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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 7 "THE CONSISTENCY OF THE KINGDOM"
III. THE LAWS OF MIND
18 What can the perfect consistency of the Kingdom mean to the confused? It is apparent that confusion interferes with meaning and therefore prevents the learner from appreciating it. There is no confusion in the Kingdom because there is only one meaning. This meaning comes from God and is God. Because it is also you, you share it and extend it as your Creator did. This needs no translation because it is perfectly understood, but it does need extension because it means extension. Communication is perfectly direct and perfectly united. It is totally without strain because nothing discordant ever enters. That is why it is the Kingdom of God. It belongs to Him and is therefore like Him. That is its reality, and nothing can assail it.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 73
I will there be light.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 Today we are considering the will you share with God. This is not the same as the ego's idle wishes, out of which darkness and nothingness arise. The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it. The ego's idle wishes are unshared and therefore have no power at all. Its wishes are not idle in the sense that they can make a world of illusions in which your belief can be very strong. But they are idle indeed in terms of creation. They make nothing that is real.
2 Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego's need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for "righteous" judgment. They become the middlemen the ego employs to traffic in grievances and stand between your awareness and your brothers' reality. Beholding them, you do not know your brothers nor your Self.
3 Your will is lost to you in this strange bartering, in which guilt is traded back and forth and grievances increase with each exchange. Can such a world have been created by the will the Son of God shares with his Father? Did God create disaster for His Son? Creation is the Will of Both together. Would God create a world that kills Himself?
4 Today we will try once more to reach the world that is in accordance with your will. The light is in it because it does not oppose the Will of God. It is not Heaven, but the light of Heaven shines on it. Darkness has vanished; the ego's idle wishes have been withdrawn.
5 Yet the light which shines upon this world reflects your will, and so it must be in you that we will look for it. Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without. Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light.
6 We have repeatedly emphasized that the barrier of grievances is easily passed and cannot stand between you and your salvation. The reason is very simple. Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die? Forget the ego's arguments which seek to prove all this is really Heaven. You know it is not so. You cannot want this for yourself. There is a point beyond which illusions cannot go.
7 Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. Such is your will in truth. And so salvation is your will as well. You want to succeed in what we are trying to do today. We undertake it with your blessing and your glad accord.
8 We will succeed today if you remember that you will salvation for yourself. You will to accept God's plan because you share in it. You have no will that can really oppose it, and you do not want to do so. Salvation is for you. Above all else you want the freedom to remember who you really are.
9 Today it is the ego which stands powerless before your will. Your will is free, and nothing can prevail against it. Therefore we undertake the exercises for today in happy confidence, certain that we will find what it is your will to find and remember what it is your will to remember. No idle wishes can detain us nor deceive us with an illusion of strength. Today let your will be done. And end forever the insane belief that it is hell in place of Heaven that you choose.
10 We will begin our longer practice periods with the recognition that God's plan for salvation, and only His, is wholly in accord with your will. It is not the purpose of an alien power, thrust upon you unwillingly. It is the one purpose here on which you and your Father are in perfect accord.
11 You will succeed today, the time appointed for the release of the Son of God from hell and from all idle wishes. His will is now restored to his awareness. He is willing this very day to look upon the light in him and be saved.
12 After reminding yourself of this and determining to keep your will clearly in mind, tell yourself with gentle firmness and quiet certainty:
14 Then let your will assert itself, joined with the power of God and united with your Self. Put the rest of the practice period under Their guidance. Join with Them as They lead the way.
15 In the shorter practice periods, again make a declaration of what you really want. Say:
I will there be light.
17 This should be repeated several times an hour. It is most important, however, to apply today's idea in this form immediately you are tempted to hold a grievance of any kind. This will help you let your grievances go instead of cherishing them and hiding them in the darkness.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
I will there be light.
