Lesson 356
ACIM Original Edition
2 Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as he travels on, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, falls short indeed of all that awaits one when the pathway ceases and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.       
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MANUAL #19, #20
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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.
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 356
Sickness is but another name for sin.
Healing is but another name for God.
The miracle is thus a call to Him.
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    Father, You promised You would never fail
    to answer any call Your Son might make
    to You. It does not matter where he is,
    what seems to be his problem, or what he
    believes he has become. He is Your Son,
    and You will answer him. The miracle
    reflects Your Love, and thus it answers him.
    Your Name replaces every thought of sin,
    and who is sinless cannot suffer pain.
    Your Name gives answer to Your Son, because
    to call Your Name is but to call his own.
          ~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
Sickness is but another name for sin.
Healing is but another name for God.
The miracle is thus a call to Him.  
Sarah's Commentary:  
It is reassuring to be told that any call we make to God will be answered. "It does not matter where he is, what seems to be his problem, nor what he believes he has become." (W.356.1.2) It is not a matter of how worthy we feel, or how much guilt we hold in the mind. God's answer is already given. It is available now. We need not clean up our act. How could His answer not be available now when we already have all His gifts? We already have everything we have asked for since all we have ever asked for, no matter how it appears, is peace, joy, and happiness. It is all within us now. We have not changed ourselves no matter how we feel about ourselves. His answer is a miracle that reflects His Love for us. The miracle is a reminder of the truth of what we are. As we go about on our own way, trying to work things out, He has already worked everything out for us. We just need to step back in trust and be led by Love instead of by the voice of the ego.
Sometimes, we have a specific problem, and we call on God for His help, but so often we have already decided on what the solution should be to our specific problem, and we ask God to deliver the solution that we have already determined will fix our problem. What is the real problem? Jesus reminds us that all problems come from the false beliefs we hold in the mind. From these false beliefs, we make decisions that do not serve us. We believe that we understand what we need. I may have a flat tire on the freeway, and I am going to be late for my appointment. I ask for someone to come along and fix it for me. Or I may call out to God, asking why this is happening to me and demand that He do something. Or I think my problem is that I will be late for my appointment, but I don't know the problem. When I think that I do, that is the problem. The only problem is that we block the peace within us with thoughts about what is going on outside of us. To truly ask for help is to ask to accept the situation as it is. It is to ask for help to recognize that we don't know what any of this is for. It is to ask to see the situation as God would have us see it. It is to ask that His Will be done and that we would remember the truth of who we are, so we could attend to the situation in peace. We have no idea what anything is for. We don't know our own best interests.
Our part is to look at how we block His love. That is the only real problem we have. We don't trust His answer because we believe it requires sacrifice on our part. We don't want to sacrifice our thoughts and opinions about what we think the problem is. We think we know, and the one that thinks it knows anything is the false self. We defend this self, believing it is what we are. Thus, we defend against His Love. "It is not difficult to understand the reasons why you do not ask the Holy Spirit to solve all problems for you. He has not greater difficulty in resolving some than others. Every problem is the same to Him, because each one is solved in just the same respect and through the same approach. The aspects that need solving do not change, whatever form the problem seems to take. A problem can appear in many forms, and it will do so while the problem lasts. It serves no purpose to attempt to solve it in a special form. It will recur and then recur again and yet again, until it has been answered for all time and will not rise again in any form. And only then are you released from it." (T.26.II.1.1-8)
His answer is a miracle that shifts our perception from wrong-mindedness to a healed perception and with it comes another step in trust. We trust in the perfection of whatever shows up. When we get out of the way, we recognize more and more that everything is perfectly given. Everything is a classroom for remembering the truth of who we are and for the undoing of our wrong-mindedness.
We only have one problem and that is the belief that we are guilty and have done something terribly wrong. It is the belief in the self we think we are. We think that we are on our own in the world, and that we are doing our best to defend against contingencies that befall us. We don't trust the beneficence of the Loving Presence in our mind that has already solved every problem we think we have. In the movie, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge was confronted by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, and in an instant, he saw how his unloving habits created a life of misery for him. In that same instant, he was able to change his mind and choose to replace his unloving habits with compassion and kindness. It is a choice we can all make. We cannot continue to focus on unloving thoughts and be receptive to the goodness of God at the same time. It is one or the other.
