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As students, we seek to increase our knowledge of Jesus' words and to deepen our experience of His teachings.

As teachers, we work to circulate the message of
A Course in Miracles throughout the world by our words, by our deeds, and by the example of our lives.

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VIII. "Choose Once Again" 


Trials are but lessons which you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before, you now can make a better one and thus escape all pain which what you chose before has brought to you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, "My brother, choose again." He would not leave one source of pain unhealed nor any image left to veil the truth. [He would remove all misery from you, whom God created altars unto joy.] He would not leave you comfortless, alone in dreams of hell, but would release your minds from everything that hides His face from you. His holiness is yours because He is the only power that is real in you. His strength is yours because He is the Self that God created as His only Son. 

What is the Ego  
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What is 'Iambic Pentameter'? 

   The ego is idolatry; the sign

   of limited and separated self,

   born in a body, doomed to suffer and

   to end its life in death. It is the will

   that sees the Will of God as enemy,

   and takes a form in which It is denied.

   The ego is the "proof" that strength is weak

   and love is fearful, life is really death,

   and what opposes God alone is true.


   The ego is insane. In fear it stands

   beyond the Everywhere, apart from All,

   in separation from the Infinite.

   In its insanity, it thinks it has

   become a victor over God Himself,

   and in its terrible autonomy

   it "sees" the Will of God has been destroyed.

   It dreams of punishment, and trembles at

   the figures in its dreams, its "enemies"

   who seek to murder it before it can

   ensure its safety by attacking them.


   The Son of God is egoless. What can

   he know of madness and the death of God,

   when he abides in Him? What can he know

   of sorrow and of suffering, when he

   lives in eternal joy? What can he know

   of fear and punishment, of sin and guilt,

   of hatred and attack, when all there is

   surrounding him is everlasting peace,

   forever conflict-free and undisturbed,

   in deepest silence and tranquility?


   To know Reality is not to know

   the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts,

   its laws and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes,

   its plans for its salvation, and the cost

   belief in it entails. In suffering,

   the price for faith in it is so immense

   that crucifixion of the Son of God

   is offered daily at its darkened shrine,

   and blood must flow before the altar where

   its sickly followers prepare to die.


   Yet will one lily of forgiveness change

   the darkness into light; the altar to

   illusions to the shrine of Life Itself.

   And peace will be restored forever to

   the holy minds which God created as

   His Son, His dwelling-place, His joy, His love,
   completely His, completely one with Him.


   ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM    


ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  333
Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.



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   Conflict must be resolved. It cannot be

   evaded, set aside, denied, disguised,

   seen somewhere else, called by another name,

   nor hidden by deceit of any kind,

   if it would be escaped. It must be seen

   exactly as it is, where it is thought

   to be, in the reality    that    has

   been given it, and with the purpose that

   the mind accorded it. For only then

   are its defenses lifted, and the truth

   can shine upon it as it disappears.


    Father, forgiveness is the light You chose

    to shine away all conflict and all doubt,

    and light the way for our return to You.

    No light but this can end our evil dreams.

    No light but this can save the world. For this

    alone will never fail in anything,

    being Your gift to Your beloved Son.


    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM          


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 333
Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.
Sarah's Commentary:

This lesson can be understood within the context of the original conflict that arose in our choice for the ego. In that decision, conflict arose in the mind as a result of the guilt and fear that came with the idea that we had chosen to leave God's Love, establish a separate will and make it on our own. Now we have a will that seems to be in opposition to God and thus conflict arises in the mind. This conflicted mind is now reflected in our relationships and in the circumstances and events of our lives. We live in fear of the attacks that we think are coming at us. We fear the harm that we believe is being initiated by others, and thus we set up defenses both physical and psychological. We feel at the mercy of the world, not recognizing that it is the conflict in our own minds that is the cause of all that we perceive. This is precisely why the problem must be resolved in the mind and not in the world.

