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What is a Miracle?
Daily Lesson 345
Sarah's Reflections
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Course in Miracles Society (CIMS) is an international group of Course students and teachers organized to discover, authenticate and propagate the Divine Teachings of A Course in Miracles.

 

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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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MANUAL FOR TEACHERS  
10. HOW IS JUDGMENT RELINQUISHED?      

"Good judgment" in these terms does not mean anything. No more does "bad." It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he merely gives up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. And this judgment is neither "good" nor "bad." It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: "God's Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist."

WHAT IS A MIRACLE?
What is a Miracle  
<AUDIO><VIDEO> 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*

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    


DAILY LESSON

ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  345
I offer only miracles today,
For I would have them returned to me.

 

<AUDIO> 

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    Father, a miracle reflects Your gifts

    to me, Your Son. And every one I give

    returns to me, reminding me the law

    of love is universal. Even here

    it takes a form which can be recognized,

    and seen to work. The miracles I give

    are given back in just the form I need

    to help me with the problems I perceive.

    Father, in Heaven it is different,

    for there there are no needs. But here on earth

    the miracle is closer to Your gifts

    than any other gift that I can give.

    Then let me give this gift alone today,

    which, born of true forgiveness, lights the way

    that I must travel to remember You.

 

   Peace to all seeking hearts today. The light

   has come, to offer miracles to bless

   the tired world. It will find rest today,

   for we will offer what we have received.

                        
    ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM          

            

ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 345
I offer only miracles today,
For I would have them be returned to me.
 
Sarah's Commentary:

All the lessons in this part of the workbook are prayers. This is a beautiful prayer as a reminder to ourselves to try to remember the importance of this law of love, that what we give returns to us. Knowing this, we are motivated to apply this lesson in our lives all through the day. In this lesson we are reminded to see everything that seems to be happening as an opportunity to have the hateful judgments of the ego transformed through forgiveness. Thus, it is the undoing of the wrong-minded thinking where we think we can benefit at someone's expense.

I have heard people say that we should not judge and that is true, but to the ego, judgment is oxygen. It is what keeps the ego going since judgments are being made all of the time. That is not really the problem. If we see it as a problem, we will crucify ourselves for our judgments. The only problem is when we refuse to take our judgments to the miracle. It is only when we won't look at our judgments with objectivity and take responsibility for the fact that we have made judgments that it becomes a problem that hampers our healing.

The miracle shifts our perception from the wrong mind to the right mind. This means that we recognize that external events and circumstances are not the source of our happiness. Our loss of peace is caused only by our wrong-minded choice to judge and to hold grievances. The Holy Spirit reflects the part of the mind that remembers that we are One with our Father. When we are willing to look at the ego by taking our judgments and projections back into our own minds, this will start the healing process. Now, instead of seeing the sin in our brother, we take responsibility for our interpretations and recognize that we are wrong about our judgments. Our willingness to have our misperceptions brought to correction opens up the way for us to experience the miracle. The miracle brings correction to the wrong-minded ego thought system.

What this means to us practically is that, when we are seeing any brother as guilty, we choose to withdraw the blame that we are putting on him and acknowledge that we are not seeing him as he is. Now we have an opportunity to see what is unhealed in us that has been drawn forth through this relationship. All it takes is the willingness to acknowledge that we have been mistaken. Any lack of peace that we experience is as a result of the choice that we first made in the mind to listen to the ego. It is a decision for separation. To forgive anyone means to release them of responsibility for our state of mind and for our experience in the dream. We remind ourselves that if we don't have peace, it is because we have chosen to throw it away and hold our brother responsible. Now we learn to "Be willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do." (T.17.III.1.5)(ACIM OE T.17.IV.14).
 
We are not asked to deny that others may do hurtful things to us, but we are asked to accept responsibility for the choice we have made to see the cause of our feelings of hurt and betrayal as coming from outside of our own minds. It does appear to come from others' behavior toward us. That is what the conditioned mind believes because it believes that the dream is real and we are its effect. The recognition that we are responsible for the choice we make in our own minds is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves and for others because this is the birthplace of miracles. It is the recognition that if we are hurt by what someone has said or done, it is because we have interpreted their behavior as attacking instead of a call for love and understanding. When we see that it is just our own call, we will be motivated to heal our minds, and with healing comes joining with our brothers, which is a reflection of God's Love in this world.

