Lesson 330
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
 
CH 31 "THE SIMPLICITY OF SALVATION"
VI. RECOGNIZING THE SPIRIT      
 
65 Only in arrogance could you conceive that you must make the way to Heaven plain. The means are given you by which to see the world that will replace the one you made. Your will be done! In Heaven as on earth, this is forever true. It matters not where you believe you are nor what you think the truth about yourself must really be. It makes no difference what you look upon nor what you choose to feel or think or wish. For God Himself has said, "Your will be done." And it is done to you accordingly.  
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CHAPTER 31 VI, 62-67
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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.
 
        ~ Original Hand Script  
 
 
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L e s s o n 330
I will not hurt myself again today.
 
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   Let us this day accept forgiveness as
   our only function. Why should we attack
   our minds, and give them images of pain?
   Why should we teach them they are powerless,
   when God holds out His power and His Love,
   and bids them take what is already theirs?
   The mind that is made willing to accept
   God's gifts has been restored to Spirit, and
   extends its freedom and its joy, as is
   the Will of God, united with its own.
   The Self Which God created cannot sin,
   and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose
   today that He be our Identity,
   and thus escape forever from all things
   the dream of fear appears to offer us

    Father, Your Son can not be hurt. And if
    we think we suffer, we but fail to know
    our one Identity we share with You.
    We would return to It today, to be
    made free forever from all our mistakes,
    and to be saved from what we thought we were.
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 330
I will not hurt myself again today.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  
 
Today, I will comment on the Lesson line by line. The overall message in the Lesson is for us to be aware of how we hurt ourselves when we attack and hold grievances, or when we focus on our specialness, pleasures, and perceived needs. We suffer when we want something, and we suffer when we get it because then we fear losing it.
 
Jesus reminds us that we are not the victims of anything in this world and that we choose to suffer. Our suffering is the "proof" that we exist as separate, individual identities, and we make others responsible for our pain. We insist that people and events outside us are the cause of our suffering. To invite pain into our lives, which may be under the guise of pleasure, is a way to establish that we exist as bodies and personalities in the world. We set up defenses against aging, disease, decay, and death and try to control events to keep ourselves safe.
 
Jesus reminds us, "Truth cannot deal with errors that you want." (T.3.IV.7.2) (ACIM OE T.3.VI.48 -> "Truth cannot deal with unwilling error because it does not will to be blocked out.") In other words, as long as we want to hang onto the separate self, our defenses, and our belief that we are victims of the world, there can be no Correction possible. We must want the Atonement/Correction in order to receive it. We must be willing to release the blocks we hold against the truth if we want to know our reality as created by God.
 
"Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function." (W.330.1.1) Jesus reminds us that the only way to escape the pain of our lives is to accept forgiveness as our only function. To refuse to forgive is one way we hurt ourselves, as forgiveness is only for ourselves. In Lesson 328, Jesus said that by choosing our own independent will, we bring about sickness, suffering, loss, and death. Our independent will reflects the desire to gain at someone else's expense. By bringing our unloving thoughts to the light of truth, we see our brothers as guiltless. This is salvation's simple formula because when we see our brother as innocent, we come to know our own innocence and thus our own divine nature that has never left its Source.
 
"Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain?" (W.330.1.2) This raises the question of "how" we attack our minds. Every time I attack someone, defend myself, make a judgment, make myself better or more righteous, hold onto anger, hold grievances, hurt anyone, blame anyone, or obsess about my fears and expectations, I am attacking my mind. The Course is clear that anything I do to my brother I am doing to myself. If I hurt you in any way, I am hurting myself. If I expect or demand anything from you, I am seeing myself as lacking. Our attacks on our brothers reflect the guilt in our own mind. When we attack, we believe we deserve punishment in return. If we clearly saw this was the case, would we want to continue to attack?
 
"The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you would not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream." (T.27.VIII.10.1-6) (ACIM OE T.27.IX.86)
 
"Why should we teach them [our minds] they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs?" (W.330.1.3) Jesus reminds us again in Lesson 329, we are already One with God. We can't change our reality as His Son, but we can remain unaware of who we really are. We have chosen to forget. Our minds are as powerful as God's. What we have done is made a choice for the ego and interposed a second will as powerful as God's. God can't overpower our will. His gift to us is the freedom to do as we want. We are the ones who made our bodies to suffer and die to prove we really aren't the unlimited, powerful, and eternal beings God says we are. Who is right---God or the ego?
 
