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It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The main difference between us as yet is that I have nothing else.  
Workbook for Students
Introduction Part I
1 A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 9
I see nothing as it is now.
1 This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. However, understanding is not necessary at this point. In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding. You do not need to practice what you really understand. It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding and assume that you have it already.

2 It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what seems to be pictured before it is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. Each little step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind which has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.

3 These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application and the essential rule of excluding nothing. For example:

4 I do not see this typewriter as it is now. I do not see this key as it is now. I do not see this telephone as it is now.

5 Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range:

6 I do not see that coat rack as it is now. I do not see that face as it is now. I do not see that door as it is now.

7 It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it.

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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Text
Chapter 1
Introduction to Miracles

I. Principles of Miracles Par 71-81
44. 71 Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind. By being one, this state of mind goes out to anyone, even without the awareness of the miracle worker himself. The impersonal nature of miracles is because the Atonement itself is one, uniting all creations with their Creator.

45. 72 The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of His Atonement. The mind is then in a state of grace and naturally becomes gracious both to the host within and the stranger without. By bringing in the stranger, he becomes your brother.

46. 73 A miracle is never lost. It touches many people you do not even know and sometimes produces undreamed of changes in forces of which you are not even aware. That is not your concern. The miracle will always bless you.

74 The miracles you are not asked to perform have not lost their value. They are still expressions of your own state of grace, but the action aspect of the miracle should be Christ-controlled because of His complete awareness of the whole plan. The impersonal nature of miracle-mindedness ensures your grace, but only Christ is in a position to know where grace can be bestowed.

47. 75 Miracle-mindedness means miracle-readiness. Readiness means that you should always keep your perceptions straight, so that you will always be ready, willing, and able. These are the essentials for "listen, learn, and do." You must be ready to listen, willing to learn, and able to do. Only the last is involuntary because it is the application of miracles, which must be Christ-controlled. The other two, which are the voluntary aspects of miracle-mindedness, are up to you.

48. 76 Awe is an inappropriate response to miracles.

77 Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love. Awe should be reserved for revelation, to which it is perfectly and correctly applicable. It is not appropriate for miracles, because a state of awe is worshipful. It implies that one of a lesser order stands before a greater one. This is the case only when a Soul stands before its Creator. Souls are perfect creations and experience awe only in the Presence of the Creator of perfection.

78 The miracle, on the other hand, is a sign of love among equals. Equals cannot be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience and a reasonable amount of obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother and also to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The main difference between us as yet is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state of true holiness, which is only a potential in you.

79 "No man cometh unto the Father but by me" is among the most misunderstood statements in the Bible. It does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, which does not really exist at all. Actually, the quotation is more meaningful if it is considered on a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. Regarded along the vertical, man stands below me and I stand below God. In the process of "rising up," I am higher. This is because, without me, the distance between God and man would be too great for you to encompass.

80 I bridge the distance as an elder brother to man on the one hand and as a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I can render complete only to the extent to which I can share it. This may appear to contradict the statement, "I and my Father are one," but there are still separate parts in the statement in recognition that the Father is greater. (The original statement was "are of one kind"). The Holy Spirit is the bringer of revelations. Revelations are indirectly inspired by me because I am close to the Holy Spirit and alert to the revelation-readiness of my brothers. I can thus bring down to them more than they can draw down to themselves.

49. 81 The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium. Miracles do not involve this type of communication because they are temporary communication devices. When man returns to his original form of communication with God, the need for miracles is over. The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to man open for revelation. Revelation is not reciprocal. It is always from God to man. The miracle is reciprocal because it involves equality.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 9
I see nothing as it is now.
We read in Lesson 7, "I see only the past," and Lesson 8, "My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts," which implies we can't possibly be seeing anything as it is now. "But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet." (W.9.1.2) Jesus tells us that it is not important whether we understand what is being said at this point. In fact, the truth is that we don't get it. It is not because we don't understand the words but because we are very defended against the truth. We will have some understanding only when we have the experience that comes with the holy instant. The holy instant is a moment out of time where there is no body. It is a moment where we have a glimpse of the eternal Self.
 
