Lesson 80

Do Not Deny a Blessing
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70 Whenever you deny a blessing to a brother, you will feel deprived. This is because denial is as total as love. It is as impossible to deny part of the Sonship as it is to love it in part. Nor is it possible to love it totally at times. You cannot be totally committed sometimes. Remember a very early lesson---"Never underestimate the power of denial." It has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit of any kind. If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you. Reality cannot be partly appreciated. That is why denying any part of it means you have lost awareness of all of it.      
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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n 80
Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio  

1 If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems. Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other. Therefore you must be at peace. Salvation does depend on recognizing this one problem and understanding that it has been solved. One problem-one solution. Salvation is accomplished. Freedom from conflict has been given you. Accept that fact, and you are ready to take your rightful place in God's plan for salvation. 
2 Your only problem has been solved! Repeat this over and over to yourself today with gratitude and conviction. You have recognized your only problem, opening the way for the Holy Spirit to give you God's answer. You have laid deception aside and seen the light of truth. You have accepted salvation for yourself by bringing the problem to the answer. And you can recognize the answer because the problem has been identified. 
3 You are entitled to peace today. A problem that has been resolved cannot trouble you. Only be certain you do not forget that all problems are the same. Their many forms will not deceive you while you remember this. One problem-one solution. Accept the peace this simple statement brings. 
4 In our longer practice periods today, we will claim the peace that must be ours when the problem and the answer have been brought together. The problem must be gone because God's answer cannot fail. Having recognized one, you have recognized the other. The solution is inherent in the problem. You are answered and have accepted the answer. You are saved. 
5 Now let the peace that your acceptance brings be given you. Close your eyes and receive your reward. Recognize that your problems have been solved. Recognize that you are out of conflict, free, and at peace. Above all, remember that you have one problem and that the problem has one solution. It is in this that the simplicity of salvation lies. It is because of this that it is guaranteed to work. 
6 Assure yourself often today that your problems have been solved. Repeat the idea with deep conviction as frequently as possible. And be particularly sure to remember to apply the idea for today to any specific problem that may arise. Say quickly: 
7 Let me recognize this problem has been solved.
8 Let us be determined not to collect grievances today. Let us be determined to be free of problems that do not exist. The means is simple honesty. Do not deceive yourself about what the problem is, and you must recognize it has been solved.
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Let me recognize my problems have been solved.
Sarah's Commentary:
This is clearly a follow-up to the Lesson yesterday. While we seem to have many problems, we only have one, and it is already solved. The story is over. "If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems." (W.80.1.1) It is because we are just dreaming this existence with all its seeming problems. Once we wake up, we will realize all the problems we are trying to solve were never even real.
When Jesus starts off with this explicit statement, that we have no problems, we may wonder, how can that be? In our experience, we have many problems, and they show up daily. Yet, if separation is the one central problem and it has been solved, all problems are already answered. We don't experience this because we are deceived by the ego mind that has convinced us that reality is what we experience in the body and the world.
The truth is that the Holy Spirit, a symbol of truth in our right minds, holds the answer to every problem, regardless of its form or seeming complexity. We experience our problems as unsolved when we focus on them rather than identifying the real problem to which the answer has already been given. In other words, the answer is given to every problem we perceive. "Accept that fact, and you are ready to take your rightful place in God's plan for salvation." (W.80.1.8) Our rightful place is acceptance of our function as a teacher of God and savior in the world. We can only do that when we forgive our faulty perceptions and accept the healing of the guilt in our minds.
How does this look in our experience? On a practical level, what do we do? Today, I paid attention to what I was calling a problem. First, someone said something that created a reaction in me where I felt a loss of peace. I was angry at this person, whom I felt had treated me unfairly. When I took responsibility for my own self-attack, I realized that I was choosing to throw away my peace by giving power to what had been said. My reaction had nothing to do with the other person but was about the guilt in my own mind that I saw in my brother. The answer (peace) had already been given and was awaiting my acceptance. With my willingness to take responsibility for how I was seeing this situation and giving it power, I recognized that I had a choice. I could choose to turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation so I could see the innocence in myself and in my brother. This was already available in my mind when I was ready to accept it. Thus, the grievance I was holding was simply blocking the answer to my seeming problem.
Later in the day, I was trying to merge onto the freeway and another driver refused to let me into the lane. Again, the ego mind defined it as a problem. In fact, stepping back, I recognized once again that the problem only endured as long as I was willing to hold a grievance in my mind. Then, I felt the pressure of doing my taxes and encountered "problems" in getting my documents together to meet the deadlines. I realized again that it was my wrong mind giving meaning to this situation and defining it as a problem. The only problem was the interpretation I was giving to a neutral event. Later, I was baking muffins and one of the eggs on the counter rolled onto the floor. I laughed at the idea that this too could be turned into something to ruin my day. Every problem is some kind of grievance, and when I am willing to take my grievance to the Holy Spirit, He always shows me another way to see it and reminds me that nothing is ever wrong, since the answer is already available.
