FRIDAY MARCH 18, 2016
Love Needs No Invitation

A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 7 "THE CONSISTENCY OF THE KINGDOM"
V. THE RECOGNITION OF TRUTH

Healing is a way of forgetting the sense of danger the ego has induced in you by not recognizing its existence in your brothers. This strengthens the Holy Spirit in both of you, because it is a refusal to acknowledge fear. Love needs only this invitation. It comes freely to all the Sonship, being what the Sonship is. By your awakening to it, you are merely forgetting what you are not. This enables you to remember what you are.

DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 77
I am entitled to miracles.
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1 You are entitled to miracles because of what you are. You will receive miracles because of what God is. And you will offer miracles because you are one with God. Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true identity. It is this that we will celebrate today.
 
2 Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself nor on any of the rituals you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are. It is implicit in what God your Father is. It was ensured in your creation and guaranteed by the laws of God. 
 
3 Today we will claim the miracles which are your right since they belong to you. You have been promised full release from the world you made. You have been assured that the Kingdom of God is within you and can never be lost. We ask no more than what belongs to us in truth. Today, however, we will also make sure that we will not content ourselves with less. 
 
4 Begin the longer practice periods by telling yourself quite confidently that you are entitled to miracles. Closing your eyes, remind yourself that you are asking only for what is rightfully yours. Remind yourself also that miracles are never taken from one and given to another and that in asking for your rights you are upholding the rights of everyone. Miracles do not obey the laws of this world. They merely follow from the laws of God. 
 
5 After this brief introductory phase, wait quietly for the assurance that your request is granted. You have asked for the salvation of the world and for your own. You have requested that you be given the means by which this is accomplished. You cannot fail to be assured in this. You are but asking that the Will of God be done. In doing this, you do not really ask for anything. You state a fact that cannot be denied. 
 
6 The Holy Spirit cannot but assure you that your request is granted. The fact that you accepted must be so. There is no room for doubt and uncertainty today. We are asking a real question at last. The answer is a simple statement of a simple fact. You will receive the assurance that you seek. 
 
7 Our shorter practice periods will be frequent and will also be devoted to a reminder of a simple fact. Tell yourself often today: 
 
8 I am entitled to miracles.
 
9 Ask for them whenever a situation arises in which they are called for. You will recognize these situations; you are not relying on yourself to find them, you are therefore fully entitled to receive them whenever you ask. 
 
10 Remember, too, not to be satisfied with less than the perfect answer. Be quick to tell yourself, should you be tempted: 
 
11 I will not trade miracles for grievances.
     I want only what belongs to me. 
    God has established miracles as my right.
       
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
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Lesson 77
I am entitled to miracles.

Sarah's Commentary:  
 
We are entitled to miracles because of who we are as created by God. When we accept this truth into our minds, miracles extend through us. When we know the love we are, everything that comes through us comes from that love. It comes about as a result of the correction of our wrong-minded perceptions. This requires a willingness to release our guilt, fear, grievances, and attack thoughts, which block the truth in our minds. The source of all our suffering in this world is our choice for the ego, and with it the body and the world of pain. It has resulted in a dream of separation from the love we are. The truth about us is we were created as the unlimited Christ Self. This Self is still in our right minds. It is the part of the mind still connected to the truth. The Holy Spirit is the bridge that is a reflection of God's Love in this dream. We are entitled to that love completely and fully because we are God's Son and remain as He created us.
 
Suffering is our experience in this dream when we identify with the ego. Yes, we have bouts of happiness and pleasure, but they don't last. Suffering comes with the separation because now we no longer experience ourselves as complete and whole, needing nothing. The miracle corrects our wrong-minded perception, which is the source of all our suffering. The miracle shows us we are indeed entitled to the truth of who we are, and in that experience, we recognize this is all a dream. The miracle shows us our experience here is an illusion.
 
Since we chose the ego and the world of fear in the first place, we can choose against it. We can bring all our false perceptions to the truth, and with their undoing there is a shift in how we see. This shift is the miracle that comes when we choose with the Holy Spirit rather than with the ego. We turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation of a person, situation or event. We choose not to listen to the ego. When we make a choice to see with the eyes of Christ, we are choosing Jesus as our guide and teacher. When we listen to the voice of the ego, we are actively blocking the truth of who we are. Jesus says, when grievances darken our minds, we look out on a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness and lets us look on a world of light. (W.73.5.3-4)
 
The ego is stubborn, and we may feel this is very difficult when we experience a lot of suffering. Jesus assures us, grievances are easily passed and have no power to stand between us and the miracle. Why is he so certain? Because, he says, "The reason is very simple. Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die?" (W.73.5.6-8) It is all about our choice. Do we wish to continue to hold our own perceptions and suffer, or do we want to forgive our misperceptions and turn to the Holy Spirit for the truth? "You are entitled to miracles because of what you are." (W.77.1.1) "You will receive miracles because of what God is." (W.77.1.2) He withholds nothing from us.
   
