Lesson 361
ACIM Original Edition

7 This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. Are other teachers possible to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. Would God leave anyone without a very present help in time of trouble? A savior who can symbolize Himself? Yet do we need a many-faceted curriculum, not because of content differences but because symbols must shift and change to suit the need. Jesus has come to answer yours. In him you find God's Answer. Do you then teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here.     
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Our Final Lessons
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio


   Our final lessons will be left as free  
   of words as possible. We use them but
   at the beginning of our practicing,
   and only to remind us that we seek
   to go beyond them. Let us turn to Him
   Who leads the way and makes our footsteps sure.
   To Him we leave these lessons, as to Him
   we give our lives henceforth. For we would not
   return again to the belief in sin
   which made the world seem ugly and unsafe,
   attacking and destroying, dangerous
   in all its ways and treacherous beyond
   the hope of trust and the escape from pain.
   His is the only way to find the peace
   that God has given us. It is His way
   that everyone will travel in the end,
   because it is this ending God Himself
   appointed. In the dream of time it seems
   to be far off. And yet, in truth, it is
   already here; already serving us
   as gracious guidance in the way to go.
   Let us together follow in the way
   that truth points out to us. And let us be
   the leaders of our many brothers, who
   are seeking for the way, but find it not.
   And to this purpose let us dedicate
   our minds, directing all our thoughts to serve
   the function of salvation. Unto us
   the aim is given to forgive the world.
   It is the goal that God has given us.
   It is His ending to the dream we seek,
   and not our own. For all that we forgive
   we will not fail to recognize as part
   of God Himself. And thus His memory
   is given back completely and complete.
   It is our function to remember Him
   on earth, as it is given us to be
   His own completion in reality.
   So let us not forget our goal is shared,
   for it is that remembrance which contains
   the memory of God, and points the way
   to Him and to the Heaven of His peace.
   And shall we not forgive our brother, who
   can offer this to us? He is the way,
   the truth and life that shows the way to us.
   In him resides salvation, offered us
   through our forgiveness, given unto him.
   We will not end this year without the gift
   our Father promised to His holy Son.
   We are forgiven now, and we are saved
   from all the wrath we thought belonged to God,
   and found it was a dream. We are restored
   to sanity, in which we understand
   that anger is insane, attack is mad,
   and vengeance merely foolish fantasy.
   We have been saved from wrath because we learned
   we were mistaken. Nothing more than that.
   And is a father angry at his son
   because he failed to understand the truth?
   We come in honesty to Him, and say
   we did not understand, and ask Him to
   help us to learn His lessons through the Voice
   of His own Teacher. Would He hurt His Son?
   Or would He rush to answer him, and say,
   "This is my Son, and all I have is his?"
   Be certain He will answer thus, for these
   are His own Words to you. And more than that
   can no one ever have, for in these Words
   is all there is and all that there will be
   throughout all time and in eternity .
    ~ Original Hand Script  
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SonShip Workbook

L e s s o n 361-365
This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
   And If I need a word to help me, He
   will give it to me. If I need a thought,
   that will He also give. And if I need
   but stillness and a tranquil, open mind,
   these are the gifts I will receive of Him.
   He is in charge by my request. And He
   will hear and answer me, because He speaks
   for God my Father, and His holy Son
    ~ Original Handscript of ACIM     
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 361-365
This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace
Sarah's Commentary:

We end the year with the final words of the Course and use these words to guide our practice for five days starting on December 27 and ending on December 31. "This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow you, certain that Your direction gives me peace." (W.361-365) This Lesson reminds us that the only peace there is is already ours, given us by God. We can't find it outside ourselves. It is not in our circumstances or coming from events outside of ourselves. Peace is forever still and undisturbed in us, no matter how raucous are the shrieks of the ego, demanding its due. Certainty and peace are only found within, in the deep silence of our minds and in the perfection of the Self we are. Awareness is watching the drama of our lives from outside of the dream. The drama is the dream we made up. It contains all the thoughts we are thinking, but we are not those thoughts. Let them be what they will, but don't engage with them. They are not YOU. When we realize that we are the dreamer, we can make another choice. "In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain." (W.360.1.5) Anything that is unlike holiness is our own self-created drama.
"This is a year of joy, in which your listening will increase and peace will grow with its increase. The power of holiness and the weakness of attack are both being brought into your awareness. And this has been accomplished in a mind firmly convinced that holiness is weakness and attack is power. Should not this be a sufficient miracle to teach you that your Teacher is not of you? But remember also that whenever you listened to His interpretation the results have brought you joy. Would you prefer the results of your interpretation, considering honestly what they have been? God wills you better. Could you not look with greater charity on whom God loves with perfect love?" (T.16.II.7.1-8) (ACIM OE T.16.III.17)
Those are profound words, which remind us that progress has been made. We are reminded that if we take notice of what has happened around us, we will see the contrast between the times we chose to attack and those where we made space for peace and miracles instead. This is the proof of the power there is in forgiveness. This is the proof that when we no longer attend to the ego, it moves into the background of the mind. Now we turn more and more to the wisdom of our deeper Self, and as we do, more peace and joy are evident in our lives.
There are periods in our lives with this Course when things seem to get worse. We may have gone through divorce, job loss, or simply noticed more turmoil in our minds than before we started on this path. To the ego mind, this is an indication that the Course is not working, but we need not be upset. The shifts are always valuable, although at the time we may not see them that way. The situations that arise in our lives give us an opportunity to see the darkness of the ego more clearly, which has always been there. We may not have been aware of it to the same extent as we are now, since we are now watching the mind vigilantly. Observing the ego "dynamics" is an important step in the undoing process. It is not a time to despair. Despair about how long it will take to undo the ego and how bound we seem to be to it is just a defense against the truth. Outside of time, in the holy instant, we see this is so. Just know that the light is shining in quiet constancy behind the darkness and keep moving forward.
" Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required." (W.PI.IN.9.1-5) (ACIM OE W.PI.In.5)
What is different now in your life? Take notice. For me, when I am in a state of distress, I can come back to peace much more quickly. I can let the anger go much more readily. I am more willing to admit I am wrong, and thus, I am more humble in my willingness to ask. I take more responsibility for my thoughts by taking back my projections and putting them on the inner altar, thus making space for the miracle. I see more and more that I don't know my own best interests and thus accept that everything is unfolding for my highest good in spite of how it appears at the moment. I make fewer judgments and withhold my opinions more and more.
I watch my mind more frequently for signs of distress and have become more willing to give them over. My stubborn nature has increasingly been a source of humor and laughter for me. I increasingly see challenges in my life as opportunities to look at what is going on in my mind. I am more willing to see how I have created the situation and am responsible for it. I have allowed myself to be a detective of my own experience, watching it with interest, investigating what is going on in my mind, and not judging the seemingly negative emotions, but simply being willing to bring them to the light. I increasingly see that I do not have to change anyone but myself. My job is to accept and love those who are struggling with themselves and to recognize that it all as a reflection of my own struggle.
In Chapter 16, Jesus reminds us that we have many gifts offered to us by God, but we have ignored them because we have put our attention on what we think of as ourselves. He reminds us, "His Voice has spoken clearly, and yet you have so little faith in what you heard, because you have preferred to place still greater faith in the disaster you made." (T.16.II.8.4) (ACIM OE T.16.III.18) In other words, we falsely believe our lives have reality, and we are in control of what happens. "Today, let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real and that reality is not disaster." (T.16.II.8.5) (ACIM OE T.16.III.18) We plan and strategize to try to deal with what we think are our problems. Instead, when we listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we accept that what we think of as our lives in this world are not real, and what is truly real can never show up as disaster. "Reality is safe and sure and wholly kind to everyone and everything. There is no greater love than to accept this and be glad. For love asks only that you be happy, and will give you everything that makes for happiness." (T. 16.II.8.6-8) (ACIM OE T.16.III.19)