Jesus tells us, the only source of happiness is to know our own true will. When we attack, we feel guilty, and guilt demands punishment that we believe we deserve. Thus, we fear the future. The ego has set up a cycle of sin, guilt, and fear. As long as we are caught up in this loop, we can never be free. We never experience the present moment. We feel powerless and victimized by the seeming reality of the human condition. We feel at the mercy of the world. The truth is that we are only at the mercy of our own thinking. What we experience all starts in our own mind. We are the only ones who can choose to break this cycle.
 
Jesus invites us to do just that by realizing we are not the characters in this dream who seem to suffer and die. We are, in fact, the dreamer of the dream. We can take responsibility for everything that seems to happen to us, recognizing it all starts in our own minds. Now we have a choice. We can choose to see with the ego or with the Holy Spirit. We either allow the ego to interpret events for us, or we choose to turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation. When we release our mistaken perceptions given us by the ego and give them over to the Holy Spirit, our minds are healed. The world has not hurt us. All our suffering comes only from our own wrong-minded choices. "To place your hopes where no hope lies must make you hopeless. Yet is this hopelessness your choice, while you would seek for hope where none is ever found." (T.25.II.2.5-6) (ACIM OE T.25.III.13)
 
"The mind that is made willing to accept God's gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own." (W.330.1.4) Our minds are made willing through forgiveness. Every time we resist the temptation to defend ourselves, every time we resist the temptation to attack, every time we show willingness to release grievances, and every time we are willing to extend love and to surrender our way and ask for help, we make our minds ready and willing to accept the gifts God holds out to us. We can't take hold of these gifts while we still justify our anger, see ourselves as victims, and continue to hold onto judgments.
 
Every time we bring images of pain back to the mind where another choice can be made, the mind is restored, and we are united with the Will of God. It is all about willingness. Notice how much we resist. Notice how we relish our resentments and even nurture them, and how we hurt ourselves in doing so. Studies have shown that people initially experience revenge as sweet. It ignites the same pleasure sensors in the brain as does eating chocolate. However, it is only a temporary high because with it comes more self-attack and more guilt. We hurt ourselves again and again when we retaliate. We do it all to ourselves as we actively keep ourselves from the peace and joy that is our inheritance!
 
"The Self which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer." (W.330.1.5) Only in this dream do we hold the belief of sin and, as a result, suffer the consequences. But Jesus asks, "How can a misperception be a sin? Let all your brother's errors be to you nothing except a chance for you to see the workings of the Helper given you to see the world He made instead of yours." (T.25.III.7.1-2) (ACIM OE T.25.IV.28) When we accept forgiveness into the mind, we demonstrate that we are not powerless, and there is another way to perceive. We suffer when we attack. When we forgive and experience our innocence, we connect with the Self behind the image of this seeming body and personality, and our suffering is released. This is the way out of the ego cycle of sin, guilt, and fear. The door is open and Jesus invites us to make this choice to enter the holy sanctuary. The means are offered us in every person and situation we encounter in the classroom of our lives. We always make the choice to condemn or forgive. "The time he chooses can be any time, for help is there, awaiting but his choice. And when he chooses to avail himself of what is given him, then will he see each situation that he thought before was means to justify his anger turned to an event which justifies his love." (T.25.III.6.4-5) (ACIM OE T.25.IV.28) As we forgive, we are using time for its intended purpose, and now our relationships and the world have new meaning.
 
"Let us choose today that He [the Self that God created] be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us." (W.330.1.6) While we believe that we deserve to be hurt and punished because of what we have done, Jesus keeps reminding us that we can escape this dream by making another choice in this instant. We need not wait. There is nothing we need to atone for. We are innocent now, no matter what we think we have done wrong. We don't always want to forgive, and we delay because we resist letting go of our way of seeing. The temptation to attack is very strong in us. We want to gain at the expense of others. While it may look like we have gained at the expense of our brothers, all we have acquired is more pain and suffering. We think we can buy our innocence by projecting guilt onto others and thus making ourselves feel more righteous or superior. This is our perceived payoff, but it is a false innocence.
 
Our motivation to forgive must be strengthened through application. Motivation becomes stronger when, through forgiveness, we feel redeemed. Our happiness and our peace are established when our attack thoughts are released. When we choose to forgive, we are choosing the miracle. We are choosing to see with the eyes of Christ. We are choosing to accept the Atonement (the Correction) for ourselves. We are choosing to know the truth of who we are as unlimited, pristine, eternal, and divine beings of light and love. We are choosing to know ourselves as the powerful, eternal beings we are and thus we "escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us." (W.330.1.6)
 
"Father, Your Son can not be hurt." (W.330.2.1) The "me" who seemingly can be hurt is simply the identity I know as Sarah---a body, a concept I hold about myself, and a personality that holds a bundle of values and beliefs. What can't be hurt is the eternal Self that I have blocked with images I have made of myself and the mistaken thoughts and beliefs I hang onto. The truth is that we can awaken to the reality of our Self as pure love, at One with all that is, and forever changeless. Until that time, we need to recognize that, by our own decision, we limit and hurt ourselves. Now we can take responsibility for this decision. We can choose to surrender our way and to forgive our misperceptions. It is a process. We will not be hurled into Heaven. We will only go as slowly or as quickly as our fear will allow.
 
