Lesson 305
Your Identity is There
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32 The changelessness of Heaven is in you, so deep within that nothing in this world but passes by, unnoticed and unseen. The still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator; nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within. Here is the role the Holy Spirit gives to you who wait upon the Son of God and would behold him waken and be glad. He is a part of you, and you of him because he is his Father's Son and not for any purpose you may see in him. Nothing is asked of you but to accept the changeless and eternal that abide in him, for your Identity is there. The peace in you can but be found in him. And every thought of love you offer him but brings you nearer to your wakening to peace eternal and to endless joy.        
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CHAPTER 29 VI-VII, 31-42
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   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.
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L e s s o n 305
There is a peace that Christ bestows on us.
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   Who uses but Christ's vision finds a peace
   so deep and quiet, undisturbable
   and wholly changeless, that the world contains
   no counterpart. Comparisons are still
   before this peace. And all your world departs
   in silence, as this peace envelops it
   and gently carries it to truth, no more
   to be the home of fear. For Love has come,
   and healed the world by giving it Christ's peace.
    Father, the peace of Christ is given us,
    because it is Your Will that we be saved.
    Help us today but to accept Your gift
    and judge it not. For it has come to us
    to save us from our judgment on ourselves.
        ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
There is a peace that Christ bestows on us.

Sarah's Commentary:  
When we experience the peace of God, we experience "a peace so deep and quiet, undisturbable and wholly changeless, that the world contains no counterpart." (W.305.1.1) It is a peace where there is only the extension outward of the deep quiet within. When we experience this peace, the dream of this world has no effect on us at all. It does not matter what is happening in the dream because it no longer has any effect on us. When the mind, which is the cause of everything we see, is quiet and at peace, only peace is reflected in the world.
In the Manual for Teachers, Section 20, "What is the Peace of God?" Jesus describes peace as unlike any of our previous experiences. "It calls to mind nothing that went before. It brings with it no past associations. It is a new thing entirely." (M.20.2.3-5) Thus, it is called a step out of time. It is a kind of peace not of this world. "The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that." (M.20.2.8-9) Everything we saw and thought we understood before disappears and, with it, all effects are gone. When the wrong-minded thought system of lack, specialness, neediness, and unworthiness, which is the cause of all our suffering, is released through forgiveness, the mind no longer looks outside for completion.
Jesus tells us, "No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions." (M.20.3.2) He goes on to say it requires giving up anger. Justifying anger in any way "proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist." (M.20.3.4) Jesus is not saying we won't be angry or should not be angry, only that we should not justify it as having any cause outside of our own minds. Anger comes from the beliefs, thoughts, values, and concepts we hold. When we look at them with a willingness to heal, we can then bring them to the Holy Spirit. We can choose to release our anger rather than acting on it. Investigating the beliefs that we hold that bring forth grievances will help us to recognize the source of the anger in our mind. Forgiveness is the answer.
When we are triggered by anything, it is an opportunity to inquire more deeply into what is going on in our mind. It is important to look at what this investigation involves. It is not about analysis, but only about inquiring what beliefs we are holding. As we are told, "The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts." (T.11.V.13.1) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.53) Any number of situations show up in our daily lives, where we give up our peace. It might be a betrayal by a friend, feeling victimized at work, having financial problems, experiencing illness, or having a computer that has crashed. These are situations we judge as bad, but the Holy Spirit accepts appearances as neither good nor bad. When we look at what is happening with the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we don't judge anything as good nor bad, but simply as unreal.
Sickness and health are seen as the same, both being unreal, just as the body is unreal. When we analyze the situation by looking at it with the ego, we start with the belief that the situation is true. Now we wonder how we attracted it or manifested it and start the process of analysis. With investigation or inquiry, we accept that the appearance has no reality. Yes, it may still upset us, but now we recognize that we are upset because we are holding a belief in our mind that is causing us pain. We simply investigate what it is that we are believing that is not true, so our false beliefs can be released and the peace, already in us, can shine forth.
