall wipe away all tears.
What is it that makes us weep? We have been told over and over in this Course there is nothing in the world that can cause us pain and suffering even though to us it does not seem that way. We are learning the only cause of our pain is our own thoughts. The world is not real. What brings us pain is the belief we are guilty. We project this guilt onto the world, and now see our own guilt looking back at us. It is our judgments, our interpretations, and our meaning we put on situations and events that bring suffering, pain, and tears. Events are just neutral. As Jesus clearly reminds us, "Father, unless I judge I cannot weep. Nor can I suffer pain, or feel I am abandoned or unneeded in the world." (W.301.1.1-2)
Only my unhealed perceptions bring suffering and tears. If a body leaves me, I suffer. If another body does not accept me, I am hurt. If a body dies, I am abandoned. In other words, I am the one who gives meaning to these events. I then feel like a victim of what others in the world seem to do to me. There seem to be those who are the victimizers, yet those are just my thoughts about what seems to be happening. Events in themselves are neutral. Jesus reminds us that we shouldn't not give meaning and interpretation to anything, but that indeed we can't. We have no idea what anything is for. We simply can't judge. We are incapable of judging because we can't see the end from the beginning. When we are experiencing adversity, we don't know of its contribution to our lives. How can we judge it? When we do, we will always suffer.
There are no problems. The only problem is in our own minds. The world is not unfair, unjust, or unfriendly to us, making us feel like hapless victims. As the often-repeated lines in Chapter 21 say, "I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked." (T.21.II.2.3-5) (ACIM OE T.21.III.3.15) We are asked to deceive ourselves no longer that we are helpless in the face of what has been done to us. All we have to do is admit we have been mistaken and ". . . all effects of your mistakes will disappear." (T.21.II.2.7) (ACIM OE T.21.III.3.16) Sounds simple, doesn't it? In the events of our lives, it is indeed challenging, but it is also empowering to realize we have set up our lives and our experiences perfectly for our learning and undoing and now we can choose to see everything differently according to our decisions. The choice is always between judgments or forgiveness.
Jesus tells us, "It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him. It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice. His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident. No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing." (T.21.II.3.1-4) (ACIM OE T.21.III.3.17)
Outside of what God created, which is the eternal, the world we made is nothing. That is why, when we look from above the battleground and are able to put some distance between our thoughts about something and become the observer of them, we can smile in amusement at our perceptions. Of course, the way we experience this battleground where we think we are is not amusing to us when we believe in its reality. In fact, it can feel very painful and even tragic, and generally, does, but whenever we choose to take a moment to look at our thoughts about the situation and are truly willing to have them healed, we have taken another step toward awakening from this dream. When we step out of this seeming battleground of our painful thoughts, we recognize the role we have taken on in this drama called life. When we look at our thoughts with courage and honesty, we become the observer, recognizing the characters in the dream playing parts that can assist us in our healing. Don't try to dismiss them as unimportant, as insignificant, or as inconsequential. Don't try to talk yourself out of your feelings, or tell yourself you shouldn't be feeling this way, or you need to be more positive. The only way to truth is through the darkness---not by denying it but by looking at it. We go through the fear to love. It does not matter how long it takes. Time is given us for healing, and when we use it for that purpose, everything that happens is not good or bad but purposeful.
If we look honestly at what is coming up for us, we may notice thoughts of envy over someone's success, fear over some financial losses, anger as a result of some miscommunication, distress about the pile of "to do" things around us, resentment at obligations we feel toward a family member, sadness at being disappointed or betrayed by a friend, and so it goes. Unless we look at our thoughts and connect with our feelings around these situations, we can't bring the awareness and willingness required for the healing of our wrong-minded perspectives. We need to recognize all our suffering is coming from our own thoughts, projected out and bouncing back at us. It does appear as though things are happening to us with no responsibility on our part. Yet we have set it all up. It all starts with the thoughts in our own minds, but we can choose another way.
For example, if someone betrays me, I justify my feelings of anger and sadness. I give meaning to what someone seems to have done to me. I have given my thoughts power and believe the betrayal is a fact that can't be denied. If I insist on my version of reality, I will experience it and see it as outside of myself. To forgive this, I must start with the acknowledging that perhaps I am wrong about the way I see this situation. The reality is, we are always wrong in the way we see events in our lives. The reality is, we can't judge anything. We just don't know. While we believe that our experiences prove us right, all they do is lend proof to what we already believe. The belief we are holding is that we can be betrayed. Forgiveness allows this belief to be undone when we see our investment in it. We are invested in proving over and over again that we are separate from our brothers.
