Lesson 54
The Peace of God
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58 How can you who are so holy suffer? All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left except a blessing. You can indeed depart in peace because I have loved you as I loved myself. You go with my blessing and for my blessing. Hold it and share it, that it may always be ours. I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share. The heart is pure to hold it and the hands are strong to give it. We cannot lose. My judgment is as strong as the wisdom of God, in Whose Heart and Hands we have our being. His quiet Children are His blessed Sons. The Thoughts of God are with you. 
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Review I Introduction
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio    
1 Beginning with today, we will have a series of review periods. Each of them will cover five of the ideas already presented, starting with the first and ending with the fiftieth. There will be a few short comments after each of the ideas which you should consider in your review. In the practice periods, the exercises should be done as follows:  
2 Begin the day by reading the five ideas, with the comments included. Thereafter, it is not necessary to follow any particular order in considering them, though each one should be practiced at least once. Devote two minutes or more to each practice period, thinking about the idea and the related comments. Do this as often as possible during the day. If any one of the five ideas appeals to you more than the others, concentrate on that one. At the end of the day, however, be sure to review all of them once more. 
3 It is not necessary to cover the comments that follow each idea literally or thoroughly in the practice periods. Rather, try merely to emphasize the central point and think about it as part of your review of the idea to which it relates. 
4 The review exercises should be done with your eyes closed and when you are alone in a quiet place if possible. This is emphasized particularly for reviews at your stage of learning. It will be necessary, however, that you learn to require no special settings in which to apply what you have learned. You will need it most in situations which appear to be upsetting, rather than in those which already seem to be calm and quiet. 
5 The purpose of your learning is to enable you to bring the quiet with you and to heal distress and turmoil. This is not done by avoiding them and seeking a haven of isolation for yourself. You will yet learn that peace is part of you and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are. And finally you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are. 
6 You will note that for review purposes the ideas are not always given in quite their original form of statement. Use them as they are given here. It is not necessary to return to the original statements nor to apply the ideas as was suggested then. We are now emphasizing the relationships among the first fifty of the ideas we have covered and the cohesiveness of the thought system to which they are leading you.

~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 54 ~ Review I
[Review Lesson 16-20]

 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 

1These are the review ideas for today: 
[16]  I have no neutral thoughts.
2 Neutral thoughts are impossible because all thoughts have power. They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one. But thoughts cannot be without effects. As the world I see arises from my thinking errors, so will the real world rise before my eyes as I let my errors be corrected. My thoughts cannot be neither true nor false. They must be one or the other. What I see shows me which they are. 
[17]  I see no neutral things.
3 What I see witnesses to what I think. If I did not think, I would not exist, because life is thought. Let me look on the world I see as the representation of my own state of mind. I know that my state of mind can change. And so I also know the world I see can change as well. 
[18] I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
4 If I have no private thoughts, I cannot see a private world. Even the mad idea of separation had to be shared before it could form the basis of the world I see. Yet that sharing was a sharing of nothing. I can also call upon my real thoughts, which share everything with everybody. As my thoughts of separation call to the separation thoughts of others, so my real thoughts awaken the real thoughts in them. And the world my real thoughts show me will dawn on their sight as well as mine. 
[19]  I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
5 I am alone in nothing. Everything I think or say or do touches all the universe. A Son of God cannot think or speak or act in vain. He cannot be alone in anything. It is therefore in my power to change every mind along with mine, for mine is the power of God. 
[20]  I am determined to see.
6 Recognizing the shared nature of my thoughts, I am determined to see. I would look upon the witnesses that show me the thinking of the world has been changed. I would behold the proof that what has been done through me has enabled love to replace fear, laughter to replace weeping, and abundance to replace loss. I would look upon the real world, and let it teach me that my will and the Will of God are one.
