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CH 30 THE NEW BEGINNING
VIII. THE NEW INTERPRETATION
88 Do not interpret out of solitude, for what you see means nothing. It will shift in what it stands for, and you will believe the world is an uncertain place in which you walk in danger and uncertainty. It is but your interpretations which are lacking in stability, for they are not in line with what you really are. This is a state so seemingly unsafe that fear must rise. Do not continue thus, my brothers. We have one Interpreter. And through His use of symbols are we joined so that they mean the same to all of us. Our common language lets us speak to all our brothers and to understand with them forgiveness has been given to us all, and thus we can communicate again.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
~ Original Hand Script
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.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 321
Father, my freedom is in You alone.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
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.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Father, my freedom is in You alone.
When Jesus says, "Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number infinite, and everywhere without all limit," (W.PII.Q11.1.1) 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 these bodies and the world of time and space are reality. The Oneness Jesus speaks of may seem more like the illusion to us and without real meaning 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 "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)
What is important is what is said about our reality as God's Son and thus the attributes that are ours as a result of our creation. Jesus says, "God's Thoughts are given all the power that their own Creator has." (W.PII.Q11.2.1) As such, we all share in that power, and we share in all of God's attributes. Thus, we are eternal, unlimited, invulnerable, perfect, and powerful beings of love and light.
In the world of time, we believe we are separate, but in reality, we are one Self. This world of time is simply not real. While we think we have changed ourselves into these separate identities, "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 in our lives that we are willing to tolerate. Eventually, everyone comes to the place where they declare, there must be a better way. The memory of our Home, behind all our doubt thoughts, is always there. When the doubt thoughts, which are the blocks to love, are cleared away through forgiveness, we will no longer be ". . . 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) for this is what time is for. We have no other function but to join in purpose with our brothers, recognizing we are not different. We share the same purpose, which is to awaken to who we are. We can only know the truth when we give up our attacks on our brothers. When we attack, we see them as unholy and different from us. We project our guilt onto them so we can feel innocent. When we share in purpose, we recognize that our responsibility is to look at the guilt in our own minds and bring it to His healing light so we can know we are all sinless. This recognition of our sameness reflects our Oneness. When we know that we are innocent, we see innocence in all our brothers, regardless of their behavior. It is their true nature, just as it is our own. Our brother may be listening to his ego and may not yet have recognized he has another choice, but his will is still the Will for God. That call is strong in all of us, although we can resist it, and we do.
We can be an example of the choice for love, and when our minds are healed, we can see that although our brother sleeps, 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. Our job is to focus on what is going on in our own minds. "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 is when I do as I please. It is to be free of any responsibilities, demands, or requirements. We want the freedom to do what we please, freedom to indulge our wants and our desires, freedom to come and go as we please, and freedom to judge and attack. We believe freedom is to exercise our own will separate from the Will of God. The separated self is the rebel, which resists healing. We demand our space. We insist on our independence. We compete against everyone including God. We think this is freedom, yet we are trapped in our reaction 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 and sacrifice. We fight to do it our way, as Frank Sinatra sang so eloquently, because we think our way will keep us in control and safe.
It seems to us that surrendering to the Will of God is the end of our freedom as we have defined it. However, what we call freedom, Jesus calls the 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, "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?" I looked for answers in books, workshops, and relationships. I was always looking for happiness, but I felt it was an elusive thing. 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 Answer. Our willingness keeps moving us forward with each step we take to our 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 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.
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. It is when events that cause us distress come along and our lives are disrupted by sickness, abandonment, loss, and lack. When we argue with what shows up for us, we suffer, but when used for the purpose of healing and transcendence, they serve a mighty purpose. Everything that seemed to be certain in our lives is no longer there. 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 there is in facing adversity. We recognize and even welcome the gift that is available to us with the seeming setback.
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 truly realize this then 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. Acceptance is about releasing these demands. It may not be pleasant on the physical level or for our psyches, where there is pain when we resist the experience, but 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 have tried to be the managers and controllers of our lives by judging events as good or bad and what we like or don't like until we come to a realization. No matter how much we try and how many roads we travel here, our goal for happiness simply cannot be met in the world. 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 they will end, and with this recognition comes more willingness to surrender and thus more willingness to admit we have been wrong and to find a better way. The "gift" of ego weariness, as a friend said to me today, can truly move us forward. Jesus is now asking 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 Him 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 our way has imprisoned us, we deeply desire to know our true will.
