Lesson 317
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 30 "THE NEW BEGINNING"
VI. THE ONLY PURPOSE 
 
63 When brothers join in purpose in the world of fear, they stand already at the edge of the real world. Perhaps they still look back and think they see an idol that they want. Yet has their path been surely set away from idols toward reality. For when they joined their hands, it was Christ's hand they took, and they will look on Him Whose hand they hold. The face of Christ is looked upon before the Father is remembered. For He must be unremembered till His Son has reached beyond forgiveness to the love of God. Yet is the love of Christ accepted first. And then will come the knowledge They are One.      
   
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CHAPTER 30 VI, 57-69
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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 317
I follow in the way appointed me.
 
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   I have a special place to fill; a role
   for me alone. Salvation waits until
   I take this part as what I choose to do.
   Until I make this choice am I the slave
   of time and human destiny. But when
   I willingly and gladly go the way
   my Father's plan appointed me to go,
   then will I recognize salvation is
   already here, already given all
   my brothers and already mine as well.
 
    Father, Your way is what I choose today.
    Where it would lead me do I choose to go;
    what it would have me do I choose to do.
    Your way is certain, and the end secure.
    The memory of You awaits me there;
    and all my sorrows end in Your embrace,
    which You have promised to Your Son, who thought
    mistakenly that he had wandered from
    the sure protection of Your loving arms.
 
        ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 317
I follow in the way appointed me.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  
 
In this Lesson, Jesus reminds us, we "have a special place to fill; a role for me alone." (W.317.1.1) We may wonder what that special place is for us to fill? What am I appointed to do? What is the role I am to fill? In this Lesson, Jesus says that until we understand the answer to this question, "salvation waits." (W.317.1.2) Until we take our place in salvation, we are the "slave of time and human destiny." (W.317.1.3) What is it that we are being asked to do? As I see it, we only have one requirement and it is to forgive. It is the one role we undertake in relation to those in our lives who are there, playing their roles perfectly for our healing. Our function is to forgive these special relationships so we can come to know our own holiness. We have a choice in how we use time, but if we don ' t use it for the purpose of forgiveness, we will not lose the opportunity presented to us. Salvation simply waits on our readiness.
 
Forgiveness is the means to salvation. When we make the decision to take this path of undoing our misperceptions through forgiveness, time is being used for its intended purpose, which is to remember who we are. To do that, I must "willingly and gladly go the way my Father's plan appointed me to go." (W.317.1.4) That sounds to me like God has a plan for us. Yet if we are already safe at home with Him and dreaming of exile in this world, there can be no plan except for us to "recognize salvation is already here, already given all my brothers and already mine as well." (W.317.1.4) Until we make this choice, we are the "slave of time and human destiny." (W.317.1.3) We are stuck in the ego's cycle of birth and death. Accepting Atonement for ourselves is simply the acceptance of the truth of who we are as eternal beings of light and love, and the way to this acceptance is through forgiveness.
 
We have a choice as to whether to follow the ego's plan or the Holy Spirit's plan. It is our decision as to which voice we listen to. Today, we can choose to commit to follow the Holy Spirit and to allow Him to lead us. "Father, Your way is what I choose today." (W.317.2.1) As we join our will with His, we find our way back to the home we never left. Sometimes the motivation is very strong in us, and at other times, we may seem to be in the grips of the ego. There is a part of the mind that will do anything and everything to delay. It argues, debates, disagrees, judges, interprets, distracts, analyzes, and tries to control. When we listen to the wrong mind, we believe that we need to figure everything out on our own. We believe that we can find our own answers for our lives. We even put ourselves in charge of our own spiritual awakening. We believe we can fix ourselves and make ourselves loving and holy. We are willing to pay the price in suffering by pursuing our own goals. It is how we put off our awakening until some future time.
 
To surrender feels hard, for it seems to be an affront to our independence. To recognize that we don't know and to become dependent as little children seems highly unsafe. We think that if we don't take charge of our lives, things won't get looked after. We still don't trust our brothers or ourselves. "Specialness is a lack of trust in anyone except yourself. Faith is invested in yourself alone." (T.24.IV.1.1-2) (ACIM OE T.24.V.34) Yet as we become willing to look at every thought, all beliefs we hold, all our concepts and values that keep us attached to this world of bodies, and acknowledge that we don't know the meaning of anything, we become willing to release what no longer serves us. Nothing of what we hold as true will bring the happiness we seek. Only by releasing all fear thoughts that keep us attached to the ego do we become free of its hold over us.
 
