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We have said before, "As you teach so shall you learn." If you react as if you are persecuted, you are teaching persecution. This is not a lesson which the Sons of God should want to teach if they are to realize their own salvation. Rather, teach your own perfect immunity, which is the truth in you, and know that it cannot be assailed.
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 62
Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world. 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

1 It is your forgiveness that will bring the world of darkness to the light. It is your forgiveness that lets you recognize the light in which you see. Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about yourself return to your memory. Therefore in your forgiveness lies your salvation. 
2 Illusions about yourself and the world are one. That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Your goal is to find out who you are, having denied your identity by attacking creation and its Creator. Now you are learning how to remember the truth. For this, attack must be replaced by forgiveness so that thoughts of life may replace thoughts of death. 
3 Remember that in every attack you call upon your own weakness, while every time you forgive you call upon the strength of Christ in you. Do you not then begin to understand what forgiveness will do for you? It will remove all sense of weakness, strain, and fatigue from your mind. It will take away all fear and guilt and pain. It will restore the invulnerability and power God gave His Son to your awareness. 
4 Let us be glad to begin and end this day by practicing today's idea and to use it as frequently as possible throughout the day. It will help to make the day as happy for you as God wants you to be. And it will help those around you as well as those who seem to be far away in space and time to share this happiness with you. 
5 As often as you can, closing your eyes if possible, say to yourself: 
6 Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.
I would fulfill my function that I may be happy.
7 Then devote a minute or two to considering your function and the happiness and release it will bring you. 
8 Let related thoughts come freely, for your heart will recognize these words, and in your mind is the awareness that they are true. Should your attention wander, repeat the idea and add: 
9 I would remember this because I want to be happy.
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Lesson 62
Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.   
Sarah's Commentary:  
This Lesson speaks of the importance of our function here as the light of the world. Forgiveness is essential, if we are to carry out that function, but it is important to remember that forgiveness is all about releasing the dark thoughts in our own minds. While it is not about forgiving anyone else, forgiveness is undertaken in the context of a relationship. It is about looking at the projection of guilt we have placed onto another person. That is what we are to forgive-our own projection.
This is the second in our giant stride Lessons. This Lesson is about recognizing that the light we are is as a result of our authorship by God. He is the Source of that light. He is our Father. When we give over the blocks, which keep the light from our awareness, it can shine through us. Through forgiveness, we come to know the light is in us. How we know this is when we have the experience of receiving what we have given. We see the witnesses to our state of mind. When I hang onto what I perceive as a problem in this world and hold onto grievances in relation to what someone has done, I keep myself in hell. With deep inner work of letting go of the problem and choosing peace in place of my grievances, there is a sense of a weight being lifted from my mind.
Recently, I had a situation where there was a huge misappropriation of funds, which cost me a large sum. The person, whom I had considered a friend, was my seeming betrayer. The temptation to fight the situation and hold the grievance was very compelling, but the bigger pull was to release it, so I could have peace. As thoughts of revenge, anger, betrayal, and hatred showed up, I saw they were my own self-attack thoughts coming from my mind, not from the situation. The temptation was to see them in my seeming betrayer. What this person did for me was reflect what was already in my mind. It took some time and great willingness to release these thoughts, because my ego was happy to keep reminding me of how I was being victimized, but I was willing to be wrong about the way I saw this situation.
I was willing to ask for help of the Holy Spirit to give me another interpretation. His interpretation is always that my brother is innocent, no matter how it looks to me through my eyes. I found it helpful to keep looking at the situation from outside the dream and see it for the illusion it was, and with each day there was more peace until it all seemed to 'magically' dissolve into nothingness. That is what forgiveness does. It looks on devastation and reminds the mind what it sees is false. It overlooks error. Then the mind is shifted through the miracle. The miracle is the effect of the change of mind. The day came when I looked for the anger and it was no longer there. The situation remains, but it no longer carries any emotional baggage, and that is the miracle.
Through forgiveness, the peace and happiness already within the mind can shine forth. That is truly the motivation to do these Lessons. All of our unhappiness comes from the guilt we hold in our minds, which is manifested as the problems in our lives. Forgiveness is our function as the light of the world. That light has remained hidden because our attention and focus has been almost exclusively on our difficulties, stories, problems, sickness, judgments and belief we hold that we are separate from each other.
