A Course in Miracles
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What is the Last Judgment?
Daily Lesson 318
Sarah's Reflections
TEXT CH 30, 70-81
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VII. The Justification for Forgiveness 

God's Son is perfect, or he cannot be God's Son. Nor will you know him if you think he does not merit the escape from guilt in all its forms and all its consequence. There is no way to think of him but this if you would know the truth about yourself:

I thank you, Father, for your perfect Son,    And in his glory will I see my own.

Here is the joyful statement that there are no forms of evil which can overcome the Will of God-the glad acknowledgment that guilt has not succeeded by your wish to make illusions real. And what is this except a simple statement of the truth?

The Last Judgment  
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What is '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 of ACIM    


ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  318
In me salvation's means and end are one.



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   In me, God's holy Son, are reconciled

   all parts of Heaven's plan to save the world.

   What could conflict, when all the parts have but

   one purpose and one aim? How could there be

   a single part that stands apart, or one

   of more or less importance than the rest?

   I am the means by which God's Son is saved,

   because salvation's purpose is to find

   the sinlessness that God has placed in me.

   I was created as the thing I seek.

   I am the goal the world is searching for.

   I am God's Son, His one Eternal Love.

   I am salvation's means and end as well.


    Let me today, my Father, take the role

    You offer me in Your request that I

    accept Atonement for myself. For thus

    does what is thereby reconciled in me

    become as surely reconciled to You.

    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM        


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 318
In me salvation's means and end are one.
Sarah's Commentary:

Whenever in the Course means and end are discussed, I find it can seem very convoluted and difficult to follow until you get the gist of it. This lesson, therefore, seems not to be quite as direct and straightforward to understand as some and  figure out how to apply the lesson today. As I see it, when it is distilled to the simple core of it, Jesus is basically saying that as God's Son, I have only one purpose here which is to find my innocence that God has placed in me. In other words, it is to accept Atonement for myself. If we just live by this one dictate, then everything else falls into place. How this happens is that we then see everything in this world as another opportunity to forgive our misperceptions.

In lesson 302, Jesus said that God is the end we seek and He is the means by which we come to Him. (W.PII.302.2.3) In this lesson, Jesus says that we are the end we seek, "I was created as the thing I seek," (W.318.1.5) as well as the means by which we come to Him. The end we seek is to know ourselves as God's Son and the means to that end is through forgiveness. Then he says, "In me, God's holy Son, are reconciled all parts of Heaven's plan to save the world." (W.318.1.1) That can sound obscure, but it is basically to come to the place where we finally know that we are God's Son and, as such, everything that is not the truth of who we are must be undone. All of the blocks to recognition of the truth about ourselves must be forgiven. In Christianity, it was Jesus, as God's Son, who reconciled the sin of man through the love of God. Now reconciliation comes through all of us as God's Son. Jesus says to us that it is up to us to accept the truth about ourselves as God's Son, the same as he did. The power is in us to find our own innocence.
"What could conflict, when all the parts have but one purpose and one aim?" (W.318.1.2) In other words, why would we have conflict with any brother when we all share the same purpose and the same aim? Every seeming fragment of this one Christ Self (meaning everyone here) has the same purpose no matter what it looks like to us. All of us want to know our innocence, to know who we are as God's Son. Every aspect is part of the one whole. We all share one goal. Knowing that can help us to recognize that, when we feel that we are better than others or feel superior to any brother, we are misperceiving our reality as One Self. When we judge and critique other aspects of the Sonship, we are holding judgment against ourselves and thus not seeing who we really are. When we judge our brothers, have expectations of them, compare ourselves to them, or want to get something from them, then we are seeing unhealed aspects of our own minds. We are not seeing the sameness of us all. When anyone is not accepted into the holy circle of Atonement, then we too have left ourselves outside of it. "Each one you see you place within the holy circle of Atonement or leave outside, judging him fit for crucifixion or for redemption." (T.14.V.11.1)(ACIM OE T.14.II.15) As we watch our minds, we can now bring our condemning thoughts of any brother to the Holy Spirit. All of our comparisons are ways to keep us distinct, unique and separate from the whole. What this does is to maintain our suffering.
We are still much afraid of love, and Jesus is aware of this when he says, "Be not afraid of love. For it alone can heal all sorrow, wipe away all tears and gently waken from his dream 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." (W.PII.Q10.4.2-6)