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
  [Review Lessons 16-20]  
Sarah's Commentary: 

The theme of the Lessons we are reviewing today is about the power of our thoughts. It is a power that has made up a world separate from God. It is a world He does not know of. If God knew of this world, it would have to mean it is real. Yet the only reality is God's Kingdom. Our thinking errors are what made the world we see. It is a shared illusion. "Even the mad idea of separation had to be shared before it could form the basis of the world I see." (W.54.3.3) This is why billions of people can agree about the nature of this world, but that does not make it true. It just means it is a shared thought of separation. The world is illusory and does not exist except in the beliefs we hold about it, and those beliefs have power. It is impossible to have a neutral thought. "Neutral thoughts are impossible because all thoughts have power." (W.54.1.2) After all, thoughts are what make the world what it is. The thing that is valuable about this power is that it can undo all we have made real.
Every thought has an effect. The entire world is the effect of our incredibly powerful thoughts. As we change our minds, we change our world. Mind is the cause, and the world is the effect. Clearly, this is not how we experience the world. We see the world as the cause of our distress, and thus, we see ourselves as its effect. As such, we see ourselves as the victims of what the world seems to be delivering. When we turn to the Lessons, they shift our thinking and help us to recognize that everything starts in our minds. Our thoughts are what have made this world appear to be real and solid; but equally, our thoughts can lead us out of this world to the real world. It is through forgiveness that we come to see with vision.
Forgiveness undoes all that is false. With the separation came enormous guilt, which was overwhelming to the mind. Thus, the ego offered us a scheme to make it possible to live with all this guilt. The scheme was to project the guilt onto others. Now we find others to blame for our circumstances. We are under the illusion we have released our guilt by making others responsible, but this is, instead, how we hang onto guilt. Yet when we take responsibility for our projections, without blaming ourselves for them, the Correction can be made and the plan of the ego to keep us invested in guilt is undone. While the ego is totally insane, it is nevertheless brilliant in creating this plan, making us think we have released our guilt through projection.
Forgiveness can only be understood in the context that this world is not real and nothing has really happened. In the illusion, there are painful events and difficult situations. Forgiveness allows us to see them from outside the dream and recognize their unreality. What we are seeing are the projected images from our own fearful minds. When the projected images are ". . . cleansed and purified, and finally removed forever," (T.18.IX.14.2) (ACIM OE T.18.XI.98) and our false perceptions are forgiven, we will see ". . . the bright world of new and clean perception." (T.18.IX.14.3) (ACIM OE T.18.XI.98) This is the real world we experience when forgiveness is complete. The real world is a state of love, innocence, peace, and joy. "And it is there that peace awaits you." (T.18.IX.14.5) (ACIM OE T.18.XI.98)
There is no middle ground between the ego's guilt and fear and the peace and love we experience when we choose the miracle. Neutral thoughts are impossible because all thoughts have power. Every thought we have is either of love or fear, Heaven or hell. There is no middle ground. "My thoughts cannot be neither true nor false. They must be one or the other. What I see shows me which they are." (W.54.1.6-8) It is a mutually exclusive state of "one or the other," which is why we can't hold both love and hate in our minds at the same time. We know which thought we have chosen by its effects. The world is thus a representation of our own state of mind. If we want to know the state of our mind, we just need to look at how we are feeling. When we experience joy and peace, which are not dependent on external circumstances, we know we have chosen the Holy Spirit. What we perceive is never a fact but only an interpretation of our own making.
I used to become very upset when negative emotions would arise in me. I would crucify myself for making mistakes. I saw my mistakes as evidence of not being sufficiently spiritual. Now, as I look more and more at these negative thoughts and emotions, while I don't enjoy them, I am more and more an observer of them. I resist making judgments about myself for having these thoughts. By stepping back from them, I am able to see that these thoughts and emotions do not define me. Instead, they provide an opportunity to look at my unhealed mind and choose another way. This is the purpose of the world, our relationships, and circumstances. When judgments come up, just see them as another opportunity for forgiveness and healing. The world has no other purpose than this. There is no value in delay. The time is now. Can further delay bring us anything but what it has always brought us which is more suffering, pain, and sickness? Now we are called to use time for its intended purpose, which is to undo all that keeps us in hell.
