Lesson 321
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 31 "THE SIMPLICITY OF SALVATION"
I. INTRODUCTION 
 
12 Let us be still an instant and forget all things we ever learned, all thoughts we had, and every preconception which we hold of what things mean and what their purpose is. Let us remember not our own ideas of what the world is for. We do not know. Let every image held of everyone be loosened from our minds and swept away. Be innocent of judgment, unaware of any thoughts of evil or of good that ever crossed your mind of anyone. Now do we know him not. But you are free to learn of him and learn of him anew. Now is he born again to you, and you are born again to him without the past that sentenced him to die, and you with him. Now is he free to live, as you are free because an ancient learning passed away and left a place for truth to be reborn.  
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CHAPTER 31 I, 1-12
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
WHAT IS CREATION?
What is Creation
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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
   Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts,
   in number infinite, and everywhere
   without all limit. Only Love creates,
   and only like Itself. There was no time
   when all that It created was not there.
   Nor will there be a time when anything
   that It created suffers any change.
   Forever and forever are God's Thoughts
   exactly as They were and as They are,
   unchanged through time and after time is done.
 
   God's Thoughts are given all the power that
   Their own Creator has. For He would add
   to Love by Its extension. Thus His Son
   shares in creation, and must therefore share
   in power to create. What God has willed
   to be forever one will still be one
   when time is over; and will not be changed
   throughout the course of time, remaining as
   it was before the thought of time began.
 
   Creation is the opposite of all
   illusions, for Creation is the truth.
   Creation is the holy Son of God,
   for in Creation is His Will complete
   in every aspect, making every part
   container of the whole. Its oneness is
   forever guaranteed inviolate;
   forever held within His holy Will
   beyond all possibility of harm,
   of separation, imperfection and
   of any spot upon its sinlessness.
 
   We are creation; we the Sons of God.
   We seem to be discrete and unaware
   of our eternal unity with Him.
   Yet back of all our doubts, past all our fears,
   there still is certainty. For Love remains
   with all Its Thoughts, Its sureness being Theirs.
   God's memory is in our holy minds,
   which know their oneness, and their unity
   with their Creator. Let our function be
   only to let this memory return,
   only to let God's Will be done on earth,
   only to be restored to sanity,
   and to be but as God created us.
 
   Our Father calls to us. We hear His Voice,
   and we forgive creation in the Name
   of its Creator, Holiness Itself,
   Whose holiness His own creation shares;
   Whose holiness is still a part of us.
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 321
Father, my freedom is in You alone.
 
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    I did not understand what made me free,
    nor what my freedom is, nor where to look
    to find it. Father, I have searched in vain
    until I heard Your Voice directing me.
    Now I would guide myself no more. For I
    have neither made nor understood the way
    to find my freedom. But I trust in You.
    You Who endowed me with my freedom as
    Your holy Son will not be lost to me.
    Your Voice directs me. And the way to You
    is opening and clear to me at last.
    Father, my freedom is in You alone.
    Father, it is my will that I return.
 
   Today we answer for the world, which will
   be freed along with us. How glad are we
   to find our freedom through the certain way
   our Father has established. And how sure
   is all the world's salvation, when we learn
   our freedom can be found in God alone.
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 321
Father, my freedom is in You alone.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  
 
When Jesus says, "Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number infinite, and everywhere without all limit," (W.PII.Q11.What is Creastion.1.1) he is making clear that God created One Son and affirms once again that Creation is perfect Oneness. Why does he speak of infinite numbers and then say, "We are creation; we the Sons of God. We seem to be discrete, and unaware of our eternal unity with Him"? (W.PII.Q11.4.1-2) This is how we currently see ourselves. While the truth is that there is only One Son, our distorted view of reality is that we are separate and discrete, but this is only because we are unaware of our eternal unity.
 
While in truth the separation never happened, in our experience it seems that it has. It seems to us that these bodies and the world of time and space are reality. The Oneness Jesus speaks of may seem without real meaning and more like an illusion until we have an experience of it. Jesus acknowledges this when he says, "All this takes note of time and place as if they were discrete, for while you think that part of you is separate, the concept of a oneness joined as one is meaningless." (T.25.I.7.1) (ACIM OE T.25.II.10) In actuality, the separation never happened. Jesus speaks of the separation as something that seems to have happened, as he meets us where we think we are. Yet, he reminds us that in reality it was "so very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time, that not one note in Heaven's song was missed." (T.26.V.5.4) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.34) In essence, nothing happened.
 