When we choose to heal our mind rather than focus on how to fix and control things in the illusion, we come to recognize the perfection of all that appears. We open to His guidance instead of our own limited thinking. We choose to surrender and to trust that all is given when we step out of the way and remember that we don't know our own best interests. Jesus tells us, "Babies scream in rage if you take away a knife or scissors, although they may well harm themselves if you do not." (T.4.II.5.2) (ACIM OE T.4.III.28) We are like those babies. We think we know what we want and need to be happy, but Love will not give us what will hurt us. When we ask for what will hurt us, it will not be delivered by Love.
We are called to remember that we are One Self, One with God, and One with all our brothers. Jesus appeals to our need to feel better rather than to continue to experience the pain and suffering we experience. There is no difference in the welcome we give a brother and our acceptance of God's love for us. We may think that we love God and have anger toward a brother, but it is all the same. There is no such thing as me, God, and my brothers, as we are all One. Anger at our brother comes from our belief that we are unworthy of God's love. When we have anger in us, that is what we give to our brother and what we receive for ourselves.
When we bring our unloving thoughts about our self, or others, and all of our worries, fears, and concerns to the healing light of Love, space is made for the miracle to shine forth. We experience our Oneness with all of our brothers when we bring our pain to the Holy Spirit and accept the miracle.
Sickness reflects the guilt in our minds, but the condition of the body is not what is ultimately important. It is in healing the mind where health resides. As long as we carry the belief in the reality of the body, we will experience aging, sickness, and death. As long as we continue to carry a heavy burden of guilt, we will not realize that we are the glorious and grand, enlightened beings that Jesus assures us we are. He reminds us daily that we have not succeeded in substituting the false image of ourselves for who we really are.
Our belief in unworthiness keeps the truth out of our awareness that we are "complete and healed and whole, shining in the reflection of His Love." (W.PII.Q14.What Am I?1.1) We don't experience the mind as a clean slate with no past mistakes obscuring the reflection of innocence, which is our natural inheritance and what we truly are. We try to be loving, yet we attack, we get angry, we worry, and we make judgments. Basically, we feel like sinners and thus unworthy of love. All the tears we shed for whatever seeming distress we feel come from the deep sorrow we feel as a result of the belief that we have forever lost our innocence. Yet God assures us, "My Arms are open to the Son I love, who does not understand that he is healed, and that his prayers have never ceased to sing his joyful thanks in unison with all creation, in the holiness of Love." (Song of Prayer.3.IV.7.3)
What does he mean when he says sickness is but another name for sin? It does not mean that being sick is a sin, only that sickness is an ego device to keep us believing that who we are is a separated self, living in a vulnerable body, in a world we think is real, and where we experience sickness and ultimately death. Sickness is how we attack ourselves because of the guilt in the mind projected onto the body. "Sickness is anger taken out upon the body, so that it will suffer pain." (T.28.VI.5.1) (ACIM OE T.28.VII.58) Sickness reinforces our sense of inadequacy and vulnerability. For healing to happen, the only work we need to do is with our own thoughts. Sickness is not a condition of the body at all, but it is all about the guilt in the mind projected onto the body. When the mind is healed, whether the body is seemingly sick or healthy is not relevant because we are not the body. However, this does not mean that we don't attend to sickness or to our well-being while we still believe in the reality of the body.
The reason that sin and sickness are the same is that this is how the ego mind tries to prove that illusion is truth. While the forms sickness takes are different, the purpose is the same, which is to keep us invested in the separate self. What needs healing is therefore only the thought of separation. The Holy Spirit can use sickness for a holy purpose, just like everything else we have made. It is not helpful to feel guilty over any bodily sickness and worry about how we "manifested" this situation. Healing, when discussed in the Course, is not about healing any particular thing in form, but only about healing the mind.
"Healing is but another name for God." (W.356) When we recognize our reality, we will know that there is no separation and indeed our true identity is One with God. We share the same nature. All healing is just a return to our Source, our Christ Self. Since our Self is One with God, all healing is a return to our reality. That is why this Lesson says Healing and God are synonymous.
Whether we believe in God, talk with the Holy Spirit, or consider Jesus as part of this process, it does not matter, as they are all symbols of the holiness in our right minds. What matters is to bring every unloving thought to this right-minded Symbol in the mind, to make every encounter a healing and holy encounter, to offer forgiveness, to follow guidance, to surrender, and to release grievances. When we do, Love is there. The Source is there.
