Lesson 353
ACIM Original Edition
1 To the advanced teacher of God, this question is meaningless. There is no program, for the lessons in the curriculum change each day. Yet he is sure of but one thing---they do not change at random. Seeing this and understanding it is true, he rests content. He will be told all that his role should be, this day and every day. And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together. Not one is absent whom he needs; not one is sent without a learning goal already set, and one which can be met that very day. For the advanced teacher of God, then, this question is superfluous. It has been asked and answered, and he keeps in constant contact with the Answer. He is set and sees the road on which he walks stretch surely and smoothly before him.  
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MANUAL #16, 1-11
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What Am I
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    I am God's Son, complete and healed and whole,
    shining in the reflection of His Love.
    In me is His creation sanctified
    and guaranteed eternal life. In me
    is love perfected, fear impossible,
    and joy established without opposite.
    I am the holy home of God Himself.
    I am the Heaven where His Love abides.
    I am His holy Sinlessness Itself,
    for in my purity abides His own.
   Our use for words is almost over now.
   Yet in the final days of this one year
   we gave to God together, you and I,
   we found a single purpose that we shared.
   And thus you joined with me. So what I am
   are you as well. The truth of what we are
   is not for words to speak of nor describe.
   Yet we can realize our function here,
   and words can speak of this, and teach it, too,
   if we exemplify the words in us.
   We are the bringers of salvation. We
   accept our part as Saviours of the world,
   which through our joint forgiveness is redeemed.
   And this, our gift, is therefore given us.
   We look on everyone as brother, and
   perceive all things as kindly and as good.
   We do not seek a function that is past
   the gates of Heaven. Knowledge will return
   when we have done our part. We are concerned
   only with giving welcome to the truth.
   Ours are the eyes through which Christ's vision sees
   a world redeemed from every thought of sin.
   Ours are the ears which hear the Voice of God
   proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds
   which join together as we bless the world.
   And from the oneness that we have attained
   we call to all our brothers, asking them
   to share our peace and consummate our joy.
   We are the holy messengers of God,
   who speak for Him. And carrying His Word
   to everyone whom He has sent to us,
   we learn that It is written on our hearts.
   And thus our minds are changed about the aim
   for which we came and which we seek to serve.
   We bring glad tidings to the Son of God,
   who thought he suffered. Now is he redeemed.
   And as he sees the gate of Heaven stand
   open before him, he will enter in
   and disappear into the Heart of God.
    ~ Original Hand Script  
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 353
My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today
Have but one purpose---to be given Christ
To use to bless the world with miracles. 
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    Father, I give all that is mine today
    to Christ to use in any way that best
    will serve the purpose that I share with Him.
    Nothing is mine alone, for He and I
    have joined in purpose. Thus has learning come
    almost to its appointed end. A while
    I work with Him to serve His purpose. Then
    I lose myself in my Identity,
    and recognize that Christ is but my Self.
        ~ Original Handscript of ACIM
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today
Have but one purpose---to be given Christ
To use to bless the world with miracles.

Sarah's Commentary:  
Our bodies, which were made by the ego, can be given over to the Holy Spirit for His holy purpose to bless the world with miracles. We were talking over breakfast this morning about how much time we spend focusing on what is going on in the world that we don't like, whether gossiping about what others are doing, debating world issues, or lamenting the state of things. In the psychological system known as transactional analysis, this type of activity is labeled as the game of "ain't it awful," and we can spend a big part of our lives engaged in it. We seem to hold opinions about everything coming from the "I know mind." Yet our time, when used for the purpose of waking up to who we really are, is spent in communion with the Divine. "Father, I give all that is mine today to Christ, to use in any way that best will serve the purpose that I share with Him." (W.353.1.1)
What this means is that we must stay vigilant, witnessing to our thoughts and opinions so the judgments, which keep us invested in the illusion, can be given to the Holy Spirit to be released. The only valuable purpose for time is forgiveness. To know what we need to let go of, we must become aware of the judgments we are making and give them over to the Holy Spirit for healing. When we turn to the Holy Spirit within to show us how to see every person and situation that we encounter in our day, we humbly give up our ideas and recognize that we truly don't know anything. We become an example for others that there is always another choice available in the mind than to look with judgment. Yes, judgments will come up, but we don't have to give them attention. We can remember to laugh at the idea that there is any reality in this world. The only problem that we have is when we take everything seriously.
Peace can only be extended through us when we experience it within. There is nothing we need to do for this peace. It is already what is given us in our creation. When we don't experience it, we are blocking it with our own thoughts and ideas. It is not dependent on anything external, or on anything happening, or not happening. We may have a flat tire, lose our wallet, burn the cake, or break a leg, but we can still choose peace. If our mind is disturbed by any situation or event, it is an opportunity for healing. Watching our thoughts, without judging ourselves, is to watch the movie of our lives as we sit with Jesus in the theater, observing the play. Non-judgmental awareness starts the transformation process. It allows us to observe our pattern of thinking and our behaviors from a neutral place, and that is a healing process in itself. If we get triggered by something, it does not make us wrong. It means that there is some gold to be mined in seeing what we are defending. All we need to do is be willing to look.
