Lesson 348
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ACIM Original Edition
 A COURSE IN MIRACLES
   MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
#13. WHAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF SACRIFICE?
 
1 Although in truth the term sacrifice is altogether meaningless, it does have meaning in the world. Like all things in the world, its meaning is temporary and will ultimately fade into the nothingness from which it came when there is no more use for it. Now its real meaning is a lesson. Like all lessons, it is an illusion, for in reality there is nothing to learn. Yet this illusion must be replaced by a corrective device, another illusion that replaces the first, so both can finally disappear. The first illusion, which must be displaced before another thought system can take hold, is that it is a sacrifice to give up the things of this world. What could this be but an illusion, since this world itself is nothing more than that?   
     
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MANUAL #13, 1-8
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
WHAT IS A MIRACLE?
ACIM What is a Miracle
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*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  
 
 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 348
I have no cause for anger or for fear,
For You surround me. And in every need
That I perceive, Your grace suffices me. 
 
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    Father, let me remember You are here,
    and I am not alone. Surrounding me
    is Everlasting Love. I have no cause
    for anything except the perfect peace
    and joy I share with You. What need have I
    for anger or for fear? Surrounding me
    is perfect safety. Can I be afraid,
    when Your Eternal promise goes with me?
    Surrounding me is perfect sinlessness.
    What can I fear, when You created me
    in holiness as perfect as Your own?"
 
   God's grace suffices us in everything
   that He would have us do. And only that
   we choose to be our will as well as His
.
 
       ~ Original Handscript of ACIM
 
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 348
I have no cause for anger or for fear,
For You surround me. And in every need
That I perceive, Your grace suffices me.

  
Sarah's Commentary:  
 
We experience anger and fear and think that they are triggered by conditions outside of ourselves. Jesus tells us, this is not the case. Nothing outside of us is responsible for our condition, amazing as that may sound to us. The cause of our anger and fear emanates entirely from our own minds. The power is within us to bring our fear-based thoughts to the truth and thus experience the miracle. This is the healing power of forgiveness. What is required is that we surrender our ideas of who we are, what we currently believe is the cause of how we feel, and what we believe we need for our safety and well-being. All of what we think is currently true is actually not that way at all.
 
We see the world as cause, and we are its effects. We come to this world as dependent on those around us and feel victimized by situations over which we have no control. The fact is that we set it up so we could make others responsible for our condition. We develop defenses and strategies to protect ourselves from the slings and arrows of our world. Yet Jesus is a demonstration of the invulnerable Self we all are. God's Love surrounds us in every moment. When we don't experience the protection of that Love, we feel vulnerable and at the mercy of the world. What we do to protect ourselves is that we try to take control over our circumstances and look for substitutes that will take the place of God's Love. We look to those substitutes to surround us and protect us. We think that we know what we need to feel safe and protected.
 
Our identification with the body and the personality has taken us off course. The personal self becomes stressed by the changes going on around it. We lose a job, a spouse, or our home and, if we identify with the ego, we will feel distressed. Yet when we devote ourselves to going through the layers of protection that we have set up around the personal self, we come to see that these things do not define us. We are safe and protected in God's Love.
 
I was reading the Holy Spirit's Interpretation of the New Testament where it speaks beautifully of this. It is a rather long piece, but I will include it as I found it very helpful and hope you might see the relevance of it for yourself.
 
"When Jesus left his hometown, he went from village to village teaching the good news. He let his apostles ask many questions, always answering them to their full. When the time came that he knew they were ready, he sent them out, two by two, to fulfill the purpose for which he had gathered them, the spreading of the Word. He knew that it was through their own participation as teachers that they themselves would learn and see, and so he was very grateful for this plan of healing.
 
"Jesus gave the apostles instructions before sending them out. Mostly he wanted to emphasize the importance of trusting the Holy Spirit in all things.
 
"'You do not know,' he told them. 'Only the Holy Spirit knows, so trust His guidance within you. Do not think for yourself about what to do or say. Ask Him and listen in faith for His response. He shall lead you truly. It is His plan you are sent to carry out.
 
"'Do not look to your own effort for food or drink or shelter. Think only of the work He has sent you to do. All else will be offered through His Grace. When you go into a town, sleep where a bed is offered you, and be grateful for everything you are given. It comes from Him, that you may focus on His work.
 
"'The Word of the kingdom of God is for everyone, but everyone may not be ready for it. If you go into a town and they do not want to listen to the Word, give them your greetings of peace and leave that place. Hold no grievances against them. The time will come that they will listen. Shake the dust from your sandals and go joyously to the next place, always remembering that it is the Holy Spirit's plan you follow. You do not know.'"
 
This lesson is about choosing God's Will in everything, recognizing that we don't know what anything is for. We are called to see the power of His grace and the blessedness of the Guide available to us in our daily activity. Jesus reminds us, in the Manual for Teachers, "God turns to you for help to save the world. Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you. And all the world stands silent in the grace You bring from Him." (M.29.8.2-3) We are remembering our purpose and living in a state of trust where all our needs are met without our own effort.
 
