Graphic by Giotto di Bondone
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 6 "ATTACK AND FEAR"
II. THE MESSAGE OF THE CRUCIFIXION
The "punishment" which I am said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar reversal. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?
L e s s o n 63
The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind! How blessed are you who can learn to recognize the means for letting this be done through you! What purpose could you have that would bring you greater happiness?
2 You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you. Accept no trivial purpose or meaningless desire in its place, or you will forget your function and leave the Son of God in hell. This is no idle request that is being asked of you. You are asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give.
3 Recognizing the importance of this function, we will be happy to remember it very often today. We will begin the day by acknowledging it and close the day with the thought of it in our awareness. And throughout the day, we will repeat this as often as we can:
The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.
5 You will probably find it easier to let the related thoughts come to you in the minute or two which you should devote to considering this if you can close your eyes. Do not, however, wait for such an opportunity. No chance should be lost for reinforcing today's idea.
6 Remember that God's Son looks to you for his salvation. And who but your Self must be His Son?
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.
This Lesson is about our function, which is to bring peace to every mind through our forgiveness. We have that kind of power, though not of our own accord as the character in the dream, but as a result of who we are as God's Son. "How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind!" (W.63.1.1) The bringer of peace is therefore not the self that I, Sarah, identify with as a body and personality in this world, but it is the mind that can make a decision for peace, which is extended to every mind. It does not mean everybody in our lives is ready to accept peace, but when the mind is ready, it will receive it. We are all united as one Son, and there is just one Mind. Our choice for peace calls to other minds to make the same choice we have made.
Much of our attack is directed at those who are not meeting the requirements, demands, and expectations we have set for them. When we have grievances about the way we want things and the way they should be, we are not accepting what is. Thus, through our non-acceptance, we have relinquished the peace and joy constantly available to us. We are actually making an active choice to throw our peace away by the demand, "I want it thus!" We need to look at our expectations, of what we want to happen and not happen. Look at your demands you make on others.
"When you are angry is it not because someone has failed to fill the function you allotted him? And does not this become the 'reason' your attack is justified? The dreams you think you like are those in which the function you have given has been filled; the needs which you ascribe to you are met."
(T.29.IV.4.1-3)(ACIM OE T.29 .V.28) It is these demands and expectations that block our peace and joy. Yet when we forgive our mistaken perceptions, by bringing them for healing, we experience our holiness and the blessing shining in us always. Why would we not want to forgive? Why would we want to keep ourselves in hell by holding onto thoughts that don't serve our best interests? I watch my mind as a grievance shows up and see how stubbornly I hold onto my pain and anger. Sometimes, I am able to watch it with amusement, and when I do, I can laugh at the silliness of the ego that prefers its story of mistreatment. The joy is always available when there is willingness to be wrong about the way we see things, and we are always wrong when we hold a grievance.
We so much want to be right about our way of seeing. Our perceptions become our truth and we defend them endlessly. Stepping back from our thoughts helps us see we are not our thoughts. We can let them go, and as we do, space is made for the miracle behind every grievance. Forgiveness is our function here. That is the source of our joy and our connection. "Let him no more be lonely, for the lonely ones are those who see no function in the world for them to fill; no place where they are needed, and no aim which only they can perfectly fulfill." (T.25.VI.3.6)(ACIM OE T.25.VII.45) We have an important function, and in this Lesson, Jesus is emphatically asking us to take it seriously. This is because, while our function remains unfulfilled, we stay in hell and our brothers with us. Jesus is trying to help us see how unhappy we are and to show us where our real happiness lies. Deliverance from hell is our responsibility. It is what our lives here are about. Jesus is appealing to our self-interest, which is to be happy. Happiness as we define it with the ego is always temporary. Happiness as Jesus defines it is consistent and available when we stop resisting it and throwing it away for unjustified reasons we manufacture.