The truth is, I have set up the betrayal. I did it by setting up certain rules in my mind about friendship. If those rules were "betrayed," I have a grievance. Yet the truth is my friend is innocent regardless of his behavior, just as I am. He has the freedom to be himself, just as I have that same freedom. Forgiveness allows me to stop insisting that my thoughts, beliefs, and rules for relationships, with all the expectations that go with them, are true. We must be totally willing to have the meaning we have given every situation to be undone. We must recognize the world is simply a world of our own thoughts. "Truth will correct all errors in my mind." (W.107) We are not the ones that do the correction. Our part is to be willing to look behind our defenses.
Lesson 93 reminds us we have a horribly negative self-concept we harbor within our minds. It is deeply hidden and far beneath the surface, yet we are convinced it is true. Every experience we have arises from this unconscious pain held in the mind. We try to cover it up with "niceness" and with a lifetime of pursuit of love, safety, pleasure, and security, which always eludes us. We don't want to see this darkness in us, but the darkness is not the truth. It is the ego telling us not to look there because underneath it all is love. It is what we are. The ego does not want us to discover this because that would be its demise. Like a parasite on our holy minds, it is the part of the mind we have come to identify with. Yet as we learn to become the watcher of our thoughts, rather than identify with them, we distance ourselves from this false identity.
We must first observe the ego, and only then can we choose to deny it has any power to affect our reality. This world is the manifestation of a choice within our minds to attack and reject the Love of God. Thus, we now hold the thought system that the attack on God makes us the winner. What have we won? We have won our separate, unique, and individual self. Now we project this thought system onto everyone else, believing our victory comes at the defeat of others. Thus, it would be impossible not to see expressions of hatred, specialness, selfishness, and fear because that is the nature of our egoic thought system in the mind. When we see it on the screen, we are seeing our own shadow. As we bring all these perceptions, judgments, and condemning thoughts to the Holy Spirit and ask His help to look at them with Him, they will be released, Again and again, we are reminded to look honestly at how attracted we are to seeing differences and judging others for their faults. This is second nature to us, but it is not a sin. We are just mistaken. We thought we could gain as a result of our attacks, but we have been wrong. Once we admit this, we can be taught.
When we learn that beneath all our fears, unworthiness, anger, hatred, comparisons, and neediness is just a call for Love, which is a call to learn there truly is a better way and that we have been wrong about ourselves. We will learn to approach everyone, who is in the same boat with us, with much more compassion and kindness. We will recognize everyone is just calling to be seen for who they really are, just as we have the same calling in us. We can't do this when we deny how we are feeling or what beliefs we are tenaciously holding onto as true. Our reactions and observations are an invitation to bring our awareness to them, and through them, to see the judgments we are making in every moment.
Paying attention to what we think and say is good practice for the kind of mind training required of us. Our thoughts point to the beliefs and judgments we hold about everything. Now we have a choice available to us. We are no longer on automatic pilot, responding to what the ego demands. We can instead bring our thoughts to the Holy Spirit and ask to see the situation differently. We have dissociated ourselves from the power of choice in our minds. We simply have been reacting to circumstances. "In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his eternal Guide, and let Him judge what the response should be." (M.18.4.1-3)
We will become much more willing to do this work when we fully see the pain and distress our ego thought system brings to us. Then we will be much more willing to surrender our way and choose the Holy Spirit's correction. "Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding, to be judged again, this time with Heaven's help. And all mistakes in judgment that the mind had made before are open to correction, as the truth dismisses them as causeless. Now are they without effects. They cannot be concealed because their nothingness is recognized." (W.138.9)
Our choices are what have caused us distress, but now we can choose again. That is the good news. All we need to do is to take full responsibility for our choices and the predicaments in which we find ourselves, and we will see the results of our decisions. Indeed, as this Lesson says "God's world is happy. Those who look on it can only add their joy to it, and bless it as a cause of further joy in them." (W.301.2.1-2) Our tears are only due to our lack of understanding. We did not realize they were caused by our own mistaken perceptions and not by what seems to be happening to us. The Course lays out a path for the undoing and healing of all our wrong-minded perceptions, but it takes as much dedication and commitment as we can muster. It takes great willingness. Jesus invites us to lay aside our own thoughts and come with wholly empty hands to our God; but first, we must see just how committed we are to being right about our perspectives.
Recently, we were at a silent retreat, and I was walking down a path with my partner on a beautiful warm sunny day. We walked together in silence, and I increasingly became uncomfortable that he was wearing a jacket on such a warm day. I tugged on his arm and motioned for him to take it off. He did not. After a couple more tries over the course of the next half hour, I looked within and asked myself why it was important that he take off his coat? Why did I feel he needed to do that in order for me to be at peace? As I looked more deeply at my thoughts, I recognized my need to control, based on my fear of love. The belief I was holding in my mind was that if someone loves me, they would do as I requested, but Jesus shows us to love is to allow freedom. What would it look like for me to give my partner complete freedom without any control? This thought seemed frightening to me. I turned to Jesus and expressed my desire to release my belief in the value of control.