This is a time to notice the gifts you have uncovered as you have applied these Lessons. What are the signs in your life that give witness to God's Love and care for you? These are the gifts that help us to see that no matter what it looks like in the world, we are always safe. Yes, the body may be jeopardized, but we are not bodies. Our Spirit is never at risk. Yes, we will be confronted by seeming problems, but we don't know what they are for in our lives. They can teach us so much if we are willing to use them for that purpose. I have learned so much about forgiveness and release when I have turned a problem over to the Holy Spirit. He always solves it in ways that seem so counterintuitive. He has guided me to pay off a seeming adversary, when on my own I would have fought the situation in court; and yet His counsel brought peace. It also has brought me the recognition that striving for money, status, position, power, and material things only brings pain. True gifts come only through forgiveness and healing and a willingness to accept the Atonement (Correction) for ourselves.
"This is the year for the application of ideas that have been given you. For the ideas are mighty forces, to be used and not held idly by." (T.16.II.9.4-5) (ACIM OE T.16.III.20) That is the biggest Lesson of all---to apply the Lessons we are given. They are of no use to us of we simply see them as beautiful words on the page. They are there to motivate us to apply them in every situation without exception. "They have already proved their power sufficiently for you to place your faith in them and not in their denial. This year invest in truth and let it work in peace. Have faith in Him Who has faith in you. Think what you have really seen and heard and recognize it. Can you be alone with witnesses like these?" (T.16.II.9.6-10) (ACIM OE T.16.III.20)
I have seen that these ideas are mighty and powerful forces that have changed my life. Why do I still hold doubt thoughts? I have seen seeming enemies become lasting friends. I have seen my marriage saved. I have seen angels appear on my path when disaster seemed to be looming---whether a flat tire, financial loss, or the death of my brother and my husband within three months of each other. Yet, while I have all kinds of evidence of His presence, I still wonder about the next time and still often rely on my own solutions. Now it is time for strong resolve to trust, to give up the "I know" mind, and to be gently led in every moment. We all have had proof of the Holy Spirit working through us, knowing what has happened has nothing to do with our plans and intentions and cannot be judged by us as good or bad because we simply don't know what anything is for. The proof is when we get out of our own way and allow Him to radiate His Love, through us. "And the results have been to bring peace where there was pain, and suffering has disappeared to be replaced by joy." (T.16.III.1.7) (ACIM OE T.16.IV.21) As we give love, we know it is in us. We know it by giving it.
Let's embrace these final Lessons and commit to live them as much as we can by trusting in the Power behind them, always working in our lives with total consistency. Our peace and joy have increased, as has our confidence in our Teacher. There truly is a gift behind each seeming disaster. The Holy Spirit guides us to the doorway that leads us out of each difficult situation. A miracle is waiting behind every problem. It awaits our acceptance to come forth and give us the message that we are forever loved and never abandoned. Have faith in this Power. Extend the gift to others even when there appears to be a lack of appreciation and even attack. By extending love and forgiveness, we bring these gifts to our own awareness, recognizing we can give because we already have. Our brothers will accept them from us when they are ready. We don't need any more evidence. The Course works when we do the work. It is time to set your intention for another year. It is time to recognize that there are no accidents in salvation. Everyone who shows up, or who has shown up in our lives, is there for a divine purpose.
Finally, we recognize procrastination hurts us. "His is the only way to find the peace that God has given us. It is His way that everyone must travel in the end, because it is this ending God Himself appointed. In the dream of time it seems to be far off. And yet, in truth, it is already here; already serving us as gracious guidance in the way to go. Let us together follow in the way that truth points out to us. And let us be the leaders of our many brothers who are seeking for the way, but find it not." (W.PII.Our Final Lessons.IN.2.1-6)
How ready are we to come with total honesty to God and admit that we don't know, we are lost in the illusion, and our own answers for our lives are like flying with the wings of a sparrow when the wings of the eagle are always available to us? "We come in honesty to God and say we did not understand, and ask Him to help us to learn His lessons, through the Voice of His Own Teacher." (W.PII.OurFinalLessons.IN.6.1) "And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son." (W.361-365.1.5)
Our final five days of Lessons, which we give to the Holy Spirit, require that we allow space in our minds for His Presence. It is a time to go beyond words, as Jesus tells us in the Introduction to these Final Lessons. Each practice period is now about entering the holy instant as much as possible. We are putting the Holy Spirit in charge of these practice periods and following Him on the way to peace. Words mean little now. While He will give them to us as we need them to focus our practice, the main focus is to go beyond words to experience. "He is in charge by my request." (W.361-365.1.4) We must now actively choose to go to Him when we are tempted to be right and feel superior, making comparisons, and wanting to win at someone's expense. We accept our function and our purpose every day, which is to forgive. We set our intention each day as we awake and go to sleep with God's promise on our lips. That is the only reason to be here in this world.
We remember that the Atonement is fully present in us now. The Teacher is within. We can't know this when we blame anyone. Blame and Atonement are mutually exclusive states. We are one with our brothers, with the same goal, and with the same need. "The light in them shines as brightly regardless of the density of the fog that obscures it. If you give no power to the fog to obscure the light, it has none." (T.12.II.2.1-2) (ACIM OE T.11.III.15) We recognize that in order to remember we are the way, the truth, and the life, the same as Jesus, we must commit daily to our practice of forgiveness as laid out by Jesus.

