Lesson 314
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Appearances Deceive
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 30 "THE NEW BEGINNING"
V. THE TRUTH BEHIND ILLUSIONS
 
53 Appearances deceive because they are appearances and not reality. Dwell not on them in any form. They but obscure reality, and they bring fear because they hide the truth. Do not attack what you have made to let you be deceived, for thus you prove that you have been deceived. Attack has power to make illusions real. Yet what it makes is nothing. Who could be made fearful by a power that can have no real effects at all? What could it be but an illusion, making things appear like to itself? Look calmly at its toys and understand that they are idols which but dance to vain desires. Give them not your worship, for they are not there. Yet this is equally forgotten in attack. God's Son needs no defense against his dreams. His idols do not threaten him at all. His one mistake is that he thinks them real. What can the power of illusions do?  
   
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CHAPTER 30 V, 49-56
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
WHAT IS THE LAST JUDGMENT?
The Last Judgment
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
   Christ's Second Coming gives the Son of God
   the gift to hear the Voice for God proclaim
   that what is false is false, and what is true
   has never changed. And this the judgment is
   in which perception ends. At first you see
   a world which has accepted this as true,
   projected from a now corrected mind.
   And with this holy sight, perception gives
   a silent blessing and then disappears,
   its goal accomplished and its mission done.
 
   The final judgment on the world contains
   no condemnation. For it sees the world
   as totally forgiven, without sin,
   and wholly purposeless. Without a cause,
   and now without a function in Christ's sight,
   it merely slips away to nothingness.
   There it was born, and there it ends as well.
   And all the figures in the dream in which
   the world began go with it. Bodies now
   are useless, and will therefore fade away,
   because the Son of God is limitless.
 
   You who believed that Gods last judgment would
   condemn the world to hell along with you,
   accept this holy truth: God's judgment is
   the gift of the Correction He bestowed
   on all your errors, freeing you from them,
   and all effects they ever seemed to have.
   To fear His saving grace is but to fear
   complete release from suffering, return
   to peace, security and happiness,
   and union with your own Identity.
 
   God's final judgment is as merciful
   as every step in His appointed plan
   to save His Son, and call Him to return
   to the eternal peace He shares with him.
   Be not afraid of Love. For It alone
   can heal all sorrow, wipe away all tears,
   and gently waken from his dreams of pain
   the Son whom God acknowledges as His.
   Be not afraid of this. Salvation asks
   you give it welcome. And the world awaits
   your glad acceptance, which will set it free.
 
   This is God's final judgment: "You are still
   My holy Son, forever innocent,
   forever loving and forever loved,
   as limitless as Your Creator, and
   completely changeless and forever pure.
   Therefore awaken and return to Me.
   I am Your Father, and you are My Son.
 
        ~ Original Hand Script  
 
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 314
I seek a future different from the past.
 
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   From new perception of the world, there comes
   a future very different from the past.
   The future now is recognized as but
   extension of the present. Past mistakes
   can cast no shadows on it, so that fear
   has lost its idols and its images,
   and being formless it has no effects.
   Death will not claim the future now, for life
   is now its goal, and all the needed means
   are happily provided. Who can grieve
   or suffer when the present has been freed,
   extending its security and peace
   into a quiet future filled with hope?
 
    Father, we were mistaken in the past,
    and choose to use the present to be free.
    Now do we leave the future in Your hands,
    leaving behind our past mistakes, and sure
    that You will keep Your present promises
    and guide the future in their holy light.
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 314
I seek a future different from the past.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  

By its very definition, when the present is freed from our past mistakes and the guilt that accompanies them, then our experience is one of total peace with no fear of the future. Guilt "casts a shadow" on the future and keeps us in fear of punishment for past sins. Yet the Lesson says, when we release the past, "Death will not claim the future now, for life is now its goal, and all the needed means are happily provided." (W.314.1.4) Death is the belief in punishment for past sins, but when there are no past sins, then there is only recognition of the purity and innocence of our Being. With this recognition comes the knowledge that we are eternal beings where death does not play a part. Everything is happily provided. There is nothing we need to strive for or to try to get. Life is a series of miracles, holy instants, holy relationships, and holy encounters. As said in the Bible, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be provided you."
 
