Lesson 86
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 8 "THE JOURNEY BACK"
III. THE RATIONALE FOR CHOICE  
 
13 The Holy Spirit's teaching takes only one direction and has only one goal. His direction is freedom, and His goal is God. Yet He cannot conceive of God without you because it is not God's Will to be without you. When you have learned that your will is God's, you could no more will to be without Him than He could will to be without you. This is freedom and this is joy. Deny yourself this and you are denying God His Kingdom because He created you for this. When we said, "All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His," this is what we meant.        
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I ~ REVIEW II
INTRODUCTION
ACIM Workbook Review II
 
 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio  

1 We are now ready for another review. We will begin where our last review left off and cover two ideas each day. The earlier part of each day will be devoted to one of these ideas, and the latter part of the day to the other. We will have one longer exercise period and frequent shorter ones in which we practice each of them. 
 
2 The longer practice periods will follow this general form: take about 15 minutes for each of them, and begin by thinking about the idea and the comments which are included in the assignments. Devote about three or four minutes to reading them over slowly, several times if you wish, and then close your eyes and listen. Repeat the first phase if you find your mind wandering, but try to spend the major part of the practice period listening quietly but attentively. 
 
3 There is a message waiting for you. Be confident that you will receive it. Remember that it belongs to you and that you want it. Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form they take, they have no meaning and no power. Replace them with your determination to succeed. Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through and carry you beyond them all. 
 
4 Regard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth, and the life. Refuse to be side-tracked into detours, illusions, and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilled.  
 
5 Reaffirm your determination in the shorter practice periods as well, using the original form of the idea for general application and a more specific form when needed. Some specific forms will be included in the comments. These, however, are merely suggestions. It is not the particular words you use that matter.
  
   
  
     ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
          
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  86 ~ Review II
[Review Lesson 71 and Lesson 72]

 
<
AUDIO ><VIDEO>
 Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio  

1 These ideas are for review today: 
 
[71] Only God's plan for salvation will work.
 
2 It is senseless for me to search wildly about for salvation. I have seen it in many people and in many things, but when I reached for it, it was not there. I was mistaken about where it is. I was mistaken about what it is. I will undertake no more idle seeking. Only God's plan for salvation will work. And I will rejoice because His plan can never fail. 
 
3 These are some suggested forms for applying this idea specifically: 
 
4 God's plan for salvation will save me my perception of this.
This is no exception in God's plan for my salvation.
Let me perceive this only in the light of God's plan for salvation . 
 
[72] Holding grievances is an attack on God's plan for salvation.
 
5 Holding grievances is an attempt to prove that God's plan for salvation will not work. Yet only His plan will work. By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness. I would no longer defeat my own best interests in this insane way. I would accept God's plan for salvation and be happy. 
 
6 Specific applications of this idea might be in these forms: 
 
7 I am choosing between misperception
  and salvation as I look on this
  If I see grounds for grievances in this,
  I will not see the grounds for my salvation.
  This calls for salvation, not attack
.
    
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 86
Review II ~ Lesson 71 and Lesson 72
 
Sarah's Commentary:
 
I came across the Lord's Prayer translated from the Aramaic, which struck me as to how different this version is from our current version. It speaks to the issue of how much is lost in translation over time. It makes me grateful we have such a pure form of teaching from Jesus through the words of the Course.
 
O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us-make it useful
Create your reign of unity now
Your one desire then acts with ours, as in all light, so in all forms
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight
Loose the chords of mistakes binding us as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt
Don't let surface things delude us
 
But free us from what holds us back
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
The song that beautifies all, from age to age it renews
Truly power to these statements
May they be the ground from which all my actions grow.
Amen
 
In relation to the Lesson today of particular note are the lines, "Loose the chords of mistakes binding us as we release the strands we hold of others' guilt," and "Don't let surface things delude us." It is so interesting to me that, in this Lesson, we are looking at how "surface things," the things of this world and the expectations we have of others, is where we look for our salvation. We think if only others would behave differently, we would be happy. When these expectations are not met, we have grievances against those who did not act to meet our perceived needs. Our specialness dictates how others should be. How dare you treat me this way, we protest? It is all about my needs. We see the role of others to serve our needs. We enslave them with our requirements.
 