This day is about watching our thoughts in order to see instances where we want to see ourselves as separate and different and compare ourselves with others. Notice whenever you are seeing yourself as more or less spiritual than others, when you choose to take sides in a situation that comes up today, or hold opinions and expectations of what others should think or do. When our purpose is healing the blocks to the truth, then every thought or belief that belies that purpose can be forgiven, but we must see it first.

The challenge presented to us in this lesson is to use the means available to us to bring our darkness to the light. Only then can the light of our Being shine through to this dark world. In Christianity only Jesus has that role. He is the way and the truth and the life and he teaches that we are to use his example to do the healing work to be the way and the truth and the life. "Who is the light of the world except God's Son?" (W.PI.6.1.1) The truth about ourselves is that we are God's Son. "I am the goal the world is searching for." (W.318.1.6) "I am the means by which God's Son is saved." (W.318.1.4) Therefore, in our script, each of us has been given many opportunities every day to accept Atonement (healing) for ourselves. Atonement is thus the undoing of a split that never occurred. "The Atonement is but the way back to what was never lost." (T.12.VIII.8.8)(ACIM OE T.11.IX.84)
Who I think I am as Sarah, a body living in the world, is just a figure in the dream. It is not the truth of me as the Christ Self. It is my mistaken identity that I have come to believe is myself. In reality we are one Self, united with our Creator. When I awaken to that reality, then I will know the truth about my Self. Thus the end is to realize I am God's Son. The means is to see God's Son in everyone including myself and realize that we all share the same goal, the same interests and the same purpose because we are One Self.

We all seem to be searching for who we are, but the search is unnecessary because we already are what we are searching for. We uncover this truth by giving up our blocks which are our unforgiving thoughts. In doing so, the truth about ourselves is revealed. We think of ourselves as imperfect, guilty, fearful and that there is something about us (or others) that needs fixing. And that in itself is the problem, because there is nothing to fix. Our belief that we need to fix ourselves only contributes to the problem. That is why Jesus reminds us that we need do nothing. Trying to do something to fix ourselves perpetuates a belief that there is something wrong with us. We are seeking for something that is already in us. There is nothing to change about ourselves. We only need to bring our misperceptions to the truth.

What this requires of us is that we stop seeing ourselves as the innocent victims of forces beyond our control. We are not the innocent victims of our circumstances. The belief that we are being victimized is the basis for the stories we tell about our lives. If I am a victim then I must suffer, and if I suffer it must be someone out there who is responsible for my pain. Someone must have inflicted it on me. "Behold me, brother, at your hand I die." (T.27.I.4.6)(ACIM OE T.27.II.4) This is the war cry of the ego. You are the cause of my pain. My script is not my own and I am not responsible for my life, according to the thinking of the victim stance. "I didn't do it, it's not my fault," is the way we try to buy our innocence in this world in the false hope that God's punishment will thus be delivered to our brothers instead of ourselves.
This comes up all the time in our lives. Sometime ago when my mother was admitted to the hospital, I went there to talk with the staff. I stood at the desk waiting to talk to someone. I noticed the head nurse and the doctor engaged in conversation and I stood waiting for at least ten minutes as they chatted with each other and seemed to ignore my presence. I noticed that some slight irritation came up that I was being ignored, but I chose to release it and chose instead just to wait quietly without judgment and to choose peace. When the nurse finally stood up and approached me, she was so incredibly lovely in her support and helpfulness. I realized how different the conversation could have been if I felt victimized by this circumstance and expressed my self-importance. Yes, it was a small event of seemingly no great significance, yet I left feeling that this important lesson was again reinforced in my mind by this example.

