Lesson 42
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God has Given You Everything
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 4 "THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL" 
IV. LOVE WITHOUT CONFLICT

54 In your own unconscious, deeply repressed by the ego, is the declaration of your release. God has given you everything. This is the one fact that means the ego does not exist and which therefore makes it profoundly afraid. In the ego's language, remember, "to have" and "to be" are different, but they are identical to the Soul. The Soul knows that you both have everything and are everything. Any distinction in this respect is meaningful only when the idea of "getting," which implies a lack, has already been accepted. That is why we made no distinction before between having the Kingdom of God and being the Kingdom of God.

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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
INTRODUCTION
Workbook Introduction
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1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
 
2 The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
 
3 The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time and, if possible, in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
 
4 Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
 
5 Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this-you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
    
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM       

 
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 42
God is my strength. Vision is His gift.


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 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
        
1 The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship which explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift to you, rather than your own, which offers vision to you. 
 
2 God is indeed your strength. And what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are and in whatever circumstances you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts. 
 
3 We will have two three- to five-minute longer exercise periods today, one as soon as possible after you wake and another as close as possible to the time you go to sleep. It is better, however, to wait until you can sit quietly by yourself at a time when you feel ready than it is to be concerned with the time as such. 
 
4 Begin the practice period by repeating the idea for today slowly with eyes open, looking about you. Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, quite slowly. After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts which occur to you in relation to today's idea. You might think, for example: 
 
5 Vision must be possible. God gives truly; or,
God's gifts to me must be mine because He gave them to me.
 
6 Whatever thought that is clearly related to the idea itself is suitable. You may, in fact, be astonished at the amount of course-related understanding some of your own thoughts contain. Let them come without censoring unless you realize your mind is merely wandering and you have let obviously irrelevant thoughts intrude. You may also reach a point where no thoughts at all seem to come to mind. If such interferences occur, open your eyes and repeat the thought once more while looking slowly about; close your eyes, repeat the idea once more, and then continue to look for related thoughts in your mind. 
 
7 Remember, though, that active searching is not appropriate for today's exercises. Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come. If you find this difficult, it is better to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes open, then closed, then open, and so on, than it is to strain in order to find suitable thoughts. 
 
8 There is no limit on the number of short practice periods which would be most beneficial. The idea for the day is a beginning step in bringing thoughts together and teaching you that what you are studying is a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant. 
 
9 The more often you repeat the idea during the day, the more often you will be reminding yourself that the goal of the course is important to you, and that you have not forgotten it.
 
 
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 42
  God is my strength. Vision is His gift .  

Sarah's Commentary:
 

As we do these Lessons, we are now using our time for its intended purpose, which is to wake up from this dream. Jesus tells us that nothing is random in our journey in the world. Our passage through time and space is not chaotic nor accidental. We have chosen this life, and whatever happens is in our script by our own choosing. It has been chosen with the ego to support our individuality, our specialness, and uniqueness. We have established, through this choice for the ego thought system, that we are victims of a world that seems to cause us pain, suffering, challenges, and difficulties of all sorts. When we make the decision to wake up from this dream of pain and suffering, all aspects of our lives can become a classroom for awakening to our true Identity.
 
We are not at the mercy of outside forces that cause us difficulties. We are only at the mercy of our own mistaken perceptions, based on our interpretations. Someone says or does something we think is directed at us and we get upset. "This is shown by the fact that you react to your interpretations as if they were correct." (T.12.I.2.3) (ACIM OE T.11.I.2) Yet we are given an opportunity to learn that none of it is personal. "It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts." (M.17.4.2) When our interpretations are turned over to the Holy Spirit, He will reinterpret everything for us as love, or a call for love, because that is all there is. "For truth is true, and nothing else is true. " (W.138.4.6) He reminds us that the only truth is who we are as the One Son. Everything in our lives is just a means to learn to forgive everything that is not true.
 