When we willingly bring any darkness in our mind to the light, the Holy Spirit shines away the blocks to the awareness of the presence of love in us. Rather than lament our perceived problems, we can choose to see every issue as another opportunity for healing. Purpose answers the question, "What is it for?" Will we use this situation for our needs, our specialness, to hold grievances, to attack, to win, and to be right; or will we release the blocks to love through forgiveness? It is up to us to choose.
Everything we have made brings us pain. When we think of our lives, they are constantly challenged by daily demands that we place on ourselves, which can never be perfectly met. We live with limitation, loss, demands, expectations, and disappointments, which are all based on what we value. When we relinquish our investment in our specialness, we come to know our Identity as we were created. Specialness is what we have made of ourselves. It is the state of separation from love.
Jesus tells us, "Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible." (T.4.IV.11.5) (ACIM OE T.4.V.67) When we do the healing in relation to some difficulty with another, a shift happens energetically in the relationship, even when the other person seems not to be involved. It thus only takes one of us to heal any relationship. We share the same purpose and the same Christ Self. There is only One Mind. The power of the miracle, working in any situation, brings this reality to awareness. The other person in the relationship will accept the gift of freedom offered through our healing when they are ready, but the gift that has been given has been received by some part of the mind the moment it is given.
In the Manual for Teachers, Jesus asks us if we still select some aspects of our lives for healing while keeping others apart. He says: "The extent of the teacher of God's faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? If so, his advancement is limited, and his trust not yet firmly established." (M.4.IX.1.1-3) When we are truly faithful, we live in a state of trust. "Generally, his faithfulness begins by resting on just some problems," (M.4.IX.1.5) while we keep others for ourselves. "To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness." (M.4.IX.1.6-7) There are still things we figure we can manage on our own and do not need to stop and ask for His help. We are still just taking small steps in this process of turning inward for guidance in everything. Jesus assures us that each of the steps we take is a worthwhile achievement in our journey to faithfulness and our goal of peace. There is only one worthwhile function for these bodies and it is to let God's Voice speak through them.
When we bring faithfulness to our lives, Jesus says that we exhibit all the other attributes of God's Teachers, which are trust, honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, defenselessness, generosity, patience, and open-mindedness. Our only purpose here is to "bless the world with miracles" (W.353) by giving "all that is mine today to Christ." (W.353.1.1) It is based on a willingness to be vulnerable. It requires honest self-reflection. It requires giving up defenses--­­-­ the façade we hide behind in our attempt to maintain our false self. We are called to notice when we are acting out an old pattern. I recently had an incident where a friend became upset with something I said. I felt hurt and unjustly accused. I could not shake the feeling and wondered why such a small incident was so upsetting to me. It was not until I was willing to look more deeply that I remembered a similar feeling of victimhood from the past. I carried a mantra of, "No one understands me." I felt sorry for myself and not only felt misunderstood, but unfairly treated. I recently discovered my inner child that was indignant about the ways of the world. I was willing to see that this pattern did not serve me, but kept me in despair. My deep hurt had nothing to do with the current incident. A healed mind would not be upset by what others are thinking or saying.
When "I give all that is mine today to Christ, to use in any way that best will serve the purpose that I share with Him," (W.353.1.1) I learn that nothing is for me alone. When we reach that place in our learning, Jesus says that our journey here is almost over. I know how much I still withhold from the Holy Spirit to be used for my own purposes. I also know that each time I turn to Him, I make progress. I am aware that so much more darkness has come to light for me as I have willingly looked at those places in my mind that I had previously chosen to overlook, to cover over with niceties, or to hide from myself. I no longer feel the same need to defend and protect my hateful, judgmental thoughts by diminishing them as minor irritations. I can look at it all much more dispassionately and see the pockets of hate and judgment. The Holy Spirit never judges us, so it is always safe to look with Him.
Jesus tells us that he does not ask for our adoration of him. He only wants us to bring our pain, our suffering, and our hurts to him. He knows that bringing awareness to these places in us, which we defend so vigorously, is how we achieve healing. Thus, we need to look at our hate, our specialness, our judgments, our guilt, our shame, and the anger within our mind, and not condemn and judge ourselves, but simply observe. In quantum physics, we are told that the observer changes the observed just by witnessing it. That is all we need to do. Our part is simply to notice our patterns and observe them with compassion. If we really want to heal, we need to welcome everything that shows up in our mind and bring it all to awareness; yet see its unreality.
We sometimes get discouraged when the darkness of our egos comes to awareness. Yet this is the time to recognize that it is there because we are ready to see it. We have asked for healing. Everything that needs to be healed will come to our attention as we are ready to look at it. The more we welcome it, the easier the process becomes.
Using our bodies and our resources to bring miracles is the true purpose of our lives. It is the only thing that will make us happy. Nothing else. We give up trying to get and instead we look to see where we can give. We have no identity other than our Identity in Christ. We have no role other than to join with Jesus to bless the world with miracles. We experience the joy of giving with no expectation but also with no sense of sacrifice; and then our lives become increasingly peaceful and joyous, as judgment, guilt, and fear fall away. We now have a foundation and no longer feel that we are victims of changing circumstances and unexpected events as our confidence, trust, and faith grow. This is about letting go, breathing deeply, and allowing the stress of trying so hard to be released.