When I experience fear, I am inclined to rely on my own resources. In my state of confusion, I don't know what to do. I try to rely on my own thinking to figure things out, even though I can never know with certainty if I am doing the right thing. Yesterday, I was referred to an Insurance Agent whom I had never met. My mind was spinning with fear thoughts around what to do to ensure a sound financial future for my family. I felt a lot of anxiety about the whole situation and asked for help to remember that my only need was to connect with the Love within. Miraculously, the conversation turned, and the agent asked me what I do. I briefly explained my work in writing and teaching, at which point he wanted to know more. Incredibly, our whole conversation went to the teaching of A Course in Miracles and his interest in it. I don't know what I will do about insurance, as there is no clear guidance at this point, but it became clear that the purpose of this encounter was not what I had thought. As we parted, I was guided to give him Gary Renard's book, Disappearance of the Universe. Following guidance and doing what the next step invites us to do in the moment erases all confusion from the mind.
 
I loved the movie, The Letters, about the life of Mother Theresa. What this movie illustrated, along with many other things, was the simple steps that she took in listening and following by doing what was in front of her to do. She had a big mission, but the steps to take in that mission were simple and clear when she did the obvious. Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and try to see the end of the process instead of just doing what is the next step right in front of us.
 
"Can I be afraid, when Your eternal promise goes with me? Surrounding me is perfect sinlessness. What can I fear, when You created me in holiness as perfect as Your Own?" (W.348.1.6-8) Fear thoughts are made by me. They are based on the concept of myself as separate and alone. When I hold onto these thoughts, I deny the perfect safety within. To know ourselves as the eternal Self is our only need. What then is there to fear? Our reality is eternal. I was watching the fear thoughts show up in my mind as I watched the movie, Lucy. As the movie begins, Lucy is captured by a gang and finds herself caught up in a ring of violent drug traffickers. I projected how I would feel in this situation. Fear is in the mind and movies such as this trigger what is already there. As the movie unfolds, through the process, Lucy gets in touch with her inner power and experiences a transformation of consciousness until all the fear is undone. I came to see that fear comes from the belief in the body because mind cannot die and is eternal beyond the realm of time and space. Thus, fear falls away as nothing in the world cannot affect the Self that we are. When we know who we are, "Nothing real can be threatened." (T.IN.2.2) (ACIM OE T.IN.4) We no longer see ourselves from the personal perspective of the small self, but from the higher perspective of awareness.
 
We are never on our own. If we think we are, it is only our own thoughts that frighten us. Our mind creates false stories. The truth is that we are supported in every moment by His Everlasting Love. It wraps us in Its warmth. Feel His benevolent support, always there in every moment of our lives. Trust it. Embrace it. Know the truth of it, which you can know when you bring to truth all the pockets of hidden guilt and fear in your mind. All else is taken care of without effort. Our only problem is that we don't completely believe this. Fortunately, belief is not required. It is only by doing the forgiveness work and applying the teaching to our lives that the truth is demonstrated. With each step we take, our trust in Him increases. He invites us to keep testing out the truth of these words. It is only through experience that we can learn---truth is true and nothing else is true.
 
Whatever the struggle is in your life today, remember "God's grace suffices us in everything that He would have us do." (W.348.2.1) His Love is enough. Will you choose to join your will with His? We do so whenever we remember to rely on Him in all things. There is nothing to defend against. Only then do we know there is no cause for anger or fear. Yet it requires that we step away from our own thoughts, rise above the battleground, and look from outside the dream. Now we see the world from another perspective and can laugh at the idea that it can hurt or harm us in any way. Yes, the figures in the dream can be hurt, but we are not these characters, playing out the roles we identify with. Yet we won't be convinced of this until we experience miracles and achieve vision in our lives.
 
Today, we set our intention to experience His grace in every need we perceive. We do so by remembering there is only one purpose for anger, judgments, and grievances---to keep God's love at bay and feed the ego instead. The ego's heaven is this world it made. The ego would have us believe that this is all there is. Until we know there is another choice to be made, we are imprisoned in the confines of the ego. To maintain the self we think we are, we hold onto anger and fear, which denies the fact that we are perfectly safe. Be willing today to look at all the choices you make throughout the day where God's Love is kept away and decide to choose against the ego.
 
