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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 6 "ATTACK AND FEAR"
V.a. TO HAVE, GIVE ALL TO ALL
How can you wake children better and more kindly than by a gentle Voice that will not frighten them but will merely remind them that the night is over and the light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares which frightened them so badly were not real because children
believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe
L e s s o n 69
My grievances hide the light of the world in me.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 No one can look upon what your grievances conceal. Because your grievances are hiding the light of the world in you, everyone stands in darkness, and you beside him. But as the veil of your grievances is lifted, you are released with him. Share your salvation now with him who stood beside you when you were in hell. He is your brother in the light of the world which saves you both.
2 Today let us make another real attempt to reach the light in you. Before we undertake this in our more extended practice period, let us devote several minutes in thinking about what we are trying to do. We are literally attempting to get in touch with the salvation of the world. We are trying to see past the veil of darkness that keeps it concealed. We are trying to let the veil be lifted and see the tears of God's Son disappear in the sunlight.
3 Let us begin our longer practice period today with the full realization of all this and real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else. Salvation is our only need. There is no other purpose here and no other function to fulfill. Learning salvation is our only goal. Let us end the ancient search today by finding the light in us and holding it up for everyone who searches with us to look upon and rejoice.
4 Very quietly now, with your eyes closed, try to let go of all the content which generally occupies your consciousness. Think of your mind as a vast round area, surrounded by a layer of heavy dark clouds. You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the whole area, and quite apart from it.
5 From where you stand, you can see no reason to believe there is a brilliant light hidden by the clouds. The clouds seem to be the only reality. They seem to be all there is to see. Therefore you do not attempt to go through them and past them, which is the only way in which you would be really convinced of their lack of substance. We will make this attempt today.
6 After you have thought about the importance of what you are trying to do for yourself and the world, try to settle down in perfect stillness, remembering only how much you want to reach the light in you today-now. Determine to go past the clouds. Reach out and touch them in your mind; brush them aside with your hand; feel them resting on your cheeks and forehead and eyelids as you go through them. Go on; clouds cannot stop you.
7 If you are doing the exercises properly, you will begin to feel a sense of being lifted up and carried ahead. Your little effort and small determination call on the power of the universe to help you, and God Himself will raise you from darkness into light. You are in accord with His Will. You cannot fail because your will is His.
8 Have confidence in your Father today. And be certain that He has heard you and has answered you. You may not recognize His answer yet, but you can indeed be sure that it is given you, and you will yet receive it. Try, as you attempt to go through the clouds to the light, to hold this confidence in your mind. Try to remember that you are at last joining your will to God's. Try to keep the thought clearly in mind that what you undertake with God must succeed. Then let the power of God work in you and through you, that His Will and yours may be done.
9 In the shorter practice periods, which you will want to do as often as possible in view of the importance of today's idea to you and your happiness, remind yourself that your grievances are hiding the light of the world from your awareness. Remind yourself also that you are not searching for it alone and that you do know where to look for it. Say, then:
My grievances hide the light of the world in me.
11 Also, be sure to tell yourself:
If I hold this grievance, the light of the world
13 if you are tempted to hold anything against anyone today.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
My grievances hide the light of the world in me.
Love and blessings, Sarah
In order to know our true nature as given us by God, we need to release the blocks that conceal the truth of who we are. By holding grievances, we have chosen to forget our true nature. How motivated are we in remembering God's love that has never left us? His memory is still in our minds, but as long as we side with the ego, we will hold grievances, which is what the ego bids us to do. Its existence depends on our agreement to blame others and see them as responsible for our unhappiness and lack of peace.
We are not who we think we are, but as long as we hold grievances, we won't know our true identity. As was pointed out in the Lesson yesterday, "Your Self seems to sleep, while the part of your mind that weaves illusions in its sleep appears to be awake." (W.68.2.1) The only way to connect with the Christ Self is "to see past the veil of darkness that keeps it concealed." (W.69.2.4) The meditation practice offered in this Lesson is to help us experience the light we are behind the clouds of illusion that keep the light hidden from our awareness.
The practice starts with a mind-set of "real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else." (W.69.3.1) We must recognize there is no other purpose and no other function here to fulfill. (W.69.3.3) You need to see the "importance of what you are trying to do for yourselves and the world," (W.69.6.1) and to "have confidence in your Father today, and be certain that He has heard" (W.69.8.1) There must be a deep and profound sense of the value we give to this activity. However, also building on yesterday's Lesson, there is a lot of use of the word "try." This recognizes we are still practicing something not easy for us.