The process of watching our egoic reactions develops gradually over a period of time. It takes practice. One of the pitfalls we fall into is when we judge ourselves for getting angry or for making judgments. We think that if we don't see everyone through the eyes of love, and if we don't see the Christ in everyone, we just need to try harder to be loving and to stop being judgmental. That is not going to help us in undoing the ego. Instead, we need to simply observe our judgments and our need for specialness and be willing to let them go by turning them over to the gentle love of Jesus, who helps us to see the ego as completely meaningless. "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false." (T.16.IV.6.1-2) (ACIM OE T.16.V.35)
Thus, to take responsibility for our thoughts requires a high level of honesty and courage. Our tendency is to defend, rationalize, explain, and justify by telling stories of why we feel the way we do. This won't help us in our healing. We can't expect this world of egos to always treat us lovingly. Problems will prevail. Despite our best efforts in extending love, the world can still treat us with unkindness, rudeness, and nastiness, but ultimately true inner peace does not depend on the behaviors of others. Certainly, it may not be in our best interest to stay in difficult relationships and difficult situations, but maintaining relationships in form is not what is important. What is important is the content of our minds. Leaving relationships can be a right-minded decision.
We can never know the entirety of someone's path of Atonement. The same healing opportunity is there for them, as it is for us. Whatever shows up in our lives is just another opportunity for healing, as it is for anyone who makes this choice. They have the same power, as we do, to choose forgiveness when they are sufficiently motivated to do so. Patience is one of the characteristics of the teacher of God, and we can afford to be patient because the outcome is certain for us all. The only important factor is not the forms of this world, but the content of our own minds. Thus, it really does not matter what anyone does, only how we interpret what is happening. Ultimately, when we let go of all our judgments and our need for specialness, we will automatically perceive the Christ in everyone. It is not a matter of trying. It is only a matter of bringing our judgments and grievances to the Holy Spirit.
All the multiplicity of problems and complexities we experience in relationships, and all the confusion, anger, and stress that arises, is the result of our mistaken thoughts. They are not idle thoughts. Look around you and see what they have produced. They have produced this world we have come to believe is our reality. All thoughts have power. "All thinking produces form at some level." (T.2.VI.9.14) (ACIM OE T.2.V.92)
There are no private thoughts. All minds are joined. There is only one Mind, which is the Christ mind. "Everything I think or say or do teaches all the universe." (W.54.4.3) Therefore, if I change my mind because all minds are joined, I have the power to change every mind. Obviously, this is not a matter of trying to heal others, changing their minds, or telling them how to think. It is simply what we call forth in them by being a symbol of right-mindedness. When I choose to let go of my grievances, I send a message to others that they too can engage in this process of awakening from the dream. When I hold onto grievances, I send a message of attack and further separation.
Everything we do reinforces separation or joining. My decision to judge you, get angry with you, worry about you, attack you, blame you, or be jealous of you is a decision for hell instead of Heaven. This reflects the insane promise we made ". . . to another to be hurt by him, and to attack him in return." (T.28.VI.4.7) (ACIM OE T.28.VII.57) Why would we make such an agreement? It seems insane, and it is, but these secret vows were made to keep the separation going so we could keep our identity as a separate being. This is why attack and blame are so attractive to us. "Whoever says, 'There is no gap between my mind and yours' has kept God's promise, not his tiny oath to be forever faithful unto death." (T.28.VI.5.4) (ACIM OE T.28.VII.58) Thus, we have a choice with each decision we make, which is either to attack or to join with our brothers.
We can't change anyone's mind any more than Jesus can change our minds for us. We all need to make our own decisions, but we can use our power for good and truth by being the change we look for in the world. What I look on witnesses to the thought system I have chosen. I can look at the choices I am making by observing what is going on around me. For example, I notice that when I am in conflict with a brother, this often leads to the onset of a cold in me. When I experience a great deal of stress and demand perfectionism of myself, my head hurts. It is an immediate indication of my choice for the ego. On the other hand, when I release a grievance, I feel light and happy. As we learn to pay attention to the witnesses to our state of mind, we can make a choice for healing; as ultimately, all healing is of the mind.
