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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 6 "ATTACK AND FEAR"
III.THE USES OF PROJECTION
38 The great peace of the Kingdom shines in your mind forever, but it must shine outward to make you aware of it. The Holy Spirit was given you with perfect impartiality, and only by perceiving Him impartially can you perceive Him at all. The ego is legion, but the Holy Spirit is One. No darkness abides anywhere in the Kingdom, but your part is only to allow no darkness to abide in your own mind. This alignment with light is unlimited, because it is in alignment with the light of the world. Each of us is the light of the world, and by joining our minds in this light, we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and as one.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 64
Let me not forget my function.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 Today's idea is merely another way of saying, "Let me not wander into temptation." The purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness and provide you with a justification for forgetting it. It is the temptation to abandon God and His Son, taking on a physical appearance. It is this which the body's eyes look upon.
2 Nothing the body's eyes seem to see can be anything but a form of temptation, since this was the purpose of the body itself. Yet we have learned that the Holy Spirit has another use for all the illusions you have made, and therefore He sees another purpose in them. To the Holy Spirit, the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation.
3 To review our last few lessons, your function here is to be the light of the world, a function given you by God. It is only the arrogance of the ego that leads you to question this and only the fear of the ego that induces you to regard yourself as unworthy of the task assigned to you by God Himself.
4 The world's salvation awaits your forgiveness, because through it does the Son of God escape from all illusions and thus from all temptation. The Son of God is you. Only by fulfilling the function given you by God will you be happy. That is because your function is to be happy by using the means by which happiness becomes inevitable.
5 There is no other way. Therefore every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether to be happy or not. Let us remember this today. Let us remind ourselves of it in the morning and again at night and all through the day as well.
6 Prepare yourself in advance for all the decisions you will make today by remembering that they are all really very simple. Each one will lead to happiness or unhappiness. Can such a simple decision really be difficult to make? Let not the form of the decision deceive you. Complexity of form does not imply complexity of content. It is impossible that any decision on earth can have a content different from just this one simple choice. That is the only choice the Holy Spirit sees. Therefore it is the only choice there is.
7 Today, then, let us practice with these thoughts:
Let me not forget my function.
9 At least once devote ten or 15 minutes to reflecting on this with closed eyes. Related thoughts will come to help you if you remember the crucial importance of your function to you and to the world.
10 In the frequent applications of today's idea to be made throughout the day, devote several minutes to reviewing these thoughts and then to thinking about them and about nothing else. This will be difficult at first, particularly since you are not proficient in the mind discipline which it requires. You may need to repeat "Let me not forget my function" quite often, to help you concentrate.
11 Two forms of shorter practice periods are required. At times, do the exercises with your eyes closed, trying to concentrate on the thoughts you are applying. At other times keep your eyes open after reviewing the thoughts and look slowly and unselectively about you, telling yourself:
This is the world it is my function to save.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Let me not forget my function.
Is this a happy day for you? If not, can you look at what appears to be interfering with your happiness? Are you angry at someone? Is something happening that seems to be justifying unhappiness? Do you believe someone or something is causing you grief? Do you believe someone has wronged you? Is there some expectation you have that you believe has not been met? Do you have a relationship that seems to be off track? Or maybe there is something in the news you don't like or something that seems to be happening somewhere in the world? Are you disappointed about something? Do you feel betrayed or wronged by someone? Are you upset about something you have said or done? Do you feel stressed by the many things you feel must be done today? Are you worried about your future or about money?
This Lesson says that anything we use to hide our happiness is a choice we have made to abandon God. Another way to say this is that we have made a choice to abandon our Self---the Self we are in truth. The purpose of everything in the world is to conceal the truth. In other words, we are afraid of the love we are. We use all the forms of the world, meaning the circumstances and events in our lives, to justify why we can't be happy. That is what all our stories are about. We want to be right about the way we see things. There is a temptation to use the world and what is happening in our lives to maintain the separation. "The purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness, and provide you with a justification for forgetting it." (W.64.1.2) That is why the world was made, so we could project responsibility for our condition onto others and blame them for how we feel.
Whenever we feel unhappy, worried, distressed, or frustrated, it is an indication we are thinking incorrectly about something or someone. Bob Newhart satirizes this beautifully in his humorous vignette, which can be seen on YouTube and is called Just Stop It! In it, he makes the point that at anytime we choose, we can stop listening to our stories of grief and pain. The longer we delay in watching our misperceptions and choosing to forgive, the longer we stay in hell. As we become aware of our thoughts, we can then choose to let them go. We don't need to turn every situation into a story and allow the mind go where it may. We can stop it at the first thought rather than go down the rabbit hole! It is that simple, but not necessarily that easy, because the mind tends to hang onto thoughts and justify positions we have taken. If you find yourself unwilling to change your mind, simply ask for the willingness to give over your resistance to the power of the Holy Spirit within your mind.
