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LESSON 355 DEC 21 SUNDAY
Daily Quote
What am I?
Daily Lesson 355
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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As teachers, we work to circulate the message of
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  
16. HOW SHOULD THE TEACHER OF GOD SPEND HIS DAY?        

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.    

WHAT AM I?
What Am I  
<AUDIO><VIDEO> 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*

What is 'Iambic Pentameter'? 

    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 of ACIM February 10, 1971      

DAILY LESSON

ACIM Lessons  

L e s s o n  355

There is no end to all the peace and joy
And all the miracles that I will give
When I accept God's Word. Why not Today?    
 
<AUDIO><VIDEO>  
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 

 

    Why should I wait, my Father, for the joy

    You promised me? For You will keep Your Word

    You gave Your Son in exile. I am sure

    my treasure waits for me, and I need but

    reach out my hand to find it. Even now

    my fingers touch it. It is very close.

    I need not wait an instant more, to be

    at peace forever. It is You I choose,

    and my Identity along with You.

    Your Son would be Himself, and know You as

    His Father and Creator and his Love.

  
                                    
     ~ Original Hand-script of ACIM February 12, 1971           

            

ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 

ACIM Edmonton, CA

Lesson 355
There is no end to all the miracles that I will give, when I accept God's Word. Why not today?

Sarah's Commentary:

When Jesus is asking us why not today, he is speaking to our investment in the identity we have made. He is helping us to see that beyond this seeming reality of our body, and the world of suffering and pain, peace, joy and miracles are being held out to us in this very moment. He says, "Why not claim them?" "Do we like what we have made?" "Is our experience here one of consistent peace?" "What keeps us from accepting the truth about ourselves and about who we really are, as the perfect glorious Self that is at peace forever?" Clearly, we are not yet convinced. Our fear is that, if we let go of what we are holding onto, we will become nothing. Jesus understands our fear and trepidation, which is why he keeps assuring us of what awaits us. He keeps reminding us that this is a world of pain and ultimately death. Even though none of it is real, we still experience it that way. Ultimately, he knows we will make the choice to embrace who we are and to return to our Creator, whom we have never left except in dreams. God has kept His Word, which came with us in exile, that we are exactly as we were created. Now Jesus waits patiently, and lovingly, and as long as it takes, for us to accept the truth of who we are.

When the desire is strong in us, and our motivation and willingness to undertake the discipline that is called for is consistent, then we are ready to take the hand of Jesus, who will help us to look at the world differently. He awaits the memory to return to us of who we are, as the One Son who never left our Father, but we don't need to wait. We can choose, in every moment when the ego tempts us to throw away our peace, to ignore it.

As I write this, I am feeling irritation that Don is late in coming home and has not called. As the phone rings, I recognize that I can make him feel guilty, I can remind him that he is late, or I can just welcome the call and be grateful to my brother. It is all about my choice for happiness now. It is what I can choose to give to myself, for as I give it, I know that it is in me. We will only choose to do the healing work, when we see how unhappy our own choices and decisions have made us. We will choose to live in inspiration, when we see that a state of joy is available to us in this moment. Jesus is asking us why we would want to continue with the upsets and the pain in our lives? We are asked to really look deeply and sincerely at how our lives are working for us. His presence is in us and waiting for our acceptance of what is already there. There is nothing that we need do or actually can do to make ourselves happy, except to choose it, as it already is. Happiness is what God wills for us and is already in us, behind the clouds of our unforgiving thoughts of fear and guilt.

Our choice is simply between two thought systems. We are, at every moment, choosing one or the other. Which side of the ledger am I on at any moment? Am I choosing peace, love, joy, forgiveness, ease, kindness, and truth, or do I choose the ego programming, which keeps me in fear and distress? Our ego program appears to be involuntary, yet it is indeed under our own control. We are responsible for the decisions that keep us unaware of the state of peace and joy that can be chosen at any moment. Why not now? "Why should I wait, my Father, for the joy You promised me?" (W.355.1.1)
 
Jesus reminds us, "Being afraid seems to be involuntary; something beyond your own control. Yet I have said already that only constructive acts should be involuntary. My control can take over everything that does not matter, while my guidance can direct everything that does, if you so choose. Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled. Fear prevents me from giving you my control." (T.2.VI.1.1-5)(ACIM OE T.2.IV.72 "You believe that 'being afraid' is involuntary,...")  Jesus is really wanting to help us, but he needs our help to do so. It is by my own decision that I am not experiencing the peace and joy that are available to me right now. It is all about my willingness. If I am not willing to humble myself, see how wrong I am about everything I choose with the ego, release my ideas of how to respond to situations in my life, allow myself to be vulnerable, give up control over my own life, and accept everything that is happening as perfect and necessary for my classroom, then I am keeping myself in fear. Every minute of my day, I am making this choice. It is a choice to attack or to forgive. It is a choice to release our unforgiving thoughts to the Holy Spirit, or to hold onto our grievances.
 