I noticed this last night when I was shopping and had the occasion to deal with the store manager to try to get a discount on a damaged article. Her attitude disturbed me because she was not acting according to the role I had assigned to her. Jesus reminds us, "Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred." (W.PII.Q1.1.1) In other words, it is not to deny an event has happened or that someone has done something in our experience but to recognize it is all our dream, all an illusion. Whatever seems to happen in a dream has not happened at all. Dreams are all the same in that they are all unreal. There are not different forms of unreality.
 
We are only upset because of the meaning we have given a meaningless event. In other words, the interpretation we give to the event is the problem. That meaning comes from what we have chosen to believe about ourselves. I thought I was affected by the store clerk's behavior, but only my thoughts about her affected me. The role I had established for her was to serve my specialness. I saw her simply as the means to my ends. Clearly, I wanted to win. Now I could look at how I set it all up. The power is in me to heal my interpretations. I could choose not to listen to the ego's interpretation, which is always false. The ego's interpretation blinds me to who my brother really is in truth. When I justify my grievances, I tell a story based on my perceptions, which are a lie. Another choice is available to me. I have the Holy Spirit in my mind, Who will remind me that when I look at the world through the eyes of innocence, I cannot see sin in my brother or in myself. The power of decision is in my mind. "Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world." (T.21.IN.1.7) (ACIM OE T.21.IN.1) The motivation to change our minds is on behalf of our own peace and joy. How much do we desire this?
 
Our lives are focused on finding our happiness/salvation in people and events. It is all about having our specialness supported. We spend our time in the world looking to people and things we think will bring us happiness, but Jesus tells us we are mistaken in this. We are idly seeking for a treasure where it does not exist, and so our search is erratic and unproductive. Even when we get what we think we want, our happiness is transitory. Our lives are all about the hope that the next thing or the next relationship will fulfill all our needs and lacks, but that is just a fantasy.
 
Clearly, we are told we have been mistaken by where we think our salvation lies. "I was mistaken about where it is. I was mistaken about what it is." (W.86.1.4-5) Our plan has not worked and we might as well accept that it will never work. To keep working something that has no hope of bringing us a deep sense of joy, peace, and happiness is the definition of insanity. Because of our authority problem we resist dependency on God and put ourselves in charge of our lives. We carry a deep suspicion of His plan for us. We think we know better. We think we know our own best interests. We are deluded about where our joy is. If we look at our lives, we increasingly see that Jesus is telling it like it is. He is clearly asking us to be very honest and to sincerely question if our way has ever really worked for us. How many useless journeys do we want to take before we accept that there is a better way? So let's commit to no longer defeat our own best interests in this insane way, but rather accept God's plan for salvation, and be happy.
 
Perhaps we can see our way is not working, yet we continue to make exceptions. We still have not fully embraced His way. We are still straddling two thought systems. In other words, while we embrace God's plan for salvation, we still holding onto our own plans as well. We still continue to believe there is something to pursue in the dream that will make us happy. "Holding grievances is an attempt to prove that God's plan for salvation will not work." (W.86.3.2) Look at where you are making exceptions today and know, only "God's plan for salvation will save me from my perception of this." (W.86.2.2) Whatever I perceive in any situation that brings me pain, can only be healed by looking to God's plan, and not my own for resolution.
 
Salvation does not save us from any calamity. We are not in any danger. The moment we seemed to separate, the Answer was given to us immediately. "So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time, that not one note in Heaven's song was missed." (T.26.V.5.4) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.34) The Holy Spirit is waiting quietly and patiently for us to replace our thoughts of conflict, whether they are of anger, bitterness, despair, depression, frustration, or death, with a thought of peace. While we have many thoughts of conflict, the thought of peace is only one. The Thought of God heals them all. When we bring our illusions to the truth, the Holy Spirit brings us the experience of the miracle.
 
Recently, one of our Course students tragically lost her little dog whom she cherished as a member of the family. She felt intense pain but recognized how Holy Spirit had already prepared her for this event by bringing her to read Eckhart Tolle's book on the pain body. When the pain showed up, she followed his teachings and stayed with it. As she went walking where she had always walked with her little companion, she prayed that his presence would assist her to heal. All of a sudden, she felt him everywhere, giving her permission to pet other dogs without his interference. She thought the tears would come as she walked, but instead she felt the peace of recognizing that nothing real was lost. She still had her friend with her, but now he was all around her. He came to teach her the simplicity of salvation: by not distracting from her pain, she was able to receive the help she asked for and learned an immense lesson.
 