If you say you are unhappy with someone in your life, you have judged them and determined they are not meeting your needs. You may feel sad, angry, jealous, disappointed, hurt, or even betrayed. Whatever you feel, the point is that it has nothing to do with the other person. Your interpretations of the person and situation and your reactions are about you. In each situation, you have a choice to blame, retaliate, and accuse, or you could go inward and be willing to see that you are the one that set up this situation for your own learning and healing. If you are willing to see this is your classroom for healing your mind, then everything in your day serves this purpose. There is never anything wrong. Bring any issue to the Holy Spirit and ask for His help so He can reinterpret it for you. This is what forgiveness is about. It is not what we have learned about forgiveness in this culture, which is about forgiving someone who has done something wrong. Jesus calls this "forgiveness-to-destroy." (Song of Prayer 2.II.1) The definition of forgiveness, given us by Jesus, is about undoing our own misperceptions on behalf of our own happiness. It is not about forgiving anyone because "Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin." (W.PII.Q1.1 1-3) The problem is always with our own interpretation. All events are neutral. It is only the meaning we give them that needs to be released.
No one in the world can fix what is unhealed in our own minds. Yes, we can manipulate others to address our needs, which may satisfy us temporarily, but it will never heal our guilt. Healing requires that we release our grievances so we can experience the truth of who we are. This Lesson says that when we forgive, "happiness becomes inevitable." (W.64.4.2) If we don't, we are choosing to remain unhappy. How insane is that? "Therefore, every time you choose whether or not to fulfill your function, you are really choosing whether or not to be happy." (W.64.4.4) Why would we choose against our own happiness? Certainly, we would not do it if we really understood how all this works. That is why Jesus is so patient in showing us how the ego has set it all up. When we become aware of how the ego keeps us in the cycle of sin, guilt, and fear, we will be more motivated to be taught how to release it all on behalf of our happiness.
The purpose of the world is to ensure that we never remember who we are and never take responsibility for the fact that we are the makers of this world and responsible for our own condition, which came as a result of our own decision to separate from God. What we do then is hold the belief that events in the world, situations in our lives, and people who annoy us, have the power to take away our peace and thus seemingly give us reasons to be angry instead of forgiving. We have conveniently forgotten that we threw away peace in the first place, and now we project responsibility for that decision onto our brothers and blame them for taking the peace, joy, and love away from us. Therefore, we justify withholding forgiveness because the ego gives us a multitude of reasons to be angry.
Our minds can become quite obsessive by going over and over what someone has done. Do you notice how incessant this kind of self-talk can be? The ego is like a dog with a bone, chewing and chewing on what someone has said or done, and what we should do in return. Yet we can choose not to listen to these thoughts. The thinker of these thoughts is not who we are. I have become quite stern at times with myself in this regard. There are times I declare quite firmly that I will absolutely not listen to what the ego has to say, and when I can catch its perspectives and turn away from them or simply be amused by them, it makes for more peace and sanity in my life. I remind myself that the one observing these thoughts is the truth, not the thinker of the thoughts.
This Lesson reminds us again that when we withhold forgiveness, we are actually choosing not to be happy. We have such resistance to letting go of our grievances. Ultimately, we have come to believe we are our thoughts, and without them, we would lose our identity as we know it, and that frightens us. We also want to feel innocent and our way to that goal is to see others as guilty. The ego has designed it that way. It has obscured our function from us by making a world and a body we believe is our reality. "It is the temptation to abandon God and His Son by taking on a physical appearance." (W.64.1.3) All temptation is about seeing ourselves as bodies, which will ensure the ego thought system remains untouched. It is a temptation to believe others are hurting us and are responsible for our pain. We are now being shown another way.
We resist acceptance of these Lessons because we would rather see sin all around us, but not in ourselves. We would rather blame others than take responsibility for our condition. The ego has made it all very convincing by giving us senses that show us what we are seeing is real. The body's eyes do not see, but we think they do. Yet we see only what the mind tells the body to see. "Nothing the body's eyes seem to see can be anything but a form of temptation, since this was the purpose of the body itself. Yet we have learned that the Holy Spirit has another use for all the illusions you have made, and therefore He sees another purpose in them. To the Holy Spirit, the world is a place where you learn to forgive yourself what you think of as your sins. In this perception, the physical appearance of temptation becomes the spiritual recognition of salvation." (W.64.2.1-4)
It can be hard to accept this because we identify with the body and with the world. We have come to believe that what we see and what we perceive with our senses is the truth. We believe the world is exactly as we see it. Yet Jesus keeps reminding us, "The purpose of the world you see is to obscure your function of forgiveness, and provide you with a justification for forgetting it." (W.64.1.2) We all experience how difficult it can be to keep our minds on our function, meaning to keep focused on spiritual truth. We all find it easy to forget our function. Forgetting the purpose that is our calling is so easily done as we are confronted with thousands of distractions each day. Many things in our day seem to require our attention and our action. Thus, we have all kinds of justifications for forgetting our Lessons. This is what wandering into temptation is about. "Today's idea is merely another way of saying 'Let me not wander into temptation.'" (W.64.1.1) The temptation comes from the focus on our body, and its needs, and the problems we confront daily.