When I was at a workshop a few years ago, there was a fellow there who was wanting to exit from this earth plane. When he was helped to realize how many brothers would be left in hell if he were to depart, he saw the function that would be left unfulfilled by his leaving. It was a very deep and poignant experience for us all and really drove home the point that we are all necessary for the salvation of the world. "In this depressing state the Holy Spirit reminds you gently that you are sad because you are not fulfilling your function as co-creator with God, and are therefore depriving yourself of joy." (T.7.VI.13.1(ACIM OE T.7.VII.68) "Unless you take your place in It and fulfill your function as part of It, the Holy Trinity is as bereft as you are." (T.8.IV.8.12)(ACIM OE T.8.V.35)
We are called to make a difference. We are important in this and are urged to take this request seriously. "You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you." (W.63.2.1-3) "To you to whom it has been given to save the Son of God from crucifixion and from hell and death, all glory be forever." (T.26.VII.17.4)(ACIM OE T.26.VIII.64) "Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there." (T.31.VIII.1.5)(ACIM OE T.31.VIII.84)
When we choose to forgive, we experience the fulfillment and blessing Jesus assures us can only be experienced in this way. While we undertake our trivial purposes and try to address our meaningless desires, in place of our function, we "leave the Son of God in hell." (W.63.2.4) In other words, we leave ourselves in hell together with our brothers. What trivial activity can be more important? I look at my life and see a lot of things that seem to take priority, but a Lesson like this helps to get my attention, especially when Jesus assures us he is not making some idle request. "You are being asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give." (W.63.2.6) I am determined to see the importance of this Lesson by seeing how I hurt myself when I continue to hold onto my dark thoughts, grievances, judgments and attacks on my brothers.
In every pursuit, we are called to remember to ask, what is it for? What is my life really about? How can I take my place to really make a difference? Doesn't it seem to you that each day we commit to our awakening, we are indeed doing that which we came here to do? Our function is truly to "bring peace to every mind through our forgiveness." (W.63.3.4) Each moment brings another opportunity for this. Will I choose murder or the miracle? When we look outside ourselves for our happiness, we give our power away but when we heal our minds which reflects the Holy Spirit's purpose, we bring peace to every mind.
When I have been the recipient of true forgiveness by someone who has let me off the hook for my indiscretions, faults, judgments, and so on, I feel such gratitude. It is like being released from the prison of my own self-condemnation. It is freeing and empowering in the most beautiful way. It brings a sense of intimacy and peace, and that is what we are here to do. That is our function. We are releasing our brothers from their self-made prisons by declaring they are innocent. Their guilt has been relieved. Our joining with each other has been deepened.
What are some of the trivial purposes and meaningless desires we substitute for this mighty function? Do we make being right more important? Do we make pride and stubbornness more important? Do we make our distractions more important? Is our specialness our idol? "Accept only the function of healing in time, because that is what time is for." (T.9.III.8.3)(ACIM OE T.9.II.8) No matter how much the ego wants us never to let anyone off the hook for anything, the Holy Spirit is calling us to see the only way out of our prison is by releasing others. We are told, "This is no idle request that is being asked of you." (W.63.2.5) This is what we need to dedicate our lives to, and what we get in return is peace.
I had a situation today where a financial/tax advisor gave me advice that would have been potentially financially problematic if not disastrous. He failed to advise me of this and was pushing ahead to have me implement his advice. When I spoke with my lawyer due to a sense of unease I was feeling with the situation, he made it very clear I should not proceed with the recommended direction, as there were potentially dire consequences for me. This led me to feel very frustrated with the advice from the accountant and very angry he had not been more forthcoming according to my judgments, yet was going to give me a big invoice for his time. However, as I looked at the situation, I saw my own split mind where I was ready to judge him while feeling extremely grateful for the lawyer. In my reflection I noticed I was crucifying my brother, who had simply reflected my own self attack thoughts. I told the story to my mighty companions and noticed how willing I was to show how 'bad' he had been. In my deeper meditation time, I saw how wrong I was in how I set this whole thing up, and in that observation I felt the immediate release and with it the miracle. In peace, I thanked the advisor and proceeded to pay his bill as the valuable lesson in forgiveness I learned in this situation.