Our reality as God's Son means that we have all the attributes of our Creator. Jesus says, "God's Thoughts are given all the power that their own Creator has." (W.PII.Q11.2.1) We are the Thoughts in the mind of God. As such, we all share in that power, and we all share in God's attributes. We are eternal, unlimited, invulnerable, perfect, and powerful beings of love and light.
 
In the world of time, we believe that we are separate, but in reality, we are one Self. This world of time is simply not real. While we think that we have changed ourselves and are now limited bodies and personalities, "What God has willed to be forever One will still be One when time is over; and will not be changed throughout the course of time, remaining as it was before the thought of time began." (W.PII.Q11.2.4) No matter what we think, "Its oneness is forever guaranteed inviolate; forever held within His holy Will, beyond all possibility of harm, or separation, imperfection and of any spot upon its sinlessness." (W.PII.Q11.3.3)
 
Firmly implanted in our minds is the memory of who we are as the Christ. Yes, we seem to have blotted it out with the noise of the ego and the distractions of this world, but there is a constant Call within us to remember who we really are. Our readiness to hear the Voice for Truth in us depends on the extent of suffering that we are willing to tolerate. Eventually, everyone comes to the place where they declare that there must be a better way. The memory of our Home, behind all our distracting thoughts, is always there. When the doubt thoughts are released through forgiveness, we are no longer "unaware of our eternal unity with Him." (W.PII.Q11.4.2) "Yet back of all our doubts, past all our fears, there still is certainty." (W.PII.Q11.4.3)
 
Our part is to "Let our function be only to let this memory return, only to let God's Will be done on earth, only to be restored to sanity, and to be but as God created us." (W.PII.Q11.4.6) There is only this function for us and none other. This is what time is for. We have no other function but to join in purpose with our brothers, recognizing that we are not different. We share the same purpose, which is to awaken from the insanity of this world to a state of perfect sanity. We can only know the truth when we give up judgments, comparisons, and attacks on our brothers. When we attack, we see them as unholy and different from us. We project the guilt in our own minds onto them so we can feel innocent. When our purpose is to awaken, we willingly take responsibility for our projections and place them onto the inner altar. We recognize that we are all the same reflection of Oneness. When we know that we are innocent, we see innocence in all our brothers, regardless of their behavior. Innocence is their true nature, just as it is our own. Our brothers may be listening to the ego and may not yet have recognized that they have another choice, but they still share what has been given by God to every brother. His love is indifferent. It shines on everyone. The Call is strong in all of us, although we can resist it, tune into the ego channel, and blot out this Call.
 
We are called to be an example to others of the choice for love that we have made. Although our brothers sleep, it is nevertheless a sleep of innocence despite the behavior being exhibited. Every step in the journey is still perfect, as it leads everyone to the place where they will ultimately make the choice for truth. Thus, we need not judge anyone but trust all things exactly as they are. Everything works together for good regardless of appearances. Our job is to focus on what is going on in our own minds and take the focus off our brothers' guilt. "Let our function be only to let this memory return, only to let God's Will be done on earth, only to be restored to sanity, and to be but as God created us." (W.PII.Q11.4.6)
 
The Lesson today, "Father, my freedom is in You alone," (W.321) challenges our view that freedom lies with the ego. From the perspective of the ego mind, freedom means that I do as I please. It is to be free of any responsibilities, demands, or requirements. We want the freedom to do whatever we want, to indulge our wants and our desires, to come and go as we please, and to judge and attack whenever we choose. We believe freedom is about exercising our own will separate from the Will of God. The separated self is the rebel that resists healing. We demand our space. We insist on our independence. We compete against everyone, including God. This is the authority problem. But we think this is freedom. We are trapped in our reactions where there is an appearance of choice but, in fact, there is no choice. We focus on independence and control because we believe it is the way to protect ourselves from pain, fear, unworthiness, and sacrifice. We fight to do it our way, as per the lyrics in Frank Sinatra song. We celebrate this kind of independence, yet it is the root of all of our problems!
 
It seems to us that to surrender to the Will of God is to end freedom as we have defined it. However, what we call freedom, Jesus calls imprisonment of our true will. He says, "When you have learned that your will is God's, you could no more will to be without Him than He could will to be without you. This is freedom and this is joy." (T.8.II.6.4-5) (ACIM OE T.8.III.13) Identification with the ego limits us and keeps us in a state of uncertainty and unaware of what we truly want that is deep within our hearts.
 
