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What is Creation?
Daily Lesson 322
Sarah's Reflections
TEXT CH 30, 89-94
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IX. Changeless Reality  

Appearances deceive but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances, you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.    

What Is Creation?  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


What is '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.


   ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM    


ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  322
I can give up but what was never real. 



Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   I sacrifice illusions; nothing more.

   And as illusions go I find the gifts

   illusions tried to hide, awaiting me

   in shining welcome, and in readiness

   to give God's ancient messages to me.

   His memory abides in every gift

   that I receive of Him. And every dream

   serves only to conceal the Self Which is

   God's only Son, the likeness of Himself,

   the Holy One Who still abides in Him

   forever, as He still abides in me.


    Father, to You all sacrifice remains

    forever inconceivable. And so

    I cannot sacrifice except in dreams.

    As You created me, I can give up

    nothing You gave me. What You did not give

    has no reality. What loss can I

    anticipate except the loss of fear,

    and the return of Love into my mind?


    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM        


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 322
I can give up but what was never real.
Sarah's Commentary:

While to God "all sacrifice remains forever inconceivable," (W.322.2.1) to us surrender feels like we are giving up something that we still value. We don't see that all we are giving up is fear. Our fear is that we are giving up our control. Our belief is that God will demand some kind of sacrifice from us. Since the ego has told us that we stole our individuality from Him, it will now be payback time. He will now make demands of us that will hurt us. Now we set up defenses to protect ourselves from what we have made of Him, an angry God.
A core aspect of the ego thought system is based on the notion that for me to get what I want, someone or something must be sacrificed. This origin of the thought of sacrifice came with the belief that for our individual self to exist, God had to be sacrificed because individuality and Oneness can't both exist. Again it is one or the other, me or God. This is the thought system that is in the mind and now played out in the world of form where for us to get what we want, someone has to lose. Thus a world of competition was set up where our gain is someone's loss. This shows up in our relationships, which are ones of bargaining. I give you something, but I expect something back and if you don't give it to me, then I will hold you guilty.

To surrender to God we fear that we will have to sacrifice everything that we hold as important to us in this world. Our fear is that we will have to give up our pleasures, our special relationships, our money, our comforts, and everything that we value. But Jesus assures us that we give up nothing of value, because what we put value on are the things that bring us suffering. What we are struggling to keep are the things that keep us imprisoned and in pain. Holding on to that which has no value is the source of all of our pain. Do we really want to trade this off for "a resting place so still no sound except a hymn to Heaven rises up to gladden God the Father and the Son." (T.29.V.1.3)(ACIM OE T.29. VI.31) Is there anything more valuable than this kind of peace that can only come from remembering who we are?
Our fear in following this path is related to the idea of renunciation, which is a big concept in religious traditions. It is the idea that we must give up the things that we think we like in the world. Peace may be perceived as boring. I remember asking my boss, a minister in legislative assembly, what he liked about his job. He said that it was the adrenalin high that he got from it. The world's 'pleasures' are like that. They give us a thrill, another conquest, another momentary gain, another accomplishment, and an adrenalin rush, but how long does it last and how deeply satisfying is it really? That is what we are asked to look at when we look at the idea of sacrifice.

Traditional religion is all about sacrifice. We know of stories of great spiritual beings who have sacrificed for an anticipated reward in Heaven. From a worldly perspective they have paid a high price for giving over their lives completely to serve God. People like Mother Teresa have written about these sacrifices that she has made willingly but at a cost to herself. The idea is that something of value has to be given up in order to serve God.