"You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts." (W.42.2.4-6) Everything can be used for our awakening when we are willing to use every situation as a classroom for learning to undo what we are not. Everything can be used as a lesson in forgiveness. Yesterday, I experienced a seemingly minor event where Don accused me of something I had not done. It was a minor accusation and "no big deal" from an outsider's perspective, but I turned it into a "big deal" as it elicited in me all kinds of other grievances. This seemingly "minor" irritation showed me the extent of the rage in me. Looking from above the battleground helped me to see the drama and to watch the character of Sarah in the dream, believing she was being unfairly treated. The ego calls for retaliation, but I am not the ego. It constantly beckons us to justify anger and punishment. Now we have a decision to make---Heaven or hell? Which will it be? We are always given an opportunity to be at these choice points. When the decision is made for forgiveness, it is a choice for Heaven, and when the decision is made for retaliation, it is a choice for hell and to identify with the false self. The power of choice is always available to us. When we choose with the strength of God in us, vision is ours.
 
Jesus tells us we will not refuse His gift of vision forever. "God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself." (W.42.2.1-2) At some point, we will agree to cooperate with Him, but when we are ready to make this choose is up to us. This is where our will comes into play. The circumstances we find ourselves in don't matter. What has been given is already there. There is nothing to seek. It is only a journey of undoing our wrong-minded interpretations. That is why Jesus says we need do nothing. There is nothing we can do but accept what we already are. It is to accept the Atonement. "Release is given you the instant you desire it. " (T.18.VII.4.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.66) We have not changed ourselves. We are simply unaware of the reality of our Being, which is complete, perfect, and holy. We can't go against His Will because there is nothing we have done to change ourselves. Our power comes from His strength, not our own. Our vision comes from His gift, and His gift has no conditions. It can be received by us wherever we are, in whatever place, and whatever time. The gift is freely given by God. The goal of the Course is for us to accept His vision. It is His gift to us and comes from His strength. Vision allows us to see past the illusion to the truth.
 
It seems that striving and worrying are thus totally needless. We simply can't mess up! Even our mistakes can be used for our benefit. When we bring our issues to the Holy Spirit for healing, He responds with His gifts, which extend to all. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we willingly release ourselves from any hell we have made for ourselves. "You are prepared. Now you need but to remember you need do nothing. It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do." (T.18.VII.5.4-6) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.67) Through demonstration, we communicate that this release from the ego's dominance in our lives is available to others as well. We become an example of the choice available to everyone. This is what true leadership is about.
 
Yes, we can delay, yet "Nothing is ever lost but time, which in the end is meaningless." (T.26.V.2) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.31) It is a matter of readiness and is up to each of us when we will say "yes" to God. It is when we recognize on our own that we can't resolve anything. It is to recognize that we have been wrong about everything. "What happiness have you sought here that did not bring you pain?" (T.30.V.9.7) (ACIM OE T.30.VI.65) Until the pain becomes unbearable, we will still keep trying to do life our way. Yet whatever we try to do, we simply can't change the truth about ourselves. That is what the Atonement principle is all about. While we can refuse the truth for a while, we can't change the very fact we did not separate from God and are still His holy Son.
 
Why the resistance? We continue to want to do it our way. We still fear the power of our minds to choose love. We have run away from who we are in truth, and have chosen our separate, individual selves. We continue to rely on our little efforts when we can be carried by His strength. Yet the outcome of this struggle is inevitable. Jesus tells us our tolerance for pain has a limit. "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. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision." (T.2.III.3.5-8) (ACIM OE T.2.II.48) All of us are at this turning point. We are undertaking to do this Course because we have made the decision to use time to awaken from this dream. Now we have come to a branch in the road, and we can go forward or nowhere at all.
 
We can't give ourselves vision. Our job is to clear away the dense clouds and reach the quiet place within. Vision is a gift. It is a gift available to us anytime we choose. "Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety." (M.4.VIII.1) We are called to be gentle but firm with ourselves in doing the Lessons. If we truly want vision, we have to do the work in mind training. An undisciplined mind cannot accomplish anything. As we undertake this practice, we open up to who we really are as we were created. No matter how much we think we have changed ourselves, it is an impossible feat. We can't be something we are not. We truly are holy because that is how we were created. We hide from that reality by judging how things should be, finding fault, wishing things were different, trying to find happiness in the world, and pretending we know what is good for us. When that does not work, we play the victim. "How could this happen to me?" We hold God responsible for our condition, asking why He has abandoned us. In truth, we have abandoned Him, but we don't want to take responsibility for this, so we deny our power.
 
