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40 Consciousness was the first split that man introduced into himself. He became a perceiver rather than a creator in the true sense. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a man-made attempt to perceive himself as he wished to be rather than as he is.
ACIM OE TEXT
CH 3 RETRAINING THE MIND
Workbook for Students
Part I
Introduction
1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.

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Workbook for Students
Part I
Lesson 34
I could see peace instead of this.
1 The idea for today begins to describe the conditions that prevail in the other way of seeing. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

2 Three longer practice periods are required for today's exercises. One in the morning and one in the evening are advised, with an additional one to be undertaken at any time in between which seems most conducive to readiness. All applications should be done with your eyes closed. It is your inner world to which the applications of today's idea should be made.

3 Some five minutes of mind searching are required for each of the longer practice periods. Search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety provoking situations, "offending" personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harboring unloving thoughts. Note them all casually, repeating the idea for today slowly as you watch them arise in your mind, and let each one go, to be replaced by the next.

4 If you begin to experience difficulty in thinking of specific subjects, continue to repeat the idea to yourself in an unhurried manner, without applying it to anything in particular. Be sure, however, not to make any specific exclusions.
5 The shorter applications are to be frequent and made whenever you feel your peace of mind is threatened in any way. The purpose is to protect yourself from temptation throughout the day. If a specific form of temptation arises in your awareness, the exercise should take this form:

6 I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.

7 If the inroads on your peace of mind take the form of more generalized adverse emotions, such as depression, anxiety, or worry, use the idea in its original form. If you find you need more than one application of today's idea to help you change your mind in any specific context, try to take several minutes and devote them to repeating the idea until you feel some sense of relief. It will help you if you tell yourself specifically:

8 I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry [or my thoughts about this situation, personality, or event] with peace.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
TEXT
Chapter 3
Retraining the Mind

VI. Conflict and the Ego
par 38-50
38 [The Soul knows, loves, and creates. These are its unequivocal functions.] The abilities man now possesses are only shadows of his real strengths. All of his functions are equivocal and open to question or doubt. This is because he is not certain how he will use them. He is therefore incapable of knowledge, being uncertain. He is also incapable of knowledge because he can perceive lovelessly. He cannot create surely because his perception deceives [and illusions are not pure]. Perception did not exist until the separation had introduced degrees, aspects, and intervals. The Soul has no levels, and all conflict arises from the concept of levels. [Wars arise where some regard others as if they were on a different level. All interpersonal conflicts arise from this fallacy.] Only the levels of the Trinity are capable of unity. The levels which man created by the separation cannot but conflict. This is because they are essentially meaningless to each other.

39 Freud realized this perfectly and that is why he conceived the different levels in his view of the psyche as forever irreconcilable. They were conflict-prone by definition because they wanted different things and obeyed different principles. In our picture of the psyche, there is an unconscious level which properly consists only of the miracle ability and which should be under my direction. There is also a conscious level, which perceives or is aware of impulses from both the unconscious and the superconscious. Consciousness is thus the level of perception but not of knowledge. Again, to perceive is not to know.

40 Consciousness was the first split that man introduced into himself. He became a perceiver rather than a creator in the true sense. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a man-made attempt to perceive himself as he wished to be rather than as he is. This is an example of the created-creator confusion we have spoken of before. Yet man can only know himself as he is because that is all he can be sure of. Everything else is open to question.

41 The ego is the questioning compartment in the post-separation psyche which man created for himself. It is capable of asking valid questions but not of perceiving valid answers because these are cognitive and cannot be perceived. The endless speculation about the meaning of mind has led to considerable confusion because the mind is confused. Only One-Mindedness is without confusion. A separated or divided mind must be confused; it is uncertain by definition. It has to be in conflict because it is out of accord with itself.

42 Intrapersonal conflict arises from the same basis as interpersonal conflict. One part of the psyche perceives another part as on a different level and does not understand it. This makes the parts strangers to each other, without recognition. This is the essence of the fear-prone condition in which attack is always possible. Man has every reason to feel afraid as he perceives himself. This is why he cannot escape from fear until he knows that he did not and could not create himself. He can never make his misperceptions valid. His creation is beyond his own error, and that is why he must eventually choose to heal the separation.

43 Right-mindedness is not to be confused with the knowing mind because it is applicable only to right perception. You can be right-minded or wrong-minded, and even this is subject to degrees, a fact which clearly demonstrates a lack of association with knowledge. The term "right-mindedness" is properly used as the correction for "wrong-mindedness," and applies to the state of mind which induces accurate perception. It is miraculous because it heals misperception, and this is indeed a miracle in view of how man perceives himself.

44 Perception always involves some misuse of will because it involves the mind in areas of uncertainty. The mind is very active because it has will-power. When it willed the separation, it willed to perceive. Until then, it willed only to know. Afterwards it willed ambiguously, and the only way out of ambiguity is clear perception. The mind returns to its proper function only when it wills to know. This places it in the Soul's service, where perception is meaningless. The superconscious is the level of the mind which wills this.

45 The mind chose to divide itself when it willed to create both its own levels and the ability to perceive, but it could not entirely separate itself from the Soul because it is from the Soul that it derives its whole power to create. Even in miscreation will is affirming its Source or it would merely cease to be. This is impossible because it is part of the Soul which God created and which is therefore eternal.

46 The ability to perceive made the body possible because you must perceive something and with something. This is why perception involves an exchange or translation, which knowledge does not need. The interpretive function of perception, actually a distorted form of creation, then permitted man to interpret the body as himself, which, though depressing, was an attempt to escape from the conflict he had induced. The superconscious, which knows, could not be reconciled with this loss of power because it is incapable of darkness. This is why it became almost inaccessible to the mind and entirely inaccessible to the body.

47 Thereafter, the superconscious was perceived as a threat because light does abolish darkness merely by establishing the fact that it is not there. The truth will always overcome error in this sense. This is not an active process of destruction at all. We have already emphasized that knowledge does not do anything. It can be perceived as an attacker, but it cannot attack. What man perceives as its attack is merely his own vague recognition of the fact that it can always be remembered, never having been destroyed.

48 God and the Souls He created remain in surety, and therefore know that no miscreation exists. Truth cannot deal with unwilling error because it does not will to be blocked out. I was a man who remembered the Soul and its knowledge, and as a man I did not attempt to counteract error with knowledge so much as to correct error from the bottom up. I demonstrated both the powerlessness of the body and the power of the mind. By uniting my will with that of my Creator, I naturally remembered the Soul and its own real purpose.

49 I cannot unite your will with God's for you, but I can erase all misperceptions from your mind if you will bring it under my guidance. Only your misperceptions stand in your own way. Without them your choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. The Atonement was an act based on true perception. I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. "Many are called, but few are chosen" should read, " All are called, but few choose to listen. Therefore, they do not choose right."

50 The "chosen ones" are merely those who choose right sooner. This is the real meaning of the celestial speed-up. Strong wills can do this now, and you will find rest for your Souls. God knows you only in peace, and this is your reality.
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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 34
I could see peace instead of this.
Sarah's Commentary:
 
I love how very gentle our teacher is with us. He does not coerce us but simply offers his guidance on how we can change the way we think now. He is not telling us we should see peace only that we have the option to see peace instead of the pain and suffering we experience in the world. He offers us another way of seeing rather than inducing more guilt in us when we are not at peace.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah

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Allen Watson's
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Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is:

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