As we go about our day today, we can look at what it is that we really want. If we ask this in everything, we will start to see what is really important to us. It is to investigate what we are holding onto as important and to question everything. Does it really bring me the freedom I am looking for? Is it deeply satisfying? Is going out to shop for another piece of clothing bringing me a deep sense of peace and joy? Is that vacation in the sun, really the answer to my deep need for peace? Are we called to give it up for God? No, that would feel like sacrifice if our belief is that it still holds value for us. What the lesson is helping us to see is that the real value, which is to know our Self, is what this illusion is trying to hide from us. It is every dream that "serves only to conceal the Self Which is God's only Son, the likeness of Himself, the Holy One Who still abides in Him forever, as He still abides in me." (W.322.1.4) Jesus is telling us that in sacrificing illusion we are sacrificing nothing but fear. When we recognize that, then there is no sacrifice. What is valueless simply falls away.
"And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome, and in readiness to give God's ancient messages to me." (W.322.1.2) Jesus is trying to help us to see that the spiritual life is not about someone taking our toys away or requiring us to give up what we still find valuable and what we think is making us happy. He is instead trying to help us see that these things will never make us happy but actually only bring dissatisfaction. When we truly see that our attachments to them bring only suffering and loss, then we will no longer look to them for our happiness. Everything can be put to a holy purpose. The question to ask ourselves in everything is, 'What is it for?'
We are being asked to look at our world honestly and to look at our experience in it and evaluate it truly. In Chapter 19, "The Obstacles to Peace", we are reminded that "it is impossible to seek pleasure through the body and not find pain." (T.19.IVB.12.1)(ACIM OE T.19.Vb.71)

And in Chapter 27 VI, "The Witnesses to Sin," (ACIM OE 27 VII) pain and pleasure are shown to have only one purpose and that is to make the body real. Even those things that we think give us pleasure in the world just give us temporary relief or a temporary 'high', which fades quickly and we soon start looking for the next 'fix.' We talk of these 'pleasurable' events as 'good memories.' Sometimes I revisit pictures of family gatherings, vacations I have taken, events I have enjoyed, and situations I have excelled at, only to note them as a momentary satisfaction but with no real staying power. In other words, these so-called pleasures quickly fade from our experience and, when we really think about them honestly, we see that the pleasures are all tinged with pain, because what was is no longer there. The ego continually seeks but never finds. It is like the thrill seeker who needs bigger and bigger thrills in order to get the 'kick' he is looking for.
Now Jesus contrasts these 'substitutes' with the real thing--- the experience of God's Love and the experience of His peace and joy. He keeps assuring us that we give up nothing, when we give up our illusions. When we look honestly at our lives, which is what he asks us to do, we will see that "Each thing you value here is but a chain that binds you to the world, and it will serve no other end but this. For everything must serve the purpose you have given it, until you see a different purpose there. The only purpose worthy of your mind this world contains is that you pass it by, without delaying to perceive some hope where there is none." (W.P.I.128.2.1-3) Only what is eternal has value and anything that is not eternal is valueless and brings us more pain and guilt.
Jesus asks us to "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. (T.30.V.9.11-12)(ACIM OE T.30.VI.65)

Do not look back except in honesty. And when an idol tempts you, think of this:
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."  (T.30.V.10.1-4)(ACIM OE T.30.VI.66-67)
Our challenge is to be really honest with ourselves. We are asked to really look at what all of the so-called pleasures really brought us. And we are asked not to let the past deceive us with nostalgia nor selective remembering with thoughts of the 'good old days.'

