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you can establish the curric...

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ACIM Original Ed  


In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time which the course sets forth. Atonement corrects illusions, not the truth. Therefore it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the Will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God's Son, in that same instant was God's Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.  

What is the Ego  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


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  336
Forgiveness lets me know that
minds are joined.



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   Forgiveness is the means appointed for

   perception's ending. Knowledge is restored

   after perception first is changed, and then

   gives way entirely to what remains

   forever past its highest reach. For sights

   and sounds, at best, can serve but to recall

   the memory that lies beyond them all.

   Forgiveness sweeps away distortions, and

   opens the hidden altar to the truth.

   Its lilies shine into the mind, and call

   it to return and look within, to find

   what it has vainly sought without. For here,

   and only here, is peace of mind restored,

   for this the dwelling-place of God Himself.


    In quiet may forgiveness wipe away

    my dreams of separation and of sin.

    Then let me, Father, look within and find

    Your promise of my sinlessness is kept,

    Your Word remains unchanged within my mind,

    Your Love is still abiding in my heart.

    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM          


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 336
Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.
Sarah's Commentary:

It is our misperceptions that keep our minds separate. In truth, we are one and our minds are joined. We recognize this through forgiveness. Forgiveness wipes away the belief in sin. Sin is just another name for the separation that came about as a result of our belief that we had done such an awful thing as to leave God. To leave God is actually to leave who we really are in truth, the eternal Son. The reality is there can be no separation because we are already one, our minds are joined in that oneness, and  sin and separation are not real. Now we are asking for help to remember who we are as one with all that is, but the first step is to shift our perception from what is false to that which is true. The means for this is forgiveness, which takes us to perception's ending. Knowledge is restored, at which point we step out of the illusion and return to the truth of who we are.

Our perceptions by their very nature are distortions, and we need to ask for help to shift our perceptions from what is false. Our perception is rife with judgments. These distorted perceptions are healed through forgiveness, which "opens the hidden altar to the truth." (W.336.1.4) This altar is the mind where the choice for separation was originally made. When our unhealed perceptions of our brothers are healed and our body has served its purpose, being used for the undoing of the separation, then perception disappears and all that is left is the truth of who we are as one eternal Christ Self. 

We are called to let our mind "return and look within, to find what it has vainly sought without." (W.336.1.5) We will never find the joining with another that we so desperately search for in relationships until we release the thoughts that block us from the awareness of love's presence within us. These blocks are all the thoughts that keep us separate and feeling very much alone. They are all of our judgments, comparisons, needs, specialness, jealousies, expectations, fears,  competition, demands, anger, misunderstandings, hurts, grievances, conflicts, hates, defenses and on and on. It is these thoughts that we nurture and obsess about that keep us in the clutches of the ego and of separation from each other.

Jesus describes what happens in a holy relationship as follows: "For what one thinks, the other will experience with him. What can this mean except your mind and your brother's are one? Look not with fear upon this happy fact, and think not that it lays a heavy burden on you. For when you have accepted it with gladness, you will realize that your relationship is a reflection of the union of the Creator and His Son." (T. 22.VI.14.2-5)(ACIM OE T.22.VII.64) In essence, it only takes one willing person to heal any relationship. My partner will experience whatever I am thinking. While this may bring fear, it is also very powerful to recognize that by taking responsibility for our ego-driven perceptions, we invite the miracle. It is the miracle that removes the barriers that keep us separate and thus allows the holy light to infuse the dark places we held against our brother.
When we perceive our brother through the lens of the ego, we don't really know him. We are just putting our own false distortions on him. We are seeing him through our projected biases. Forgiveness is about having our perception of our brother changed from one of sinfulness to one of sinlessness. Our part is to bring our distorted perceptions to the Holy Spirit, who is always there, consistently and patiently, waiting for us to bring these misperceptions to Him. He is not outside of our minds. He is the light of truth shining within the mind. Changing perception from the wrong mind to the right mind is a precondition to knowledge. "Knowledge is restored after perception first is changed, and then gives way entirely to what remains forever past its highest reach." (W.336.1.2)
Forgiveness, from a Course perspective, is based on the fact that nothing real has happened. It is all a dream. If I had truly sinned, then it could not be that I could "look within, and find Your promise of my sinlessness is kept; Your Word remains unchanged within my mind, Your Love is still abiding in my heart." (W.336.2.2)

If this were not so, it would mean that we really had changed ourselves, that we had made ourselves unlovable. It really would mean that our character traits and personality are fixed. It would mean that we had sinned and would deserve punishment. It would mean that how we think about ourselves is the truth. Forgiveness is based on the fact that nothing that we think about ourselves, despite what we have done in the dream, is true. We have not sinned. This harkens back to the Atonement Principle that says, no matter what we think about ourselves, the reality is that we cannot and have not changed ourselves. Our purity is guaranteed in our creation by God.
We see ourselves as sinful, which is why we need forgiveness to sweep away our misperceptions of our brothers and ourselves. For this, we need to look at our unforgiving thoughts and ask for help from the Holy Spirit to shine them away. It is a process of acknowledging our upsets and see that they are a call for healing. When the conflict shows up in our lives, we generally see it as what someone has done to us. Yet Jesus invites us to see that all conflict is within. It is all about our own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. We are not the victims of the world we see. We have set up a pattern of behavior to defend ourselves against the pain of unmet past needs. We have developed strategies to protect ourselves that can never work. Now we are given a process to release the pain of past associations and bring them to the truth. This is how forgiveness works. Our part is to bring awareness to the patterns of our lives. The Holy Spirit does the rest.