God's peace is a gift, which "has come to us to save us from our judgment on ourselves." (W.305.2.3) We have judged ourselves as guilty and not deserving of peace. We believe we have to suffer and atone for that guilt. I recently was at a conference where Brent Haskell told the story of the Prodigal Son and asked how many of us believe we could take our father's treasure, squander it, and then return home without a shred of guilt? Wouldn't we think we had to atone for what we had done? Yet Jesus keeps telling us that we are innocent---now. All we have to do is accept that fact. Brent went on to ask us how we would feel as the good son in this parable. The good son was the one who stayed at home and supported his family. When we identify with him, how many of us would enjoy the celebration of the guilty brother without a shred of resentment? Would not the good son, who stayed at home to help the father, want to be acknowledged as such? It reflects "the face of innocence" that hides attack thoughts and judgments while doing our best to look good and helpful. Always, under this face of innocence, is the belief that someone else should pay for our guilt, while we should get off for good behavior.
Jesus says that it is difficult for us to identify with the ego because it is a condition where there is no peace. It is a state of lack. It is a state where we believe we need to get something from the world that we don't currently have in order to be at peace. We look for affirmation from the world to support the image that we have made in place of who we really are. One way to see this in your own life is to look at what you think would make you happy that you don't have now. It is the belief that if you could get it, you would have peace. It may be money, a new job, a relationship, better health, or a new home. In my case, we are currently renovating a bathroom, and I am finding the process frustrating---having to go out and find tiles, paint, toilet and a bathtub and any number of items that seem to be consuming so much of my time. My belief is that when I get all of that in place, I will have peace, but of course, this is not how it works. The peace is there now, behind my belief that it depends on getting certain things accomplished in the world.
I recently attended a silent retreat. It started with the playing of Amazing Grace and then the silence was invited. I immediately felt myself sink into the silence and with it came the deep feeling of relief that I no longer had to maintain the "self" image. I was in a place now where no one needed anything from me, and I needed nothing from anyone. There was no need to "perform"---only to be. It was a sense of a deep letting go, and in the process, the relief I felt brought tears of gratitude. Then, these words poured forth from the Holy Spirit:
"You can relax now. I have your back. I always have had. You think that everything depends on your own efforts. You believe that if you are not taking care of things, they would not be done. You have been mistaken, my dear child. You have carried a burden that has never been yours to carry. I am your strength and support. I have always been there. I have loved you ceaselessly and consistently. You have never been alone. You have never been without Me. You have been mistaken in your belief that it is all up to you.
I love you my child with a ceaseless, boundless love. All is well. It always has been. When you took My place on the throne, you took on all the stress, all the responsibility that was never yours to take. It was all unnecessary. Breathe in the love; it has been waiting your acceptance. Open your heart, open your arms, embrace the beauty of You, My beloved. Always and forever... "
As I listened and breathed in these words, sobs wracked my body and I was overcome with gratitude.
In our choice for the ego identity, peace was thrown away, and now we feel a lack that we try to fill from outside ourselves. If God has given us peace, what could be more powerful to take it away? Only our own choice for the ego could take it away, but the truth is that there is no other will. There is nothing more powerful than God. Yet when we made the decision for the ego, we seemingly made another will, which now rules our lives to the extent that we believe in its power. "You see what you believe is there, and you believe it there because you want it there." (T.25.III.1.3) (ACIM OE T.25.IV.23)
The truth is that if we do not have peace, it is only because we don't want peace. The first obstacle to peace is our desire to be rid of it, which is startling! Yet you can readily see how true that is. We actively refuse peace when something happens in our lives that we find unpalatable, whether it is something we judge as a serious situation or just a small irritation. We give up our peace for all kinds of reasons. Yet nothing really exists that can take away the peace of God. Our insistence that there are indeed things that can take away our peace is how we actively refuse God's gift. We project our own refusal to accept God's peace by making someone or some situation responsible for our lack of peace. We insist that we are not at peace because of something "out there"---something someone has seemingly done to us. We want to be able to put the blame for our lack of peace somewhere outside of our own mind. The justification for our anger is what Jesus says we need to look at. Can we accept that no one is responsible for our unhappiness except ourselves? This requires that we rest our story about why we don't have peace and take responsibility for our decision not to accept the peace that is already ours.