Whatever situation is in front of you today, remember the statement, "I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world." (W.63.3.5) What a noble function it is to forgive the world for what it has not done to us. Look at your thoughts to determine why you might want to refuse this function. What are you allowing to stand in the way of it? What personal issues and desires are more important to you? What would you rather not let go of in order to stay in hell? Isn't it like cutting off the nose to spite the face? Yet I know how I have often hurt myself just to make a point!! What foolishness it is to choose pain when we can open the door to a mighty kingdom and know the truth about ourselves.
"Remember that God's Son looks to you for his salvation. And Who but your Self must be His Son?"
(W.63.4.4-5) This is an important note on which to end because that Self is the Christ Child that longs to go home. We have lost awareness of that Self. Through our function of forgiveness, our awareness is restored to the Self we are. Thus, this work of forgiveness is always about our own minds. Yes, it is in relationships where our grievances and issues arise, but what needs to be forgiven is our own misperceptions. We are always wrong when we rely on our own perceptions of a situation.
We start with the Lesson in the morning and conclude our day with it, and do it as often as possible throughout the day, letting related thoughts come. It is helpful to close our eyes as we do the Lesson, but he asks us not to wait for such an opportunity if we can't close our eyes. "No chance should be lost for reinforcing today's idea." (W.63.4.3) In other words, the Lesson is very important in taking us out of hell. We must not lose any opportunity to release ourselves from our guilt.
Throughout the day, repeat as often as you can "The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness. I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world." (W.63.3.4-5)
Love and blessings, Sarah
II. The Message of the Crucifixion
10 There can
be no justification for the unjustifiable. Do not believe there is, and do not
teach that there is. Remember always that what you believe you
will teach. Believe with me, and we will become equal as teachers.
Your resurrection is your reawakening. I am the model for rebirth, but rebirth itself is merely the dawning on your minds of what is already in them. God placed it there Himself, and so it is true forever. I believed in it and therefore made it forever true for me. Help me to teach it to our brothers in the name of the Kingdom of God, but first believe that it is true for
you, or you will teach amiss.
11 My brothers slept during the so-called "agony" in the garden, but I could not be angry with them because I had learned I could not
be abandoned. Peter swore he would never deny me, but he did so three times. He did offer to defend me with the sword, which I naturally refused, not being at all in need of bodily protection. I
am sorry when my brothers do not share my decision to hear only one voice, because it weakens them as teachers
and as learners. Yet I know that they cannot really betray themselves
or me and that it is still on them that I must build my church.
12 There is no choice in this because only you can
be the foundation of God's church. A church is where an altar is, and the presence of the altar is what
makes it a church. Any church which does not inspire love has a hidden altar which is not serving the purpose for which God intended it. I must found His church on you because you who accept me as a model are literally my disciples. Disciples are followers, but if the model they follow has chosen to save them pain in all respects, they are probably unwise
not to follow him.
13 I elected both for your sake
and mine to demonstrate that the most outrageous assault as judged by the ego did not matter. As the world judges these things, but
not as God
knows them, I was betrayed, abandoned, beaten, torn, and finally killed. It was perfectly clear that this was only because of the projection of others, because I had not harmed anyone and had healed many. We are still equal as learners, even though we need not have equal experiences. The Holy Spirit is glad when you can learn enough from mine to be re-awakened by them. That was their only purpose, and that is the only way in which I can be perceived as the Way, the Truth, and the Light.