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 for our happiness 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 are making the body the center of our attention, which keeps us distracted from what would truly bring us 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 on the concert and going where I seemed directed. Clearly, I was to give up my idea of "pleasure" and offer support and be of service instead. In retrospect, I see the fulfillment and joy that came as a result of responding to this call with openness and receptivity, having released any initial resistance. It felt like I was being used to fulfill my purpose and thus I felt liberated 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 you are reluctant to follow His guidance, or for that matter, even to 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.
We pray the prayer today with the intent of recognizing, we don't understand what freedom is or even where to look to find it. We acknowledge, 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
VIII. The New Interpretation
Would God have left the meaning of the world to your interpretation? If He had, it
no meaning. For it cannot be that meaning changes constantly and yet is true. The Holy Spirit looks upon the world as with one purpose, changelessly established. And no situation can affect its aim but must be in accord with it. For only if its aim could change with every situation could each one be open to interpretation which is different every time you think of it. You add an element into the script you write for every minute in the day, and all that happens now means something else. You take away another element, and every meaning shifts accordingly.
83 What do your scripts reflect except your plans for what the day
should be? And thus you judge disaster and success, advance, retreat, and gain and loss. These judgments all are made according to the roles the script assigns. The fact they have no meaning in themselves is demonstrated by the ease with which these labels change with other judgments made on different aspects of experience. And then in looking back you think you see another meaning in what went before. What have you really done except to show there
was no meaning there? But you assigned a meaning in the light of goals that change with every meaning shifting as they change.
84 Only a constant purpose can endow events with stable meaning. But it must accord
one meaning to them all. If they are given different meanings, it must be that they reflect but different purposes. And this is all the meaning that they have. Can this
be meaning? Can confusion be what meaning means? Perception cannot be in constant flux and make allowance for stability of meaning anywhere. Fear is a judgment never justified. Its presence has no meaning but to show you wrote a fearful script and are afraid accordingly. But not because the thing you fear has fearful meaning in itself.
85 A common
purpose is the only means whereby perception can be stabilized and one interpretation given to the world and all experiences here. In this shared purpose is one judgment shared by everyone and everything you see. You do not have to judge, for you have learned one meaning has been given everything, and you are glad to see it everywhere. It cannot change
because you would perceive it everywhere, unchanged by circumstance. And so you
offer it to all events, and let them offer you stability.
86 Escape from judgment simply lies in this---all things have but one purpose which you share with all the world. And nothing in the world can be opposed to it, for it belongs to everything as it belongs to you. In single purpose is the end of all ideas of sacrifice, which must assume a different purpose for the one who gains and him who loses. There could be no thought of sacrifice apart from this idea. And it is this idea of different goals which makes perception shift and meaning change. In one united goal does this become impossible, for your agreement makes interpretation stabilize and last.
87 How can communication really be established while the symbols which are used mean different things? The Holy Spirit's goal gives one interpretation, meaningful to you and to your brother. Thus can you communicate with him and he with you. In symbols which you both can understand, the sacrifice of meaning is undone. All sacrifice entails the loss of your ability to see relationships among events. And looked at separately, they
have no meaning. For there is no light by which they can be seen and understood. They have no purpose. And what they are for cannot be seen. In any thought of loss, there
is no meaning. No one has agreed with you on what it means. It is a part of a distorted script which cannot be interpreted with meaning. It must be forever unintelligible. This is not communication. Your dark dreams are but the senseless, isolated scripts you write in sleep. Look not to separate dreams for meaning. Only dreams of pardon can be shared. They mean the same to both of you.
88 Do not interpret out of solitude, for what you see means nothing. It will shift in what it stands for, and you will believe the world is an uncertain place in which you walk in danger and uncertainty. It is but your
interpretations which are lacking in stability, for they are not in line with what you really are. This is a state so seemingly unsafe that fear
must rise. Do not continue thus, my brothers. We have
one Interpreter. And through His use of symbols are we joined so that they mean the same to all of us. Our common language lets us speak to all our brothers and to understand with them forgiveness has been given to us all, and thus we can communicate again.
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