Whatever the issue is, when we become aware that it cannot separate us from peace unless we give it the power to do so, we will know that another choice is always available to us. It is simple because we only have two choices. We can either continue to listen to the way the ego tells us to see it, or we can turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation. It is up to us. If we hold onto our upsets, they can't be healed. We do this when we want to prove that the way we see the problem is correct, and Jesus is wrong in his teaching.
We stubbornly resist the healing, being unwilling to release how and why we set up the problem and why we want to see it as we do. It is, of course, always about our desire to maintain the separation---our separate, individual, and special self. When we willingly bring our misperceptions to the Holy Spirit, He undoes our way of seeing. Hanging onto our perspectives always brings pain.
The miracle is always behind our wrong-minded thoughts, ready to shine forth when we do our part. We simply cannot be separated from God's Love. We can only be unaware of it by blocking it with our misperceptions. I just need to forgive myself for worrying about a situation that is already solved. In fact, I can be grateful that whatever happens, I don't need to be pulled out of peace by this or any other event. It is truly up to me. I don't say this is always easy for us, but it can be as easy or difficult as we make it. Jesus understands, we have a lot of resistance. That is why he reminds us, we can at least start to question how we currently see our problems. There are many times I have been wakeful during the night, trying to figure my way through a problem. Even though I know worry is a decision I have made to listen to the ego, my mind starts to spin obsessively. If I find I can't rest my mind, I engage in self-talk, reassuring myself that all things work together for good and invite peace to my mind to still my thoughts. I am thankful that with mind training the ego no longer has prominence.
There is nothing forgiveness cannot do to reveal the miracle in every situation. As discussed yesterday, problems are the smokescreen that keeps us distracted from seeing the truth behind them all. "You are entitled to peace today. A problem that has been resolved cannot trouble you." (W.80.3.1-2) We are troubled only because of our unwillingness to accept that the answer is already in our minds. Why would we be troubled by a problem that does not even exist? Why would we be angry about nothing and then make up a story to justify our anger?
We can be grateful that this is all just a dream. Of course, we don't really believe it, or it would be all over. In each situation, when we stay open to the Holy Spirit, our attachment to the world and problems is loosened. When we bring our problems to the Holy Spirit, "You have accepted salvation for yourself by bringing the problem to the Answer." (W.80.2.5) We will know we have been successful when we feel peace instead of turmoil about any situation in which we are embroiled. We then won't be troubled by anything that seems to be happening to us. "Only be certain you do not forget that all problems are the same." (W.80.3.3) We just need to remind ourselves that no matter how we perceive the problem, there is no order of difficulty in the problems we perceive. One illusion is not bigger than another. They are all unreal. And we are also assured that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.
All the Lessons make a contribution to bringing peace to our minds when we feel besieged by problems. Also, the metaphysical teachings in the Text help to convince the mind that there is another way to see everything. One thing I try to do is to see myself removed from the conflict, to soar above it. I find the Section, "Above the Battleground" (ACIM OE "The Fear of Life") very helpful in this regard, where Jesus says, "Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it. From there will your perspective be quite different. Here in the midst of it, it does seem real. Here you have chosen to be part of it." (T.23.IV.5.1-4) (ACIM OE T.23.V.51) When I was working and would travel to another country, I found that the issues I considered important and that were reported daily in the news in Alberta somehow lost their significance. From this vantage point, my work back home and the problems I encountered in my involvement in the political environment in which I worked seemed to lose their significance.
In the same way, if we can remove ourselves from any problem we seem to be experiencing by becoming observers rather than participants in the situation, we can also disengage our investment in the problem. When we can observe the situation without judgment, we are sitting with truth next to us and seeing the unreality of the situation. From this place, we can experience the freedom and peace that comes from simply observing without judgment. From this place, we can smile at the situation because we are looking through the eyes of love and seeing that nothing here is serious. In the illusion, there is much that appears tragic, but from above the battleground, it all loses significance.
It is also important to remember that behind every problem is a grievance. That is why we are reminded, "Let us be determined not to collect grievances today." (W.80.7.1) Releasing grievances frees us from problems that don't exist. Forgiveness is acceptance and letting go of what has never happened. Remember that, in the illusion, there are no real effects. We forgive our brother for what he did not do. Yes, the behavior may have happened, but how we see it is up to us. When we see it as a call for love, we recognize that within it is our own call for love. We are all on a path to remembering what we are. This world and all of its problems are not real. The world was over long ago. "Both this world and the real world are illusions because right-mindedness merely overlooks, or forgives, what never happened." (CLARIFICATION OF TERMS.1.6.2) "We but undertake a journey that is over." (W.158.3.6)
The answer is always forgiveness. To the Holy Spirit, "They are the same to Him because each one, regardless of the form it seems to take, is a demand that someone suffer loss and make a sacrifice that you might gain. And when the situation is worked out so no one loses is the problem gone, because it was an error in perception that now has been corrected." (T.26 . II.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.26.III.11)
Bring every problem to His Answer so it can be corrected in your mind. "The problem must be gone, because God's answer cannot fail." (W.80.4.2) Of course, we can prove God wrong, and we do so by demonstrating our unwillingness to bring our perceived problems to Him. This is how we keep the problem from His answer and choose to hold onto our misery. We do that whenever we want to prove that we are right about the way we see a situation. That is why Jesus is always asking us whether we want to be right (about the way we see things) or happy by choosing the answer available in our minds to every problem. By choosing the answer, the result is always peace.

Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Seven

The Consistency of the Kingdom 

Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

VIII. The Total Commitment     

70 Whenever you deny a blessing to a brother, you will feel deprived. This is because denial is as total as love. It is as impossible to deny part of the Sonship as it is to love it in part. Nor is it possible to love it totally at times. You cannot be totally committed sometimes. Remember a very early lesson-"Never underestimate the power of denial." It has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit of any kind. If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you. Reality cannot be partly appreciated. That is why denying any part of it means you have lost awareness of all of it.
71 That is the negative side of the law as it operates in this world. Yet denial is a defense, and so it is as capable of being used positively as it is of being used destructively. Used negatively it will be destructive because it will be used for attack, but in the service of the Holy Spirit, the law requires you to recognize only part of reality to appreciate all of it. Mind is too powerful to be subject to exclusion. You will never be able to exclude yourself from what you project.
72 When a brother acts insanely, he is offering you an opportunity to bless him. His need is yours. You need the blessing you can offer him. There is no way for you to have it except by giving it. This is the law of God, and it has no exceptions. What you deny you lack, not because it is lacking, but because you have denied it in another and are therefore not aware of it in you. Every response you make is determined by what you think you are, and what you want to be is what you think you are. Therefore, what you want to be determines every response you make.
73 You do not need God's blessing since that you have forever, but you do need yours. The picture you see of yourselves is deprived, unloving, and very vulnerable. You cannot love this. Yet you can very easily escape from it or, better, leave it behind. You are not there, and that is not you. Do not see this picture in anyone, or you have accepted it as you. All illusions about the Sonship are dispelled together, as they were made together. Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be. Your brother is the mirror in which you will see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts. And perception will last until the Sonship knows itself as whole.
74 You made perception, and it must last as long as you want it. Illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them. Values are relative, but they are powerful because they are mental judgments. The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you have put them out of your mind. While you include them in it, you are giving life to them, except there is nothing there to receive your gift.
75 The gift of life is yours to give because it was given you. You are unaware of your gift because you do not give it. You cannot make nothing live since it cannot be enlivened. Therefore, you are not extending the gift you both have and are, and so you do not know your being. All confusion comes from not extending life, since that is not the Will of your Creator. You can do nothing apart from Him, and you do do nothing apart from Him. Keep His way to remember yourselves and teach His way, lest you forget yourselves. Give only honor to the Sons of the living God and count yourselves among them gladly.
76 Only honor is a fitting gift for those whom God Himself created worthy of honor and whom He honors. Give them the appreciation which God accords them always because they are His beloved Sons in whom He is well pleased. You cannot be apart from them because you are not apart from Him. Rest in His love and protect your rest by loving. But love everything He created of which you are a part, or you cannot learn of His peace and accept His gift for yourself and as yourself. You cannot know your own perfection until you have honored all those who were created like you.
77 One Child of God is the only teacher sufficiently worthy to teach another. One Teacher is in all your minds, and He teaches the same lesson to all. He always teaches you the inestimable worth of every Son of God, teaching it with infinite patience born of the infinite love for which He speaks. Every attack is a call for His patience,  since only His patience can translate attack into blessing. Those who attack do not know they are blessed. They attack because they believe they are deprived. Give therefore of your abundance and teach your brothers theirs. Do not share their delusions of scarcity, or you will perceive yourself as lacking.
78 Attack could never promote attack unless you perceived it as a means of depriving you of something you want. Yet you cannot lose anything unless you did not value it and therefore did not want it. This makes you feel deprived of it, and by projecting your own rejection, you believe that others are taking it from you. One must be fearful if he believes that his brother is attacking him to tear the Kingdom of Heaven from him. This is the ultimate basis for all of the ego's projection.
79 Being the part of your mind which does not believe it is responsible for itself and being without allegiance to God, the ego is incapable of trust. Projecting its insane belief that you have been treacherous to your Creator, it believes that your brothers, who are as incapable of this as you are, are out to take God from you. Whenever a brother attacks another, this is what he believes. Projection always sees your will in others. If you will to separate yourself from God, that is what you will think others are doing to you.
80 You are the Will of God. Do not accept anything else as your will, or you are denying what you are. Deny this and you will attack, believing you have been attacked. But see the love of God in you, and you will see it everywhere because it is everywhere. See His abundance in everyone, and you will know that you are in Him with them. They are part of you, as you are part of God. You are as lonely without understanding this as God Himself is lonely when His Sons do not know Him. The peace of God is understanding this. There is only one way out of the world's thinking, just as there was only one way into it. Understand totally by understanding totality.
81 Perceive any part of the ego's thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional, and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it. This correction enables you to perceive any part of creation as wholly real, wholly perfect, and wholly desirable. Wanting this only, you will have this only, and giving this only you will be only this. The gifts you offer to the ego are always experienced as sacrifices, but the gifts you offer to the Kingdom are gifts to you. They will always be treasured by God because they belong to His beloved Sons who belong to Him. All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His.

          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  
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