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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.

Workbook for Students
Lesson 79
Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.
1 A problem cannot be solved if you do not know what it is. Even if it is really solved already, you will still have the problem because you cannot recognize that it has been solved. This is the situation of the world. The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved. But the solution is not recognized because the problem is not recognized.

2 Everyone in this world seems to have his own special problems. Yet they are all the same and must be recognized as one if the one solution which solves them all is to be accepted. Who can see that a problem has been solved if he thinks the problem is something else? Even if he is given the answer, he cannot see its relevance.

3 That is the position in which you find yourself now. You have the answer, but you are still uncertain about what the problem is. A long series of different problems seems to confront you, and as one is settled the next one and the next arise. There seems to be no end to them. There is no time in which you feel completely free of problems and at peace.

4 The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved. The world seems to present you with a vast number of problems, each requiring a different answer. This perception places you in a position in which your problem solving must be inadequate and failure must be inevitable.

5 No one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. They seem to be on so many levels, in such varying forms, and with such varied content that they confront you with an impossible situation. Dismay and depression are inevitable as you regard them. Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have resolved the previous ones. Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unsolved.

6 All this complexity is but a desperate attempt not to recognize the problem and therefore not to let it be resolved. If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance. Perceiving the underlying constancy in all the problems which confront you, you would understand that you have the means to solve them all. And you would use the means because you recognize the problem.

7 In our longer practice periods today, we will ask what the problem is and what is the answer to it. We will not assume that we already know. We will try to free our minds of all the many different kinds of problems that we think we have. We will try to realize that we have only one problem, which we have failed to recognize. We will ask what it is and wait for the answer. We will be told. Then we will ask for the solution to it. And we will be told.

8 Our exercises for today will be successful to the extent to which we do not insist on defining the problem. Perhaps we will not succeed in letting all our preconceived notions go, but that is not necessary. All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of our version of what our problems are. We are trying to recognize that we have been given the answer by recognizing the problem, so that the problem and the answer can be brought together, and we can be at peace.

9 The shorter practice periods for today will not be set by time but by need. You will see many problems today, each one calling for an answer. Our efforts will be directed toward recognizing that there is only one problem and one answer. In this recognition are all problems resolved. In this recognition there is peace.

10 Be not deceived by the form of problems today. Whenever any difficulty seems to rise, tell yourself quickly:

11 Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved.

12 Then try to suspend all judgment about what the problem is. If possible, close your eyes for a moment and ask what it is. You will be heard and you will be answered.

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Course in Miracles
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Text 
Chapter 7
 The Consistency of the Kingdom

V. The Recognition of Truth par 26-38
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 [nevertheless] 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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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 79
Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.
Jesus tells us that no matter how we experience our many and varied problems, "Yet they are all the same, and must be recognized as one if the one solution that solves them all is to be accepted." (W.79.2.2) To us, problems seem very different from each other. Some seem large and others small; some seem to need one kind of approach, while others need to be solved in other ways. "A long series of different problems seems to confront you, and as one is settled the next one and the next arise. There seems to be no end to them." (W.79.3.3‑4) Our lives here are an endless series of problems, both physical and psychological. We are constantly attending to our bodily needs, health, safety, security, as well as addressing our interpersonal issues. These problems create a continual distraction for us. From our perspective, "There is no time in which you feel completely free of problems and at peace." (W.79.3.5)
 
Jesus says something quite startling right off the bat in this Lesson, when we read, "A problem cannot be solved if you don't know what it is." (W.79.1.1) We think we do know what our problems are. We have no difficulty listing a long series of problems confronting us at this moment, so how do we interpret what he is telling us? Clearly, we see our problems as external. They seem to be caused by people, events, and circumstances in the world, and that is where we put our attention. Regardless of the problem we have, there is always someone or something to blame. Jesus tells us, "Even if it is really solved already you will still have the problem, because you will not recognize that it has been solved." (W.79.1.2) We still have the problem because it is not external to us, even though we see it that way. Every problem has a cause in the mind. The only problem we have is that we have made a decision to separate from love. With that decision, we made a body and a world to distract us from the one and only real problem we have, which is the belief in sin and guilt that come with the choice for separation. That guilt says we deserve punishment, and it is delivered via our many problems and difficulties in the world.
 