We were talking yesterday about friends who have retired from work. Some of them died soon after and others are experiencing depression. It seemed the meaning in their lives had dissipated when they no longer had anything to occupy their time. Jesus shows us what we do in the world is just a backdrop for healing. The world is a perfect classroom for many opportunities presented to us for forgiveness. We are the ones who have set up these opportunities for ourselves, so they are perfect for our healing. These are not decisions made by ourselves as the figure in the dream. They were chosen by the dreamer of this dream, which is our own mind. The only purpose for being here is to choose to use everything in our lives as a classroom for undoing the guilt in our minds and undo the ego thought system of sin, guilt and fear we have bought into.
The world has been a place of distraction where we have used everything and everyone to project our guilt and see ourselves as the victim. Now we are being helped to see how we set all this up. The purpose of seeing ourselves as the victim is so we don't have to take responsibility for our lives and instead blame our situation on others. Then we do not have to take responsibility for the separation, believing instead we had nothing to do with it and are just innocent victims. We declare, "I did not ask to be born!" The truth is everything that seems to happen we did indeed ask for.
Our purpose here is to learn where our happiness is, and in this Lesson we learn that our happiness is in the mind that has chosen to forgive. This is what makes our lives here meaningful. To the ego, we were born to die, but to the Holy Spirit, we were born to learn who we really are and we do that through forgiveness. What we apply our talents and abilities to in this world is only the backdrop for the function we all have, which is to forgive. While we all have unique capacities and talents and bring different gifts to the world, they are all to be used for one purpose---the function of forgiveness. In order to understand what this might look like in the world, we need to look more carefully at what forgiveness of the world and of our brother really is.
First, it is important to recognize that the ego feels strengthened through anger and attack. When we puff up with anger and attack, there is a sense of being strong. "I'm not taking crap from anyone," we say, and we feel momentarily powerful, as a result. We have established our boundaries and will not let anyone take advantage of us ever again. Isn't that the reason we give ourselves for our attacks? Don't we fear being a doormat? Yet, in the long run, or even the short run, we run out of steam and start to feel perturbed ourselves. The ego has told us to place our guilt "out there" on someone whom we feel has wronged us. We want to hold others responsible for our own unhappiness, but we start feeling guilty because our own guilt is reinforced through attack. In other words, any attack we make on a brother is an attack on ourselves. This is something the ego never wants us to see. In our refusal to forgive, we hold onto our guilt and now are held in bondage to our unhappiness.
Our choice to separate and go it alone created the problem in the first place. That is why Jesus says we denied our "Identity by attacking creation and its Creator." (W.62.2.3) We chose to separate from our Creator and thus chose to forget who we are as the Christ Self at one with our Source. Now we see ourselves as individuals with unique personalities, but in that process the world of dreams seemed to arise. That is how we lost ourselves and made an image of ourselves unlike the reality of who we still are as the Christ Self. The truth is we can't change who we are by accepting an image of ourselves instead. Jesus reminds us, "The learning of the world is built upon a concept of the self adjusted to the world's reality." (T.31.V.1.1)(ACIM OE T.31.V.43) The truth about ourselves is revealed only when these concepts we hold onto have been laid aside. Thus, our job is to raise every self-concept to doubt and question, so truth can enter when the slate of one's mind is made free of concepts that crowd the truth out.
If attack feels like strength to the ego, doesn't forgiveness feel like weakness? After all, if we don't stand up for our rights, compete to win, set our boundaries, assert ourselves, get what we want, affirm our position, stand our ground, and fight for what we consider fair and right, won't we just be taken advantage of? In other words, if we don't attack, who will look after our needs? Will we just be run over? This is what the ego insists will happen. Yet Jesus says all we are doing is calling upon our own weakness when we believe these thoughts. "Remember that in every attack you call upon your own weakness." (W.62.3.1) In every attack we make, all we are doing is reminding ourselves how weak we really are, while "each time you forgive you call upon the strength of Christ in you." (W.62.3.1) We have it all wrong when we listen to the ego.
