A Course in Miracles
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What is the Ego?
Daily Lesson 339
Sarah's Reflections
MANUAL #4, 18-25
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* Patience

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome, at a time perhaps unknown as yet but not in doubt. The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes-nothing that did not serve to benefit the world as well as him to whom it seemed to happen. Perhaps it was not understood at the time. Even so, the teacher of God is willing to reconsider all his past decisions if they are causing pain to anyone. Patience is natural to those who trust. Sure of the ultimate interpretation of all things in time, no outcome already seen or yet to come can cause them fear.

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  339
I will receive whatever I request.



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   No one desires pain. But he can think

   that pain is pleasure. Noone would avoid

   his happiness. But he can think that joy

   is painful, threatening and dangerous.

   Everyone will receive what he requests.

   But he can be confused indeed about

   the things he wants; the state he would attain.

   What can he then request that he would want

   when he receives it? He has asked for what

   will frighten him and bring him suffering.

   Let us resolve today to ask for what

   we really want, and only this, that we

   may spend this day in fearlessness, without

   confusing pain with joy, or fear with love.


    Father, this is Your day. It is a day

    in which I would do nothing by myself,

    but hear Your Voice in everything I do,

    requesting only what You offer me;

    accepting only Thoughts You share with me.

    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM          


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 339
I will receive whatever I request.
Sarah's Commentary:

What does it mean to say that whatever I receive I requested? Is all the pain that I experience at my request? We always pursue what we think will bring us happiness, but the truth is that we can't tell the difference between what is pain and what is pleasure or even what is imprisonment and what is freedom. Jesus often talks to us about this confusion, and this lesson again affirms that "No one desires pain. But he can think that pain is pleasure." (W.339.1.1-2) That is why the whole idea of manifesting can get us into difficulty. We think we know what will bring us happiness, so we attempt to manifest that very thing. Yet the ego is always confused and cannot be a reliable source for determining what will bring joy. That is why the things we request that we think will bring us pleasure will actually bring us pain. And yes, whatever we receive, we have requested. It is our dream and we are its dreamer.
For example we may be putting all of our attention on seeking a special relationship, thinking that that is what will make us happy. We may be asking for someone to come into our lives who will be the answer to all of our dreams, solve our feelings of loneliness and be the knight in shining armor to rescue us from despair. Doesn't this, for some of us, sound like a request that we think will address our problems? And have we not experienced the pain and fear that these special relationships bring? Or we want security and think that working hard and making lots of money will bring us what we want, only to find that we have now traded off our investment in making money for a happy relationship. We can take many forays into the illusion, but we will always end up disillusioned, even when we receive what we think we want. Only the eternal can satisfy God's Son and none of these 'gifts,' which we pursue on behalf of our happiness, are eternal.

Having said that, we need not despair about any of it, because it is all a journey of healing, when turned over for the purpose of waking up. Thus, it is all for good when we are living on purpose. Everything that seems to happen to us we have asked for and it can all be used for our learning and healing. No, we don't always want to accept that we have called it all into our lives. We don't like the idea that we are doing it all to ourselves. Clearly we are only affected by our own thoughts as stated in yesterday's lesson. We prefer to think that we are at the mercy of everything that seems to happen to us. Yet Jesus affirms that "The secret of salvation is but this: That you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this is still 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."(T. 27.VIII. 10.1-4)(ACIM OE T.27.IX.86)

Although our resistance to this idea is very strong, think about the power in its acceptance. The power is in the realization that we have it in us to undo all of our wrong-minded decisions. There is a miracle behind each difficult situation waiting to deliver us from it, and all the miracle does is to show us that what we are seeing is false. "It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13.1.3) We are the dreamer of this dream. "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.10.5-6)(ACIM OE T.27.IX.86)
The more we come to the realization that this is all a dream and we are dreaming it, the more we are willing to look back into our own minds with the love of Jesus looking with us and see that this need not be. The more we look at everything that seems to be happening to us, recognize our projections on this screen of the world, and see them as our own thoughts being played back at us, the more we can become the watcher of those thoughts and be motivated to have them changed. These thoughts are not who we are. We are the Perfection that is the watcher of those thoughts. As soon as we think we are our thoughts, we are in the dream. But when we see that we are the watcher of the thoughts, it is like a lucid dream, where we now know we are the dreamer.

So why have we kept this secret of salvation from ourselves? According to Jesus, it is because of the pact we have made with the ego, which is not to know our true Self. And why would we not want to know who we are in truth as perfect and innocent? It is because the ego has convinced us that we should fear God's punishment for having destroyed Him and destroyed our home and squandered His gifts to us. No, that is not a conscious thought, but we can know it is what we are believing every time we feel bad about ourselves, feel lacking, feel unworthy, feel sad, feel angry, feel alone in the world, feel lost and abandoned, or are upset and worried about our condition, or that of someone else. Those are not thoughts of God. Those are ego-based thoughts that keep us in the dream. That is why we need to take all of those thoughts of sadness, suffering and specialness to the Holy Spirit and be willing to have them dismissed.

Once we realize that we, ourselves, have "asked for what will frighten him [us], and bring him [us] suffering," (W.339.1.8) then we can truly ask for what we really want and only this. But what is it that we really want? Well, it is clear from this lesson that if we don't know the answer to that question, then we have to ask of Someone Who does know for us. He knows that what we truly want is what He offers us. He offers us His Thoughts. Our desire is to know our Self. It is to know the truth about who we are.