Jesus talks of the importance of the purpose we share with him. As we join in purpose in this classroom with Jesus, we are invited to ask him continuously: " What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom? " (W.72.9.3-5) When the blocks are cleared away, everything we do comes from love. It is a natural response and does not require a lot of soul searching but comes naturally. As we come to know our Identity, we understand that there is no sacrifice, since we only serve our One Self. Thus, our true Will, joined with God, is set free.
I end on a note of gratitude for the help and support on this journey. I thank you for your part in my awakening and am forever grateful we are all going home together, supporting each other every step of the way as we let Him use our eyes, our tongue, our hands, and our feet today for just one purpose.
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
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MANUAL #16, 1-11
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
#16. How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?  
1 To the advanced teacher of God, this question is meaningless. There is no program, for the lessons in the curriculum change each day. Yet he is sure of but one thing---they do not change at random. Seeing this and understanding it is true, he rests content. He will be told all that his role should be, this day and every day. And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together. Not one is absent whom he needs; not one is sent without a learning goal already set, and one which can be met that very day. For the advanced teacher of God, then, this question is superfluous. It has been asked and answered, and he keeps in constant contact with the Answer. He is set and sees the road on which he walks stretch surely and smoothly before him.
2 But what about those who have not reached his certainty? They are not yet ready for such lack of structuring on their own part. What must they do to learn to give the day to God? There are some general rules which do apply, although each one must use them as best he can in his own way. Routines as such are dangerous because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up. Broadly speaking, then, it can be said that it is well to start the day right. It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error, yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time if the need for this can be avoided.
3 At the beginning, it is wise to think in terms of time. This is by no means the ultimate criterion, but at the outset, it is probably the simplest to observe. The saving of time is an essential early emphasis which, although it remains important throughout the learning process, becomes less and less emphasized. At the outset, we can safely say that time devoted to starting the day right does indeed save time. How much time should be so spent? This must depend on the teacher of God himself. He cannot claim that title until he has gone through the workbook, since we are learning within the framework of our course. After completion of the more structured practice periods which the workbook contains, individual need becomes the chief consideration.
4 This course is always practical. It may be that the teacher of God is not in a situation which fosters quiet thought as he awakes. If this is so, let him but remember that he chooses to spend time with God as soon as possible, and let him do so. Duration is not the major concern. One can easily sit still an hour with closed eyes and accomplish nothing. One can as easily give God only an instant, and in that instant join with Him completely. Perhaps the one generalization that can be made is this-as soon as possible after waking, take your quiet time, continuing a minute or two after you begin to find it difficult. You may find that the difficulty will diminish and drop away. If not, that is the time to stop.
5 The same procedures should be followed at night. Perhaps your quiet time should be fairly early in the evening if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to sleep. It is not wise to lie down for it. It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. Having gone through the workbook you must have come to some conclusions in this respect. If possible, however, just before going to sleep is a desirable time to devote to God. It sets your mind into a pattern of rest and orients you away from fear. If it is expedient to spend this time earlier, at least be sure that you do not forget a brief period-not more than a moment will do-in which you close your eyes and think of God.
6 There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy, a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release---limitless because all things are freed within it. You think you made a place of safety for yourself. You think you made a power that can save you from all the fearful things you see in dreams. It is not so. Your safety lies not there. What you give up is merely the illusion of protecting illusions. And it is this you fear, and only this. How foolish to be so afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection.
7 How simply and how easily does the day slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe and knows it to be so. He has a Guide Who will not fail. He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for He to Whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times and different places because they are all one to God. This is his safety. And he has no need for more than this.
8 Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic and that magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. It is not good enough for God's teacher because it is not enough for God's Son.
9 The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God's. These attempts may indeed seem frightening, yet they are merely pathetic. They can have no effects, neither good nor bad, neither rewarding nor demanding sacrifice, healing nor destructive, quieting nor fearful. When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this and bring this goal nearer to recognition. For magic of any kind, in all its forms, simply does nothing. Its powerlessness is the reason it can be so easily escaped. What has no effects can hardly terrify.
10 There is no substitute for the Will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember "God is with me. I cannot be deceived." Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one or none at all. Yet each temptation to accept magic as true must be abandoned through his recognition not that it is fearful, not that it is sinful, not that it is dangerous, but merely that it is meaningless. Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this "sacrifice" is Heaven restored to his awareness.
11 Is not this an exchange that you would want? The world would gladly make it if it knew it could be made. It is God's teachers who must teach it that it can. And so it is their function to make sure that they have learned it. No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain. "There is no will but God's." His teachers know that this is so and have learned that everything but this is magic. All belief in magic is maintained by just one simple-minded illusion-that it works. All through his training, every day and hour, and even every minute and second, must God's teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness. Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go. And thus the Gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind.
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