This Lesson contrasts our ego wishes, which have no power, with "The will you share with God [that] has all the power of creation in it." (W.73.1.3) Jesus tells us that our will is the same as God's Will because He is our Creator. It is the only true will. Everything else is just idle wishes, which make nothing. "Yet God wills. He does not wish. Your will is as powerful as His because it is His." (T.7.X.4.6-8) (ACIM OE T.7.XI.102) Again, Jesus says, "You must ask what God's Will is in everything, because it is yours." (T.11.I.8.5) (ACIM OE T.10.II.12)
However, our ego wishes seem to oppose God's will. We have all kinds of thoughts and ideas about what we want and need, and while they are called idle wishes, which have no power at all, (W.73.1.4) they nevertheless have made this whole world of illusion! In the illusion, our idle wishes do have power. They lack the power of creation, but they do have the power to miscreate, though "They make nothing that is real." (W.73.1.7) While idle wishes have made the whole world, it is not real, no matter how solid it seems to be, because of the beliefs we hold about it. It is still nothing, but because we have invested the ego with the power of our minds, our minds give power to the illusion. As we withdraw belief from this world and instead invest our belief in remembering our Oneness with God, we will awaken from this dream.
"Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego's need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for 'righteous' judgment."
(W.73.2.1-2) It is a world of special relationships where we traffic in grievances. Our grievances maintain the separation. We see our brothers and ourselves, not as we are as the One Son, united in creation, but instead as characters in the dream, trading grievances back and forth with each other. Of course, we each see ourselves as the main character in the dream with others playing supporting roles.
Grievances tend to escalate as we battle each other, giving as little as possible to get as much as possible for ourselves. We are always protecting ourselves against further attack with our defenses. Guilt needs a target. That is why we have specific people in our play on whom to project our guilt. Some of those people in our dream we seem to love and others we think we hate or want to ignore, but either way, we do a dance of passing guilt, attack, and defense back and forth with each other. That is why Jesus says that we all traffic in guilt and are very good at it, but the cost to us is that when we do this, we "do not know your brothers or your Self." (W.73.2.5) That is a high cost we seem willing to pay in order to keep our grievances!
The ego needs grievances, "which are necessary to maintain it [the world]." (W.73.2.2) Grievances are the oxygen of the ego, in that it needs grievances in order to thrive. It is where our addiction to conflict and drama comes from. It is how we keep others separate from us and make them the sinners deserving punishment, so we can imagine ourselves as free of guilt. They are expected to serve our specialness, and when they don't meet our needs, we judge them and consider it "righteous" to do so. (W.73.2.2)
Everyone in our dream, including ourselves, seems to move about attacking each other and retaliating at the bequest of the ego, always trying to get something from the other. If it were not for these characters in the dream, or middlemen as they are called here, we would meet as holy Sons of God in the light that unites us all as one Self. Yet as long as we hold grievances against our brothers, we will not know them. We will not see their reality as the Christ. Instead of seeing their innocence, we use them to make bargains so we can get what we want from them, hold them to our expectations, and demand reciprocity in turn; and with each exchange, our separation from each other is reinforced. That is why special relationships all deteriorate over time as the mountain of grievances grows. When we commit to healing and wholeness, our relationships become holy, and rather than deteriorating, they become better and better over time.
Today, we are asked to try to reach a place that is not Heaven, but the light of Heaven shines on it. This is the real world. It is "the world that is in accordance with your will. The light is in it because it does not oppose the Will of God." (W.73.4.1-2) This is a world that reflects the reality of Heaven. The world is just an outward picture of our inward condition. When we find the light within, we will see a world of light without.
How do we get there? There is only one answer. We get there through forgiveness. Forgiveness is about accepting Atonement (the correction/healing) for ourselves by choosing to dismiss the ego, refusing to listen to it and instead, aligning with our true will, which is God's Will. "Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light." (W.73.5.4) The light is not in the world but is in our minds. What keeps the ego going is simply our willingness to listen to it. When we turn to the ego, we really don't see each other. We don't see our brothers' reality. What we see is an image of what we have made of them, which is a projection of the guilt in our minds. "We have repeatedly emphasized that the barrier of grievances is easily passed, and cannot stand between you and your salvation." (W.73.5.5) It is just a thought away! Do I really want the hell I put myself in when I hold grievances? How insane is it to keep the anger and suffer when we can choose to change our minds and bring our insane wishes to the Holy Spirit?
