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Sarah's Reflections
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A Course in Miracles is a self-study course.
In the beginning it tells us, "This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean
you can establish the curric...

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

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A Course in Miracles throughout the world by our words, by our deeds, and by the example of our lives.

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ACIM Original Ed  

The Perceived Purpose of Sickness   

Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain. Who would choose suffering unless he thought it brought him something, and something of value to him? He must think it is a small price to pay for something of greater worth. For sickness is an election, a decision. It is the choice of weakness in the mistaken conviction that it is strength. When this occurs, real strength is seen as threat and health as danger. Sickness is a method, conceived in madness, for placing God's Son on his Father's throne. God is seen as outside, fierce and powerful, eager to keep all power for Himself. Only by His death can He be conquered by His Son.

What is a Miracle  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


What is 'Iambic Pentameter'? 

   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.


   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 fully justified.


   Forgiveness is the home of miracles.

   The eyes of Christ delivers 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 peace.


   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.


   Miracles fall like drops of healing rain

   from Heaven on a dry and dusty world,

   where starved and thirsty creatures came to die.

   Now have they 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.


   ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM    


ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  342
I let forgiveness rest upon all things,
For thus forgiveness will be given me.



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    I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save

    me from the hell I made. It is not real.

    And You have given me the means to prove

    its unreality to me. The key

    is in my hand, and I have reached the door

    beyond which lies the end of dreams. I stand

    before the gate of Heaven, wondering

    if I should enter in and be at home.

    Let me not wait again today. Let me

    forgive all things, and let creation be

    as You would have it be, and as it is.

    Let me remember that I am Your Son,

    and opening the door at last, forget

    illusions in the blazing Light of Truth,

    as memory of You returns to me.


   Brother, forgive me now. I come to you

   to take you home with me. And as we go,

   the world goes with us on the way to God.

    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM          


ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 342
I let forgiveness rest upon all things, for thus forgiveness will be given me.
Sarah's Commentary:

This lesson seems to capture the entire Course teaching. We live in a world that is not real. It is a dream that we have invested with meaning. Now we have been given the "means to prove its unreality," (W.342.1.3) but it is up to us. "The key is in my hand." (W.342.1.4) It is up to me to withdraw the meaning I have put on the world. No one will do this for me. I can't ask Jesus to take away my fear and my pain. I have to identify it, take complete and total responsibility for it, recognize that I am choosing it, and be willing to release it. I have to be willing to release my investment in my story. I have to be willing to give up my attachments, my values and my beliefs. I have to be willing to forgive. "Forgiveness is the key to happiness." (W.P.I. 121)
The interesting thing is that we are not seriously disturbed about being unhappy. Our desire is mostly to be right about the way we see things. We put a lot of value on our worldview and hold onto it tenaciously. To listen with an open mind, and take in what Jesus is telling us, means that everything we think and believe is wrong. No wonder we have resistance to this! Jesus says that it is really frightening for us to conceive of the fact that "I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself." (T.31.V.17.7)(ACIM OE T.31.V.60) We are wrong about every- thing that we believe, including who we think we are. This insults us and threatens our sense of what is real.
We accept reality as we have defined it and argue for our point of view. We don't want to see ourselves as responsible for our condition. We actually prefer to see ourselves as victims of circumstances. After all, we did not ask to be born...or did we? We justify our anger and frustration, pointing our finger at others. "If it wasn't for them," we claim, "I would be happy." That is the reason that, at a deeper level, we actually want to suffer and want to be betrayed so that we can make someone else responsible for our suffering. We happily suffer as long as we can assure ourselves that someone else is guilty for our condition. It seems worth it to us to pay that price.

Why? Because then we don't have to look at the fact that we made the choice for separation and specialness, which is the real cause of all of our pain. It is the choice we made for the ego. We have agreed to buy into the ego myth that we stole our existence from God and, with the horror of that belief in our minds, we agreed to escape into the body and the world. It is a place where the ego tells us we can hide from God and escape His wrath. This is not a conscious thought, but deep down we feel we have done something dreadfully wrong, and we don't know what it is. Jesus is pointing out to us that we are still innocent and have done nothing wrong, so we can withdraw our investment in this belief anytime we choose because it is not the truth. The difficulty for us is that to withdraw our belief in the ego is to withdraw our investment in our separate self and in the world.