The Lesson says, "Father, I have searched in vain. . ." (W.321.1.2) which was certainly my experience for many years. I was always driven by the question, "Who am I really?" I looked for answers in books, workshops, and relationships. I was always searching for happiness, but it always eluded me. Underneath my search was fear and anxiety. My experience was one of searching in vain "until I heard Your Voice directing me." (W.321.1.2) It was not as if I actually heard a voice, but I knew I had found the answer when the Course came into my life. It was no accident. It was beautifully orchestrated. We meet who we need to meet, and we get what we need, whether we are open to it or not, until we are ready to receive the only Answer.
 
Our willingness keeps moving us forward with each step we take to true freedom. As we apply the Lessons and see them contribute to more peace, joy, and a sense of spaciousness in our lives, our motivation increases. If we truly want happiness and true freedom, Jesus says that there is only one way---through the healing of our minds. We know how simple salvation's formula is, yet all of us experience how difficult the process can be, but it need not be. We can choose peace. Jesus says, "When your mood tells you that you have chosen wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be." (T.4.IV.2.2) (ACIM OE T.4.V.57) The key is willingness. We can always make another choice.
 
Do you notice how motivated you are to do this work when you are at the end of your rope? I know for me, I turn to God more often when I am under siege than when everything is going "swimmingly" in the world according to what I think I need. That is why we can be grateful for "opportunities" that invite us to really dive into this work. Oh, yes, we may resist these "opportunities" and get angry and distressed about things going "wrong" in our lives as we perceive them, but if we recognize their contribution to our awakening, we can become happy learners, even in the midst of difficulties. There is nothing to regret. Just as in the movie, About Time, we learn that it is not helpful to live by hypotheticals. When we do, we lament what should have happened and could have happened and don't embrace the present moment.
 
William Shakespeare writes in the play, As You Like It " Sweet are the uses of adversity. " Adversity in our lives is not sweet to the ego. When events that cause us distress come along and our lives are disrupted by sickness, abandonment, loss, and lack, we see nothing sweet in it. But when we argue with what shows up, we suffer. When everything is used for the purpose of healing and transcendence, it all serves a mighty purpose. Everything that seemed to be certain in our lives might be taken away. It can be a dramatic, disorienting, and even frightening time. Our normal impulse is to try to find our way back to feeling secure again as quickly as possible and to regain control. These times of crisis can, however, serve a mighty purpose. When we are dedicated to healing, we don't resist the opportunity that is there in the seeming adversity. We recognize and even welcome the gift that is available with any seeming setback.
 
In the movie, About Time, there is a wedding scene where the winds blow, the tent is taken down, the wedding cake is soaked in the rain, and yet the characters enjoy the experience of joining in the sacredness of their relationship. I recognize that my need for order would react differently to such an experience, yet my goal is to experience peace regardless of what is going on around me and even find delight in the midst of seeming disaster as these characters demonstrated. Yes, it is challenging, but there is no gift we can attain that is greater than to experience consistent peace and joy.
 
We may think we want things to be different, yet everything is perfect for our awakening. All that is required is that we become the witness to what is happening around us. In other words, we recognize that we are the dreamer and not the character in the dream. When we can see this, even the worst things, as we define them, that seem to be happening in our lives can become the doorway into transcendence. Each moment is simply what it is. Once we argue with it, we suffer. Our arguments are the ego's demands that it be not what it is. He should not watch so much TV. He should help me with the dishes. Acceptance is about releasing such demands. It may not be pleasant on the physical level, or for our psyches, but there is pain when we resist the experience. Suffering only comes with resistance.
 
We live under the guidance and control of the ego until we decide, "Now I would guide myself no more." (W.321.1.3) We will try to be the managers and controllers of our lives by judging events as good or bad, or by what we like or don't like, until we realize that this is where suffering comes from. No matter how much we try and how many roads we travel, our goal to be happy simply cannot be met with the ego as guide. The first step is to recognize that no matter how hard we try to control outcomes, and no matter how hard we try to find happiness in the world, we will always fail. Yes, there will always be moments of pleasure, but they will not last. That is why there is always a degree of fear with all our happy, pleasurable times. We know that they will end.
 