How this dynamic has been set up by the ego has been hidden from us, which is why Jesus is bringing it to our awareness so we can choose against it when we see it for what it is. If our minds are the projectors, when we load the projector with the ego tape, we see a darkened world of guilt, fear, anger, attack; but if we change the tape and choose the one the Holy Spirit offers, which is just pure light, the world we see will be entirely different. We change what is in the projector by releasing grievances through forgiveness. We turn to the Holy Spirit and ask for His interpretation in place of our own. We take the hand of Jesus as he invites us to do, and with willingness, we bring to awareness our judgments and release them. It means that we give up our justifications for seeing our brothers as guilty.
We release the hold the ego seems to have on us. We recognize that however powerful ego wishes seem to be and however powerful our desire for revenge and attack may be, we can make a shift through forgiveness. This choice is available to us. Before we stepped on this path, we were not aware this choice was available because we were not aware of the right mind. We don't have to listen to the ego. We will be very motivated to make this choice when we see how much peace and happiness is available through forgiveness and how much suffering we experience until we make this choice.
"Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within."
(W.73.5.1) As we shift from grievances, which show us a "darkened world," (W.73.5.3) to forgiveness, the darkness is lifted. (W.73.5.4) We can see this in our everyday experience. Whether we talk about a movie, a book, a person, or a situation, we all have a different "take" on it, and we argue about the correctness of our perception. Yet all anyone is seeing is what is in their own minds. We are seeing our own inner world projected onto the screen. Now it seems to be on the outside. As we change our inner world, the outer world of perception shifts, and what is reflected is what the Course calls the real world, seen from the perspective of a healed mind. Forgiveness replaces the world we don't want with the one we do want, which is one where our will is joined with God's.
Jesus puts a very blunt question to us when he says, "Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die?" (W.73.5.7-8) Who would ever choose that? Yet we have chosen it. Now with every temptation to choose hell, we can change our minds. When we listen to the ego, we continue to hold out hope that something in the world will still bring us happiness and give us what we think we want. We continue to think we can exert our idle wishes and find the answers for our lives. We continue to think attack and grievances will get us something of value. Jesus urges us to "Forget the ego's arguments which seek to prove all this is really Heaven." (W.73.6.1) As long as we seek for things in the world that we think will make us happy and follow the ego's plan for salvation, we will only suffer. We all want to be happy, but we are following the wrong teacher. Oh yes, we will experience moments of happiness, but they never last. In fact, they are always tinged with the fear that they won't last. As has been said many times---the ego teaches us to "seek but do not find." (T.16.V.6.5) (ACIM OE T.16.VI.48)
The question is, do we want to oppose God's Will for us, which is for our happiness? "It is not the purpose of an alien power, thrust upon you unwillingly." (W.73.9.2) It requires that we see how wrong we have been in thinking we would want something different from what God Wills for us by following our own guidance. When we see how unhappy this has made us, our willingness to join with the Holy Spirit in our minds is reinforced, as we tell ourselves "with gentle firmness and quiet certainty: I will there be light. Let me behold the light that reflects God's Will and mine." (W.73.10.1-3) In other words, I am determined to release my grievances so I can behold the light in my brother and embrace him in the love we share as one Son. I do so by letting these grievances go "instead of cherishing them and hiding them in darkness." (W.73.11.7) We must take responsibility for our self-hatred and look at it with honesty and courage, rather than defending and pretending we are innocent victims of attack. All we are seeing is our own guilt "out there."
This Lesson is helping us to see that when we choose the ego, we are choosing against our own happiness. Our healing depends on being willing to see the Christ in everyone. By getting in touch with the light, we can bring it to everyone whom we meet or think about today. When you are tempted to hold a grievance of any kind today, whether in the form of worry, anger, frustration, impatience, or anything that crosses your mind and takes away your peace, just apply today's idea. Bring your ego thoughts, which kill your joy and peace, to the memory of God's Love within.
Love and blessings, Sarah
The Consistency of the Kingdom
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
To heal, then, is to correct perception in your brother
yourself by sharing the Holy Spirit with him. This places you
within the Kingdom and restores its wholeness in your minds. This parallels creation because it
unifies by increasing
integrates by extending
. What you project you believe. This is an immutable law of the mind in this world as well as in the Kingdom. However, the content is different in this world because the thoughts it governs are very different from the thoughts in the Kingdom. Laws must be adapted to circumstances if they are to maintain order.
