Lesson 323
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He is the Changeless in You
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 30 THE NEW BEGINNING
IX. CHANGELESS REALITY

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.
    
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
What is Creation
WHAT IS CREATION?

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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER* Example MP3
 
   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  
 
  
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
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L e s s o n 323
I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.


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    Here is the only 'sacrifice' You ask
    of Your beloved Son; You ask him to
    give up all suffering, all sense of loss
    and sadness, all anxiety and doubt,
    and freely let Your Love come streaming in
    to his awareness, healing him of pain,
    and giving him Your own eternal joy.
    Such is the 'sacrifice' You ask of me,
    and one I gladly make; the only 'cost'
    of restoration of Your memory
    to me, for the salvation of the world.
 
   And as we pay the debt we owe to truth
   a debt which merely is the letting-go
   of self-deceptions and of images
   we worshiped falsely truth returns to us
   in wholeness and in joy. We are deceived
   no longer. Love has now returned to our
   awareness. And we are at peace again,
   for fear has gone, and only Love remains.
 
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM     
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 323
I gladly make the "sacrifice" of fear.

Sarah's Commentary:  

What are we giving up when we give up our guilt and fear? Jesus says that we give up suffering, sadness, a sense of loss, anxiety, and doubt. Is that a sacrifice? Would we not willingly want to release the pain we experience in our lives? Yes, we certainly would if we could recognize that guilt and fear are at the core of all our dreams. Until we do, we are deceived. We think we are giving up something valuable. We are giving up being right about who we are and what the world is. We want to be in control. We like to be in charge of our lives, even at the cost of our peace and happiness.
 
We have not understood what makes us free ". . . nor where to look to find it." (W.321.1.1) We think we know what we need to make us feel safe and to be happy. Jesus tells us that fear is at the core of all our dreams in this world. When we start to recognize this is the case, we realize it is all a mistake, but to get to this point, we must look at the thought system that has given rise to the separation. We must look at all the beliefs and values we hold and the self-concepts we cling to. We must start to realize we have bought into a story that is not true. This process of undoing is not readily achieved because it means letting go of our attachment to everything in this world, including our own identity as we have circumscribed it. It is just an image that contains a name with which we identify and a body we think is ourselves, separate from others, limited, needy, constantly seeking, constantly afraid, and thus highly defended.
 
Do we recognize that holding onto our judgments, our opinions, our values, our specialness, our defenses, and even our anger, brings us pain? Perhaps to some extent we do. We judge some of our thoughts as "bad" and hurtful to us, but we also believe we have a lot of "good" thoughts that we value highly. We think we are right about our opinions, and we defend what we think. We justify our perspectives and give evidence for our positions, but anything based on a desire for separateness, specialness, exclusion, or aloneness, is not of God. Jesus recognizes it can be fearful for us to learn that all we base our lives on does not exist. This thought alone brings up fear. That is why there is so much resistance to this teaching, but we are in charge of our own journey and do not have to fear we will be hurled into Heaven. Our progress in awakening is under our own control. We will go as quickly or slowly as our fear will allow. Jesus is simply helping us to see the cost to us of holding onto our fear. He reminds us, "It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give. What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?" (M.13.2.1-2)
 
In our identification with our bodies and personalities, our lives are ruled by fear. Until we become aware of who we really are and remember that we have been given everything, there will be fear. Fear obscures the love that is there all the time. Why would we be so frightened of our abundance, of our success, of the joy of our greatness, or of intimacy? We are afraid because we feel unworthy of love. We judge ourselves as not deserving. Our belief in guilt and punishment takes precedence, and our biggest fear is the loss of the self we have accepted as what we are. We have come to accept our lives of loss, failure, suffering, scarcity, and finally death. "How lovely do the laws of fear make death appear." (T.23.II.15.7) (ACIM OE T.23.III.33) For all of us, there is an attraction to death lurking behind our fears that makes death seem like a lovely option because we associate it with peace.
 
Fear keeps us from being playful, intimate, joyful, open, and loving. We hide behind the images we have made, which we think keep us safe. We keep our secrets hidden lest we be judged. We hide "shameful" thoughts, believing they are the truth about us. We keep ourselves small and afraid of moving to a new level. With each step that we take to bring the darkness into the light, our confidence is renewed that there truly is nothing to fear. As the internal conflict in our minds is brought to healing, we get external evidence in our lives of less conflict. It is not because things change in the world, but we change our minds about them. We no longer engage in that conflict. We look out from a place of greater peace, and the world witnesses that peace back to us. That is what forgiveness is all about. That is what brings more flow and greater giftedness into our lives.
 
This Lesson can really make us wonder at the insanity of the ego. How can we want to hold onto suffering? And yet we do. We choose to hold onto our sense of loss, sadness, anxieties, worries, and any number of forms of fear. Why? For one thing, we think it is thrust upon us, and there is nothing we can do about it. We believe we are the victim of what others have done to us. For another, we believe we deserve to suffer for what we perceive we have done. And finally, we find something of value in it. Otherwise, we would let it go because we have the power to do so. "Look upon it, open-eyed, and you will nevermore believe that you are at the mercy of things beyond you, forces you cannot control, and thoughts that come to you against your will." (T.19.IV.D.7.4) (ACIM OE T.19.V.d.96) Everything we hold onto is in our own minds.
 