Jesus knows this is a process for us. Until we experience the light behind the clouds, we "can see no reason to believe" it is there. (W.69.5.1) Until we have some experience of the peace, joy, and limitless love that comes from this, our motivation will not be strong. When we have some experiences of this state of peace, our motivation will be enhanced. Right now, Jesus acknowledges, "The clouds seem to be the only reality. They seem to be all there is to see." (W.69.5.2-3) Until we have the experience of going "through them and past them," we won't "be really convinced of their lack of substance." (W.69.5.4) Faith and trust will lead us back to ourselves.
What are these clouds? They are our mistaken thoughts about ourselves and the world, based on the belief we have sinned in having chosen the ego thought system. Now we experience guilt. With the decision we made to separate and to establish our own kingdom comes uncertainty and fear. We project the betrayal of what we think we have done onto others. Now we hold them responsible for our condition and expect to be betrayed in turn. This is the basis for the grievances we hold against them. We don't realize it all starts in our own minds.
The stories we hold about ourselves and the world make up these clouds, which cover over the truth. The clouds are all illusory. Our minds try to bring order to chaos. We try to bring some explanation as to why we are the way we are, and why our lives look as they do, but it is all make-believe story telling. We are making it all up. When we have some realization of this, there is a sense of disorientation. The ground we seemed to be standing on no longer feels as solid. The beliefs and opinions we once held dear are no longer solid. Doubt has entered our minds. We have begun to see our thoughts have no reality. We are actually making progress.
Who we think we are as bodies and personalities, and what this world is all about, all seems so very convincing, which is why the experience of going past the clouds is such a challenge for us, yet so important. "After you have thought about the importance of what you are trying to do for yourself and the world, try to settle down in perfect stillness, remembering only how much you want to reach the light in you today, now!" (W.69.6.1) This world does not actually exist, but it is the world we believe in and is a projection of the thought system we hold in our minds. It is a thought system of sin, guilt and fear. What we are letting go of is our grievances of the past, the guilt that comes from what we think we have made of ourselves, and the fear of retaliation in the future.
We have a purpose here that Jesus says is "dearer to us than all else." (W.69.3.1) We only have one need and that is our salvation. What that really means is our healing. More than anything, there is a part of the mind that wants to feel healed and whole. Yes, there is resistance because there is another part of the mind that has chosen separation, and is still invested in being right about ourselves and the world. This part still thinks it knows how to find its own happiness, but ultimately we are taking this course because we have heard the calling in us for our home. This part of us no longer wants to walk in fear, nor to experience lack and the loneliness of separation with its 'gifts' of specialness and individuality. "You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace." (T.5.III.10.7)(ACIM OE T.5.V.42) "You will undertake a journey because you are not at home in this world." (T.12.IV.5.1)(ACIM OE T.11.V.40)
The "layer of heavy, dark clouds" (W.69.4.2) that surround our minds, is there to conceal the memory of God's love, which is buried in the mind. All we see in this place are the clouds because we are in the clouds. "You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the circle and quite apart from it." (W.69.4.3) Looking from where we think we are, we do seem to be outside of the circle of light and quite separate from it. This circle of light is all around us, yet we don't see it because our eyes were made not to see. All we see, instead, are the heavy and dark clouds, which are the ego's clouds of guilt, fear, anxiety and depression.
As we do the work of forgiveness by bringing awareness to how we are invested in our specialness, space is made in our minds for the light of our Being to come through. We release our brothers with us because we are all one, and thus we "see the tears of God's Son disappear in the sunlight," (W.69.2.5) which is a metaphor for the beauty that comes with recognition of our innocence and that of our brothers.
We have come to think of the ego identity as our reality. We think the idols of this world (money, special relationships, bodies, things of the world) will make us happy. The ego tries to convince us this is our reality and there is nothing else. The ego resists having us remember who we are because, if we really knew our holiness, we would have no more investment in the ego. It is of significant threat to the ego, but it would end our ancient search.