It is not our dysfunctional parents, unkind peers, cruel unthoughtful teachers, merciless managers, unappreciative spouses, or uncaring staff that are the reason for our suffering. On the contrary, they are all necessary and beneficial to our learning curriculum here. "And to your brother let its message be, 'Behold me, brother, at your hand I live." (T.27.I.10.7)(ACIM OE T.27.II.11) They offer us another opportunity for our salvation by playing a role that we have given them to help us awaken. They do so by showing us a reflection of our own unhealed thoughts, and when we release these thoughts, we receive the gift that comes to us through forgiveness.
When we no longer see ourselves as victims, but as responsible for our own script, we recognize the power that is in us. Are you ready for this? What is there to fear? Why do we resist? Our only job is to have the courage to find the barriers that we have created between ourselves and Love. We say we want to undo the pain, but the ego keeps us seeking and seeking for ways to do this. Will this book, this teacher, this guru be the answer? The answer is within, Our remedy has been offered us. All we have to do is look at our own blocks without judgment and stop defending and resisting them. Allow them to be exposed. Allow your opinions and conclusions about everything in this world to be undone and recognize that you don't know. To awaken is to give up every value that you hold!

"Teachers of innocence, each in his own way, have joined together, taking their part in the unified curriculum of the Atonement. There is no unity of learning goals apart from this. There is no conflict in this curriculum, which has one aim however it is taught. Each effort made on its behalf is offered for the single purpose of release from guilt, to the eternal glory of God and His creation." (T.14.V.6.1-4)(ACIM OE T.14.II.10) If you are currently feeling pain, if you are going through some kind of trial, if you are not at peace, if you are distressed in any way, this tells you that if you truly release anyone from guilt. If you agree to see the sinlessness in them, if you join with them, if you forgive them, then your pain will be completely dissolved. " 
The power of God Himself supports this teaching, and guarantees its limitless results." (T.14.V.6.7)(ACIM OE T.14.II.10)

Jesus assures us, "From everyone whom you accord release from guilt you will inevitably learn your innocence." (T.14.V.7.5)(ACIM OE T.14.II.11) The people that attack us truly are our teachers. Because if we can release them, we have learned to release ourselves. They have agreed to play this difficult role in our lives for that purpose. We can crucify them or learn to forgive, and thus be released from the prison that we hold our brothers and ourselves. It is our choice!
I was having some issues in my relationship with my mother and feeling anger toward her. We went together to a service for Memorial Day and, as I sat through the service, I asked for help to see the innocence in my mother. There is so much healing for me in this relationship and so many triggers. At the end of the service, a man whom I have never met, who was singing in the choir, came and put his arms around me and told me what a wonderful, beautiful, and caring daughter I was. Interestingly enough, I had felt the connection to this 'stranger' who delivered a short prayer as part of the service. It was strong joining of minds that had no explanation. He was clearly guided by the Holy Spirit to deliver a message to me that all was well.

I find that when irritation arises in me because of something that someone says or does, I am more and more consciously choosing to bring my judgments to the light and choosing peace instead. I find that my determination is all that has changed. I am noticing more and more the part of my mind that works against my best interests wants to be right and wants to choose conflict instead of peace. All it takes is the willingness to stop and find another way.

In Chapter 10, The End of Sickness, Jesus talks about how we try to reconcile the irreconcilable. In other words we try to bring together illusion and truth. We think we can bring some truth into our illusion while holding onto the illusion. We want to hold onto our judgments while bringing God into our lives, but it will never work. We can't have freedom while we hold onto that which keeps us in bondage. We can only know truth by releasing our illusions, and that is how we are reconciled. That is the Atonement which is the reconciliation with God.

"Let me today, my Father, take the role You offer me in Your request that I accept Atonement for myself." (W.318.2.1)

Love and blessings, Sarah 



VII. The Justification for Forgiveness    

70 Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation. It is here escape from fear begins and will be made complete. Here is the real world given in exchange for dreams of terror. For it is on this forgiveness rests and is but natural. You are not asked to offer pardon where attack is due and would be justified. For this would mean that you forgive a sin by overlooking what is really there. This is not pardon. For it would assume that, by responding in a way which is not justified, your pardon will become the answer to attack that has been made. And thus is pardon inappropriate, by being granted where it is not due.