Jesus demonstrated our bodies are not who we are. We are love. We are an idea in the Mind of God, and nothing can hurt us. In order to uncover our reality as love, we need to uncover our unconscious guilt as a result of our belief that we have separated from God. We fear we will never find our way back and have done something terribly evil. In this review, we are being reminded to watch our thoughts and look at what we are making real. Our part is thus to be a demonstration of His love in the world. In order to do that, we must continue to forgive our false perceptions so our minds can be healed of the guilt we are projecting onto others.
Every goal in the world, except the correction of our thoughts, has no value. It doesn't matter what we are doing in the world. Whether we are a teacher, stockbroker, mother, lawyer, service worker, or nurse, it is all just a backdrop for our real work in the world, which is to take responsibility for the healing of our guilt.
The goal of this Course peace. The only way we will know peace is through forgiveness. It doesn't mean we need to hang with anyone. It doesn't mean they have to be in our presence or still be in their bodies. The forgiveness work is the same. We are healing our perceptions and remembering that our perceptions are never a fact but an interpretation.
I am determined to see because I am realizing the true nature and power of my mind. We can choose to make more and more illusions, which witness to guilt and fear, or we can practice forgiveness and witness more peace, joy, and joining in our lives. In that choice, thoughts of love replace thoughts of fear. Thoughts of laughter replace thoughts of tears, and thoughts of abundance replace thoughts of loss. These are the choices available to us.
Love and blessings, Sarah  
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Five: Healing and Wholeness
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
VI. Therapy and Teaching          
44 You must have noticed how often I have used your own ideas to help you. You have learned to be a loving, wise, and very understanding therapist except for yourself. That exception has given you more than perception for others because of what you saw in them but less than knowledge of your real relationships to them because you did not accept them as part of you. Understanding is beyond perception because it introduces meaning. It is, however, below knowledge even though it can grow towards it. It is possible, with great effort, to understand someone else to some extent and to be quite helpful to him, but the effort is misdirected. The misdirection is quite apparent; it is directed away from you.
45 This does not mean that it is lost to you, but it does mean that you are not aware of it. I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you have had. I have purified them of the errors which hid their light and have kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt. They came from the Holy Spirit within you, and we know what God creates is eternal. What fear has hidden still is part of you.
46 Joining the Atonement, which I have repeatedly asked you to do, is always a way out of fear. This does not mean that you can safely fail to acknowledge anything that is true. However, the Holy Spirit will not fail to help you reinterpret everything that you perceive as fearful and teach you that only what is loving is true. Truth is beyond your ability to destroy but entirely within your grasp. It belongs to you because you created it. It is yours because it is a part of you, just as you are part of God because He created you.
47 The Atonement is the guarantee of the safety of the Kingdom. Nothing good is lost because it comes from the Holy Spirit, the Voice for creation. Nothing that is not good was ever created and therefore cannot be protected. What the ego makes, it keeps to itself, and so it is without strength. Its unshared existence does not die; it was merely never born. Real birth is not a beginning; it is a continuing. Everything that can continue has been born, but it can increase as you are willing to return the part of your mind that needs healing to the higher part and thus render your creating undivided.
48 As a therapist, you yourself tell your patients that the real difference between neurotic and "healthy" guilt feelings is that neurotic guilt feelings do not help anyone. This distinction is wise though incomplete. Let us make the distinction a little sharper now. Neurotic guilt feelings are a device of the ego for "atoning" without sharing and for asking pardon without change. The ego never calls for real Atonement and cannot tolerate forgiveness, which is change.
49 Your concept of "healthy guilt feelings" has merit, but without the concept of the Atonement, it lacks the healing potential it holds. You made the distinction in terms of feelings, which led to a decision not to repeat the error, which is only part of healing. Your concept lacked the idea of undoing it. What you were really advocating, then, was adopting a policy of sharing without a real foundation. I have come to give you the foundation, so your own thoughts can make you really free. You have carried the burden of the ideas you did not share and which were therefore too weak to increase, but you did not recognize how to undo their existence because you had made them.