11 The outstanding characteristic of the laws of mind as they operate in this world is that by obeying them-and I assure you that you
must obey them-you can arrive at diametrically opposed results. This is because the laws have adapted to the circumstances of this world, in which diametrically opposed outcomes
are believed in. The laws of mind govern thoughts, and you
do respond to two conflicting voices. You have heard many arguments on behalf of "the freedoms," which would indeed have been freedom if man had not chosen to
fight for them. That is why they perceive "the freedoms" as many instead of as one. Yet the argument that underlies the defense of freedom is perfectly valid. Because it is true, it should not be
fought for, but it
should be sided
12 Those who are against freedom believe that its outcome will
hurt them, which
cannot be true. But those who are
for freedom, even if they are misguided in how to defend it, are siding with the one thing in this world which
is true. Whenever anyone can listen fairly to both sides of
any issue, he will make the right decision. This is because he
has the answer. Conflict can
seem to be interpersonal, but it
must be intrapersonal first.
13 The term "intrapersonal" is an ego term because "personal" implies "of
one person" and
not of others. "Interpersonal" has similar error in that it refers to something that exists among different or
separate people. When we spoke before of the extremely
personal nature of revelation, we followed this statement immediately with a description of the inevitable outcomes of the revelation in terms of
sharing. A person conceives of himself as separate largely because he perceives
of himself as bounded by a body.
Only if he perceives himself as a
mind can this be overcome. Then he is free to use terms like "intramental" and "intermental"
without seeing them as different or conflicting, because minds
can be in perfect accord.
Outside the Kingdom, the law which prevails
inside it is adapted to "what you project you
believe." This is its
teaching form, since outside the Kingdom teaching is mandatory because
learning is essential. This form of the law clearly implies that you will learn what
you are from what you have projected onto others and therefore believe
In the Kingdom there is no teaching
or learning because there is no
belief. There is only
certainty. God and His Sons, in the surety of being,
know that what you project you
are. That form of the law is not adapted at all, being the law of creation. God Himself created the law by creating
by it. And His Sons, who create like Him, follow it gladly, knowing that the increase of the Kingdom depends on it just as their own creation did.
15 Laws must be communicated if they are to be helpful. In effect, they must be
translated for those who speak a different language. Nevertheless, a good translator, although he must alter the
form of what he translates,
never changes the meaning. In fact, his whole purpose is to change the form
so that the original meaning is retained. The Holy Spirit is the
translator of the Laws of God to those who do
not understand them. You could not do this yourselves because conflicted minds
cannot be faithful to one meaning and will therefore
change the meaning to preserve the form.
16 The Holy Spirit's purpose in translating is naturally
exactly the opposite. He translates only to
preserve the original meaning in
all respects and in
all languages. Therefore, He opposes differences in form as meaningful, emphasizing always that
these differences do not matter. The meaning of His message is
always the same, and
only the meaning matters. God's Law of Creation in perfect form does not involve the
use of truth to convince His Sons
of truth. The
extension of truth, which
is the Law of the Kingdom, rests only on the knowledge of what truth
is. This is your inheritance and requires no learning at all, but when you
disinherited yourselves, you
17 No one questions the intimate connection of learning and memory. Learning is impossible
without memory, since it cannot be consistent
unless it is remembered. That is why the Holy Spirit
is a lesson in remembering. We said before that He teaches remembering and forgetting, but the forgetting aspect is only
to make the remembering consistent. You forget in order to
remember better. You will
not understand His translations while you listen to two ways of perceiving them. Therefore, you must forget or relinquish one to
understand the other. This is the only way you
can learn consistency so that you can finally
What can the perfect consistency of the Kingdom mean to the confused? It is apparent that confusion
with meaning and therefore
prevents the learner from appreciating
it. There is
confusion in the Kingdom because there is only
meaning. This meaning comes from God and
God. Because it is also
you share it and
it as your Creator did. This needs no translation because it is perfectly understood, but it
need extension because it
extension. Communication is perfectly direct and perfectly united. It is totally without strain because nothing discordant
enters. That is why it
the Kingdom of God. It belongs to Him and is therefore
Him. That is its reality, and nothing
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
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