Even if we do accept this Lesson intellectually, ". . . understanding is not necessary at this point." (W.9.1.3) In fact, Jesus says to recognize and accept that if we don't understand, it is a good thing and a required part ". . . for undoing your false ideas." (W.9.1.4) Why does he say that? Basically, when we accept that we don't know and don’t understand, we are willing to be taught; we are willing to practice the Lesson as prescribed rather than trying to figure it out. He tells us that we will ultimately come to an understanding if we diligently apply the Lessons as prescribed. "If you want understanding and enlightenment you will learn it, because your decision to learn it is the decision to listen to the Teacher Who knows of light, and can therefore teach it to you." (T.8.III.1.4) (ACIM OE T.8.IV.16) We are just being asked to trust in the process. It works even if there is resistance to it.
 
Today, we are asked to apply the idea three or four times during the day to whatever we see. Being indiscriminate in the application and excluding nothing, we begin with things nearby and extend the range outward. "It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion should be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it." (W.9.5.1-3)
 
He is telling us this since we probably think we know and understand what we are seeing because of our past association with it. We resist the idea that we don't see anything as it is now. We may feel it is an affront to our intelligence, but Jesus makes the startling statement that what we are seeing is not even there! That is because everything we see is a projection of our past thoughts about the thing we are looking at, and these thoughts are what block our understanding.
 
It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it pictures is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing and may meet with active resistance. Yet our resistance to it does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any of the exercises provided in the Workbook. "Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it." (W.9.2.5) It is all about clearing away all that interferes with vision. This is the basis for forgiveness because we will come to see that what we are forgiving never even happened in truth. Yes, in our experience it did happen, but none of it has reality; none of it has any meaning because it is all a projection of the thought system of separation. We experience a world that is independent of us, yet it is a world that is simply a reflection of our thoughts. This is why the world is different for every one of us. Our dream is made to seem real by our sensory apparatus, which was made by the ego to prove all this is real.
 
The Lessons are all about undoing the way we currently see things. They are about opening our minds to the possibility that what we see in the world is just a reflection of what is in our minds. The movie of our lives is already over. We are just reacting to events that have already happened. We are experiencing them as if they are happening now. This turns everything upside down from what we think is true. We would not be putting effort into learning something we already know. This is all new learning. As said before, our minds are actually blank because they are totally preoccupied with past thoughts. Past thoughts also include our future plans. They too are already over since time is already over---something we don't get at this moment either. We don't want to get it, because if time is already over, we are not here either, and when we take that thought in, it can be quite disorienting and even terrifying.
 
If you find yourself arguing with this Lesson or any other Lesson, be aware of how much resistance there is to these ideas. Jesus knows we have this resistance because the ego is a defense against these thoughts. All we need to do is be willing to do the practice. If we are not willing, we can ask for help with willingness. The important thing is not to strain and not to fight yourself. When it all seems too difficult, just step away from the Lesson for a time until the willingness returns.
 
We have convinced ourselves of the truth of what we see and we believe that "seeing is believing." We think that if we see something, it is real. Jesus is raising this "reality" to question. Is it possible that what we are seeing is not real at all but just a projection of an hallucinating mind? Is it possible we really can't trust our eyes? Is it possible our whole world is made up of false concepts that we hold in the mind? These are unsettling questions but worth considering.
 
It is not a big leap to recognize that we all see the same thing differently. In fact, recently the Supreme Court ruled that lower courts are not to rely on eye witnesses to the extent that they have, because of faulty perceptions. Perception will invariably be untrustworthy when we realize that we are all just projecting the content of our past thoughts and past associations. When we watch a movie, it becomes clear that we are all experiencing the events on the screen from our own past associations. Thus, how can anything be said to be true if everyone has their own truth about what they are seeing and believing?
 
Time is given us to awaken to the truth of who we are as eternal beings. In Chapter 15, Jesus talks about "The Two Uses of Time" where he says we can waste time by using it for ego purposes, or we can use time for awakening to who we truly are. Wasting time is tragic.  "Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time." (T.5.VI.1.3) (ACIM OE T.5.VIII.71) Time, when used for its intended purpose, awakens us to our glorious reality. These exercises are all given us for that purpose. "This lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past and a future? It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but it takes no time at all to be what you are. Begin to practice the Holy Spirit's use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace." (T.15.I.9.1-4) (ACIM OE T.15.II.10)
 
It is reassuring to know that in undoing what we have taught ourselves the Holy Spirit will substitute our self-taught concepts with ones that can bring us true happiness and peace. Only willingness to do this practice is needed. We continue to ask the Holy Spirit to reinterpret what we see so we can be freed from our perceptions of how we think things are. When we turn our perceptions over to Him to reinterpret them for us, we allow the mind to be released from its imprisoned state of stale thoughts. Each moment of willingness to do this work brings more healing to the mind until we reach the gate of Heaven.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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