When we awaken from this dream, we will see that we have never left Heaven. This journey that seems to be taking a long time is already over. That is why the Course calls it a journey without distance. The same thought of peace is in every mind. When we take responsibility for the guilt we have projected onto others whom we believe have wronged us and look to the light within us, we need not interfere any further. The Holy Spirit does the healing. The peace obscured by our grievances can now shine forth. We all share the same One Mind. We don't need to correct or fix others. All we need do is release any grievances we hold against them. The function of the body is just a tool for the mind to be used by Spirit to let God's Love speak through it. It need not be with words. Even if it is, we are given the words to speak. What is important is that we recognize it is our own guilt and self-condemnation that we project onto the events of the world. The events are neutral. We give them all the meaning they have for us. The good news is that our happiness can come by doing our own internal work. It does not depend on any person, situation, or circumstance "out there."
 
It is not helpful to feel guilty about our grievances and judgments. They simply show us what is in our own minds and where healing is needed. The correction is available to us when we give up our ego and choose the Holy Spirit's interpretation. The purpose of the people, situations, and events in our lives is to help us see the unhealed places in our minds. We can't heal what we don't see. The important thing is not to judge yourself when you see the unhealed places in your mind. Judgment of yourself or others is the same; it will keep you in the ego's game. Be happy that you are able to see your mind mirrored in the world you perceive. It is a reflection of what is in your mind that you can happily bring for His correction.
 
Today, we "will rejoice because His plan can never fail" (W.86.1.8) and "accept God's plan for salvation, and be happy." (W.86.3.6) We choose today to take responsibility for our misperceptions and to be willing to release our grievances, which work against our own best interests. Be glad that all circumstances in your life, whether past or present, provide you with an opportunity to choose differently. In your choice to be happy, you will be motivated to forgive your perceptual errors. It is all about changing our minds by being willing to see how wrong we have been about everything we think.

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

The Journey Back  

<TEXT AUDIO>
 
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

I. Introduction        

1 You are hampered in your progress by your demands to know what you do not know. This is actually a way of holding on to deprivation. You cannot reasonably object to following instructions in a course for knowing on the grounds that you do not know. The need for the course is implicit in your objection. Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is. As the prerequisite for knowledge, peace must be learned. This is only because those who are in conflict are not peaceful, and peace is the condition of knowledge because it is the condition of the Kingdom.
 
2 Knowledge will be restored when you meet its conditions. This is not a bargain made by God, Who makes no bargains. It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of a will that is not His. Knowledge is His Will. If you are opposing His Will, how can you have knowledge? I have told you what knowledge offers you, but it is clear that you do not regard this as wholly desirable. If you did, you would hardly be willing to throw it away so readily when the ego asks for your allegiance. The distraction of the ego seems to interfere with your learning, but the ego has no power to distract you unless you give it the power.
 
3 The ego's voice is an hallucination. You cannot expect it to say, "I am not real." Hallucinations are inaccurate perceptions of reality. Yet you are not asked to dispel them alone. You are merely asked to evaluate them in terms of their results to you. If you do not want them on the basis of loss of peace, they will be removed from your mind for you. Every response to the ego is a call to war, and war does deprive you of peace. Yet in this war there is no opponent. This is the reinterpretation of reality which you must make to secure peace, and the only one you need ever make.

 
II. The Direction of the Curriculum 

4
Those whom you perceive as opponents are part of your peace, which you are giving up by attacking them. How can you have what you give up? You share to have, but you do not give it up yourself. When you give up peace, you are excluding yourself from it. This is a condition which is so alien to the Kingdom that you cannot understand the state which prevails within it. Your past learning must have taught you the wrong things simply because it has not made you happy. On this basis alone, its value should be questioned.
 
5 If learning aims at change, and that is always its purpose, are you satisfied with the changes your learning has brought you? Dissatisfaction with learning outcomes must be a sign of learning failure, since it means that you did not get what you want. The curriculum of the Atonement is the opposite of the curriculum you have established for yourselves, but so is its outcome. If the outcome of yours has made you unhappy and if you want a different one, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary.
 