Everything in the world is just another temptation for us to forget our only reason to be here, which is to practice forgiveness. Everyone who comes into our lives and every situation and circumstance we encounter offers us another opportunity to learn that. Let's not forget that today. Make the decision first thing in the morning to remember your commitment throughout the day, and "Prepare yourself in advance for all the decisions you will make today by remembering they are all really very simple. Each one will lead to happiness or unhappiness." (W.64.5.3-4)
It does not seem to us that all decisions are ultimately simple. We seem to have a variety of complex decisions to make every day and many of them confound us and confuse us as to which way to go and what to do; but he says we should remember they are all very simple. The simplicity is that there is only one choice to be made in every situation. The choice is for the ego or for the Holy Spirit. It is a choice for the grievance or the miracle. That is all.
"Complexity of form does not imply complexity of content. It is impossible that any decision on earth can have a content different from just this one simple choice."
(W.64.5.7-8) The only important thing is to choose forgiveness. The world of form is just an ego device to distract us from this and thus keep us invested in the seeming complexities of the world. Today, let us be determined to remember our function, no matter what confronts us.
I find the prayer at the end of Chapter 5 very helpful when I am not at peace. The prayer says:
"I must have decided wrongly because I am not at peace."
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the
consequences of my wrong decision if I let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me."
(T.5.VII.6.7-11) (ACIM OE T.5.IX.96)
We have the power to change our minds. We have the decision-making capacity in our minds. No one, not even God, can override the power of our decision. There are times it does seem herculean to release our bitterness, anger, and disappointments, which is why we need to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, Who is in our right minds. With our invitation and our choice for His guidance, we are freed. Without this help, we would stay on the ego's treadmill forever, having only interludes of seeming peace and respite based on outside circumstances.
I notice when I join with others in doing guilt-clearing sessions, the hardest thing for everyone to do is to take responsibility for the projections they have put onto others. It seems that the evidence we have gathered for our brothers' misdeeds is so convincing to us that we would rather keep defending our conclusions about them than to release them. Therefore, we need to start with a strong desire to change our minds and choose peace and happiness instead of our own perceptions, which are never right. It can be a challenging process, but the outcome is a state of peace and joy unshaken by outside events.
Love and blessings, Sarah
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
Chapter Six: Attack and Fear
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
III. The Uses of Projection
25 Any split in will
must involve a rejection of part of it, and this
is the belief in separation. The wholeness of God, which
is His peace, cannot be appreciated
except by a whole mind which recognizes the wholeness of God's creation and
by this recognition knows its Creator. Exclusion and separation are synonymous, as are separation and dissociation. We have said before that the separation was and
is dissociation and also that, once it had occurred, projection became its main defense or the device that
keeps it going. The reason, however, may not be as clear as you think.
26 In the ego's use of projection, to which we are obviously referring, what you project you disown and therefore
do not believe is yours. You are
excluding yourself by the very statement you are making that you are
different from the one on whom you project. Since you have also judged
against what you project, you continue to attack it because you have already attacked it
by projecting it. By doing this unconsciously, you try to keep the fact that you must have attacked yourself
first out of awareness and thus imagine that you have made yourself safe.
27 Projection will
always hurt you. It reinforces your belief in your own split mind, and its
only purpose is
to keep the separation going. It is
solely a device of the ego to make you feel
different from your brothers and separated from them. The ego justifies this on the wholly spurious grounds that it makes you seem "better" than they are, thus obscuring your equality with them still further. Projection and attack are inevitably related because projection is
always a means of justifying attack. Anger without projection is impossible.
28 The ego uses projection
only to distort your perception both of yourself
and your brothers. The process begins by excluding something [you think] exists in you which you do not want and leads directly to excluding you from your brothers. We have learned, however, that there is another use of projection. Every ability of the ego has a better counterpart, because its abilities are directed by the mind which has a better Voice. The Holy Spirit as well as the ego utilizes projection, but since their goals are opposed so is the result.
29 The Holy Spirit begins by perceiving
you as perfect.