As soon as the problem of separation seemed to have arisen, the Answer was given in the same instant. The Answer is the Holy Spirit in our right minds. The Holy Spirit is the memory of God we took into the dream when we seemed to fall asleep to who we really are. Thus, "The problem of separation, which is really the only problem, has already been solved." (W.79.1.4) We won't realize this is the case while we stay asleep in the dream and are still uncertain of what the real problem is. We still have a hard time believing there is only one real problem we need to address when we feel inundated with a variety of problems. We still resist the idea there is only one problem, and that it has already been solved. "You have the answer, but you are still uncertain about what the problem is." (W.79.3.2) Our uncertainty is the resistance we have to the truth. We resist this teaching because we think we know what our problems are and we are reluctant to admit we don’t know. The mind that thinks it knows will not be open to the truth. We believe we know better than what Jesus is telling us. It is the 'yes but' thought that keeps us in a state of doubt. We reflect on the problems confronting us and conclude he just does not understand our situation.
 
Problems have a purpose in our lives, which is to keep us invested in the world with our attention constantly focused outside. They keep us very invested in the dream. If the answer is the miracle, what is required is to take whatever we see as a problem, whether loss, lack, jealousy, or sickness, back into the mind and put it on the inner altar for healing. This is the only place where the Answer is and thus the only place the problem can be solved. As long as we keep trying to address our problems by thinking we can solve them through our own efforts and see them as outside of ourselves, we reinforce the belief that we are the victims of circumstances beyond our control. That is what the ego is invested in having us see because it keeps the separation going.
 
The ego would have us see the cause of our distress as outside our own minds; so we never go back into our minds where the real problem is. Now cause and effect are separate. When we accept that the only cause of any problem we have is the guilt in our minds, we recognize where the solution is as well. The truth regarding any problem we seem to have is that nothing real has occurred. We need not take anything seriously. Yes, you will experience situations you deem to be problems, but "You cannot understand the conflict until you fully understand the basic fact that the ego cannot know anything." (T.6.IV.3.1) (ACIM OE T.6.V.47) Its version of events is always wrong because it always looks to the world as cause and yourself as the effect. It is invested in seeing that we remain victims of the world we see.
 
The ego's existence depends on keeping us in the dark about the nature of the true source of our problems---the guilt in our minds. The belief that we have sinned and therefore should feel guilty came as a result of our belief that we could separate from God. We have bought into this myth of the ego. Now its existence depends on keeping our focus on the screen of this world, which keeps us from recognizing the truth about ourselves. When we finally accept the Atonement [healing] for ourselves, the ego game is over. With our investment in the world, we believe in the drama of our lives. We have taken various events and woven them together into a story, which we think explains who we are. We keep this story of our lives going until we recognize that we have given meaning to the meaningless.
 
Jesus tells us that the "problem" must be recognized exactly as it is [in the mind] and not as it seems to be [specific in form]. All spiritual practice aims at this one recognition. Linear time was made to deny this one simple recognition that the only reality is the eternal now where peace resides. Problems invite us to throw away the peace that is always available to us because it is already in us. Difficult situations in our lives become the excuse we give for our lack of peace. The truth is that we can have peace regardless of what is going on around us.
 
Even though the problem of separation has already been solved, we don't experience that this is the case. Instead, we see all our myriad problems as special and unique to us. "Yet they are all the same, and must be recognized as one if the one solution that solves them all is to be accepted . " (W.79.2.2) There is no order of difficulty in the illusion, meaning that there are no big problems and small problems. While we seem to be looking for specific answers to the problems that we have determined need attention, we don't hear the answer from the Holy Spirit because we ask for answers to problems we don't have.
 
For example, I might be having a problem with my partner because he gets very involved with his work and seems not to give me the attention I want. If I try to change the situation by manipulating him, trying to change him, or throwing guilt at him, I may get a behavioral change, but nothing will have changed in my mind, except now the guilt, sadness, loneliness, and distress that I feel in my separated state never gets solved. Yet when I go within, the answer I get from the Holy Spirit is to recognize that the feelings are mine alone and that this is where the healing must be. When I choose to release my grievances about this problem and thus to join with my brother, I will see his innocence regardless of his behavior. The miracle has now shifted my perception.
 