This is what forgiveness is about. It is about letting go of our wrong-minded thinking. It is to let go of our belief that something real is happening that is the cause of our pain. "Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred." (W.PII.Q1.1.1) This can only make sense if the world is illusion because, clearly in the dream, it seems that something real has been done. But Jesus assures us that nothing real has happened because it is just a dream. Now we can look at everything that seems to happen to us as an opportunity to turn our judgments over to be transformed by the miracle. "It [the miracle] merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13.1.3) Happiness can only come to us when we are willing to let go of our stories, which means letting go of being right about how we see things.
When someone says or does something that seems to take away my peace, I need to recognize that peace is a condition in me and no one can take it away. Loss of peace is a choice that I make over and over again as challenging situations come up. I can simply allow my right mind, symbolized by the Holy Spirit, to help me to choose not to blame anyone for that loss of peace. And I can know their innocence, which is the only way I will know my own innocence. This lesson reminds us that what we give we receive.

Interestingly enough, we went to see the movie about Nelson Mandela's life, "Long Walk to Freedom", on the day that he died. He was an example of forgiveness, love, and reconciliation in the face of dreadful circumstances, spending 27 years in jail. As I watched the movie, I noticed how everyone played their part so perfectly to come to the place of joining. Mandela's influence was based entirely on the power of love to inspire and to heal. I thought of my day and the irritants that had shown up and recognized Jesus' message that we are all here to teach only love, for that is what we are. All attack is a call for peace. If we see attacks on us in any other way then we are using them as weapons for assault. He did not see his own crucifixion in this way and neither did Nelson Mandela. Such beautiful symbols for us of what is possible in our own lives. "Yet the instant you waken you realize that everything that seemed to happen in the dream did not happen at all." (T.10.I.2.4)(ACIM OE T.9.VIII .65)

On our own, we do not know how to respond to any situation that arises. When we think we know, we are responding with the ego as the teacher. We are now being asked to resign as our own teacher, acknowledge that we don't know and, if we step back and allow Him to lead the way, the answer will come. That is what Jesus means when he asks us not to make decisions by ourselves. On our own we will always be wrong. The ego speaks first, meaning that our first thoughts about how to respond are ego-driven. When we ask to see another way, we make space for guidance. This simply requires us to be willing to let go of our way and be open to receiving a new perception. "Learning of Christ is easy, for to perceive with Him involves no strain at all. His perceptions are your natural awareness, and it is only the distortions you introduce that tire you." (T.II.VI.3.7-8)(ACIM OE T.10.VII.61) I find that, for guidance to come, I must take time to step away from a difficult situation rather than reacting to it. When I take the time to be still and do nothing, the answer always comes. And the answer is always---when I forgive, I will see every situation differently. Then an insight can show up that would not be there if I rely on my own thinking. Life is now lived in a state of inspiration rather than trying to figure things out on our own. When I get out of the way, by giving over my interpretations and judgments, then the channels are cleared for His Love to come through.

Each time we are willing to recognize that all of our sense of lack and deprivation is a choice we make in our own minds and is not caused by anything outside of our minds, we choose with the Holy Spirit instead of the ego and thus we experience more love in our lives. This is not dependent on the things that are going on in our external circumstances as Nelson Mandela illustrated so beautifully. The good news is that if our own minds are the source of all of our unhappiness, so too is it the source of all of our happiness. It is all our own choice and both thought systems are in us to choose between. The script is written and it is the script that we chose. Now in each situation and every decision we make in our script, we choose Heaven or hell. We choose to judge or to extend love.

"Let me forgive all things, and let creation be as You would have it be and as it is. Let me remember that I am Your Son, and opening the door at last, forget illusions in the blazing light of truth, as memory of You returns to me."

Love and blessings, Sarah 


5. How is Healing Accomplished?  

1 Healing involves an understanding of what the illusion of sickness is for. Healing is impossible without this.   

The Perceived Purpose of Sickness

2 Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain. Who would choose suffering unless he thought it brought him something, and something of value to him? He must think it is a small price to pay for something of greater worth. For sickness is an election, a decision. It is the choice of weakness in the mistaken conviction that it is strength. When this occurs, real strength is seen as threat and health as danger. Sickness is a method, conceived in madness, for placing God's Son on his Father's throne. God is seen as outside, fierce and powerful, eager to keep all power for Himself. Only by His death can He be conquered by His Son.


