Lesson 357
ACIM Original Edition

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.  
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What Am I
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

    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 357
Truth answers every call we make to God, responding first with miracles, And then returning unto us to be itself.

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
    Forgiveness, truth's reflection, tells me how
    to offer miracles and thus escape
    the prison house in which I think I live.
    Your holy Son is pointed out to me,
    first in my brother; then in me. Your Voice
    instructs me patiently to hear Your Word,
    and give as I receive. And as I look
    upon Your Son today, I hear Your Voice
    instructing me to find the way to You
    as You appointed that the way shall be:
    'Behold his sinlessness and be you saved.
     Look on the Christ in him, and he is healed.
    ~ Original Handscript of ACIM     
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
  Truth answers every call we make to God,
Responding first with miracles, and then
Returning unto us to be itself.

Sarah's Commentary:

Through the process of forgiveness, we escape the prison house we made. The truth is that we don't really live in the prison house of this world, although we think we are captive here. Through forgiveness, we are released from the prison of our own making. This requires that we question all our concepts, values, and beliefs. We must recognize that we have made an adjustment to this seeming prison through our conditioning. Undoing this conditioned mind and recognizing how wrong we have been about everything we think is what is necessary to escape our sense of imprisonment in lack and limitation. Every doubt thought we hold about ourselves must be questioned. We need to ask ourselves often, is this belief I hold the truth? Is this doubt thought I hold true? Is this problem that I think I have really a problem? Is who I think I am really me? When we question our doubts, our false beliefs, and all our self-concepts and bring them to the truth, the truth will dawn on our minds. Our part is to look at our conditioned thoughts with honesty and sincerity and be willing to surrender them to the Holy Spirit. He does the rest.
In every situation, we have the opportunity to choose to hold onto our ideas or to give them over for His Correction. By our decision, we become a demonstration of the choice we have made. We demonstrate to our brothers that anyone can make the choice we have made, and thus, we become an example of this choice.
"Your holy Son is pointed out to me, first in my brother; then in me." (W.357.1.2) Our doubts and fears are projected onto our brothers. That is the first place we will see them. I see sin in my brother, which is how I can see my own projections. Yet if I take back what I project and recognize that it is my own judgment of myself, I can choose to give it over. This may seem to be a painful process at first, and in fact, it may engender fear because instead of seeing sin and guilt in our brother, we now see it in ourselves. When we allow our private, deeply hidden parts of our mind to surface and look at them without judgment, then the miracle shows us the truth of our divine innocence. We don't do that part. We leave Correction to the Holy Spirit. Our part is simply to bring our false thoughts to truth. We cannot correct ourselves or do the work of trying to improve ourselves. The ego likes us to keep working on ourselves as that keeps its identity safe. It wants to be in control of the process. True forgiveness puts the Holy Spirit in charge. It requires our submission, which is not easy for us, as it takes us into the unknown and that brings up fear.
We think our perceptions are the truth. We rationalize and justify the way we see things. We defend the objectivity of our perceptions because we want to be right. That is why letting go is so hard because essentially it is letting go who we think we are. The prison house in which we think we live has been constructed by false beliefs. Every time we choose to forgive, it is our call to God, and it is always answered. When we can "Behold his [our brother's] sinlessness," (W.357.1.5) we behold our own innocence. With willingness, desire, and great humility, we come to experience the healing that will return us to the gates of Heaven. Be as little children. "Be humble before Him, and yet great in Him." (T.15.IV.3.1) (ACIM OE T.15.V.37) We are guided every step of the way, and with His guidance, we learn to give as we receive.