"There are two teachers only, who point in different ways. And you will go along the way your chosen teacher leads. There are but two directions you can take, while time remains and choice is meaningful. For never will another road be made except the way to Heaven. You but choose whether to go toward Heaven, or away to nowhere. There is nothing else to choose." (T.26.V.1.7-12) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.30) This makes our choice really simple. Every time we choose the ego, we are wasting time. When we choose God's strength in us, we choose His vision, and thus we gladden ourselves. The power to choose is in our decision-making mind.
 
This Course can take us all the way home. There is nothing we need for our awakening. These Lessons, together with our understanding of the text, provide a complete thought system. Jesus says the idea today is ". . . teaching you that you are studying a unified thought system in which nothing is lacking that is needed, and nothing is included that is contradictory or irrelevant." (W.42.7.2) This is an important point. Once you have decided on the Course as your path, mixing it up with other paths will only confuse you. Recognize it is a unified thought system with nothing lacking. The Course offers us everything we need to go home. One way we resist waking up from this dream is to distract ourselves with all kinds of spiritual pursuits. It can become just another ego distraction.
 
Our motivation to achieve vision is determined by how much investment we give to each Lesson. "The more often you repeat the idea during the day, the more often you will be reminding yourself that the goal of the course is important to you, and that you have not forgotten it." (W.42.8.1) This can be said about most, if not all, of the Lessons. We need to remind ourselves of the truth, so the Voice of truth becomes the Voice we listen to more and more consistently. The chatter of the ego is what we have come to identify with in this world, and it does not have our best interests in mind. The ego is not who we are. It does not define us.
 
We do not fight it because to fight it is like fighting darkness. It is to fight a puff of nothingness that we have given power to. With God as your strength, ". . . you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God." (W.42.1.2-3) If it were by our will, or by our strength or determination, that we had to overcome the ego and achieve vision, we would certainly not have the power to do so. The ego would never undo itself. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit within. He is the light that shines away the darkness. Our part is simply to look at the darkness without judgment. It sounds simple, but it requires great vigilance. It requires that we take responsibility for our projections and get honest with ourselves and courageous in looking at the ego.
 
Today in our morning and evening practice, repeat the idea slowly with your eyes open, looking about you, then close your eyes and repeat the idea again even slower than before. Allow related thoughts to come to mind. Do not strain or actively try to think them up. "Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come." (W.42.6.2) Also, remind yourself to do this frequently throughout the day, the more the better.

Love and blessings, Sarah  
 
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A Course in Miracles
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ACIM Original Edition
 
Chapter Four: The Root of All Evil
 
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IV. Love Without Conflict  
 
41 You have never understood what "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you" means. The reason you have not understood it is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, and this does not mean anything. The word "within" is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom? This is the whole message of the Atonement, a message which in its totality transcends the sum of its parts. Christmas is not a time; it is a state of mind. The Christ Mind wills from the Soul not from the ego, and the Christ Mind is yours.
 
42 You too have a kingdom which your Soul created. It has not ceased to create because your ego has set you on the road of perception. Your Soul's creations are no more fatherless than you are. Your ego and your Soul will never be co-creators, but your Soul and your Creator will always be. Be confident that your creations are as safe as you are.
 
43The Kingdom is perfectly united and perfectly protected, 
    and the ego will not prevail against it. Amen.
 
44 That was written in that form because it is a good thing to use as a kind of a prayer in moments of temptation. It is a Declaration of Independence. You will find it very helpful if you understand it fully.
 
45 In its characteristically upside-down way, the ego has taken the impulses from the superconscious and perceives them as if they arise in the unconscious. The ego judges what is to be accepted, and the impulses from the superconscious are unacceptable to it because they clearly point to the nonexistence of the ego itself. The ego therefore experiences threat and not only censors but also reinterprets the data. However, as Freud correctly pointed out, what you have repressed can retain a very active life beyond your awareness.
 
46 Repression thus operates to conceal not only the baser impulses but also the most lofty ones from awareness because both are threatening to the ego and, being concerned primarily with its own preservation in the face of threat, the ego perceives them as the same. The threat-value of the lofty is actually much greater to the ego because the pull of God Himself can hardly be equated with the pull of human appetites. By perceiving them as the same, the ego attempts to save itself from being swept away, as it would surely be in the presence of knowledge.
 
