TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
Only Joy Increases forever
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 7 "THE CONSISTENCY OF THE KINGDOM"
II. BARGAINING VERSUS HEALING

I gave only love to the Kingdom because I believed that was what I was. What you believe you are determines your gifts, and if God created you by extending Himself as you, you can only extend yourself as He did. Only joy increases forever, since joy and eternity are inseparable. God extends outward beyond limits and beyond time, and you who are co-creators with Him extend His Kingdom forever and beyond limit. Eternity is the indelible stamp of creation. The eternal are in peace and joy forever.

DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 74
There is no will but God's.
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
 
1 The idea for today can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed. God's is the only will. When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His. The belief that conflict is possible has gone. Peace has replaced the strange idea that you are torn by conflicting goals. As an expression of the Will of God, you have no goal but His. 
 
2 There is great peace in today's idea. And the exercises for today are directed towards finding it. The idea itself is wholly true. Therefore it cannot give rise to illusions. Without illusions, conflict is impossible. Let us try to recognize this today and experience the peace this recognition brings. 
 
3 Begin the longer practice periods by repeating these thoughts several times, slowly and with firm determination to understand what they mean and to hold them in mind: 
 
4 There is no will but God's
  I cannot be in conflict.
 
5 Then spend several minutes in adding some related thoughts, such as: 
 
6 I am at peace
  Nothing can disturb me. My will is God's.
  My will and God's are one.
  God wills peace for His Son.
 
7 During this introductory phase, be sure to deal quickly with any conflict thoughts that may cross your mind. Tell yourself immediately: 
 
8 There is no will but God's.
  These conflict thoughts are meaningless.
 
9 If there is one conflict area which seems particularly difficult to resolve, single it out for special consideration. Think about it briefly but very specifically, identify the particular person or persons and the situation or situations involved, and tell yourself: 
 
10 There is no will but God's.
    I share it with Him.    
    My conflicts about _____ cannot be real.
 
11 After you have cleared your mind in this way, close your eyes and try to experience the peace to which your reality entitles you. Sink into it, and feel it closing around you. There may be some temptation to mistake these attempts for withdrawal, but the difference is easily detected. If you are succeeding, you will feel a deep sense of joy and an increased alertness rather than a feeling of drowsiness and enervation. Joy characterizes peace. By this experience will you recognize that you have reached it. 
 
12 If you feel yourself slipping off into withdrawal, quickly repeat the idea for today and try again. Do this as often as necessary. There is definite gain in refusing to allow retreat into withdrawal, even if you do not experience the peace you seek. 
 
13 In the shorter periods, which should be undertaken at regular and predetermined intervals today, say to yourself: 
 
14 There is no will but God's.
     I seek His peace today.
 
15 Then try to find what you are seeking. A minute or two every half-hour, with eyes closed if possible, would be well spent on this today.

    
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Lesson 74
There is no will but God's.    
 
Sarah's Commentary:  

If there is no will but God's, nothing can be in opposition to God. There is only God. There is only one will. We share this will with God. There can be no separate self with a will separate from God. It simply does not exist. This separate will is a dream figure in a world that is not real. We took the tiny mad idea seriously that we could separate from God. "Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh." (T.27.VIII.6.2)(ACIM OE T.27.IX.82) Thus, we seemed to establish a separate reality as these autonomous individuals we call ourselves, living in a world we believe is real. But Jesus tells us, "God's Son can smile at last, on learning that it is not true." (W.153.14.6)

The word "indivi-dual" reflects duality. It reflects a duality of a 'me' and God. It makes us the authors of our own lives as individuals who have our own thoughts, which are in opposition to God. The ego is simply the idea there is a will opposite to God's. Unless we give our allegiance to this idea, it has no reality. We believe we have made ourselves and now are on our own, separate from God, yet nothing real has happened. That is the essence of the Atonement Principle, which is the central thought of this Course. This principle says we can't separate from God, we are still one with Him. We remain the divine eternal beings we were created to be. All we have lost is our awareness of that fact. What we need to do is to accept the Atonement (correction) for ourselves, which means we must finally, in the end, come to accept the truth about ourselves. That is why Jesus says, "The idea for today can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed." (W.74.1.1)

We think, in that tiny mad idea when we made the choice for the ego and thus seemed to separate from creation, we did something terrible by stealing our identity from God. If indeed we overcame God, He must be our enemy. The ego tells us God wants back what we stole from Him. It says we have committed a terrible sin in leaving God, and now our minds are full of guilt over our 'wrong doing'. We fear we will be punished for what we did. We project the guilt out, first by making up an angry God, who we now think is seeking to punish us for what we did, then by making up a world where we can project the horrific guilt we hold in our minds. Now there is conflict between ourselves and our image of an angry God, who we believe is seeking retribution and vengeance on us. This conflict is repressed, but it is in our minds and is what we project onto the world, where we see conflict all around us. To release ourselves from the guilt in our minds, we find others to blame for our condition. This results in a world where we are constantly in a state of attack and defense. If we look at our relationships, we can see this ongoing conflict, whether with our so-called enemies or with those we think we love.