"And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were." (W.330.2.2-3)
 
Healing requires a willingness to be very honest with ourselves about our hurts and allow whatever feelings there are surrounding them to be brought to awareness. We acknowledge them fully and investigate them without allowing ourselves to be distracted from what we feel. We need to express what we feel without going into indulgence where we enjoy the drama. If the charge is still there, there is something to release. It is not enough to manage the feelings that hurt us. We are good at protecting ourselves from pain, but that is how we keep it. What is important is to acknowledge what we are feeling and investigate the thoughts we are holding and the beliefs and values that accompany them. Thus, we can choose to go deeper into the mind each time we are triggered. I acknowledge that I don't know what is best for me. I don't know what anything is for, and I don't know what God's Will for me looks like in this situation. Thus, I see that my attachment to outcomes makes me blind to what is always possible---the miracle. 
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca 

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A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Thirty One

The Simplicity of Salvation   
 
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CHAPTER 31 VI, 62-67
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
 
 
VI. Recognizing the Spirit  
 
62 You see the flesh or recognize the Spirit. There is no compromise between the two. If one is real the other must be false, for what is real denies its opposite. There is no choice in vision but this one. What you decide in this determines all you see and think is real and hold as true. On this one choice does all your world depend, for here have you established what you are, as flesh or Spirit in your own belief. If you choose flesh, you never will escape the body as your own reality, for you have chosen that you want it so. But choose the Spirit, and all Heaven bends to touch your eyes and bless your holy sight, that you may see the world of flesh no more except to heal and comfort and to bless.
 
63 Salvation is undoing. If you choose to see the body, you behold a world of separation, unrelated things, and happenings that make no sense at all. This one appears and disappears in death; that one is doomed to suffering and loss. And no one is exactly as he was an instant previous, nor will he be the same as he is now an instant hence. Who could have trust where so much change is seen, for who is worthy if he be but dust? Salvation is undoing of all this. And constancy arises in the sight of those whose eyes salvation has released from looking at the cost of keeping guilt because they chose to let it go instead.
 
64 Salvation does not ask that you behold the Spirit and perceive the body not. It merely asks that this should be your choice. For you can see the body without help but do not understand how to behold a world apart from it. It is your world salvation will undo and let you see another world your eyes could never find. Be not concerned how this could ever be. You do not understand how what you see arose to meet your sight. For if you did, it would be gone. The veil of ignorance is drawn across the evil and the good and must be passed that both may disappear, so that perception finds no hiding place. How is this done? It is not done at all. What could there be within the universe which God created that must still be done?
 
65 Only in arrogance could you conceive that you must make the way to Heaven plain. The means are given you by which to see the world that will replace the one you made. Your will be done! In Heaven as on earth, this is forever true. It matters not where you believe you are nor what you think the truth about yourself must really be. It makes no difference what you look upon nor what you choose to feel or think or wish. For God Himself has said, "Your will be done." And it is done to you accordingly.
 
66 You who believe that you can choose to see the Son of God as you would have him be, forget not that no concept of yourself will stand against the truth of what you are. Undoing truth would be impossible. But concepts are not difficult to change. One vision, clearly seen, that does not fit the picture as it was perceived before will change the world for eyes that learn to see, because the concept of the self has changed. Are you invulnerable? Then the world is harmless in your sight. Do you forgive? Then is the world forgiving, for you have forgiven it its trespasses and so it looks on you with eyes that see as yours. Are you a body? So is all the world perceived as treacherous and out to kill.
 
67 Are you a spirit, deathless and without the promise of corruption and the stain of sin upon you? So the world is seen as stable, fully worthy of your trust; a happy place to rest in for a while, where nothing need be feared but only loved. Who is unwelcome to the kind in heart? And what could hurt the truly innocent? Your will be done, you holy Child of God. It does not matter if you think you are in earth or Heaven. What your Father wills for you can never change. The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as Love Itself. And you are worthy that your will be done!
 
ACIM OE TX. CH 31, VI       
 
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