Some time ago, I had an experience of great sadness and longing when I attended a celebration of the liberation of my birth country of Latvia and participated in singing the national anthem and folk songs of my childhood. The experience stirred up so much emotion. I was surprised by all the feelings that came up. Primarily there was a feeling of not being at home. We probably all have had similar experiences, which are a reflection of a belief that we have wandered far from our Father's home and forgotten who we are. We are like the Prodigal Son, who believes he squandered his father's treasure and would not be welcomed back into his father's arms, yet yearns for the experience. Believing there is somewhere in the world where we can feel at home again is just another substitute for Heaven. In my mind, it seems like the memory of my childhood home and my country of origin is what pulled at my heart, yet this Lesson affirms, again, the memory that calls to us is of our Father, Who waits patiently to welcome us back into His bosom. "And all my sorrows end in Your embrace." (W.317.2.5)
 
Jesus tells us that at the root of every sorrow is the feeling of separation from God that we experience. "I need but turn to Him, and every sorrow melts away, as I accept His boundless Love for me." (W.207.1.3) He assures us, in this Lesson, that we were mistaken when we thought we had wandered from the protection of His Loving Arms. It is not possible for us to stray. We are not lost. When we awaken, we will realize that we just had a dream of exile while safe at Home.
 
We need not spend our time exploring this dream. Our job is not to try to figure out our role in the dream, but it is to simply release it. The only value of looking at the darkness is to let it go. Our stories are basically all the same. The situations and characters are different, but the ego conspiracies are identical. They are the ego's devices for keeping us separate from the love that we are. As long as we believe the thoughts that accompany these conspiracies, we keep ourselves in enslavement to the ego. They involve thoughts related to issues of abandonment, betrayal, shame, abuse, inadequacy, unworthiness, lack, loss, rebellion, revenge, sacrifice, self-attack, failure, competition, comparison, and jealousy. We play out these beliefs in roles of victim-perpetrator or helper-rescuer. We each have a favorite strategy for playing out what we believe about ourselves. All these beliefs, and the roles we have taken on, have their roots in the belief that we have separated from Oneness and thus are guilty and expect to be punished for what we have done. We think we can escape responsibility for the separation by taking on the role of victim. Jesus offers us just one solution to the guilt and to the belief that we deserve punishment. That solution is to "willingly and gladly go the way my Father's plan appointed me to go." (W.317.1.4) In other words, we let go of what no longer serves us. We let go of the pain that comes from believing that we are on our own.
 
Sometimes our script seems to bring us great pain. I just had a call today from a friend whose baby died on delivery. Everything was going well. She was overdue and the doctors planned to
induce the birth but waited a day, and it was on the day she agreed to wait that the baby died. Why? The pain in her is immense. The ego voice tells her she should not have waited. And then it tells her that at her age she may never have another pregnancy in the future. She obsessively returns to the thoughts of what she should have done and how the doctor is to blame for delaying the delivery. She is in deep pain, wondering why this has happened. The voice of the ego crucifies us and keeps us in hell. It is the voice of guilt, telling us that we are paying for past sins, and the future now seems painful too.
 
How do we understand this? How willingly and how happily do we accept the script of our lives and recognize it all as a classroom for forgiveness and for awakening? When we see it this way, we become happy learners. Thus, no matter what shows up in our script, we accept that it is all for our awakening. How can we judge what anything in our lives is for? Did this baby make a choice not to come onto the planet at this time? We can't know all the reasons. Jesus tells us, "There is Someone with you Whose judgment is perfect." (Manual for Teachers.10.4.7) We can't know all the facts, but He does. He knows the past, present, and yet to come. He knows all the effects of His judgment on everyone and everything involved in any way. "And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception." (M.10.4.10) That is something we can never do. That is why we must come to accept that we know nothing of how things should be. Our healing depends on investigating the upset and admitting that a healed mind would not be distressed. Since we experience distress, we now have an opportunity to look at what is underneath the pain. When it is too emotionally challenging, we can just rest with it, accept it, and trust that the answer is there when we are ready to accept it.
 
Awakening seems to be a process where there is something here for us to do while we believe our experience here is real. We are called to do the forgiveness work in the special circumstances that show up for us that are actually perfect for our healing. The ego is restless and wants things to be different than they are. It is forever making plans and trying to control every situation. Yet when we learn to step back and follow in the way appointed us, we can rest in God and simply accept what is given us to do in this process of purification.
 
Whatever the circumstance seems to be, we can use it for undoing the concepts, beliefs, and thoughts that keep our true reality hidden from our awareness. My function is my happiness and my function is forgiveness of all the interpretations and beliefs I hold in my mind. My function is to expose and undo the ego. That is the only purpose for time, and we can make that choice now. So much of our time is spent living in the past, looking at all the things we should have done, should have said, shouldn't have done, or shouldn't have said. We justify our guilt when all we need to do is choose the miracle instead by letting go of the past and realize that there is nothing to correct but our mistaken thoughts.
 