"Father, we were mistaken in the past, and choose to use the present to be free." (W.314.2.1) Our stories of the past and our judgments and self-attacking thoughts are not the truth. We are coming to recognize how wrong our perceptions about everything have been. It comes as a result of being willing to be wrong and to see everything in a new way. When we use everything in our day to free ourselves by forgiving our misperceptions, we free everyone around us. Our past does not determine the future. "Past mistakes can cast no shadows on it, so that fear has lost its idols and its images, and being formless, it has no effects." (W.314.1.3) We can choose to release all these past "idols and images" that occupy our minds and instead place them on the altar for healing.
 
When we judge our brothers, we see guilt in them and attack them. We are then haunted by guilt, which casts a shadow on our future. Our feelings of guilt, which we hold in our mind, keep us hostage to the ego, so we walk this world with the belief that we have done something wrong and now must atone for past sins. Now we expect bad things to happen to us. We also expect to be betrayed and to be attacked because we see our sin in our brothers whom we now fear. If we want a future different from the past, we must choose to see differently. As we bring attack thoughts to the Holy Spirit, we see a future where the timelessness of God's Love is extended through us and we become a clear and shining light, reflecting His Love in this dark world.
 
Jesus reminds us, "To forgive is merely to remember the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection. For the shadow figures you would make immortal are 'enemies' of reality. Be willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do. The shadow figures are the witnesses you bring with you to demonstrate he did what he did not. Because you bring them, you will hear them. And you who keep them by your own selection do not understand how they came into your mind, and what their purpose is. They represent the evil that you think was done to you. You bring them with you only that you may return evil for evil, hoping that their witness will enable you to think guiltily of another and not harm yourself." (T.17.III.1.1-10) (ACIM OE T.17.IV.14)
 
Our part is to bring awareness to our attack thoughts and forgive everything that we judge and condemn in ourselves. In holding onto the idols and images of the past, we continue to create more pain and suffering for ourselves. We are keeping the ego's program going, but through forgiveness, we invite the Holy Spirit's help to heal what was never true. Jesus speaks to us directly when he says, "My holy brother, I would enter into all your relationships, and step between you and your fantasies. Let my relationship to you be real to you, and let me bring reality to your perception of your brothers. They were not created to enable you to hurt yourself through them." (T.17.III.10.1-3) (ACIM OE T.17.IV.26)
 
All Jesus wants for us is peace and happiness. What is required of us is to first notice our judgments, worry thoughts, unworthiness, and any thought causing us anxiety and pain and acknowledge that we no longer want to hold onto these thoughts. They are the cause of all our suffering. If we want to be free of suffering, we must turn away from the voice of the ego by being willing to no longer engage in stories of the past or obsessively run the movies of the past in our minds. Instead, we must give all our attention to a willingness to be healed. "Father, we were mistaken in the past, and choose to use the present to be free." (W.314.2.1) Jesus can only help us when we bring our dark thoughts to him. We are motivated to do so when we remember that we want to know our divine nature more than we want our stories and the pain that accompanies them.
 
Letting go of our stories requires that we let go of the blame we project onto others and the justification we hold for our lack of forgiveness. The many painful events we hold onto keep us bound to the past. The only way to experience our true Self, and with it, innocence, peace, and joy, is to release the past. The process of undoing may be experienced as painful for it requires looking at the darkness in the mind, past hurts and grievances, and feeling the pain of them, as well as the pain of our own attacks. But there is no way to get to the love without going through this darkness.
 
What is it that keeps us stubbornly resisting taking responsibility for our attacks and judgments and defending our positions instead? Jesus says, "Your mind is filled with schemes to save the face of your ego, and you do not seek the face of Christ." (T.4.IV.1.5) (ACIM OE T.4.V.56) While a part of us does want to know who we are and to seek the face of Christ, we also want to defend our positions and our perspectives. We want to be seen as good. We justify our part so we can seem innocent and see others as guilty for our condition and for the way we feel.
 
When the desire for the truth is strong, we willingly sacrifice the shabby image we have tried to hold onto and see that it no longer serves us. "Who can grieve or suffer when the present has been freed, extending its security and peace into a quiet future filled with joy?" (W.314.1.5)
 
In the present, we are free. All our past mistakes can be left behind through forgiveness so we can have a future very different from the past. It does not require anything to change in our world. It only requires that we admit our mistakes and take responsibility for them. We have put a lot of effort in maintaining the face of innocence. We want to be seen as well-meaning. We claim that if others were different, we could be more loving. Not so, says Jesus. The more we defend, the more fear we have. Byron Katie likes to say that the first act of war is defense. Interesting thought! "In my defenselessness my safety lies." (W.153) We must start by acknowledging that we are wrong. "Father, we were mistaken in the past." (W.314.2.1) Now we can choose to use the present to be free.

Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca 

A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Thirty

The New Beginning  
 
Play Audio
CHAPTER 30 V, 49-56
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
 
 
V. The Truth Behind Illusions     
 
49 You will attack what does not satisfy, and thus you will not see you made it up. You always fight illusions. For the truth behind them is so lovely and so still in loving gentleness, were you aware of it you would forget defensiveness entirely and rush to its embrace. The truth could never be attacked. And this you knew when you made idols. They were made that this might be forgotten. You attack but false ideas and never truthful ones. All idols are the false ideas you made to fill the gap you think arose between yourself and what is true. And you attack them for the things you think they represent. What lies beyond them cannot be attacked.
 
50 The wearying, dissatisfying gods you made are blown-up children's toys. A child is frightened when a wooden head springs up as a closed box is opened suddenly or when a soft and silent wooly bear begins to squeak as he takes hold of it. The rules he made for boxes and for bears have failed him and have broken his "control" of what surrounds him. And he is afraid because he thought the rules protected him. Now must he learn the boxes and the bears did not deceive him, broke no rules, nor mean his world is made chaotic and unsafe. He was mistaken. He misunderstood what made him safe and thought that it had left.
 
51 The gap that is not there is filled with toys in countless forms. And each one seems to break the rules you set for it. It never was the thing you thought. It must appear to break your rules for safety, since the rules were wrong. But you are not endangered. You can laugh at popping heads and squeaking toys, as does the child who learns they are no threat to him. Yet while he likes to play with them, he still perceives them as obeying rules he made for his enjoyment. So there still are rules which they can seem to break and frighten him. Yet is he at the mercy of his toys? And can they represent a threat to him?
 
52 Reality observes the laws of God, and not the rules you set. It is His laws which guarantee your safety. All illusions that you believe about yourself obey no laws. They seem to dance a little while, according to the rules you set for them. But then they fall and cannot rise again. They are but toys, my children. Do not grieve for them. Their dancing never brought you joy. But neither were they things to frighten you nor make you safe if they obeyed your rules. They must be neither cherished nor attacked but merely looked upon as children's toys without a single meaning of their own. See one in them, and you will see them all. See none in them, and they will touch you not.
 
53 Appearances deceive because they are appearances and not reality. Dwell not on them in any form. They but obscure reality, and they bring fear because they hide the truth. Do not attack what you have made to let you be deceived, for thus you prove that you have been deceived. Attack has power to make illusions real. Yet what it makes is nothing. Who could be made fearful by a power that can have no real effects at all? What could it be but an illusion, making things appear like to itself? Look calmly at its toys and understand that they are idols which but dance to vain desires. Give them not your worship, for they are not there. Yet this is equally forgotten in attack. God's Son needs no defense against his dreams. His idols do not threaten him at all. His one mistake is that he thinks them real. What can the power of illusions do?
 
54 Appearances can but deceive the mind that wants to be deceived. And you can make a simple choice that will forever place you far beyond deception. You need not concern yourself with how this will be done, for this you cannot understand. But you will understand that mighty changes have been quickly brought about when you decide one very simple thing---you do not want whatever you believe an idol gives. For thus the Son of God declares that he is free of idols. And thus is he free.
 
55 Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream? It asks you but that you forgive all things that no one ever did, to overlook what is not there, and not to look upon the unreal as reality. You are but asked to let your will be done and seek no longer for the things you do not want. And you are asked to let yourself be free of all the dreams of what you never were and seek no more to substitute the strength of idle wishes for the Will of God.
 
56 Here does the dream of separation start to fade and disappear. For here the gap that is not there begins to be perceived without the toys of terror that you made. No more than this is asked. Be glad indeed salvation asks so little, not so much. It asks for nothing in reality. And even in illusions it but asks forgiveness be the substitute for fear. Such is the only rule for happy dreams. The gap is emptied of the toys of fear, and then its unreality is plain. Dreams are for nothing. And the Son of God can have no need of them. They offer him no single thing that he could ever want. He is delivered from illusions by his will and but restored to what he is. What could God's plan for his salvation be, except a means to give him to Himself?
 
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