47 The upper level of the unconscious thus contains the Call of God as well as the call of the body. That is why the basic conflict between love and fear is unconscious; the ego cannot tolerate either and represses both by resorting to inhibition. Society depends on inhibiting the latter, but salvation depends on disinhibiting the former. The reason you need my help is because you have repressed your own Guide and therefore need guidance. My role is to separate the true from the false in your unconscious so it can break through the barriers the ego has set up and shine into your minds. Against our united strength, the ego cannot prevail.
 
48 It should be apparent to you by now why the ego regards the Soul as its "enemy." The ego arose from the separation, and its continued existence depends on your continuing belief in the separation. Having reduced the Soul impulses to the unconscious, the ego has to offer you some sort of reward for maintaining this belief. All it can offer is a sense of temporary existence, which begins with its own beginning and ends with its own ending. It tells you this life is your existence because it is its own. Against this sense of temporary existence the Soul offers you the knowledge of permanence and unshakable being. No one who has experienced the revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift of God?
 
49 You who identify with your egos cannot believe that God loves you. You do not love what you have made, and what you made does not love you. Being made out of the denial of the Father, the ego has no allegiance to its own maker. You cannot conceive of the real relationship which exists between God and His Souls because of the hatred you have for the self you have made. You project onto your own idea of yourself the will to separate, which conflicts with the love you feel for what you made because you made it. No human love is without this ambivalence, and since no ego has experienced love without ambivalence, the concept is beyond its understanding.
 
50 Love will enter immediately into any mind which truly wants it, but it must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence, and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego's "drive to get." There is a kind of experience which is so different from anything the ego can offer that you will never recover. The word "recover" is used quite literally here-you will never be able to cover or hide again. It is necessary to repeat here that your belief in darkness and in hiding is why the light cannot enter. The Bible gives many references to the immeasurable gifts which are for you but for which you must ask. This is not a condition as the ego sets conditions. It is the glorious condition of what you are.
 
51 No force except your own will is strong enough or worthy enough to guide you. In this you are as free as God and must remain so forever. You can never be bound except in honor, and that is always voluntary. Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His love for you and yours for Him. He has never failed to answer this request because it asks only for what He has already willed. Those who call truly are always answered. Thou shalt have no other gods before Him because there are none.
 
52 It has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever had that opposes knowledge. You retain thousands of little scraps of meanness which prevent the Holy One from entering. Light cannot penetrate through the walls you make to block it, and it is forever unwilling to destroy what you have made. No one can see through a wall, but I can step around it. Watch your minds for the scraps of meanness or you will be unable to ask me to do so. I can help you only as our Father created us. I will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what you have made, but I will neither honor it nor love it unless it is true.
 
53 I will never forsake you any more than God will, but I must wait as long as you choose to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly. I will come in response to a single unequivocal call. Watch carefully and see what it is you are really asking for. Be very honest with yourself about this, for we must hide nothing from each other. If you will really try to do this, you have taken the first step toward preparing your mind for the Holy One to enter. We will prepare for this together, for once He has come, you will be ready to help me make other minds ready for Him. How long will you deny Him His Kingdom?
 
54 In your own unconscious, deeply repressed by the ego, is the declaration of your release. God has given you everything. This is the one fact that means the ego does not exist and which therefore makes it profoundly afraid. In the ego's language, remember, "to have" and "to be" are different, but they are identical to the Soul. The Soul knows that you both have everything and are everything. Any distinction in this respect is meaningful only when the idea of "getting," which implies a lack, has already been accepted. That is why we made no distinction before between having the Kingdom of God and being the Kingdom of God.
 
55 The calm being of God's Kingdom, which in your sane mind is perfectly conscious, is ruthlessly banished from the part of the mind which the ego rules. The ego is desperate because it opposes literally invincible odds, whether you are asleep or awake. Consider how much vigilance you have been willing to exert to protect your ego and how little you have been willing to expend to protect your higher mind. Who but the insane would undertake to believe what is not true and then protect this belief at the cost of truth?
 
  ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM    
 

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