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29 Hear only this through the Holy Spirit within you, and teach your brothers to listen as I am teaching you. When you are tempted by the wrong voice, call on me to remind you how to heal by sharing my decision and making it stronger. As we share this goal we increase its power to attract the whole Sonship and to bring it back into the Oneness in which it was created. Remember that "yoke" means "join together" and "burden" means "message." Let us reconsider the Biblical statement, "My yoke is easy and my burden light" in this way: "Let us join together, for my message is light."

Workbook for Students
Review I
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:

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 54
1 These 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.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 5

 Healing and Wholeness

IV. The Voice for God
20 It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God's Sons are as equal as learners as they are as Souls. The Voice of the Holy Spirit is the call to Atonement or the restoration of the integrity of the mind. When the Atonement is complete and the whole Sonship is healed, there will be no call to return, but what God creates is eternal. The Holy Spirit will remain with the Sons of God to bless their creations and keep them in the light of joy.

21 You are the Kingdom of Heaven, but you have let the belief in darkness enter your minds, and so you need a new light. The Holy Spirit is the radiance that you must let banish the idea of darkness. His is the glory before which dissociation falls away and the Kingdom of Heaven breaks through into its own. Before the separation you did not need guidance. You knew as you will know again, but as you do not know now. God does not guide because He can share only perfect knowledge. Guidance is evaluative because it implies that there is a right way and also a wrong way, one to be chosen and the other to be avoided. By choosing one, you give up the other.

22 This is a conflict state. It means that knowledge has been lost because knowledge is sure. God is not in you in a literal sense; you are part of Him. When you chose to leave Him, He gave you a Voice to speak for Him because He could no longer share His knowledge with you without hindrance. Direct communication was broken because you had made another voice through another will. The Holy Spirit calls you both to remember and to forget. You have chosen to be in a state of opposition in which opposites are possible. As a result, there are choices which you must make. In the holy state, the will is free in the sense that its creative power is unlimited, but choice itself is meaningless.

23 Freedom to choose is the same power as freedom to create, but its application is different. Choosing means divided will. The Holy Spirit is one way of choosing. This way is in you because there is also another way. God did not leave His Children comfortless, even though they chose to leave Him. The voice they put in their minds was not the voice of His Will for which the Holy Spirit speaks. The call to return is stronger than the call to depart, but it speaks in a different way.

24 The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command because it is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand because it does not seek control. It does not overcome because it does not attack. It merely reminds. It is compelling only because of what it reminds you of. It brings to your mind the other way, remaining quiet even in the midst of the turmoil you have made for yourselves. The Voice for God is always quiet because it speaks of peace. Yet peace is stronger than war because it heals. War is division, not increase. No one gains from strife.

25 "What profiteth it a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own Soul?" That means that if he listens to the wrong voice, he has lost sight of his Soul. He cannot lose it, but he can not know it. It is therefore lost to him until he chooses right. The Holy Spirit is your Guide in choosing. He is the part of your mind which always speaks for the right choice because He speaks for God. He is your remaining communication with God, which you can interrupt but cannot destroy.

26 The Holy Spirit is the way in which God's Will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Both Heaven and earth are in you because the call of both is in your will and therefore in your mind. The Voice for God comes from your own altars to Him. These altars are not things; they are devotions. Yet you have other devotions now. Your divided devotion has given you the two voices, and you must choose at which altar you will to serve. The call you answer now is an evaluation because it is a decision. The decision itself is very simple. It is made on the basis of which call is worth more to you.

27 My mind will always be like yours because we were created as equals. It was only my decision that gave me all power in Heaven and earth. My only gift to you is to help you make the same decision for yourself. The will for this decision is the will to share it because the decision itself is the decision to share. It is made by giving and is therefore the one act of mind that resembles true creation. You understand the role of "models" in the learning process and the importance of the models you value and choose to follow in determining what you will to learn. I am your model for decision. By deciding for God, I showed you that this decision can be made and that you can make it.

28 I promised you that the mind that made the decision for me is also in you and that you can let it change you just as it changed me. This mind is unequivocal because it hears only one voice and answers in only one way. You are the light of the world with me. Rest does not come from sleeping but from waking. The Holy Spirit is the call to awake and be glad. The world is very tired because it is the idea of weariness. Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God. Everyone will answer the Call of the Holy Spirit, or the Sonship cannot be as one. What better vocation could there be for any part of the Kingdom than to restore it to the perfect integration that can make it whole?

29 Hear only this through the Holy Spirit within you, and teach your brothers to listen as I am teaching you. When you are tempted by the wrong voice, call on me to remind you how to heal by sharing my decision and making it stronger. As we share this goal we increase its power to attract the whole Sonship and to bring it back into the Oneness in which it was created. Remember that "yoke" means "join together" and "burden" means "message." Let us reconsider the Biblical statement, "My yoke is easy and my burden light" in this way: "Let us join together, for my message is light."

30 I came into your minds because you had grown vaguely aware of the fact that there is another way or another Voice. Having given this invitation to the Holy Spirit, I could come to provide the model for how to think. Psychology has become the study of behavior, but no one denies the basic law that behavior is a response to motivation, and motivation is will. I have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same mind to do this. This mind is the Holy Spirit, whose will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought and to behave like me as a result.

31 The power of our joint motivation is beyond belief but not beyond accomplishment. What we can accomplish together has no limits because the Call for God is the call to the unlimited. Child of God, my message is for you to hear and give away as you answer the Holy Spirit within you.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 54 ~ Review I
[Review Lessons 16-20]
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.

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Love and blessings, Sarah

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