As the words of this Course remind us, "A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary." (Clarification of Terms.IN.2.5) In other words, this Course is not an intellectual exercise. It is about the application, so we can have an experience of the miracle and with each experience, our trust grows and expands. We recognize and accept more and more how much we are truly loved. We don't need to try to control the events of our lives because our efforts will never be as great as His. "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (Manual for Teachers.4.I.2.2) To do so is indeed insane.
We have been given this Course as a ladder back to God. The words only point to the truth. The words are not the focus of our learning, so let's not get stuck on the beauty of the words. What they point to is what is important. The metaphysics of this Course are certainly helpful. Yet they are meant not just for intellectual understanding, but to motivate us to forgive. In applying these teachings daily to every situation and event that shows up where our emotions are triggered, we learn the power of what Jesus is telling us. The purpose of these words is to point us to an experience of peace and joy. It is a process. Jesus asks, "Are you ready yet to help Me save the world?" (C.2.9.1) When we say yes, we commit to doing the healing. Saving the world means choosing the peace within our own mind. Only by healing the cause (in our own mind) will there be any change in effects (in our own lives).
Let us not lament the world but choose to change our mind about what we see by asking for the Holy Spirit's interpretation of everything we perceive. It means to be willing to be humble, giving over the mind that thinks it knows anything. It is to live in a state of acceptance and inspiration, recognizing the perfection of everything that shows up in our lives.
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
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MANUAL #19, #20
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#19. How is Correction Made?  
1 Justice is the divine correction for injustice. Injustice is the basis for all the judgments of the world. Justice corrects the interpretations to which injustice gives rise and cancels them out. Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit's verdict upon the world. Except in His judgment, justice is impossible, for no one in the world is capable of making only just interpretations and laying all injustices aside. If God's Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.
2 Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as he travels on, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, falls short indeed of all that awaits one when the pathway ceases and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.
3 All concepts of your brothers and yourself, all fears of future states, and all concern about the past stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body's eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. Selectively and arbitrarily is every concept of the world built up in just this way. "Sins" are perceived and justified by this careful selectivity in which all thought of wholeness must be lost. Forgiveness has no place in such a scheme, for not one "sin" but seems forever true.
4 Salvation is God's justice. It restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate. And it is this that overcomes the fear of death. For separate fragments must decay and die, but wholeness is immortal. It remains forever and forever like its Creator, being one with Him. God's Judgment is His justice. Onto this-a judgment wholly lacking in condemnation, an evaluation based entirely on love-you have projected your injustice, attributing to God the lens of warped perception through which you look. Now it belongs to Him and not to you. You are afraid of Him and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.
5 Pray for God's justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. God's justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. It accepts all evidence that is brought before it, omitting nothing and assessing nothing as separate and apart from all the rest. From this one standpoint does it judge, and this alone. Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world and we can see. And we can see!
#20. What is the Peace of God?

1 It has been said that there is a kind of peace that is not of this world. How is it recognized? How is it found? And being found, how can it be retained? Let us consider each of these questions separately, for each reflects a different step along the way.
2 First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God's peace is recognized at first by just one thing---in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. It brings with it no past associations. It is a new thing entirely. There is a contrast, yes, between this thing and all the past. But strangely, it is not a contrast of true differences. The past just slips away and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything.
3 How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God's peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless and must believe that it cannot exist. In this condition peace cannot be found. Therefore forgiveness is the necessary condition for finding the peace of God. More than this, given forgiveness there must be peace. For what except attack will lead to war? And what but peace is opposite to war? Here the initial contrast stands out clear and apparent. Yet when peace is found, the war is meaningless. And it is conflict now that is perceived as non-existent and unreal.
4 How is the peace of God retained once it is found? Returning anger in whatever form will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. Now must you once again lay down your sword, although you may not recognize that you have picked it up again. But you will learn, as you remember even faintly now what happiness was yours without it, that you must have taken it again as your defense. Stop for a moment now, and think of this: is conflict what you want, or is God's peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die?
5 Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see---that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape because it is not life in which the problem lies. Life has no opposite, for it is God. Life and death seem to be opposites because you have decided that death ends life. Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything which God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this the Holy Spirit's whole curriculum is specified exactly as it is.
6 What is the peace of God? No more than this-the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there is no conflict because His Will is yours. Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny, frail imaginings apart from Him? The Will of God is one and all there is. This is your heritage. The universe beyond the sun and stars and all the thoughts of which you can conceive belong to you. God's peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him.
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