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• Tolerance

13 God's teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. How then could you not have been deceived in yourself? Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bed-rock of the teacher of God's whole thought system. Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.

#4. What Are the Characteristics
of God's Teachers?
Workbook for Students
Part II
What is a Miracle?
1 A miracle is a correction. It does not create nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false. It undoes error, but does not attempt to go beyond perception nor exceed the function of forgiveness. Thus it stays within time's limits. Yet it paves the way for the return of timelessness and love's awakening, for fear must slip away under the gentle remedy it gives.

2 A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one. And thus it illustrates the law of truth the world does not obey because it fails entirely to understand its ways. A miracle inverts perception which was upside-down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest. Now is perception open to the truth. Now is forgiveness seen as justified.

3 Forgiveness is the home of miracles. The eyes of Christ deliver them to all they look upon in mercy and in love. Perception stands corrected in His sight, and what was meant to curse has come to bless. Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world the silent miracle of love. And each is laid before the Word of God upon the universal altar to Creator and creation, in the light of perfect purity and endless joy.

4 The miracle is taken first on faith because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand. Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before—a world redeemed from what you thought you saw.

5 Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures came to die. Now they have water. Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 341
I can attack but my own
sinlessness, and it is only that
which keeps me safe.
1 Father, Your Son is holy. I am he on whom You smile in love and tenderness so deep and dear and still the universe smiles back on You and shares Your holiness. How pure, how safe, how sacred then are we, abiding in Your smile, with all Your Love bestowed upon us, living one with You in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete, in sinlessness so perfect that the Lord of Sinlessness conceives us as His Son, a universe of Thought completing Him.

2 Let us not then attack our sinlessness, for it contains the Word of God to us, and in its kind reflection we are saved.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Manual for Teachers

4. What Are the Characteristics
of God's Teachers?
par 11-17
[TEXT READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
• Honesty

11 All other traits of God's teachers rest on trust. Once that has been achieved, the others cannot fail to follow. Only the trusting can afford honesty, for only they can see its value. Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. Such are the truly honest. At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything.

12 The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty. It is only the wish to deceive that makes for war. No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. Conflict is the inevitable result of self-deception, and self-deception is dishonesty. There is no challenge to a teacher of God. Challenge implies doubt, and the trust on which God's teachers rest secure makes doubt impossible. Therefore they can only succeed. In this, as in all things, they are honest. They can only succeed because they never do their will alone. They choose for all mankind, for all the world and all things in it, for the unchanging and unchangeable beyond appearances, and for the Son of God and his Creator. How could they not succeed? They choose in perfect honesty, sure of their choice themselves.

• Tolerance

13 God's teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. How then could you not have been deceived in yourself? Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bed-rock of the teacher of God's whole thought system. Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.

• Gentleness

14 Harm is impossible for God's teachers. They can neither harm nor be harmed. Harm is the outcome of judgment. It is the dishonest act that follows a dishonest thought. It is a verdict of guilt upon a brother and therefore on one's self. It is the end of peace and the denial of learning. It demonstrates the absence of God's curriculum and its replacement by insanity. No teacher of God but must learn—and fairly early in his training—that harmfulness completely obliterates his function from his awareness. It will make him confused, fearful, angry, and suspicious. It will make the Holy Spirit's lessons impossible to learn. Nor can God's Teacher be heard at all except by those who realize that harm can actually achieve nothing. No gain can come of it.

15 Therefore God's teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation becomes easy. To those who would do harm, it is impossible. To those to whom harm has no meaning, it is merely natural. What choice but this has meaning to the sane? Who chooses hell when he perceives a way to Heaven? And who would choose the weakness that must come from harm in place of the unfailing, all-encompassing, and limitless strength of gentleness? The might of God's teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thoughts came neither from God's Son nor his Creator. Thus did they join their thoughts with Him Who is their Source. And so their will, which always was His own, is free to be itself.

• Joy

16 Joy is the inevitable result of gentleness. Gentleness means that fear is now impossible, and what could come to interfere with joy? The open hands of gentleness are always filled. The gentle have no pain. They cannot suffer. Why would they not be joyous? They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. God's teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way because God's Voice directs them in all things. Joy is their song of thanks. And Christ looks down on them in thanks as well. His need of them is just as great as theirs of Him. How joyous it is to share the purpose of salvation!