When we attack, we affirm our weakness, and when we forgive, we demonstrate the power in our right minds. That is totally opposite to how we think now. This is because only a weak self can be attacked. Lesson 26 was, "My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability." In other words, attack assumes a self that can be attacked, which is a weak self. Forgiveness, on the other hand, assumes a self that is invulnerable and can't be hurt. This is the truth about us as God's Son. When we choose forgiveness, we are saying to a brother, "You did nothing. You did not attack me. I can't be attacked. I am invulnerable to attack. I choose to see you sinless, so I can see myself that way as well. Thus, I choose strength through forgiveness." Can you see how we have it all backwards? Can you see as we take up our function in the world, which is to forgive, we will be reminding ourselves of our invulnerability, our strength, and thus reclaiming our Identity? This is our motivation to forgive, and this reflects our decision to be happy.
Clearly, Jesus tells us God wants us to have a happy day, and we want this too, but we have been confused about what will make us happy. He tells us using this idea frequently and doing this practice is how we can have a happy day, and others will share in this happiness with us. The effort we put into this practice can add immeasurably to the kind of day we have. He is not asking us to sacrifice what we think brings happiness into our lives. He is asking us to recognize that truly doing this practice can change the kind of day we have. Not only that, "It will help those around you, as well as those who seem to be far away in space and time, to share this happiness with you." (W.62.4.3) To really get that, we need to recognize the power working through us is really awesome. It can bring light and joy to someone far away in distance. He also reminds us it can even help those far away in time and those who have gone before us and are yet to come. That is an amazing thought. Does this mean I can make a difference to the joy of someone who is no longer on this earth plane? It seems so, because there is only one mind. Our separateness is just an illusion, as is time and space, which do not exist. There is only one eternal Son.
What we need to do is become more and more sensitive to our reactions, whether we judge them as negative or positive. They are the important clues to what is going on in our minds. We can then shift our attention from the events and circumstances around us, and focus entirely on our own thoughts. Our feelings, reactions and perceptions are all useful to the Holy Spirit, because they make for the classroom where He uses everything we bring to awareness for healing purposes. It is important to recognize that forgiveness is a process that occurs in the mind in the context of a relationship, because the only thing I am forgiving is my own projections I have placed onto someone. When I take responsibility for those projections, I see "Illusions about yourself and the world are one." (W.62.2.1) In other words, the world is an idea we made up as a projection we hold in our minds. Our only escape from this world of sin, guilt and fear is to recognize that ideas do not leave their source, and if the source of it all is in the mind, we have all power available to us to change our minds.
Through the practice of forgiveness in this classroom where we find ourselves, we will come to know the world and all of our experiences in it are made up. Only then will we stop reacting to its insanity. The goal now is to become very sensitive to our reactions and not pretend they are not there. I find that this takes immense courage and honesty. Instead of defending and rationalizing, we need to look squarely at our ego responses. How do we know they are of the ego? We know by how we feel. Any distress, anxiety, anticipation, frustration, worry, jealousy, excitement, anger, and despair are all triggers to have us identify the thoughts, beliefs and concepts behind these feelings that we need to give over for healing. We can make another choice. We don't have to wait. We can do it now.
In this practice, close your eyes, if possible, and say to yourself, "Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world. I would fulfill my function that I may be happy." (W.62.5.2-3) Do this as frequently as possible throughout the day, starting your day in the morning and ending it in the evening with this Lesson, spending more time on it both morning and evening.
Consider the happiness and release forgiveness will bring you. "Let related thoughts come freely. Your heart will recognize these words and in your mind is the awareness they are true." (5.5-6) It is not about making up thoughts, but listening deeply and letting thoughts come forth that remind you of the truth. Remember the truth is already in your mind. The only way we can be truly happy is by bringing all of our darkness to the light. We must be willing to take responsibility for our projections and bring them to the Holy Spirit. "Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world. I would fulfill my function that I may be happy." (W.62.5.2-3) "Should your attention wander, repeat the idea and add: 'I would remember this because I want to be happy.'" (W.62.5.6-7)   

Love and blessings, Sarah
I. Introduction    

1 The relationship of anger to attack is obvious, but the inevitable association of anger and fear is not always so clear. Anger always involves projection of separation, which must ultimately be accepted as entirely one's own responsibility. Anger cannot occur unless you believe that you have been attacked, that your attack was justified, and that you are in no way responsible. Given these three wholly irrational premises, the equally irrational conclusion that a brother is worthy of attack rather than of love follows. What can be expected from insane premises except an insane conclusion?