With this recognition comes more willingness to surrender and thus more willingness to admit that we have been wrong and to find a better way. The "gift" of ego weariness is that it motivates us to move forward in applying these teachings. Jesus asks us to trust him on behalf of our freedom and happiness. On my own, "I have neither made nor understood the way to find my freedom." (W.321.1.4) We must put ourselves in God's Hands. We must learn to make all decisions with the Holy Spirit and not on our own. Trust is the first and most important characteristic of the Teacher of God.
 
We have an authority problem. We don't want anyone to direct us, yet only under His direction, when we surrender to His Will, will we know true freedom. "Your Voice directs me, and the way to You is opening and clear to me at last." (W.321.1.7) Freedom comes with willingness and surrender and with the acknowledgment that we don't know. When we recognize that our way has imprisoned us, we will deeply desire to know our true will. Devotion to our practice is the way to realize this desire.
 
Lesson 131 reminds us, "Heaven remains your one alternative to this strange world you made and all its ways; its shifting patterns and uncertain goals, its painful pleasures and its tragic joys." (W.131.7.1) (ACIM OE W.131.8) All pleasure we pursue in the world brings pain and all we describe as joy results in tragedy. The reason pain and pleasure are the same is that they share the same purpose. And what is that purpose? The purpose is to make the body-identity real in our experience. Pain and pleasure both compel our attention and both distract us from hearing the Holy Spirit's guidance. Are we ready to accept that there is no freedom or happiness apart from Him? When we pursue pleasure, we make the body the center of attention, which keeps us distracted from what would truly bring peace and freedom.
 
I recently experienced an event that felt like a sacrifice. We had planned to be with friends at a concert, but a call came from someone asking for help. The guidance was to respond to the call, but it meant giving up the concert and responding instead to the call for help. I was prompted to give up my idea of "pleasure" and offer support and to be of service instead. Even though there was some initial resistance, the fulfillment and joy that came from responding to this call with openness and receptivity, was truly nourishing. I was being used to fulfill my purpose to help a brother and it felt liberating and joyful. That is what true freedom is---a deep level of satisfaction found in nothing I pursue on my own.
 
You may still find, as I do, that you are pulled between your interests as you define them and guidance. You may still find that you are reluctant to follow His guidance, or for that matter, to even ask for it. Our fear is still that we think God's way will somehow limit our personal interests. Our fear is still of Love, because our demand is always, "I want it thus!" When we acknowledge that our way is not working, we open to the Holy Spirit more and more.
 
We pray the prayer today with the intent of recognizing that we don't understand what freedom is or even where to look to find it. We acknowledge that we have spent our lives searching in vain until we have responded to the Call in us. "Today we answer for the world, which will be freed along with us," (W.321.2.1) because the world is nothing more than the projection of our thoughts.

Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca 

A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Thirty One

The Simplicity of Salvation   
 
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CHAPTER 31 I, 1-12
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I. Introduction 

1
How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now and never will be. The impossible has not occurred and can have no effects. And that is all. Can this be hard to learn by anyone who wants it to be true? Only unwillingness to learn it could make such an easy lesson difficult. How hard is it to see that what is false cannot be true, and what is true cannot be false? You can no longer say that you perceive no differences in false and true. You have been told exactly how to tell one from the other and just what to do if you become confused. Why then do you persist in learning not such simple things?
 
2 There is a reason. But confuse it not with difficulty in the simple things salvation asks you learn. It teaches but the very obvious. It merely goes from one apparent lesson to the next in easy steps which lead you gently from one to another with no strain at all. This cannot be confusing, yet you are confused. For somehow you believe that what is totally confused is easier to learn and understand. What you have taught yourselves is such a giant learning feat it is indeed incredible. But you accomplished it because you wanted to and did not pause in diligence to judge it hard to learn, or too complex to grasp.
 
3 No one who understands what you have learned, how carefully you have learned it, and the pains to which you went to practice and repeat the lessons endlessly in every form you could conceive of them could ever doubt the power of your learning skill. There is no greater power in the world. The world was made by it and even now depends on nothing else. The lessons you have taught yourselves have been so overlearned and fixed they rise like heavy curtains to obscure the simple and the obvious. Say not you cannot learn them. For your power to learn is strong enough to teach you that your will is not your own, your thoughts do not belong to you, and even you are someone else.
 
4 Who could maintain that lessons such as these are easy? Yet you have learned more than this. You have continued, taking every step, however difficult, without complaint until a world was built that suited you. And every lesson that makes up the world arises from the first accomplishment of learning-an enormity so great the Holy Spirit's Voice seems small and still before its magnitude. The world began with one strange lesson, powerful enough to render God forgotten and His Son an alien to himself, in exile from the home where God Himself established him. You who have taught yourselves the Son of God is guilty, say not that you cannot learn the simple things salvation teaches you!
 