That is the only way we will know that our altar has never been defiled. Because we think it has, we are afraid to look within. We think what we will see is vile and will lead us to want to kill ourselves, but when "Its lilies [of forgiveness] shine into the mind," (W.336.1.5) we will find what we have "vainly sought without." (W.336.1.5) There is no peace of mind that can be found by looking outside of ourselves to anyone or anything in this world where we look for our happiness. While looking within may seem frightening, through this process of forgiveness, we come to recognize the good and pure and divine about ourselves. We recognize our intrinsic worth. Now we are less afraid to approach the altar within, this holy place where the truth about us shines forth.
"In quiet may forgiveness wipe away my dreams of separation and of sin. Then let me, Father, look within, and find Your promise of my sinlessness is kept; Your Word remains unchanged within my mind, Your Love is still abiding in my heart." (W.336.2)
We know that we need to forgive, when we are not at peace. When we want peace more than we want to be right about our perceptions of ourselves and our brothers with regard to any situation, then we must ask for help of the Holy Spirit to look with us at our misperceptions. Our interpretations are based on the fact that the ego always speaks first, and it is always wrong. Now we must turn to the Holy Spirit and ask how He would have us see this situation. He will reinterpret what the ego insists is the truth, if we are willing to be open to being wrong about our perceptions.

When we are willing to look at our fears, our judgments and our distress together with the Holy Spirit/Jesus, He will show us the unreality of it all. Thus we can see our wrong minded perspectives and beliefs without judgment of ourselves. As we look together, we tell ourselves that despite our feelings of pain, anxiety, unworthiness, anger, guilt or doubt, we are open to receive healing through the miracle in this instant. Together we look past ego appearances. Now the healing becomes available to us as space is made in our minds for His Correction. Then healing can flow through and we are blessed together with our brother.

Ultimately, the way I see anyone is the way I see myself. Today we reclaim responsibility for our projections on others and recognize that we are only affected by our interpretations. With forgiveness, our minds can be healed so that we see everything that seems to be happening as an expression of love or a call for love. Thus we will know ourselves as the love that we are and always have been. We have simply forgotten, but the reality is that our awakening is certain and guaranteed by God.

Nouk Sanchez offers a beautiful prayer to Spirit within that fits so well with this process. "Spirit, I accept your Atonement. I accept your divine correction of error in my mind, and I allow your healing to flow through my mind. I accept that you have already healed both the cause and symptoms (effects) of this problem; the decision and its shadow. If the problem's 'appearance' continues, or if there are continuing 'symptoms' (appearances) that cause me to doubt - then I offer these doubts to you as well, to correct in my mind. I remember in any holy instant that as I sincerely accept Atonement, it is done! To continue to be concerned after I have forgiven and accepted Atonement, is to doubt your Love and prolong the illusion of time and suffering. Remember: Love without trust is impossible; doubt and trust cannot coexist. I remember this and I have gratitude that Spirit has already healed my mind and I accept with this, the healing of all symptoms (effects). It is done!"

Love and blessings, Sarah 


2. Who Are Their Pupils?                  

1 Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God's teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. Again, it is only a matter of time. Once he has chosen to fulfill his role, they are ready to fulfill theirs. Time waits on his choice but not whom he will serve. When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him.


2 In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time which the course sets forth. Atonement corrects illusions, not the truth. Therefore it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the Will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God's Son, in that same instant was God's Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.


3 The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open, yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free, you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there. As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned.


4 Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. The pupil comes at the right time to the right place. This is inevitable because he made the right choice in that ancient instant which he now relives. So has the teacher, too, made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. God's Will in everything but seems to take time in the working-out. What could delay the Power of eternity?


5 When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God's Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God Himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own.


3. What are the Levels of Teaching?

1 The teachers of God have no set teaching level. Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same-to make of the relationship a holy relationship in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless. There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view, he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.


2 The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters-a chance meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult "by accident," two students who happen to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another; perhaps the man will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.


3 It is difficult to understand that levels of teaching the universal course is a concept as meaningless in reality as is time. The illusion of one permits the illusion of the other. In time, the teacher of God seems to begin to change his mind about the world with the single decision, and then learns more and more about the new direction as he teaches it. We have covered the illusion of time already, but the illusion of levels of teaching seems to be something different. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate that these levels cannot exist is simply to say that any level of the teaching-learning situation is part of God's plan for Atonement, and His plan can have no levels, being a reflection of His Will. Salvation is always ready and always there. God's teachers work at different levels, but the result is always the same.


4 Each teaching-learning situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will learn the most that he can from the other person at that time. In this sense, and in this sense only, we can speak of levels of teaching. Using the term in this way, the second level of teaching is a more sustained relationship in which for a time two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate. As with the first level, these meetings are not accidental, nor is what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end. Again, each has learned the most he can at the time. Yet all who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy. God is not mistaken in His Son.


5 The third level of teaching occurs in relationships which, once they are formed, are lifelong. These are teaching-learning situations in which each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with unlimited opportunities for learning. These relationships are generally few because their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect. This does not mean that they necessarily recognize this; in fact, they generally do not. They may even be quite hostile to each other for some time, and perhaps for life. Yet should they decide to learn it, the perfect lesson is before them and can be learned. And if they decide to learn that lesson, they become the saviors of the teachers who falter and may even seem to fail. No teacher of God can fail to find the Help he needs.




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