Lesson 343
ACIM Original Edition

4 One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such, it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift, and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God's teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him. 
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What is a Miracle

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

   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  
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 343
I am not asked to make a sacrifice
To find the mercy and the peace of God.

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 

    The end of suffering can not be loss.
    The gift of everything can but be gain.
    You only give. You never take away.
    And You created me to be like You,
    so sacrifice becomes impossible
    for me as well as You. I, too, must give,
    and so all things are given unto me
    forever and forever. As I was
    created, I remain. Your Son can make
    no sacrifice, for he must be complete,
    having the function of completing You.
    I am complete because I am Your Son.
    I cannot lose, for I can only give,
    and everything is mine eternally.
   The mercy and the peace of God is free.
   Salvation has no cost. It is a gift
   that must be freely given and received.
   And it is this that we would learn today.
     ~ Original Handscript of ACIM 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
  I am not asked to make a sacrifice
To find the mercy and the peace of God

Sarah's Commentary:

Christmas is fast approaching and so is the end of this year of Lessons. It has been wonderful to witness the release of fear and hear of the miracles, the holy instants, the increased recognition of true peace, and the growing awareness we are all experiencing. With each miracle that shows up for anyone, we are all blessed as One Self. "The new beginning now becomes the focus of the curriculum. The goal is clear, but now you need specific methods for attaining it. The speed by which it can be reached depends on this one thing alone; your willingness to practice every step. Each one will help a little, every time it is attempted. And together will these steps lead you from dreams of judgment to forgiving dreams and out of pain and fear. They are not new to you, but they are more ideas than rules of thought to you as yet. So now we need to practice them awhile, until they are the rules by which you live. We seek to make them habits now, so you will have them ready for whatever need." (T.30.IN.1-8) (ACIM OE T.30.I.1)
While there is still fear and resistance as we approach the threshold of the gate to Heaven, there is also growing confidence and trust. What is the fear about? This Lesson speaks about fear of loss and the belief we hold that we will have to sacrifice our own self-interests and desires for the peace of God. Jesus assures us that God has given us everything and never takes anything away. He is everything, as are we, and thus, there is nothing to be sacrificed except suffering and the lack that is part of the human condition. If He can only give and never take away, sacrifice cannot be required. Yet to us, there is fear that God will take something from us when we decide for Him, and thus we fear we will lose what we value.
" It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give. What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?" (M.13.2.1-2)
" God's teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children's toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughterhouse?" (M.13.4.1-3)
He goes on to say that what we are sacrificing when we choose the ego is all our peace and our freedom, our hope of Heaven, and remembrance of God's Love. "Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?" (M.13.4.10)
We believe that to receive we must pay in some way, and then we will suffer. We think we will have to sacrifice perceived pleasures. What we increasingly have come to realize is that these perceived pleasures are the source of pain in our lives. The only real joy is to connect to the truth of what we are. When we experience the connection to the Divine within, nothing can substitute for the joy of that experience. Jesus wants us to recognize that we have already given up what has infinite value, which is our eternal Self. Of course, it is not something that is possible for us to give up, but we become unaware of our reality when we chose to separate and follow the dictates of the ego.
Jesus is helping us to see that when we look at the world through his eyes from above the battleground, we see the world for what it is, ". . . a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die." (W.PII.Q13.5.1) We blame God for the suffering that we experience in the world where we all eventually die. We cry out to Him as if He were responsible for our condition. We cry out to Him asking why He is putting us through this suffering. We believe He has something to do with it, like a giant puppeteer in the sky, pulling our strings and bringing us hard lessons for our own good; but Jesus reminds us that it is our choice to be here and everything that seems to happen to us is by our own request. We have set up the drama of our existence here. When we are ready to return to sanity and to know our true Self, it is our choice to make. This is generally when we come to a place of disillusionment finding that nothing in this world works to bring us a sense of deep contentment. "An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit." (T.2.III.3.4-5) (ACIM OE T.2.II.48)We have been given the help we need from outside our own limited thinking to release our imprisoned will. We have been shown the means for undoing all that brings us pain.
Forgiveness and miracles pave the way for the Atonement. God has not put us here. We made the decision to separate, and then we promptly forgot we had anything to do with it, and instead, we blamed God for abandoning us to this world of pain and suffering. Yet He offers us only blessings. He only gives. In the world, we think God gives but takes away. We say that when we die He takes us home. We think resurrection comes through death. We think He is the One that chooses who will continue to live and who will die. We believe life ends when we die, and now we must pay for what we took from Him. We see this as part of the Last Judgment and as a terrifying process rather than the blessing, which it is.
To the world, Jesus was seen to have sacrificed his body for everlasting life. Thus, we see everything that comes from God as requiring some kind of sacrifice. Yet, again and again, we are assured that when we ". . . decide for God, everything is given at no cost at all. Decide against Him and you choose nothing at the expense of the awareness of everything." (M.13.8.2-3) When we attack a brother, we have denied our holiness and no longer feel safe.
There is no death, only eternal life. "Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem. Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality and dying in the end? " (M. 27.1.1-2) Yet that is how we think. Now we are called to raise it to question. We take it all as the Will of God, but Jesus tells us that no loving Creator would will this. We are called to exhume from our minds all the false notions we hold of who God is and who we are. We can only do that when we investigate our deeply held beliefs and fears. To think of God holding our ". . . little life in his hand but by a thread, ready to break it off without regret or care, perhaps today," (M.27.2.3) is to fear Him.
This Lesson tells us we have not changed ourselves. "As I was created I remain." (W.343.1.8) Because we have the same characteristics as God since we are an extension of Him, we simply can't lose what we have been given. We cannot be incomplete because God is complete. When we feel less than whole, innocent, and peaceful, we know we are listening to untrue thoughts and holding beliefs that are false. Jesus tells us, "Sacrifice is a notion totally unknown to God. It arises solely from fear, and frightened people can be vicious. Sacrificing in any way is a violation of my injunction that you should be merciful even as your Father in Heaven is merciful." (T.3.I.4.1-3) (ACIM OE T.3.III.21)
Nelson Mandela recognized this when he said how fearful were his enemies. He saw that in their fear, they could do nothing but defend and attack. He called for mercy and in return, through the reconciliation commission, mercy was given. It was all about healing the past. When the past is healed, "Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die." (W.PII.Q13.5.1) We are called daily to release our judgments and offer mercy to our brothers so we can know ourselves. This is not a sacrifice but a gift we give ourselves.
We believe we have to suffer when we have made mistakes in our lives and hurt someone, but the miracle ". . . looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13.1.3) When we have wronged someone, we believe that we have to do penance rather than choose forgiveness. Don't we demand of ourselves long periods of suffering in order to be sufficiently remorseful? Or, if someone has hurt us, don't we want them to suffer to atone for the sin they have committed against us? Yet this Lesson tells us, "Salvation has no cost," (W.343.2.2) which means that mercy and peace are immediately available. Nothing more is required of us than to accept the Atonement for ourselves; this is to remember who we are. Salvation has no cost. There is nothing to pay. It is not to be reserved for those who are special or deserving. Love is not specific. Love is giving all to all. It is universal. It is indifferent. It shines on everyone. No one is more special than anyone else. We are all innocent. We can all choose our innocence now.
Let us today be willing to look at our mistakes as mistakes and be merciful to ourselves and to others. Simply through our Being, we are to be the purveyors of peace in the world. We do this in our willingness to be a communication device for the Holy Spirit so His light can shine through us. God makes no demands of us. He only gives. When we crucify ourselves for our anger, our mistakes, our grievances, our losses, or crucify others for theirs, we keep ourselves in hell. God waits on our decision to take ourselves and others off the cross. He welcomes us to come home and remember our true identity. There is no cost. There is no sacrifice. There is no demand for penance of any kind. What I give to you, I receive for myself. What a gift! Now, we just need to recognize that our desire will return us home. We must release our fear of what we believe will be demanded of us by the wrathful image of the god we made up. This god was made by the ego to keep us in a state of sacrifice and fear. It is a god that gives life and takes it away. It is a god the ego says is justified in taking back the life we stole from Him. It is not the loving God, Who has given us all things and holds us safe in His embrace, forever and ever.