Everyone in this world is searching for peace, for joy and for happiness. Everything we do and have done in this world is about seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, but our efforts have been misguided, because we are looking to the wrong guide for the answers. The ego is always willing to come to the rescue with another idol, but Jesus keeps reminding us that the ego's mantra is "seek but do not find." Because we do not know who we are, we can't know our own best interests. As the Course reminds us, our greatest advances, in our eyes, can be our biggest setbacks and what we judge to be our biggest setbacks can be our greatest advances. When we admit that we don't know and are willing to surrender to another Teacher, then we will "step back and let Him lead the way," (W.P.I 155) instead of relying on our very limited understanding.
 
Jesus keeps reminding us, "Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way." (T.2.III.3.5-6)(ACIM OE T.2.II.48 "Pain thresholds can be high...") That is when the door opens and we become more willing and ready to open the way to receiving God's Word. His Word is a reflection of the Atonement Principle that reminds us that we simply can't change ourselves as we were created. In the acceptance of this truth, our motivation to do the disciplined practice that is required to edit out the ego's program is increased. Our job now is to look at how the egoic thought system operates and to recognize how it is working in our own lives, so we can take responsibility for our projections and turn these thoughts over to the Holy Spirit, who will shine them away. In this process, it is important that we don't hold onto them. It requires trust in being willing to surrender our own answers for our lives and turn to One Who knows. He needs our cooperation in this process so He can lead us gently and patiently to the truth of who we are. The Holy Spirit helps us to see that the peace, joy and love that we seek is already in us. There is nothing in the world, in any form, whether it is the right partner, the right job, the right house or the right stuff, or even everything going our way, that can bring us these gifts.
 
When we accept the gifts is up to us. I watched the Michael Morton story, called "The Unreal Dream", on CNN. He was wrongly accused of murdering his wife and as a result spent 25 years in prison. Most of those years were spent in anger at the injustice of it all, although he also used his time to get a college degree. He held up fairly well, learning the ways of the prison system and ultimately adjusting to it and even developing some strong friendships. But it was not until his only son wrote to tell him that he no longer wished to be his son that he finally totally broke down. In other words, he finally let himself become totally undone, and called out to God. He heard nothing but silence until ten days later, on a normal day of regular routines, he went to bed, plugged into a radio station and remarkably heard harp music, which he says that he had never heard before. Then everything around him lit up in a golden light and he knew he was in the presence of God. Of course everything changed after that. He was released, reunited with his son and knew with certainty that God is all there is and can be totally trusted. "Tolerance for pain may be high but it is not without limit." (T.2.III.3.5-6)(ACIM OE T.2.II.48) Every situation, even prison, can be used for our highest good. As he said, it can be used as an ashram, where distractions of normal life in the world are limited, and he gave the gifts that he received. As he left the prison, tears of other inmates flowed, as everyone stood and cheered and felt the gifts of his presence in their own lives.

Our function is to "look on everyone as brother, and perceive all things as kindly and as good." (W.PII.Q14.3.4) In the face of seeing difficult behaviors by others, we can find this to be a very challenging because we still believe that the cause of our lack of peace is outside of our own minds. Now we are being asked to take responsibility for our own projections that we put on others. We have reversed cause and effect, seeing the cause of our lack of peace in what seems to be happening to us. Our only responsibility as miracle workers is to accept the Atonement for ourselves. There is no one to blame. We see violence and injustice in the world and we blame others for what is happening. We want to see it fixed. We don't want to accept that it is our own perfect script. What we are doing is trying to manage effects. Our responsibility is our own mind, which is the only place where peace can be found. Remember that that is what the miracle does---"It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false." (W.PII.Q13What is a Miracle? 1.2) When we are tempted to blame anyone for the state of events, we are reminded to bring our projections back to ourselves, which is the only place where healing can take place---in our own minds. We are reminded that only through forgiveness and willingness to surrender our way can we remember who we are.
  
While the ego would use the world to forget God, the Holy Spirit uses our experiences here to help us to remember God. It is all up to us, but we are not alone in this. The truth is already in us waiting for its acceptance. Why wait? Why not today?
 

Love and blessings, Sarah 

huemmert@shaw.ca

Paused for Weekend

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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