In truth, there can be no conflict. Our reality is eternal mind, and mind has no form and no boundaries against which there can be any friction. There is only Oneness. Conflict can only seem real in the illusion. The people in the world with whom we have conflict are just figures in the dream we are dreaming. Thus, we are only in conflict with ourselves. It is an outward picture we see of our own inward condition. "It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition." (T.21.IN.1.5)(ACIM OE T.21.I.1) We are now being called to make another choice. We can choose peace. But first, we must take responsibility for our attacks. We need to see they all start with us. The ego will protest, of course, because the ego has separated cause from effect. Now we see ourselves as an effect of what the world is doing to us, forgetting that mind is the cause of what we see.

We blame situations in our lives as the cause for our conflicts and our distress. For example, childhood abuse may now be seen as the cause of my anger and lack of intimacy. Jesus tells us when we separate cause from effect, we can't be healed. We must bring the cause, which is the guilt in our minds, to the Holy Spirit, also in our minds. Now we have brought cause and effect together and healing happens. We do this by taking responsibility for everything that seems to have happened and recognize we are projecting our own guilt onto others. Reversing cause and effect is a pretty clever device of the ego to convince us we are the victims of attacks coming at us from the world and not from our own minds! When we are ready to see how all this was set up by the ego, there is a realization that we are given a way out of this never-ending cycle of guilt and fear. Help is available to us in own minds through the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

We hold many goals that seem to be in conflict. It is reminiscent of the Lesson where Jesus asked us to look at the many conflicting goals we have for difficult situations in our lives. We need to question how we could ever want something different than what God wants, if there is no Will but God's? It really couldn't be possible unless illusions are involved in our dream of separation from God. The only conflict there can be is in my own thoughts. Through the process of forgiveness, we recognize that nothing can disturb us because God's Will for us is perfect peace, and God's Will is all there is. Everything but this we have made up, and if we have made it up, we can choose to see it differently. Peace comes from accepting the idea that we never left God, and what we are experiencing in the illusion is not the truth. Until we recognize this is so, we continue to play out this idea of separation, which we do again and again with each grievance we hold and each judgment we make.

Our state is one of non-dualism. If we believe this idea is "wholly true", we will be motivated to bring all of our conflicts to the light of truth. What this means is, when we are upset or in conflict with anyone, or feel distressed or unhappy about anything, we look at how we believe the cause is outside ourselves brought about by someone or something outside our own minds. This is an opportunity to look at the ego thought system at the root of our upset. When we take our conflict to the Holy Spirit who is in our minds, as the symbol of God's Will, He reminds us the truth about ourselves can only be that "I am at peace. Nothing can disturb me. My will is God's. My will and God's are one. God wills peace for His Son." (W.74.3.5-9) This place of innocence, free of conflict, is currently still in our minds, never having left us nor can we leave it. We can become totally unaware of this place until we have accepted the Atonement for ourselves, which is the goal of the whole Course.

I am looking at what is disturbing me today. There are thoughts of what I think I need to get accomplished Plans I have for next week come to mind, as well as a grievance with my partner about the pressure he seems to be putting on me to do something I don't want to do. Unresolved issues spring forward. I wonder how I can contribute to resolving them. Worry thoughts spring forward. Sadness shows up. There are many things that seem to disturb us, but the remedy for them all is in our own minds. We are called to step back from them all and recognize there is no value in holding onto these thoughts. We live a life of constant disturbance as a result of our turbulent thoughts. It is truly not about the world, but all about our interpretations of everything around us, the meaning we give to neutral events.