• Defenselessness

17 God's teachers have learned how to be simple. They have no dreams that need defense against the truth. They do not try to make themselves. Their joy comes from their understanding Who created them. And does what God created need defense? No one can become an advanced teacher of God until he fully understands that defenses are but the foolish guardians of mad illusions. The more grotesque the dream, the fiercer and more powerful its defenses seem to be. Yet when the teacher of God finally agrees to look past them, he finds nothing was there. Slowly at first, he lets himself be undeceived. But he learns faster as his trust increases. It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down. It is safety. It is peace. It is joy. And it is God.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 341
I can attack but my own
sinlessness, and it is only that
which keeps me safe.
Sarah's Commentary:
 
Notice how there are so few words now and each Lesson includes a prayer. It is a time of deep reflection, contemplation, reverence, quiet, and communion with God. It is the stillness before the birth of holiness. It is a time to experience gratitude that we are not alone and that we have a Guide to help us out of our nightmares and to help us open to the truth.
 
We start these next several Lessons by looking at, "What is a Miracle?" (W.PII.Q13) Basically, it is like forgiveness in that it is simply a correction. What it corrects are our wrong-minded perceptions based on the belief in sin, guilt, and fear that we hold in the mind. From this belief come all the thoughts that block happiness, peace, and joy.
 
The miracle does nothing. "It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13.1.3) That is all that is necessary---to recognize that what we are seeing is false, our interpretations are wrong, and our judgments mean nothing. The truth is that we are innocent and there is nothing but love or a call for love expressed in every moment. We do not have to do anything to become innocent because that is what we are. All that is required is to see that the false is false and bring it for Correction to the Holy Spirit.
 
The miracle helps us recognize that the world we see is a reflection of our internal dream of guilt; and when that is seen and released, we come to the happy dream. It is still a dream because it is still in time, but now we see with true perception through our right minds. The miracle shifts our perception from the wrong mind to the right mind, and now we perceive everything differently. The miracle corrects the thought system of the ego, which is based on our belief in sin, guilt, and fear.
 
When I react to anyone with anger, judgment, and condemnation, it is because I saw something "out there," I gave it meaning, and it triggered a reaction in me. What we see starts with self-judgment. We push out of awareness what we have condemned in ourselves. Now we project that quality onto others. What we have done is split off our own anger and hatred from awareness, and now we see it in others. When we are willing to take full responsibility for the anger and hatred within, it can be released. We can’t heal what we hide from ourselves. Everything starts in our own minds and is now seen on the screen of this world.
 
In order to heal, we need to see how we try to justify our anger, attacks, and defenses and recognize the way we are seeing is wrong. This is not a sin, but only a mistake. With willingness, we can now choose to release our misperceptions to the Holy Spirit. We can choose to see love or a call for love from our brothers instead of attacking them for their mistakes. When we are willing to make this choice, we experience the healing of our self-judgments. It is a Correction. It is to accept the Atonement for ourselves. The error of our thinking has been undone by the Holy Spirit, which is the function of the miracle.
 
The ego will never undo itself, meaning we must not try to fix ourselves or change ourselves. We need help from outside of the closed loop of the matrix, which is why we need to turn to the Holy Spirit. We need help to step outside of the dream so we can look upon the devastation of the world and recognize that what we are seeing is not the truth. When we look at the movie of our life from above the battleground, we recognize that we are the dreamer of this dream and not the character in the dream. Each time we are willing to look gently at our thoughts and take responsibility for them as ours, rather than putting responsibility for them outside of our own mind, we can see that there is always another way of seeing. Thus, the miracle "paves the way for the return of timelessness and love's awakening, for fear must slip away under the gentle remedy it brings." (W.PII.Q13.1.6)
 
Each miracle that we experience builds a strong chain of healed perception until we no longer need time. Time was only made for the purpose of healing. Until we realize this, we waste time in distractions, pursuing idols that do not bring peace and happiness, but only bring more pain and suffering.
 
"A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one." (W.PII.Q13.2.1) In letting go of my false perception of my brother, I receive the same gift for myself. We are One. "And thus it illustrates the law of truth the world does not obey, because it fails entirely to understand its ways." (W.PII.Q13.2.2) The law of truth is that the Source of everything is God's Love, whereas our thinking is reversed. We think the source of suffering is outside our mind. We see ourselves as the effect of events outside of us that we believe cause us to feel as we do. Our experience is that problems and issues seem to be coming at us from the world. Thus, we have come to believe the world determines our reactions. In other words, we have reversed cause and effect.
 