14 When you hear only one voice, you are
never called on to sacrifice. On the contrary, by enabling yourselves to hear the Holy Spirit in others, you can learn from their experiences and gain from them
without experiencing them yourselves. That is because the Holy Spirit is one, and anyone who listens is inevitably led to demonstrate His way for all. You are not persecuted, nor was I. You are not asked to
repeat my experiences because the Holy Spirit, Whom we
share, makes this unnecessary. To
use my experiences constructively, however, you must still follow my example in how to perceive them.
15 My brothers and yours are constantly engaged in justifying the unjustifiable. My one lesson, which I must teach as I learned, is that no perception which is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit
can be justified. I undertook to show this was true in a very extreme case merely because it would serve as a good teaching aid to those whose temptations to give in to anger and assault would
not be so extreme. I will with God that none of His Sons should suffer.
16 Remember that the Holy Spirit is the communication link between God the Father and His separated Sons. If you will listen to His Voice, you will know that you cannot either hurt or
be hurt and that many need your blessing to help them hear this for themselves. When you perceive
only this need in them and do not respond to
any other, you will have learned of me and will be as eager to share your learning as I am. The crucifixion
cannot be shared, because it is the symbol of projection, but the resurrection is the symbol of
sharing, because the reawakening of every Son of God is necessary to enable the Sonship to know its wholeness. Only this
17 The message of the crucifixion is perfectly clear:
19 If you interpret the crucifixion in any other way, you are using it as a weapon for assault rather than as the call for peace for which it was intended. The Apostles often misunderstood it and always for the same reason that makes anyone misunderstand anything. Their own imperfect love made them vulnerable to projection, and out of their own fear they spoke of the "wrath of God" as His retaliatory weapon. Nor could they speak of the crucifixion entirely without anger, because their own sense of guilt had
made them angry.
20 There are two glaring examples of upside-down thinking in the New Testament, whose whole gospel is
only the message of love. These are not like the several slips into impatience which I made. I had learned the Atonement prayer, which I also came to teach, too well to engage in upside-down thinking myself. If the Apostles had not felt guilty, they never could have quoted me as saying, "I come not to bring peace but a sword." This is clearly the exact opposite of everything I taught.
21 Nor could they have described my reactions to Judas as they did if they had really understood me. They would have realized I
could not have said, "Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" unless I
believed in betrayal. The whole message of the crucifixion was simply that I did
not. The "punishment" which I am said to have called forth upon Judas was a similar reversal. Judas was my brother and a Son of God, as much a part of the Sonship as myself. Was it likely that I would condemn him when I was ready to demonstrate that condemnation is impossible?
22 I am very grateful to the Apostles for their teaching and fully aware of the extent of their devotion to me. Nevertheless, as you read their teachings, remember that I told them myself that there was much they would understand later because they were
not wholly ready to follow me at the time. I emphasize this only because I do not want you to allow
any fear to enter into the thought system toward which I am guiding you. I do
not call for martyrs but for
teachers. No one is "punished" for sins, and the Sons of God are not sinners.
Any concept of "punishment" involves the projection of blame and
reinforces the idea that blame is justified. The behavior that results is a
lesson in blame, just as all behavior teaches the beliefs which motivate it. The crucifixion was a complex of behaviors arising out of clearly opposed thought systems. As such, it was the perfect symbol of conflict between the ego and the Son of God. The conflict is just as real now, and its lessons, too, have equal reality
when they are learned. I do not need gratitude any more than I needed protection, but you need to develop your weakened ability to
be grateful, or you cannot appreciate God. He does not need your appreciation, but
24 You cannot love what you do not appreciate, and
fear makes appreciation impossible. Whenever you are afraid of what you are, you do
not appreciate it and will therefore reject it. As a result, you will
teach rejection. The power of the Sons of God is operating all the time because they were created as creators. Their influence on
each other is without limit and
must be used for their joint salvation. Each one must learn to teach that all forms of rejection are utterly meaningless. The separation
is the notion of rejection. As long as you
teach this, you still believe it. This is
not as God thinks, and you must think as He thinks if you are to know Him again.
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