Being vigilant in watching these thoughts and being willing to bring them to the light of truth is how they are healed. "During this introductory phase, be sure to deal quickly with any conflict thoughts that may cross your mind. Tell yourself immediately: There is no will but God's. These conflict thoughts are meaningless." (W.74.3.10-13) Our motivation in bringing our upsetting thoughts to Him is so we can know our innocence, peace and happiness. It is certainly not about denying how we feel. On the contrary, we are encouraged to stay very vigilant with what we are feeling and thinking so we can find our thoughts of conflict and single them out "for special consideration." (W.74.4.1) In other words, we don't deny our emotions or the thoughts and beliefs connected to them, but we bring them forward and recognize the cause is in our own minds, and now we are called to give over our false beliefs to the Holy Spirit for healing.

Our reality is the awareness beyond all thought. It is like the ocean. Our thoughts are the debris that float in the ocean, but the ocean does not wonder what it is nor think it is no longer an ocean because there is debris floating around in it. When we hold thoughts of guilt and conflict in our minds, our minds are actually blank. "Recognizing that your mind has been merely blank, rather than believing that it is filled with real ideas, is the first step to opening the way to vision." (W.8.3.3) The awareness behind the thoughts is that which observes the thought from outside of this dream. From this place of observation, we bring awareness to the thoughts. There is no judgment when we look through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, meaning we are looking with love and acceptance rather than judgment. The ocean does not judge the debris floating on its surface as 'bad.'

This acceptance, without judgment, brings healing. Thoughts come and go, but that which is witnessing the thoughts remains. You are the witness. You are not your personality, your beliefs, your feelings or your self-concepts. You are the observer of all of that and as such you can step aside from your thoughts. No, this is not about denial. This is about feeling what you are feeling, and then taking the next step, which is to be willing to let your feelings go. It is not about judging them or feeling guilty about having thoughts of anger, fear, distress of any kind. It is only about recognizing we can't heal what we don't acknowledge or what we refuse to take responsibility for.

Jesus reminds us, "The war against yourself is but the battle of two illusions struggling to make them different from each other, in the belief the one that conquers will be true. There is no conflict between them and the truth." (T.23.I.6.1-2)(ACIM OE T.23.II.12) "Illusions cannot triumph over truth, nor can they threaten it in any way." (T.23.I.6.8)(ACIM OE T.23.II.12) When there are two conflicting thought systems in the mind, it is called cognitive dissonance. This means we try to live with two contradictory thought systems at the same time. This gives rise to immense anxiety and frustration, which we try to resolve as best we can. The answer is to get aligned with the thought system of the Atonement, and this is to recognize there is only one will ---the Will of God, which is our own.

Peace is available in us when the conflict in the mind is released, yet we note that for many of us, when we start on this path, we experience all kinds of resistance. It may show up as withdrawal, drowsiness, desire for distraction or anger. Some have even burned the book. All of it reflects the fear in our minds. We fear losing the identity of the separate self. Jesus is helping us see through the threat we feel in the presence of God's love. He understands our resistance and is very gentle with us, reminding us of the happy outcome to us when we choose to release our false perceptions. He reminds us we are in charge of this journey and will not be hurled into an experience for which we are not ready. He does not want to induce more fear in us, but only to bring further awareness of the resistance in our minds, and for us to see how much we are in denial. He wants only to encourage us and gives us a remedy when we are inclined to withdrawal by saying, "If you feel yourself slipping off into withdrawal, quickly repeat the idea for today and try again." (W.74.6.2) And we keep doing "this as often as necessary." (W.74.6.4)

Letting go of control is essential if we are to come to peace. Control comes from fear, and it is our way of holding onto the false self. To return to our natural state as God created us, we continually need to let go of our way, to let go of the mind that thinks it knows. "When you are taught against your nature, however, you lose by your learning because your learning will imprison you." (T.8.II.2.8)(ACIM OE T.8.III.9) Our natural state is what might be called enlightenment or awakening. What we have taught ourselves is unnatural in that it has imprisoned our true nature and keeps us from free expression. It maintains our roles and our conditioning and keeps us tied to the illusion. We have worked hard to adjust to the world, but it is not a state of true freedom. To free ourselves, it is essential that we look at our false beliefs and let these beliefs be brought to the truth.

"Peace is the state where love abides, and seeks to share itself. Conflict and peace are opposites. Where one abides the other cannot be; where either goes the other disappears. So is the memory of God obscured in minds that have become illusions' battleground." (T.23.1.12.5-8) (ACIM OE T.23.II.18)

"Why should you fill your world with conflicts with yourself? Let all this madness be undone for you, and turn in peace to the remembrance of God, still shining in your quiet mind." (T.23.I.8.8-9)(ACIM OE T.23.II.14)

Sometimes, we think this is all so hard to get. A friend was sharing about something his young son, a six-year-old, said to him. This young boy told his father there is a voice in his head that tells him all the things he needs and wants. Yet another Voice, which is much quieter inside himself, reminds him that God and His Love is all he really needs and all that is important. As long as he stays connected with this Voice, he will always feel safe and secure, and that is the only thing that is important. Out of the mouth of babes! We all have the truth in us. We all have this Voice within. We can choose to ignore it or access it. If our goal is peace, we have been given the means to attain it. It is up to us whether we embrace it or push God away.