6 The first change that must be introduced is a change in direction. A meaningful curriculum cannot be inconsistent. If it is planned by two teachers, each believing in diametrically opposed ideas, it cannot be integrated. If it is carried out by these two teachers simultaneously, each one merely interferes with the other. This leads to fluctuation, but not to change. The volatile have no direction. They cannot choose one because they cannot relinquish the other, even if the other does not exist. Their conflicted curriculum teaches them all directions exist and gives them no rationale for choice.
 
7 The total senselessness of such a curriculum must be fully recognized before a real change in direction becomes possible. You cannot learn simultaneously from two teachers who are in total disagreement about everything. Their joint curriculum presents an impossible learning task. They are teaching you entirely different things in entirely different ways, which might be possible except for the crucial fact that both are teaching you about yourself. Your reality is unaffected by both, but if you listen to both your mind will be split about what your reality is.


III. The Rationale for Choice 

8
There is a rationale for choice. Only one Teacher knows what your reality is. If learning that is the purpose of the curriculum, you must learn it of Him. The ego does not know what it is trying to teach. It is trying to teach you what you are without knowing it. The ego is expert only in confusion. It does not understand anything else. As a teacher, then, it is totally confused and totally confusing. Even if you could disregard the Holy Spirit entirely, which is quite impossible, you could learn nothing from the ego because the ego knows nothing.
 
9 Is there any possible reason for choosing a teacher such as this? Does the total disregard of anything it teaches make anything but sense? Is this the teacher to whom a Son of God should turn to find himself? The ego has never given you a sensible answer to anything. Simply on the grounds of your own experience with the ego's teaching, should not this alone disqualify it as your future teacher? Yet the ego has done more harm to your learning than this alone. Learning is joyful if it leads you along your natural path and facilitates the development of what you have. When you are taught against your nature, however, you will lose by your learning because your learning will imprison you. Your will is in your nature and therefore cannot go against it.
 
10 The ego cannot teach you anything as long as your will is free because you will not listen to it. It is not your will to be imprisoned because your will is free. That is why the ego is the denial of free will. It is never God who coerces you because He shares His Will with you. His Voice teaches only His Will, but that is not the Holy Spirit's lesson because that is what you are. The lesson is that your will and God's cannot be out of accord because they are one. This is the undoing of everything the ego tries to teach. It is not, then, only the direction of the curriculum which must be unconflicted, but also the content.
 
11 The ego wants to teach you that you want to oppose God's Will. This unnatural lesson cannot be learned, but the attempt to learn it is a violation of your own freedom and makes you afraid of your will because it is free. The Holy Spirit opposes any imprisoning of the will of a Son of God, knowing that the will of the Son is the Father's. The Holy Spirit leads you steadily along the path of freedom, teaching you how to disregard or look beyond everything that would hold you back.
 
12 We said before that the Holy Spirit teaches you the difference between pain and joy. That is the same as saying that He teaches you the difference between imprisonment and freedom. You cannot make this distinction without Him. That is because you have taught yourself that imprisonment is freedom. Believing them to be the same, how can you tell them apart? Can you ask the part of your mind that taught you to believe they are the same to teach you the difference between them? 
 
13 The Holy Spirit's teaching takes only one direction and has only one goal. His direction is freedom, and His goal is God. Yet He cannot conceive of God without you because it is not God's Will to be without you. When you have learned that your will is God's, you could no more will to be without Him than He could will to be without you. This is freedom and this is joy. Deny yourself this and you are denying God His Kingdom because He created you for this. When we said, "All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His," this is what we meant. 
 
14 The Will of God is without limit, and all power and glory lie within it. It is boundless in strength and in love and in peace. It has no boundaries because its extension is unlimited, and it encompasses all things because it created all things. By creating all things, it made them part of itself. You are the Will of God because this is how you were created. Because your Creator creates only like Himself, you are like Him. You are part of Him Who is all power and glory and are therefore as unlimited as He is.
 
15 To what else except all power and glory can the Holy Spirit appeal to restore God's Kingdom? His appeal, then, is merely to what the Kingdom is and for its own acknowledgment of what it is. When you acknowledge this you bring the acknowledgment automatically to everyone because you have acknowledged everyone. By your recognition you awaken theirs, and through theirs yours is extended. Awakening runs easily and gladly through the Kingdom in answer to the Call of God. This is the natural response of every Son of God to the Voice of his Creator because it is the Voice for his creations and for his own extension.

          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  
   
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