2 The way to undo an insane conclusion is to consider the sanity of the premises on which it rests. You cannot be attacked; attack has no justification; and you are responsible for what you believe. You have been asked to take me as your model for learning since an extreme example is a particularly helpful learning device. Everyone teaches and teaches all the time. This is a responsibility which he inevitably assumes the moment he accepts any premise at all, and no one can organize his life without any thought system. Once he has developed a thought system of any kind, he lives by it and teaches it.
3 You have been chosen to teach the Atonement precisely because you have been extreme examples of allegiance to your thought systems and therefore have developed the capacity for allegiance. It has indeed been misplaced, but it is a form of faith which you yourselves have been willing to redirect. You cannot doubt the strength of your devotion when you consider how faithfully you have observed it. It was quite evident that you had already developed the ability to follow a better model if you could accept it.
II. The Message of the Crucifixion    

4 For teaching purposes, let us consider the crucifixion again. We have not dwelt on it before because of its fearful connotations. The only emphasis we laid upon it was that it was not a form of punishment. Nothing, however, can be really explained in negative terms only. There is a positive interpretation of the crucifixion which is wholly devoid of fear and therefore wholly benign in what it teaches if it is properly understood. The crucifixion is nothing more than an extreme example. Its value, like the value of any teaching device, lies solely in the kind of learning it facilitates. It can be and has been misunderstood. This is only because the fearful are apt to perceive fearfully.
5 I have already told you that you can always call on me to share my decision and thus make it stronger. I also told you that the crucifixion was the last foolish journey that the Sonship need take and that it should mean release from fear to anyone who understands it. While we emphasized only the resurrection before, the purpose of the crucifixion and how it actually led to the resurrection was not clarified at that time. Nevertheless, it has a definite contribution to make to your own lives, and if you will consider it without fear, it will help you understand your own role as teachers.
6 You have reacted for years as if you were being crucified. This is a marked tendency of the separated ones, who always refuse to consider what they have done to themselves. Projection means anger, anger fosters assault, and assault promotes fear. The real meaning of the crucifixion lies in the apparent intensity of the assault of some of the Sons of God upon another. This, of course, is impossible and must be fully understood as an impossibility. In fact unless it is fully understood as only that, I cannot serve as a real model for learning.
7 Assault can ultimately be made only on the body. There is little doubt that one body can assault another and can even destroy it. Yet if destruction itself is impossible, then anything that is destructible cannot be real. Therefore, its destruction does not justify anger. To the extent to which you believe that it does, you must be accepting false premises and teaching them to others. The message which the crucifixion was intended to teach was that it is not necessary to perceive any form of assault in persecution because you cannot be persecuted. If you respond with anger, you must be equating yourself with the destructible and are therefore regarding yourself insanely.
8 I have made it perfectly clear that I am like you and you are like me, but our fundamental equality can be demonstrated only through joint decision. You are free to perceive yourselves as persecuted if you choose. You might remember, however, when you do choose to react that way, that I was persecuted as the world judges and did not share this evaluation for myself. And because I did not share it, I did not strengthen it. I therefore offered a different interpretation of attack and one which I do want to share with you. If you will believe it, you will help me to teach it.
9 We have said before, "As you teach so shall you learn." If you react as if you are persecuted, you are teaching persecution. This is not a lesson which the Sons of God should want to teach if they are to realize their own salvation. Rather, teach your own perfect immunity, which is the truth in you, and know that it cannot be assailed. Do not protect it yourselves, or you have believed that it is assailable. You are not asked to be crucified, which was part of my own teaching contribution. You are merely asked to follow my example in the face of much less extreme temptations to misperceive and not to accept them falsely as justifications for anger.
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