There is only one thing required of us---to be willing to accept the means given by the Holy Spirit for our salvation and the salvation of the world. (W.77.5.2-3) The means is forgiveness. Often when we pray, we come to Jesus or the Holy Spirit in our minds with a problem we have already defined and then we ask for help. We have already limited the scope of the answer by the nature of our question. This limits the miracle when we think we know the problem and therefore we know what question to ask. "In doing this, you do not really ask for anything." (W.77.6.1) The reason is that specific questions we ask around specific problems are always related to what we think we need. The truth is we don't need anything except healing of our false idea of what the problem is.
 
The only problem is the belief in separation. "But the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything." (T.3.V.6.3)(ACIM OE T.3.VII.56) The miracle is always there, shining in magnificent light behind every seeming problem. Our part is to ask for help in releasing the misperceptions we have about the problem. The problems we have always come from our interpretations of the situation and never from the situation itself. When our misperceptions are brought for healing, the miracle can shine through, and then our prayer can be one of gratitude. True gratitude can now shine through. Accepting the miracle already in us is the answer to every problem we seem to have.
 
Our job is to let go of the false. We simply claim the right that is our inheritance. "He [Holy Spirit] will never ask what you have done to make you worthy of the gift of God. Ask it not therefore of yourself. Instead, accept His answer, for He knows that you are worthy of everything God wills for you. Do not try to escape the gift of God He so freely and so gladly offers you. He offers you but what God gave Him for you. You need not decide whether or not you are deserving of it. God knows you are." (T.14.III.11.4-10)(ACIM OE T.13.VIII.75) When we tell ourselves we are unworthy, we are actually trying to escape the gifts God offers us so freely and gladly. We falsely believe we have to make ourselves worthy of it. Yet when we ask that God's Will be done, we can be certain it is done. He assures us we cannot fail, because the gift is already given. We can only fail if we do not avail ourselves of the means, which is forgiveness.
 
We must bring the blocks to the truth. We must expose the ego to the light. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Our job is not to try to clean up our own act. Our job is only to take responsibility for our errors, bring them to the inner altar, and leave the healing to the Holy Spirit. The ego will never undo itself. It is threatened by the work we do in exposing it for what it is. Until we no longer see value in our will and in our way, in our uniqueness and our specialness, we will still look to the ego for our salvation. This is what keeps the miracle away.
 
Bringing miracles to the world "does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised." (W.77.2.2) Magic is always about something external, whereas the miracle is internal. The guilt in our own minds is brought to the truth and is healed by the miracle because the miracle is about bringing the problems we experience back to the mind for correction. Miracles offer us the "full release from the world you made." (W.77.3.2)
 
The world we made came from the belief we could separate from God. The miracle shows us this could not happen. It shows us we can claim "what belongs to us in truth." (W.77.3.4) It is awareness of the Kingdom of God, which is within us. (W.77.3.3) With that awareness comes a recognition of the Christ Self. It is always available to us when we choose the Holy Spirit, Who is a reflection of the love we are. When we settle for littleness, lack, or a limited self, we shut out the glorious truth of our Being. The miracle helps to restore to us our inheritance that can never be lost except from our own awareness.
 
We have bought into this illusion through our choice for the ego thought system of separation, which brings with it guilt and fear with all of its manifestations in anxiety, worry, upset, jealousy, specialness, needs, expectations, frustrations, comparisons and a never-ending list of problems. The only solution that will ever work is if we go back to the source of every problem, which is always the guilt in the mind. When we take our mistaken perceptions to the Holy Spirit, He offers us correction, which is the miracle. When we remember to ask sincerely for help to see it differently, the miracle will be received. This shift happens when we turn to the Teacher within instead of relying on our limited resources for the answer. When we try to solve our own problems in form, we are turning to magic. Magic will alleviate symptoms and perhaps address a problem temporarily, but as long as guilt is still in the mind, the problem will persist. "The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control." (T.2.IV.2.8)(ACIM OE T.2.III.54) Magic is "the power the ego ascribes to itself." (T.4.II.9.1)(ACIM OE T.4.III.35)
  
The extension of the love that shines through us, when healing is experienced, is not the same as being loving. The problem with trying to be loving is that the separated mind has no idea of how this is accomplished. The closest reflection of love in this world is in forgiveness. When grievances, attacks and judgments are brought to the truth, space is made for love to shine through. That is what the miracle shows us. It shifts our perception from wrong-mindedness to the right mind, where the rights of everyone are upheld. (W.77.4.3) To try to offer unconditional love from our unhealed minds is simply a response to guilt. The guilt in our minds stands in the way of extending miracles. The answer is always the same, which is to release whatever ego thoughts/grievances arise, so the love we are can come forth. It takes no effort on our part to extend this love. It is not something we do. It is something that shines forth from us when the blocks to love are removed. To try to be loving, as we understand it from the ego mind, is to expect reciprocity. If we don't get the love in return, we withdraw our love. This is special love, which is a substitute the ego has made for the love we are.
 