Love and blessings, Sarah  
I. Introduction   
1 The creative power of both God and His creations is limitless, but they are not in reciprocal relationship. You do communicate fully with God, as He does with you. This is an ongoing process in which you share, and because you share it, you are inspired to create like God. Yet in creation you are not in reciprocal relation to God since He created you, but you did not create Him. We have already said that only in this respect your creative power differs from His. Even in this world there is a parallel. Parents give birth to children, but children do not give birth to parents. They do, however, give birth to their children and thus give birth as their parents do.
 
2 If you created God and He created you, the Kingdom could not increase through its own creative thought. Creation would therefore be limited, and you would not be co-creators with God. As God's creative Thought proceeds from Him to you, so must your creative thought proceed from you to your creations. Only in this way can all creative power extend outward. God's accomplishments are not yours. But yours are like His. He created the Sonship, and you increase it. You have the power to add to the Kingdom, but not to add to the Creator of the Kingdom. You claim this power when you become vigilant only for God and His Kingdom. By accepting this power as yours, you have learned to be what you are.
 
3 Your creations belong in you, as you belong in God. You are part of God, as your sons are part of His Sons. To create is to love. Love extends outward simply because it cannot be contained. Being limitless, it does not stop. It creates forever, but not in time. God's creations have always been because He has always been. Your creations have always been because you can create only as God creates. Eternity is yours because He created you eternal.

II. Bargaining versus Healing   

4
The ego demands reciprocal rights because it is competitive rather than loving. It is always willing to make a "deal," but it cannot understand that to be like another means that no deals are possible. To gain you must give, not bargain. To bargain is to limit giving, and this is not God's Will. To will with God is to create like Him. God does not limit His gifts in any way. You are His gifts, and so your gifts must be like His. Your gifts to the Kingdom must be like His gifts to you.
 
5 I gave only love to the Kingdom because I believed that was what I was. What you believe you are determines your gifts, and if God created you by extending Himself as you, you can only extend yourself as He did. Only joy increases forever, since joy and eternity are inseparable. God extends outward beyond limits and beyond time, and you who are co-creators with Him extend His Kingdom forever and beyond limit. Eternity is the indelible stamp of creation. The eternal are in peace and joy forever.
 
6 To think like God is to share His certainty of what you are and to create like Him is to share the perfect love He shares with you. To this the Holy Spirit leads you that your joy may be complete because the Kingdom of God is whole. We have said that the last step in the reawakening of knowledge is taken by God. This is true, but it is hard to explain in words because words are symbols, and nothing that is true needs to be explained. However, the Holy Spirit has the task of translating the use less into the use ful, the meaning less into the meaning ful, and the temporary into the timeless. He can therefore tell you something about this last step, although this one you must know yourself, since by it you know what you are. This is your being.
 
7 God does not take steps because His accomplishments are not gradual. He does not teach because His creations are changeless. He does nothing last because He created first and for always. It must be understood that the word "first" as applied to Him is not a time concept. He is first in the sense that He is the first in the Holy Trinity itself. He is the Prime Creator because He created His co-creators. Because He did, time applies neither to Him nor to what He created. The "last step" that God will take was therefore true in the beginning, is true now, and will be true forever.
 
8 What is timeless is always there because its being is eternally changeless. It does not change by increase because it was forever created to increase. If you perceive it as not increasing, you do not know what it is. You also do not know what created it or Who He is. God does not reveal this to you because it was never hidden. His light was never obscured because it is His Will to share it. How can what is fully shared be withheld and then revealed?
 
9 To heal is the only kind of thinking in this world that resembles the Thought of God, and because of the elements which they share, can transfer to it. When a brother perceives himself as sick, he is perceiving himself as not whole and therefore in need. If you too see him this way, you are seeing him as if he were absent from the Kingdom or separated from it, thus making the Kingdom itself obscure to both of you. Sickness and separation are not of God, but the Kingdom is. If you obscure the Kingdom, you are perceiving what is not of God.

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