Acknowledging that we are all the same means that what we do to another we are actually doing to ourselves. Whether we listen to the ego's lie of separation or to the Holy Spirit's message that we are one with our Father, this provides us with a choice that we make for Heaven or hell in every instant. It is a choice to forgive and experience the miracle or to hold onto our grievances, maintain our victimhood and withhold our love. There are many ways that we withhold love. It is important that we begin to notice how we withhold love from others. To do so requires a great deal of honesty and introspection as we don't like to admit that we actually protect ourselves and try to gain at the expense of others.

Think of the ways that you are withholding love from some. It is made visible to you by looking at the symbols that we attach to love. It may be in the form of withholding money, diminishing or delaying paying to someone whom you perceive has hurt you, withholding sex from your partner, reneging on an agreement, being consistently late, withholding sharing your feelings of hurt, withholding praise from someone deserving, withdrawing from others in a relationship, or bargaining to get what you want. We perceive that we are being protected by these strategies, yet they only hurt us and keep us from the love that we say we desire. We are always the ones that lose as we end up hurting ourselves.

When we are willing to investigate how we withhold love and to practice bringing our mistaken perceptions to the Holy Spirit, space is made for His love to come shining through us. Forgiveness is the reflection of God's gift of love to us. It is simply undoing our wrong-minded strategies for protecting ourselves from what we most desire.

We can't fix ourselves, but we can choose to take the necessary steps to bring our unforgiving thoughts to the light of truth that is within. Then we leave it with Him. Trust that the healing will come when we are ready to experience it. It is a process where the whole thought system of the ego is reversed, meaning that everything we have held to be true in this world of form, is understood as false. It is no more true than our experience in the nighttime dream state. And thus we come to see that we are not a character in the dream, but dreamer of the dream. When we see this, then we demonstrate to our brothers that their attacks have no effect on us. We no longer have the experience of feeling victimized by anyone regardless of their behavior in the dream.

"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.11.VI.3.7-8)(ACIM OE T.10.VII.61). The only "effort" we are asked to put forth is a "little willingness" to question our interpretations of everything. It is enough to introduce a slight suspicion that we may be wrong in our belief that we are separate from our Source and from each other: "Salvation, perfect and complete, asks but a little wish that what is true be true; a little willingness to overlook what is not there; a little sigh that speaks for Heaven as a preference to this world that death and desolation seem to rule." (T.26.VII.10.1)(ACIM OE T.26.VIII.56) Each time we make this little effort, our belief in the ego's thought system lessens and our fear of the Holy Spirit's loving perception diminishes. This is the miracle we offer to each brother and thus we receive it for ourselves in a form that will be of help to us. "The miracles I give are given back in just the form I need to help me with the problems I perceive." (W.345.1.4)
   
Thus what is meant by a miracle is a correction of our projections. It is a Course in Miracles because it is a Course in learning to change our minds from thinking with the ego to thinking with the Holy Spirit. It is a process of undoing the ego by learning a new perspective that reverses the ego's view on everything and everyone. The ego tells us we are bodies, separate from God and from each other, subject to change by external forces. The Holy Spirit tells us we are minds, one with our Father and with each other, subject to change only by the power of the mind to choose. We accept miracles for ourselves to the extent that we accept this teaching and apply it to all events, situations, and experiences in our lives. We offer miracles to others as we recognize the same power of their minds to choose. As Jesus tells us in the text, "The miracle extends without your help, but you are needed that it can begin. Accept the miracle of healing, and it will go forth because of what it is. It is its nature to extend itself the instant it is born. And it is born the instant it is offered and received. No one can ask another to be healed. But he can let himself be healed, and thus offer the other what he has received." (T.27.V.1.2-7)(ACIM OE T.27.VI.44)
 
A miracle has nothing to do with anything external. Miracles pertain only to what is going on in our own minds. In that sense, they are not at all what traditional religious systems have thought of as miracles. Traditionally, conditions in the body and the world have been viewed as the problem and therefore miracles, simply put, were viewed as the healing or removal of those conditions, usually through some kind of divine or supernatural intervention. A Course in Miracles, on the other hand, teaches that the body and the world are projections of thoughts in our minds: "It [the world you see] is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." (T.21.in.1.5-7)(ACIM OE T.21.I.1). If you could really accept that the world is merely a projection of a thought system of sin and guilt in your mind, you would realize that trying to alter things in the world or the body is ultimately futile, and that changing your mind about the reality of sin and guilt is truly healing. That is why the workbook states, "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." (W.PII.13.1.1-3). It thus corrects our thinking, which may be reflected in a change in the condition in the world or the body, but this is ultimately not what is important.
  