When we don't experience miracles, it is because we stubbornly hold onto our false perceptions. Grievances keep us from the miracle. We stubbornly hold onto our judgments when we want to see ourselves as innocent at the expense of our brother. We are either holding judgments and grievances, or we are in a state of miracle-mindedness. These are mutually exclusive states. Miracles do not always have observable effects. What is important is that perception is shifted in our minds from guilt to innocence. It is a mental shift, which frees our minds from grievances. We are not the source of the miracle. The Holy Spirit is. We can't generate a miracle through our own resources. We must turn to the Holy Spirit. He is the Source of all miracles.
 
This is a very practical course, but to be experienced this way, we must apply these teachings to our lives on a daily basis so the Course comes alive in our experience. Otherwise, while we can be blown away by the beauty of the words and the brilliance of the concepts, they don't help us to shift our minds. Without application, the words and/or concepts will only have value for the intellect. It takes great willingness to take complete responsibility for the difficult and challenging situations in our lives and to see every situation as an opportunity for healing.
 
With the miracle comes a shift from seeing our interests as separate from others to realizing our interests are the same as others. That kind of shift is the focus of the whole Course. It is this shift in our minds from which miracles emanate. It is not about changing our behavior. It is about changing our minds, and behavior follows naturally. It takes practice to choose the thought system of the Holy Spirit more consistently than the thought system of the ego. As we do the practice, we become more in tune with the thought system of the Holy Spirit, and this is the source of miracles. Then the world becomes a witness to our state of mind. When we witness miracles, we witness our own healed perspective.
 
When we ask for our rights, we are also upholding the rights of everyone because "Miracles do not obey the laws of this world." (W.77.4.4) The laws of this world rest on differences, while miracles recognize our brothers as our Self. Jesus says, each decision we make is one between a grievance and a miracle. It is our choice. The only meaningful thing we can do in this lifetime is to watch our minds for grievances and be willing to let them go so miracles can abound.

Love and blessings, Sarah  
V. The Recognition of Truth  

26
God's meaning waits in the Kingdom because that is where He placed it. It does not wait in time. It merely rests in the Kingdom because it belongs there, as you do. How can you, who are God's meaning, perceive yourselves as absent from it? You can see yourselves as separated from your meaning only by experiencing yourself as unreal. This is why the ego is insane; it teaches that you are not what you are. This is so contradictory that it is clearly impossible. It is therefore a lesson which you cannot really learn, and therefore cannot really teach. Yet you are always teaching. You must therefore be teaching something else as well, even though the ego does not know what it is.
 
27 The ego, then, is always being undone and does suspect your motives. Your mind cannot be unified in allegiance to the ego because the mind does not belong to it. Yet what is "treacherous" to the ego is faithful to peace. The ego's "enemy" is therefore your friend. We said before that the ego's friend is not part of you, since the ego perceives itself as at war and therefore in need of allies. You who are not at war must look for brothers and recognize all whom you see as brothers, because only equals are at peace.
 
28 Because God's equal Sons have everything, they cannot compete. Yet if they perceive any of their brothers as anything other than their perfect equals, the idea of competition has entered their minds. Do not underestimate your need to be vigilant against this idea, because all your conflicts come from it. It is the belief that conflicting interests are possible, and therefore you have accepted the impossible as true. How is that different from saying that you are perceiving yourself as unreal?
 
29 To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it. As long as you believe that you can attend to what is not true, you are accepting conflict as your choice. Is it really a choice? It seems to be, but seeming and reality are hardly the same. You who are the Kingdom are not concerned with seeming. Reality is yours because you are reality. This is how having and being are ultimately reconciled, not in the Kingdom, but in your minds. The altar there is the only reality. The altar is perfectly clear in thought because it is a reflection of perfect Thought. It sees only brothers because it sees only in its own light.
 