Beyond our ego mind (the wrong mind) and the right mind, where the memory of God is, is the light of our Being. It is what we are. It is like the sun that shines unchanged behind the clouds. The clouds seem to obliterate that light and obscure the truth. The true self is reflected in the right mind, which is what we are trying to reach. As long as we are in the clouds, all we know is our individuality, our specialness, and our worldly reality, which seems so real to us because that is all we see and experience. We need a reason to go past this experience of a separated self. Our motivation to do so is enhanced when we experience respite from the tyranny of the ego and its obsessive thoughts. Through the daily application of these Lessons, we are learning to trust this process by which we can undo the separation and all the pain and distress that comes with it. This process involves going past these blocks by being willing to see they are the projection of our own self-attacking thoughts. Now we can release them and go through them to the truth.
As we do the practice, remember the clouds are not external. They are our thoughts about our experiences in this world and the grievances we hold. They are all illusions, but it is important to see they have no power, which is why we can go past them. In order to enhance our motivation, it is important to recognize judgments and grievances always bring us pain. Trying to solve problems by rearranging the clouds does nothing. It will not bring us to the light. Yet this is where we put most of our attention by trying to fix things in the world of form.
I have always been a very responsible person who has taken care of people in my life. This role reflects a need to make things better for people in my life by sacrificing for them. This role gives to others, yet does not readily receive. I have worked with this vigilantly for many years and have given up much of the people pleasing behavior that has not served me. As I do so, my relationships become more authentic and wholesome. I recognize the root of this conspiracy against myself has been self-betrayal. It is about betraying my authentic Being and leaving my true essence. I clearly remember a childhood of innocent awareness knowing I was not meant for the role I had taken on. As I become aware of what I am doing against myself and how I am hurting myself, my motivation for healing the mind is enhanced. I am more willing to forgive myself for my misperceptions. Only as I recognize the equality in everyone can I heal my feelings of self-betrayal. This opportunity has been given to me in my caregiving of my elderly mother whom I was never close to. She is in my life for me to look at my past roles and to give over the expectations I place on myself. She is a wonderful mirror for me of what needs healing in my own mind.
Today, we "try to let go of all the content that generally occupies your consciousness." (W.69.4.1) This takes practice. It takes a level of concentration, discipline, and attentiveness, we are not used to. Thus, this meditation practice, as introduced in Lesson 41 and continued here, is not one of dissociation or allowing our mind to become lazy. This Lesson is about focus and attentiveness. It takes "real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else." (W.69.3.1) Let us be determined today in our practice by recognizing we are investing in our happiness through this practice. Our happiness lies beyond the clouds and in the truth of who we are.
Let us not be tempted to hold anything against anyone today. This is not about trying to feel loving to everyone, but about honestly looking at our thoughts, grievances, opinions we hold, stories we tell about ourselves and others, needing to be right, relying on ourselves to figure things out, and trying to go past all of that. It is recognizing I don't know anything. This is the veil of darkness we are trying to see past. This is what conceals the truth of who we are.
Make a commitment to yourself that you will use this day as a classroom for your awakening to the truth of who you are, and every person and every situation is in your classroom today to help you do just that. We have no other purpose or function here. We are here for no other reason. Reaching this place of light and peace in us is our only goal because it is the only way we can "Then let the power of God work in you and through you, that His Will and yours be done." (W.69.8.6)
All of the power of the universe is available to help us with this. "Your little effort and small determination call on the power of the universe to help you, and God Himself will raise you from darkness into light." (W.69.7.2) His power is behind every effort we make. We are assured we can have confidence in our ability to experience the light in us. As you enter this practice, hold this confidence in mind. We are joining our will with God's. Thus, we are certain to succeed. Will we immediately achieve success? It is possible, but for most of us it will probably be more of a process of undoing, and with every effort we make, we move closer to our goal.
V.a. To Have, Give All to All
57 Like any good teacher, the Holy Spirit does know more than you do
now, but He teaches only to make you
equal with Him. This is because you had already taught wrongly, having believed what was not true.
You did not believe in your own perfection. Could God teach you that you had made a split mind, when He knows your mind only as whole? What God
does know is that His communication channels are not open to Him so that He cannot impart His joy and know that His Children are wholly joyous. This is an ongoing process, not in time, but in eternity. God's extending outward, though not His completeness, is blocked when the Sonship does not communicate with Him as one. So He thought, "My Children sleep and must be awakened."