This world is made up of separate and clashing wills because that is the essence of life in a world that was projected from a conflicted mind. That is why our conflicts can never be resolved in the world. They must be resolved at the source, which is in our own minds. In this dream, conflict is inevitable because the world is rooted in conflict, but outside of the dream, we experience the illusory nature of this world. We see that the conflict we experience in the world is a projection of the conflict in our own minds when we experience a miracle. The miracle shifts our perception by showing us that the way we saw before was a mistake. Through the miracle, what seemed to block us now opens up to a beautiful flow where all is given perfectly. When we don't defend or attack, when we take no offense, when we turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation of the events in our lives---then the way is made easy. "We have come to gentler pathways and to smoother roads." (W.PI.123.1.2) "The Thought of God protects you, cares for you, makes soft your resting place and smooth your way, lighting your mind with happiness and love." (W.PI.165.2.6) This becomes apparent to us when we do the work of watching the mind and bringing all blocks to love.
Today we are encouraged to look squarely at the conflict in our minds and that means looking at it without evading it, setting it aside, denying it, disguising it, seeing it elsewhere, calling it by another name or hiding it. In other words we are asked to undo our denial of where the conflict is. We are asked to give up our stories of victimhood and see our minds as the source of the conflict. Conflict in our lives may sound something like this, "You never listen to me." "I don't want to talk to you right now." "You are always leaving the TV on." "You never pay any attention to me." "I don't have a problem. You're the one that is angry" "Leave me alone. I'm having a bad day!" "Not now, I have a headache." "If you weren't so distant, I wouldn't have a problem!" "You are always blaming me for everything." "It is not my fault!"

Thus we evade the conflict by avoiding, walking away or distracting ourselves with other things. We set it aside for later without necessarily addressing it later. We deny our anger by covering it over and pretending that everything is fine. We disguise it by blaming it on other things, hormones, bad drivers, a headache, or our need to be nice, polite, and sweet even though there is inner rage going on. We see it somewhere else by blaming someone else, or we just call it by another name such as my truth, setting boundaries, or being right.

Yet Jesus says that the conflict that is in our minds must not be denied. He says that conflict must be resolved, which requires that we take responsibility for the source of the conflict in our own minds. It will never be resolved in the world. It is about healing our own minds by looking at our projections on others and bringing them back into our own minds, thus the conflict can be released with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is only through forgiveness that our conflicts can be resolved. First, we must become aware of conflict as an outside picture of an inward condition. When the inner conflict is healed, we will still see bodies clashing but they will have no effect on us.

The other day I was in an argument with my partner and we were both angry with each other. The next day, after some period of withdrawal and silence, we came together seemingly in peace, but my mind was still obsessing that the problem was not resolved. I continued to feel that there was still a problem that required some kind of resolution. In my meditation, the inner nudge that I felt brought this question to mind, "Do you want peace or do you want resolution your way?" When I chose to let go of my need for resolution and chose peace as my only goal, I realized there truly was no problem except in my own mind. Nothing needed to be solved in the world. With that shift, nothing changed in form, but I no longer defined it as a problem. All was well. "What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?" (W.PI.135.18.1) The only problem is when we determine what things should look like. It is when we decide what we need, what is good and what is bad in our lives.
Why do we deny the anger, rage, hostility that is in our minds? We have such a desire to be innocent and to look good that we cover up the ego by putting on a face of innocence over our inner turmoil and thus we deny the anger. But we need to look under this cover and expose the ego for what it really is. This can seem difficult, if we judge ourselves for what shows up when we lift our defenses. We may start to feel discouraged about this journey, judging ourselves as less than spiritual. We won't make progress unless we accept that this is the way to true innocence. We must look squarely at our hostility and accept that this is just the nature of the character, but not who we are. We must see conflict exactly as it is, where it is thought to be, in the reality that has been given it and with the purpose that the mind accorded it. We must hide nothing from ourselves.

When we find ourselves in a power struggle and blame our brother for how we are feeling, the answer lies in uncovering our own painful, needy side rather than using our brother to distract us from the need for healing. When we take back our own projected pain then it can be healed. Looking directly at thoughts and feelings with total honesty and courage is a very important aspect of our healing. With courage to look at our thoughts and take responsibility for everything that "seems" to be happening to us, we can look at our conflicts from outside of this dream and recognize their unreality. All conflict that we see 'out there' is entirely internal. If we are raging at our spouse, a friend, a parent, or whoever, we must admit that it is our rage. We must uncover every aspect of our thoughts around this situation and look at what purpose is being served by this conflict. Everything we do has some purpose, but we often hide this purpose from ourselves. That is the reason that it can be challenging to look honestly at the conflicts in our own minds. The real source of that conflict is that our will is in conflict with God's Will.