In every situation, we either choose the ego or the Holy Spirit as our guide to perception, and which one we choose will determine how we see everything that seems to happen to us. No wonder Jesus says that when we start on this path, everything is turned upside down. "A miracle inverts perception which was upside down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest." (W.PII.Q13.2.3) With this shift, everything is given a different interpretation. It can seem quite disorienting for a time. The mind becomes confused and nothing is as it was before. All that has happened is that the mind has been made ready for the truth because there has been a recognition that we have been wrong about everything. "Now is perception open to the truth." (W.PII.Q13.2.4)
 
Forgiveness is what makes miracles possible. What was made to curse can now become a blessing because it serves a different purpose. I find that watching movies where there is a tendency to judge characters as right and wrong, good and bad, is helpful in mind-watching. Recently, I watched the movie, Fair Game , which illustrated this very well. It was a movie based on real events surrounding the Iraqi war. Watching this movie from above the battleground with Holy Spirit helped me to look at the characters from a different perspective. It is all being played out on the screen for us so we can look at our judgments in the safety of the theater. What character do we identify with? What brings up fear and judgment in us? It can all be used for healing.
 
"The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand." (W.PII.Q13.4.1) Jesus makes it clear that it all starts with faith, where we are willing to look at the possibility that what he tells us is true and how we perceive from the wrong mind is false. Our minds are so conditioned to believe in the reality of the world and that we are victims of events outside of ourselves that we can't possibly understand the power of this reversal until we experience it. We still don't understand the possibilities that he holds out to us. By helping us to see where our wrong-minded thought system has taken us and how the ego has set it all up, we can choose against it. And as we do, our perception is shifted.
 
The most important thing for us to recognize is that our happiness need not rest on anything outside of our own minds. It does not matter what the external circumstances are. The foundation on which we stand is now firmer ground because we no longer see ourselves entirely as the dream figures in the drama of our lives. We are learning to bring every perceived problem back into the mind where the power is. This is the only way real change can come about. Do we want a day of miracles, trust, joy, holy encounters, deep and abiding peace, silence, acceptance, and love? If so, such a day is available when our mind is changed through the power of the miracle. "Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from what you thought was there." (W.PII.Q13.4.2-3)
 
"Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. Now they have water. Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up, to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality." (W.PII.Q13.5.1-4) Jesus is talking to us about this world. This is a world of death rather than immortal life. It will all end, but we do not. Yes, the body will go, but our reality is not a body. Miracles take us back to where we never left. We come to the realization that we are the Christ.
 
The prayer in this Lesson reminds us of who we are outside of this dream. "You are wholly lovely. A perfect shaft of pure light. Before your loveliness the stars stand transfixed, and bow to the power of your will." (URTEXT.1B.30w) "What your Father wills of you can never change. The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light, as innocent as love itself." (T.31.VI.7.3-4) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.67)
 
Jesus invites us to let go of our unconscious guilt that results in self-hatred. With it comes a feeling that we have done something wrong and, in fact, that we are wrong in who we are. This is expressed in self-attack, whereby we bring punishment into our lives and feel very vulnerable and insecure. When we are willing to bring all our blocks to the feet of Truth, we can become a spotless mirror of God's Love. Now the world reflects back to us what is in our mind. This reminds me of the Peace Pilgrim, who knew that wherever she went, she was safe. She no longer identified with her body and expected to be safe and supported in every situation. Her innocence drew to her a reflection of that innocence in everyone.
 
God promises us redemption, and we thank Him for that. His promise is certain because we are already redeemed. The truth is in us. We are no longer stuck in the world of illusion. We have a way out and a Guide to help us on every step of the way. There is no reason to be discouraged. Time is being used for its intended purpose. I know I am on the wrong track when I am impatient, worried, judgmental, or angry at someone. Instead of condemning myself, I ultimately come to see that there is a lesson here that God would have me learn. The lesson is to forgive so I can see the situation differently. When I am willing to see how wrong I am and step back and let Him show me another way of seeing, I recognize that this situation was perfect for the
undoing of my wrong perception. It was there to show me how I feel when I judge and how freeing it is to let it all go. Our relationships become powerful teachers. Yes, they can be difficult until we learn the lesson that the relationship offers us. The miracle shows me that truth can always look on devastation and see that there is nothing real about it, and for that, I am grateful.
 
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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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