71 Pardon is always justified. It has a sure foundation. You do not forgive the unforgivable nor overlook a real attack that calls for punishment. Salvation does not lie in being asked to make unnatural responses which are inappropriate to what is real. Instead, it merely asks that you respond appropriately to what is not real by not perceiving what has not occurred. If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack. But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress which rests on error and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is the only sane response. It keeps your rights from being sacrificed.


72 This understanding is the only change that lets the real world rise to take the place of dreams of terror. Fear cannot arise unless attack is justified, and if it had a real foundation, pardon would have none. The real world is achieved when you perceive the basis of forgiveness is quite real and fully justified. While you regard it as a gift unwarranted, it must uphold the guilt you would "forgive." Unjustified forgiveness is attack. And this is all the world can ever give. It pardons "sinners" sometimes but remains aware that they have sinned. And so they do not merit the forgiveness that it gives.


73 This is the false forgiveness, which the world employs to keep the sense of sin alive. And recognizing God is just, it seems impossible His pardon could be real. Thus is the fear of God the sure result of seeing pardon as unmerited. No one who sees himself as guilty can avoid the fear of God. But he is saved from this dilemma if he can forgive. The mind must think of its Creator as it looks upon itself. If you can see your brother merits pardon, you have learned forgiveness is your right as much as his. Nor will you think that God intends for you a fearful judgment which your brother does not merit. For it is the truth that you can merit neither more nor less than he.


74 Forgiveness recognized as merited will heal. It gives the miracle its strength to overlook illusions. This is how you learn that you must be forgiven too. There can be no appearance that can not be overlooked. For if there were, it would be necessary first there be some sin which stands beyond forgiveness. There would be an error that is more than a mistake-a special form of error which remains unchangeable, eternal, and beyond correction or escape. There would be one mistake which had the power to undo creation and to make a world which could replace it and destroy the Will of God. Only if this were possible could there be some appearances which could withstand the miracle and not be healed by it.


75 There is no surer proof idolatry is what you wish than a belief there are some forms of sickness and of joylessness forgiveness cannot heal. This means that you prefer to keep some idols, and are not prepared as yet to let all idols go. And thus you think that some appearances are real and not appearances at all. Be not deceived about the meaning of a fixed belief that some appearances are harder to look past than others are. It always means you think forgiveness must be limited. And you have set a goal of partial pardon and a limited escape from guilt for you. What can this be except a false forgiveness of yourself and everyone who seems apart from you?


76 It must be true the miracle can heal all forms of sickness, or it cannot heal. Its purpose cannot be to judge which forms are real and which appearances are true. If one appearance must remain apart from healing, one illusion must be part of truth. And you could not escape all guilt, but only some of it. You must forgive God's Son entirely. Or you will keep an image of yourself that is not whole and will remain afraid to look within and find escape from every idol there. Salvation rests on faith there cannot be some forms of guilt which you cannot forgive. And so there cannot be appearances which have replaced the truth about God's Son.


77 Look on your brother with the willingness to see him as he is. And do not keep a part of him outside your willingness that he be healed. To heal is to make whole. And what is whole can have no missing parts that have been kept outside. Forgiveness rests on recognizing this and being glad there cannot be some forms of sickness which the miracle must lack the power to heal.


78 God's Son is perfect, or he cannot be God's Son. Nor will you know him if you think he does not merit the escape from guilt in all its forms and all its consequence. There is no way to think of him but this if you would know the truth about yourself:


79 I thank you, Father, for your perfect Son,
   And in his glory will I see my own.


80 Here is the joyful statement that there are no forms of evil which can overcome the Will of God-the glad acknowledgment that guilt has not succeeded by your wish to make illusions real. And what is this except a simple statement of the truth?


81 Look on your brother with this hope in you, and you will understand he could not make an error that could change the truth in him. It is not difficult to overlook mistakes that have been given no effects. But what you see as having power to make an idol of the Son of God you will not pardon. For he has become to you a graven image and a sign of death. Is this your savior? Is his Father wrong about His Son? Or have you been deceived in him who has been given you to heal, for your salvation and deliverance?




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