5 Learning is an ability you made and gave yourselves. It was not made to do the Will of God but to uphold a wish that It could be opposed, and that a will apart from It was yet more real than It. And this has learning sought to demonstrate, and you have learned what it was made to teach. Now does your ancient overlearning stand implacable before the Voice of truth and teach you that Its lessons are not true, too hard to learn, too difficult to see, and too opposed to what is really true. Yet you will learn them, for their learning is the only purpose for your learning skill the Holy Spirit sees in all the world. His simple lessons in forgiveness have a power mightier than yours because they call from God and from your Self to you.
 
6 Is this a little Voice, so small and still It cannot rise above the senseless noise of sounds which have no meaning? God willed not His Son forget Him. And the power of His Will is in the Voice that speaks for Him. Which lesson will you learn? What outcome is inevitable, sure as God, and far beyond all doubt and question? Can it be your little learning, strange in outcome and incredible in difficulty, will withstand the simple lessons being taught to you in every moment of each day, since time began and learning had been made?
 
7 The lessons to be learned are only two. Each has its outcome in a different world. And each world follows surely from its source. The certain outcome of the lesson that God's Son is guilty is the world you see. It is a world of terror and despair. Nor is there hope of happiness in it. There is no plan for safety you can make that ever will succeed. There is no joy that you can seek for here and hope to find. Yet this is not the only outcome which your learning can produce. However much you may have overlearned your chosen task, the lesson which reflects the love of God is stronger still. And you will learn God's Son is innocent and see another world.
 
8 The outcome of the lesson that God's Son is guiltless is a world in which there is no fear and everything is lit with hope and sparkles with a gentle friendliness. Nothing but calls to you in soft appeal to be your friend and let it join with you. And never does a call remain unheard, misunderstood, nor left unanswered in the selfsame tongue in which the call was made. And you will understand it was this call that everyone and everything within the world has always made, but you had not perceived it as it was. And now you see you were mistaken. You had been deceived by forms the call was hidden in. And so you did not hear it and had lost a friend who always wanted to be part of you. The soft, eternal calling of each part of God's creation to the whole is heard throughout the world this second lesson brings.
 
9 There is no living thing which does not share the universal will that it be whole and that you do not leave its call unheard. Without your answer is it left to die, as it is saved from death when you have heard its calling as the ancient call to life and understood that it is but your own. The Christ in you remembers God with all the certainty with which He knows His love. But only if His Son is innocent can He be Love. For God were fear indeed if he whom He created innocent could be a slave to guilt. God's perfect Son remembers his creation. But in guilt he has forgotten what he really is.
 
10 The fear of God results as surely from the lesson that His Son is guilty as God's love must be remembered when he learns his innocence. For hate must father fear and look upon its father as itself. How wrong are you who fail to hear the call that echoes past each seeming call to death, that sings behind each murderous attack and pleads that love restore the dying world! You do not understand Who calls to you beyond each form of hate, each call to war. Yet you will recognize Him as you give Him answer in the language that He calls. He will appear when you have answered Him, and you will know in Him that God is Love.
 
11 What is temptation but a wish to make the wrong decision on what you would learn and have an outcome that you do not want? It is the recognition that it is a state of mind unwanted that becomes the means whereby the choice is reassessed; another outcome seen to be preferred. You are deceived if you believe you want disaster and disunity and pain. Hear not the call for this within yourself. But listen, rather, to the deeper call beyond it that appeals for peace and joy. And all the world will give you joy and peace. For as you hear, you answer. And behold! Your answer is the proof of what you learned. Its outcome is the world you look upon.
 
12 Let us be still an instant and forget all things we ever learned, all thoughts we had, and every preconception which we hold of what things mean and what their purpose is. Let us remember not our own ideas of what the world is for. We do not know. Let every image held of everyone be loosened from our minds and swept away. Be innocent of judgment, unaware of any thoughts of evil or of good that ever crossed your mind of anyone. Now do we know him not. But you are free to learn of him and learn of him anew. Now is he born again to you, and you are born again to him without the past that sentenced him to die, and you with him. Now is he free to live, as you are free because an ancient learning passed away and left a place for truth to be reborn.
 
 
 
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