Knowing this perfection is shared, He recognizes it in others, thus strengthening it in both. Instead of anger, this arouses love for both,
because it establishes inclusion. Perceiving equality, the Holy Spirit perceives equal needs. This invites Atonement automatically, because Atonement is the one need which in this world
is universal. To perceive yourself this way is the
only way in which you can find happiness in the world. That is because it is the acknowledgment that you are
not in this world, for the world
30 How else can you find joy in a joyless place
except by realizing that you are
not there? You cannot be anywhere that God did not put you, and God created you as part of Him. That is both
where you are and
what you are. It is
completely unalterable. It is total inclusion. You cannot change it now or ever. It is forever true. It is not a belief but a
fact. Anything that God created is as true as He is. Its truth lies only in its perfect inclusion in Him, Who alone
is perfect. To deny this in any way is to deny yourself
and Him since it is impossible to accept one
without the other.
31 The perfect equality of the Holy Spirit's perception is the counterpart of the perfect equality of God's knowing. The ego's perception
has no counterpart in God, but the Holy Spirit remains the bridge between perception and knowledge. By enabling you to use perception in a way that
parallels knowledge, you will ultimately meet it and
know it. The ego would prefer to believe that this meeting is impossible, yet it is
your perception which the Holy Spirit guides. You might remember that the human eye perceives parallel lines
if they meet in the distance, which is the same as in the future if time and space are one dimension. Your perception
will end where it began.
Everything meets in God because everything was created
by Him and
32 God created His Sons by extending His thought and retaining the extensions of His Thought in His Mind.
All His Thoughts are thus perfectly united within themselves and with each other because they were created neither partially nor in part. The Holy Spirit enables you
to perceive this wholeness now. You can no more pray for yourselves alone than you can find joy for yourself alone. Prayer is the restatement of
inclusion, directed by the Holy Spirit under the laws of God. God created you to create. You cannot
extend His Kingdom until you know of its wholeness.
33 Thoughts begin in the mind of the thinker from which they extend outward. This is as true of God's Thinking as it is of yours. Because your minds are split, you can also perceive as well as think. Yet perception cannot escape from the basic laws of mind. You perceive
from your mind and extend your perceptions outward. Although perception of any kind is unnecessary,
you made it, and the Holy Spirit can therefore use it well. He can
inspire perception and lead it toward God by making it
parallel to God's way of thinking and thus guarantee their ultimate meeting. This convergence
seems to be far in the future only because your mind is not in perfect alignment with the idea and therefore
does not want it now.
34 The Holy Spirit
uses time but does
not believe in it. Coming from God, He uses everything for good, but He does not
believe in what is not true. Since the Holy Spirit is
in your minds, your minds must also be able to believe only what is true. The Holy Spirit can speak only for this because he speaks for God. He tells you to return your whole mind to God because it has
never left Him. If it has never left Him, you need only perceive it as it is to
be returned. The full awareness of the Atonement, then, is the recognition
that the separation never occurred. The ego cannot prevail against this because it is an explicit statement that the
ego never occurred.
35 The ego
can accept the idea that return is necessary because it can so easily make the idea seem so difficult. Yet the Holy Spirit tells you that even return is unnecessary because what never happened cannot involve
any problem. It does
not follow, however, that
you cannot make the idea of return both necessary
and difficult. It is surely clear, however, that the perfect
need nothing and
cannot experience perfection as a difficult accomplishment, because that is what they
36 This is the way in which you
must perceive God's creations, bringing all of your perceptions into the one parallel line which the Holy Spirit sees. This line is the direct line of communication with God and lets your mind converge with
His. There is no conflict anywhere in this perception because it means that
all perception is guided by the Holy Spirit, Whose mind is fixed on God.
Only the Holy Spirit can resolve conflict, because
only the Holy Spirit is conflict-free. He perceives
only what is true in your mind and extends outward
only to what is true in other minds.
37 The difference between the ego's use of projection and projection as the Holy Spirit uses it is very simple. The ego projects to
exclude and therefore to deceive. The Holy Spirit projects by
recognizing Himself in every mind and thus perceives them as
one. Nothing conflicts in this perception, because what the Holy Spirit perceives
is the same. Wherever He looks He sees Himself, and because He is united, He offers the whole Kingdom always. This is the one message God gave
to Him and for which He must speak because that is what He
is. The peace of God lies in that message, and so the peace of God lies in
The great peace of the Kingdom shines in your mind forever, but it must shine
aware of it. The Holy Spirit was given you with perfect impartiality, and only by perceiving Him impartially can you perceive Him at all. The ego is legion, but the Holy Spirit is One. No darkness abides anywhere in the Kingdom, but your part is only to allow no darkness to abide in your
mind. This alignment with light is unlimited, because it is in alignment with the light of the world. Each of us
the light of the world, and by joining our minds
this light, we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
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