It is not as if we are being asked to give up something that we still find value in. Nothing will be taken away from us. Nothing happens against our will. We are only invited to contrast what the eternal gifts are with those the world has to offer. There is nothing we need to give up. In fact we can give them over for a different purpose. Our home, for example, which I once referred to as a gilded cage, is now being used by the Holy Spirit for His purposes. My computer is being used to communicate His messages. My body can be used by Him to give love, as can my car, my money etc. The question is always, what is it for? Increasingly, I simply find things of no interest that I once found pleasurable. I no longer find shopping 'fun'. I don't have the interest I once had in traveling to exotic places. I have lost my interest in concerts and plays for the most part, and movies and books are no longer used as a distraction but looked at with the Holy Spirit. More important, I no longer want to rely on my own devices to solve problems. I know that I am incapable of knowing what is known by the Holy Spirit and I find my trust in His answers has grown considerably. Does this require that you no longer involve yourself in distractions? Should you feel guilty if you look for an escape in the movies? Absolutely not. That would not be helpful for your healing. Eventually we will see, however, that "It is the price that must to be paid for the denial of truth." (M.13.5.3) It is the sacrifice of love "which must be paid by fear." (T.15.X.6.8)(ACIM OE T.15.X.98)
There is a wonderful passage in the Manual Section 13, "What is the Real Meaning of Sacrifice?" In this section Jesus acknowledges that "it takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give." (Manual.13.2.1) Every time we make a decision for anything in the world we are sacrificing our real joy. The joy is always there waiting for us to accept it, but it requires that we see that it is the only thing we want. "And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome, and in readiness to give God's ancient messages to me." (W.322.1.2) Until we experience this, we will question the truth of it. Jesus continually reminds us of how beautiful this experience of joy is, and tells us, "I am leading you to a new kind of experience that you will become less and less willing to deny." (T.11.VI.6)(ACIM OE T.10.VII.61)
When we step outside of the dream, we will see that what we are holding onto is nothing but what is hurtful to us. We are holding onto a self that does not even exist. All that we give up are not the forms of this world but our thought system behind them based on the purpose they hold for us.

Love and blessings, Sarah 



IX. Changeless Reality      

89 Appearances deceive but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances, you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.


90 The miracle is means to demonstrate that all appearances can change because they are appearances and cannot have the changelessness reality entails. The miracle attests salvation from appearances by showing they can change. Your brother has a changelessness in him beyond appearance and deception both. It is obscured by changing views of him which you perceive as his reality. The happy dream about him takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds. The miracle is proof he is not bound by loss or suffering in any form because it can so easily be changed. This demonstrates that it was never real and could not stem from his reality. For that is changeless and has no effects which anything in Heaven or on earth could ever alter. But appearances are shown to be unreal because they change.


91 What is temptation but a wish to make illusions real? It does not seem to be the wish that no reality be so. Yet it is an assertion that some forms of idols have a powerful appeal which makes them harder to resist than those you would not want to have reality. Temptation, then, is nothing more than this-a prayer the miracle touch not some dreams but keep their unreality obscure and give to them reality instead. And Heaven gives no answer to the prayer, nor can a miracle be given you to heal appearances you do not like. You have established limits. What you ask is given you, but not of God Who knows no limits. You have limited yourself.


92 Reality is changeless. Miracles but show what you have interposed between reality and your awareness is unreal and does not interfere at all. The cost of the belief there must be some appearances beyond the hope of change is that the miracle cannot come forth from you consistently. For you have asked it be withheld from power to heal all dreams. There is no miracle you cannot have when you desire healing. But there is no miracle that can be given you unless you want it. Choose what you would heal, and He Who gives all miracles has not been given freedom to bestow His gifts upon God's Son. When he is tempted, he denies reality. And he becomes the willing slave of what he chose instead.


93 Because reality is changeless is a miracle already there to heal all things that change and offer them to you to see in happy form, devoid of fear. It will be given you to look upon your brother thus. But not while you would have it otherwise in some respects. For this but means you would not have him healed and whole. The Christ in him is perfect. Is it this that you would look upon? Then let there be no dreams about him which you would prefer to seeing this. And you will see the Christ in him because you let Him come to you. And when He has appeared to you, you will be certain you are like Him, for He is the changeless in your brother and in you.


94 This will you look upon when you decide there is not one appearance you would hold in place of what your brother really is. Let no temptation to prefer a dream allow uncertainty to enter here. Be not made guilty and afraid when you are tempted by a dream of what he is. But do not give it power to replace the changeless in him in your sight of him. There is no false appearance but will fade if you request a miracle instead. There is no pain from which he is not free if you would have him be but what he is. Why should you fear to see the Christ in him? You but behold your Self in what you see. As he is healed are you made free of guilt, for his appearance is your own to you.




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