We are not asked to just blithely dismiss our perceptions of the world as simply illusion. Rather, we are to look at the devastation in our lives or things in the world and bring our perceptions to the loving presence of the Holy Spirit in our minds. There, in our choosing to join with that reflection of truth, we will remember that what we are perceiving is but the content of a dream, not reality. "The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and that its content is not true." (T.28.II.7.1)(ACIM OE T.28.VIII.22) To dismiss everything as just an illusion is to fail to recognize that while we still believe in what we are seeing and experiencing, healing is necessary.
 
This takes a lot of practice, which is why we have a workbook with 365 lessons, at the end of which Jesus tells us that we are just at the beginning stages of this process of thought-reversal. The entire Course is about this. Our thinking right now is the reverse of what the truth is. We think that what we are seeing is true. What we are so used to thinking about as the cause of our distress is really just showing us the effect of our own thoughts. A miracle occurs when we remember and accept, for just an instant, that the cause of our lack of peace, sickness, deprivation, etc., is not something of the body or the world, but rather a choice we are making in our minds to identify with the thought system of separation, sin, guilt, and fear. "The miracle is the first step in giving back to cause the function of causation, not effect." (T.28.II.9.3)(ACIM OE T.28.VIII.24)
 
A miracle occurs when we do not take another's attack personally, recognizing instead that we all share the same needs and goals. We all share the same insanity of the ego, and we all share the same sanity of Christ's vision. It requires stepping back for just an instant from our usual reactions. It requires being quiet when we are tempted to say something reactive in the moment. It requires that we keep asking how to see the situation and how to respond with love instead of attack.

Miracles occur as frequently as our willingness makes space for them. They come in the form we need, based on our own individual experiences, and in the context of our unique special relationships. Indeed the parking space may show up in answer to a need we have and we see it as a miracle. "The miracles I give are given back in just the form I need to help me with the problems I perceive." (W345.1.4)
 
"The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit's particular care and guidance." (M.29.2.6) "If you but knew the glorious goal that lies beyond forgiveness, you would not keep hold on any thought, however light the touch of evil on it may appear to be." (T.29.V.6.1)(ACIM OE T.29.VI.35) We are called to be highly vigilant and discerning of our hateful and unloving thoughts and actions so that we won't tolerate even the slightest irritation. We are called to, instead, turn it over to the Holy Spirit so that the miracle can shine forth in our minds and extend to all those who cross our path or cross our minds. It is a gift to ourselves in freeing us from the imprisonment of the ego mind.
 

Love and blessings, Sarah 

huemmert@shaw.ca

10. How is judgment Relinquished?

1 Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom and substitutes for truth. As the world uses the term, an individual is capable of "good" and "bad" judgment, and his education aims at strengthening the former and minimizing the latter. There is, however, considerable confusion about what these categories mean. What is "good judgment" to one is "bad judgment" to another. Further, even the same person classifies the same action as showing "good" judgment at one time and "bad" judgment at another time. Nor can any consistent criteria for determining what these categories are be really taught. At any time, the student may disagree with what his would-be teacher says about them, and the teacher himself is inconsistent in what he believes.

 

2 "Good judgment" in these terms does not mean anything. No more does "bad." It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he merely gives up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. And this judgment is neither "good" nor "bad." It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: "God's Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist."

 

3 The aim of our curriculum, unlike the goal of the world's learning, is the recognition that judgment in the usual sense is impossible. This is not an opinion, but a fact. In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things, past, present, and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests, now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself?

 

4 Remember how many times you thought you knew all the "facts" you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were! Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong? Why would you choose such an arbitrary basis for decision-making? Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment. Make then but one more judgment. It is this-there is Someone with you Whose judgment is perfect. He does know all the facts, past, present, and to come. He does know all the effects of His judgment on everyone and everything involved in any way. And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception.

 

5 Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. He has given it away, along with judgment. He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he came to judge, he comes to bless. Where now he laughs, he used to come to weep.

 

6 It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he recognizes its cost. All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome. All of the pain he looks upon is its result. All of the loneliness and sense of loss, of passing time and growing hopelessness; of sickening despair and fear of death-all these have come of it. And now he knows that these things need not be. Not one is true. For he has given up their cause, and they, which never were but the effects of his mistaken choice, have fallen from him. Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want but this?


 

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