"Why would you want peace homeless? What do you think that it must dispossess to dwell with you? What seems to be the cost you are so unwilling to pay?" (T.19.IV.A.2) (ACIM OE T.19.V.a.41) There is something we think we will lose if we accept peace. What is it? Isn't it that we want to be right about the way we have set things up? Isn't it that we want to see others guilty, so we can buy our own false innocence at their expense? Isn't it that we simply don't trust that if we choose peace, our vigilance on behalf of our own well-being, as we define it, will be jeopardized?
Father, help me today to accept the gift of peace, and not to judge it. I willingly take responsibility for my reactions to appearances that show up in my life. I know they are there so I can investigate the beliefs I am holding onto that are not true. I am willing to take responsibility for my judgments, for my desire to attack something outside myself, and for placing the blame there. The Correction is already in my mind. Sanity and peace are already within me. Help me today to choose forgiveness in every situation that I encounter so I may know the peace that is always present behind the dark clouds of my misperceptions. I am willing to look at the insanity of holding onto grievances against anyone or anything. Speak to me of my wholeness. Let me understand that what I see that appears to contradict peace is not real and does not matter. I am willing to have my mind healed, my Father, by recognizing that I have been wrong about who I am. I am willing to surrender my way and be shown the truth. Peace to my mind. Let all my thoughts be still. I am home. I am loved. I am safe. I am free. I am happy. Nothing that I have thought about myself is the truth. Anger is never justified and sickness is not what it appears to be. I am willing to withdraw my judgments on myself that I project onto others and see that I have been wrong. Thus, I can be born again today.

Love and blessings, Sarah

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Nine

The Awakening  
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CHAPTER 29 VI-VII, 31-42
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VI. The Changeless Dwelling Place   
31 There is a place in you where this whole world has been forgotten, where no memory of sin and of illusion lingers still. There is a place in you which time has left, and echoes of eternity are heard. There is a resting place so still no sound except a hymn to Heaven rises up to gladden God the Father and the Son. Where both abide are They remembered, both. And where They are is Heaven and is peace. Think not that you can change Their dwelling place. For your Identity abides in Them, and where They are, forever must you be.
32 The changelessness of Heaven is in you, so deep within that nothing in this world but passes by, unnoticed and unseen. The still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator; nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within. Here is the role the Holy Spirit gives to you who wait upon the Son of God and would behold him waken and be glad. He is a part of you, and you of him because he is his Father's Son and not for any purpose you may see in him. Nothing is asked of you but to accept the changeless and eternal that abide in him, for your Identity is there. The peace in you can but be found in him. And every thought of love you offer him but brings you nearer to your wakening to peace eternal and to endless joy.
33 This sacred Son of God is like yourself---the mirror of his Father's love for you, the soft reminder of his Father's love by which he was created and which still abides in him, as it abides in you. Be very still and hear God's Voice in him and let It tell you what his function is. He was created that you might be whole, for only the complete can be a part of God's completion, Which created you.
34 There is no gift the Father asks of you but that you see in all creation but the shining glory of His gift to you. Behold His Son, His perfect gift in whom his Father shines forever and to whom is all creation given as his own. Because he has it is it given you, and where it lies in him, behold your peace. The quiet that surrounds you dwells in him, and from this quiet come the happy dreams in which your hands are joined in innocence. These are not hands that grasp in dreams of pain. They hold no sword, for they have left their hold on every vain illusion of the world. And being empty, they received instead a brother's hand in which completion lay.