The miracle undoes our misperceptions. The whole Course is about shifting our perception so we might see that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists. It results in a shift in how we perceive the world, ourselves, others, and every event and circumstance in our lives. It all starts with what is in front of us now and what we are believing about our experiences. Jesus is clarifying for us how all our false beliefs were made. We believe we are bodies, living in this world with others who hurt us, betray us, upset us, and victimize us. These beliefs are what we are being called to investigate. We are now learning how to forgive so we can see our brother, who seems to be responsible for our pain, as God's Son. We are not separate. The process of forgiveness, a reflection of God's Love in this world, allows this new perception to come forth so we can see our brother as sinless. First, we need to see how we are currently judging our brother and ask for a new perception.
The Course is not about denying the way we see now. It is about taking those judgments and questioning them. We are called to not make the error real, meaning to not see our judgments about someone or something as true. If we want to know our own innocence, we need the help of the Holy Spirit to undo our misperceptions. All that is needed is our desire and motivation to truly see who our brother is. Our part is not to undo the way we see now, but only to bring our misperceptions to the truth.
Our greatest opportunity to learn forgiveness is from those very people whom we would rather not see---those we would avoid, ignore, dislike, dismiss, fear, hate, and condemn, as well as from those we make comparisons with by seeing ourselves as superior and special. These are the people who offer us another opportunity to look at the judgments we are holding in our own minds and the pain of our own self-condemnation. As Jesus reminds us, "Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation." (T.17.VII.4.1) (ACIM OE T.17.VIII.67) All seemingly unhappy circumstances are there for our awakening. "What is joyful to you is painful to the ego, and as long as you are in doubt about what you are, you will be confused about joy and pain." (T.7.X.3.6) (ACIM OE T.7.XI.101) He has taught us that we can't tell our greatest advances from our biggest retreats on this journey of healing.
To see divinity in our brother is to recognize the same divinity must be in us. If we attack our brother and demean him, if we are mean and spiteful, or if we are falsely empathetic and identify with his weakness, then clearly, we see this capacity in ourselves; and we will decide that we can't possibly be God's Son. We thus deny ourselves our own inherent innocence. When we extend forgiveness, love, and acceptance to our brothers, the path is cleared for that same love and acceptance for ourselves. We are constantly assessing our own behavior towards others, and on that basis, we judge ourselves. We simply cannot behave in a mean, spiteful, and attacking way and see ourselves as innocent. It is not God's judgment on us but our own that we are holding against ourselves. And whether we judge ourselves or our brother, it is the same. Healing requires we see our mean and spiteful behavior and choose to turn our hateful thoughts to the Holy Spirit without judging ourselves. If anything, be glad to see what is in your mind, as this is the only way healing can be achieved.
"Your Voice instructs me patiently to hear Your Word, and give as I receive." (W.357.1.3) Jesus asks us to listen to the Voice for God, which is constantly instructing us to find our way back to Him by beholding our brother's sinlessness. The law of love affirms that what we see in our brother, we receive for ourselves. That is why we need our brothers as a projection screen where we can see our guilt as well as find our innocence. We won't find it in ourselves. We must see it in our brothers first so we can then know it in ourselves. "And as I look upon Your Son today, I hear Your Voice instructing me to find the way to You, as You appointed that the way shall be: 'Behold his sinlessness, and be you healed.'" (W.357.1.4-5) It is not always possible in our current state to see our brother sinless, but it is possible to want to see him that way and that is what we can ask for. "Ask only, 'Do I really wish to see him sinless?'" (T.20.VII. 9.2) (ACIM OE T.20.VIII.66)
This Course is ultimately very practical. Our brother shows us the way home. Our brother is our savior. Our process is not an abstract one, which focuses on a mystical experience of union with God. While that kind of experience is motivating and has value, our path is not solitary. We find God through forgiveness of those around us in our everyday, ordinary lives. Pursuing the spiritual experience without the focus on all our relationships and encounters will only delay our healing. In this season of Christmas, we learn that the Christ is born in the holy relationship. Where an ancient hatred has become a present love is truly holy ground where the Christ in us is born.

Love and blessings, Sarah
ACIM Original Edition
#19. What is Justice?

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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