Lesson 7
Soul's Communion with God
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45 The Soul never loses its communion with God. Only the mind needs Atonement. The miracle joins in the Atonement of Christ by placing the mind in the service of the spirit. This establishes the proper function of the mind and corrects its errors.    
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Workbook Introduction
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1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
2 The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
3 The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time and, if possible, in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
4 Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
5 Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this-you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM       


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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 7
I see only the past.

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

1 This idea is particularly difficult to believe at first. Yet it is the rationale for all of the preceding ones.
2 It is the reason why nothing that you see means anything.
3 It is the reason why you have given everything you see all the meaning that it has for you.
4 It is the reason why you do not understand anything you see.
5 It is the reason why your thoughts do not mean anything and why they are like the things you see.
6 It is the reason why you are never upset for the reason you think.
7 It is the reason why you are upset because you see something that is not there.
8 Old ideas about time are very difficult to change because everything you believe is rooted in time and depends on your not learning these new ideas about it. Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time. This first time idea is not really so strange as it may sound at first. Look at a cup, for example.
9 Do you see a cup, or are you merely reviewing your past experiences of picking up a cup, being thirsty, drinking from a cup, feeling the rim of a cup against your lips, having breakfast, and so on? Are not your aesthetic reactions to the cup, too, based on past experiences? How else would you know whether or not this kind of cup will break if you drop it? What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? You would have no idea what this cup is except for your past learning. Do you, then, really see it?
10 Look about you. This is equally true of whatever you look at. Acknowledge this by applying the idea for today indiscriminately to whatever catches your eye. For example:
 11 I see only the past in this pencil.
  I see only the past in this shoe.
  I see only the past in this hand.
  I see only the past in that body.
  I see only the past in that face.
12 Do not linger over any one thing in particular, but remember to omit nothing specifically. Glance briefly at each subject, and then move on to the next.
           ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 7      
I see only the past .       

Sarah's Commentary:

This Lesson starts with a summary of the previous six Lessons, reminding us that the reason we don't understand anything is because of all our past associations. The idea was introduced in Lesson 3 where Jesus said he is helping us clear our minds of these past associations. This is the only way we can see things exactly as they are now, which is essentially all the same.
To think I see only the past is an absolute statement, which can make me think I must be senile, living in lost memories and seeing nothing as it is now. Actually, this is what Jesus is trying to get across to us. He uses an example of how we see a cup to make this point. We can see that without our experiences with a cup, which all come from the past, we would not know what it is for.
When I look at a cup, it brings up all kinds of past memories of what I have used it for. I know how to pick it up because of my past learning. I connect it to liquids that can quench my thirst. I know how it feels when I put it to my lips, and I know it will break if I drop it. These are all associations from the past. I recall the collection of all the beautiful china cups my mother treasured and even have a painful memory of breaking one. What would I know of a cup without all these past associations?
It is unsettling to start looking at everything and realize we don't really see anything except the past. We think our observations of everything in the world are real and true and objective, whatever that means. In fact, all we are seeing are the projections of our own past associations that we hold in memory. Things in the world have meaning to us because of our memories about them, without which nothing would mean anything at all. Without our memories, we would not understand anything. That seems daunting to us. Jesus acknowledges that he knows it is difficult for us.
Yet if this idea is the rationale for all the preceding ones, it explains why nothing we see means anything. It is also the reason we don't understand anything we see, and indeed, why we are never upset for the reason we think because we see something that is not there. We see it all as the past or, in other words, as already passed by. It is all related to our concept of time. You may want to read Chapter 13 on Time to help you with this Lesson. Jesus tells us, "The ego has a strange notion of time, and it is within this notion that your questioning might well begin. The ego invests heavily in the past, and in the end believes that the past is the only aspect of time that is meaningful. Remember that its emphasis on guilt enables it to ensure its continuity by making the future like the past, and thus avoiding the present." (T.13.IV.4.1-3) (ACIM OE T.12.IV.26)
He goes on to say, "'Now' has no meaning to the ego. The present merely reminds it of past hurts, and it reacts to the present as if it were the past. The ego cannot tolerate release from the past, and although the past is over, the ego tries to preserve its image by responding as if it were present." (T.13.IV.5.1-3) (ACIM OE T.12.IV.27) You can imagine how we respond to those we meet if we see only the past. Seeing only the past means that we are totally obscuring present reality of anyone we meet. We truly don't see them. In fact, Jesus tells us that we only see shadow figures. "You thus deny yourself the message of release that every brother offers you now." (T.13.IV.5.7) (ACIM OE T.12.IV.27)
In this Lesson, Jesus says, "Old ideas about time are very difficult to change, because everything you believe is rooted in time, and depends on your not learning these new ideas about it. Yet that is precisely why you need new ideas about time." (W.7.2.1-2) If we see only the past, we must conclude that we literally see nothing. I see someone on TV that reminds me of my issue with authority figures, and I make a judgment about that person. Now I feel angry. Whether my association is with a cup or with an authority figure, it is all the same. It is all the past.
Our view of linear time all started with separation. We believe we separated from God/Love and the ego told us we had done a terrible thing and had committed a terrible sin. Now we feel guilty, and we carry this sense of having done something wrong into our worldly experience. With sin from the past, we feel guilt in the present state and now we fear future consequences. That is the basis for time. Sin (the past), guilt (the present), and fear (the future) are the basis for our belief in linear time. Why do we hold onto it all? Because it proves our individual existence as a separate self. Yes, the cost is sin, guilt, and fear, but we would rather live with that and keep the separation because we are invested in our existence. Our individual existence, which seems to define us, came because we walked away from our Oneness with God and made up this special, individual self. Healing the guilt would mean giving up this self. If this world of duality is real, we are real too.
Giving it up brings with it huge resistance, and so we hold onto the sin, guilt, and fear, but it is all made up because we are still with God. We are still the eternal beings that we have always been. This experience is all illusory, yet we have fear of losing our independent self and our separate will. Jesus assures us that we need not worry, as we will only go as fast or as slow as our fear will allow. We will not be hurled back into Heaven, but as we apply these Lessons, we will experience more peace in our separated state.
Finally, Jesus affirms, "Unless you learn that past pain is an illusion, you are choosing a future of illusions and losing the many opportunities you could find for release in the present." (T.13.IV.6.5) (ACIM OE T.12.IV.28) Aren't we all on this path because we want the release from this terrible feeling of guilt and fear? What we don't realize is the resistance that comes with it. We resist because we are attached to what we have made. We seem to be in this bubble of time that we have made, and, for us, it is true. Because our beliefs are rooted in time, if we let go of our ideas of time, our whole belief system would collapse, and that brings up fear. Doing the mind training is important to our release. These lessons are designed to loosen our minds from our belief that we are seeing things as they are. Clearly, we are not seeing anything as it is. We are only seeing the past.
In doing this lesson, it is important to give everything we see the same weight and not linger on any one thing in particular.

