Lesson 315
Freedom from Idols
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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.   
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CHAPTER 30 V, 49-56
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The Last Judgment
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   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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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 315
All gifts my brothers give belong to me.
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   Each day a thousand treasures come to me
   with every passing moment. I am blessed
   with gifts throughout the day, in value far
   beyond all things of which I can conceive.
   A brother smiles upon another, and
   my heart is gladdened. Someone speaks a word
   of gratitude or mercy, and my mind
   perceives this gift and takes it as it own.
   And every one who finds the way to God
   becomes my Saviour, pointing out the way
   to me, and giving me his certainty
   that what he learned is surely mine as well.
    I thank You, Father, for the many gifts
    that come to me today and every day
    from every Son of God. My brothers are
    unlimited in all their gifts to me.
    Now may I offer them my thankfulness,
    that gratitude to them may lead me on
    to my Creator and His memory.
        ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
All gifts my brothers give belong to me.

Sarah's Commentary:  

There are many moments on this journey when I feel my heart overflowing with so much gratitude, I can hardly contain it as tears of joy spring forth. It is not always apparent what it is that has brought about this feeling. Sometimes it is just noticing a touching moment shared by two apparent strangers who smile at each other. Sometimes it is poignant sharing in our gatherings. Sometimes it is witnessing a kindness one person offers another described in a news story. Sometimes it comes when a grievance is lifted and a brother offers a blessing, or it comes with the joy of recognizing the healing of those who find their way to the truth of who they are. Recently, it was when I listened to my son recount an awakening experience and shared deeply about it from his heart. And it always brings happy tears to my eyes when I see a caregiver give my mother, who is 102, loving care and devoted service.
Today's Lesson gives us the answer as to why we experience joy when we witness the beautiful joining between people. It is because "my mind receives this gift and takes it as its own." (W.315.1.4) Our heart is gladdened, and our path is opened to find our way to God through gratitude to our brothers. There is so much to be grateful for when we take the time to notice. Often, we count our blessings in form. We are grateful for the material world, for abundance, for a job, and for recognition, yet in this Lesson 315, we are blessed when:
"A brother smiles upon another." (W.315.1.3)
"Someone speaks a word of gratitude or mercy." (W.315.1.4)
"Everyone who finds the way to God is my savior." (W.315.1.5)
"What he learned is surely mine as well." (W.315.1.5)
Don't the tender moments shared by others around you bring a smile to your heart? Don't we all share the joy of seeing someone experience a shift in perception that comes through a healing of some kind? Isn't it a joy to witness love when it is extended? Love truly unites us all and in that unity of love, which makes no exceptions, we are all given equally. Every miracle we witness opens the door to the extension of love, which is a gift to us all, as we are all One, and the One Mind receives the blessing.
At times, when we witness the gifts shared by others, we may feel a twinge of jealousy or we may long for the spiritual awakening that we witness in others. We may wonder about when our time will come. Why not me? Or when someone we have negative feelings about receives recognition or success, we may feel resentful. When we feel separation from our brothers, we don't recognize that all gifts are ours because they are received by the part of the mind that remembers that we are all One Self. What my brother receives is mine. To the ego, what one gains another loses. Yet according to this Lesson, we have so many gifts coming to us every day, "in value far beyond all things of which I can conceive." (W.315.1.2) If we are not feeling the joy and gratitude, we must have decided to block these gifts because they are there all the time.
When we are fully present, we experience the blessings that come to us in the holy instant. To experience the holy instant, we must let go of the past and clear the altar through forgiveness, so the blessings that are always there can be experienced. Issues we bring from the past, and concerns about the future, keep us bound to time, but the experience of a moment of joy brings us to the present. When we experience a block, the means are given to us to bring these dark thoughts and feelings to the Holy Spirit for healing.
Forgiveness requires that we take back our projections. Thus, we must look at the envy, jealousy, anger, hurt, and belief that we are losing out and allow our minds to be brought back to truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our special relationships provide us all kinds of opportunities for forgiveness. Through forgiveness, the Christ is revealed in our brothers and thus we come to know our own innocence. In this joining, we are dissolved in tears of joy and gratitude.
Love is all-inclusive. It extends to Itself in the eternal now. Therefore, we are always in the presence of God's gifts, even when we block them. Today, we are invited to be willing to recognize any barriers to love, take responsibility for them, and place them on the inner altar where truth resides. Here, they are released and we experience the miracle. Make way for love, for that is what you are!
It is a heart-opening experience to witness the healings wherever they are happening in the world! It is an encouraging thought that so many gifts are coming our way at every moment even when they are not explicitly directed toward us. The experience of joy that comes from seeing others extend their gifts really warms our heart. We have all experienced this differently and can claim all gifts given anywhere as our own.
Today is such a day to experience the blessings and allow our hearts to be gladdened by the many thousands of gifts being given brother to brother in this very moment and by the many awakenings, happening throughout the universe. It is not dependent on everything being peaceful around us. There is a beautiful illustration of peace that is not dependent on the world in the song on YouTube by Fiona Apple called Across the Universe.
Those who have found their way can point the way to us and offer us the certainty that we too will awaken to the truth of who we are. Today, we can make great gains by focusing on gratitude for the gifts constantly coming to us. It is a day to release any feelings of competition with our brothers that somehow we have been left out when one brother smiles on another or when a brother experiences a blessing. We are that brother. There is only One. The Last Judgment is waiting to deliver to us God's saving grace and mercy. Complete release from suffering is being offered. Let us take this step today to bring us closer to the truth of who we are. This is what God offers---complete release from our own errors.
Every Lesson practiced faithfully takes us out of fear so we can remember the truth of what we are. "No course whose purpose is to teach you to remember what you really are could fail to emphasize that there can never be a difference in what you really are and what love is. Love's meaning is your own, and shared by God Himself. For what you are is what He is." (W.127.4.1-3)
Today, whether we offer the blessings, or our brothers give them, recognize that it does not matter because we are all One, and for that, we can be grateful. Even those events and circumstances that seem difficult, where we experience pain today, can be a reason for gratitude as we can choose to see them all as just another opportunity to look at where we are blocking the joy and peace within.

Love and blessings, Sarah

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Thirty

The New Beginning  
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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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