There seems to be no end to the different kinds of problems that confront us. Yet Jesus says, "The temptation to regard problems as many is the temptation to keep the problem of separation unsolved." (W.79.4.1) It seems to us that each problem is unique and requires a different answer. We spend a lot of time figuring out what to do in each situation. With this perception, no wonder our problem solving is "inadequate, and failure is inevitable." (W.79.4.3) In the world, clearly, no one is up to the job of solving all the problems. In fact, it seems that the more our problems seem to get solved in the world, the more complex they become. Thus, we seem to be confronted by an impossible situation, leaving us feeling dismayed and depressed about everything we need to deal with here. Some of these problems seem very apparent and "Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial, and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unsolved." (W.79.5.5) Problems are thus a distraction to keep the game of this world going and keep us from looking at the fundamental questions of our lives---What am I? What is my purpose? Where am I going?
 
The world was set up so we would always experience inadequacy and failure in solving problems because they are actually unsolvable. They are insolvable because, as said earlier, we don't know what the problem is, and even if we solve some of our perceived problems, they will still be there in another form! That explains why it is so frustrating. We are told that the answer to all of our problems is given us, but we don't see how this can possibly relate to the problems that seem to confront us daily. Until we see that what we really want is to know the truth of who we are as unlimited beings of light and love, we will think that what we want is to solve the problems of our bodily existence in order to be happy. Thus, we will put all our attention there, whether it is to try to get a better job, find the right relationship, or make more money. All these activities are fine, except our peace and happiness are not found there, and ultimately, that is what we are looking for.
 
When we try to solve problems on our own, we may address the symptoms for the time being, but the real problem is never solved and another problem shows up in its place. Problems in the world are never ending. We generally feel worn down and depleted by the attempts at continual problem solving until we turn inward to where the Answer has always been, waiting for us. When I know that I am safe no matter what is going on in my life, when I humbly surrender my way and turn to Him, and when I look for the peace that is always there within, I can approach every problem and situation in my life from a place of trust. It is a knowing that no matter what seems to be happening, I am safe in the loving embrace in which we are all held. A problem is only a problem if I define it that way. It truly can be seen as a neutral event with no meaning except the one I give it. It is an opportunity to look to the Holy Spirit, rather than to the ego, for the answer. Thus, when we turn to the Holy Spirit, we can receive the answer when we are willing to take responsibility for the grievance that underlies every problem. When we are willing to take responsibility without blaming ourselves, we can then receive the miracle. Since every problem is the same (separation), every solution is the same (Atonement). We are always reminded of the first principle of miracles:  "There is no order of difficulty in miracles." (T.1.I.1.1) (ACIM OE T.1.I.1)
 
Jesus recognizes this is not easy for us to take in. And so, in this Lesson, we are asked to start by simply doubting the way we currently see things. "Perhaps you will not succeed in letting all your preconceived notions go, but that is not necessary. All that is necessary is to entertain some doubt about the reality of your version of what your problems are." (W.79.8.2-3) Later, he says, "Whenever any difficulty seems to rise, tell yourself quickly: Let me recognize this problem so it can be solved. Then try to suspend all judgment about what the problem is." (W.79.10.3) Thus, we are asked to keep an open mind, which is to recognize our judgments are always wrong.
 
At least, I can do that much. I find that if I just step away from how I have defined the problem, loosen my grip on the way I see it, and tell myself I really don't have the foggiest notion of what it is all about, I can let myself consider there might be another way to think about what is in front of me. I realize I have no ability to see all sides of it. My view of any problem is limited by my faulty perceptions. I can then ask the Holy Spirit to help me see differently, and help comes in amazing ways. It comes as prompts, ideas, people showing up, and synchronistic events, all of which reflect a change in my mind. I recognize these symbols of outward conditions reflect the shift in my mind from fear and doubt to trust. All we are doing is taking small steps daily to release the grip that fear has on our minds. One of these steps is to do nothing when there is uncertainty. I have personally lived in a state of not knowing for two years until the answer came. I am grateful I did not push for a decision as the ego seemed to require. Waiting in the state of not knowing and trusting the answer would be given, resulted in great certainty. With the ego, there is never any certainty.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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