Love and blessings, Sarah
ACIM Original Edition
#6. Is Healing Certain?

1 Healing is always certain. It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusions. Truth demonstrates illusions have no value. The teacher of God has seen the correction of his errors in the mind of the patient, recognizing it for what it is. Having accepted the Atonement for himself, he has also accepted it for the patient. Yet what if the patient uses sickness as a way of life, believing healing is the way to death? When this is so, a sudden healing might precipitate intense depression, and a sense of loss so deep that the patient might even try to destroy himself. Having nothing to live for, he may ask for death. Healing must wait, for his protection.
2 Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat. The instant it is welcome it is there. Where healing has been given, it will be received. And what is time before the gifts of God? We have referred many times in the text to the storehouse of treasures laid up equally for the giver and the receiver of God's gifts. Not one is lost, for they can but increase. No teacher of God should feel disappointed if he has offered healing and it does not appear to have been received. It is not up to him to judge when his gift should be accepted. Let him be certain it has been received and trust that it will be accepted when it is recognized as a blessing and not a curse.
3 It is not the function of God's teachers to evaluate the outcome of their gifts. It is merely their function to give them. Once they have done that, they have also given the outcome, for that is part of the gift. No one can give if he is concerned with the result of the giving. That is a limitation on the giving itself, and neither the giver nor the receiver would have the gift. Trust is an essential part of giving; in fact, it is the part that makes sharing possible, the part that guarantees the giver will not lose but only gain. Who gives a gift and then remains with it to be sure it is used as the giver deems appropriate? Such is not giving but imprisoning.
4 It is the relinquishing of all concern about the gift that makes it truly given. And it is trust that makes true giving possible. Healing is the change of mind that the Holy Spirit in the patient's mind is seeking for him. And it is the Holy Spirit in the mind of the giver Who gives the gift to Him. How can it be lost? How can it be ineffectual? How can it be wasted? God's treasure house can never be empty. And if one gift were missing, it would not be full. Yet is its fullness guaranteed by God. What concern, then, can a teacher of God have about what becomes of his gifts? Given by God to God, who in this holy exchange can receive less than everything?

#7. Should Healing Be Repeated?   

1 This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing. It is now the teacher of God himself whose mind needs to be healed. And it is this he must facilitate. He is now the patient, and he must so regard himself. He has made a mistake and must be willing to change his mind about it. He lacked the trust that makes for giving truly, and so he has not received the benefit of his gift.
2 Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing, he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. Now the teacher of God has only one course to follow. He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail, and recognize that his own uncertainty is not love but fear and therefore hate. His position has thus become untenable, for he is offering hate to one to whom he offered love. This is impossible. Having offered love, only love can be received.
3 It is in this that the teacher of God must trust. This is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do. By accepting healing, he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognize it for what it is and let it be corrected for him.
4 One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such, it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift, and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God's teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him.
5 The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God's Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted. This illusion can take many forms. Perhaps there is a fear of weakness and vulnerability. Perhaps there is a fear of failure and shame associated with a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps there is a guilty embarrassment stemming from false humility. The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.
6 The mistake is always some form of concern with the self to the exclusion of the patient. It is a failure to recognize him as part of the self and thus represents a confusion in identity. Conflict about what you are has entered your mind, and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.

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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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