Love and blessings, Sarah  
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter One: Introduction to Miracles    

I. Principles of Miracles [continued]

30. 41 Miracles praise God through men. They praise God by honoring His creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm Soul-identification. By perceiving the spirit, they adjust the levels and see them in proper alignment. This places the spirit at the center, where Souls can communicate directly.
31. 42 Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. Man should thank God for what he really is. The Children of God are very holy, and the miracle honors their holiness.
43 God's creations never lose their holiness, although it can be hidden. The miracle uncovers it and brings it into the light where it belongs. Holiness can never be really hidden in darkness, but man can deceive himself about it. This illusion makes him fearful because he knows in his heart it is an illusion, and he exerts enormous efforts to establish its reality. The miracle sets reality where it belongs. Eternal reality belongs only to the Soul, and the miracle acknowledges only the truth. It thus dispels man's illusions about himself and puts him in communion with himself and God.
32. 44 Christ inspires all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for man's holiness and make his perceptions holy. By placing him beyond the physical laws, they raise him into the sphere of celestial order. In this order, man is perfect.
45 The Soul never loses its communion with God. Only the mind needs Atonement. The miracle joins in the Atonement of Christ by placing the mind in the service of the spirit. This establishes the proper function of the mind and corrects its errors.
33. 46 Miracles honor man because he is lovable. They dispel illusions about him and perceive the light in him. They thus atone for his errors by freeing him from his own nightmares. They release him from a prison in which he has imprisoned himself, and by freeing his mind from illusions, they restore his sanity. Man's mind can be possessed by illusions, but his spirit is eternally free. If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within it. But the Atonement restores the Soul to its proper place. The mind that serves the spirit is invulnerable.
34. 47 Miracles restore the mind to its fullness. By atoning for lack, they establish perfect protection. The strength of the Soul leaves no room for intrusions. The forgiven are filled with the Soul, and they forgive in return. It is the duty of the released to release their brothers.
48 The forgiven are the means of Atonement. Those released by Christ must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement. Miracles are the way in which minds which serve the spirit unite with Christ for the salvation or release of all God's creations.
35. 49 Miracles are expressions of love, but it does not follow that they will always have observable effects. I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately because I am the Atonement. You have a role in the Atonement, which I will dictate to you. Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you exhaustion because you will act under direct communication.
36. 50 Christ-controlled miracles are part of the Atonement, but Christ-guidance is personal and leads to personal salvation. The impersonal nature of miracles is an essential ingredient because this enables me to control their distribution. Christ-guidance leads to the highly personal experience of revelation. This is why it involves personal choice. A guide does not control, but he does direct, leaving the following up to you. "Lead us not into temptation" means "guide us out of our own errors." "Take up thy cross and follow me" means, "Recognize your errors and choose to abandon them by following my guidance."
51 Remember that error cannot really threaten truth, which can always withstand it. Only the error is really vulnerable. You are free to establish your kingdom where you see fit, but the right choice is inevitable if you remember this:
52 The Soul is in a state of grace forever. 
 Man's reality is only his Soul. 
 Therefore, man is in a state of grace forever.
53 Atonement undoes all errors in this respect and thus uproots the real source of fear. Whenever God's reassurances are experienced as threat, it is always because you are defending misplaced and misdirected loyalty. That is what projection always involves. Error is lack of love. When man projects this onto others, he does imprison them, but only to the extent that he reinforces errors they have already made. This makes them vulnerable to the distortions of others since their own perception of themselves is distorted. The miracle worker can only bless and this undoes their distortions and frees them from prison.
37. 54 Miracles are examples of right thinking. Reality contact at all levels becomes strong and accurate, thus permitting correct delineation of intra- and interpersonal boundaries. As a result, the doer's perceptions are aligned with truth as God created it.
38. 55 A miracle is a correction factor introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, shaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places man under the Atonement principle, where his perception is healed. Until this has occurred, revelation of the divine order is impossible.
39. 56 The Spiritual eye is the mechanism of miracles because what It perceives is true. It perceives both the creations of God and the creations of man. Among the creations of man, it can also separate the true from the false by Its ability to perceive totally rather than selectively. It thus becomes the proper instrument for reality testing, which always involves the necessary distinction between the false and the true.
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM       

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