Recently I have been dealing with a situation where my mother was placed in a care facility because the active treatment hospital would not continue to keep her there. The policy in this province is to move a person from active treatment to the first available bed no matter how inappropriate it is for the person. They languish there until an appropriate placement can be made, which can be as long as six month's wait time. In this situation, my mother was moved to a locked dementia placement, even though she is very bright, alert, and capable. Her only problem was her advanced age and her requirement for considerable amount of care with bodily needs. After trying any number of solutions to this situation, and experiencing many bureaucratic delays, I was feeling a lot of despair.

In my meditation, the despair showed up as murderous rage. Going deeper I felt an ocean of sadness that felt almost unbearable. Then a wave of guilt came over me as I realized that the sadness was a reflection of being lost in this dream and making it all real. I felt such profound pain over my belief that I had left God and was on my own. An overwhelming feeling of "Oh my God, What have we done," washed over me and was so very painful that I could hardly breathe. While I have written about the separation, I have never felt it so acutely. It is what Jesus is telling us is at the core of our being in our separated state, even though none of it is the truth of who we are. It seems that I was given this situation to experience this profound experience of the pain of separation. As it turns out, we sprung mom loose from this place and the situation was resolved with everyone being helpful and cooperative along the way. Again, as every situation in the world offers us a classroom for the undoing of the wrong minded beliefs in our minds, no matter what it may look like to us in the moment, it is all perfect.

I love the section in Chapter 27, "The Quiet Answer", which speaks beautifully about the issue of conflict. Basically, Jesus says that when we are in conflict, "in your state of mind, solution is impossible." (T.27.IV.2.2)(ACIM OE T.27. V.37) What is to be done? The answer is in the holy instant. "Attempt to solve no problems but within the holy instant's surety." (T.27.IV.3.1)(ACIM OE T.27.V.38) We are called to bring our conflicts to the light of truth and, through forgiveness, rise above the battleground to a place in our minds where there is quietness, peace and unity. This is the only place where we can ask a real question. It is a question that comes from the mind that is not already positioning its own answer in the conflict. "A question asked in hate cannot be answered because it is an answer in itself." (T. 27.IV.4.2) (ACIM OE T.27.V.38) In other words, if I ask Jesus to help me solve a particular problem, I have already told him through my question the answer that I have determined I need in order to be happy. When a question is asked in honesty, it is to ask to see truly. Holy Spirit, how would You have me see this situation?

"Father, forgiveness is the light You chose to shine away all conflict and all doubt, and light the way for our return to You. No light but this can end our evil dream. No light but this can save the world. For this alone will never fail in anything, being Your gift to Your beloved Son." (W.333.2.1-4) Forgiveness is about seeing our brother in the light of truth, and as we reach out to the holiness in his mind, we will know the holiness of our own mind. In that joining, we know we are the same---divine, innocent beings. The spark of truth is in all of us. We all share the One Self. The power of forgiveness is the power to heal the conflict that seems to be between us yet is just an aspect of our own minds. The temptation is always to see this conflict as the responsibility of someone else. Whatever comes up today as a difficulty that you perceive with anyone, recognize that it all starts in your mind. When the barriers in your own mind are brought to light, love will come streaming in where the hatred previously took up residence.

Love and blessings, Sarah 


READINGS Paused for Weekend

VIII. Choose Once Again                

83 Temptation has one lesson it would teach in all its forms wherever it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty and bound by what it orders him to feel. It sets the limits on what he can do; its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach. Would you be this if Christ appeared to you in all His glory, asking you but this:


84 Choose once again if you would take your place
    among the saviors of the world, or would
    remain in hell and hold your brothers there.


85 For He has come, and He is asking this.


86 How do you make the choice? How easily is this explained! You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real. Simply by never using weakness to direct your actions, you have given it no power. And the light of Christ in you is given charge of everything you do. For you have brought your weakness unto Him, and He has given you His strength instead.