Love and blessings, Sarah
ACIM Original Edition
#23. Does Jesus have a Special Plan in Healing?

1 God's gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God's teachers will give way to temptation in this world. Would it be fair if their pupils were denied healing because of this? The Bible says, "Ask in the name of Jesus Christ." Is this merely an appeal to magic? A name does not heal, nor does an invocation call forth any special power. What does it mean to call on Jesus Christ? What does calling on his name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing?
2 We have repeatedly stated that one who has perfectly accepted the Atonement for himself can heal the world. Indeed, he has already done so. Temptation may recur to others, but never to this one. He has become the risen Son of God. He has overcome death because he has accepted life. He has recognized himself as God created him, and in so doing he has recognized all living things as part of him. There is now no limit on his power because it is the Power of God. So has his name become the name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him.
3 What does this mean to you? It means that in remembering Jesus, you are remembering God. The whole relationship of the Son to the Father lies in him. His part in the Sonship is also yours, and his completed learning guarantees your own success. Is he still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises, and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. Can God fail His Son? And can one who is one with God be unlike Him? Who transcends the body has transcended limitation. Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him?
4 The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that can safely be used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods you pray to. It becomes the shining symbol for the Word of God, so close to what it stands for that the little space between the two is lost the moment that the name is called to mind. Remembering His name is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which He is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your coming home.
5 Jesus has led the way. Why would you not be grateful to him? He has asked for love, but only that he might give it to you. You do not love yourself. But in his eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father. You become the symbol of his Father here on earth. To you he looks for hope because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection. In his eyes Christ's vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again when he has made the journey for you?
6 No one on earth can grasp what Heaven is or what its one Creator really means. Yet we have witnesses. It is to them that wisdom would appeal. There have been those whose learning far exceeds what you can learn. Nor would we teach the limitations we have laid on us. No one who has become a true and dedicated teacher of God forgets his brothers. Yet what he can offer them is limited by what he learns himself. Then turn to one who laid all limits by and went beyond the farthest reach of learning. He will take you with him, for he did not go alone. And you were with him then, as you are now.
7 This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. Are other teachers possible to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. Would God leave anyone without a very present help in time of trouble? A savior who can symbolize Himself? Yet do we need a many-faceted curriculum, not because of content differences but because symbols must shift and change to suit the need. Jesus has come to answer yours. In him you find God's Answer. Do you then teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here.
#24. Is Reincarnation True?

1 In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past nor future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times. Reincarnation cannot, then, be true in any real sense. Our only question should be, "Is the concept helpful?" And that depends of course on what it is used for. If it is used to strengthen the recognition of the eternal nature of life, it is helpful indeed. Is any other question about it really useful in lighting up the way? Like many other beliefs, it can be bitterly misused. At least, such misuse offers preoccupation and perhaps pride in the past. At worst, it induces inertia in the present. In between many kinds of folly are possible.
2 Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. To some there may be comfort in the concept, and if it heartens them, its value is self-evident. It is certain, however, that the way to salvation can be found by those who believe in reincarnation and by those who do not. The idea cannot, therefore, be regarded as essential to the curriculum. There is always some risk in seeing the present in terms of the past. There is always some good in any thought which strengthens the idea that life and the body are not the same.
3 For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand on it were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness as well as his own decision-making. Our course is not concerned with any concept that is not acceptable to anyone, regardless of his formal beliefs. His ego will be enough for him to cope with, and it is not part of wisdom to add sectarian controversies to his burdens. Nor would there be an advantage in his premature acceptance of the course merely because it advocates a long-held belief of his own.
4 It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then they are likely to be merely controversial. The teacher of God is therefore wise to step away from all such questions, for he has much to teach and learn apart from them. He should both learn and teach that theoretical issues but waste time, draining it away from its appointed purpose. If there are aspects to any concept or belief that will be helpful, he will be told about it. He will also be told how to use it. What more need he know?
5 Does this mean that the teacher of God should not believe in reincarnation himself or discuss it with others who do? The answer is certainly not! If he does believe in reincarnation, it would be a mistake for him to renounce the belief unless his Internal Teacher so advised. And this is most unlikely. He might be advised that he is misusing the belief in some way which is detrimental to his pupil's advance or his own. Reinterpretation would then be recommended because it would be necessary. All that must be recognized, however, is that birth was not the beginning and death is not the end. Yet even this much is not required of the beginner. He need merely accept the idea that what he knows is not necessarily all there is to learn. His journey has begun.
6 The emphasis of this course always remains the same-it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. This is still your one responsibility. Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time. No teaching that does not lead to this is of concern to God's teachers. All beliefs will point to this if properly interpreted. In this sense it can be said that their truth lies in their usefulness. All beliefs that lead to progress should be honored. This is the sole criterion this course requires. No more than this is necessary. 

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  To GIVE and to RECEIVE are One in Truth.  Lesson 108

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