As I held this thought in my mind, my partner quietly took off his coat. I looked on in amusement. As I let go of control, it allowed him to choose what he would do. This may seem like a small incident, but there are no small incidents. Behind every thought is an unexamined belief. With each situation where there is a loss of peace, we are invited to look at what we are thinking. Now when a desire to control comes up, I try to stay vigilant. If I want to know the love I am, I must allow freedom for my brother. Love does not control.
This is all within the context of the Section, "What is the Second Coming," (W.PII.Q9) which will guide the next ten Lessons. The simple answer to this question is in the first line of this Section, which tells us, "Christ's Second coming is merely the correction of mistakes, and the return of sanity." (W.PII.Q9.1.1) All it does is establish what is true about us. The First Coming was creation. The Second Coming is the undoing of what never happened, which is the separation. We are still connected to our Source.
I love the lines in this Lesson that remind us God's world is happy, and if we are not happy, we are in our made-up world of our thoughts, interpretations, and demands. "Those who look on it [God's world], can only add their joy to it, and bless it as a cause of further joy in them. We wept because we did not understand. But we have learned the world we saw was false, and we will look upon God's world today." (W.301.2.2-4)
Love and blessings, Sarah
VIII. The Beautiful Relationship
60 God asks for nothing, and His Son, like Him, need ask for nothing. For there is no lack in him. An empty space, a little gap, would be a lack. And it is only there that he could want for something he has not. A space where God is not, a gap between the Father and the Son is not the Will of either, who have promised to be one. God's promise is a promise to
Himself, and there is no one who could be untrue to what He wills as part of what He
is. The promise that there is no gap between Himself and what He is cannot be false. What will can come between what
must be one, and in Whose wholeness there can
be no gap?
61 The beautiful relationship you have with all your brothers is a part of you because it is a part of God Himself. Are you not sick if you deny yourself your wholeness and your health, the Source of help, the Call to healing, and the Call to heal? Your savior waits for healing, and the world waits with him. Nor are you apart from it. For healing will be one or not at all, its oneness being where the healing lies. What could correct for separation but its opposite? There is no middle ground in any aspect of salvation. You accept it wholly or accept it not. What is unseparated must be joined. And what is joined cannot be separate.
62 Either there is a gap between you and your brother, or you
are as one. There is no in between, no other choice, and no allegiance to be split between the two. A split allegiance is but faithlessness to both and merely sets you spinning round, to grasp uncertainly at any straw that seems to hold some promise of relief. Yet who can build his home upon a straw and count on it as shelter from the wind? The body can be made a home like this because it lacks foundation in the truth. And yet,
because it does, it can be seen as
not your home but merely as an aid to help you reach the home where God abides.
this as purpose
is the body healed. It is not used to witness to the dream of separation and disease. Nor is it idly blamed for what it did not do. It serves to help the healing of God's Son, and for
this purpose it cannot
be sick. It will not join a purpose not your own, and you have
chosen that it not be sick. All miracles are based upon this choice and given you the instant it is made. No forms of sickness are immune because the choice cannot be made in terms of form. The choice of sickness
seems to be a form, yet it is one, as is its opposite. And
you are sick or well accordingly.
64 But never you alone. This world is but the dream that you can
be alone and think without affecting those apart from you. To be alone must mean you are apart, and if you are, you cannot
but be sick. This seems to prove that you must be apart. Yet all it means is that you tried to keep a promise to be true to faithlessness. Yet faithlessness
is sickness. It is like the house set upon straw. It seems to be quite solid and substantial in itself. Yet its stability cannot be judged apart from its foundation. If it rests on straw, there is no need to bar the door and lock the windows and make fast the bolts. The wind
will topple it, and rain
will come and carry it into oblivion.
65 What is the sense in seeking to be safe in what was
made for danger and for fear? Why burden it with further locks and chains and heavy anchors when its weakness lies not in itself but in the frailty of the little gap of nothingness whereon it stands? What
can be safe which rests upon a shadow? Would you build your home upon what will collapse beneath a feather's weight?
66 Your home is built upon your brother's health, upon his happiness, his sinlessness, and everything his Father promised him. No secret promise you have made instead has shaken the Foundation of his home. The winds will blow upon it, and the rain will beat against it but with no effect. The world will wash away, and yet this house will stand forever, for its strength lies not within itself alone. It is an ark of safety, resting on God's promise that His Son is safe forever in Himself. What gap can interpose itself between the safety of this shelter and its Source? From here the body can be seen as what it is and neither less nor more in worth than the extent to which it can be used to liberate God's Son unto his home. And with this holy purpose is it made a home of holiness a little while because it shares your Father's Will with
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