3 And what, in this insane conviction, does healing stand for? It symbolizes the defeat of God's Son and the triumph of his Father over him. It represents the ultimate defiance in a direct form which the Son of God is forced to recognize. It stands for all that he would hide from himself to protect his life. If he is healed, he is responsible for his thoughts. And if he is responsible for his thoughts, he will be killed to prove to him how weak and pitiful he is. But if he chooses death himself, his weakness is his strength. Now has he given himself what God would give to him and thus entirely usurped the throne of his Creator.


The Shift in Perception

4 Healing must occur in exact proportion in which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. One need but say, "There is no gain to me at all in this," and he is healed. But to say this one must first recognize certain facts. First, it is obvious that decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it. The resistance to recognizing this is enormous because the existence of the world as we perceive it depends on the body being the decision-maker. Terms like "instincts," "reflexes" and the like represent attempts to endow the body with non-mental motivators. Actually, such terms merely state or describe the problem. They do not answer it.


5 The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind for a purpose for which it would use the body is the basis of healing. And this is so for healing in all forms. A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers. If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed. Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself. The outcome is what he decides that it is. Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. He chooses them to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. They are not actually needed at all. The patient could merely rise up without their aid and say, "I have no use for this." There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.


6 What is the single requisite for this shift in perception? It is simply this: the recognition that sickness is of the mind and has nothing to do with the body. What does this recognition "cost"? It costs the whole world we see, for the world will never again appear to rule the mind. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs-not with the world but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not. He looks on what he chooses to see. No more and no less. The world does nothing to him. He only thought it did. Nor does he do anything to the world because he was mistaken about what it was. Herein is the release from guilt and sickness both, for they are one. Yet to accept this release, the insignificance of the body must be an acceptable idea.


7 With this idea is pain forever gone. But with this idea goes also all confusion about creation. Does not this follow of necessity? Place cause and effect in their true sequence in one respect, and the learning will generalize and transform the world. The transfer value of one true idea has no end nor limit. The final outcome of this lesson is the remembrance of God. What do guilt and sickness, pain, disaster, and all suffering mean now? Having no purpose, they are gone. And with them also go all the effects they seemed to cause. Cause and effect but replicate creation. Seen in their proper perspective, without distortion and without fear, they re-establish Heaven.

The Function of the Teacher of God

8 If the patient must change his mind in order to be healed, what does the teacher of God do? Can he change the patient's mind for him? Certainly not. For those already willing to change their mind he has no function except to rejoice with them, for they have become teachers of God with him. He has, however, a more specific function for those who do not understand what healing is. These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness. On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them. Nor are they open-minded on this point. The body tells them what to do, and they obey. They have no idea how insane this concept is. If they even suspected it, they would be healed. Yet they suspect nothing. To them the separation is quite real.


9 To them God's teachers come to represent another choice which they had forgotten. The simple presence of a teacher of God is a reminder. His thoughts ask for the right to question what the patient has accepted is true. As God's messengers, His teachers are the symbols of salvation. They ask the patient for forgiveness for God's Son in his own name. They stand for the alternative. With God's Word in their minds they come in benediction, not to heal the sick but to remind them of the remedy God has already given them. It is not their hands that heal. It is not their voice that speaks the Word of God. They merely give what has been given them. Very gently they call to their brothers to turn away from death. Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you. Would you choose sickness in place of this?


10 Not once do the advanced teachers of God consider the forms of sickness in which their brother believes. To do this is to forget that all of them have the same purpose and therefore are not really different. They seek for God's Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God's Son can suffer. And they remind him that he has not made himself and must remain as God created him. They recognize illusions can have no effect. The truth in their minds reaches out to the truth in the minds of their brothers, so that illusions are not reinforced. They are thus brought to truth, and truth is not brought to them. So are they dispelled, not by the will of another but by the union of the One Will with itself. And this is the function of God's teachers-to see no will as separate from their own, nor theirs as separate from God's.



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