58 How can you wake children better and more kindly than by a gentle Voice that will not frighten them but will merely remind them that the night is over and the light has come? You do not inform them that the nightmares which frightened them so badly were not real because children
believe in magic. You merely reassure them that they are safe
now. Then you train them to
recognize the difference between sleeping and waking, so that they will understand they need not be afraid of dreams. Then when bad dreams come, they will call on the light
themselves to dispel them.
59 A wise teacher teaches through approach,
not avoidance. He does
not emphasize what you must avoid to escape from harm so much as what you need to learn to have joy. This is true even of the world's teachers. Consider the confusion a child would experience if he were told, "Do not do
this because it might hurt you and make you unsafe, but if you do
that you will escape from harm and be safe, and then you will not be afraid." All of this could be included in only three words: "Do
only that!" This simple statement is perfectly clear, easily understood, and very easily remembered.
60 The Holy Spirit
never itemizes errors because He does not frighten children, and those who lack wisdom
are children. Yet He
always answers their call, and His dependability makes
them more certain. Children
do confuse fantasy and reality, and they
are frightened because they do not know the difference. The Holy Spirit makes
no distinction among dreams. He merely shines them away. His light is
always the call to awake, whatever you have been dreaming. Nothing lasting lies in dreams, and the Holy Spirit, shining with the light from God Himself, speaks only for what lasts forever.
61 When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that
you will last forever. Many think this is accomplished through death, but
nothing is accomplished through death because death
Everything is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and
in the Mind. The body neither lives nor dies because it cannot contain you who
are life. If we share the same mind, you can overcome death
because I did. Death is an attempt to resolve conflict by not willing at all. Like any other impossible solution which the ego attempts,
it will not work.
62 God did not make the body because it is destructible and therefore not of the Kingdom. The body is the symbol of what you
think you are. It is clearly a separation device and therefore does not exist. The Holy Spirit, as always, takes what you have made and translates it into a learning device
for you. Again as always, He re-interprets what the ego uses as an argument
for separation into a demonstration
against it. If the mind can heal the body but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be
stronger. Every miracle demonstrates this.
63 We have said that the Holy Spirit is the
motivation for miracles. This is because He always tells you that
only the mind is real since
only the mind
can be shared. The body
is separate and therefore
cannot be part of you. To be of one mind
is meaningful, but to be of one
body is meaningless. By the laws of mind, then, the
body is meaningless. To the Holy Spirit,
there is no order of difficulty in miracles. This is
familiar enough to you by now, but it has not yet become believable. Therefore, you do not understand it and cannot
64 We have too much to accomplish on behalf of the Kingdom to let this crucial concept slip away. It is a real foundation stone of the thought system I teach and want
you to teach. You cannot perform miracles without believing it because it is a belief in perfect equality. Only one equal gift
can be offered to the equal Sons of God, and that is
full appreciation. Nothing more and nothing less. Without a range, an order of difficulty
is meaningless, and there must
be no range in what you offer to each other.
65 The Holy Spirit, who leads to God, translates communication into being, just as He ultimately translates perception into knowledge. [You
do not lose what you communicate.] The ego uses the body for attack, for pleasure, and for pride. The insanity of this perception makes it a fearful one indeed. The Holy Spirit sees the body
only as a means of
communication and because communicating is sharing, it becomes communion. You might argue that fear as well as love can be communicated and therefore can be shared. Yet this is not so real as it sounds. Those who communicate fear are promoting attack, and attack always
breaks communication, making it impossible.
do join together in temporary allegiance but always for
what each one can get separately. The Holy Spirit communicates only
what each one can give to all. He never takes anything back because He wants
you to keep it. Therefore, His teaching begins with the lesson:
68 This is a very preliminary step, and the only one you must take for yourself. It is not even necessary that you
complete the step yourself, but it
is necessary that you turn in that direction. Having chosen to go that way, you place
yourself in charge of the journey, where you and
only you must remain.
69 This step
appears to exacerbate conflict rather than resolve it because it is the
beginning step in reversing your perception and turning it right-side up. This conflicts with the upside-down perception which you have not yet abandoned, or the change in direction would not have been necessary. Some people remain at this step for a very long time, experiencing
very acute conflict. At this point, many try to accept the
conflict rather than take the next step towards its resolution. Having taken the first step, however, they
will be helped. Once they have chosen what they
cannot complete alone,
they are no longer alone.
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