Be willing to bring your attack thoughts and judgments to the Holy Spirit. Our part is not to fix the ego, nor to try to let it go, nor make ourselves spiritual. Our part is only to take responsibility for our attacks and bring them to the truth with sincerity and willingness to see how faulty our thinking is. Be a happy learner, not by judging yourself for your mistakes, but by seeing how perfectly they are orchestrated for your learning. This is a hard one for us because the spiritual ego resists this kind of self-honesty and wants us to believe it is more advanced than it is. The undoing process requires tremendous self-reflection and a high degree of honesty. As the layers of the ego are peeled back, we may feel we are not making progress, or worse, that we are regressing. The fact is that the ego is being unmasked, and in the process, its ugliness is being exposed, and we are seeing what was unconscious in the mind; but remember, it is nothing. It is not to be loved or feared, but simply undone. Undoing requires this kind of exposing, which we must welcome if we are to heal.
 
As we accept Atonement (healing/correction) for ourselves, space is made for God's peace to be extended through us to every brother we encounter or even think about. The peace extended through us is returned to our minds the instant it is given. And so, today, we remember that "God's grace suffices us in everything that He would have us do. And only that we choose to be our will as well as His." (W.348.2.1-2) All God would have us do is offer forgiveness so we can remember who we are. Today, we embrace every opportunity to do so in the face of the temptation to be afraid and angry.
 
Behind every seemingly difficult situation is a gift. Problems are simply the interpretation we give to any situation. When we place faith in the miracle, we see witnesses to validate our faith. Let us be willing to release the blocks to love today. Let us be willing to let forgiveness light up our minds and be blessed by the miracle. Desire and willingness for the truth are our powerful allies.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca  
A Course in Miracles
MANUAL for TEACHERS 
ACIM Original Edition
Play Audio
MANUAL #13, 1-8
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
 
 
#13. What is the Real Meaning of Sacrifice?  
 
1 Although in truth the term sacrifice is altogether meaningless, it does have meaning in the world. Like all things in the world, its meaning is temporary and will ultimately fade into the nothingness from which it came when there is no more use for it. Now its real meaning is a lesson. Like all lessons, it is an illusion, for in reality there is nothing to learn. Yet this illusion must be replaced by a corrective device, another illusion that replaces the first, so both can finally disappear. The first illusion, which must be displaced before another thought system can take hold, is that it is a sacrifice to give up the things of this world. What could this be but an illusion, since this world itself is nothing more than that?
 
2 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? It cannot mean that you have less because of it. There is no sacrifice in the world's terms that does not involve the body. Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice. Power, fame, money, physical pleasure-who is the hero to whom all these things belong? Could they mean anything except to a body? Yet a body cannot evaluate. By seeking after such things, the mind associates itself with the body, obscuring its identity and losing sight of what it really is.
 
3 Once this confusion has occurred, it becomes impossible for the mind to understand that all the "pleasures" of the world are nothing. But what a sacrifice-and it is sacrifice indeed-all this entails! Now has the mind condemned itself to seek without finding, to be forever dissatisfied and discontented, to know not what it really wants to find. Who can escape this self-condemnation? Only through God's Word could this be possible. For self-condemnation is a decision about identity, and no one doubts what he believes he is. He can doubt all things but never this.
 
4 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 slaughter house? No one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation. Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice which its value would demand of him. To them he sacrifices all his freedom. To them he sacrifices all his peace. And to possess them must he sacrifice his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father's Love. Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?
 
5 What is the real meaning of sacrifice? It is the cost of believing in illusions. It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth. There is no pleasure of the world that does not demand this, for otherwise the pleasure would be seen as pain. And no one asks for pain if he recognizes it. It is the idea of sacrifice that makes him blind. He does not see what he is asking for. And so he seeks it in a thousand ways and in a thousand places, each time believing it is there and each time disappointed in the end. "Seek but do not find," remains this world's stern decree, and no one who pursues the world's goals can do otherwise.
 
6 You may believe this course requires sacrifice of all you really hold dear. In one sense that is true, for you hold dear the things that crucify God's Son. And it is the course's aim to set him free. But do not be mistaken about what sacrifice means. It always means the giving up of what you want. And what, oh teacher of God, is it that you want? You have been called by God, and you have answered. Would you now sacrifice that Call? Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you. There is no other hope in all the world that they can trust. There is no other voice in all the world that echoes God's. If you would sacrifice the truth, they stay in hell. And if they stay, you will remain with them.
 
7 Do not forget that sacrifice is total. There are no "half sacrifices." You cannot give up Heaven partially. You cannot be a little bit in hell. The Word of God has no exceptions. It is this that makes it holy and beyond the world. It is its holiness that points to God. It is its holiness that makes you safe. It is denied if you attack any brother for anything. For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible. And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen. It seems to happen at the "sacrifice" of truth.
 
8 Teacher of God, do not forget the meaning of sacrifice, and remember what each decision you make must mean in terms of cost. Decide for God, and everything is given you at no cost at all. Decide against Him, and you choose nothing at the expense of the awareness of everything. What would you teach? Remember only what you would learn. For it is here that your concern should be. Atonement is for you. Your learning claims it, and your learning gives it. The world contains it not, but learn this course and it is yours. God holds out His Word to you, for He has need of teachers. What other way is there to save His Son?
   
 
 
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