A dear friend recently wrote to me about the beliefs he was holding. He said he felt he was beyond forgiveness, beyond redemption, and deserved eternal damnation. He got in touch with his belief that he had taken from God and had murdered Him. Then the belief showed up that the fall from grace and the separation was totally on him, and with that came great shame and unworthiness, which awakened the self-hatred and compounded the guilt tenfold and thus brought, even more, self-hatred.
 
While this is painful to experience, with this recognition came great healing because he realized he was trying to handle his own ego all these years. He was trying to handle the torturer in his own mind, and that will never bring any resolution. In that recognition, he turned over his beliefs in scarcity, loss, and death. As Jesus reminds us, in Chapter 4, "Leave the 'sins' of the ego to me. That is what Atonement is for. But until you change your mind about those whom your ego has hurt, the Atonement cannot release you. While you feel guilty your ego is in command, because only the ego can experience guilt." (T.4.IV.5.2-5) (ACIM OE T.4.V.61) Then he says, "This need not be." (T.4.IV.5.2-6) (ACIM OE T.4.V.61) Our thoughts torture us, and in giving over these thoughts, we find the peace within. In accepting the healing into our minds, we can know our own innocence. There is nothing outside our minds. In his case, he was grieving a perceived loss, a shattered dream, and lived in the trap of those thoughts. In that process, he could not accept his innocence, but instead, he was projecting his beliefs in loss, grief, scarcity, and death onto the character in his dream, who seemed to be the cause of how he was feeling.
 
All that is called for is a willingness to claim our innocence. When we hold onto our story, our agendas, and our indulgences, we are not deciding for Heaven. With willingness, we take the hand of Jesus, and together, we go into the darkness and bring our dark and self-condemning thoughts to the light of truth. We need help. "You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made." (T.1.VI.4.2) (ACIM OE T.1.I.93) Thus, our part is not to do the healing ourselves because the ego will never undo itself. Our part is simply to be willing to look at our fear thoughts and bring them to the truth. The rest is in the hands of the Holy Spirit.
 
It seems like a no-brainer to ". . . gladly make the 'sacrifice' of fear," (W.323) which allows God's Love to ". . . come streaming in to his awareness." (W.323.1) However, resistance is strong. We think God is asking a sacrifice of us. We think we must pay off our debt to Him. We are told in the Bible that God asked His only Son, Jesus, to be sacrificed and die a horrible death. The image in our minds is that we too must pay off a debt to him. We do that all the time in our relationships, don't we? We think when we have done something hurtful, we must somehow atone to the one we hurt. We need to find a way to make up for what we did. In the same way, we think we must do something to atone with God to restore the relationship, but here Jesus says this is not the case. We have been dreaming, and nothing real has happened. We can simply awaken to the truth of who we are, and to do that, he is only asking one thing of us. He is only asking that we give up our fear, and in doing so, we sacrifice nothing we would want to keep.
 
Do you notice how you hold onto your suffering, sadness, anxiety, worries, doubt thoughts, and any number of fear thoughts? We made these thoughts, and only we can choose to release them. Holding onto them blocks the love that God wants to have come streaming into our awareness; although, holding onto these painful, distressing thoughts maintains that we are right about the way we see a situation. To maintain our individuality and specialness, we have been willing to pay the price of suffering. It truly makes no sense to keep our fear thoughts when all we are doing is keeping love out. All God is asking of us is to give up our suffering. Is that a sacrifice? We can only benefit ourselves and thus benefit the world.
 
Our entire journey in this world is about the undoing of fear, which is an essential part of the Atonement. Where does this fear come from? The Course tells us, "All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God." (T.2.I.4.1) (ACIM OE T.2.I.15) That is the foundation of it all. Of course, it is not something of which we are consciously aware. We have chosen to forget and instead, we have a fundamental fear. We fear we have changed our very nature, disrupted Heaven, and made a self in opposition to God. This is only a fearful dream, and now, we have a choice to make as to how quickly we want to awaken from it. In other words, how motivated are we? "If a light is suddenly turned on while someone is dreaming a fearful dream, he may initially interpret the light itself as part of his dream and be afraid of it." (T.2.1.4.6) (ACIM OE T.2.I.15) The truth about ourselves is that we are only love and nothing else. Anything else that we think is only the dream and an illusion about ourselves. "The fear of God is fear of life, and not of death." (T. 23.IV.1.2) (ACIM OE T.23.V.47) It is fear of love.
 
This Lesson is powerful and can be applied to any thoughts taking precedence in your mind today . Look at the thoughts you are obsessing about. What is at the core of those thoughts? In other words, what is the content behind them? Is it fear, unworthiness, hate, or frustration? Bring this content to light so that it can be dissolved. It takes great willingness and lots of discipline and practice to do this work, but the only "cost" to you is the "sacrifice" of fear. Notice any resistance to giving up these thoughts and recognize that the resistance is about justifying why you should feel the way you do; it is the story running in your mind. This need not be. We can make a choice today, with every fear thought that crosses our minds, to accept the Atonement (Correction), and thus, the love, peace, and joy within can return to our awareness.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah  
   
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ACIM Original Edition
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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