That is why the prayer says that we should do nothing by ourselves, but learn to hear His Voice in everything we do. What we think with our own thoughts ultimately will always bring pain. It is only when we turn it all over to God and trust Him that we will know peace, joy and our own innocence, which is all we ever seek. With every upset and every difficult circumstance in our lives, we can choose to change our minds. We can choose peace, which we can only do by bringing all that blocks the peace to the Holy Spirit. Now we can ask Him to give us His interpretation of the situation that we have judged as negative. His Answer is always, "Forgive, and you will see this differently." (W.PI.193.3.7) "Madness and reason see the same things, but it is certain that they look upon them differently." (T.21.VI.3.9)(ACIM OE T.21.VII.61)
I recently realized how I had chosen to stay in pain and distress about a situation in my life because I was justifying my reasons for how I was feeling and believed I was right in my assessment of the situation. It was not until I saw that I had chosen this particular situation for my healing that I became willing to give up the 'gifts' that came from my suffering. What are those gifts you may wonder? Well, I held the belief that I was right about how I saw it, and I could punish those around me whom I saw as responsible for how I was feeling. I got power from my position and could maintain the separation from my brother. Until I realized the cost to me of maintaining this conflict, I was unwilling to see what I was doing. As I became willing to investigate my wrong assumptions about everything, I saw that I wanted peace more than I wanted to be right. If this was the case, it was available to me right now, so why wait? It is so easy when we are willing to release our story and make space for truth. What is it that you want today?


Love and blessings, Sarah 


4. What Are the Characteristics of God's

* Generosity

18 The term generosity has special meaning to the teacher of God. It is not the usual meaning of the word; in fact, it is a meaning that must be learned and learned very carefully. Like all the other attributes of God's teachers, this one rests ultimately on trust, for without trust, no one can be generous in the true sense. To the world, generosity means "giving away" in the sense of "giving up." To the teachers of God, it means "giving away" in order to keep. This has been emphasized throughout the text and the workbook, but it is perhaps more alien to the thinking of the world than many other ideas in our curriculum. Its greater strangeness lies merely in the obviousness of its reversal of the world's thinking. In the clearest way possible and at the simplest of levels, the word means the exact opposite to the teachers of God and to the world.


19 The teacher of God is generous out of self-interest. This does not refer, however, to the self the world speaks of. The teacher of God does not want anything he cannot give away because he realizes it would be valueless to him by definition. What would he want it for? He could only lose because of it. He could not gain. Therefore he does not seek what only he could keep because that is a guarantee of loss. He does not want to suffer. Why should he ensure himself pain? But he does want to keep for himself all things that are of God and therefore for His Son. These are the things that belong to him. These he can give away in true generosity, protecting them forever for himself.  

* Patience

20 Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome, at a time perhaps unknown as yet but not in doubt. The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes-nothing that did not serve to benefit the world as well as him to whom it seemed to happen. Perhaps it was not understood at the time. Even so, the teacher of God is willing to reconsider all his past decisions if they are causing pain to anyone. Patience is natural to those who trust. Sure of the ultimate interpretation of all things in time, no outcome already seen or yet to come can cause them fear.

* Faithfulness

21The extent of the teacher of God's faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning while keeping others apart? If so, his advancement is limited and his trust not yet firmly established. Faithfulness is the teacher of God's trust in the Word of God to set all things right-not some but all. Generally, his faithfulness begins by resting on just some problems, remaining carefully limited for a time. To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. Nothing but that really deserves the name. Yet each degree, however small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery.


22True faithfulness, however, does not deviate. Being consistent, it is wholly honest. Being unswerving, it is full of trust. Being based on fearlessness, it is gentle. Being certain it is joyous, and being confident, it is tolerant. Defenselessness attends it naturally, and joy is its condition. Faithfulness, then, combines in itself the other attributes of God's teachers. It implies acceptance of the Word of God and His definition of His Son. It is to them that faithfulness in the true sense is always directed. Toward them it looks, seeking until it finds. And having found, it rests in quiet certainty on that alone to which all faithfulness is due.

* OpenMindedness

23 The centrality of openhandedness, perhaps the last of the attributes the teacher of God acquires, is easily understood when its relation to forgiveness is recognized. Openmindedness comes with lack of judgment. As judgment shuts the mind against God's Teacher, so openmindedness invites Him to come in. As condemnation judges the Son of God as evil, so openmindedness permits him to be judged by the Voice for God on His behalf. As the projection of guilt upon him would send him to hell, so openmindedness lets Christ's image be projected on him. Only the openminded can be at peace, for they alone see reason for it.


24 How do the openminded forgive? They have let go all things that would prevent forgiveness. They have in truth abandoned the world and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. Nothing is now as it was formerly. Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before. And above all are all things welcoming, for threat is gone. No clouds remain to hide the face of Christ. Now is the goal achieved. Forgiveness is the final goal of the curriculum. It paves the way for what goes far beyond all learning. The curriculum makes no effort to exceed its legitimate goal. Forgiveness is its single aim at which all learning ultimately converges. It is indeed enough.


25 You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God's teachers does not include those things which are the Son of God's inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge and eternal truth do not appear in this context. They would be most inappropriate here. What God has given is so far beyond our curriculum that learning but disappears in its presence. Yet while its presence is obscured, the focus properly belongs on the curriculum. It is the function of God's teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is "true learning" in the world. It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation.    




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