35 If you but knew the glorious goal that lies beyond forgiveness, you would not keep hold on any thought, however light the touch of evil on it may appear to be. For you would understand how great the cost of holding anything God did not give in minds that can direct the hand to bless and lead God's Son unto his Father's house. Would you not want to be a friend to him, created by his Father as His home? If God esteems him worthy of Himself, would you attack him with the hands of hate? Who would lay bloody hands on Heaven itself and hope to find its peace? Your brother thinks he holds the hand of death. Believe him not. But learn instead how blessed are you who can release him just by offering him yours.
36 A dream is given you in which he is your savior, not your enemy in hate. A dream is given you in which you have forgiven him for all his dreams of death---a dream of hope you share with him instead of dreaming evil separate dreams of hate. Why does it seem so hard to share this dream? Because unless the Holy Spirit gives the dream its function, it was made for hate and will continue in death's services. Each form it takes in some way calls for death. And those who serve the lord of death have come to worship in a separated world, each with his tiny spear and rusted sword to keep his ancient promises to die.
37 Such is the core of fear in every dream that has been kept apart from use by Him Who sees a different function for a dream. When dreams are shared, they lose the function of attack and separation, even though it was for this that every dream was made. Yet nothing in the world of dreams remains without the hope of change and betterment, for here is not where changelessness is found. Let us be glad indeed that this is so and seek not the eternal in this world. Forgiving dreams are means to step aside from dreaming of a world outside yourself. And leading finally beyond all dreams unto the peace of everlasting life.

VII. Forgiveness and Peace
38 How willing are you to forgive your brother? How much do you desire peace instead of endless strife and misery and pain? These questions are the same in different form. Forgiveness is your peace, for herein lies the end of separation and the dream of danger and destruction, sin, and death; of madness and of murder, grief and loss. This is the "sacrifice" salvation asks and gladly offers peace instead of this.
39 Swear not to die, you holy Son of God! You make a bargain that you cannot keep. The Son of Life cannot be killed. He is immortal as his Father. What he is cannot be changed. He is the only thing in all the universe that must be one. What seems eternal all will have an end. The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons, and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade will not return. Where time has set an end is not where the eternal is. God's Son can never change by what men made of him. He will be as he was and as he is, for time appointed not his destiny nor set the hour of his birth and death. Forgiveness will not change him. Yet time waits upon forgiveness that the things of time may disappear because they have no use.
40 Nothing survives its purpose. If it be conceived to die, then die it must unless it does not take this purpose as its own. Change is the only thing that can be made a blessing here, where purpose is not fixed, however changeless it appears to be. Think not that you can set a goal unlike God's purpose for you and establish it as changeless and eternal. You can give yourself a purpose that you do not have. But you can not remove the power to change your mind and see another purpose there. Change is the greatest gift God gave to all that you would make eternal, to ensure that only Heaven would not pass away.
41 You were not born to die. You cannot change, because your function has been fixed by God. All other goals are set in time and change that time might be preserved, excepting one. Forgiveness does not aim at keeping time but at its ending when it has no use. Its purpose ended; it is gone. And where it once held seeming sway is now restored the function God established for His Son in full awareness. Time can set no end to its fulfillment nor its changelessness. There is no death because the living share the function their Creator gave to them. Life's function cannot be to die. It must be life's extension, that it be as one forever and forever without end.
42 This world will bind your feet and tie your hands and kill your body only if you think that it was made to crucify God's Son. For even though it was a dream of death, you need not let it stand for this to you. Let this be changed, and nothing in the world but must be changed as well. For nothing here but is defined as what you see it for. How lovely is the world whose purpose is forgiveness of God's Son! How free from fear, how filled with blessing and with happiness! And what a joyous thing it is to dwell a little while in such a happy place! Nor can it be forgot in such a world, it is a little while till timelessness comes quietly to take the place of time.
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