30 God has lit your minds Himself and keeps your minds lit by His light because His light is what your minds are. This is totally beyond question, and when you questioned it you were answered. The answer merely undoes the question by establishing the fact that to question reality is to question meaninglessly. That is why the Holy Spirit never questions. His sole function is to undo the questionable and thus lead to certainty. The certain are perfectly calm because they are not in doubt. They do not raise questions because nothing questionable enters their minds. This holds them in perfect serenity because this is what they share, knowing what they are.
 
31 As has so often been said, healing is both an art and a science. It is an art because it depends on inspiration in the sense that we have already used the term. Inspiration is the opposite of dispiriting and therefore means to make joyous. The dispirited are depressed because they believe that they are literally "without the Spirit," which is an illusion. You do not put the Spirit in them by inspiring them because that would be magic and therefore would not be real healing. You do, however, recognize the Spirit that is already there and thereby reawaken it. This is why the healer is part of the resurrection and the life. The Spirit is not asleep in the minds of the sick, but the part of the mind that can perceive it and be glad is.
 
32 Healing is also a science because it obeys the laws of God, Whose laws are true. Because they are true, they are perfectly dependable and therefore universal in application. The real aim of science is neither prediction nor control but only understanding. This is because it does not establish the laws it seeks, cannot discover them through prediction, and has no control over them at all. Science is nothing more than an approach to what already is. Like inspiration it can be misunderstood as magic and will be whenever it is undertaken as separate from what already is and perceived as a means for establishing it. To believe this is possible is to believe you can do it. This can only be the voice of the ego.
 
33 Truth can only be recognized and need only be recognized. Inspiration is of the Spirit and certainty is of God according to His laws. Both, therefore, come from the same Source, since inspiration comes from the Voice for God and certainty comes from the laws of God. Healing does not come directly from God, Who knows His creations as perfectly whole. Yet healing is still of God, because it proceeds from His Voice and from His laws. It is their result, in a state of mind which does not know Him. The state is unknown to Him and therefore does not exist, but those who sleep are stupefied, or better, unaware. Because they are unaware, they do not know.
 
34 The Holy Spirit must work through you to teach you He is in you. This is an intermediary step toward the knowledge that you are in God because you are part of Him. The miracles which the Holy Spirit inspires can have no order of difficulty because every part of creation is of one order. This is God's Will and yours. The laws of God establish this, and the Holy Spirit reminds you of it. When you heal, you are remembering the laws of God and forgetting the laws of the ego. We said before that forgetting is merely a way of remembering better. It is therefore not the opposite of remembering, when it is properly perceived. Perceived improperly, it induces a perception of conflict with something else, as all incorrect perception does. Properly perceived, it can be used as a way out of conflict, as all proper perception can.
 
35 All abilities, then, should be given over to the Holy Spirit, Who knows how to use them properly. He can use them only for healing because He knows you only as whole. By healing you learn of wholeness, and by learning of wholeness you learn to remember God. You have forgotten Him, but the Holy Spirit still knows that your forgetting must be translated into a way of remembering and not perceived as a separate ability which opposes an opposite. That is the way in which the ego tries to use all abilities since its goal is always to make you believe that you are in opposition.
 
36 The ego's goal is as unified as the Holy Spirit's, and it is because of this that their goals can never be reconciled in any way or to any extent. The ego always seeks to divide and separate. The Holy Spirit always seeks to unify and heal. As you heal you are healed because the Holy Spirit sees no order of healing. Healing is the way to undo the belief in differences, being the only way of perceiving the Sonship without this belief. This perception is therefore in accord with the laws of God, even in a state of mind which is out of accord with His. The strength of right perception is so great that it brings the mind into accord with His because it yields to His pull which is in all of you.
 
37 To oppose the pull or the Will of God is not an ability but a real delusion. The ego believes that it has this ability and can offer it to you as a gift. You do not want it. It is not a gift. It is nothing at all. God has given you a gift which you both have and are. When you do not use it, you do not know you have it. By not knowing this, you do not know what you are. Healing, then, is a way of approaching knowledge by thinking in accordance with the laws of God and recognizing their universality. Without this recognition, you have made the laws themselves meaningless to you. Yet the laws are not meaningless, since all meaning is contained by them and in them.
 
38 Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven because that is where the laws of God operate truly, and they can operate only truly since they are the laws of Truth. But seek this only because you can find nothing else. There is nothing else. God is all in all in a very literal sense. All being is in Him who is all Being. You are therefore in Him since your being is His. Healing is a way of forgetting the sense of danger the ego has induced in you by not recognizing its existence in your brothers. This strengthens the Holy Spirit in both of you, because it is a refusal to acknowledge fear. Love needs only this invitation. It comes freely to all the Sonship, being what the Sonship is. By your awakening to it, you are merely forgetting what you are not. This enables you to remember what you are.

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