50 You cannot cancel out your past errors alone. They will not disappear from your mind without remedy. The remedy is not of your making, any more than you are. The Atonement cannot be understood except as a pure act of sharing. That is what is meant when we said it is possible even in this world to listen to one voice. If you are part of God and the Sonship is one, you cannot be limited to the "self" the ego sees. Every loving thought held in any part of the Sonship belongs to every part. It is shared because it is loving. Sharing is God's way of creating and also yours. Your ego can keep you in exile from the Kingdom, but in the Kingdom itself it has no power.

51 You have become willing to receive my messages as I give them without interference by the ego, so we can clarify an earlier point. We said that you will one day teach as much as you learn and that will keep you in balance. The time is now because you have let it be now. You cannot learn except by teaching.
52 I heard one voice because I had learned that learning is attained by teaching. I understood that I could not atone for myself alone. Listening to one voice means the will to share the voice in order to hear it yourself. The mind that was in me is still irresistibly drawn to every mind created by God because God's Wholeness is the wholeness of His Son.
53 Turning the other cheek does not mean that you should submit to violence without protest. It means that you cannot be hurt and do not want to show your brother anything except your wholeness. Show him that he cannot hurt you and hold nothing against him, or you hold it against yourself. Teaching is done in many ways: by formal means, by guidance, and above all by example. Teaching is therapy because it means the sharing of ideas and the awareness that to share them is to strengthen them. The union of the Sonship is its protection. The ego cannot prevail against the Kingdom because it is united, and the ego fades away and is undone in the presence of the attraction of the parts of the Sonship, which hear the call of the Holy Spirit to be as One.
54 I cannot forget my need to teach what I have learned, which arose in me because I learned it. I call upon you to teach what you have learned because by so doing you can depend on it. Make it dependable in my name because my name is the Name of God's Son. What I learned I give you freely, and the mind which was in me rejoices as you choose to hear it. The Holy Spirit atones in all of us by undoing and thus lifts the burden you have placed in your mind. By following Him, He leads you back to God where you belong, and how can you find this way except by taking your brother with you?
55 My part in the Atonement is not complete until you join it and give it away. As you teach, so shall you learn. I will never leave you or forsake you because to forsake you would be to forsake myself and God who created me. You will forsake yourselves and God if you forsake any of your brothers. You are more than your brother's keeper. In fact, you do not want to keep him. You must learn to see him as he is and know that he belongs to God as you do. How could you treat your brother better than by rendering unto God the things which are God's?
56 Ideas do not leave the mind which thought them to have a separate being, nor do separate thoughts conflict with one another in space because they do not occupy space at all. However, human ideas can conflict in content because they occur at different levels and include opposite thoughts at the same level. It is impossible to share opposing thoughts. The Holy Spirit does not let you forsake your brothers. Therefore, you can really share only the parts of your thoughts which are of Him and which He also keeps for you. And of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. All the rest remains with you until He has reinterpreted them in the light of the Kingdom, making them, too, worthy of being shared. When they have been sufficiently purified, He lets you give them away. The will to share them is their purification.
57 The Atonement gives you the power of a healed mind, but the power to create is of God. Therefore, those who have been forgiven must devote themselves first to healing because having received the idea of healing, they must give it to hold it. The full power of creation cannot be expressed as long as any of God's ideas withhold it from the Kingdom. The joint will of all the Sonship is the only creator that can create like the Father because only the complete can think completely, and the thinking of God lacks nothing. Everything you think that is not through the Holy Spirit is lacking.
58 How can you who are so holy suffer? All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left except a blessing. You can indeed depart in peace because I have loved you as I loved myself. You go with my blessing and for my blessing. Hold it and share it, that it may always be ours. I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share. The heart is pure to hold it and the hands are strong to give it. We cannot lose. My judgment is as strong as the wisdom of God, in Whose Heart and Hands we have our being. His quiet Children are His blessed Sons. The Thoughts of God are with you. 

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