Today, we are asked to trust and be guided to step back and let Him lead the way. "Your way is certain, and the end secure. The memory of You awaits me there. And all my sorrows end in Your embrace, which You have promised to Your Son, who thought mistakenly that he had wandered from the sure protection of Your loving Arms."
(W.317.2.3-5)
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca 

A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Thirty

The New Beginning  
 
Play Audio
CHAPTER 30 VI, 57-69
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
 
 
VI. The Only Purpose   

57
The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the world is seen to be forgiveness. Fear is not its goal, and the escape from guilt becomes its aim. The value of forgiveness is perceived and takes the place of idols which are sought no longer, for their "gifts" are not held dear. No rules are idly set, and no demands are made of anyone or anything to twist and fit into the dream of fear. Instead, there is a wish to understand all things created as they really are. And it is recognized that all things must be first forgiven, and then understood.
 
58 Here, it is thought that understanding is acquired by attack. There, it is clear that by attack is understanding lost. The folly of pursuing guilt as goal is fully recognized. And idols are not wanted there, for guilt is understood as the sole cause of pain in any form. No one is tempted by its vain appeal, for suffering and death have been perceived as things not wanted and not striven for. The possibility of freedom has been grasped and welcomed, and the means by which it can be gained can now be understood. The world becomes a place of hope because its only purpose is to be a place where hope of happiness can be fulfilled. And no one stands outside this hope because the world has been united in belief the purpose of the world is one which all must share if hope be more than just a dream.
 
59 Not yet is Heaven quite remembered, for the purpose of forgiveness still remains. Yet everyone is certain he will go beyond forgiveness, and he but remains until it is made perfect in himself. He has no wish for anything but this. And fear has dropped away because he is united in his purpose with himself. There is a hope of happiness in him so sure and constant he can barely stay and wait a little longer with his feet still touching earth. Yet is he glad to wait till every hand is joined and every heart made ready to arise and go with him. For thus is he made ready for the step in which is all forgiveness left behind.
 
60 The final step is God's because it is but God Who could create a perfect Son and share His Fatherhood with him. No one outside of Heaven knows how this can be, for understanding this is Heaven itself. Even the real world has a purpose still beneath creation and eternity. But fear is gone because its purpose is forgiveness, not idolatry. And so is Heaven's Son prepared to be himself, and to remember that the Son of God knows everything his Father understands and understands it perfectly with Him.
 
61 The real world still falls short of this, for this is God's own purpose-only His, and yet completely shared and perfectly fulfilled. The real world is a state in which the mind has learned how easily do idols go when they are still perceived, but wanted not. How willingly the mind can let them go when it has understood that idols are nothing and nowhere and are purposeless. For only then can guilt and sin be seen without a purpose and as meaningless.
 
62 Thus is the real world's purpose gently brought into awareness, to replace the goal of sin and guilt. And all that stood between your image of yourself and what you are, forgiveness washes joyfully away. Yet God need not create His Son again that what is his be given back to him. The gap between your brother and yourself was never there. And what the Son of God knew in creation, he must know again.
 
63 When brothers join in purpose in the world of fear, they stand already at the edge of the real world. Perhaps they still look back and think they see an idol that they want. Yet has their path been surely set away from idols toward reality. For when they joined their hands, it was Christ's hand they took, and they will look on Him Whose hand they hold. The face of Christ is looked upon before the Father is remembered. For He must be unremembered till His Son has reached beyond forgiveness to the love of God. Yet is the love of Christ accepted first. And then will come the knowledge They are One.
 
64 How light and easy is the step across the narrow boundaries of the world of fear when you have recognized Whose hand you hold! Within your hand is everything you need to walk with perfect confidence away from fear forever and to go straight on and quickly reach the gate of Heaven itself. For He Whose hand you hold was waiting but for you to join Him. Now that you have come, would He delay in showing you the way that He must walk with you? His blessing lies on you as surely as His Father's love rests upon Him. His gratitude to you is past your understanding, for you have enabled Him to rise from chains and go with you together to His Father's house.
 
65 An ancient hate is passing from the world. And with it goes all hatred and all fear. Look back no longer, for what lies ahead is all you ever wanted in your hearts. Give up the world! But not to sacrifice. You never wanted it. What happiness have you sought here that did not bring you pain? What moment of content has not been bought at fearful price in coins of suffering? Joy has no cost. It is your sacred right, and what you pay for is not happiness. Be speeded on your way by honesty, and let not your experiences here deceive in retrospect. They were not free from bitter cost and joyless consequence.
 
66 Do not look back except in honesty. And when an idol tempts you, think of this:
 
67 There never was a time an idol brought
    You anything except the "gift" of guilt. 
    Not one was bought except at cost of pain, 
    Nor was it ever paid by you alone.
 
68 Be merciful unto your brother, then. And do not choose an idol thoughtlessly, remembering that he will pay the cost as well as you. For he will be delayed when you look back, and you will not perceive Whose loving hand you hold. Look forward, then, and walk in confidence with happy hearts that beat in hope and do not pound in fear.
 
69 The Will of God forever lies in those whose hands are joined. Until they joined, they thought He was their enemy. But when they joined and shared a purpose, they were free to learn their will is one. And thus the Will of God must reach to their awareness. Nor can they forget for long that it is but their own.
 
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