87 Trials are but lessons which you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before, you now can make a better one and thus escape all pain which what you chose before has brought to you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, "My brother, choose again." He would not leave one source of pain unhealed nor any image left to veil the truth. [He would remove all misery from you, whom God created altars unto joy.] He would not leave you comfortless, alone in dreams of hell, but would release your minds from everything that hides His face from you. His holiness is yours because He is the only power that is real in you. His strength is yours because He is the Self that God created as His only Son.


88 The images you make can not prevail against what God Himself would have you be. Be never fearful of temptation then, but see it as it is; another chance to choose again and let Christ's strength prevail in every circumstance and every place you raised an image of yourself before. For what appears to hide the face of Christ is powerless before His majesty and disappears before His holy sight. The saviors of the world who see like Him are merely those who chose His strength instead of their own weakness, seen apart from Him. They will redeem the world, for they are joined in all the power of the Will of God. And what they will is only what He wills.


89 Learn then the happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable with these words:


90 I am as God created me. His Son
   can suffer nothing. And I am His Son.


91 Thus is Christ's strength invited to prevail, replacing all your weakness with the strength that comes from God and that can never fail. And thus are miracles as natural as fear and agony appeared to be before the choice for holiness was made. For in that choice are false distinctions gone, illusory alternatives laid by, and nothing left to interfere with truth.


92 You are as God created you, and so is every living thing you look upon, regardless of the images you see. What you behold as sickness and as pain, as weakness and as suffering and loss is but temptation to perceive yourself defenseless and in hell. Yield not to this, and you will see all pain in every form wherever it occurs but disappear as mists before the sun. A miracle has come to heal God's Son and close the door upon his dreams of weakness, opening the way to his salvation and release. Choose once again what you would have him be, remembering that every choice you make establishes your own identity as you will see it and believe it is.


93 Deny me not the little gift I ask when in exchange I lay before your feet the peace of God and power to bring this peace to everyone who wanders in the world uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear. For it is given you to join with him, and through the Christ in you unveil his eyes and let him look upon the Christ in him. My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words. I ask for nothing but your own release. There is no place for hell within a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven. To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before. Yet this a vision is which you must share with everyone you see, for otherwise you will behold it not. To give this gift is how to make it yours. And God ordained in loving kindness that it be for you.


94 Let us be glad that we can walk the world and find so many chances to perceive another situation where God's gift can once again be recognized as ours! And thus will all the vestiges of hell, the secret "sins," and hidden hates be gone. And all the loveliness which they concealed appear like lawns of Heaven to our sight to lift us high above the thorny roads we travelled on before the Christ appeared. Hear me, my brothers, hear and join with me. God has ordained I cannot call in vain, and in His certainty I rest content. For you will hear, and you will choose again. And in this choice is everyone made free.


95 I thank You, Father, for these holy ones who are my brothers as they are Your Sons. My faith in them is Yours. I am as sure that they will come to me as You are sure of what they are and will forever be. They will accept the gift I offer them because You gave it me on their behalf. And as I would but do Your holy Will, so will they choose. And I give thanks for them. Salvation's song will echo through the world with every choice they make. For we are one in purpose, and the end of hell is near.


96 In joyous welcome is my hand outstretched to every brother who would join with me in reaching past temptation and who looks with fixed determination toward the light that shines beyond in perfect constancy. Give me my own, for they belong to You. And can You fail in what is but Your Will? I give You thanks for what my brothers are. And as each one elects to join with me, the song of thanks from earth to Heaven grows from tiny scattered threads of melody to one inclusive chorus from a world redeemed from hell and giving thanks to You.


97 And now we say "Amen." For Christ has come to dwell in the abode You set for Him before time was, in calm eternity. The journey closes, ending at the place where it began. No trace of it remains. Not one illusion is accorded faith, and not one spot of darkness still remains to hide the face of Christ from anyone. Thy Will is done, complete and perfectly, and all creation recognizes You and knows You as the only Source it has. Clear in Your Likeness does the Light shine forth from everything that lives and moves in You. For we have reached where all of us are One, and we are home, where You would have us be.




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